March 2015

Back to News Index

(*)- added since last update


Western Morning News 31.3.15 Plus-size equine athletes raise over £4,000 for charity at Cotley point-to-point - Driving rain and 20mph gusting wind failed to deter the 20 entrants in the Cotley Heavy Horse and Cob flat races, who galloped ‘hell for leather’ last Sunday at the annual Cotley point-to-point, near Chard in Somerset. The flat races, which took place in the morning, in advance of the six main point to point races and two pony races, raised well over £4,000 in aid of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Hospiscare... (story)
Western Morning News 14.3.15 Cobs to take to the race track after camel success - Organisers of a Somerset point-to-point are anticipating hundreds of spectators to turn out as heavy horses and cobs will be racing for charity later this month. Four flat races for heavy horses and cobs have been added to the usual point-to-point race card on Sunday, March 29, which will take place near Chard in Somerset… Tom Eames, chairman of the Cotley point-to-point, said: “If you have ever dreamed of riding on point-to-point day and have a horse that would be suitable for any of our heavy horse and cob races this is your chance.”… (story)

Western Morning News 31.3.15 Ardent supporter of archaic activity - The Conservative ethos of sometimes clinging stubbornly to the outdated past was admirably illustrated by the appointment of South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss as the latest Environment Secretary. Ms Truss has just voiced in Parliament her introvertly ardent approval of the primitive hunting with dogs archaic activity, which does neither herself nor the Prime Minister any credit in a more enlightened 21st century... by John Rimington BSc. Technical Liaison Officer, Hare Preservation Trust (story)

Belfast Telegraph 31.3.15 Remember the impact vote has on our animals - KATE FOWLER Head of campaigns, Animal Aid (letter)
Derby Telegraph 28.3.15 Election means life or death for our animals - WHETHER you love or loathe politics, the General Election on May 7, is a matter of life and death for many animals. The badger cull may be halted, continued in the pilot zones or rolled out across the country depending on the outcome. Similarly, the Hunting Act may be strengthened, remain as it is or be scrapped altogether.... To help animal-lovers decide where to place their cross, Animal Aid has launched a new website, Kate Fowler head of campaigns Animal Aid Tonbridge (letter)


Guardian 30.3.15 Why I am still sabotaging fox hunts 10 years after they were banned - Lee Moon - As a hunt saboteur, I spend every Saturday during the hunting season intervening to save wildlife. During August and September, when the hunts are training their young hounds to kill fox cubs, this means getting up at 3am to be in position for when they start their vile “sport” at dawn... Hunt saboteurs use non-violent direct action to disrupt hunts. We care about all animals, not just the fox (or other hunted animals), so would never do anything to harm hounds, horses or indeed human hunt supporters.... (story)

Mail 30.3.15 The hunt that still thrills: 160 foxhunting clubs still exist in US and Canada - although many have to chase coyotes rather than red foxes ... The Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club has roots dating back to 1878, but records show organized foxhunts took place in Maryland as early as the 1790s. In order to preserve a pastime that requires vast open space in the midst of one of the world's densest regions, the club has managed to protect a patchwork of land that is larger than Manhattan... (story)

Coventry Telegraph 30.3.15 With only five weeks to go until the General Election the main contenders are still pretty much neck and neck... the organisation Vote Ok was set up specifically to support a candidate from any party who committed themselves to Hunting Act repeal, and as most Conservative MPs would support this, I decided to ask my North Warwickshire PPCs for their attitudes on a couple of issues... Thus far only Mike O’Brien (Labour, North Warks) has voiced his opposition to the badger cull and repeal of the Hunting Act. Bryan Griffiths, Wiltshire Close, Bedworth (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 30.3.15 Gallery: Chris Packham canvasses support to get wildlife crime on the wane - John Grant - A top naturalist and TV presenter really got to the art of the matter in his fight against illegal bird and animal persecution - and used a Constable masterpiece to make his point - Chris Packham’s anger had been simmering throughout his keynote address to a conference on illegal wildlife persecution in the UK – and it exploded in a frenzied finale as he destroyed a copy of perhaps the most famous painting ever to depict a Suffolk scene.... It was a dramatic way to get a point across, but it left delegates at the Eyes in the Field conference organised by the burgeoning Birders Against Wildlife Crime movement in no doubt about Packham’s passion, even if some were clearly stunned by the performance. Representatives of the Suffolk-based Campaign Against Raptor Persecution were at the meeting in Buxton, Derbyshire, along with nature conservationists from many organisations from across Britain... (story)

Scotsman 30.3.15 Hare numbers - Patrick Stirling-Aird (Letters, 28 March) has got very hot under the collar referring to the “mass slaughter” of mountain hares and he should be careful not to over-egg his pudding... If they had been up the hills of the Sma’ Glen with me in March they would have seen in excess of 20 hares on one hill on my first trip and at least five more on another hill plus a red kite nearby on my second visit.... Alan Black Camus Avenue Edinburgh (letter)
Scotsman 26.3.15 Hare numbers - I am writing after seeing the 
letter (25 March) from the RSPB’s Duncan Orr Ewing. I don’t believe that the RSPB has any evidence to support the claim that hare numbers are not thriving currently. If it does, I would like to see them published, along with their own estimated hare population at the RSPB Abernethy reserve... I am a head keeper on a large estate in the Angus glens. Three years ago we had a reasonable spread of hares throughout the whole estate, some localised areas having a much higher density. Back then we never culled any hares as we never thought it was sustainable. Over the past two years the population has grown considerably... Garry Maclennan Invermark Glen Esk (story)
Scotsman 25.3.15 Culling hares -I would urge caution on those postulating a dramatic “increase” in local mountain hare populations in Scotland without offering any hard facts. Due to the lack of any sort of agreed and established method of monitoring mountain hares, there is simply no reliable information on trends or population figures... Duncan Orr-Ewing RSPB Scotland Edinburgh
Further to Ian Fingland’s letter (24 March) about the fall in the numbers of mountain hares in the Lammermuir Hills, the cull of more 1,500 hares there last year may have something to do with it. This deliberate cull, boasted about by some keepers, was instigated by the managers of several grouse moors... we have grouse moorland managers in one part of Scotland boasting about the environmental benefits of their management regime, while in another area the same species is being systematically removed, all for the benefit of a small minority that get pleasure from killing one of Scotland’s iconic species. Ray Murray Scottish Ornithologists’ Club Local Recorder for Borders (letters)
Dundee Courier 26.3.15 No hard facts on hare figures - I would urge caution on those postulating a dramatic “increase” in local mountain hare populations in Scotland without offering any hard facts... Duncan Orr-Ewing. Head of Species and Land Management,RSPB Scotland. (story)

Sutton Guardian 30.3.15 Cubs orphaned after fox 'murdered' by shot to the head by Chris Caulfield - A fox has been killed with a shot through the head, horrifying staff at a wildlife centre. The vixen was a nursing mother and Riverside Animal Centre is determined to find her young cubs if they are to survive.... The post ended: "Rest in peace little fox, you deserved better than this."... (story)

Western Morning News 30.3.15 Brian May and Dominic Dyer take differing views on how opponents of badger cull should vote By WMNPBowern - Queen guitarist and animal campaigner Brian May and Dominic Dyer of the Badger Trust are taking different approaches to the way they believe people should vote if they want to see the end to badger culling after the election. In an exchange on Twitter the two men – both high profile advocates for animals with many thousands of supporters – disagree over their advice to voters who support their aims of bringing the badger cull to an end after May 7... (story)


Mail 29.3.15 Sporting life was killing me: Grand National champion reveals his daily battle with weight forced him to quit glittering career By PATRICIA KANE FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY - For a man who had achieved the ultimate horse racing prize of a Grand National win, it seemed incredible that something as simple as a dish of lamb and vegetables could bring it all crashing to an end. But the modest dinner, washed down with a large glass of water and followed by a small dessert, proved to be the last straw that broke the camel's back for champion jockey Ryan Mania... Leafing through Horse and Hound in the New Year, he spotted a job advert for a 'kennel huntsman' with the Braes of Derwent Hunt in Northumberland, and applied, sending off his CV like any regular would-be employee... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 29.3.15 A problem of coverage: how tree policy cripples mobile phone signals - Just under a third of Britain’s 36,000 mobile masts are struggling to pick up signals because of trees that operators were obliged to plant By Christopher Williams ... The mobile operators’ pleas to build higher were backed by the Countryside Alliance, part of an increasing clamour for better coverage to ensure rural Britain is not left behind as more business is done online and on the move.... (story)


Western Daily Press 28.3.15 Thousands sign petition to force pub in Swindon Weighbridge Brewhouse to drop foie gras - An animal lover has forced a pub to take foie gras off the menu after her petition gained almost 3,000 signatures in 24 hours. Sarah Chilvers, 48, contacted bosses at the Weighbridge Brewhouse and asked them to stop serving the controversial food. But she said when the restaurant in Swindon refused, she launched an online petition urging them to drop the dish... (story)
Mail 26.3.15 Family-run gastro pub forced to take foie gras off the menu after 'nasty' internet campaign by animal activists led to cancelled bookings By EMILY KENT SMITH FOR THE DAILY MAIL - A pub has been forced to remove foie gras from its menu following a campaign of abuse by animal rights protesters.The gastropub, which has been run by the Windle family for more than three years, received postcards through its doors and a barrage of angry e-mails calling for foie gras to stop being served.... (story)
Swindon Advertiser 26.3.15 Foie gras scrapped from Weighbridge menu after petition goes viral by Dominic Gilbert - FOIE gras is off the menu at the Weighbridge Brewhouse after a petition calling for it to be axed went viral - with reservations being cancelled and threatening emails sent to the owners. On Monday, a paper petition being run by Sarah Chilvers, of Swindon Animal Asia Support Group, was put online as attempts to contact the Weighbridge failed. Within 24 hours, the petition received more than 2,000 signatures, and owners Anthony and Allyson Windle reacted to protect their business, and will no longer serve the garnish with their fillet steaks.... Anthony, 53, said he and his family felt victimised by some of the abusive comments sent during a single frantic day, which saw multiple bookings being cancelled... (story)

Cornish Guardian 28.3.15 Beware 'charity' callers say police - POLICE in Padstow are urging anyone who has been door-knocked by fundraisers purporting to be from the RSPCA to contact them. It comes as some residents were concerned that they were called on up to 11pm by canvassers seeking their bank details, and claiming to be from the animal welfare charity.... The RSPCA confirmed it has been fundraising in the Padstow area recently, but said its supporters would not have called on people's homes late at night.... (story)

Argus 28.3.15 10 things that might surprise you about Vegfest... by Henry Holloway - 1. There is glamour in being a vegan.... 2. You can be a super athlete with a strict vegan diet A trio of vegan bodybuilders, Alex Mitchell, Pete Ryan and Maz Marriott, will be hosting fitness talks... (story)


Independent 27.3.15 Pro-hunting campaign fronted by Otis Ferry props up Tories in north-west England - Vote-OK is helping sympathetic Conservative MPs and election candidates to get elected by leafleting, putting up posters and canvassing - Tom Bawden ... We can now reveal that David Nuttall, the MP for Bury North, and Rob Loughenbury, the Conservative candidate for Chorley, are making use of the group’s services – in this case through the Holcombe Hunt... (story)

Evening Standard 27.3.15 Final cheers to Clarissa - Clarissa Dickson Wright, one half of the much-loved Two Fat Ladies duo, who died last March, was remembered yesterday at St Bride’s Church on Fleet Street... Countryside Alliance campaigner Tim Bonner remarked that: “Only at Clarissa Dickson Wright’s memorial service could you have a reading from Alcoholics Anonymous — and then a reception in a gin distillery.”.... (story)

Surrey Advertiser 27.3.15 Hunt protesters claim they were helping deer 'savagely' attacked by dogs By Georgina Townshend - Wounded deer was reportedly found in a the ditch by the protesters who claimed "all they were doing was trying to help animal"- Protesters cleared of trespassing during a Ewhurst hunt claim they were trying to help an injured deer - "savagely" attacked by dogs. Adam Bloom, 30, from Worthing, Paula Lamont, 37, from Hertfordshire, Colin Skilton, 52, from Reigate, Sandy Hale, 28, from London, were found not guilty of aggravated trespassing at Redhill Magistrates Court on March 25 following a two day trial. The four were arrested after entering private land as they attempted to help a deer. The court heard that it was the police’s view that they were attempting to interrupt the first Surrey Union trail hunt held in Ewhurst on October 25 last year... (story)
Morning Star 27.3.15 Police ‘Favours Hunters,’ Say Acquitted Saboteurs - POLICE were accused of bias in favour of fox-hunters yesterday following the acquittal of four hunt saboteurs charged with aggravated trespass for attempting to aid a wounded deer. The deer had been attacked by hounds of the Surrey Union Hunt last October when sabs ran to its aid. Police said there was no evidence it had been attacked by the hunt before allowing the toffs to shoot and kill it.... (story)
Dorking Advertiser 11.11.14 Investigation underway after deer is put down after being found injured in a ditch - AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a deer found lying in a ditch had to be put down. Police attended the scene near Ockley Green between 3 and 4pm on October 25, where the Surrey Union Hunt was taking part in an organised trail hunt… There was no evidence to suggest the deer had been attacked by hounds…. (story)
Surrey Advertiser 28.10.14 Four arrests made at hunt protest near Ewhurst By Amy De-Keyzer - Four people have been arrested and bailed after a protest at a hunt meeting in Ewhurst over the weekend. Three men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass after a group of protesters entered a privately-owned field, on Saturday (October 25) at around 1pm, adjacent to where the Surrey Union Hunt were taking part in an organised trail hunt… (story)

Crawley News 27.3.15 Queen legend Brian May urges Crawley residents to vote Conservative at General Election - QUEEN legend Brian May has urged Crawley residents to vote Conservative at the General Election. The guitarist and animal welfare campaigner has given his backing for Henry Smith to be re-elected as Crawley MP on May 7.... (story)

Worcester News 27.3.15 Greens have strong policies on animal cruelty - - As someone who works in the field of animal protection, I take a keen interest in the policies of the various political parties regarding the treatment of animals. For this reason I can categorically state that Mr R Harris has got it wrong on at least two of the "commitments" he attributes to the Green Party and he obviously has not looked at their manifesto .... the Greens do have excellent policies to protect animals from cruelty and would stop the badger cull, end harmful animal experiments, abolish the fur trade, ban the use of all animals in circuses, strengthen the law against hunting, abolish shooting and snaring, stop live exports and end factory farming.... Jane Hargreaves Stourport (letter)

Bridlington Free Press 27.3.15 Signal is worst in region - Only 16 per cent of East Yorkshire is covered by 3G phone signal, the Bridlington Free Press can reveal.... Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “Bad rural mobile phone signal is the black hole of the digital age and this is unacceptable. Customers pay a premium price for a service they just don’t receive... (story)

Derry Journal 27.3.15 Daredevil Circus hits out at animal protestors - Andrew Quinn - The general manager of the Daredevil Circus, which opens in Derry today, has hit out at those who have accused the circus of animal cruelty.... Campaign groups against circuses using wild animals took part in protests outside the circus and a silent demonstration is planned for tonight when the circus opens near Pennyburn Industrial Estate.“There is animal cruelty in all walks of life. There’s animal cruelty happening in every country in the world but what’s that got to do with me?,” said Mr. Conway.... Just because someone is cruel to animals elsewhere doesn’t mean it is happening at this circus,” he said... (story)


Open Democracy 26.3.15 Lies, damn lies and hunting polls - TIM BONNER - Whether the public support or oppose the hunting ban seems to depend very much on which question is asked, and who's asking the question. In December last year the anti-hunting charity the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) commissioned its seasonal poll from Ipsos MORI. The results were predictable to those of us who follow such 'research' and LACS subsequently produced its traditional Boxing Day press release claiming '80% of the British public are in favour of keeping the ban on fox hunting'... In January however, another polling company, YouGov, decided to ask a question about hunting in anticipation of the tenth anniversary of the Hunting Act on 18th February. That poll reported that 51% of people "support the ban on fox hunting with hounds". The research was not commissioned by anyone... The story goes back into the 1990's and the increasing reliance of the anti-hunting movement on public opinion polling to make the case for a ban on hunting. LACS, with its partners IFAW and the RSPCA, found a willing helper in the form of Robert Worcester, founder and Chairman of the dominant market research company MORI.... (story)

Mirror 26.3.15 Sol Campbell on life after football, being a Tory, the mansion tax... and the ''banter'' of shooting birds By Aaron Flanagan - One-time England stalwart Sol Campbell has turned his attentions to interior design, politics and shooting. The former Arsenal centre-back, who made 73 appearances for his country, has spoken out about his latest love for shooting birds, while also continuing his support for the Conservative Party and working closely with his wife... For the full interview read the April issue of Shooting Gazette, out now. (story)

Sheffield Star 26.3.15 Animal lovers must use vote at the General Election - For many years the United Kingdom has been regarded as a nation of animal lovers by the rest of the world and it’s something which we should feel good about.... Killing for pleasure, for sport, is wrong and that is why I am proud that the last Labour Government banned fox hunting... Helen Mirfin (letter)

Kent & Sussex Courier 26.3.15 Fox problems at Paddock Wood athletics track - Angry workers at the state-of-the-art new athletics track in Paddock Wood are being outfoxed by some cheeky four-legged friends running amok at the construction site. Work on the long-awaited project has been interrupted by wily foxes, but there was a public outcry when traps were spotted at the track near Putlands Leisure Centre last week. Paddock Wood Athletics Club (PWAC) chairman Mike Ridger said that the visitors were a "nuisance" and that the club was counting the cost of cleaning up their night-time rampages... Fox expert John Bryant, of Humane Urban Wildlife Deterrents, said trapping and killing foxes at this time of year is likely to leave dens of cubs orphaned, meaning they will starve to death... (story)

Irish Examiner 26.3.15 We have a two-faced attitude to Spring lamb - Gerry Boland Keadue Co Roscommon (letter)
Irish Independent 26.3.15 Lying and lambs - Gerry Boland Keadue, Co Roscommon (story)
Irish Examiner 25.3.15 We have a two-faced attitude to Spring lamb - We humans can be a hypocritical bunch. Take our stance on Spring lambs, for instance... Unfortunately, we do not treat them as we treat dogs and cats, our preferred animals; no, we slaughter them when they are, in a human comparison, barely out of nappies. Lambs are brought into the world so that they can be slaughtered and eaten. I’m sorry if that bare fact doesn’t gladden this heart... Gerry Boland Keadue Co Roscommon (letter)


Western Morning News 25.3.15 Action over masks is an operational issue - I write to clarify my position in relation to the report “Police Commissioners urged to act over masks worn by hunt protesters in the countryside” (WMN, March 20). I am currently working with Dorset Police to ensure that the policy surrounding face coverings is fit for purpose and reflects the national position. As far as I am aware, no Force has issued a blanket authority in relation to face coverings... Martyn Underhill Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (letter)

Telegraph 25.3.15 Make the red grouse Britain's national bird before rich people 'blow it to buggery', says Bill Oddie - By Hannah Furness - Since an ornithologist set the challenge to find Britain's official bird, tongues have been wagging over whether the robin, the wren or the barn owl may best represent the nation. Bill Oddie, the naturalist and wildlife broadcaster has championed a novel new suggestion: the red grouse. The crowning of the grouse as the official national bird, he said, would force those who hunt it for sport to think twice before "blowing them to buggery". Furiously condemning the "wealthy, cruel and dishonest people" who currently pursue red grouse, he argued it ought to be elevated in the national consciousness to ensure its protection.... (story)

25.3.15 Disappointing defence of horseracing - It was disappointing to read the Worcester News Comment (Thurs 12 March) defending the racing industry against criticism over the death of Theatre Queen... Our detailed records demonstrate that there is a 50 per cent chance of a horse dying on every day’s racing at Cheltenham Racecourse... Far from the breed dying out through campaigners opposed to horse racing, the ‘sport’ is killing itself through poor breeding practices, unacceptable race conditions and lack of support for the horses who leave racing once their careers are over. Dene Stansall Horse Consultant Animal Aid Tonbridge (letter)

Burton Mail 25.3.15 'No concerns' for animal circus in Stanton By Helen Kreft - A CONTROVERSIAL travelling circus which uses animals in its acts is back in town. Circus Mondao, which is currently pitched up next to Mumbai Rouge, in Stanton Road, Stanton, has been the subject of animal rights' protests in the past, but says its animals are well cared for and can be visited at any time.... (story)


Western Morning News 24.3.15 Sally bows out as huntsman of Devon pack as hounds find a new home - One of the youngest women ever to officially hunt hounds in England has enjoyed her last day out with her pack as it prepares to move to new kennels at the start of a new era. Sally Cunningham was just 21 when she made history as huntsman of the Modbury Harriers in South Devon in 2010, having started as whipper-in. On Saturday, after five years in the job, she led out the hounds for the last time at her testimonial meet.... (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 24.3.15 Demo for justice not anti-hunting: letter - In reply to Charlie De Pelet's letter last week following the demonstration at the BVSH point to point, I do not know where he was but I was in the demo. It was a demo for justice not anti hunting at all. I am certainly no anarchist but a God fearing grandma and the only violence I saw was from the hunt support and their security..... Pauline Barnes (letter)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 13.3.15 Hunt sabs just want to create anarchy in the countryside: letter - Our local Blackmore Vale hounds, and point-to-point races have had masked sabs agitating and disrupting on the pretext of a protest. Imagine if masked sabs turned up to a football match, or a shopping centre on the pretension of peacefully demonstrating. Except, instead of merely demonstrating, they began invading the football pitch, or abusing the shoppers in the shopping centre. What do you think would happen? In the case of our local point-to-point, and the Blackmore Vale Hounds, the police do not have the resources to protect isolated countryfolk… Charlie de Pelet, North Cheriton (story)

Mansfield Chad 24.3.15 Animal rights protestors demonstrate at Rainworth circus - Animal rights protestors waved banners and handed out leaflets at the weekend to demonstrate against a travelling circus. The group gathered close to Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday afternoon to object to the Circus Mondao that had pitched up for six days off Kirklington Road... Pleasley man, David Sommerville, who is an active animal rights campaigner said: “This circus still use animals such as horses, zebras, camels and reindeer....(story)

Western Mail 24.3.15 Political groups protest over alleged sexual abuse by an undercover police officer in Cardiff By Rozina Sabur - Activists have held a protest over alleged police sexual abuse committed by an undercover police officer ahead of a high court case on Wednesday. Political groups and other supporters gathered outside Cardiff Central Police Station in protest on Tuesday. The undercover officer, who called himself Mark “Marco” Jacobs is alleged to have had sexual relationships with two women... One claimant, Tom Fowler, is a member of the South Wales Anarchist Network, formerly known as Cardiff Anarchist Network, which he said was infiltrated by Jacobs... Members of Cardiff Animal Rights were also at the protest, which was attended by around 70 people, to show their support... a target=main href="">(story)


Oxford Mail 23.3.15 Badger cubs will be next in line for the slaughter - DREW Carter rightly condemns David Cameron’s promise to repeal the Hunting Act on behalf of his fellow blood sports enthusiasts (March 13). However, this war on our wildlife also includes the continuation of the massacre of our badger population, on behalf of corrupt farmers who caused TB in their cattle, and are now seeking to scapegoat the wildlife.... M Pritchard Linkside Avenue, Oxford (letter)

Herald 23.3.15 Mountain hares thriving on grouse moors - David Ross - SCOTLAND'S mountain hares are prospering thanks to one of the best grouse shooting seasons in memory, estate owners and gamekeepers claim. The population of hares is thought to be around 350,000 but the landowners' organisation Scottish Land & Estates said there had been concern recently that hare numbers might be falling. Now grouse moors in the Angus Glens, Speyside and Highlands have reported that their numbers have increased along with grouse levels... But the League against Cruel Sports, which opposes the artificial management of habitats for country sports, said "robust" scientific data was needed to determine the true population as available data continues to show a long-term decline in mountain hares.... (story)

STV 23.3.15 Wildlife crime rise targeted with training of more police officers - More police officers in Scotland are to be trained in identifying wildlife crime following a continuing rise in the number of reported incidents.... Jennifer Dunn, from the League Against Cruel Sports Scotland, said: "It is a major issue in Scotland which the League Against Cruel Sports and other organisations have been working hard to bring to the attention of ministers and MSPs... (story)

Scotsman 23.3.15 MSPs back licensing bill for air weapons - KATRINE BUSSEY - Plans to introduce a licensing regime for air weapons have moved a step closer after winning the support of a Holyrood committee. Kevin Stewart, convener of the local government and regeneration committee, said the weapons were “dangerous” and the introduction of a licensing system was both “timely and important”. An estimated 500,000 air guns are owned by people across Scotland... (stor y)

Derby Telegraph 23.3.15 No more fairground goldfish prizes or sky lanterns if Derby councillors get their wish By Chris Mallett - THE traditional giving away of goldfish as fairground prizes is among a host of things to which Derby City Council wants to put an end through new animal welfare rules. Council leader Ranjit Banwait said the new Animal Welfare Charter reflected the views of local people concerned about the treatment of animals.... Justin Kerswell, campaign manager for vegetarian and vegan group Viva!, said the council should be congratulated for taking steps to improve animal welfare.He also called on the authority to be "real trailblazers" for animals by introducing at least one meat-free day across the council.... (story)


Leicester Mercury 19.3.15 Animal campaigners accuse Leicester University of "shockingly futile experiments" on animals By AlanThompson - Animal campaigners claim "shockingly futile experiments" are being carried out by Leicester University on pigs to study the aesthetics of wound scarring. Animal Justice Project claims the experiments on 10 three-month-old female Red Duroc pigs involves their backs being shaved before being subjected to 20 full-thickness scalpel wounds... (story)

Mail on Sunday 22.3.15 Hunt victory over 'malicious' RSPCA as trial collapses: Charity accused of 'harassment' and having mystery financial backer By SIMON TRUMP FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY - A high-profile RSPCA prosecution of the renowned Cattistock Hunt in Dorset has spectacularly collapsed amid claims that the hunt was the victim of a politically inspired campaign, funded by a mystery backer. The Cattistock's joint master Will Bryer has accused the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – which brought the prosecution – of co-ordinating a campaign of harassment and surveillance over more than three years, in a failed attempt to prove the hunt had broken the law.He also claimed a wealthy anti-hunting businessman intent on landing a 'prize scalp' had bankrolled surveillance of him, his employees and hunt followers, saying: 'We believe the campaign is funded by a Dorset-based company. Hunt saboteurs at our meets this year were all wearing T-shirts advertising the firm. We don't believe that to be a coincidence but a statement.'... (story)
Bath Chronicle 20.3.15 Regional news: Call for Hunting Act to be amended after video of Dorset hunt - An animal welfare group who was behind the Hunting Act, has called for it be amended after a prosecution of a hunt in Dorset was dropped. IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said it was 'changing its position' on the Hunting Act it helped draft, after its own monitors captured video footage which was not deemed strong enough to prosecute a Dorset hunt... The monitors' film shows what appears to be a fox being pursued by hounds and horsemen across a field near the village of Langton Herring in Dorset last March. The RSPCA took the IFAW film as the basis for a private prosecution against Cattistock's hunt master and huntsman Will Bryer.... (story)
Western Daily Press 19.3.15 Now IFAW admit Hunting Act needs strengthening after failed RSPCA case in Dorset By TristanCork - A leading architect of the Hunting Act has become the latest animal welfare group to change policy and call for the Hunting Act to be amended, after yet another prosecution of a West hunt was dropped. IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said it was 'changing its position' on the Hunting Act it helped draft, after its own monitors captured video footage which was not deemed strong enough to prosecute a Dorset hunt... (story)
Horse & Hound 19.3.15 Latest RSPCA prosecution against hunts has been dropped - Amy Mathieson - The RSPCA’s only pending prosecution of a hunt was dropped yesterday (Wednesday 18 March) due to lack of evidence. Will Bryer, master and huntsman of the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset, had been charged with one offence of hunting a fox with dogs. The incident was alleged to have taken place on 2 December 2014. A hearing was due to take place at Weymouth Magistrates Court on Friday (20 March). However, the RSPCA has written to Mr Bryer’s solicitor Jamie Foster, stating it would not be pursuing the prosecution as there is no evidence on which they could legitimately continue... (story)
Telegraph 18.3.15 RSPCA drops its last hunting prosecution By Ben Farmer - The RSPCA has dropped its last hunting prosecution, six months after an independent review questioned its policy of pursuing hunts through the courts. The animal welfare charity said it had halted its prosecution of a master of the Cattistock hunt in Dorset after deciding there was no “realistic prospect of securing a conviction”. William Bryer had been due to stand trial in April... (story)
Western Morning News 18.3.15 RSPCA drops private prosecution against West huntsman admitting 'no evidence' By WMNPBowern - A Westcountry huntsman has spoken of his relief after the RSPCA dropped attempts to prosecute him for alleged illegal hunting. Will Bryer, the master of the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset, had been due to appear before magistrates in Weymouth charged with hunting with dogs last December... (story)
Western Daily Press 18.3.15 Final RSPCA case against West hunt dropped in Dorset By TristanCork - The RSPCA has dropped its last remaining private prosecution against a West huntsman for breaking the Hunting Act law. Huntsman Will Bryer, the master of the Cattistock Hunt in Dorset, had been due to appear before magistrates in Weymouth charged with hunting with dogs last December, in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.... (story)

Independent on Sunday 22.3.15 Mahatma Gandhi would spin in his grave if he knew there was a statue of him outside Parliament (“Gandhi finally stands face-to-face with Churchill”, 15 March). Gandhi believed in truthfulness, non-violence and vegetarianism. Westminster believes in deceit (expenses scandal), violence (illegal wars) and animal exploitation (animal testing, fishing, shooting, meat, dairy and eggs). Mark Richards Brighton, East Sussex (letter)


Birmingham Mail 21.3.15 Animal rights group blasts 'sickening' experiments on rats at University of Birmingham By Mike Lockley - Rats are being shot in the eyes during laboratory experiments at the University of Birmingham where rodents are blinded by having plastic balls fired at them... University leaders admit to the procedure but say it is vital for the treatment of humans who suffer eye injuries... Campaign group Animal Justice Project say the Birmingham experiments are not only sickening, but have failed to provide any scientific breakthroughs. The group’s scientific advisor, Dr Andre Menache, accused university rat researchers of living in a bubble.... (story)

Northern Echo 21.3.15 Rockliffe Hall removes foie gras from menu following social media backlash by Hannah Bryan - A FIVE-STAR resort has taken foie gras off the menu following a social media protest. Rockliffe Hall, in Hurworth, near Darlington, has taken the controversial product off the menu of its flagship restaurant, The Orangery, after dozens of protestors took to the hotel’s Facebook page to complain about its use.... Fiona Munro, an animal rights activist from Darlington, was one of the dozens of protestors who posted a negative review of the hotel on its Facebook page... Ms Munro, who works with animal rights charities including Viva!, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and Animal Aid, is campaigning for a foie gras-free Britain ... (story)


Torquay Herald Express 20.3.15 SARAH WOLLASTON: I'm pleased with defence spending .... TO be clear, I will not be voting for a repeal of the Hunting Act if this returns to parliament after the election. The country has moved on from hunting and the majority, even in rural areas of this constituency, have told me that they would not wish to see it return.... (story)

Bath Chronicle 20.3.15 Yay or nay to hunting? PPC Ben Howlett will not comment - A Parliamentary candidate for Bath has refused to confirm whether he is pro or anti fox hunting. Conservative candidate Ben Howlett hit the headlines last week when he was named by The Independent as being among a number of Tories who have accepted an offer from lobby group Vote-Ok... He added: "I back a free vote on the Hunting Bill. Clearly the Hunting Act has not achieved its aims and I would therefore like to see it repealed and replaced with legislation that actually works."However, when asked directly by the Bath Chronicle this week for his views on fox hunting, Mr Howlett declined to comment further.... (story)

Western Morning News 20.3.15 Police commissioners urged to act over masks worn by hunt prostesters in the countryside By WMNPBowern - A letter has gone out from hundreds of country sports supporters to the three police and crime commissioners running forces in the Westcountry demanding action on the wearing of facemasks by animal rights protesters. But the Countryside Alliance, (CA) which is campaigning on the issue, described the replies from Avon and Somerset PCC Sue Mountstevens and Devon and Cornwall PCC Tony Hogg as “anodyne.” Martyn Underhill, who represents Dorset Police, has failed to respond, despite receiving 399 emails.... (story)

Farming Life 20.3.15 Season ends in style for Route Hunt members - Saturday 14th March was the last hunt of the 2014/2015 season for The Route Hunt. Hunt members and friends gathered at Ballylagan Equestrian Centre and enjoyed refreshments provided by Martin and Frances Mellet of Jazz Horses.Before setting off a cheque for £1,000 was presented to Mr Rex Humphries, president of RDA Coleraine... (story)

Western Morning News 20.3.15 Do any of our politicians know that farmers get to vote as well? By Jamie Foster - Rural voters are being shortchanged by politicians. Solicitor – and rural champion – Jamie Foster looks at where country people might put their cross on May 7 - 7On May 7 the country will go to the polls to elect a new government. Listening to the political commentators one could be fooled into believing that the country was a single entity making choices along fairly similar lines between parties who sought to appeal to all of their interests in differing ways.... There is a feeling in my small corner of rural England that the Tories have benefited from great loyalty but appear, at present, slightly bedazzled by their new metropolitan friends and may have forgotten those of us for whom a tube strike or bendy buses are mere tales of the city. Many remember the fact that in 2010 Vote OK mobilised the hunting world to support David Cameron’s bid for power and that since then, while gay marriage has delighted the metropolitan elite, hunting remains banned... (story)

Western Daily Press 20.3.15 Ukip leader Nigel Farage: Countryside is not a playground for green ideology - The latest politician to write for the Countryside Alliance on what he would do for rural Britain is Ukip's Nigel Farage – here's what he believes the countryside needs - I was born in Kent, so the way I look at the British countryside is not the way politicians from Notting Hill or North London look at it. I fish and I shoot... The countryside is farming, hunting, fishing, shooting, conservation, and relentless hard work by every man and woman trying to make a living in it. We also know that their hard work is made far worse by over-regulation and interference by the EU.... My party believes that the decision to reinstate hunting should be a decision made by each county. If Leicestershire hunt supporters gather enough signatures for a county referendum, and win the vote, they can get back hunting in Leicestershire. And if you tell me that hounds do not respect county boundaries, I say it is the whipper-in's job to make sure they do.... (story)

Cambridge News 20.3.15 Student vegans put questions to Cambridge election candidates By Adam Care - Four of Cambridge's prospective MPs took questions from students on a host of environmental and animal welfare issues last week. Held at Trinity College last Thursday, the event was jointly organised by Cambridge University's Wildlife Conservation and Vegan societies. A large degree of consensus was reached among the candidates, who were united on the benefits of reducing meat consumption, introducing CCTV in slaughterhouses, putting more resources into tackling crime and retaining the foxhunting ban. Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert, Labour's Daniel Zeichner, Conservative Chamali Fernando and Rupert Read of the Green Party also took questions on a wide range of topics.... (story)

Western Daily Press 20.3.15 Now a call to ban snares after this shocking death pit video in West By TristanCork - The anti-hunt League Against Cruel Sports has announced it is calling for an outright ban on the use of snares in the countryside after filming sickening evidence of illegal snare use in the West. Undercover footage appears to show snares being set to trap and kill wild animals – primarily foxes – next to a pit containing the carcasses of previous victims to attract others. The footage, which has been released by the League, is claimed to have been filmed in Devon but it is not clear the circumstances around why the unnamed man in the film is undertaking the operation to kill wildlife.... (story)
Huffington Post 19.3.15 Why Banning Snares Is a No-Brainer - Joe Duckworth Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports - For those who don't live in the countryside, the word 'snare' might conjure up images of historical man-traps whose days are long since gone... But the modern reality of a snare is a loop of wire that traps around 1.7 million animals a year.... his week, we called on MPs from all parties to ban snares outright... (story)

Horse & Hound 20.3.15 Fly-grazing bill set to become law in England - Amy Mathieson - Equine organisations have welcomed a new bill they hope will help tackle the growing issue of fly-grazing. The Control of Horses Bill was given its third reading this week (18 March), and will become law before the general election.... “This new act represents a significant step forward for horse welfare and will help local authorities and private landowners tackle the scourge of fly-grazing,” said the Countryside Alliance head of political affairs James Legge... (story)

Mail 20.3.15 From actress to aristocrat to eco-activist: Marchioness who starred in 80s crime drama C.A.T.S. Eyes halts plans for factory pig farm By HUGO GYE FOR MAILONLINE - An aristocratic actress has succeeded in a campaign to stop the construction of a giant factory farm which would hold 25,000 pigs. Tracy Ward, Marchioness of Worcester, teamed up with TV star Domin ic West in a bid to stop Midland Pig Producers building a huge indoor farm in Derbyshire. Now the four-year crusade has achieved a result after the agriculture company withdrew its application for the farm.... (story)


North Devon Journal 19.3.15 Animal activist dies in tragic circumstances By NDJJoe - AN ANIMAL activist who spent much of his life in North Devon has died under tragic circumstances. Founder of International Animal Rescue, John Hick, 63, died in a hospital in Goa, India, on Friday, February 27. He died after complications following an operation to remove a prostate tumour.... (story)

Worcester News 19.3.15 Jockeys can refuse to race, the poor horses can't - I was surprised to read in the editorial of the Worcester News, Thursday, March 12 that it said that racehorses had been seen to be enjoying racing... MAX BURGESS Malvern (letter)

Glasgow Evening Times 19.3.15 Glasgow venue to host vegan-friendly mini festival - Celebrating all that's good and right in the non-animal product world, a Glasgow venue will host a vegan fete next month, with a vast array of meat-free stalls for punters who prefer puy lentils to pork chops. The Flying Duck's Big Vegan Fete will take place Saturday April 4 and will showcase a variety of small businesses' wares including tablet, cakes, pies, and juice, all made without a drop of dairy in sight.... (story)


Western Morning News 18.3.15 Fox is worse off due to hunting ban - Re ‘Politicians taking rural issues seriously’ WMN, March 7. An example of why we may despise politicians is Alun Michael who is repeating the same ill-informed statements about hunting that he made ten years ago.... by Mrs V Bengough Axminster (letter)

Guardian 18.3.15 Broadband to be basic legal right, says George Osborne - Chancellor announces bid to raise internet speeds to at least 100Mbps across the UK in budget move welcomed by rural campaigners - Broadband internet would become a basic legal right under proposals set out in the budget to create a universal service obligation for online access... “Especially for those rural communities that have not been connected so far, it’s a light [at the end] of the tunnel for them,” said Sarah Lee, Countryside Alliance head of policy. “But what we want is delivery.... (story)

Sunderland Echo 18.3.15 Unhappy with animal research story - I am writing in response to an article published in your website last 25th February regarding an animal research license denied in Germany to a Newcastle researcher that reports incomplete information... In their argument that the Newcastle professor’s research methodology is not allowed in Germany, the BUAV conveniently neglected to mention a much more relevant, and court-tested case in Germany. ... Emma Martinez Sanchez, Press and Communications Officer The European Animal Research Association (EARA). (letter)


Tamworth Herald 17.3.15 Atherstone Hunt organisers hit out at saboteurs 'harassment' By Helen Machin - ATHERSTONE Hunt has spoken out against saboteurs whom it claims have been carrying out a campaign of harassment against it. Joint Master of the Hunt, Marion Carter, said that since December, police have attended virtually every meet, as the saboteurs have been turning up to each one. At last week's meet in Sutton Cheney, members of West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs allege that they caught the Atherstone hunting a fox and police have confirmed they are investigating. But Marion insisted that Atherstone continues to hunt within the law… (story)

The Herald 17.3.15 Three accused of sabotaging fox hunt on Perthshire estate - Three people have appeared in court accused of donning masks and sabotaging a fox hunt in one of the first prosecutions of its kind in Scotland. Colin Milne, 48, Beverly Milne, 39, and Amy Lilburn, 21, are alleged to have followed and filmed people with the intention of disrupting a fox shoot on an estate belonging to one of the country's richest families. The trio were arrested on Friday last week and appeared from custody at Perth Sheriff Court yesterday. They were unrepresented by lawyers and entered not guilty pleas... (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 17.3.15 Return to legal hunting would serve one purpose - REGARDING Mr R S Moore's claim that the ban on hunting foxes has caused foxes to invade towns – this is not only factually and scientifically untrue, but also little more than a popular myth encouraged by the pro-hunt lobby... Foxes continue to be chased by illegal hunters all over the country and are still persecuted by farmers as the Act did not ban these activities... A return to legal hunting of foxes with hounds would serve only one real purpose – to satisfy the those who enjoy chasing or killing British mammals for fun. Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW (letter)


Western Morning News 16.3.15 RSPB smashes 'myth' it is hostile to shooting estates and praises work done for wildlife - Despite some reports to the contrary, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds supports the work that shooting estates do for wildlife. Philip Bowern reports - The RSPB is officially “neutral” on the ethics of shooting both wild birds and those that are reared and released. But in a blog on the RSPB website, Martin Harper, conservation director for the charity, writes of working with shooting estates and farms where shooting takes place because of the benefits they bring for wildlife…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 16.3.15 Photo gallery: Falconry, ferrets and fly casting at Henham Park Game and Country Fair Polly Grice - It was a celebration of all things countryside, from scurry driving to ferret racing and everything in between. And the Henham Park Game and Country Fair attracted fans of all ages and their four-legged friends who took part in a weekend of country pursuits… (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 16.3.15 The Evershot Country Fair - Now in its fourth year, the 2015 Evershot Country Fair promises to be the best yet and it is our great pleasure to once again invite you to enjoy a wonderful family day out… Enjoy a fantastic line-up of attractions including live music, gun dog display, Irish dancing, cars from yesteryear and tractor rides around the Melbury Estate and deer park… (story)

Sentinel 16.3.15 VIDEO: Stanfield animal lover keeps a fox called Todd as a pet By laura_james - CASUALLY strolling through the park on the end of his lead Todd is like any other household pet – apart from he's a fox. Double-takes from families is a regular occurrence for the animal and his owner Emma D'Sylva whenever the pair head out for a walk…. He is one of 40 which makes up the fledgling firm, Creature Class Animal Encounters… (story)

Waltham Forest Guardian 16.3.15 Waltham Forest Animal Protection Group protested outside Iceland in Walthamstow this weekend over the sale of kangaroo meat by Zoie O'Brien, Reporter - Protestors gathered outside a supermarket in Walthamstow on Saturday over the sale of its new ‘exotic animal’ range. The Waltham Forest Animal Protection group held a demonstration on Saturday (March 14) to highlight the cruelty involved in the production of the kangaroo meat... Ann Keatley of Waltham Forest Animal Protection said: “I condemn the massacre of kangaroos for their meat... (story)


Sunday Herald 15.3.15 Hunters and hunt sabs: a history of tit-for-tat aggro and violence - In England there have been violent confrontations between hunters and hunt saboteurs including an assault recently that left a huntsman with concussion and broken teeth. Mike Lane - joint master of Tedworth Hunt - was attacked by a masked sab with an iron bar which prompted the Countryside Alliance to call for a ban on balaclavas… HSA said that last month Dorset Hunt Saboteurs attended a meet of the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, Dorset, and from the start of the day saboteurs were harassed by masked hunt supporters who pushed and shoved and threatened violence…. This followed another incident at Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt when a female sab was seriously injured last August after being trampled… (story)

Western Morning News 15.3.15 Shooting group speaks up for estates - in wake of Labour pledge to crack down By WMNPBowern - A leading pro-shooting organisation has hit back at the Labour Party's attack on alleged cruelty on shooting estates. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has published its response to Labour's animal welfare pledges, launched last month, which promised to crackdown on what it claimed were some bad practice on shooting estates. The GWCT says that repeated scientific studies by the Trust have demonstrated that providing suitable habitat and food for our wildlife is paramount - and that shooting estates do that…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 15.3.15 The death of Mr Pig and the truth about the RSPCA - The decision to destroy a beloved pet suggests that the animal protection charity has lost its way By James Delingpole - The first thing Bob Skinner knew about the kidnap of his best friend was when he came home one evening to find a message on his gate. It said: “Please phone the RSPCA, reference your pig.”… It wasn’t until the weekend, three days after receiving the note, that the RSPCA man deigned to drop round. At first he was “all smarmy and lovely”, saying “we’re just looking after your pig”. Then, after a bit more probing, the mask slipped. “We’ve put the pig down,” admitted the inspector in his black, police-style uniform… animal cruelty was what the RSPCA decided to prosecute him for, all the same, and last week in the magistrate’s court, Mr Skinner was found in breach of animal welfare laws. The judge ruled that there was no reason to impose a ban on him owning animals in the future as there had been no malicious intent. But he did have to pay the RSPCA’s prosecution costs of £1,000, plus a “victim surcharge” of £15… the RSPCA intruded upon Mr Skinner’s private land, then they killed the pig while it was in their care - without having first acquired the necessary court order which would have informed Mr Skinner of what they were planning to do his pet…. (story)
Telegraph 10.3.15 Pig owner prosecuted after refusing to have his beloved pet put down - Bob Skinner, who runs a B&B in Dorset, reveals he spent £200 on a headstone for his prized porker Mr Pig and plans to have him cremated - The owner of one of world's oldest pigs has been prosecuted by the RSPCA because he couldn't bring himself to have his beloved pet put down when it fell ill. The 20-year-old porker, called Mr Pig, was Bob Skinner's only companion and lived on his own island connected by a bridge to the 63-year-old's pond garden… A court heard he didn't take Mr Pig to the vets because he couldn't come to terms with having the elderly hog euthanised. The RSPCA were tipped off and officials seized Mr Pig and had him destroyed without informing Mr Skinner, a retired pet shop owner… (story)


East Anglian Daily Times 14.3.15 Six alleged hunt saboteurs deny trying to disrupt Suffolk drag hunt - Colin Adwent - Six alleged hunt saboteurs have appeared in court charged with disrupting a Suffolk drag hunt…. The allegations stem from an event held by Waveney Harriers Hunt in October at Ilketshall Hall, Ilketshall St Lawrence, near Halesworth. Among the accused are Robert Brown, 22, of Greenstead Road, Colchester, Brian Cook, 64, of St George’s Road, Stowlangtoft, near Bury St Edmunds, and Laura Skingle, 34, of George Williams Way, Colchester. The remaining three defendants are Brian Earey, 43, of Cedars Road, Colchester, Christine Lancaster, 41, of Austen Gardens, Dartford, Kent, and Geraldine Rose, 61, of Rosebery Road, Chelmsford. Each pleaded not guilty to obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in a lawful activity… (story)

Western Daily Press 14.3.15 Challenge for the parties over rural policies - Electoral candidates from five parties will be tested on their policies for the countryside at a hustings in Cirencester on March 26. A mix of sitting MPs and party candidates will take the stage at the Royal Agricultural University for the event, organised by the Country Land and Business Association. Rural issues, from broadband to the badger cull, is a rare area that exposes more than a cigarette-paper's width between the 'main' parties….. (story)

Bath Chronicle 14.3.15 Tory Parliamentary candidate urged to "come clean" over offer from pro-hunting group - A Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Bath has been urged to "come clean" by a rival politician over an offer of election help from a pro-hunting group. On Wednesday, Conservative candidate Ben Howlett was named by The Independent as being among a number of Tories who have accepted an offer from lobby group Vote-Ok… However, Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Bradley said Mr Howlett needed to be clearer on the issue for the sake of voters. He said: "Unlike my Conservative opponent, I have always been crystal clear about my opposition to fox hunting… (story)
Bath Chronicle 12.3.15 Conservative candidate said to be receiving canvassing help from fox hunting lobbyists - The Conservative's Parliamentary candidate for Bath has been named as one of a number who have apparently accepted election help from a pro-hunting group in return for voting in favour of fox hunting…. Mr Howlett is quoted as saying: "It's no secret that Vote-OK are out and about."… (story)
Bath Chronicle 12.3.15 Conservative candidate: hunting lobbyists have "not knocked on any doors for us" - The Conservative's Parliamentary candidate for Bath says he has not received canvassing help from a pro-hunting group…. He said: "I back a free vote on the Hunting Bill…. "We have not had any help with canvassing from Vote OK. They have not knocked on any doors for us."… (story)
Independent 12.3.15 Fox-hunting lobbyists fronted by Otis Ferry target backing of Tory candidates in stealth campaign - TOM BAWDEN - A pro-hunting group fronted by Otis Ferry is offering to supply canvassers to help Conservative candidates win parliamentary seats if they quietly agree to support repealing the fox-hunting ban. The push by Vote-OK, a lobby group set up to overturn the fox-hunting ban, comes after David Cameron promised last week to hold a parliamentary vote on repealing it if the Tories win the election…. Around a dozen members of the Heythrop Hunt met at Turnham Green Tube station in London on Monday and leafleted for Ms Bray in Southfield ward. “Meet at Turnham Green station for another leafleting session with our Heythrop friends. Join us for the session and for a drink afterwards… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 14.3.15 Calls have been made to ban anti-hunt campaigners from wearing masks to conceal their identities - Hundreds of people have written to Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner calling for more to be done to stop anti-hunting campaigners from wearing face masks and balaclavas to conceal their identities. Just over 400 people wrote to Martin Surl as part of a Countryside Alliance campaign to outline concerns "about the behaviour of animal rights extremists, especially in relation to legal hunting"… (story)
Gloucestershire Echo 13.3.15 Countryside Alliance calls for more to be done to stop anti-hunt campaigners wearing face masks - Hundreds of people have written to Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner calling for more to be done to stop anti-hunting campaigners from wearing face masks and balaclavas to conceal their identities… Tim Bonner, director of campaigns at the Countryside Alliance said the group is "increasingly concerned" about attacks on hunts staff and supporters by people wearing masks "to avoid detection"…. (story)

Spectator 14.3.15 Ten years after the ban, why are there still hunt saboteurs? - Camilla Swift - If you don’t hunt or listen to The Archers, you might be forgiven for assuming that hunt saboteurs had become obsolete…. Jim Barrington, an animal welfare consultant for the Countryside Alliance, shows it is possible for hunt sabs to see the light…. A recent survey found that just 15 per cent of British people living in urban areas understand the need to cull deer, while 14 per cent see no reason to kill any animal at all, including rats and mice…. There’s no excuse for a 21st-century saboteur, but their continuing presence does serve one purpose. They show that this was never really about the foxes; it was always about fighting a class war under the guise of animal welfare. (story)

Spectator 14.3.15 It’s a pointless waste of time for David Cameron to resurrect the hunting debate - Alexander Chancellor - Of all the election promises politicians make in the run-up to a general election the one most certain to remain unfulfilled is David Cameron’s pledge to try to repeal the foxhunting ban…. I live in Northamptonshire in the middle of Grafton country, and the members of the Grafton hunt are cagey about what actually happens nowadays on the hunting field. But it can’t be too boring, as hunting still has many enthusiastic and excited followers…. It may be that he knows no vote will take place, but that he hopes to reactivate Vote-OK, the pro-hunting lobby group that canvassed with such enthusiasm for the Conservative party at the last election, and get it to do so again this time…. (story)

Independent 14.3.15 Hunting ban needs strengthening – not repealing - Tory Environment Secretary Liz Truss says, apparently without so much as a blush of shame, that hunting is “important for rural communities”… I have just spent my 20th season monitoring fox hunts, and I have been subjected to relentless aggression (including a physical assault), insults and intimidation from hunt followers… Far from re-legalising this brutality, politicians should concern themselves with strengthening the ban, to put a stop to the current wholesale defiance by these gangs of animal abusers. Penny Little Great Haseley, Oxfordshire
The Tories may well have shot themselves in the foot by getting into bed with the fox-hunting set. It beggars belief that their assessment is that the majority of country dwellers support such a cruel and sadistic pastime…. Richard Weston Netheravon, Wiltshire
It is striking that, when Tories talk about their desire to bring back fox-hunting, they never ever talk about what such hunting is actually like…. Before the ban, I was a hunt saboteur (and I’m proud to say that, in the dozen or so hunts that I sabbed, the hunters never once made a kill)…. Rupert Read Cambridge (letters)


Independent 13.3.15 Don't repeal the fox hunting ban – extend it to other cruel sports, urges Green MP Caroline Lucas - JON STONE - The ban on fox hunting should not be repealed but instead extended to other cruel practices including hare coursing and grouse shooting, a Green Party Member of Parliament has argued. Caroline Lucas, the Greens’ former leader, accused ministers of planning “yet more cruelty to animals” and said existing ban on the animal killings enjoyed the support of the public…. Ms Lucas’s suggestion was dismissed by Ms Truss, who described the Hunting Act as a “mistake”…. (story)
Western Morning News 12.3.15 Environment Secretary says hunting ban was a 'mistake' By GDemianyk - Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss has given her full-throated support for overturning the ban on fox hunting, telling MPs it was a "mistake"…. Today, Ms Truss told the Commons: "My support for fox hunting is well known. The Hunting Act was a mistake, and I strongly support repeal…. (story)

Brighton & Hove Independent 13.3.15 Trying to be a strong voice for all by Simon Kirby - They say a week is a long time in politics. In that case, a month is a lifetime…. Animal welfare is another area I have taken a close interest in. I was one of the first to call for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. I have worked hard to tackle the problem of puppy farms and I continue to support the hunting ban. In fact, in February I was one of the MPs that took part in a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act becoming law…. (story)

Buckingham Advertiser & Review 13.3.15 Vale politician set to become MP after being chosen to succeed Francis Maude in safe Tory seat - A Vale politician will almost certainly become an MP in May after being chosen as the Tory general election candidate for the safe seat of Horsham in Sussex. Jeremy Quin, from Quainton, recently served a three year term as chairman of the Buckingham Constituency Conservative Association and is currently deputy chairman of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Area Conservatives. He has been an outspoken opponent of HS2 and is a senior member of the Countryside Alliance… (story)

Western Morning News 12.3.15 Shotgun licence fees increase agreed by Home Office By WMNDavidWells - The Home Office has announced an increase in licensing fees for firearms. From April, the cost of a firearms certificate will go up from £50 to £88 and a shotgun licence from £50 to £79.50… However, the Labour party appears to be testing the possibility of a much bigger increase – perhaps close to the near £200… (story)
ShootingUK 12.3.15 Gun licence fee increases put to Parliament for approval - Lucy King - If Government proposals are approved, new gun licence fees will be set before May’s General Election - Government proposals to increase gun licence fees that would see the cost of a shotgun certificate rise from £50 to £79.50 have been put to Parliament for approval…. Though the proposed figures appear relatively large in proportion to current costs, they are significantly lower than previous proposals. The Labour Party has indicated that, if elected, it would consider higher increases to plug funding gaps in policing and other unrelated areas…. BASC chairman Alan Jarrett welcomed the latest development, saying that it was “a good outcome for people who shoot”… (story)


Independent 12.3.15 Labour angered by Tory campaign to repeal hunting ban - TOM BAWDEN - The campaign to repeal the fox-hunting ban has gained momentum, as the Conservative Environment Secretary Liz Truss offered her wholehearted support and the pro-hunting group Vote-OK was found to be backing another MP… (story)

Western Morning News 12.3.15 VIDEO: Dashboard camera captures moment hunstman collides with protester By WMNJBayley - This footage of a huntsman colliding with a protester, leaving her with seven broken ribs, has sparked a review by prosecutors… (story)
Mail 11.3.15 Prosecutors may act over video of rider 'mowing down protestor and leaving her with seven broken ribs' in anti-hunt demo By STEPH COCKROFT and EMMA GLANFIELD FOR MAILONLINE - Prosecutors are considering taking action over footage which shows a huntsman's horse 'mowing down a anti-hunt protestor', in an incident which left the alleged victim with seven broken ribs. Nid Warren was trampled by the galloping horse while she attended the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale meet in Somerset last August…. (story)
North Devon Journal 11.3.15 Case involving a women who was trampled by a horse is set to be reviewed - A CASE involving a hunt saboteur trampled by a ridden horse is set to be reviewed by a lawyer… (story)
Western Daily Press 11.3.15 Injured hunt saboteur case to be reviewed By Tina Rowe - The hunt saboteur seriously injured when she was knocked down by a huntsman's horse in Somerset says the impact of her injuries will stay with her forever… (story)
Mirror 11.3.15 Watch moment hunt saboteur struck by horse suffering broken ribs and collapsed lung By John Shammas - The horrifying footage is now the subject of an investigation by the Crown Prosecution Service…(story)
BBC News Online 10.3.15 Trampled hunt saboteur case re-examined by CPS - A decision not to prosecute a rider whose horse trampled a hunt saboteur, leaving her with seven broken ribs and a collapsed lung, is to be re-examined. The woman was hurt during the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt on the border of Somerset and Dorset in August… The CPS is now reviewing the case under the Victims' Right to Review Scheme… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 10.3.15 Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt injury charge under review By Dadcock - A decision not to prosecute a rider with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt whose horse knocked down a hunt saboteur causing serious injuries could be overturned. The Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing the decision under the Victims' Right to Review scheme… (story)
Western Daily Press 10.3.15 Somerset hunt saboteur case to be reviewed by crown prosecution service - The Crown Prosecution Service will review its decision not to prosecute a rider, whose horse trampled a hunt saboteur and left her with seven broken ribs… (story)

Western Morning News 12.3.15 Wrong to enjoy killing foxes - Now it is official. The Conservatives want hunting back and we who live in the countryside must seal up our homes and pets while they are out. The hounds will chase and kill any thing that moves and the huntsman have very little control over them. They think they have a God given right over any land not their own and we must doff our metaphorical caps to them… (story)

Yorkshire Post 12.3.15 From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey. Apparently, forcing itself onto the top of David Cameron’s urgent list of necessary legislation, he promises a vote on repealing the ban on hunting with dogs if the Conservatives win on May 7… Now, why is it always assumed that because people live in the countryside they support this barbaric ritual? I have always lived in the countryside and abhor the ripping of a wild animal into pieces to entertain a minority…. (letter)

Northern Echo 12.3.15 Teenager flying high after landing falconry apprenticeship by Stuart Minting - A TEENAGER whose career adviser laughed when he said he wanted to work with birds of prey has landed an apprenticeship to become a falconer. David Horseman, 17, of Northallerton, said he was thrilled after securing the two-year position at the Birds of Prey Centre at Sion Hill Hall in Kirby Wiske, nearThirsk, having volunteered at the attraction since he was 13… (story)

Guardian 12.3.15 Competition for Royal Mail could threaten universal service, MPs warn - Royal Mail’s capacity to deliver post across the country six days a week for the same price could come under threat from postal competition, MPs have said as they called for the regulator to take steps to protect the service…. The Countryside Alliance, which seeks to represent rural communities, said it was pleased the committee recognised the universal obligation as an essential service that needed to be protected by Ofcom… (story)

Western Morning News 12.3.15 Rural areas must not face postal price hike, says MPs By GDemianyk - Competition for Royal Mail must not put daily deliveries to rural areas at risk, MPs have warned. The Business Select Committee said the obligation that letters are delivered for the same price anywhere in the UK was not immediately under threat – but warned market conditions were changing "rapidly"…. Trade unions, the Countryside Alliance and the Westcountry-based Rural Services Network campaign group were among those to express concerns in written evidence to the MPs (story)

Newtownabbey Times 12.3.15 Fresh move to get council to ban animal act circuses - A fresh attempt to ban animal act circuses from council-owned land could be made by Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors later this month…DUP Cllr Phillip Brett, who proposed a motion at last month’s Policy Resources & Service Convergence Committee meeting branding animal act circuses “cruel” and calling on the council to “adopt a policy to prohibit circuses including wild animals from using council-owned property”, has said he will use Standing Orders to revisit the issue when the council meets on March 26…. Calling on the council to rethink its decision, a Northern Ireland Says ‘No’ to Animal Cruelty spokesman said members were “disappointed” by the outcome of last month’s vote…. Helen Davies, who has worked in animal welfare for nearly 20 years, contacted the Times to express her disappointment at the outcome of last month’s council vote…. (story)
Newtownabbey Times 4.3.15 Animal rights campaigners hit out at councillors over circus vote - Animal rights activists have reacted angrily to a decision by local councillors not to ban circuses that use wild animals in their acts from council-owned land. A DUP motion branding such circuses “cruel” and calling on the local authority to “adopt a policy to prohibit circuses including wild animals from using council owned property” was agreed at the February meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council’s Policy Resources & Service Convergence Committee. However, at their monthly meeting last Thursday, members of full council refused to ratify the committee’s decision and, after a lengthy debate, voted 20 - 19 against a ban…. The result of Thursday night’s vote disappointed animal rights campaigners from the Northern Ireland says ‘NO’ to Animal Cruelty group, some of whom were in the public gallery watching proceedings… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 12.3.15 Councils who approved circus acts a disgrace - Please allow me to support the view expressed by Helen Davies (Write Back, March 6) on the subject of wild animal acts appearing in circuses and some of our local councils who apparently are unable to see the dreadful error in encouraging such cruelty… JC WILSON Newcastle, Co Down (story)

Mail 12.3.15 Inside the lives of the extreme protesters who say they will stop at nothing - violence included - to get the change they want By LEDA REYNOLDS FOR MAILONLINE - The lives of four groups of extreme protesters go under the spotlight tonight, in a new film focusing on a breed of young activists who say they will stop at nothing in pursuit of their cause. Sisters Jayne and Phoebe, who campaign against animal cruelty, anti-fracker Danielle, Sarah who protests about council housing, and Yaz who wants to ban Page 3 women. The BBC Three film, Fighting The System offers a glimpse into the world of these disaffected youths who are able to spread their message across the world using the latest technology… (story)

ITV 12.3.15 RSPCA criticised over Essex house search - The High Court has criticised an RSPCA attempt to prosecute a dog breeder from Essex for allegedly causing unnecessary suffering to animals after an investigation was conducted without an appropriate search warrant. Lord Justice Beatson said it was the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and important to continue observing legal restrictions on "officers of the state" - and bodies like the RSPCA acting with them - entering private land…. (story)
Mail 12.3.15 RSPCA criticised by High Court judge for overstepping its powers and raiding dog breeders without a proper search warrant By RICHARD SPILLETT FOR MAILONLINE - The RSPCA has been rapped by a High Court judge over a botched investigation into dog breeders suspected of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. The trial of Deborah Fuller, 55, and Phil Sheldrake, 59, collapsed after it emerged the animal protection agency used the wrong warrant to enter the couple's property in Lawford, Essex. Senior judge Lord Justice Beatson today threw out an application by the RSPCA for judicial review of the decision to close the case - insisting it was important 'officers of the state' respected the restrictions on their powers…. (story)

Bolton News 12.3.15 Youngsters take orca campaign to the European Parliament - YOUNG delegates have taken their campaign to end the captivity of orca whales all the way to the European Parliament. Ten year six pupils, from Devonshire Road Primary School in Heaton, travelled to Brussels last Wednesday to lobby MEPs to highlight the plight of killer whales and dolphins kept in captivity…. after being inspired by the film documentary Blackfish they contacted their local North West MEPs and were invited to Brussels by MEP Sajid Karim… (story)


Mail 11.3.15 FOX HUNTER KNOCKED OUT BY FALL FROM HORSE GIVEN FIRST AID BY SABOTEUR - A fox hunter who took a tumble from his horse was given first aid by a hunt saboteur. The anti-hunt campaigner put his differences to one side to come to the aid of the injured huntsman, who lost consciousness after a nasty fall from his horse. Ian Hamson, a hunt master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and west Kent Fox Hunt, is believed to have been injured after his horse fell and rolled on top of him during a meet on Saturday… (story)
Western Daily Press 11.3.15 Fox hunter given first aid by hunt saboteur - A fox hunter who took a tumble from his horse was given first aid - by a hunt SABOTEUR. The anti-hunt campaigner put his differences to one side to come to the aid of the injured huntsman, who lost consciousness after a nasty fall from his horse… (story)

Belfast Live 11.3.15 Anti-hunt versus pro-hunt: NI enthusiasts argue their point and fight for support at Stormont By Jilly Beattie - One group supports hunting and deadly snares, the other opposes hunting of all types and today they go head-to-head to explain why they are fighting for support and members - ANTI-HUNT: Northern Ireland Says No To Animal Cruelty… PRO-HUNT: The Countryside Alliance Ireland… (story)

Western Morning News 11.3.15 Castle celebrates 'social side of the countryside' By Athwenna Irons - Shades of scarlet and green filled the grand courtyard of Pentillie Castle today when the East Cornwall Hunt came together as the season draws to a close. Led by joint masters Graham and Lynsey Higgins, a field of nearly 30 riders and a good crowd of foot followers gathered in front of the picturesque Georgian mansion before moving off to follow a series of pre-laid trails…. (story)
Western Morning News 11.3.15 PICTURES: East Cornwall Hunt meet at Pentillie Castle (story)

Wells Journal 11.3.15 General Election 2015: Fox hunting - AS the most hotly contested general election in decades approaches our Big Story feature will, for the next eight weeks, be quizzing the candidates for the Wells and Somerton & Frome constituencies who say they will be standing for election to Westminster…. This week’s question is: The Hunting Act is now 10 years old – what are your views on fox hunting and other forms of animal hunting with hounds, what impact do you feel the act has had, what is your stance on the act as it stands and would you support an attempt to repeal the ban on hunting? Chris Inchley, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Wells… Theo Simon, Green prospective parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome… Tessa Munt, Liberal Democrat MP for Wells constituency… James Heappey, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Wells… Alan Dimmick, Ukip prospective parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome… David Warburton, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome… David Oakensen, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome… (story)

Stroud Life 11.3.15 In the House with Stroud MP Neil Carmichael: Rural communities - ONE of the key characteristics of the Valleys and Vale is the predominance of rural communities. Like many representative organisations such as the Countryside Alliance I am keen to promote policies and commitments to ensure the future of these communities…. (story)

Western Morning News 11.3.15 Learn to cook what you shoot - with help of Westcountry Game Fair game cookery theatre By WMNPBowern - The first rule of live quarry shooting is that you eat what you shoot…. And for those whose ability as hunters exceeds their skills in the kitchen, help is at hand – with demonstrations at the Taste of Game Cookery Theatre over the two days of this month’s Westcountry Game Fair…. (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 9.3.15 Westcountry Game Fair at Bath & West Showground - Game is wild, natural and free range with a distinctive flavour, making it a great alternative to beef, pork, lamb and chicken…. The Taste of Game cookery theatre will form a big part of the show at the Westcountry Game Fair which takes place at the Bath & West Showground on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March… (story)

Mirror 11.3.15 Outrage as animals 'tortured' in gruesome Porton Down military experiments By Andy Lines - Outraged campaigners have uncovered the extent of gruesome military experiments on animals in Britain… Many of the experiments were carried out at the top secret military facility at Porton Down in Wiltshire… Claire Palmer, spokeswoman for the Animal Justice Project which carried out the investigation, said: “Most people will be shocked at these sickening, repetitive and futile experiments… (story)

Leek Post & Times 11.3.15 Animal welfare campaigners demonstrate in Leek after secret Butterton filming By Leslie Jackson - MORE than 60 animal welfare campaigners took to the streets of Leek following secret filming at a Butterton abattoir…. on the journey from Leek to the Moorlands village the campaigners visited a farm in the district where alleged mistreatment of animals had taken place. One of the organisers of the campaign group, Andrew Winston-Jones, said: "We had been informed by Hillside over the mistreatment of animals at another location… Charlotte Tonkinson, aged 31, of Stafford said she had joined the protest has she was against animal cruelty… (story)

Western Mail 11.3.15 Animals lose a champion - Animals have lost a stalwart ally with the passing of PETA honorary director and entertainment giant Sam Simon… Ingrid Newkirk President PETA US, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (letter)


Kent & Sussex Courier 10.3.15 Hunt saboteur comes to the aid of injured hunt master By spdoran - A hunt saboteur put his cause to one side as he came to the aid of an injured huntsmen who lost consciousness after an accident near Cowden. Ian Hamson, a hunt master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and west Kent Fox Hunt, is believed to have been injured after his horse fell and rolled on top of him during a meet on Saturday. A member of Croydon Hunt saboteurs, also a trained paramedic, stepped in and helped the injured man until other paramedics arrived…. (story)

Western Daily Press 10.3.15 - Defra held a consultation to establish whether there was public support for a badger cull. The response was an overwhelming "No"… D F Courtney Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset (story)

Cambridge News 10.3.15 Monkeys subjected to 'fake cobra terror by Cambridge researchers' By chris elliott - Researchers in Cambridge deliberately terrified caged monkeys with a rubber cobra – to find out how they reacted under stress, animal campaigners claim. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection highlighted the incident after listing Cambridge University as one of six universities that carried out experiments on more than 100,000 animals…. (story)
Independent 9.3.15 Millions of animals subjected to ‘disturbing’ scientific research at UK universities - STEVE CONNOR - Nearly 2 million animals were used for scientific research in British universities in one year – with many subjected to “distressing and disturbing” procedures, campaigners say. Just six universities account for a quarter of all the animals used in scientific research in the UK in 2013, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act. The tests were performed mostly on mice and rats but also included monkeys, sheep, rabbits and fish, according to data collected by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)…. (story)
Herald 9.3.15 Edinburgh University tops table of animal testing – SusanLunn - EDINBURGH University has conducted scientific research on more animals than any other institution in the UK, according to new figures. A quarter of the animals used in the experiments in the UK in 2013 were tested in the laboratories of just six universities, the research shows. Between them, the six conducted experiments on just over a million animals that year, according to information obtained by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)… (story)
BBC News Online 9.3.15 Edinburgh University tops animal testing league table - More experiments were carried out on animals at Edinburgh University in 2013 than at any other UK university. An average of 660 animals each day were used in scientific experiments at the Edinburgh institution. The figures were obtained by a Freedom of Information request by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection….. (story)

Mail 10.3.15 'Like serving monkey nuggets at a zoo': Three of Britain's biggest aquariums under fire for serving fish and chips in their restaurants despite conservation message… 'Like serving monkey nuggets at a zoo': Three of Britain's biggest aquariums under fire for serving fish and chips in their restaurants despite conservation message … The letter, written by PETA's specialist project manager Dawn Carr, urges the aquariums to switch to fish-free options… (story)


Western Daily Press 9.3.15 Angry scenes break out at Somerset point-to-point hunt demo By tina rowe - More than 100 campaigners demonstrated at a Somerset point-to-point meeting yesterday over a Crown Prosecution Service decision not to prosecute a huntsman after a hunt saboteur suffered serious injuries when she was knocked down by a horse…. Speaking at yesterday's point to point near Corton Denham, Yeovil, Joint Master Rupert Nuttall said: "We apologise that an awful accident happened but the due process of the law has been gone through … Gill Rayner, one of a group representing Somerset and Dorset Animal Rescue said: "We looked at the video and we are saying injustice is going on…. (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 9.3.15 Protest at Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt point to point By Dadcock - Protesters gathered at the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt point to point meeting at Charlton Horethorne on Saturday to demand Justice for Nid, a protester who was injured last summer…. (story)
Western Gazette 9.3.15 VIDEOS: Protesters and security clash as saboteurs demand 'justice for Nid' By WG_StephenDO - HUNT saboteurs came out in force today to demand "justice for Nid". The saboteurs from across the country targeted the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt's annual point to point races near Charlton Horethorne this morning after the Crown Prosecution Service said it was not pursuing charges against the rider of a horse who collided with a female saboteur last year… (story)
Blackmore Vale Magazine 6.3.15 350 hunt protesters expected at Blackmore and Sparkford Vale point to point By shill - Up to 350 hunt protesters are planning to turn up at the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale point to point races at Charlton Horethorne tomorrow in their quest to seek "Justice for Nid"… Tomorrow's protest will be a peaceful rally with the emphasis on a 'family day out'…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.3.15 Badger cull and fox hunting all that shows parties apart - On most issues you could fit a postage stamp between the Conservatives and Labour, writes Philip Bowern. But on rural issues there are some real differences…. While the Conservatives and Labour, Ukip and the Lib Dems might try hard to differentiate themselves on the basis on those big national issues, the gaps between them have been narrowing for years … Given that the election now just two months away is gearing up to be the closest for decades, let's hope that this time around the parties don't just pay lip service to real rural concerns. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.3.15 David Cameron 'out of touch' with public over hunting ban - The Prime Minister last week backed a vote to repeal the Hunting Act in the next parliament. Lorraine Platt, founder of the Blue Fox group of Conservatives against hunting, says he is out of touch…. (story)

Western Morning News 9.3.15 Politicians must take rural election issues seriously, WMN opinion - By WMNJBayley - Elections are popularly believed to be fought on the big issues… on the economy virtually all the serious contenders for any sort of success after May 7 agree we need to get the deficit under control and drive down our debts… Yet on rural policies, from culling badgers as part of the battle against TB to repealing the ban on hunting with hounds, the gap between the parties is as wide as a water jump. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it means rural voters – particular farmers with an interest in TB eradication and country sports followers desperate for an end to the hunt ban – have a clear choice come polling day. But a curse because it can allow the parties to use issues that have very little practical impact on the vast majority of voters but a huge effect on a minority, as symbolic points of difference in an attempt to characterise their opponents in ways which can be dishonest and misleading – the old Tory toffs, Labour peasants line… (story)

Ipswich Star 9.3.15 Suffolk campaigners welcome PM’s pledge of free vote on fox hunting - Richard Cornwell - Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge of a free vote in Parliament on the fox hunting ban if he wins the General Election was last night hailed as the right move by campaigners in Suffolk… James Buckle, master of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, said a free vote was the right approach and he believed Mr Cameron’s pledge – made in an article in the Countryside Alliance magazine – would make the topic an election issue… (story)

Blackmore Vale Magazine 9.3.15 Portman Hunt meet at Knighton House By fdart - Knighton House School was delighted to welcome the Portman Hunt back to the school after more than 30 years. It was a fitting return for the Portman Hunt as the school is where Viscount Portman lived with his family for many years. The riders of the 50 plus horses and ponies met in the cross country field and enjoyed the stunning surroundings of the school and the pupils, staff and other visitors watched the occasion whilst eating delicious treats from the school kitchen… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 9.3.15 VIDEO: Watch the dramatic moment animal rights protester invades Crufts Best in Show presentation - An animal rights activist involved in anti-grouse shooting protests on Ilkley Moor was arrested after invading the show ring at world-famous dog show Crufts, just as the Best in Show winner was announces. Law student, Luke Steele, 25, rushed onto the main floor at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham holding a placard declaring 'Mutts Against Crufts', as winning dog handler Rebecca Cross walked up to the podium with champion Scottish Terrier, Knopa yesterday... (story)

Yorkshire Standard 9.3.15 Rehomers told to beware of dog fighters looking for bait online - Local residents have been sharing a shocking image of a dog on social media to raise awareness of dog fighters looking for bait online... Animal rights advocate Sarah Ridley from Wakefield said: “We need to prevent this happening, because it does exist.... (story)

Mirror 9.3.15 'Health workers abused my vegan daughter's human rights by trying to feed her cheese and tuna' By Josh Morris - An angry father claims doctors at a rehabilitation unit abused his daughter's human rights by trying to feed her tuna and cheese. Laurence Main claims his daughter Chantal, 32, who has a history of mental illness,entered the Tan y Castell unit in Ruthin voluntarily last week... Health chiefs are investigating after Mr Main said while in the unit she has been offered fish and dairy products by staff, despite making it clear she was a vegan who avoids animal products on moral grounds.... (story)


Western Morning News 8.3.15 Rural issues take centre stage at Election 2015 as groups set out their demands By WMNPBowern - Rural campaigning groups are fighting for political advantage as country issues begin to dominate the 2015 general election campaign…. Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said rural people did not like being used as “political footballs” and urged politicians to stick to principle and evidence…. From the pro-hunting, shooting and fishing Countryside Alliance to the animal rights campaigners of the League Against Cruel Sports, candidates are being bombarded with policy initiatives on rural issues. The National Farmers’ Union and the Country Land and Business Association have also drawn up documents detailing their policy ‘wish-lists’ and are busily lobbying party leaders and candidates… (story)

Western Morning News 8.3.15 Rain fails to stop action at Great Trethew By Athwenna Irons - Racing enthusiasts turned out in their hundreds today for the much anticipated East Cornwall Hunt point-to-point meeting at Great Trethew…. Sheryll Murray, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, was also in attendance and stressed the importance of coming along and supporting local point-to-point events. “I’ve been friends with the people from the hunt for so long now and I think there is a real misconception about the hunt fraternity is that they are all toffs, and they’re not, they are very ordinary people and very down to earth and they do an awful lot for the countryside… (story)

Ripon Gazette 8.3.15 3G failing to get through in North Yorkshire - Only 28 per cent of North Yorkshire is covered by the 3G phone signal, it has been revealed…Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “Bad rural mobile phone signal is the black hole of the digital age and this is unacceptable. Customers pay a premium price for a service they just don’t receive... (story)
Yorkshire Post 6.3.15 Yorkshire loses out as phone signal fails to get through - ALMOST two thirds of Yorkshire remains uncovered by basic mobile phone coverage as Government investment continues to be delayed…. Countryside Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “Bad rural mobile phone signal is the black hole of the digital age and this is unacceptable. Customers pay a premium price for a service they just don’t receive…. (story)

North Devon Journal 8.3.15 Badger cull to come to North Devon in a year if Conservatives win general election By NDJJoe - NORTH Devon could see badgers being culled within 12 months if the Conservatives win May's general election. Environment secretary Liz Truss gave more information on the party's plans for further culls while speaking at the first day of the NFU Conference…. (story)
Bournemouth Echo 3.3.15 Dorset next for badger culls if Tories win election - BADGER culls could come to Dorset later this year. It follows an announcement by Environment Secretary Liz Truss who told the National Farmers Union conference the controversial culls would continue if the Conservatives win the General Election… (story)

Staffs Live 8.3.15 Animal welfare protesters march in Leek and highlight conditions at Apesford farm BY TOM BURNETT - Animal welfare protesters took to the streets of Leek to demand the permanent closure of an abattoir and visited a farm where they claim animals are being mistreated. Animal welfare protesters took to the streets of Leek to demand the permanent closure of an abattoir and visited a farm where they claim animals are being mistreated…. Protester Andrew Winston-Jones, 22, organised the protest on Facebook along with his mother, 47-year-old Ruth Winston-Jones… (story)


Huffington Post 7.3.15 David Cameron Will Offer Vote To Repeal The Fox Hunting Ban If Tories Win The General Election By Paul Vale - Conservatives will offer MPs a vote on repealing the ban on hunting with dogs if they win the general election on May 7, David Cameron has promised… (story)
Western Daily Press 7.3.15 Cameron's support for hunting ban 'pushing personal issue against public opinion' By Simon_Copp - David Cameron could slash the Conservatives' vote at the general election with his promise of a free vote on the 'toxic' repeal of the hunting ban to please 'his friends in the hunting lobby', a grassroots organisation has said…. supporters of the ban on hunting with dogs say that public opinion is 80 per cent in favour. Among them is Lorraine Platt, of the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, which goes under the name Blue Fox…. (story)
Western Daily Press 7.3.15 Can hunting ever top our priorities? - There can be few issues as divisive foxhunting, especially in the West Country heartlands…. There is no middle ground on this one – nowhere for politicians, who are well used to sitting on the fence when it comes to controversial issues, to hide. With so many marginal constituencies in the West Country, it's no wonder that it is fast becoming an election issue in the region…. (story)
Express 6.3.15 David Cameron supports repeal of hunting ban in bid for countryside voters in election - DAVID Cameron has pledged to offer MPs a vote on repealing the Hunting Act if the Conservatives win the General Election in May. By LEVI WINCHESTER (story)
Mirror 6.3.15 David Cameron wants to overturn hunting ban if Tories win General Election By Jason Beattie - Writing in the Countryside Alliance magazine, Mr Cameron said: “The Hunting Act has done nothing for animal welfare"… (story)
Guardian 6.3.15 David Cameron backs repeal of ban on hunting with dogs - PM targets fox hunting countryside lobby, saying MPs would have free vote on bill to repeal Hunting Act if Conservatives win election… (story)
Independent 6.3.15 David Cameron says he wants to repeal the fox hunting ban - JON STONE - The Conservatives will hold a parliamentary vote on repealing the fox hunting ban if they win the next election, David Cameron has said… (story)
Mail 6.3.15 Cameron pledges Commons vote to bring back fox hunting if the Tories win the election By JACK DOYLE FOR THE DAILY MAIL - David Cameron has pledged to offer MPs a vote on repealing the fox hunting ban if he wins the election and declared that he has the ‘countryside in my blood’… (story)
Yorkshire Post 6.3.15 MPs to be offered a vote on repealing the hunting ban, Cameron promises - Conservatives will offer MPs a vote on repealing the ban on hunting with dogs if they win the general election on May 7, David Cameron has promised… (story)
Telegraph 6.3.15 David Cameron: 'People should have the freedom to hunt' By Peter Dominiczak, Political Editor - People in the countryside must have “the freedom to hunt”, David Cameron has said, as he backed a repeal of the foxhunting ban. The Prime Minister has pledged to give MPs a free vote on whether to repeal the Hunting Act if the Tories win the election…. (story)
Western Morning News 6.3.15 Cameron refuses to dodge the difficult rural issues, in pledge to lift the hunting ban By WMNPBowern - David Cameron has set out, in plainer language than anyone in the Tory party has used for some time, his commitment to scrapping the hunting ban, Philip Bowern reports - It’s a toxic issue in some circles; a question many spin doctors would rather their political leader ducked, instead of answering head on. But Prime Minister David Cameron, writing in the latest edition of the Countryside Alliance’s magazine, knows he is likely to get a warm reception from their readers when he sets out his views on country sports – and hunting in particular… (story)
Western Morning News 6.3.15 Cameron's election pledge: 'I will lift the hunting ban' By WMNPBowern - David Cameron has made a cast-iron promise to rural voters that he will allow Government time for a free vote in the Commons to repeal the ten-year-old hunting ban…. (story)
Western Daily Press 6.3.15 David Cameron pledges free vote on Hunting Act repeal after general election - David Cameron has pledged to hold a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act, should the Conservatives win a majority at the general election. Writing in the spring issue of the Countryside Alliance magazine, the Prime Minister promises a "government Bill on government time"…. (story)

Economist 7.3.15 The hunter and the hapless - Bagehot - The decade-old fox-hunting ban has irked countryfolk, spared few foxes and damaged politics … A decade after the 400-year-old pursuit of hunting foxes with dogs was outlawed by a Labour government, it continues remarkably unchanged…. The hunt Bagehot visited had killed three in mid-week, two the previous Saturday, and, by the time the season ends later this month, expects to have dispatched its customary tally of around 140 foxes… The disdain Britons reserve for politicians is fuelled by doubts about their efficacy as well as their motives, and the ban invites both… the Labour crusaders responsible for the mess should reflect on it. In banning hunting they thought to weaken a reviled establishment, and so they have; but the establishment in question, it turns out, includes themselves. (story)

Cornish Guardian 7.3.15 Shotgun certificates handed out to Cornish kids as young as eight-years-old By WBCaroline - CORNISH children as young as eight-years-old have been issued with shotgun certificates by police in England, it has been revealed… Christine Hall from Gun Control Network said: "The danger is it poses in the mind-set of the child that it's fun to kill things…. A BASC spokesperson confirmed it supports the Home Office in guidance on firearms law. He said: "It is in the interests of safety that a young person who is to handle firearms should be properly taught at a relatively early age… (story)
Evening News 7.3.15 Nine-year-old child among 21,743 people issued with shotgun certificates in Norfolk during last five years - Sabah Meddings - A nine-year-old child is among those to have been issued a shotgun licence in Norfolk in the last five years. New figures from Norfolk Constabulary show 48 children under the age of 14 were issued certificates for “recreational shooting”…. The campaign for tighter laws on firearms is something Gun Control Network chairman Gill Marshall-Andrews is passionate about…. Charlotte Cooper, from the Countryside Alliance, claimed shooting instilled responsibility and care for the countryside in young people… (story)


Belfast Telegraph 6.3.15 Stormont under pressure to ban hunting with dogs and snares after Belfast Council votes for a change in law By Maurice Fitzmaurice - Belfast City Councillors back an Alliance motion calling for the Executive to bring in fresh legislation to “outlaw the hunting of mammals with dogs” - Stormont is under pressure to ban hunting with dogs and snares after a city council unanimously voted for a change in the law…. The DUP Christopher Stalford said he was “happy to support both issues in relation to hunting with dogs and the use of snares”. He added: “Hunting with hounds has no place in any civilised order. I firmly believe that this practice should be consigned to the ash heap of history.”… (story)

Western Morning News 6.3.15 Is filming a dog chasing a rabbit 'sick'? Some people think so By WMNPBowern - Devon Wildlife Trust and the RSPCA have taken to the airwaves to warn of an ‘alarming new trend in animal cruelty.’ Prepare to be shocked, the BBC presenter warned as footage, apparently filmed by dog owners, showed a lurcher chasing and catching rabbits by the light of a torch in field somewhere in Devon. Not everyone’s cup of tea for family viewing, perhaps, but not illegal and certainly far less graphic than the wildlife films that the BBC and others spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to make on the plains of Africa and elsewhere… Squeamishness about the realities of rural life is, of course, nothing new. But what is surprising is the double standards many people now adopt when it comes to what is apparently acceptable and ‘normal’ about countryside management and country sports and what is not… What is so different about watching a film of lurchers pursuing and catching rabbits and a cheetah chasing and killing an antelope?... (story)

The Herald 6.3.15 Gamekeepers warn land reform will herald job loses on estates - David Ross - Proposals to end the rate exemptions enjoyed by sporting estates for deer stalking and shooting will sacrifice over 100 rural worker jobs immediately with more to follow, Scotland's gamekeepers are warning. The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA), has announced a year long initiative highlighting the vital role played by those who work on the estates and their families in the life of local communities…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 6.3.15 Shooting only brings death to moors’ wildlife - From: Luke Steele, Spokesperson & Co-Founder, Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor, Leeds - IN response to the letter from Mr J Shires querying whether shooting has helped to conserve Ilkley Moor (The Yorkshire Post, February 28), it can be safely asserted that bloodsports and efforts to preserve wildlife could not be further apart…. (letter)

The Comet 6.3.15 Compassionate Downton star Peter backs Hitchin charity’s work - Downton Abbey star Peter Egan is the latest celebrity to back the work of Hitchin-based charity the Dr Hadwen Trust….Peter, best known for his role in hit 1980s sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles, is also an animal rights advocate who is vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports and a patron of Compassion in World Farming… (story)

Belfast Telegraph 6.3.15 Council wrong to allow circuses with wild animals - I was appalled to learn that Newtownabbey Borough Council recently elected to accept circuses with wild animals. I have long been very much against this practice, as I believe it is cruel and totally unacceptable in a modern society…. HELEN DAVIES By email (letter


Cumnock Chronicle 5.3.15 MEP petitions to ban cruel and obscene practice - Scottish MEP David Martin, along with two colleagues, has handed in a petition with 320,000 signatures, urging the EU to ban the production of foie gras, to the European Health and Food Safety commissioner… (story)


Mail 4.3.15 Making a splash! Moment Irish huntsman and his horse plunge into canal after animal refuses to make a jump By JAKE POLDEN FOR MAILONLINE - You can bring a horse to water but you can’t stop it from going for a swim. A huntsman in Ireland found that out the hard way when he was thrown from a horse making an unscheduled detour through a canal… The hunt, which generally attracts around 70 to 80 people of all ages, is an event undertaken by the Longford Harriers… (story)

Western Morning News 4.3.15 Hounds are OK in open countryside - Two recent letters from Graham Forsyth from Chard, both on his favourite subject of being anti-anything to do with the countryside, although as he states that he is a Labour councillor I suppose we should expect nothing less… in his latest letter, it’s the hounds that are the subject of his bile, particularly their poo. Now it is quite reasonable to expect pet owners to pick up after their animals in public places, parks, pavements etc., but in fields or moorland surely it is better to let it degrade naturally rather than have stupid irresponsible people put it in plastic bags and then hang it from the nearest bush or branch?... by Paul Mercer Tavistock (story)


Western Morning News 3.3.15 Gun rules designed to protect the public - Lord Prescott will hopefully not take too literally the wishes of Graham Forsyth (letters February 26) to see him ‘throw some punches’ in the South West run up to the next election… Maybe Mr Forsyth is hoping he will don a balaclava and join the ‘hunt sabs’…. I live next-door to a big shoot and have noticed a significant increase in the number of buzzards, a magnificent sight to see them skilfully utilise the thermals as they soar high above. His disappointment at the attitude of Labour to the Hunting Act may goad him into the realisation that there is a possibility that even Labour now view it as flawed, an act that had as little to do with animal welfare as it has had a positive effect on it ever since… by Roger Mason South Molton (letter)

Farmers Weekly 3.3.15 Badger cull row intensifies over union’s TB rate claims - The NFU has hit back at claims it “misled the public” after its president suggested culling badgers was helping to lower bovine TB rates in Somerset and Gloucestershire. NFU president Meurig Raymond told NFU conference last week that TB infection rates had fallen from 34% to 11% in Somerset in the two years since the government’s pilot culls began in 2013…. The Badger Trust took issue with Mr Raymond’s comments. Its chief executive Dominic Dyer said they had “no scientific foundation” and were “not supported by government data from the pilot culls”…. (story)


Western Morning News 2.3.15 Countryside Alliance calls on members to lobby election candidates over rural policies By WMNPBowern - Many people involved in country sports greeted Labour’s animal welfare policies, unveiled in London on February 18, with dismay. The party’s Environment spokesman Maria Eagle, promised, among other things, a crackdown on “cruelty” on shooting estates and retaining the hunting ban, provoking an angry response from the shooting and hunting lobby. But now the pro-hunting, shooting and fishing Countryside Alliance has hit back, launching a new campaign asking rural voters to contact their Parliamentary candidates ahead of the General Election on May 7 to find out their take on managing wildlife and the Countryside… (story)

Northern Echo 2.3.15 Zetland Hunt presents charities with £750 cheque in Gainford - The Great North Air Ambulance and the Butterwick Hospice received a cheque for £750 from the Zetland Hunt on Saturday, February 21… (story)

Wharfedale Observer 2.3.15 Hunt disruptor is hit with fine (story)
Keighley News 25.2.15 Campaigner fined by magistrates for disrupting Keighley grouse shoot - AN ANTI-BLOODSPORTS campaigner has been fined by magistrates after admitting he disrupted grouse shooting on the moors above Keighley. Luke Steele, 25, pleaded guilty to a charge of obstructing people engaged in a lawful activity by trespassing on land used by the Bingley Moor Partnership grouse shoot when he appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court yesterday… (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 24.2.15 Anti-bloodsport campaigner fined for disrupting grouse shoot by Rob Lowson - AN ANTI-BLOODSPORTS campaigner has been fined by magistrates after admitting he disrupted grouse shooting on Bingley and Morton Moor. Luke Steele, 25, pleaded guilty to a charge of obstructing people engaged in a lawful activity by trespassing on land used by the Bingley Moor Partnership grouse shoot when he appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Courttoday… Chairman of the bench Kenneth Duckworth fined Steele £70, also ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £20 surcharge…. (story)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 11.2.15 Anti-hunt campaigner to face court - AN ANTI-BLOODSPORTS campaigner who allegedly disrupted grouse shooting on moors in the Bradford district will now have his case heard later this month. Luke Steele, 25, faces three charges of obstructing people engaged in a lawful activity by trespassing on land used by the Bingley Moor Partnership grouse shoot. The case was due to go ahead at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’Court yesterday, but was adjourned until February 24… (story)

Worcester News 2.3.15 People fear their donated money will be used to fund animal experiments - In recent issues of the Worcester News there have been several articles and letters about good people fundraising for various charities connected with health and medical research. Everybody wants to see medical progress, but an increasing number of people are refraining from donating to such charities, because they fear their money will be used to fund animal experiments… Peter Talbot Worcester (letter)


Mail on Sunday 1.3.15 Police probe slaughter of fox by hunt hosted by PM's father-in-law after picture of dead animal was posted online By BEN ELLERY and HARRIET CRAWFORD FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY - Police are investigating claims that a fox was killed in a hunt hosted by David Cameron’s father-in-law. Hunt protesters clashed with the York & Ainsty South Hunt amid claims that eight hounds chased and killed the fox after setting off from the 18th Century country estate of Sutton Park, in North Yorkshire, owned by Samantha Cameron’s father Sir Reginald Sheffield…. Last night a spokesman for the hunt claimed the fox had not been killed by its hounds. But hunt saboteur Jay Gillette, 20, said: ‘We were following the huntsmen through a woodland, and then the hounds started to cry, which means they were on the scent of a fox… A spokesman for the hunt said: ‘The York & Ainsty South Hunt were involved in legal trail hunting and were afterwards asked by police whether a fox had been killed by hounds. The answer to that was no. It’s not unusual for hunt saboteurs, who’ve been harassing the legal activity on regular occasions, to make up such stories. From looking at the photos of the animal there was no indication of how it was killed.’… (story)

Warrington Guardian 1.3.15 MP sets out plans to tackle suffering for animals - THE MP for Warrington North has set out Labour's plans to champion animal welfare following the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the ban on fox hunting. The ban came into force on February 18 2005 but Helen Jones has raised the importance of continuing to fight to end suffering for animals in the country…. (story)

Observer 1.3.15 How hunting with wolves helped humans outsmart the Neanderthals - Forty thousand years ago in Europe our ancestors formed a crucial and lasting alliance that enabled us to finish off our evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals - Robin McKie - Dogs are humanity’s oldest friends, renowned for their loyalty and abilities to guard, hunt and chase. But modern humans may owe even more to them than we previously realised. We may have to thank them for helping us eradicate our caveman rivals, the Neanderthals…. (story)

Telegraph 1.3.15 Too many deer spoil the balance of the countryside - Gustav Temple (“Deer stalking: the solution to a problem?”) deals with the life and death decisions confronted by countrymen. For livestock farmers it’s part of the job. For sportsmen, respect for their game is important. These issues are difficult for those in urban communities to appreciate, hence the controversy over the culling of foxes, wild boar and badgers….. Dickie Green Idstone, Berkshire (*)he research by Dr Paul Dolman, cited by Mr Temple, has been taken out of context. Dr Dolman surveyed an area of 234 sq km, where he found that effective management required a 50 per cent cull of muntjac deer, 60 per cent of roe and 30 per cent of red and fallow. The population and therefore the cull targets vary tremendously from area to area… Kate Gatacre Deputy Editor, Shooting Times London SE1 (letters)

Wiltshire Times 1.3.15 End slaughter scandal - Something which has been going on for years yet ignored by the National Farmers Union, Crown Prosecution Service and Food Standards Agency, and of course the Countryside Alliance, politicians and religious pundits: the way our farm and and other animals are being abused in some slaughter houses…. D Thomas, Hisomley, Westbury (story)#