May 2002

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(*)- added since last main update

Wiltshire Times 31.5.02 Attitude to cruelty `can lead to moral corruption' - THERE appear to be many inaccuracies in the letters last week concerning hunting… "The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but for the hand of tyranny," Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). May we hope that day is near at hand. ANN LEVICK, Codford. (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 17.5.02 Hunting issues provoke comments - I REFER to the letter from Charles Copland-Griffiths (Wiltshire Times, May 10). Steps are already being put into effect to increase the attack on fishing and shooting… a week or so ago that the League Against Cruel Sports was taking steps to amend the objects of its constitution to enable it to campaign against fishing and shooting… J E TODD, Flexham Farm, Rode. (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 17.5.02 I MUST respond to the misinformation in Mr Thomas' and Mr Davies' letters…. the mot obvious reason for the continuation of hunting is that thousands of people choose to participate in an activity which Lord Burns has confirmed does not lead to unnecessary cruelty… In his letter, Mr Davies erroneously claims the nation has voted to ban hunting, which is clearly untrue, as no referendum has ever been held… Given the existence of anti-fishing groups, such as Pisces, which is already active, it is obvious that if hunting is banned, fishing and shooting will be next. IAA LANSDOWN, (Name and address supplied). (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 10.5.02 Gradual ban - PETER Davies (Wiltshire Times, May 3) accuses the Countryside Alliance of deliberately frightening shooting and fishing interests into believing their sports are next on the hit list… Personally, I support field sports; but people who sincerely regard hunting as too cruel to be allowed, must logically acknowledge cruelty can occur in shooting and fishing… Though the anti cruel sports lobby say "they have no plans to ban shooting and fishing", if hunting were banned, such plans would appear. CHARLES COPLAND-GRIFFITHS, Wingfield Road, Trowbridge (letter)
Wiltshire Times 12.4.02 Plea to live and let live for foxes... and hunts David Thomas's letter ("Who inflicts suffering?" March 29) provides an interesting spin on recent events regarding the reintroduction of the issue of hunting with dogs into the political arena. He seems to suggest that the hunting lobby are responsible for the matter being raised again. I recall the Prime Minister raising the subject as a reward to his backbenchers who had so loyally supported in Parliament his beleaguered Transport Minister, Stephen Byers.... If people want to prance around the countryside pursuing foxes on horseback, why not let them? In 21st century multicultural Britain we can tolerate a little bit of native British eccentricity. T Page, West Ashton, Trowbridge.
Wiltshire Times 12.4.02 ... it is obvious that fox hunting has nothing to do with pest control but is a cruel form of sport and accounts for only a small percentage of foxes... The police estimated numbers at the rally were 80,000, but let us take the figure given. Are those people really claiming that everyone who went was a supporter of cruel sports? The majority of people were there because of the important issues affecting us rural dwellers... DAVID THOMAS, Hillview, Hisomley, Nr Westbury. (letter in archive)
Wiltshire Times 5.4.02 Foxes do pose a threat I write in response to David Thomas's letter with a picture of a fox cub, in which he tries to insinuate that foxes are not a threat to animals which are further down the food chain... families in village have all lost chickens to fox - D Boyd, Corton, Warminster
IN his letter, (March 22), Mr Thomas claims there is significant support for a ban on hunting. I suggest the number of people who actively support a ban is far outweighed by the number in favour of its continuation - I A A LANSDOWN, (Name and address supplied). (letters in archive)
Wiltshire Times 29.3.02 (22.3.02) Who inflicts suffering? HOW much longer is our democratically-elected government and the majority of the people going to tolerate the arrogance and selfishness of a group of people who think they own the countryside and its wildlife to do what they like with... DAVID THOMAS, Hisomley, Westbury. (letter in archive)

Bucks Free Press 31.5.02 Slow down to stop slaughter - I READ letters on animals in the BFP on May 24 about wildlife and injuries to the hunting breed. Take a ride down the B482 Marlow to Stokenchurch road any morning and there's wildlife splattered on the road, slaughtered by people who don't care or don't know animals are around… Mrs M Plumridge, Stokenchurch (letter in archive)

Sutton Comet 31.5.02 Wonderful Wildcare - The wonderful people at London Wildcare collected a fox from my back garden and took it to the vets immediately…. Thanks very much for printing people's letters about the RSPCA and other animal welfare places. Name and address supplied. (letter in archive)
Sutton Comet RSPCA - No surprise - It came as no surprise to me the RSPCA did not respond to a call about an injured fox. I never donate to them now I give my money to smaller animal charities… MRS Y M Y'REN, Chapel Way, Epsom Downs
RSPCA - Want more information? - The lady who was refused help from the RSPCA should ring the National Fox Welfare Society on 01933 411 996… Mrs B Brown, Kinross Avenue, Worcester Park
RSPCA - Cancelled my RSPCA donation … This is the third time I have been made aware of its uncaring attitude towards injured wild creatures two foxes and a feral cat. As a consequence, myself and two friends have cancelled our direct debit payments to this organisation preferring instead to subscribe to animal charities with a more caring attitude. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letters in archive)
Sutton Guardian/Comet 9.5.02 Opt for London Wildcare centre - In reply to a letter in your sister paper, the Sutton Comet, on April 26… What a pity your reader did not contact the London Wildcare Centre… J WILLIAMS, Croydon Road, Beddington (letter may be in archive)
Sutton Guardian/Comet 26.4.02 Disappointed the RSPCA won't attend to injured fox - I have twice phoned the RSPCA with regard to an injured fox in my back garden... The fox has an injured leg which it is dragging behind her and she is unable to fend for her month-old cubs. The RSPCA refuse to attend the animal and say the leg should heal itself... Both my mother and myself donate money to this charity and are very disappointed with their response. Name and address supplied. (letter in archive)

Daily Post 31.5.02 Police probe badger cull - DYFED-Powys Police last night said it had received a Welsh Assembly letter containing allegations that a farmer had illegally culled badgers. It follows a statement to Assembly members by Rural Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones that he planned to report the allegations… (story)
Daily Post 30.5.02 Minister reports badger killings By Andrew Forgrave And Eryl Crump, Daily Post - RURAL Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones is to report a farmer, who told him he had shot 15 badgers, to police. The farmer, believed to be from Mid-Wales, admitted to the killings on his own land during a phone call to the Labour AM. Mr Jones, who yesterday refused to introduce badger culls to combat cattle tuberculosis, told AMs he took the farmer's details and would report him to police… FUW President Bob Parry blamed environmentalists for standing in the way of attempts to eradicate the disease. Farmers fear another disaster on the scale of footand-mouth, and Mr Parry warned: "Farmers might take matters into their own hands if they see badgers." (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 31.5.02 Nonsense from on high - JUST what sort of a mess has the Government created in this country? It allows unspeakable cruelty in factory farms and the import of kangaroo leather (millions of these beautiful animals are slaughtered)… (Miss) B M PACKER Croft Road, Swindon (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 31.5.02 Walking for whales - I WOULD like to say thank you to all those who took part in the Walk For Whales at Barbury Castle on Sunday… MARILYN HARRISON (Swindon Animal Concern), Beaulieu Close, Toothill, Swindon (letter in archive)
Lynn News 16.5.02 Whale of a protest on Queen's estate - RED-CLAD campaigners are set to show their anger at the cruelty of commercial whaling later this month… The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) has organised 66 sponsored walks in the UK and is appealing for volunteers to join in… For further information and sponsorship forms log on to or contact Mr Richard Scrimshaw of the WDCS on 01406 362265… (story in archive)
Wiltshire Gazette & Herald/Chippenham News 10.5.02 Walks will support campaign against whaling - THE Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, based in Chippenham, wants hundreds of people to take part in the 2002 Walk for Whales and Dolphins on May 26… For further information about the WDCS Walk for Whales and Dolphins contact Nicky Knowles on (01249) 449512 (letter in archive)

(Exeter Express & Echo?) 31.5.02 DON'T CAUSE SUFFERING AND YOU WILL SUFFER LESS - It is my desire to understand God and his creation and by doing so I hope to create the desire in the hearts of other people also. For some 20 years I have suffered from some form of mental illness and I have come to the conclusion that all illness is some form of punishment from God… Try to understand other things, things that we deal out death to every day, rat poison, slugs and insects, as we take part in the death of even the smallest of these creatures we kill a part of our own body. Abstain from causing suffering and your suffering will be less. Tony Parsons, Haymans Close, Cullompton (letter)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 31.5.02 Worth 50p weekly to save Longview - WITH regard to Longview Animal Centre, Division Lane, Blackpool, I am so sorry to learn of the financial difficulties it is now faced with and the threat of closure within three months… Mrs P J Jones, Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood, Preston. (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 31.5.02 Sad plight of Longview - I HAVE recently returned to Blackpool after working away from the area to learn of the sad plight of Longview Animal Centre… Mrs Ivy Swain, Newton Drive, Blackpool. (letter in archive)

The Citizen (Blackpool) 17.5.02 Please help save animal sanctuary - I AM overjoyed to learn that the RSPCA Animal Home has earned a three month stay of execution to give fund raisers extra time to try to save it from closure… J Harwood, Moor Park Ave, Bispham, Blackpool. (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 17.5.02 Sad dog needs a new home... The centre now has three more months to raise an additional £2,500 per month… S A Woolley, Wellington Street, Lytham. (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 17.5.02 Thank you - THANK you so very much for helping Longview (RSPCA) Animal Centre, Marton, gain a "stay of execution" for a further three months. This would not have been possible without your help and the support of your readers… K Donely, Oxford Court, Ansdell, Lytham St Annes. (letter in archive)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 18.2.02 Your chance to save RSPCA home … Solely due to lack of funding the Longview Animal Home is to close at the end of May but if sufficient guaranteed funds can be raised by March 31, the committee of the RSPCA Blackpool and North Lancs Branch will re-consider… Eileen Heritage, Staining. (letter in archive)
Blackpool Gazette 4.1.02 Fund-raiser for doomed centre By Nick Hyde - RSPCA bosses have defended a fund-raising scheme for a doomed animal sanctuary – but admit the centre will close anyway. Letter was sent out to Friends of Longview in December saying "without a massive influx of guaranteed money there will be no alternative but to close the centre in May 2002", but RSPCA chiefs have already stated that no amount of money could now save the home from its proposed closure. Letter asks recipient to donate at least £2 per month by standing order to the branch. At a meeting held last month staff were told that they were welcome to raise funds for the Blackpool and North Lancashire Branch, which includes Longview. But they were also told that the Longview site would definitely shut at the end of May this year.
The Citizen (Lytham St Annes) 4.1.02 Kindness to creditors, not animals - letter from Stephen Moore, Henson Avenue, Blackpool. RE the imminent closure of the RSPCA Centre on Division Lane, Blackpool, the salient facts seem to suggest that the trustees of the centre are faced with Hobson's Choice... However, far from caring and protecting animals which is the principal duty of the RSPCA, the trustees of Division Lane hide behind the lesser duty of kindness to creditors. The RSPCA's central fund, if not Morecambe's coffers, should be prepared to finance any deficit to such centres... Hiding behind false promises, misleading apprehensions or pleading poverty while jingling a collection box at the same time, sums up the management of Division Lane. (letter in archive)
Blackpool Gazette 20.12.01 RSPCA under attack for axing Longview By Ben Borland - RSPCA bosses defended their decision to close Blackpool's Longview Animal Centre at a stormy meeting last night. Chairman Les Jones, said it would take £100,000 a year to save the Division Lane shelter – and blamed past bad management for its current cash crisis... campaigner Orelle Gibson said local people wouldn't support other schemes, another protester Paul Hart wanted a cash target - LJ said £10K a month by January. (story)
The Citizen (Blackpool) 6.12.01 RSPCA home closure dismay by Nikki Masters and Claire Fearn "...The Longview Kennels on Division Lane, Marton, announced this week it was to shut down after a recent appeal failed to raise the £43,000 needed to keep the centre going..." Christine Ashton of Cat Rescue said "...the question to be asked is why are the headquarters not bailing them out? Why isn't the Fylde branch with all this money helping them? I could never work out why the RSPCA Fylde branch had so much money and yet Blackpool had none." (story in archive)
Blackpool Gazette 26.11.01 End of Road by Nick Hyde "THE RSPCA today announced that it is to close its Blackpool animal centre...The nine staff will be made redundant and the 80 animals at the Longview Centre in Division Lane will all be rehomed by May next year. The charity made its decision after the failure of an appeal to raise £43,000 to keep the Marton centre going. " (story)

Scotsman 30.5.02 MUSIC: Work is the drug - Rory Ford - interview with Bryan Ferry …"Otis, my oldest boy is actually very much like my dad," he explains proudly. "He’s very much a country man just like my dad was. He lives up in Yorkshire now, he left school very early to go and work with horses and work on the hunt up there."… (story)

Boston Standard 30.5.02 Do you support hunting? THE Countryside Alliance is organising a march in London on September 22 in support of hunting. The ban on hunting will affect the rural population as a whole and the East of England Lurcher Racing Club will be taking part in this peaceful demonstration… We would like anyone who agrees with hunting to send their name and address to Mr B. Fairweather, 232 Wellington Road, Boston, PE21 OMY… (story)

Banbury Guardian 30.5.02 HUNT MEMBERS SHOULD GET A LIFE Hunting not cruel? How can Sam Butler, a member of the Warwickshire Hunt, say this (Banbury Guardian, May 23)?... I have been a member of the League Against Cruel Sports for many a year… A J Hitchen, Banbury (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.5.02 WHY CATS ARE THE CRUELLEST HUNTERS People should look at themselves when making judgements on others. I have hunted all my life and have also had cats. The cats cause much more cruelty than hunting as they torture rats, mice and song birds before tearing them apart alive… If hunting with hounds is to be abolished, so must cat ownership if Government is not to discriminate against the minority of us who hunt. (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.5.02 The irresponsibility of the 40 prohunt and 600 supporters to ride in their full hunting regalia, complete with 50 hunting hounds on the streets of Westminster, is totally unacceptable… (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.5.02 PROTEST UNFAIR TO THE HOUNDS - Regarding your story The Day Mounted Police Chased Down The Hunt - who dreamt up this stunt and what are they saying?... (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.5.02 SIMPLE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING - May I commend your reporter Matthew George for his article about the hunt protest outside the Houses of Parliament… One again it has highlighted the gulf between the city and countryside, a gulf not helped by talk of banning hunting with hounds - a tradition that stretches back through the centuries. Hunting must not be killed off. (letter)
Western Daily Press 23.5.02 THE DAY MOUNTED POLICE CHASED DOWN THE HUNT TO STOP THEM CATCHING BLAIR - Hundreds of police officers were drafted on to the streets yesterday as hunt supporters descended on Parliament. Protestors from across Britain arrived at Westminster with horses and hounds in a bid to block Tony Blair's route to Prime Minister's questions… Matthew Higgs, of the Vale of Aylesbury hunt, said: "As this was the last Prime Minister's questions before the Golden Jubilee recess, we were anxious to give Mr Blair a wake-up call…" (story)
Times 23.5.02 Hounds follow noses to Whitehall protest BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - Hounds and horses paraded through Central London yesterday in an occasionally rowdy protest at moves by the Government to ban foxhunting… Two hunt supporters were arrested. Gervase Thorpe, 34, of St Mawes, Cornwall, was charged with breach of the peace. A second man, aged 47, was cautioned… Martyn Jones, Labour MP for Clwyd South, accused the organisers of being irresponsible and cruel, saying: “They were a danger to themselves, motorists and the animals they claim to look after.” (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.5.02 Hunting workers protest against ban … More than 600 demonstrators, 40 horses and around 50 hounds gathered at the headquarters of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Smith Square, Westminster. Afterwards the rally, organised by the Union of Country Sports Workers, gathered in Parliament Square… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 23.5.02 Hunt supporters stage new protest BY GRAHAM DINES - HUNT workers on horseback and scores of foxhounds brought a key part of Britain's political life to a halt yesterday as they took to the streets of Westminster to oppose a ban on field sports… Four packs of animals from the Essex Farmers' Union, Grafton, the Old Surrey and the Burstow-With-Kent Hounds were allowed by police to run down past the House of Commons and into Smith Square, supervised by mounted huntsmen. Neil Curtis, director of the Union of Country Sports, who lives in Little Bradley near Haverhill, said: "We are here to emphasis to Margaret Beckett and the Government that it is our jobs, our homes and our futures which are at stake if Parliament votes to ban hunting… James Aldous, master of the Suffolk Hunt based at Great Welnetham, near Bury St Edmunds, joined the demonstration to show his support for country workers. The hunt had just ended a 24-hour vigil outside the main entrance to Parliament, but it was refused permission to hand a petition into Downing Street because of a Cabinet meeting…. (story)
Scotsman 23.5.02 Campaign against replicating Holyrood hunting ban south of Border - John Innes - SUPPORTERS of fox-hunting paraded with horses and hounds through central London yesterday in protest against moves to ban the bloodsport south of the Border… John Holliday, a huntsman from Ledbury in Herefordshire, said his livelihood was at risk if the government forces through a ban. "We are not toffs on horses. We have been fobbed off with this consultation period, but what we want to know is how they are going to ban it, not if and why and all the rest of it."… (story)
Worcester Evening News 23.5.02 Counties' hunt supporters take their battle to London - HUNT supporters from Herefordshire and Worcestershire joined others from around the country in parading through central London to protest against moves to ban the bloodsport… (story in archive)
Evening Standard 22.5.02 Hunters parade in streets by Standard Reporter- Foxhunting supporters rallied with horses and hounds in London today to protest against moves to ban the sport…. (story)
Ananova 22.5.02 Hunt supporters parade horses and hounds through London - Fox-hunting supporters have paraded with horses and hounds through London… More than 600 demonstrators, 40 horses and around 50 hounds gathered at the headquarters of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Smith Square… Afterwards the rally, organised by the Union of Country Sports Workers as part of the Countryside Alliance's Summer of Discontent, moved to Parliament Square… (story)
BBC News Online Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK Horses and hounds join protest - Fox hunting hounds and horses were used to disrupt traffic outside Parliament in the latest protest against a possible ban on hunting with hounds… In Wednesday's demonstration, riders and hounds defied attempts by the police to confine them within the centre of Parliament Square… Scores of police were deployed with many more on standby as angry protesters helped the riders break through the barriers…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 30.5.02 Damning evidence - THE pest control claims of England's ''upland'' fell hunting packs have been exposed as fantasy after an undercover investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports established that foxes are being bred and fed for hunting in Cumbria… The league secretly filmed dozens of carcasses dumped only yards from an artificial fox breeding site in woodland at a regular meet of Blencathra Foxhounds in Outhwaite. The site is owned by a prominent supporter of Blencathra… YVONNE HOLLIS, Cumberland Way, Clifton, Penrit (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 27.5.02 Persecution of the hunt set is perplexing - First of all, I apparently support the hunt and now it seems I believe that artificial earth-building is acceptable behaviour… The fox is not an endangered species in this land and the hunting set are unlikely to make it so. The means of killing, while unpleasant, is not much different to those meted out by nature every day… Against this backdrop, I find the persecution and proposed criminalisation of the foxhunting minority somewhat perplexing. MARK RICHARDSON, Great Broughton
Cumberland News & Star 27.5.02 REGARDING Elaine Milbourn's comments about artificial earths (letters, May 22), why is it such a crime to give a fox somewhere to live? To try and ban something that may or may not be going on seems a bit daft… I am not a follower of any hunt but I go shooting and fishing and see first hand what vermin do when not kept under control. WILLIAM SAFFILL, Far Moss, Northside, Workington (letters)
Cumberland News & Star 22.5.02 HUNTING Thanks Mick, you're doing our job for us - IF indeed Mick Casey is the media relations manager of the Countryside Alliance (Letters, May 18) then the anti-hunt lobby can put the champagne on ice now…. J M SAUNDERSON, Chapel Street, Carlisle
Cumberland News & Star 22.5.02 WITH the latest allegations of foxes being bred in man-made earths in the area of the Blencathra Hunt, it is not difficult to see why Mick Casey of the Countryside Alliance is endeavouring to divert attention away from the subject of hunting wild animals for sport (Letters, May 18)…ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letters)
Cumberland News & Star 15.5.02 FOXES 'BEING BRED' FOR CUMBRIA HUNTS - CUMBRIAN trading standards officers are investigating claims that farmers are deliberately boosting the fox population to "supply" the Blencathra Hunt. Undercover animal rights campaigners claim these shocking photographs on the right showing livestock carcasses have been left to feed foxes and artificial earths have been dug for them in the ground… The row erupted after the League presented photos they said proved "a widespread programme of fox breeding and feeding within the territories of several Lake District hunts" … A spokesman for Cumbria trading standards confirmed an investigation was underway. But he said the League had provided "incomplete" evidence which had been edited to support their allegations… (story)

Northwich Guardian 29.5.02 Consign hunting to the history books - CONTRARY to claims by 'Concerned' (letters, May 8), recent opinion polls do show a clear mandate for a ban on hunting with dogs… It is time it was consigned to the history books where it belongs. LISA DEWHURST, Senior press officer, RSPCA (letter in archive)

Horncastle News 29.5.02 Marching for our liberty and livelihood - On Sunday September 22, 2002 we have the Rural Liberty and Livelihood March in London. Everyone should remember why we are marching. It is to remind the present government and their supporters that they have committed or condoned the worst acts of animal cruelty in living memory by murdering almost nine million healthy livestock with their contiguous cull in the foot and mouth outbreak. Saving just one calf… And finally they are trying to destroy our wildlife and infrastructure of the countryside by banning us from our countryside before they have their right to roam… Those that wish to ban hunting with dogs are mainly well-meaning hypocrites. HENRY FOSTER, Woodhall Spa (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.5.02 HOUNDS WHOSE DAYS ARE LIMITED - What an idyllic picture of a hunting hound's life Mary Tapping paints in her article, Pups Out To Prove Their Field Worth, that appeared on May 25. How convenient that she fails to mention what happens to those young hounds that show insufficient inclination to hunt… (letter)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 29.5.02 Foxes' trail of death hits lambing season by Bridget Manley DEVASTATED farmer Clive Bevin has spoken of his worst lambing season to date after a spate of fox attacks left more than 20 new-born lambs dead…. "They were semi-urban foxes, coming in from the built-up area."…

Ananova 29.5.02 Shock animal rights advert banned from cinemas - An advert showing a woman being clubbed to death for her fur coat has been banned from UK cinemas.The commercial is for an anti-fur campaign run by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 29.5.02 TOURING MART FACES ANIMAL RIGHTS DEMO - ANIMAL rights activists are threatening to stage a two-day demo at a market touring Cumbria next month. Representatives of Compassion in World Farming (CWIF) say they have not received any guarantee that paté de foie-gras will not be on sale… Tony Locke, of the Cumbrian branch of CIWF, said the group would stage a demonstration when the market arrived in Keswick on June 14 if the luxury paté was on sale… (story)

Sutton Post 29.5.02 Pet shop is set to go after 'seige' - A FAMILY-RUN pet shop could close after the owners endured "a siege" from animal lovers for taking time off… Julie and David Denyer, who run Safe Haven Pets in Carshalton High Street, are so fed up with interference from people claiming to be worried about the health of their animals they are seriously considering shutting down… the last straw came at the weekend when a woman tried to break in the back gate fearing for the animals' wellbeing… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 29.5.02 Police thanked - …I would like to say a big thank you to the two plain-clothes policemen who called at our house recently. The reason for this courtesy call was to inform my husband of new legislation being passed which could lead to him breaking the law… Sarah Beaven, Merton Avenue, Swindon (letter)

Times 28.5.02 Radical pro-hunt group pledges 'direct action' BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - MILITANT foxhunting suporters have formed a new group threatening “direct action” against the public and anti-hunt MPs. The Countryside Alliance is seeking legal advice to respond to the dissidents, who are calling themselves the Real Countryside Alliance… The alliance has not identified the backers of the group. Yet inquiries revealed that the huntsman in the poster is Sidney Bailey, 63, of the Vale of White Horse Hunt. He was asked to pose for a pro-hunt poster by Mark Hill, a joint master of the hunt… Mr Hill said: “I had no idea this poster was to be in connection with the launch of the Real Countryside Alliance. I thoroughly disassociate myself from such a group and have received an apology from Mark Miller-Mundy.”… In another twist, two huntsmen claimed that they had been approached to be photographed in the poster by Edward Duke, a former alliance chief executive who resigned from the £150,000-a-year post after three months… (story)
Telegraph 28.5.02 Rival alliance denounced - The Countryside Alliance dissociated itself yesterday from a new militant group called the Real Countryside Alliance. It denounced the group's threat to carry out potentially illegal protests… (story)
Telegraph 27.5.02 Hunt group vows to get tough By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - The campaign to save hunting with hounds from a ban entered a new phase yesterday with the launch of a militant group called the Real Countryside Alliance that promises to carry out protests that may break the law. The group… unveiled a huge poster on Cromwell Road, west London, of a freed terrorist beside an imprisoned hunt member… "Countryside disaffection is turning into civil disobedience. These are law-abiding people forced to the edge. A number are prepared to go to jail over this."… The group, which has pledged not to disrupt the Jubilee celebrations, will make statements in the name of John Peel, as the IRA uses the name P O'Neill… The group, which has pledged not to disrupt the Jubilee celebrations, will make statements in the name of John Peel, as the IRA uses the name P O'Neill. A spokesman for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said yesterday: "It is the responsible engagement of people on all sides of the debate on hunting that will influence the Government, not extremism." (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 28.5.02 CLAY PIGEON SHOOT DATE A CLAY pigeon shoot is being organised in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The event, on Saturday June 15, is being run in support of the South Wold Hunt from noon at Oxcomb, north of Tetford… (story)

Western Morning News 28.5.02 Bring in a ban - THE pro-hunting lobbyists have of late tried to defend hunting by saying that, after a hunt ban, fishing would be next. In reality this could only come about if the majority of the public and MPs wanted it… I hope they are allowed to just get on and do it, bringing an end to what I see as a particularly ugly form of entertainment. Stephen Lancaster, Boscastle (letter)

Western Morning News 28.5.02 DOUBLE-STANDARDS OF THE DO-GOODERS - I recently had the misfortune to watch a parliamentary session in progress. What a disastrous rowdy rabble they are… I am well into my 70s and am not a hunting man. I have probably handled more foxes both live and dead than most MPs have ever seen, so I am reasonably qualified to know what I am talking about… the hypocritical do-gooders who wish to inflict their views on us are only too happy to stuff themselves with mass produced chicken breasts, raised in abominable conditions or perhaps they prefer lobster and crabs plunged alive into boiling water… If there was as much fuss engendered over Halal ritual slaughter or cetaceans drowned in nets, as has arisen over foxhunting I might have more respect for the views of those who wish to inflict this will upon us. B W Dymock, Dunstone Yealmpton (letter)

Western Morning News 28.5.02 Wires caught foxes - WE have had a lot more foxes around because during the foot and mouth crisis last year the cubs were not caught or spread around by the hunt. Our two dogs got mange… After losing lambs and seeing a fox with mange I had to put wires down… one fox was dead, the rest I had to kill the best way I could as my revolver had to be given up after the Dunblane shooting… Terry Hooper, Hatherleigh (letter)

Western Morning News 28.5.02 SPREAD IN TB CATTLE CASES NOT SURPRISING - I am saddened but unsurprised at the present cattle TB crisis and renewed calls for yet more badger culls. In fact, the crisis is the clearest possible demonstration that the problem has been a bovine one all along, with spillover to badgers, deer, and even farm cats and dogs… Martin Hancox, Truro (letter)

Western Morning News 28.5.02 GIVE THE PUBLIC THE TRUTH ABOUT BADGERS - The WMN has been very good in standing up for the farmers in the foot and mouth crisis and putting the public in the picture. So why not tell them the truth about how it's not badgers which are responsible for TB in cattle?... Robert Royston, Totnes (letter)

Western Morning News 28.5.02 Scrap Krebs trials now - CONGRATULATIONS to Anthony Gibson for suggesting that it would help if "the Government would have the good sense to scrap the now hopelessly compromised and therefore worthless Krebs trials". The National Beef Association have pointed out that farmers can't wait for Professor Bourne to pursue his "robust" science until 2006 or so. The cattle TB problem needs answers now. Professor W MacPherson, Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 28.5.02 CAN ANIMAL TESTS BRING WORTHWHILE RESULTS? - It was disquieting to learn via two recent WMN reports that research establishments are springing up and expanding everywhere within Plymouth boundaries (Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth), spawning the practice of vivisection… Jacqueline Shortland, Plymouth (letter)

ThisIsDevon (Plymouth Evening Herald or Exeter Express & Echo) 28.5.02 VEGETARIANISM FESTIVAL SPREADS AROUND COUNTY - The South West Festival of Vegetarianism starts in Exeter tomorrow. Now in its second year, this event aims to promote a cruelty-free lifestyle and give people a chance to try different kinds of vegetarian food… Sharon Howe, Lymebourne Avenue, Sidmouth (letter)

Telegraph 27.5.02 Notebook By W F Deedes - I can see it now - a campaign to free the budgerigars - Even among people who detest foxhunting, I find acceptance that its demise will not be the end but the start of a long agenda on animal welfare. They are right. Organisations which have led the campaign against hunting will not shut down, but will seek fresh battlegrounds… Once the idea takes hold that animals have rights, corresponding to human rights, there is virtually no end to it. Religion enters into it. Christians abhor cruelty to animals as detracting from human dignity, but they observe a clear distinction between homo sapiens and the animal kingdom. In a more secular age, that distinction is lost. (story)

Telegraph 27.5.02 Re: No ground for compromise Sir - I do not understand how you can characterise the Countryside Alliance as an organisation that has established "courteous relations with government", when the alliance has already organised the largest ever protest march in London specifically against government policies on the countryside… The alliance is right to confine its protests within the law, and it is also right to talk about hunting to Mr Michael… The joint talk will simply demonstrate to the minister, yet again, that there is no ground for compromise with the anti-hunting bigots, whose extremism is not representative of the population. From: Michael Clayton, Burley on the Hill, Rutland (letter)
Telegraph 25.5.02 (Peterborough) Edited by Guy Adams - Will a hunt deal be done behind closed doors? The future of hunting is to be thrashed out once and for all next month at a secret meeting arranged by the Government, I can reveal. Last week, Labour's rural affairs minister Alun Michael sent a confidential letter to the three biggest groups involved in the dispute - the Countryside Alliance, the parliamentary Middle Way Group and the Countdown to a Ban organisation - inviting them to a day of secret talks on the issue… Talk of a deal has angered hardline anti-hunting activists. "We will never accept compromise on this," says one… The Countryside Alliance confirmed last night that it had agreed to take part in the talks, but declined to comment on details. "We have received a letter from Mr Michael to which we have responded," said a spokesman… (story)
Telegraph 25.5.02 Rural rebellion - Under this Government, as never before, those who love the countryside and believe in its freedom are having a hard time… . The strategy of organisations like the Countryside Alliance and the National Farmers' Union has been to be as unconfrontational as possible and to try to speak in the sort of language which New Labour itself uses… Countryside organisations should not fool themselves. This Government is opposed to field sports, dismissive of the rights of property, obsessed with the need for more regulation of rural business and agriculture and, in the case of some ministers, hostile to livestock farming itself. It is time for all those seeking to represent rural life to take stock, and to ask themselves whether they should not take the gloves off in the fights… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.5.02 JUSTICE FOR THIEVES - Paul Jefferies claims that beagles stolen from the Wye College pack early last year have been photographed in their new homes. I trust that he will furnish the police with any evidence that might lead to the arrest of those people… (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.5.02 The only firebomb I've ever heard of was planted under an animal abusers vehicle who blamed animal rights protesters. But after a police investigation the vehicle owner was arrested for planting it himself (letter)

Argus 27.5.02 A sound hound I write on behalf of greyhounds the world over. When will people stop abusing these wonderful dogs and allow them to live the life they deserve? In Spain, they are hung and stoned to death when the coursing season is over… -Caroline Bassett, Bellingham Crescent, Hove (letter in archive)

Chingford Guardian 27.5.02 Taken to task - HAVE to take you to task following your comments on the demonstration by London Animal Action last Saturday outside Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium. You described their actions as "misdirected"…. It is a sad fact, however, that where animals and profits are involved, cruelty and abuse are an inevitable outcome… TERESA DEACON, Maynard Road, Walthamstow (letter)

Edinburgh Evening News 25.5.02 City animal campaigner honoured - EDINBURGH animal welfare campaigner Les Ward has been presented with a prestigious award for his work for wildlife. Mr Ward, who is director of Edinburgh-based campaign group Advocates for Animals, was named Campaigner of the Year by the International Fund for Animal Welfare in a ceremony at the House of Lords. It was given for his years of tireless campaigning for a ban on hunting with dogs in Scotland… (story)

York Evening Press 25.5.02 Hunting supporters are putting lives at risk IT just goes to show that pro-hunt protesters will do anything to get their message across! Even if it means endangering people's lives, including children who could be travelling in their parents' car. Drivers are distracted by these stupid signs painted on our roads and bridges… D Fillingham, The Crossway, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 21.5.02 Unspeakable art - I PRESUME those cowardly faceless graffitists who have scrawled their promotion of hunting on the bridges spanning the A64 are the same mindless group who dress up in odd garb to chase and frighten the living daylights out of rural foxes… Bob Drought, Acomb, York. (letter in archive)
York Evening Press 20.5.02 Pro-hunt protest takes to the road by Simon Horsborough - POLICE today condemned the actions of hunt supporters who daubed giant slogans on the carriageway surfaces of the county's busiest roads… The spray-painted slogans have appeared on the western side of the A64 at Whitwell-on-the-Hill and on the B1248 at North Grimston. They have also appeared on the sides of bridges over the A64 around York, and on the carriageway surface of the A64 and the A1 motorway at Bramham, near Tadcaster… "There is a serious danger that motorists will be distracted by attempting to read what the slogans say as they are driving. It is grossly irresponsible."… quotes from Andrew Osbourne, joint master of the Sinnington Hunt, Jeremy Timm, senior master for the York and Ainsty South Hunt - no idea who did it. (story in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 25.5.02 Impassioned call for restraint from pro-hunting lobbyist falls on deaf ears by staff of The Darlington & Stockton Times- STAY calm and we will win - that was the message from a leading pro-hunting lobbyist to angry protesters at a meeting in Thirsk. Richard Burge, head of the Countryside Alliance, told a meeting of the group's North Yorkshire branch that now was not the time for direct, physical action… He said there would be no negotiation over which sections of the blood sport could go. "If we even consider sacrificing one form because we feel that if we let it go, then they will ease off the rest of us, that is the most immoral position we can hold. We are here to defend all of it properly and legitimately."… Despite a lengthy speech pleading for restraint, the message from his audience was that they were ready to take to the streets… One man asked when they could start throwing eggs. Mr Burge said it would be better publicity to be seen offering Government ministers the chance to negotiate. "We'll talk to them, then give 'em the eggs," was the reply… (story in archive)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 25.5.02 ARE CHILDREN DYING FOR A BURGER …The Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation (VVF), which has produced a campaign leaflet picturing the smoking girl with the burger, claims that a diet containing animal and dairy products early in life can lay the ground for heart disease, some types of cancer and diabetes later on… quotes from VVF's senior nutritionist, Laura Scott, Stephen Walsh, spokesman on nutrition and health for the Vegan Society… Dominic Western, of Stafford, who has been vegetarian since he was 25 and is bringing his baby Cameron up to be a veggie, thinks this will alienate the public from the idea of vegetarianism…


Lincolnshire Echo 25.5.02 VEGGIE MENUS NEED A BOOST On behalf of the growing number of vegetarians in the area, may I please appeal to Lincoln restaurants to extend their repertoire of "veggie" dishes… JANIS WRIGHT Valley Estate, Branston. (letter)

Telegraph 24.5.02 Foxes 'will suffer' from hunting ban By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - A former anti-hunting activist told MPs and peers yesterday why he believed a ban on the sport would increase the suffering of foxes. Miles Cooper said that if hunting with hounds were outlawed, foxes would be pursued by gun packs and there would be an increase in the number left injured. He was speaking at a briefing in the Commons organised by the Middle Way Group… Mr Cooper, who worked for the Hunt Saboteurs Association and the League Against Cruel Sports in the 1990s, is also an expert on the use of gun packs… (story)

Hexham Courant 24.5.02 BAN 'CRUEL' HUNTING NOW, SAYS LEAGUE - ANIMAL rights activists have called on the Government to abandon the consultation process into hunting with hounds and to enact a ban on the sport immediately. The chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, Douglas Batchelor, has written to the MP leading the consultation process… He argued this should happen because hunt supporters in Tynedale and the rest of Britain had not accepted the Government's decision to debate a Bill which would enact legislation… On the League Against Cruel Sports website, Mr Batchelor said: "Our experience is that some hunters will not confine themselves to peaceful protest. The evidence suggests that hunts will not only be engaging in peaceful protest, but also civil disobedience and intimidation."… quotes from Richard Dodd, regional director for the Countryside Alliance, Hexham MP Peter Atkinson, huntsman Andrew Robb, from Settlingstones Kennels near Newbrough. (story)

Telegraph 24.5.02 Vicar's tea party …I heard an anti-hunting spokesman for the RSPCA advocating pest control of foxes by transfixing them with a bright beam of light and shooting them with a rifle. I have seen this method used on kangaroos in Australia, while making a film… The scenes in it rank high on a list of human bestiality, making hunting with dogs look like a vicar's tea party Evan Jones, London E14 (letter)

Mirror 24.5.02 …A lot of Koreans despise the practice of boiling dogs alive or beating them to death - just as many in the UK despise fox hunting. Mrs B Phillips Norwich (letter)

Banbury Guardian 24.5.02 SAVE OUR SPORTS - Those of us who enjoy our countryside sporting activities before it is too late must act now… Fishing, shooting, ferreting, hawking, deer stalking, eventing, dressage, show jumping, cross country, hunting, hound trailing, hound puppy and terrier shows, racing and point to points – the list is endess and all will follow the demise of hunting… Ronnie Pettifer, Ashby Cottage, Eydon (letter)

Shropshire Star 24.5.02 Writer in the dark over hunt - Your correspondent Jane Miles claims to work in hunting, but she clearly doesn't know her trade very well… anti-hunt campaigners can provide evidence and reports of dozens of horrible incidents that have happened since foot and mouth regulations were lifted late last year… Artificial earths, which are built to house and encourage foxes onto hunted land, are not denied and are often promoted by the hunting fraternity… Name and address supplied

Telegraph 24.5.02 Labour dogged by hypocrisy - Tony Blair had a revelatory experience in Bangalore last January. According to his own account yesterday, he met some biotech scientists who told him: "Europe has gone soft on science; we are going to leapfrog you and you will miss out."… He has personally backed the proposed new centre for neurological research in Cambridge, which would involve using primates to test potential cures for diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. He deplores the idea that it might not be built because of "unlawful protests"… But who encouraged the political atmosphere in which "unlawful protests" by animal activists have recently thrived?... The Government is pursuing its hunting ban on the basis of spurious claims about cruelty that are not supported by the report that the Government itself commissioned… (story)

Lancaster Guardian 24.5.02 Cockfight defence is dismissed - A MAN who claimed he had a 'reasonable excuse' for being present at an illegal cockfight had his defence thrown out by magistrates. Henry Brockhill, 28, appeared in court last week charged with being present at a cockfight on St George's Quay on May 27 last year… he claimed he had received a telephone call from a friend, David Howard. Brockhill claimed Mr Howard, who has also been convicted of attending the cockfight, asked him to pick him up from the warehouse and he had arrived just before the police… In reaching their verdict magistrates told Brockhill they were 'not persuaded' by Mr Howard's evidence and rejected his excuse for being at the warehouse. Brockhill was fined £150 and ordered to pay £350 costs. (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 18.5.02 Anger at £150 cockfight fine - Ann-Marie Houghton - Animal rights campaigners reacted with anger today after a man caught at a cockfight walked free from court. Henry Brockhill was fined £150 after being swept up in a police and RSPCA raid on a warehouse littered with decapitated and bloodstained birds… RSPCA Chief Inspector Terry Spamer added: "The fact that there is no prison sentence for people being present at a cockfight is wrong…" A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports said: "The judicial system should catch up with the 21st century and start treating animals with respect… Sixteen people, including two youths, mainly from the travelling community were arrested in the raid… (story)
Lancaster Guardian 5.4.02 Cockfight gamblers fined by court - TWO men who watched and bet on an illegal cockfight at a warehouse on St George's Quay in Lancaster were fined £200 each. Mark Richard Hutchinson, 45, and Ivan Hall, 41, appeared in court last week charged with being at the cockfight on May 27 last year and placing bets on the outcome... (story)
Morecambe Visitor 13.3.02 Court hearing for cockfight spectators - THREE men who attended a cockfight in a warehouse on St George's Quay have been conditionally discharged by magistrates. Alan Stewart, 42, of Vale Road in Lancaster, David Brockhill, 34, of Hale Carr Lane in Morecambe and John Harrison, 41, of Oxcliffe Road in Morecambe all pleaded guilty to attending the event on May 27 last year... (story in archive)
Morecambe Visitor 19.12.01 Cock-fighting charges - THIRTEEN men suspected of participating in an organised cock-fight have appeared before Lancaster magistrates charged with causing unnecessary suffering... James Ainley, 17, of Stockabank Plantation in Quernmore; Wesley Allan, 34, of Broadlane Caravan Site in Formby; David Brockhill, 33, of Hale Carr Lane in Heysham; Henry Brockhill, 28, also of Hale Carr Lane; Joseph Gorman, 37, of Broadlane Caravan Site in Formby; John Harrison, 40, of Oxcliffe Road in Heysham; John Harrison, 18, of the same address; John Howard, 33, of Oxcliffe Road; David Howard, 25, of Broadfields Caravan Park in Heysham; Mark Hutchinson, 45, of Oxcliffe Road; John Kelly, 40, of the Broadlane Caravan Site in Formby; Alan Stewart, 42, of Vale Road in Lancaster and John Walker, 37 of Common Lane in Cheshire will appear again on Friday, January 25. (story)
Lancashire Evening Post 4.12.01 14 charged after swoop on cockfight - The accused include four people from Morecambe, two from Lancaster, three from Heysham and three from Formby. Two people who travelled from Nottingham and Cheshire will also appear in court after police raided a warehouse at Howard's Scrapyard, St George's Quay, Lancaster - joint operation by Lancaster Police and the RSPCA Special Operations Unit. (story)

Argus 24.5.02 All together now … There is a minority that dislikes seagulls and this is the time these people start to rear their heads because it is the seagulls' main mating season… I agree with Roger Musselle of Woodingdean Wildlife Rescue, who said: "We should all be able to live together." -Gloria Wheatcroft, The Drive, Hove(letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 24.5.02 Before the World Cup, think of the animals… I will soon be cheering for England in the World Cup. However, before we sit down to enjoy this great event there are two things I must bring to your attention. One that some footballers will be wearing Adidas boots which are made from kangaroo skins… Two that in Korea, where the World Cup is taking place, millions of dogs and hundreds of thousands of cats are tortured, killed and eaten…. M Harrison, Beaulieu Close, Toothill (letter in archive)

Irish Times 24.5.02 … Korea is a country which will benefit greatly from the World Cup, but while all of this excitement is going on, many poor animals are suffering immensely…. MARY CHUNDEE, Friends of Animals, Rescue Centre, Cullionbeg, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. (letter)

Irish Independent 24.5.02 Stop killing the whales … There is something compellingly awesome about whales. They are our modern day dinosaur. However, I truly believe that we humans will never be happy until they are wiped out completely. Then we can look around, blame some other force for their demise and forage for some new creature to torture and kill…. Damien Boyd, Westbury Estate, Wilton, Cork (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.5.02 RURAL DEBATE SNUBS FIELD SPORTS GROUP - Labour's first rural conference will not be addressing the full range of countryside issues if it fails to debate field sports, the Countryside Alliance has warned… So far no invitation has been issued to the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance. Event sponsors, the Transport and General Workers Union and the Co-op, Britain's biggest farmer, are both anti-bloodsports… (story)
Scotsman 22.5.02 Country priority forum - Farming Staff - LABOUR is to hold a special conference on rural affairs to counter charges that it is a city-based party ignorant of the countryside… The move will inevitably be seen as a response to accusations that, over hunting and foot-and-mouth, the government was out of touch with the countryside. The party conference will be held at Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire, from 19 to 21 July… (story)
Western Morning News 22.5.02 LABOUR GOES RURAL WITH COUNTRYSIDE CONFERENCE - JASON GROVES - New Labour is to make a fresh attempt to rebuild its battered rural image in the wake of the foot and mouth crisis by holding a special "countryside conference" later in the year. The surprise move to hold a Labour Party rural conference was announced by Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett yesterday and was immediately dismissed as a gimmick by political opponents… Labour officials were unable to say whether the event would be attended by the Prime Minister or other senior ministers… It was also unclear whether the controversial issue of foxhunting will be on the agenda… (story)
Birmingham Post 22.5.02 Taking issue on rural affairs By Staff Reporter, Birmingham Post - Labour is to hold a special conference in the Midlands on rural affairs to counter charges that it is a city-based party ignorant of the countryside. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett claimed it was the first political party conference devoted to the subject of "the priorities of rural communities"… (story)
Shropshire Star 22.5.02 Labour plans rural summit for county By John Hipwood - The first ever rural conference to be organised by a major political party in Britain is to be staged by the Labour Party in Shropshire this summer… (story)

East Grinstead Observer 22.5.02, Surrey Mirror 23.5.02 Hunt saboteur found with 'chemical' - East Grinstead Observer …Redhill magistrates were told that Paula Blackedge, 20, set out to disrupt a meeting of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt at a meet on February 2. She admitted a charge of aggravated trespass in at Blackgrove Farm, Tandridge Lane, Lingfield… Peter Bert, prosecuting, said …"She intended to cause disruption and police found citronella - a type of irritant - on her, which can interfere with the hunt activities, and so she was intent on causing a breach of the peace,"… Blackedge, of Bear Road, Brighton, was given a conditional discharge for 18 months and was ordered to keep the peace at any hunt in England or Wales. If she breaks the conditions, she could forfeit £500 (story)

Telegraph 23.5.02 (Peterborough) …a point-to-point race has been named in his honour: the Auberon Waugh Memorial Open Maiden Race, at the Torrington Farmers' Hunt on Exmoor on June 15… (story)

Leicester Mercury 23.5.02 SHOPPERS SIGN PETITION CALLING FOR HUNTING BAN - Scores of Leicester shoppers and residents threw their weight behind a campaign to get an outright ban slapped on hunting in Britain. Supporters from the Campaign for the Protection of the Hunted Animal collected names in the city centre. Among those backing the initiative was North West Leicestershire's Labour backbencher David Taylor. Campaigner Jane Taylor said supporters were delighted with the MP's help…. (story)

Western Daily Press 23.5.02 I was interested to read Susan Paine's letter that no fox is thrown to the hounds alive. I would refer her to the League Against Cruel Sports video Chaos in the Countryside, secretly taken which shows a terrified fox being dug out and thrown to hounds alive… Rev Bert Jones. Wroughton Swindon Wiltshire (letter)

(Daily Post) 23.5.02 New group will fight to save game shooting By Andrew Forgrave Rural Affairs Editor - COUNTRY sports enthusiasts in North Wales have vowed to save game shooting from the clutches of animal rights activists. A new alliance representing different sporting interests, from ferreting to wild fowling, was formally established at Rhuallt on Tuesday. The group, as yet unnamed, also hopes to attract support from North Wales anglers to combat what it sees as steady erosion of country sports and threat to rural community's… In a separate move the North Wales committee of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation vowed to start a letter writing campaign targeting the region's politicians… A group calling itself the Wales Opponents of Pheasant Shooting, set up in recent weeks, has prompted fears that battle is about to commence… (story)

Scotsman 23.5.02 Blair defends GM development - Fraser Nelson Westminster Editor - TONY BLAIR will today mount a robust defence of scientists who develop GM crops and use animals in experiments - and condemn activists who take direct action against them…Mark Matfield, director of the Research Defence Society, said the Prime Minister’s intervention is timely. "We welcome this hugely," he said… (story)
Times 20.5.02 Blair condemns protesters who thwart science BY PHILIP WEBSTER, POLITICAL EDITOR, AND MARK HENDERSON, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT - TONY BLAIR has promised to break down the “anti- science fashion” in Britain, declaring that the Government will never give way to misguided protesters who stand in the way of medical and economic advance… Mark Matfield, director of the Research Defence Society, which speaks up for scientists involved in animal experiments, said last night: “We welcome this hugely…." An exclusive interview with Tony Blair will appear in The Times tomorrow… (story)
Yorkshire Post 20.5.02 Time to defend science, says Blair … The Prime Minister warned that animals rights protesters and environmentalists would not be allowed to stand in the way of legitimate breakthroughs… (story)
Ananova 19.5.02 Campaigners must not stop scientific progress - Blair - Tony Blair will "defend science" against attacks by campaigners who he says are jeopardising British medical and economic progress. The Prime Minister warns that animal rights protesters and environmentalists will not be allowed to stand in the way of legitimate breakthroughs… (story)

Western Daily Press 23.5.02 SPORTING EVENT MARRED BY CRUELTY …Tens of thousands of soccer fans from across the world will descend on South Korea in support of their national teams … No doubt the Korean authorities will do their utmost to keep all these soccer visitors away from the dog and cat markets on the streets of various South Korean cities where dog and cat meat are regarded as gourmet foods produced by slaughtering methods which are so cruel and barbaric as to be almost indescribable… Brian Watkins Thornbury Gloucestershire (letter)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 23.5.02 ANIMAL CRUELTY MAKES ME SAD - I am very angry about cruelty to animals. I feel very strongly and upset that animals are killed and abandoned… . I think that guns should be banned to stop people from killing animals. BY JESSICA STANWAY aged nine Seabridge Junior School (letter)

York Evening Press 22.5.02 MEP wins change in shoot rules by Evening Press reporter - EUROPEAN rules which could have seen every shoot or hunting party employ a vet to inspect birds after they had been shot have been altered at the eleventh hour… Yorkshire and Humber MEP Robert Goodwill secured last-minute changes after branding the proposals too bureaucratic… Mr Goodwill, who is Conservative environment spokesman in Europe, negotiated exemptions which will allow hunters to continue shooting wild game and supplying them in small quantities direct to local butchers, markets and restaurants… (story in archive)

Glasgow Herald 22.5.02 Not a species - IT is misleading of Kirsty Macleod (Letters, May 20) to describe hill shepherds as a species (with or without inverted commas). Hill shepherds have the ability to re-create themselves as foresters, software engineers, or even conservationists; hen harriers do not have the ability to re-create themselves as grouse… Dennis Smith, 11a Marchhall Crescent, Edinburgh. (letter may be in archive)
Glasgow Herald 20.5.02 Obsessed by raptors - PEOPLE Too categorically refutes the allegations of raptor persecution which are being made by Professor Smout (Letters, May 17). He states that we are "about to start a new negative campaign about birds of prey". This is simply not true. He may be obsessed with raptors but we are not… To counter his claim that we were down to 1000 grey seals before protection, I can say that we're down to about 1000 hill shepherds in Scotland today. The difference in the government's approach to both "species" is that, whereas one is being left to total extermination through politics, without any value placed on their contribution to the landscape and heritage of Scotland, the other is guaranteed by law (and in perpetuity) the right to a viable and protected population… Kirsty Macleod, People Too, PO Box 8002, Spean Bridge, Inverness-shire PH34
Glasgow Herald 20.5.02 THE point I made in my letter (May 15) about committee mentality in the wildlife debate could not have been better illustrated than by the response from Bill Macaskill (May 17). In spite of my statement of neutrality, he seems to regard me as an opponent… But enough of this: I'm off to conserve another armchair. Douglas McNicol, 78 Hazelwood Road, Bridge of Weir. (letters may be in archive)
Glasgow Herald 17.5.02 I AM happy to explain to Niall McKillop (Letters, May 15) why I am concerned about seal conservation. Before the state intervened to protect them, the grey seal population had been reduced to perhaps 1000 individuals… People Too don't seem to care or listen. Sadly, it is about to start a new negative campaign about birds of prey. In whose interests will that be, except wildlife criminals and a few lairds?
Glasgow Herald 15.5.02 Disturbing evidence in the wildlife debate - THE recent wildlife contributions from such eminent people as Bernard Zonfrillo, Christopher Smout (May 10), and Niall McKillop (May 13) intrigue me… It is not being melodramatic to say that the preservation of the biodiversity of the planet is vital to the survival of us all… Douglas McNicol, 78 Hazelwood Road, Bridge of Weir…
… I recall no-one at People Too meetings calling for a "doubling" of sheep or deer numbers, other than humorously and in the context of keeping abreast of the increasing numbers of countryside rangers and other so-called conservationists now in (rather than of) our countryside… Nature is intrinsically pragmatic when allowed to be. What has ever-more bureaucracy to offer it? Niall McKillop, Ford Cottage, Badabrie, Fort William. (letters may be in archive)
Glasgow Herald 14.5.02 The two main problems of People Too …they appear to endorse what are illegal or harmful practices in the countryside. At their inaugural conference in Perth last autumn one speaker called for the freedom to destroy raptors on the estate where he worked… Andrew M Fraser, Cradlehall Cottage, Caulfield Road North, Inverness.
Niall McKillop should check his facts before advancing conspiracy theories. He is completely wrong to claim that I "was a close colleague at the Inverness Courier of Jim Love", whose brother apparently works for Scottish Natural Heritage… implication that I am involved in some sinister plot to defend SNH is pure fantasy… Rob Edwards, environment editor, Sunday Herald. (letters may be in archive)
Glasgow Herald 10.4.02 From a city address, knowledge of countryside - Margie Currie's letter (May 8) amused me. Clearly she has believed the propaganda spouted by People Too; an organisation geared to jack-booting their way over hard-won wildlife legislation… Bernard Zonfrillo, 28 Brodie Road, Glasgow.
IT is absurd for Margie Currie to claim that People Too are not anti-conservation. They are publicly opposed to the conservation of seals on Islay and Barra, of red-throated divers on Yell, of hen harriers on Arran. Their leader Ian Mitchell is a bitter opponent of the RSPB's attempts to conserve the corncrake in the Hebrides… Christopher Smout, Chesterhill, Shore Road, Anstruther, Fife. (letters may be in archive)
The Herald (Glasgow) 6.5.02 Strangle this pressure group at birth - YOUR editorial of May 2, apparently supporting the new "pressure group" People Too, should perhaps reconsider its stance... The natural assets of Scotland that require legislation and active protection would rapidly vanish in the hands of the poisoners and shooters that are the bedfellows of People Too. They seek to decriminalise the illegal activities of those who by chance live and work in the countryside.... Instead of being given the oxygen of publicity People Too should be strangled at birth. Bernard Zonfrillo, 28 Brodie Road,Glasgow.
IN your excellent and balanced editorial, Rural lifestyles and wildlife, in summing up the proposed function of the People Too network you correctly pointed out the increasing polarisation between what has now become known as the conservation industry, and those who earn a living in, or from, our rural areas... That SNH would ultimately submit to democratic will was never in doubt. But those who live in our cities must, if they wish to continue to enjoy their leisure time in our rich and diverse countryside, beware of ideologues whose aim is simply to sterilise... Niall McKillop, Ford Cottage, Badabrie, Banavie, Fort William. (letters may be in archive)
The Herald (Glasgow) 2.5.02 Taking country fight to town - A NEW rural pressure group yesterday promised to win the hearts and minds of the Scottish public in a fight against what it claims is bureaucratic meddling in countryside affairs. At its launch in Edinburgh last night, the founders of People Too - a non-partisan network - said they would win the war of words over the future of rural areas... (story in archive)

Irish Times 22.5.02 Sir, - Scientists have again been allowed to let their curiosity run unbridled. This time American scientists have created "Ratbots" - rats programmed like robots (Irish Times, May 4th). Rats are not robots; they are unique, individual creatures capable of feeling pain and performing their natural behaviours… VYONNE SMALLEY, Irish Anti-Vivisection Society, Greystones, Co Wicklow. (letter)

Argus 22.5.02 Organic chickens' fate - Yes, Susan Baumgardt, you are quite right to talk about chickens suffering before being killed to be eaten by humans (Letters, May 16) but why is it all right for people to buy only organic chickens to eat instead?.. -M Frankel, Hove (letter in archive)
Argus 16.5.02 A nasty, brutish and short life - M Frankel is right to refer to the pain of cockfighting (Letters, May 10) but she should remember, whereas cockfighting is illegal, rearing broiler chickens for food is still condoned by law… -Susan Baumgardt, Stoneham Road, Hove (letter in archive)
Argus 10.5.02 Cockfighting's wrong - People moan about chicken eaters but cock fighting beats the lot, with its long, drawn-out pain leading to the chicken's slow, bloody death. -M Frankel, Brighton (letter in archive)

Western Mail 21.5.02 Pro-hunting slogans on roads are `slippery' - Carl Yapp, The Western Mail - ANTI-Government and pro-hunting slogans smeared across roads are a clear sign of people's frustration about the controversial issue in rural Wales, the Countryside Alliance has claimed. Eleven slogans which included Keep Hunting, Ban Blair and Save Hunting, were plastered on the A470 between Newtown and Llangurig and the B4518 between Llanidloes and Staylittle, all in Powys… The slogans were criticised by Powys County Council, which claimed the messages made the roads slippery and dangerous to motorists… Llanidloes police said they were still investigating the crime. (story)
Shropshire Star 17.5.02 Slogans backed by huntsman By Chris Hudson -A Mid Wales huntsman has come out in support of mystery slogan-writers who painted pro-hunting and anti-Government messages across three Powys roads. The slogans - which include messages such as 'Keep Hunting and Ban Blair' and 'Save Hunting' - appeared in the early hours of yesterday morning on the A489 between Caersws and Newtown, the A470 between Llangurig and Llanidloes and on the B4518 between Llanidloes and Staylittle… David Jones of the David Davies hunt in Llandinam said… he had no idea who was responsible for painting the slogans, but he did not know what else could be done when the Government was not interested in the country way of life… (story) (photo)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 FOXES WILL SUFFER MORE IF THERE'S A BAN ON HUNTING - In reply to Liz Wallace's letter, to take revenge on the fox, had never entered my head, all I wanted was my chickens to roam free range as they always have… My chickens and ducks are now once again enjoying roaming the fields. The fox that killed their mates was not so lucky. Somebody had shot him, and he was found in a shed belonging to a friend of mine, dying in agony of gangrene, as soon as he was found he was humanely dispatched… I still maintain that I've never heard a fox scream, when being killed by hounds. Maybe he does but with the noise made by the hounds, it would be impossible to distinguish a fox's scream… Peggy Garvey, Lydford (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 Where were the opponents? - SHOULD like to put the record straight on yet another misleading statement by the League Against Cruel Sports. Contrary to their spokesman's interview on BBC's Spotlight following the Countryside Alliance rally at Westpoint and march to DEFRA offices on April 12, there is no policy of "intimidation" of DEFRA staff. Quite the opposite. I can vouch for the fact that all staff members who passed along the road where I stood exchanged smiles with pleasantries… P A Thomson, Okehampton (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 Failure to respond - I SEE the so-called "hunters" have still not responded to my enquiry about switching to drag hunting… As for the pathetic outburst on the subject by E M Roberts (WMN, April 30), you needn't have bothered. I still think people who kill animals in the name of sport are idiots! Kim Simpson, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 21.5.02 Reasons why - YOU published a letter by a Kim Simpson from Stoke in Plymouth, who asks rather rudely, why the "idiots who are pro-hunting don't turn to drag hunting". I'll tell him. Farmers allow a hunt over their land to kill or disperse foxes that are causing damage on their farms… No farmer would allow it if there wasn't a good chance the hunt would kill or scatter the foxes… Mrs C Duffin, Truro (letter)
Western Morning News 30.4.02 LET TOWN FOLK TACKLE PROBLEMS ON THEIR DOORSTEP - With reference to Kim Simpson, (WMN, April 26), calling hunt supporters idiots, illustrates the anti-hunting lobby's own ignorance. They haven't a clue what hunting is about…. what good is drag hunting going to do to save the red deer? Don't they realise the hunters have been looking after the herds of deer for generations - that's why we have the best herds of deer in the country. They take the old and injured deer, some shot by poachers, and leave the healthy… I am sure there's more to do in towns than interfere with hunting - such as helping with the homeless, jobless, crime, drugs and poverty. Why don't they put more into these things and leave us alone. Hunting is the only way. E M Roberts, Witheridge, Tiverton (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 Carry on campaigning - ARE we supposed to be quaking in our boots over the Countryside Alliance's proposal to have a "summer of discontent?... I think, by the end of the summer, the Countryside Alliance will be a laughing stock! C Duke, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 Ban these dogs too - YOUR correspondent F Cleaves said hounds caused damage, panic and chaos at Bugle and St Merryn. I wonder why he didn't mention the panic, damage and death caused to sheep by pet dogs… Terry Hooper, Hatherleigh (letter)
Western Morning News 14.5.02 Hound havoc - "WE always have control over our hounds" they say, so how come that twice in one week hounds have caused chaos?... British Transport Police are investigating how hounds strayed onto a railway line at Bugle in thick fog… a pack of dogs entered the playground of the village school at St Merryn… F Cleaves, Par (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 BEHAVING IN A WAY THEIR SUPPORTERS CONDEMN - I speculate on what the so-called Countryside Alliance, which has been hijacked by the pro-hunting fraternity for their own activities, hope to gain from acting in a way which they themselves are quick to condemn if perpetuated by others. Apparently they intend despatching mobs of hunt supporters to disrupt and harass meetings held by anti-hunting MPs... This proposed action certainly shows these narrow minded, self-satisfied and bigoted individuals in their true light. John C Corcoran, Umberleigh (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 What was fate? AM I alone among your readers in wondering what happened to that pack of beagles stolen by some animal rights group or other about a year ago? Was it all a hoax? Have the dogs been returned to their rightful owners? Have they all been "re-homed" as claimed - all 46 of them complete with identifying ear tattoos?... M Hunter, South Zeal (letter)

Western Morning News 21.5.02 COMPARE THE HUNTED FOX TO THE POOR SHARK - I don't know whether the composition of page three of the Western Morning News on April 17 was a masterpiece of editorial irony or a simple fluke which achieved the same effect - namely to expose Candy Atherton's opinion upon the fate of the fox for the falsehood that it is. The adjoining report upon the landing of a giant porbeagle shark, after having its bowels ripped to pieces by an 8in hook for over two hours, really puts the demise of the hunted fox into proper perspective… C A Gribble, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 21.5.02 WILFUL DAMAGE - Your correspondent A Williams says that hunt sabotage is nonviolent. Perhaps it is in Bath, yet the term itself means wilful damage. That some hunt saboteurs take this literally is demonstrated by a serious attack on the home of a huntsman and his pregnant wife; a pensioner's car destroyed; a firebomb placed under another supporter's car, and the theft of 55 beagles… Susan Paine Minehead Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.5.02 THE FACTS ABOUT OUR SABOTEURS - In response to the letter by Susan Paine the only ignorance comes from people who try to justify blood sports with pathetic propaganda and excuses, hunting wild animals for pleasure is cruel and senseless… It is the people who torture and kill animals who are violent and have no conscience. (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.5.02 SABOTEURS ARE THE VICTIMS - Susan Paine accuses hunt saboteurs of violence… Three hunt saboteurs have lost their lives due to the actions of hunt supporters.A couple of years ago a hunt supporter drove his Landrover at hunt sab Steve Christmas… (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.5.02 THE TACTICS OF INTIMIDATION - Mr Watson claims there are militant fanatics among the pro-hunting people and quotes various incidents. Hunt saboteurs regularly employ violence, arson and intimidation. I've seen them walk alongside a small girl on a pony, directing at her a stream of muttered abuse. It's hardly surprising that hunt staff and followers, attacked and interfered with as they go about their still perfectly legal activities, occasionally lose their cool… Susan Paine Withypool Minehead Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 1.5.02 MILITANTS ON BOTH SIDES - Violent anti-hunt protesters make headlines, but what about the militant fanatics in the pro-hunting lobby? This foxhunting season, 24 incidents occurred in which hunt supporters and officials attacked individuals opposed to their idea of a good day's sport…. When the pro-hunting lobby has a reputation for serious disturbance - including throwing flour and eggs at one Government minister in a public hall, dousing another with urine, and in Scotland - when the anti-hunting Bill was under debate - trying to ride through police lines and injuring a policeman with a smoke bomb - clearly it is time to restore last season's Hunting Bill to the House of Commons… (letter)

Shropshire Star 21.5.02 My poultry was killed by foxes - I speak for the farming community. When my late husband and I married in 1954 we had a smallholding….The eggs we sold helped to pay for the bills. One morning when I went to feed the poultry I was met by a terrible shock. All the poultry had their heads bitten off by foxes… No ban on foxhunting I say. The present government want to forget legislating for the ban. They want to concentrate all their energies on education, police, crime, transport and national health… J E Burgoyne, Powys (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.5.02 DEER PROTECTION SOCIETY THANKS ITS SUPPORTERS - South West Deer Protection would like to thank everyone who gave to their collection in Exeter on May 11. We raised £146.87. Janice Vearncombe, Treasurer, South West Deer Protection, Taunton (letter)

Western Mail 21.5.02 Shooters rally support to defend rural sports …The British Association for Shooting and Conservation's North Wales committee is holding an open meeting for all country sports supporters tonight at the Farmers Arms on the B5429 Trefnant Road, just off the A55, starting at 7.30pm. Gamekeeper Harold Jones, chairman of the BASC committee, said "This meeting will gather new ideas from all sectors of the rural community and we plan future events to promote and safeguard the right to take part in legitimate shooting sports."… (story)

Leicester Mercury 21.5.02 ANGLERS PUT IN FIRING LINE …I must respond to your Focus article which appeared on May 2, headlined Shot in the neck. The RSPCA has for many years campaigned against hunting and it now seems it is turning its attention to angling, using whatever tenuous avenue it can find even if that avenue is far fetched. While no-one deplores the injuries inflicted on the swan pictured in the article more than responsible field sport followers, for the piece to insinuate that anglers were responsible is both ludicrous and slanderous… Alan Smith, Leics Angling Federation (letter)

Leicester Mercury 2.5.02 SHOT IN THE NECK - To you and me she's a brilliant white beauty, symbolic of England's green and pleasant land, a refined vision of Mother Nature's living, breathing majesty. To someone else, she was target practice… She'll suffer a slow agonising death unless Leicester RSPCA animal collection officers (ACOs) Steve Smith and Richard Durant can get her off her nest… The suspicion at the scene is that anglers tangled with the bird, killing its mate who probably became aggressive when they got too close and injuring her in the process… (story)

Leicester Mercury 21.5.02 PRIORITIES WRONG …We have seen the National Crime Squad spend thousands of pounds and hours investigating animal rights campaigners and then running around the country arresting people for alleged minor public order offences…Burglary, rape, assaults, murder and major public orders offences, such as fighting on the streets at night, should be the priority, not people who are demonstrating… Neil James Wolverhampton (letter)

Times 21.5.02 HLS calls for better safety for research BY MARK COURT - HUNTINGDON Life Sciences (HLS), the animal testing laboratory under siege from animal rights protesters, has called on the Government to take further measures to protect the UK’s research base… (story)

Edinburgh News 21.5.02 Kangaroo meat is a cruel trade - IT was with great dismay that I read that an application has been made by Walkabout Pubs to open new premises at the Omni Complex… The fact is the kangaroo cull is the biggest massacre of wild land animals in the world… John Cowen Stewart Terrace, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh News 13.5.02 Aussie pub’s owners told to hop it - By BRIAN FERGUSON …Edinburgh is set to get its first taste of the Walkabout experience, which notoriously includes kangaroo, crocodile steaks and emu burgers…But the opening of the Edinburgh venture, believed to be earmarked for the new Omni complex at Greenside Place, could be marred by protests from vegetarians… The Vegetarians International Voice for Animals group has waged a three-year campaign, claiming Australia is home to the biggest massacre of wild land animals in the world… Kat MacMillan said: "We’ve already been successful in persuading all the major supermarkets and numerous restaurants to withdraw from the trade. .." (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 20.5.02 Tempting the foxes - Sir, - Judy Foster's letter 'We need to keep the balance' (EADT, May 13) included the following line, "Perhaps if we had fewer foxes we could have more free-range hens"… artificial earths etc… Are the foxes pests or convenient blood sports tools? IAN SMITH, Philip Road, Ipswich. (letter)

East Anglian Daily Times 20.5.02 Cruelty is indefensible … it annoys me when people defending blood sports suggest it is not important compared to animal cruelty such as live animal exports, battery hens etc… the people putting obstacles in the way of legislation would be the same people who are pro blood sports. MISS S BEARHAM, Crocklands Corner, Greenstead Green, Halstead. (letter)

Western Morning News 20.5.02 FABRIC OF RURAL LIFE IS UNRAVELLING FAST - Out of the 4,000 cases of animal mistreatment reported to have been investigated in Devon and Cornwall last year by the RSPCA it would be interesting to learn… how many of the cases concerned domestic animals belonging to people who hunt or who actively support hunting. Precious few, I suspect... If foxhunting ceases there will, unfortunately, be many more cases like the accidental death of Bella the lurcher who licked poison, probably strychnine, off bait laid for badgers…. J Ward-Hayne, Modbury South Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 20.5.02 Hunt - don't kill - WITH reference to hunt supporter Camilla Jackson's attention seeking protest in London (WMN, April 29). I'm afraid the only thing that really showed was that the Countryside Alliance has no valid argument and doesn't that show!... Marion Short, Upton, Torquay (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.5.02 SLUR ON FARMERS IS SO UNFAIR - How absurd of E A Richards to suggest that I find foxes evil or wicked. Equally absurd, or worse, is the suggestion that I don't bother to look after my lambs properly… This is all fantasy and further proof of the muddle-headed nonsense of the farmer/hunter bashers. Janie Clifford Frampton on Severn Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.5.02 NASTY MR FOX ISN'T PART OF REALITY If J Clifford was really interested in the welfare of lambs, or any farm animal he or she would send in photographs of the real suffering …The pre-planned foxhunting season or any other cruel sport, is not organised because of concern for lambs and chickens…(letter)
Western Daily Press 15.5.02 IT'S ALL A QUESTION OF SURVIVAL - There are few things more irritating than a farmer shedding tears over a lamb allegedly killed by a fox. In response to J.Clifford's letter I would say that farmers do not usually get upset by the continual cries of a ewe or a cow when her offspring has been taken away and killed by them… Don't tell me foxes are evil and must be "controlled"… (letter)
Western Daily Press 11.5.02 IN THE PICTURE ABOUT LAMB KILLERS - Kevin Hill says there is not a single picture or clip of film which shows foxes killing lambs… I took this photograph, right. The lamb was one of healthy twins born not a 100 yards from our farmhouse. On Sunday afternoon it was snatched by a fox, dragged across a field full of ewes and young lambs, and part-eaten at the back of our farmyard. Does Kevin Hill have such a low opinion of farmers that he thinks I would have watched and photographed the actual kill?... The marksmen's rifle is the preferred method of vulpicide by the hunting and farming-bashing lobby - but rifle-owning has become unacceptable to our society and their use poses a risk to the public who increasingly exercise their rights of access to the land. J Clifford Frampton-on-Severn Gloucestershire (letter)

Scotsman 20.5.02 Wildlife crime - If the Scottish parliament and Mike Watson, MSP, had devoted the time bringing in legislation to outlaw hunting with dogs (for which there had been no demand but was introduced as a "bash the toffs" measure) in updating the penalties for wildlife crime and poaching of salmon and sea trout, including introducing/extending custodial sentences, for which there has been a demand for some time, the people of Scotland of all political parties and class might have some respect for the parliament… DAVID ELDER, Knox Place, Haddington, East Lothian (letter)

Scotsman 20.5.02 Area sidelined - On 8 May, your published my letter pointing out the marginalisation of Dumfries and Galloway in the relocation of civil service jobs…. I, therefore, intend to start a new political movement whose main policy will be the secession of Dumfries and Galloway from Scotland, and its reunification with Cumbria. Such a move would have many advantages: lower council tax, no threat of the tartan tax, and those who have a mind to could hunt foxes and skelp their bairns. (DR) WILSON FLOOD, Rowanbank Road, Dumfries (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.5.02 BADGERS NEED PROTECTION - I fully agree with D Kedwin who says the badger needs more protection. The trouble, as with many laws, is that there are many loopholes… Pamela Dean Whiteshill Nr Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Worcester Evening News 20.5.02 Badger carnage on Britain's roads - MAY I add my voice to the debate on culling badgers. I cannot understand why anyone would want this done. It seems to be unnecessary… AUDREY WATSON, Worcester (letter in archive)

Torquay Herald Express 20.5.02 JOE PUBLIC CAUGHT IN ANIMALS V RESEARCH - IN the perpetual conflict between the animal rights movement and the petro-pharmaceutical industry, over the issue of vivisection, piggy-in-the-middle -- Joe Public - is usually overlooked…. SIMR were founded, and are bankrolled, by the petro-pharma syndicate, which could not survive if its products were forced to face genuine tests of safety and efficiency… Animal experimentation provides a vital legal alibi when a drug has killed one patient too many, thalidomide being the classic example… PAT RATTIGAN, Chesterfield (letter)

Guardian 20.5.02 Is it cynical of me to question the sincerity of Richard Mountford of Animal Aid's shock at the number of genetically modified animals used in research… Blood transfusions, vaccines, research into and treatments for heart conditions, cancer, Aids and many other diseases have all depended on studies using animals. Millions of people have benefited… John Gillott, Genetic Interest Group
Guardian 20.5.02The truly shocking fact disclosed by John Vidal (Revealed: the 582,000 animals genetically modified in Britain's labs, May 15) is that apparently the RSPCA was unaware of the number and species of animals genetically altered in the UK. Far from being hidden, this information is freely available from the Home Office, in printed reports or on its website… Genewatch is right to ask for more debate, but let's make it informed and balanced. Dr Ted Griffiths, Director, Biomedical Research Education Trust (letters)

Times 20.5.02 Animal lobbyists condemn Cannes bullfight film BY DALYA ALBERGE, ARTS CORRESPONDENT, AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - ANIMAL welfare groups yesterday condemned the graphic depiction of a bullfight, including the slaughter, skinning and slicing of the animal, in a film that is being promoted at the festival. Carnages shows a bull being killed and taken from the ring where its carcass is cut up, its eyes removed for medical research and its horns taken as a gift… An RSPCA spokesman said: “We’ve heard about this film. We haven’t seen it. However, the RSPCA is opposed to the infliction of pain, suffering or death on any animal in the name of entertainment or sport…." Jo Ellis, of London Animal Action, said that it would condemn anything that glorified animal abuse and would stage protests if the film were screened in Britain…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 20.5.02 TAKE STEPS OVER WHALES - RESIDENTS in Gloucester are to be given the chance to help bring an end to the bloody killing of dolphins and whales. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) is to hold a sponsored walk near the city at the weekend as part of its Sea Red campaign…. quote from Victoria Reinthal, spokeswoman for the charity… (story)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 19.5.02 Cat owners in a flap about foxes - PET cats are being ripped apart by foxes in the area round The Embankment… "Its back leg and part of its tail had been virtually ripped off and the vet said the injuries were almost definitely inflicted by a fox…" wildlife experts confirmed that female foxes become bolder and even desperate at this time of year as they hunt to feed their young…. "Likewise pets which live in hutches will not be adequately protected with simply a screen of wire mesh, so owners need to take extra care." (story)

Cumberland News & Star 18.5.02 PRESSURE GROUP URGES BLANKET HUNT BAN - AN anti-hunt group will tell Defra minister Alun Michael next week that decades of scientific evidence prove there is no justification for the survival of any form of hunting wild animals with dogs… Members from Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) are due to meet Defra officials as part of six months' consultation on hunting announced by the Government in March…(story)

Gloucester Citizen 18.5.02 MORE FICTION THAN FACT - SEVERAL letters have appeared in The Citizen recently on the hunting issue. Parmjit Dhanda's miracle marksman, who can kill 100 foxes with 100 bullets, right between the eyes, did he dream this rubbish?... Our civil liberties are going down the drain and I for one won't vote again. Politicians only look after number one, and some of us know that shooting and fishing are next on the agenda. A. FRYER, Address supplied (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 18.5.02 Anti-meat campaign? ELAINE Milbourn (Letters, May 13) says animals have the right to live in peace and die a natural death. If we take this argument to its natural conclusion, then the UK may as well now declare itself a completely vegetarian zone… For a fox to be killed quickly by hounds at the end of a chase is a far more "natural" and quick death than to be poisoned or gassed, which would become a more widespread occurrence if hunting was banned… to the continued reference to hunting as a "bloodsport". Would anyone ever attribute such a description to our national game of football? No, and yet in the coming weeks we will see, on television, far more blood shed as a result of vicious tackles and unprovoked attacks on the football fields of Japan and Korea than the average follower sees in a day's hunting. MICK CASEY Media Relations Manager, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 13.5.02 Let foxes die in peace …Mr Richardson is totally wrong to claim that starvation is the method of control. If left in peace and not disturbed by the hunts, the dominant vixen in a stable, social group will be the only one to breed….An animal has the right to live in peace, just as we have - not pursued and hounded to death by those who breed them for their own perverse pleasure. ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)

Scotsman 18.5.02 Humane killing - While it makes for a refreshing change to read of the role of the deer stalker being praised, I cannot see how Sarah Bruce (Letters, 15 May) arrives at her statement that deer populations are kept artificially high on some sporting estates… Deer shot on the hill, whether it be by the stalker himself or the paying "gun", are killed humanely, probably more so than the animals that provide the meat products that sit on supermarket shelves… Sarah Bruce promotes the much-vaunted "eco-tourism" as some sort of substitute for stalking, but this is another example of the triumph of wishful thinking over the actuality. The damage caused by "eco-tourists" to Schiehallion will cost the John Muir Trust upwards of £500,000 to rectify and is an indication of how superficial the whole concept is… WILLIAM BROWN, Forfar Road, Dundee (letter)
Scotsman 15.5.02 Respect for animals - I agree completely with William Brown (Letters, 9 May) when he says that red deer need to be culled… What I do object to are those who shoot deer because they see a slaughtered animal as some sort of a "trophy". If tourists want the thrill of a stalk why can’t they finish it with a shot from a camera rather than a gun? SARAH BRUCE , The Causeway, Edinburgh (letter)
Scotsman 9.5.02 Wildlife tourism - Sarah Bruce (Letters, 7 May) makes great store of the negative when it comes to the contribution made to Scotland’s natural heritage by field sports. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation condemns the illegal killing of birds of prey… she places great emphasis on the fact that "3,000 people are already employed in wildlife tourism". Could I add the 7,212 full-time jobs that are directly and indirectly dependent upon sporting shooting? (DR) COLIN B SHEDDEN, Director BASC Scotland, Trochry, Dunkeld
Like Sarah Bruce and Robert McNeil (4 May), I believe VisitScotland is wise not to promote blood sports on its website… I thought I had found the perfect riding holiday , but when the brochure invited people to come to Scotland to see our wonderful wildlife, grab a gun, and kill it, I decided to go whale watching off Mull instead. LYNNE MITCHELL, Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letters)
Scotsman 9.5.02 Humane? Sarah Bruce (Letters, 7 May) is a touch confused. She describes herself as a humane person, but it does seem an unorthodox sort of "humane" person that would rather see deer starve or succumb to the hardships of winter rather than have their lofty morals offended by the notion of someone shooting a deer. William Brown DUNDEE (letter)
Scotsman 8.5.02 Stalking Robert McNeil displayed a remarkable ignorance and intolerance in his column (4 May). One wonders what he really understands about countryside issues and the way of life. JH Strickland LOCHEARNHEAD, PERTHSHIRE (letter)
Scotsman 7.5.02 Negative impact - Robert McNeil (4 May) manages to sum up perfectly the views of humane people when he supports VisitScotland’s commen-dable decision not to promote blood sports… SARAH BRUCE, The Causeway, Edinburgh (letter)
Scotsman 4.5.02 Robert McNeil's Week …IN SHETLAND, I heard much about the awful depredations of polecats. Friends trapped and shot them. Quite unaccountably, they did not feel the need to dress up in red coats and go riding arrogantly over the countryside to do this…DEER-MANGLERS are complaining about Scottish tourist authorities ignoring them out of "political correctness" (ironic, since the countryside is currently the most PC issue in town) and passing up the chance to attract similar freaks from abroad… Now I never go near the Borders. It wasn’t a conscious decision, just that latterly, whenever I fancied a long weekend, I rejected the area automatically because of the pro-cruelty gibberish that it vomited over our letters page with such regularity… SPANISH bumpkins are hanging their greyhounds again. They do this after hare-coursing, a genial "sport" loved by our own Countryside Alliance. The excuse used for this horror? Tradition. Now, where have we heard that before?... (story)

Scotsman 18.5.02 Frog princess - interview with Stella McCartney by Chrissey Iley …She certainly carries her mother’s anti-blood-sports banner. "You shouldn’t do this, babe," she says, looking at my fur collar. "Anyone who buys fur should be ashamed of herself. Stop it. It’s disgusting, barbaric. You’re not cool…" Was it hard for her to have pro-hunting Camilla slip backstage? Did she really throw her out? "Obviously, I am an anti-blood-sports person, but I don’t get that personal. I was polite to her. I said thank you for coming, goodbye."… (interview)

Western Morning News 18.5.02 SLAUGHTER AMONG THE BLUEBELLS …It was with deep sadness that three night ago I watched a family of badgers happily playing in the gathering gloom little knowing what fait awaits them in a few days' time. For those delightful little creatures will be mercilessly slaughtered even though there is not a shred of evidence to implicate badgers in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis to cattle…Mary Lynch Crantock, Cornwall (letter)

Telegraph 17.5.02 Major John Parry – obituary (story in archive)
Telegraph 9.5.02 Spey yields body of Prince's friend By Auslan Cramb … Major John Parry, 81, a former joint master of the Belvoir in Lincolnshire, disappeared during an angling holiday on the Spey in Morayshire on April 22. His body was found on Tuesday at an area known as Ladies Haugh Pool, near Craigellachie…. (story)
Scotsman 9.5.02 Prince’s friend dies fishing - Frank Urquhart - THE body of an angler recovered from the River Spey, in Moray, was identified yesterday as Major John Parry, a friend of the Prince of Wales… The Belvoir Hunt’s honorary secretary, Bambi Hornbuckle, said yesterday: "We have been hoping and praying for him. He will be remembered as a countryman through and through; one of life’s gentlemen…" (story)
Grantham Journal 2.5.02 FORMER BELVOIR HUNT MASTER, 81, MISSING IN SCOTLAND ... Police fear for the life of a former Belvoir Hunt master who disappeared while fishing in Scotland. Major John Parry, 81, was reported missing on April 22, when he failed to arrive at a rendezvous with friends... Mr Parry´s black Labrador Swallow was found by his car and has been returned to the family home in Allington... (story in archive)

Westmorland Gazette 17.5.02 Letter: Hunting issue handled poorly - SIR, I cannot emphasise strongly enough how deeply and widely extreme anger is felt within my community… Alan Bolt, Ulverston (letter in archive)
Kent/East Sussex Courier 17.5.02 FIND A COMPROMISE ON THE HUNTING ISSUE - I cannot emphasise strongly enough how deeply and widely extreme anger is felt within my local community about the Government's handling of the hunting issue… S Hill, Duckyls Holt, West Hoathly (letter)
Worcester Evening News 15.5.02 They must not get away with it - I CANNOT emphasise strongly enough how deeply and widely extreme anger is felt within my local community about the Government's handling of the hunting issue… J WOOD, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 6.5.02 NO COVER-UP URGED IN HUNTING BAN ISSUE - I feel I cannot emphasise enough how deeply and widely extreme anger is felt within my local community about the Government's handling of the hunting issue... A. M. Turner, South Wingfield. (letter)
Derby Evening Telegraph 2.5.02 EXTREME ANGER OF HUNTING FOLLOWERS I cannot emphasise strongly enough how deeply and widely extreme anger is felt within my local community about the Government's handling of the hunting issue. Hunting has become a touchstone by which many country people will judge the honesty and fairness of ministers in their approach to rural problems as a whole... Charles Meynell, White House Fields Farm, Worthington, Ashby. (letter)

Wiltshire Times 17.5.02 In the aftermath of the collapse of ITV Digital, and the consequent catastrophic consequences for many League football clubs, we read in our papers that Tony Blair's Government recognises the importance of the place these clubs have as a social focus for their local communities, and are making available millions of pounds to mitigate the disaster for the many players who will be out of work. How differently they view the rural equivalent… country people are expendable in New Labour's book so hunting can be banned, for short term political and social engineering reasons. So much for Blair's `One Nation' election pledge. D Boyd, Corton, Warminster. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 17.5.02 THERE ARE RULES ABOUT CUB HUNTING …Foxes born the previous spring will by then hunt and fend for themselves, and the fox population is at its highest.At this time hunts are most often expected and asked by farmers and gamekeepers to control numbers…Hounds hunt instinctively but learn discipline from their peers… Regarding digging out, there are strict controls put in place by the MFHA… .A fox is most certainly not thrown to the dogs alive - it is shot (letter)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 17.5.02 Protests mount over dog track By Gareth Lewis - Animal defence campaigners plan a week of action in Coventry to protest against a proposed greyhound track… Coventry Against Greyhound Exploitation (Cage) says cruelty in the sport is "endemic" and is holding a series of events next week… Campaigner John Curtin said: "Evidence will be presented showing how cruelty, race rigging and fraud are endemic within the dog-racing industry…" (story)

Kent/East Sussex Courier/Sevenoaks Chronicle 17.5.02 SCIENTISTS WOULD NEVER ALLOW SUCH ABUSE OUTSIDE THE LAB - Justine Clayton, British Union for Abolition of Vivisection, Crane Grove, London (letter)
Welwyn & Hatfield Times 15.5.02 Robo rat the ultimate scientific absurdity - Justine Clayton, BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) London N7 8NN (letter may be in archive)
Ilkley Gazette 9.5.02 Absurd research - Justine Clayton, Press Officer, BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), 16a Crane Grove, London, N7 8NN. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 9.5.02 `Robo rat' hits new heights of animal abuse - JUSTINE CLAYTON, Press Officer, BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), London N7 8NN (letter in archive)
Fermanagh Herald 8.5.02 'Robo Rat' - Justine Clayton, Press Officer, BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) (letter)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 7.5.02 Robo cruelty - Justine Clayton, BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), London (letter in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 6.5.02 ROBO RAT RESEARCH IS CRUEL - In response to the huge coverage in the media about the "Robo Rat" it is this kind of animal research which pushes vivisection into a new realm of tasteless absurdity... I have two pet rats myself, and I can assure you that they are intelligent, sensitive and social creatures who need and deserve care and compassion... Vivisection, like all forms of animal cruelty, diminishes us all, not only those who practise it. Justine Clayton, Press Officer, BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection), 16a Crane Grove, London N7 8NN (letter)

Gloucester Citizen/Gloucester Echo 17.5.02 LAB IS SO CRUEL IN EXPERIMENTS - I AM writing to inform people about HLS (Huntingdon Life Sciences). Every day, 500 animals die in their labs… If anyone would like more information, please contact my address by post. REBEKAH STONE, 2 Gothic Cottages, Bourton Street, Gloucester GL1 4 HT (letter)

Liverpool Daily Post 17.5.02 Blunkett asked to decide who owns rehoused animals - HOME Secretary David Blunkett is being asked to rule over the ownership of thousands of dogs which have passed through Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre in Ince Blundell. It follows a legal row between a couple whose runaway dog was seized by staff at Freshfields from where it was originally adopted… Lesley Tarleton said the Staffordshire bull terrier, Stella, should not have been allowed to escape from the couple's home… A judge ruled that Candy should be handed over by Freshfields and that they should pay costs. Ms Tarleton, who faced up to two years in jail if she refused to do so, claimed Candy had also escaped from the centre soon after being confiscated…. (story)

Bridlington Free Press 16.5.02 PROTESTERS MEET VISITING MINISTER - BEMPTON RSPBbird sanctuary was beseiged by about 50 pro-foxhunting demonstrators during a visit by government rural affairs minister Alun Michael… Their protest, on Monday afternoon, shortened his visit to see the results of the RSPB centre's work under the government's Country-side Stewardship Scheme which has turned arable farmland into natural grassland to encourage wildlife… (story in archive)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 16.5.02 AMBUSHED! by Gazette Reporters HUNT supporters from North Yorkshire ambushed Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael on Monday and grilled him about their future… In the pouring rain, with hundreds of seagulls circling above, the crowd gathered round, trapping the minister near the cliff edge, and asked him to explain why he was trying to ban hunting… After the meeting, Mr Houghton-Brown said he was not confident the discussions had been successful. "He has already made his mind up that he wants a ban. There is nothing we can do to sway his views," he added. (story in archive)
York Evening Press 14.5.02 HOUNDED by Simon Horsborough - HUNT supporters from North Yorkshire ambushed Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael and grilled him about its future… on the cliffs at Bempton, near Flamborough Head… Hunt supporters from the Sinnington and Middleton Hunts put Mr Michael on the spot over whether hunting will be banned. The Minister was visiting a nature reserve and was setting off on a walk along the cliffs when the hunt supporters, bearing banners and placards, struck… (story in archive)
Hull Daily Mail 14.5.02 FOX HUNTERS LOBBY MINISTER - Angry fox hunters from the East Riding hijacked a high-profile rural conference to protest against a proposed ban on hunting. More than 200 cheering, banner-waving protesters targeted Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael at the Bishop Burton College event… Mr Michael agreed to speak to a group of protesters, including Robert Howarth, professional huntsman with the Holderness Hunt… (story)
Yorkshire Post 14.5.02 Hunt ban would be declaration of war, Minister warned - Julie Hemmings - RURAL Affairs Minister Alun Michael was in the East Riding yesterday to promote "vibrant communities"…Mr Michael called in at Manor Farm House at Waplington, near Pocklington, briefly to meet members of Yorkshire's pro-hunting lobby, including hunt workers who face losing their jobs… quote from Countryside Alliance spokesman Nick Procter…Mr Michael, who was bound for a rural strategy conference at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, denied that donations to the Labour Party by anti-hunt groups such as the League Against Cruel Sports would influence the decision on the future of hunting... Mary Rook, master of the Middleton hunt, said she was heartened that Mr Michael said an all-out ban was not an option but was cynical about the Government's intentions. She said: "He is a politician – can we trust what any of them say?" (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 16.5.02 Misplaced class values … the Government allows Local Authorities to use anti-coagulant poisons to kill off as many as possible of the estimated 60 to 75 million rats in the UK… 8.9 million people watch Wildlife on One and other similar programmes – watching animals hunting and killing animals…. those watching and enjoying Wildlife on One are sitting in comfortable armchairs wearing woolly jumpers and carpet slippers. Those hunting with dogs sit in leather saddles with time-honoured practical and traditional attire such as red coats…. IAN FINCH, Needham Market. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.5.02 THANK GOD WE DO HAVE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS - Dr C Maycock, Points of view, May 7, stated that opponents of hunting ignore the evidence and "start from the unproven premise that hunting is cruel"… Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 11.5.02 VIDEO SHOWS THE CRUELTY THAT IS PART OF HUNTING - To answer Dr C Maycock, Points of view, May 7, those of us who want to abolish hunting have seen plenty of evidence of cruelty… Donald Broom, professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University, has written that: "Within the parameters of conventional welfare science it is clear that the welfare of hunted deer is very poor... There is considerable information relating to the basic biology of foxes, mink and hares and it seems likely that the welfare of these animals will be poor, when they are the subject of a chase."… Kathleen Moyle, Collins Park, East Budleigh (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 9.5.02 HUNTERS DO NOT ABUSE ANY ANIMALS FOR SPORT - Kathleen Moyle's data is highly inaccurate, Points of view, May 1. If hunts have only 30,000 supporters who were the almost 300,000 people who marched in London in support of country sports in 2000?. Sixty-three per cent of rural vets believe that hunting should be allowed to continue… David Wright, Walhampton, Yelverton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 7.5.02 MINORITY FEEL VICTIMISED BY ILL-INFORMED MAJORITY - I would question Kathleen Moyle's figures, Points of view, May 1, but she is right that hunting supporters are a minority - a minority which feels victimised by an ill-informed, emotional and prejudiced majority… Where are the unemployed to find work - perhaps as theme park attendants as the countryside becomes nothing but a recreation zone for the suburban majority? Susan Paine, Withypool, Minehead (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 7.5.02 THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FOR BARBARISM ARGUMENT The arguments of Kathleen Moyle, Points of view, May 1, like those of so many opponents of hunting, start from the unproven premise that hunting is a 'cruel and barbaric sport'… poll results and personal opinions, however passionately held, and are simply not sufficient evidence to justify the implementation of such drastic legislation as a ban on hunting. Dr Christopher Maycock, Crediton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 1.5.02 THE VOICE OF COUNTRYSIDE SAYS LET'S STOP HUNTING - Is the pro-hunt lobby living in a fantasy world when they say they are the voice of the countryside?... A ban on these cruel and barbaric sports will not be overturned on human rights grounds. Kathleen Moyle, Collins Park, East Budleigh (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.5.02 Your hunting correspondents Mal Treharne and J Clifford appear to have their feathers ruffled regarding whether the fox is a pest. I should like to point out that in recent years many documentaries have been made about the lifestyle of the fox.As I recall none of these indicate that foxes have attacked lambs… (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.5.02 CASH BENEFITS FOR ECONOMY - In reply to D James's letter he was quite right to mention the expense involved in hunting.But has he stopped to think how much of this goes back into the economy?... (letter)

Guardian 16.5.02 Environment in a spin - It is shocking that more than half a million animals were used in 2000 just for genetic modification or cloning experiments… Richard Mountford, Animal Aid (letter)

Scotsman 16.5.02 Rubbish - With regard to Ross Minett’s letter (14 May), may I say I am entirely in agreement with the points he makes about The All Star Animal Awards… Angus Mair BANFF (story)

Berwickshire News 16.5.02 SIR, — It has come to our attention that a restaurant in Glasgow is using donkey meat in one of their recipes. As you can imagine the Donkey Sanctuary is appalled by this news… PAUL SVENDSEN, Deputy Chief Executive. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 3.5.02 SANCTUARY'S PLEA OVER DONKEY MEAL …The Donkey Sanctuary, based in Sidmouth, is calling on diners to boycott a restaurant in Glasgow that has put donkey meat on its menu… (story)

Boston Standard 16.5.02 Saddened at plan for ‘exotic’ meet plant - I WAS saddened to read Boston Borough Council has approved planning permission for a so-called ‘exotic’ meat processing factory. It is a decision devoid of morality and one which openly encourages the killing or the intensive farming of all species of wildlife anywhere in the world… (letter)
Lincolnshire Echo 29.4.02 MISERY OF OUR EXOTIC ANIMALS - I was saddened to read recently that Boston Borough Council had approved planning permission for a so-called "exotic" meat processing factory... TONI VERNELLI Vegetarian Voice for Animals, Viva, 12 Queen Square, Brighton, BN1 3FD (letter)

Ananova 15.5.02 Hunt supporters to stage Westminster vigil - Fox hunting supporters and country workers are beginning a continuous 24-hour a day vigil in Westminster… It is being manned by different hunts and country workers from all over the UK in shifts… (story)
BBC News Online Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK - Hunt supporters begin vigil - Supporters of hunting are beginning a continuous vigil outside Parliament in London which is expected to last for several months. Campaigners plan to establish a shelter next to the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square… (story)
Scotsman 15.5.02 Hunt Supporters to Stage Westminster Vigil By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News - Fox hunting supporters and country workers were today beginning a continuous 24-hour a day vigil in Westminster. The move was part of the Countryside Alliance’s “Summer of Discontent” campaign and centres on fears that fox hunting may be outlawed, following an announcement in March by rural affairs minister Alun Michael, that he plans to have a consultation on the future of the sport…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 15.5.02 BLOODSPORT CAMPAIGN PLANNED - Fox-hunting supporters and country workers will today begin a continuous 24-hour a day vigil in Westminster… hunt members and supporters, including in Lincolnshire, are keeping up the pressure with the vigil… (story)
East Anglian Daily Times 15.5.02 Hunt supporters plan Commons vigil - HUNT supporters from East Anglia will be are travelling to London today to take part in a 24-hour vigil outside Parliament. About a dozen countryside campaigners from Essex and Suffolk are expected to form the first shift… Huntsman Robert McCarthy, of the Essex and Suffolk Hunt, will be among those taking part… (story)

Telegraph 15.5.02 Pro-hunt campaign goes to court By Auslan Cramb, Scotland Correspondent - Campaigners began legal moves yesterday to overturn the ban on hunting with hounds in Scotland, claiming that the new law infringed their human rights… Pro-hunt campaigners say hundreds of jobs will be lost, particularly in the Borders where most of the hunts are based… (story)
Times 15.5.02 Hunt supporters take case to court BY SHIRLEY ENGLISH … The Scottish Countryside Alliannce lodged a petition at the Court of Session in Edinburgh seeking a judicial review of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act, which becomes law on August 1…(story)
Scotsman 15.5.02 Campaigners challenge hunting ban - DAVID SCOTT Scottish Government Editor - PLANS to ban fox hunting in Scotland later this summer were thrown into doubt yesterday when pro-hunt campaigners launched a legal challenge to the legislation. Individuals who claim their way of life and livelihoods will be damaged by the ban have lodged a petition in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. It argues that the act outlawing the use of dogs to hunt wild mammals violates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)… The Scottish Campaign Against Hunting with Dogs attacked the legal move… quote from Les Ward… interview with Trevor Adams of the Buccleuch… (story)
Glasgow Herald 15.5.02 Hunting lobby mounts legal challenge to 'draconian' law - CHRIS HOLME … The Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA) is seeking a judicial review of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act passed by the Scottish Parliament and due to come into force in August…. Allan Murray, director of the SCA, said: "This challenge is absolutely vital for the future of rural Scotland . . . We are convinced that we can show the provisions of the act to be so unreasonable that they amount to a serious abuse of the Scottish Parliament's legislative powers."… However, legal experts have expressed doubt about whether the action would succeed…. quotes from Trevor Adams, Buccleuch; Les Ward, Scottish Campaign Against Hunting with Dogs (story in archive)
Dundee Courier 15.5.02 PRO-HUNTING CAMPAIGNERS LAUNCH LEGAL CHALLENGE - Pro-hunt campaigners yesterday launched a legal challenge to the ban on fox hunting in Scotland claiming it contravenes their human rights, writes Steve Bargeton… The petition claims that the legislation is in breach of Article 8 of the European convention, which asserts the right to private and family life, home and correspondence… The Fife Hunt is represented on the petition by its chairman Colin Campbell who said jobs would be lost if the hunt was stopped… quote from Richard Holman-Baird, from Stonehaven, who runs one of the 10 registered hound packs in Scotland…. (story)
Ananova 14.5.02 Campaigners challenge hunting ban - Pro-hunting campaigners have launched a legal fight against a ban on hunting with dogs in Scotland, arguing that the law infringes their human rights. The Scottish Countryside Alliance said a six-day hearing on a bid for a judicial review of the ban - due to take effect in Scotland in August - would begin in Edinburgh on July 2… The court petition specifies four individuals - Trevor Adams, a manager of foxhounds; Nigel Murray, a farmer; Joe Scott-Plummer, a landowner; and Richard Holman-Baird, who runs a foxhound pack - and two organisations, the Buccleuch Hunt Supporters Club and the Fife Hunt…(story)

Telegraph 15.5.02 (Peterborough) The Countryside Alliance's present financial embarrassment - which I reported on recently - will soon be a thing of the past if the efforts of one enthusiastic young group of members is anything to go by. Next month, school leaver Alexander Lethbridge and a few pals will attempt to travel from Land's End to John o'Groats in a milk float to raise money… (story)
Telegraph 9.5.02 Fighting for right to hunt tips the alliance into red (Peterborough) - AS supporters of hunting prepare for what they call a "summer of discontent", the Countryside Alliance seems to have let its finances fall into disrepair. Its annual accounts, circulated yesterday, reveal that the organisation recorded a whopping loss of £1,892,704 last year, with its overall bank balance now £19,234 in the red… The alliance is now proposing to become a company limited by guarantee… (story)

Western Daily Press 15.5.02 REAL BENEFITS OF DRAG HUNTING - Once again you print a letter from the ill-informed Dr Maycock and once again his opinion is flawed throughout… I for one would be interested in watching it. I would also be interested in watching pointto-point racing, although presently I will not watch either while they are affiliated to hunting… (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 15.5.02 Tribute to animal lover Barbara - TRIBUTES to public figures are generally overstated. However, in Barbara Castle's case, no praise can be high enough… As a vice president of the League Against Cruel Sports, she was committed to the abolition of bloodsports… G METCALFE, Moorhey Crescent, Bamber Bridge. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 15.5.02 Ethnic minority that Labour is ignoring - ON April 26, Alun Michael, the Minister who will be responsible for introducing a Bill to "resolve the issue of hunting", closed the door on receiving further comments and suggestions to help him find the "common ground" he claims to want in order to frame legislation… a significant indigenous cultural minority are being cast as beyond the moral pale and told they and their interests are worth less than that of vermin… It's a shame that Labour's supposed multicultural-ness doesn't extend to its own rural people. J WOOD, Worcester (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 15.5.02 In would like to respond to the letter from E Waddington… I, like Michael Sagar, have hunted and worked in hunt kennels all my life… As in all professions and pastimes, there have been regrettable acts of misconduct in the past. This was before the Independent Supervisory Authority for Hunting and the Master of Foxhounds Association were formed and governed the conduct of every pack of foxhounds in this country… E Waddington states "nobody denies that foxes are often caught prior to hunts or they have been bred to be hunted". I would strongly deny these statements are true and would ask E Waddington to please let me know where these activities are currently taking place and who the perpetrators are so that disciplinary action can be taken…. Jane Miles, Cound Moor, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 7.5.02 Killing of foxes by hunting is barbaric … I particularly enjoyed reading E.Waddingtons's letter… If several people were employed to hunt the foxes on foot with guns, it would be a more humane way of killing and requiring a lot less disturbance to the local community… Also, I have stumbled upon hunts whilst trying to travel through the county… I pay my road tax and council tax and I expect to be able to travel down any road that is available to me in the county… Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 6.5.02 Evidence of cruelty should be passed on - E Waddington (letters, April 25) condemned all those who support fox hunting as being the type of people who love to throw fox cubs high in the air for the hounds to attack... If E Waddington has any evidence of deliberate cruelty or contravention of the Wildlife And Countryside Act then he should go to the appropriate authorities who have the power to bring about prosecutions... B Dott, Shifnal (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 2.5.02 Followers rarely see fox killed Having read the letters written by two of your readers, I can think of nobody who hunts who would recognise the practices described. Any hunt who operated thus would be stopped by the self-regulation in place.... PH Rosselli, Overton on Dee, Wrexham (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 2.5.02 Go out and witness the chase - E Waddington ("We know what goes on with fox hunts"- 25.4.02) claims to have knowledge of hunts breaking their own code of conduct, based on video "evidence" and some admittedly deplorable practices described in a book allegedly written by an ex-huntsman. I simply ask your correspondent when and where these atrocities... took place, if, in fact, they actually did happen?... BR Lewis, Stapleton (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 25.4.02 We know what goes on with hunts - In reply to Michael Sagar's letter 'Hunts governed by rules'... Who are you trying to kid?.. I've got video footage of foxes trapped in fake earths with food provided by the hunt. I have met several people who have been on hunts. Nobody denies that foxes are often caught prior to hunts or they have been bred to be hunted.... Ripping wild animals apart for fun is your right isn't it? E Waddington, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 15.5.02 More time to consult on hunting - Some might say that everything wrong with the Labour Government is neatly summed up this week by the news that Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, the man in charge of the so-called independent inquiry on the future of hunting, accepted a £200 donation from the League Against Cruel Sports to help him to win the Cardiff South and Penarth seat in 1987… might it not be a good idea if Mr Michael now agreed to a public six months consultation on hunting rather than close his doors to any more debate and conduct his own private inquiry in secret as he is now doing… Peter Holt, Wrockwardine, Telford (letter in archive)

Newcastle Journal 15.5.02 Predator cull plans under fire By Tony Henderson, The Journal - A six-year experiment involving the killing of moorland predators came under fire last night from animal rights campaigners… The project at Otterburn in Northumber- land is the biggest scientific investigation ever undertaken in Britain into how widespread and systematic control of pred- ators may help red grouse and other upland ground-nesting bird populations… The £1m exercise is being conducted by scientists from the Game Conservancy Trust… But Louise Stevenson of the Newcastle Animal Rights Coalition said: "It seems that they are killing a whole lot of wildlife to increase profitable red grouse numbers…" (story)

Gloucester Echo/Gloucester Citizen 15.5.02 BADGER ALTERNATIVE MUCH WORSE - PENNY Little (May 4) should put the current trial on exploring the link between badgers and bovine TB in perspective… The trial is meant to establish just what the link is between badgers and the spread of disease, and whether culling is effective in disease control… Penny Little should be backing this trial, because the alternative, which many farmers are calling for, is a return to large scale routine culling. ELLIOT MORLEY, DEFRA Parliamentary Under-secretary (Commons) (letter)

Leicester Mercury 15.5.02 ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP SUSPECTS HELD IN RAID BY CIARAN FAGAN - Two women from Leicester were arrested this morning in a nationwide police operation against suspected animal rights extremists. The women, aged 43 and 19, were arrested at 7am… Police said they are investigating an alleged campaign of intimidation against staff of an insurance company which animal rights groups believe provides cover for Huntingdon Life Sciences… Officers arrested a woman in London and a Nottingham man this morning. They are still trying to trace a 23-year-old Leicester man in connection with the allegations… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 15.5.02 'MEANINGLESS' TESTS DON'T HELP RESEARCH - THOMAS Bromley (Herald Express, May 6) claims, erroneously, that anti-vivisectionists' propaganda threatens to deny patients treatments that depend on the use of animal experiments… It is the Medical Research Council, along with the Research Defence Society and the Medical Research Charities, who are guilty of deception… L SHORT, St James Road, Torquay (letter)

Daily Post 15.5.02 Activists fined for Shell protest - THREE animal rights campaigners have been fined after chaining themselves together and lying across roads in Ellesmere Port causing "maximum disruption". Serena Yvette Rowlands, 41, of Princes Avenue, Liverpool, John Francis Codd, 49, of Clipstone Avenue, and Stephanie Anne Fry, 21, of Riding Terrace, both in Nottingham, said they were protesting against oil company Shell's association with Huntingdon Life Sciences, which conducts live animal experiments. Judge Phillip Dodd told Chester Magistrates Court their actions had contributed to a vast disruption of the North West and found the defendants guilty of causing a wilful obstruction to a highway… Anthony Smith, prosecuting, said on September 6, 2001, 16 protesters lay across the length of Oil Sites Road, Ellesmere Port, chaining themselves to each other using oil drums filled with concrete… He told the three defendants that as they were of limited means, they would each be ordered to pay fines of £50 and court costs of £250, at a rate of £5 a week… Rowlands said the three defendants, who had denied the charges, would be appealing against the ruling, and said: "These court cases are all about getting publicity. I don't think anyone would be put off protesting by this." (story)

Scotsman 14.5.02 ALLAN MASSIE: Morality is not always split by right or wrong - THE worst government is the most moral, observed that independent-minded newspaperman, HL Mencken. "One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top, there is no limit to oppression."…Nobody would call our amiable justice minister, Jim Wallace, a fanatic… His intention to make it a criminal offence to smack a child aged three… it is going to make for a very bad law… Where public opinion is divided, and those at whom the law is directed do not think that what it forbids is wrong, then the law is probably a bad one. Examples are our drug laws, openly broken and flouted by millions, and Lord Watson’s law prohibiting fox-hunting, bitterly resented by those who are sure their sport is neither cruel nor wicked… (story)

Western Daily Press 14.5.02 WHY WE NEED TO CONTROL FOXES … Philippa Drakeford makes the basic mistake of equating "fox control" with "fox extermination."… Miss Drakeford also asks how likely it is that an old or sick fox would attack a lamb. The answer is, very likely… (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.5.02 POOR SUFFER MOST FROM HUNTING BAN - Phillipa Drakeford proposes the alternative of drag-hunting to hunting with hounds… Lord Burns points out that the former offers little attraction to non-mounted participants and followers… The rich man in the redcoat - the main target of urban envy - may reluctantly take up drag-hunting… Dr Christopher Maycock Crediton Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 4.5.02 INEFFECTIVE PEST CONTROL - Pro-hunters say that hunting is an effective method of controlling the fox population. But Caroline Grant says: "Sometimes we go for weeks without killing anything." Doesn't sound very effective to me!... Chickens and ducks are quite safe provided they are kept inside at night, and less than one per cent of lambs are eaten by foxes, some say even fewer. Philippa Drakeford Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.5.02 SPORTS HAVE BEEN BANNED BEFORE - I WONDERwhy the supporter of hare coursing who wrote promoting this evil and degrading activity chose to remain anonymous? Could it be that, inwardly, he is ashamed of condoning a barbaric practice carried out by odious people who have absolutely no claim to humanity?... I am proud of my views on this subject and I have absolutely no doubt about my moral correctness. I am, therefore, signing off with my full name and address… (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.5.02 HARE COURSING IS A FAIR, HISTORIC SPORT …The truth is hare coursing is an ancient sport that can be traced back to at least 1400BC. The course is a fair contest between a pair of greyhounds and a hare, with the hare having every chance to elude the pursuit of the dogs as the area is never fenced off as it takes place in open fields and the hare has knowledge of all escape routes… We are supposed to live in a democracy, yet it's such a shame we cannot respect other's activities even if we do not necessarily agree with them ourselves. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.5.02 JUST BE HONEST ABOUT HUNTING - Surely it is laughable for hunters to say that they are simple nature's way of controlling a pest species… I would not be so opposed to hunters if only they could be open and honest and say: "We do it because we love it." Then the whole level of the debate becomes a lot clearer. (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND TOLERANCE? - The Rural Affairs Minister, Alun Michael, must forgive the countryside lobby if they take his comments on the hunting issue with a large pinch of salt. If the Minister genuinely sought a fair compromise, he would have backed the middle way proposal in the recent parliamentary vote… The countryside lobby is understandably furious and the unavoidable result will be a bitter and divisive confrontation with the Government. Back in 1988 Tony Blair said "Justice, freedom and tolerance - these are the values that drive and govern my political life". Fine sentiments indeed, but will we ever see them put into practice? Harvey Paulger, Morchard Bishop Crediton (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 WHY DRAG HUNTS ARE NOT AN EASY ANSWER - J green of Port Isaac, (WM Views, May 7) suggests that I should come out of the Dark Ages and if I care about people I should be looking to the future by organising drag hunting - a sport that "we would all be happy to support"… drag hunting is essentially an equestrian activity demanding great skill and discipline, but has no connection with traditional hunting… a recent experiment in the New Forest funded by the Government to introduce drag hunting as an alternative to hunting failed miserably…. if J Green believes that all the anti-hunting MPs are driven by high minded animal welfare principles then I invite him /her to read the Parliamentary debates on hunting in Hansard, from both the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament… Mal Treharne, Countryside Alliance Aley, Somerset (letter)
Western Morning News 7.5.02 ANTI-HUNT MPS ARE MERELY DOING THEIR JOB - On reading Mal Treharne's recent comments, I find it increasingly difficult to believe that anyone can take this man seriously… When the Countryside Alliance was formed, it recruited people who were genuinely concerned about rural issues but many were unaware that the prime objective of this organisation was to boost the numbers of the minority group who are obsessed with the desire to continue practising the cruel "sport" of hunting wild animals with hounds… J Green, Port Isaac (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 Class envy irrelevant - S CLARK (WMN, May 2) feels that the proposed Hunting Bill is more to do with a perceived class envy than anything to do with animal welfare… Members of the Scottish and English Parliaments are not motivated by envy. But they are probably no less concerned about the mental health of people who derive pleasure from killing mammals for sport than they are about animal welfare… John Phelps, Exeter (letter)
Western Morning News 2.5.02 Class envy YOUR correspondent John Phelps (WMN, April 2) is keen to reassure us that the killing of rabbits and rodents will not be affected by a hunting ban... Surely, if it is acceptable to kill rabbits, rats etc with a dog, then it is OK to kill a fox in the same manner? S Clark, Okehampton (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 WHY NOTHING BUT A TOTAL BAN WILL SUFFICE - Oh DEAR, I am sure we are all shaking in our shoes at the dire and terrible threats we are getting from the Countryside Alliance! A million (or is it half a million?) will be marching through poor old London yet again… What a pity they did not witness the reaction of the general public in Plymouth city centre when we collected signatures for anti-hunt petitions recently. The response was absolutely and totally overwhelming…. Jean Turner, Plympton Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 Using well-worn tactic … I would wager there are many like me who wish no luck to the cunning fox or those who put horses' lives in danger in pursuit. We are told the horses like it. A P McBoy didn't seem too happy, when I watched the beautiful grey die at Cheltenham on the champion hurdle. H Cameron, Saltash (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 Shameful behaviour - AFTER the night of shame at Millwall caused by football hooligans, there were 20 horses injured and several had to be operated on by vets. Where are the so-called animal lovers now - the RSPCA, and the League Against Cruel Sports? There was more cruelty at Millwall on these horses than has ever been caused to a fox by hunting… Terry Hooper, Hatherleigh (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 HUNTING BILL IS BID TO DISTRACT US FROM FMD - With regard to the present hunting with dogs debate currently gathering a head of steam, I consider this a cynical ploy by this Labour Government to distract attention from the far more important subject of the need for a public inquiry into the foot and mouth epidemic… I voted in favour of continuance with stronger controls in the WMN campaign. A ban on hunting with resultant dire consequences for our countryside communities, businesses, crafts and way of life is quite ludicrous… It is up to all who love our countryside with all its faults to support the march recently projected in WMN. Despite my dickie knees and arthritic feet, I, a country boy turned ageing townie, will be there to show this Government that they have gone too far this time… Graham Ward, Topsham Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 14.5.02 CITY GP CONSIDERS LEGAL MOVE TO END FISHING RIGHTS ROW BY STEPHEN BLAAKMAN - An EXETER GP, who plans to offer the young and disabled the chance to fish for free, has been refused permission by Exeter City Council to use a public park for fishing… Dr Adrian Rogers, a former Tory parliamentary candidate for Exeter, purchased fishing rights for a third-of-a-mile stretch of the River Exe… the fishing rights include the right to fish on Belle Isle Bank, which is in a public park owned by the council. He talked to the Exeter and District Angling Association about letting young people fish at Belle Isle Park once a month… But Exeter City Council says that Dr Rogers cannot use the park for fishing… (story)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 NEW WAYS FORWARD IN THE BID TO ELIMINATE TB - Yet again, our countryside is about to be invaded by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs operatives intent on trapping and killing badgers… I don't believe that most of our farmers want to recklessly slaughter our wildlife if there is no good scientific reason to do so… Rachel Ewer, Cornwall County Council St Just, Cornwall (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 CULL WILL HELP ELIMINATE TB IN BOTH CATTLE AND BADGERS - G brooks makes the statement (WM Views, May 7) that New Zealand has TB in its cattle population but New Zealand has no badgers, therefore that means the badger is an innocent victim in the UK… In New Zealand the wildlife connection is the possum which research has shown to be the carrier of bovine TB, as it is in the USA. While testing cattle for TB and culling the reactors in NZ they also deal with the reservoir of infection in the possums... After warning pet owners to keep pets locked up indoors they carry out a widespread blanket air drop of poisoned bait… All UK farmers are asking for is a targeted cull of badgers in TB infected areas - not a widespread cull of all badgers… Michael Hart, St Ewe, St Austell (letter)

Edinburgh News 14.5.02 Have a little heart for animals - ANIMAL rights group Peta claim that the British Heart Foundation are using animals in gruesome experiments (News May 11). I am horrified at BHF and I have to say I won’t be shopping at any of their shops again… Mrs J Fleming Northfield Cottages, West Calder (letter)

Eastern Daily Press/Evening News 14.5.02 Couple targeted by animal rights protest - An elderly couple faced the taunts of a screaming mob of protesters who turned up on their doorstep during a demonstration against experimenting on animals. Phyllis Clarke, 74, and her 81-year-old husband Charles… heard a disturbance… "There were these people wearing dark balaclavas shouting at us and asking where we worked," said Mrs Clarke. Within a few minutes, the number of demonstrators grew and the couple were so frightened they dialled 999… The demonstrators had been on a largely peaceful protest against Huntingdon Life Sciences which has a laboratory at Occold, near Eye, when some members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) decided to target company employees in their homes. Mrs Clarke, a former nurse, and her husband have never had any connection with HLS… "I kept telling these people they had made a mistake but they would not listen and just became more abusive than ever…" (story)

Scotsman 14.5.02 Animals exploited - What a shame that The All Star Animal Awards (ITV, 12 May ) missed an opportunity to do something positive for our so-called animal friends. The noise, heat and flashing lights in the studio must have terrified some of the unfortunate animals on show… ROSS MINETT, Campaigns Director, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)
Daily Record 14.5.02 No way to treat animals… Ross Minett, Advocates for Animals, Edinburgh. (letter)

Western Morning News 14.5.02 SHOW MORE CONCERN FOR SHEEP WELFARE - Sheep are a species millions of years old - certainly as old as man… today, in the world of Tony Blair, Margaret Beckett, and giant supermarkets, it has become nothing more than a much abused "economic article", necessarily treated like a "thing" by too many farmers, forced into modern concept of a "global marketplace"… They are sent up and down the motorways of our land, and back and forth from market to market, for no better reason, than to make as much profit as possible, for the few, at any cost. It is not behaviour which is in the interest of the majority of people and it is certainly not in the interests of the sheep who cannot defend themselves. Tess Nash, Helston (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.5.02 REAL ISSUES OF THE COUNTRYSIDE - Once again recent letters have made interesting reading although the continued desire to ban hunting and take away the livelihood of and enjoyment of thousands, surprises me… (letter)

Shropshire Star 13.5.02 My family now calls me a toff - Albie Fox will be delighted to hear that the reading of his last letter reduced my household to convulsions of laughter. They have now dubbed me "Toff". Yes, I am arrogant, very very arrogant where cruelty is concerned. Having witnessed a fox die by the fangs of hounds was to me horrific and nauseous… Name and address supplied (letter may be in archive)
Shropshire Star 24.4.02 A hatred of 'toffs' in hunting debate - The sheer arrogance of 'Anti as ever' - name and address supplied - shows why those who oppose fox hunting but advocate control by shooting do not truly care about cruelty to the fox... Albie Fox, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

East Anglian Daily Times 13.5.02 More cruelty in pets than field sports - I understand and applaud Dr Greg's intolerance for cruelty. But I suggest the good doctor focus his good intentions toward live animal export, the poultry trade, halal abattoirs, etc where there seems to be unlimited tolerance… J BART, Millfield, Eye. (letter)
East Anglian Daily Times 4.5.02 End hunting disgrace - Sir, - James Wells calls for tolerance in his one-sided and spurious account in support of blood sports (Letters EADT, April 29). Like many other people I find it hard to be tolerant of cruelty… Let us take this opportunity to rid ourselves of a national disgrace. DR GREG MANTLE, Mellings, Coggeshall (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.5.02 WHY BADGERS NEED MORE PROTECTION - Badgers in Britain are protected by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. But despite this legislation, each year many thousands of badgers suffer horrific deaths… (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 2.5.02 BADGER CRUELTY - HELP MAKE GOVERNMENT ACT - I am sure many readers will be shocked to learn under current Home Office procedures, an offence committed under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 is not considered to be a "crime" because it is not recordable... Naturewatch, Patrington road, 122 Bath road, Cheltenham GL53 7JX (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 29.4.02 BADGERS SUFFERING - I am sure that many readers will be shocked to learn that under current Home Office procedures, an offence committed under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 is not considered important enough to be notified to the Home Office for the purpose of recorded crime statistics.... MAXINE CORBITT Firsland Animal Sanctuary (story)
Edinburgh News 21.3.02 Baiting cruelty ALTHOUGH badgers are protected in Britain by law, an estimated 10,000 are still killed illegally each year for the so-called sport of badger baiting... Mrs H Fraser, Tarbrax, West Calder (letter)
Bolton Evening News 15.3.02 Terrible toll of badgers goes on - I AM sure that many readers will be shocked to learn that, under current Home Office procedures, an offence committed under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 is not considered important enough to be notified to the Home Office for the purpose of recorded crime statistics… Mrs Alison Yates. Union Street, Egerton, Bolton (letter in archive)
Malvern Gazette 15.3.02 Put an end to brutality …Under current Home Office procedures, an offence committed under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 is not considered important enough to be notified to the Home Office for the purpose of recorded crime statistics…HELEN TURNER, British Camp, Malvern (letter in archive)
Daily Record 23.3.02 It's a crime - AN offence committed under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 is not considered important enough to be notified as recorded crime... Mrs Annette Johnson-Peace, East Kilbride (letter may be in archive)
Streatham Guardian 30.11.01 Time to take badger crime seriously - Joan Gardner Downsview Gardens Upper Norwood (letter in archive)
Gloucestershire Echo & Citizen 22.11.01 Group calls for spotlight on badger crime - Naturewatch, based in Bath, is lobbying MPs to get the Home Office to keep a record of incidents, believes this will encourage police to spend more time and money investigating cruelty, spokesman Caroline Barker. Cheltenham MP Nigel Jones put forward an Early Day Motion in the Commons which calls for an amendment to the existing act to make badger cruelty a "recordable crime" (story)
Croydon Guardian 21.11.01 Badger crime needs to be taken seriously - Joan Gardner Downsview Gardens Upper Norwood (letter in archive)
Swindon Evening Advertiser 12.11.01 M HARRISON Swindon Animal Concern Toothill Swindon (letter in archive)
North West Evening Mail 12.11.01 JOHN COWEN, Edinburgh (letter)
letters urging readers to write to MPs to make badger baiting a recordable offence

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 13.5.02 MICE TORTURED BY HANGOVER - Sir, - I would be grateful if B Skerratt and M Richards would educate me further on animal tests. I am impressed by Dr Coleman because, whilst most people have to pay for advertising, he presumably gets paid for doing so by a national newspaper… Can I assume that animal lovers will not want their sick pets treated with drugs which have been tested on animals? C MCLEAN Sandbach (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 10.5.02 ANIMALS HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES - Sir, - While John Abberley's recent article about animal rights was very welcome, I should point out that animals do have responsibilities, that being one of many reasons they should have rights… MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 13.5.02 Eating meat not natural …Humans are primates. A look at the diets of our closest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, should indicate if we should follow a meat or plant based diet… If anyone thinks humans are naturally meant to eat meat, they should try running out into a field, jumping on the back of a cow and biting it. Neither their teeth nor nails would even penetrate its skin. It is also unnatural to drink milk of another species… Twenty years from now the majority of Britons will be vegan. Iain Hillback, Broadway North, Walsall. (letter)

Times 12.5.02 Mean Fields: Jonathan Miller: Cut the RSPCA out of your will … Legislation already prohibits cruelty to animals. But Big Brother Knows Best, so we are going to get a government-decreed charter that will regulate every aspect of keeping an animal. This from the ministry that has perpetrated animal cruelty on a heroic scale…. The RSPCA — give it nothing, write it out of your will — is actually three organisations. It is a law enforcement agency operating under statutory authority, though not accountable like the police to an independent complaints authority. It is a political campaigning organisation, on the extreme of the politically correct animalist ideology, allied with the government in pursuit of a hunting ban and now an animal bill of rights (to be enforced by its own police). And it is a charity, collecting public and private money for animal welfare and operating a vast network of shelters, kennels, etc, where politically correct criteria decide who can have a cat… The news that a vegan animal rights activist shot a Dutch politician the other day does not surprise me at all. (story)

Sunday Herald 12.5.02 The rich writer's guide to the galaxy - She has sold more than 11 million books thanks to a winning formula of sex, cash and cute animals. Now at an age when most women spend their pensions on bingo and pan drops, Jilly Cooper's more interested in adultery, fox hunting and hounding Tony Blair By Peter Ross ….'I hunted as a child and absolutely adored it. But one changes. I mean, I know it is morally indefensible. Fox hunting is just like adultery: it's expensive, there's lots of hanging about, it's morally indefensible and wildly exciting.'… (interview)

Telegraph 11.5.02 Hunting lobby in M25 protest ABOUT 50 cars and lorries driven by pro-hunting protesters slowed traffic on stretches of the M25 to less than 40mph yesterday morning. The protesters said they set off from Dartford, Kent, at 7am, driving clockwise initially at up to 40mph, then turned to travel anti-clockwise… (story)

Guardian 11.5.02 Gone to the dogs - If a ban on fox-hunting gets through parliament, what will become of the hounds whose instinct is to seek their prey and kill - Justine Hankins - with a ban on hunting with dogs back on the parliamentary agenda, the fate of pack hounds is a pressing concern… Vets For Hunting warns that a ban would result in "a wholesale slaughter of hounds countrywide". The RSPCA, which is opposed to hunting, retorts that this need not be the case, and is urging hunts to limit breeding in anticipation of a ban… No one is being made to kill their dogs, says the SSPCA parliamentary officer, Libby Anderson. "If hunts shoot dogs, that is their decision and their responsibility."… The League Against Cruel Sports is more optimistic. Indeed, Paul Tillsley, manager of the League's West Country sanctuary, is delighted with his canine companion, Annie, a rescued foxhound… However lovely and well-adjusted Annie may be, 20,000 is a lot of hounds. If the hunting fraternity really cares about its dogs, it should forget the gun and start neutering. Now. (story)

Northern Echo 11.5.02 Angie to lead the hunt … Angie Vaux, from Barton, near Richmond, was named the North-East regional chairwoman of the Countryside Alliance, taking over from John Milford QC, who has retired after three years… (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 11.5.02 'TEXT DOES NOT ALWAYS PURVEY MEANING' - Imagine my anguish when I read the letter by Margaret E Burdett - "foxes stealing peoples babies from gardens" and the hunt being prevented from stopping such a dastardly act. Typically us poor ( ignorant of country ways ) city folk have no hunt to rely on to stop city foxes stealing our babies from under our noses… A F Wreathall, Queniborough, (letter)
Leicester Mercury 1.5.02 'FOR GOODNESS SAKE LET THE HUNTS DO THEIR JOB' - I am sick to death of hearing all the reasons why the evil destructive cunning fox should be protected, by people who have little or no understanding of country life. My son is a shepherd and is being plagued by foxes, after just one season of no hunting… Margaret E Burdett, Broughton Astley. (letter)

York Evening Press 11.5.02 Animals deserve kindness - I AM sure many people will agree with me that the recently-proposed Animal Welfare and Rights Act is a wise move… That includes all animals, wild, farm and pets. Even those used for consumption need not be abused (I am vegetarian). Those living wild should remain free and not be used as a sport for power-mad humans… Miss B A Gardein, Third Avenue, Heworth, York. (letter)

Bury Times (11.5.02) Foxes kill to survive - I AM only 10-years-old but I think everybody should say what they think, and I think fox-hunting is disgusting…. REBEKAH KIRK (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 11.5.02 Eyes bigger than tummies - WE often hear the hunt supporters saying the fox is vermin because it will kill scores of poultry and only eat one. If you have ever eaten at a carvery you will see human beings behaving in exactly the same way… JOHN NORWOOD, Kidderminster. (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 11.5.02 RSPCA WANTS TO STOP TRAGEDIES - I wish to clarify the RSPCA's position regarding the Grand National in response to views expressed by Ms C. Kent ("National shame", Post, April 26)… the society firmly believes the best way to gain improvements in racehorse welfare and safety is with the co-operation of the racing industry… JO MARLOW RSPCA Regional Press Officer Scudamore Road Leicester (letter)

Telegraph (Peterborough) 11.5.02 Tories accept money from animal testers … Huntingdon Life Sciences, the animal testing laboratory on the front line of the anti-vivisection campaign, has made a political donation - its first ever - to the local Conservative association… "But when the local association invited us to book a table, we thought it would be a fitting way to say thank you for the way John Major and Jonathan Djanogly (his successor as MP for Huntingdon) have stood up for us."… (story)

East Grinstead Courier 10.5.02 FARMER FIGHTS TO SAVE LIVELIHOOD - LINGFIELD farmer John Young was among those who drove around Westminster in tractors to protest about the plight of country dwellers following foot and mouth disease… The protest was organised by Countryside Alliance and included lorries in the convoy with banners saying "rural revival or rural revolt, keep the countryside working and help rural businesses don't harm them"… "Luckily we got a wave from Iain Duncan-Smith but we didn't see Tony Blair,"… While their actions have not caused as much of a stir in the national newspapers as Camilla Jackson who posed half naked on a horse, there was coverage on the television and John said he would protest again and will be joining the countryside march in London on September 22…. (story)
Western Morning News 17.4.02 UP TO 1M EXPECTED TO ATTEND ANTI-HUNT BAN MARCH - JASON GROVES - Up to a million people are expected to take to the streets of London this autumn to protest about Government moves to outlaw hunting with dogs, following a decision yesterday to revive plans for a huge demonstration in the capital. The WMN has learned that the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance has pencilled in Sunday September 22 as the date for reviving the huge "Liberty and Livelihood" march, which was cancelled last year because of the foot and mouth crisis… (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 17.4.02 PROTESTERS TO MARCH - Campaigners from Lincolnshire will travel to London in September to demonstrate against changes to laws governing the countryside. The county's members of the Countryside Alliance will take part in a march on Sunday, September 22 as part of the group's Summer of Discontent programme…(story)
Telegraph 17.4.02 Hunting march date announced - A MARCH through London to protest against the possibility of a ban on hunting will take place on Sunday, Sept 22, after the Government's consultation on the future of the sport, said the Countryside Alliance yesterday.... . A convoy of tractors, supported by two horse trailers, will circle Westminster today as the Chancellor announces his Budget. (story)
Ananova 17.4.02 Rural campaigners to stage Budget day protest - Countryside campaigners are set to stage a demonstration to remind Chancellor Gordon Brown rural businesses need help in the Budget. Members of the Countryside Alliance are sending a convoy of up to a dozen tractors, supported by two horse trailers, to carry signs around the streets of Westminster in central London urging the Chancellor to "Keep the Countryside Working".... (story)
Ananova 17.4.02 Rural campaigners in Budget day protest - Countryside campaigners are staging a demonstration to remind Gordon Brown that rural businesses need help in the Budget. Members of the Countryside Alliance sent a convoy of up to a dozen tractors, supported by two horse trailers, to carry signs around the streets of Westminster. They urged the Chancellor to "Keep the Countryside Working"… (story) (photo)
Scotsman 17.4.02 Rural Campaigners to Stage Budget Day Protest By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News - Countryside campaigners were today staging a demonstration to remind Chancellor Gordon Brown that rural businesses need help in the Budget... The convoy was meeting at Montford Place, Kennington, in south east London, at 11am and was planning to circle Westminster for several hours after noon... (story)
Western Mail 17.4.02 Rural campaigners to stage Budget day protest ... Members of the Countryside Alliance are sending a convoy of up to a dozen tractors, supported by two horse trailers, to carry signs around the streets of Westminster in central London urging the Chancellor to "Keep the Countryside Working"... (story)

Shropshire Star 10.5.02 Measures as hunt ban nears - I always read the letters from the pro hunters as they get even more desperate to prove their case as the ban on hunting gets closer… why not take up drag hunting?... Sid Jones, Whittington, Oswestry (letter in archive)

Swindon Evening Evening Advertiser 10.5.02 Killing badgers does nothing to help cattle - ONCE again, the Government is throwing away millions of pounds on a useless badger culling trial because bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is increasing in cattle, and badgers are getting the blame… (Mrs) M Harrison, Beaulieu Close, Toothill (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Gazette 10.5.02 Missing the logic behind spread of TB - It's about time the Government, NFU and farmers faced up to the truth badgers are not the cause of TB in cattle… Malcolm Clark, Southview, Horton, near Devizes (letter in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 10.5.02 'BADGER BODS' SAY ANYTHING - IN reference to your article 'Death of badgers, children blamed,' (The Citizen, May 2) I never heard so much rubbish before. Tracey Lambert of Lydney believes children killed the badgers because they blocked their holes, which shows how much or how little she knows about badgers… What happened to all the badgers when their holes were blocked at one time when it was allowed before hunting on that day? Did they all die? Rubbish!.. DON TINSEY, Cranham (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.5.02 BLAMING ALL BUT OURSELVES - Here we go again: More cattle with cattle TB, yet another disease the farmers can blame on our wildlife… bad farming practices include intensive farming… They will blame the foxes for dilapidated fowl pens… insects for ruining their crops… The name livelihood and livestock farmers, as with the Countryside Alliance's "Liberty and Livelihood" slogan should be changed, and more honestly called "deadlihood and deadstock"… M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 10.5.02 HABITAT LOSS THAT IS KILLING OFF RATTY … the article by Tristan Cork which blamed animal rights activists for the decline in water voles will do nothing at all to help the water vole… American mink began escaping from fur farms almost as soon as the farms were established.Added to this were deliberate releases of mink by fur farmers as fur prices fell… Paul Tillsley Brompton Regis Somerset (letter)

Harborough Mail 10.5.02 Don´t be misled by meat message - I FOUND John Haynes´ letter very misleading, with the message that if meat is produced in the UK, the animal has been reared, treated and killed humanely. If this were the case, Viva, Peta, CIWF and even the RSPCA would not all have campaigns running which expose the meat industry in all its shameful glory… Angela Mitchell, Ridgeway West, Market Harborough. (letter)

Worcester Evening News 10.5.02 Something must be done about brutality - AFTER recent incidents of wildlife crime at County Hall, I feel compelled to write and ask what the powers-that-be, meaning the County Hall authorities, mean to do about it… MRS SHEILA WILKES, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Bolton Evening News 10.5.02 Helping animals - AT long last something is being proposed to protect animals from cruelty… Good luck to the RSPCA in their endeavours E Hobson, Rawson Street, Farnworth, Bolton (letter in archive)

South London Press 10.5.02 Brutal dog torture is exposed By Dania Kowalewski, South London Press …An investigation by the World Society for the Protection of Animals has revealed the vile age-old tradition of hanging greyhounds following the end of the hare-coursing season at the start of each year. Jonathan Owen and Alistair Find-lay, both based at Vauxhall, conducted the investigation in the Castilla y Leon and Castilla la Mancha regions of Spain…. (story)
Cambridge News 2.5.02 Fight to stop Spain's dog torturers - AN ANIMAL welfare officer from Cambridgeshire has uncovered the widespread killing of huge numbers of hunting dogs in Spain. Alistair Findlay led an investigation which revealed thousands of greyhounds have been hanged from trees, stoned or drowned in ponds and wells in rural parts of the country... Mr Findlay, 42, from Meldreth, is a project officer with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).... (story in archive)
Herts Advertiser 2.5.02 Highlighting dog cruelty - Lucinda Read, aged 34, and her mother Linda, aged 55, who both live in Wheathampstead, set up the charity Greyhound Compassion some years ago... The charity has been actively involved in trying to get Spain to outlaw the practice of hanging thousands of greyhounds at the end of the hare-coursing season... (story)

Times 9.5.02 Minister funded by anti-hunt charity BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Minister who is to decide the future of hunting was first elected to Parliament with the help of cash from one of the leading anti-hunt charities… Alun Michael, Rural Affairs Minister, confirmed yesterday that he had received £200 from the League Against Cruel Sports to help him to win the Cardiff South and Penarth seat in 1987… Mr Michael did not disclose the League’s donation to his election expenses in the Registers of Members’ Interests compiled during that Parliament… (story)

Telegraph 9.5.02 Hunts in wake-up call to No 10 … The group from six hunts gathered in Horseguards Parade, close to 10 Downing Street, and blew their horns as a "wake up call" to Tony Blair. Organisers claimed that despite a consultation period into the issue beginning seven weeks ago, they had yet to be formally contacted by the Government. (story)
Ananova 8.5.02 Huntsmen stage protest near Downing Street - A group of huntsmen on horseback with a pack of hounds have staged a protest in support of fox hunting in central London… The group from six hunts around the country gathered in Horseguards Parade close to 10 Downing Street and blew their horns as a "wake up call" to Tony Blair… quote from Patrick Martin, Bicester "We were here this morning at 6.30am in Horseguards. Tony Blair's bedroom backs on to here and we wanted to let him know we were still around."… (story)

Shropshire Star 9.5.02 Obsessed with fox hunting …My son has hunted all his life and is now putting the attributes he acquired, namely responsibility and civility, to good use in the Army Air Corps where he is prepared to lay down his life for freedom and democracy. It's something Mr Blair seems unable to relate to - if his flippant dispatching of 45 Royal Marines to Afganistan with no debate is anything to go by, as he was discussing ways of destroying a way of life in his own country SJ Clark Threapwood, Malpas (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 9.5.02 Why is hunting inquiry to be secret? - On April 26, Alun Michael, the minister who will be responsible for introducing a bill to 'resolve the issue of hunting', closed the door on further comments which might help him find the common ground that he claims is necessary to frame legislation… It is indeed a shame that Labour's supposed multi-culturalism does not extend to its own rural people. Ian Sawers, Harmer Hill, Shrewsbury (letter in archive)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 9.5.02 Ban on hunting would be cruel …A hunt ban would be detrimental to the welfare of the fox, and would lead to cruel and barbaric alternative forms of control such as poisoning and trapping. F LATHAM, Marina Drive, Fulwood, Preston. (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 9.5.02 HUNTERS DO ENJOY THE KILL - Hunting people do enjoy killing animals, many with supporters have openly admitted this… Hunting is cruel and should be banned. Name and address supplied (letter)

Worcester Evening News 9.5.02 Labour Day did not mean much to them - MAY 1 has long been regarded as a great day for unions, socialism and Labour around the world, but on this day there was no celebration for rural workers in Worcester. A delegation from the Union of Country Sports Workers was to present Alistair Darling, Minister for Work and Pensions, and Worcester MP Mike Foster with a letter asking for a fair hearing from the Government. Mr Darling stayed away and Mr Foster scurried past, refusing to speak to us… JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 9.5.02 BLAIR IN AIRGUNS PLEDGE - Tighter regulation of airgun use by children could be on the way, Prime Minister Tony Blair has indicated…Mr Blair agreed in the Commons that the misuse of air weapons was a "serious and growing problem"… (story)

Times 9.5.02 Animal rights: the moral argument - Should animals have rights protected by Parliament or is that, as Roger Scruton says, nonsense on stilts?
IN HIS his piece “Treating animals as moral beings is cruel” (T2, May 7), Roger Scruton is indeed talking nonsense on stilts. I fail to see his leap of logic that affording rights to animals will require them to be moral beings… Dr P. Coates, Skin Research Centre, University of Leeds
Fogging the issue - …We want rights accorded to animals appropriate to their status in the animal kingdom that will protect them from the worst excesses of neglect, misuse and ill-treatment perpetrated on them by human beings.
Duty etched in law - …the RSPCA is, as it always has been, an animal welfare organization… The RSPCA is certainly not, as Mr Scruton would have it, “a new-fangled centre of activist politics”, and stands firmly against the illegal activities of others wrought in the name of animal rights… Ann Grain, Head of Press, RSPCA
Time for change …. A Bill of Rights will merely correct many practices that have evolved since the last legislation…. Christopher Seager, Bournemouth (letters)
Times 7.5.02 Treating animals as moral beings is cruel BY ROGER SCRUTON … The Government’s proposal of a Bill of Rights for animals has been much ridiculed. But it is the logical next step in a series of legislative measures, including the ban on fur farming and the proposed ban on hunting, which show the influence of the movement for animal rights on new Labour’s thinking… The animal rights movement has taken over the RSPCA and turned it from an old-fashioned charitable cause to a newfangled centre of activist politics… (story)
Times 7.5.02 Britain 2002: Two legs good, four legs equal? BY PENNY WARK - It is 180 years since the first animal welfare law. Now we are promised a Bill of Rights for pets. Our correspondent traces the history of our changing attitudes… (story)

Cornishman 9.5.02 CULL PROTEST RESUMES - A GIANT 'badger' was caged and 'shot' in St Just on Saturday - to highlight opposition to DEFRA's badger cull… The protest, organised by local anti-cull campaigner Annie Tresidder, of St Just, with help from the West Cornwall Badger group, was staged in the Plen an Gwary… Ruth Stedman, from Newlyn - dressed in a giant badger suit - was trapped in a cage and 'shot' by Martin Cavell, who played the part of a the man from DEFRA. Anti-cull campaigner Roger Driver, who praised the groups efforts, commented: "The cull will not prove anything… (story)

Denbighshire Free Press 9.5.02 A VET’S EYE VIEW OF THE TB PROBLEM - I would like to respond to Tony Cummins letter in the May 2 Free Press. Sadly inuendo and accusation seem to have taken over from real fact… The situation needs to be investigated, without undue restriction or prejudice from either side. TB is a terrible disease, and one which we can well do without in cattle, humans, and badgers…. Tim Mainland MA, VetMB, MRCVS (letter may be in archive)

Ananova 9.5.02 RSPCA pays £17,000 a month for court dogs' care …RSPCA inspectors took the dogs, most of which are German shepherds, from a smallholding near King's Lynn, Norfolk, late last year…The RSPCA is legally bound to fund the care of the dogs until either the owner formally hands them over to the charity or a court orders that they should be handed over. (story)

South Wales Evening Argus 9.5.02 Dogs pack out animal sanctuary THE battle to save All Creatures Great and Small is over, but now volunteers at the Cwmbran sanctuary face another fight. For the centre at Church Farm, Llanfrechfa, has been inundated with homeless dogs and puppies….trustee Lynne Watkins said their struggle continued… "We are overflowing at the moment," she said. "We have been inundated with dogs and are struggling to find room for them all."… (story in archive)

Matlock Mercury (8.5.02) HUNT SUPPORTERS HI-JACK PROTEST - CELEBRATIONS marking the Mass Trespass at Kinder Scout were hi-jacked by more than 50 angry pro-hunt campaigners who confronted Government minister Michael Meacher… Ramblers were angry the protesters had stolen their thunder and clashed with the placard carriers. Event organiser, Roly Smith said: "This event was nothing to do with hunting, it was to celebrate the right to roam… But a spokesman from the Countryside Alliance stressed they had no involvement… (story in archive)
Buxton Advertiser (1.5.02) MASS TRESPASS REMEMBERED - More than a thousand ramblers joined a rally in Hayfield this weekend to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass… A demonstration by hunt supporters at the ramblers mass trespass celebration has been condemned by the Countryside Alliance… the Regional Director of the Countryside Alliance, Kay Chapman, from Tideswell, was critical of the protesters' actions. She said: "This was the ramblers' day and we empathise with their cause as we too are fighting for access to the very countryside that we have shaped and formed…" (story in archive)
Observer 28.4.02 Hunt demo at ramblers' day - Pro-hunt demonstrators harangued Environment Minister Michael Meacher yesterday in protest at the proposed ban on fox-hunting. The confrontation came at Kinder Scout in the Peak District as ramblers gathered to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Mass Trespass at Bowden Bridge Quarry, Hayfield... (story)

Western Daily Press 8.5.02 MR FOX IS JUST A PREDATOR - Awry smile crossed my lips reading Julian Brown's letter recently… do I therefore assume as he has assumed - I am prohunting - that he is proanimal experiments, shooting, fishing and hare coursing?... The "dear little fox" is a predator - end of story for me! Mr B Pullen Alderton Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.5.02 THIS BARBARIC SLAUGHTER - As a pensioner who has spent most of my life around farm animals, I am neither pro nor anti hunting.But I am amazed at the passion some of the "antis" engender over a few usually old, foxes being killed when every week in the country thousands of cattle, sheep and poultry are done to death by having their throats cut without first being stunned all in the name of Ritual Slaughter… Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.5.02 HUNT IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR …Our democracy has been a successful one because Parliament's actions have always been qualified by respect for freedom and liberty…If Parliament were to act beyond its competence it would become little better than a tyranny - a democratic tyranny if you will -but a tyranny nonetheless… Should hunting be banned by law, I shall certainly oppose this law. I will not take this decision lightly and if I do so, it will be because I see no alternative in the struggle to retain all that is best in the democratic process. Totnes Devon (letter)

Worcester Evening News 8.5.02 Horses and hounds on the menu - I AGREE totally with Mark's Bartlett's sentiments, in his letter headlined "Cost of a Ban". I go even further by suggesting that should horses and hounds become surplus to requirement - there is a ready-made gastronomic market abroad for these animals…. L SPITERI, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 24.4.02 Cost of a ban ... Do these people get paid to hunt foxes? If not then, surely, if they can afford to keep horses and hounds now, they can afford to keep them after the ban? MARK BARTLETT, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Edinburgh News 8.5.02 Fox cull a waste of time and cash - READERS who have been following the debate on urban foxes between myself (Letters, April 19) and T Allison (Letters, April 15 and May 1) may be interested in an article in this month’s BBC Wildlife Magazine… Professor Harris has been studying urban foxes for more than 30 years… points out that foxes were culled in London for nearly 40 years before it was abandoned as an unnecessary waste of time and money… Lynne Mitchell Lower Mains, Dollar, Clackmannanshire (letter)
Edinburgh News 1.5.02 Devious foxes are hunters too - LAST August the News had an excellent feature on urban foxes which it is a pity Lynne Mitchell never saw as her reply about them shows she is not aware of how devious they are… The deterrents Ms Mitchell suggested to rid this city of foxes would have to come in lorries, not packets. T Allison Pilton Place, Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 19.4.02 Cats not on the menu for foxes - I WOULD like to reassure T Allison (Letters, April 15) that it is highly unlikely that the missing cats were taken by foxes... Foxes never ever hunt in packs... Lynne Mitchell, Lower Mains, Dollar (letter)
Edinburgh News 15.4.02 Fox the culprit - I READ of another lost cat in my area… I think we can take it that the fox is the culprit… I have a friend in Silverknowes who rescued a Cavalier spaniel from three foxes… May I say I am totally against fox-hunting, but at the same time I do not want the foxes on my doorstep. T Allison, Pilton Place, Edinburgh (letter)

Leicester Mercury 8.5.02 'NORMAL' BEHAVIOUR THAT FREDDIE WILL ENJOY - The Government is proposing new laws described as a "Bill of Rights for Animals". The purpose is to guarantee a minimum quality of life for domestic animals… My cat Freddie will be pleased, for his normal behaviour is to hunt for mice… R Mason, Leicester. (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 8.5.02 TIME TO TAKE THE LEAD AND BAN LIVE EXPORTS - Before last year's foot-and-mouth epidemic, this country was exporting nearly one million sheep, 100,000 sows and thousands of horses every year… I wrote to Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to urge her to make sure that this vile business did not resume… contact Compassion in World Farming at Freepost (G1/2198), Petersfield, Hants. ANDREW SAUNDERS Orchard Drive Calverton (letter)

Louth Leader 8.5.02 Appalling tradition of pony cruelty must be stopped - – I want to endorse an earlier letter to your column a couple of weeks ago regarding the appalling record this country still has in 2002 in the matter of so-called wild horses/ponies of the New Forest, Dartmoor etc… we used to sometimes go off in our caravan to the New Forest on holiday and, in the beginning, enjoyed the sight of mares with foals at foot… That is until we realised having witnessed the sales one day in the forest that all those young colts were merely there for the benefit of the summer visitors to the area because later in the season off they went to market, sold for coppers and usually ended up on board boats in dreadful circumstances bound for the very unsavoury meat markets of Europe… the excuse and the reasoning being that it is our right and tradition dictates continuance, blah, blah, all the usual pathetic very English snobbery arguments by those hanging on glibly to their rights of grazing, etc, etc… Susan K Marshall, Grimsby Road, Humberston (letter)

Scotsman 8.5.02 Reality of farming - Encouraging children onto farms is a good idea (your re-port, 3 May). But the Taking the Countryside into the Classroom project must address the ignor-ance of how food is produced. I hope the organisers are going to educate children about the reality of modern animal farming. I am sure many people of all ages would be alarmed and disgusted to discover what kind of life most animals endure… ROSS MINETT, Campaigns Director, Advocates for Animals, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh (letter)

Yorkshire Post 7.5.02 West of Yore supporting farmers - HE West of Yore Hunt donated £325 to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society's Farmers in Need appeal following its cross-country ride in March… (story)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 WE MUSTN'T GIVE IN TO THE THOUGHT POLICE - At the risk of getting it shot off, I would like to dip my toe into the "fox-hunting" debate. The real issue here (or so it seems to me) really isn't foxes at all, despite all the rhetoric. This is about one group of people imposing their world view on another… Speaking personally, I have no great urge to indulge in the sport, but I defend the rights of others to do so. It's called freedom, and these days it's in short supply… I'd like to make two suggestions, which won't silence the 'antis' but might help the hunting fraternity. When a fox has gone to ground, don't dig it out. Treat it as having got away. It will still be around next week. And prior to the hunt (weeks ahead if necessary) tell every local householder, at least twice, that they should keep their pets in on the day. David Challice, Chairman UKIP Exeter (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 ANIMALS LIVE BY NATURE'S 'RULE BOOK' - I write with reference to the letter "So what is cruelty?" (WMN, April 30)… Before condemning the fox shouldn't we look to see how far we have shown cruelty by our destruction of the earth… Angela Atkin, Beaworthy (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 LET'S GET HUNTING OUT OF THE WAY NOW FOREVER - A a THOMPSON (WMN, April 9) describes how people may have seen on TV "that city person, Tony Banks MP, making strident remarks related to foxhunting". Perhaps he would like to explain why the offices of the Countryside Alliance are in the centre of London?... A A Thompson and many other hunt supporters don't agree with shooting, because it could cause the animal a long lingering death. Does this mean that they will join with anti-shooting protesters to ban this sport? Dan Sidley, Cornwall Hunt Saboteurs, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 Counter march? - SO "Countryside protesters warn of battle for freedom and liberty" (WMN, March 22). Has it ever occurred to them that animal rights and welfare organisations might also stage a march on the same day or the week after. I'm sure we'd upstage them. If we do, it could even be around the country in all big towns - and the police wouldn't then be able to deploy their officers to London, would they? Just lie down you hunters, your activities are dying, so accept it gracefully and change with the times… You're living in the past. Just put up and shut up! Louise Piddington, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 MARCH WILL SHOW THE POWER OF A MINORITY - I would like to respond to F Cleaves' letter (WMN, April 30), suggesting that the pro-hunting fraternity had nothing better to do than march through the streets of London. One of the main reasons for the march on September 22 is to defend civil liberties, to fight for what we believe in, and to show that a minority really can make a difference… F Cleaves suggests that hunting folk don't have jobs. This is a ridiculous suggestion. How on earth do you think they fund hunting otherwise?... Miss Nell Cruse, Ipplepen (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 END THIS BLOODTHIRSTY PASTIME - When helping with a League against Cruel Sports stall in Newton Abbot recently, we had overwhelming support from people there, including countryside dwellers from off the moors… Mrs J Cook, Honiton (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 Growing 'Islamaphobia' - I AM deeply concerned by Tess Nash's comments regarding Halal meat preparation (WMN, March 26)… I find this reader's attempts to promote foxhunting, on the basis that it's perceived as more humane when compared to a completely different practice, to be quite astonishing. Foxhunting needs to be examined in relation to other field sports, and on its own merits… to suggest hunting is acceptable on the back of such statements only weakens the pro-hunting argument… Jezz Pomfret, Plympton, Plymouth (letter)
Western Morning News 7.5.02 COMPASSION in World Farming (CIWF) is utterly opposed to halal or kosher slaughter when the animals are not pre-stunned (made unconscious) before slaughter… Of course, CIWF will not end its campaign until all animals are properly stunned before slaughter. J D Hetherington, Petersfield, Hants (letter)
Western Morning News 16.4.02 GAINING PLEASURE FROM TIRESOME CHORE - It can only be a vanishing minority of sadists or psychopathic yobs who indulge in cruel, so-called sports for the sake of the cruelty and the fun of killing. There is not the remotest connection between that sort of activity and foxhunting…Most country activities have their origin in practical necessity, and over the years the way they are carried out has developed where possible into a less arduous labour, or even into a pleasurable sport…The present system works. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I assume that all our MPs who are keen to change the system will want to show their civic commitment by setting up and leading fox shooting and hunting patrols in their constituencies to demonstrate their constructive approach to the problem. They are all competent marksmen, of course, who can shoot to kill. A J (Bill) Blackler, Veryan Churchtown Truro
Challenge over cruelty - WHAT an excellent letter from Tess Nash of Helston, (WMN, March 26). Her comments certainly throw a different light on the anti-hunting lobby's "animal cruelty" stance…where does Compassion in World Farming stand on Halal slaughtering carried out in this country, in relation to their opposition to live exports?... A and J Berry, St Martins Looe (letters)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 Think before it's too late - WHAT a pity it is when two groups of people have the same ideals but differ in their approach… I am concerned that if hunting is banned farmers would no longer tolerate the nuisance and loss of livestock caused by the fox… the risk of losing so much if the hunt is banned on a cruelty vote, which is based on human feeling cannot be allowed. Please before it is too late. Think what is at stake. W G Lyne, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 Royal patronage wrong HOW I agree with a remark made by one of your correspondents, Liz Wallace, who said that "the sooner the 'R' is dropped from the RSPCA the better"… Philip shoots anything that moves, Charles, mistress Camilla and his sister Anne delight in the hideous cruelty of hunting, as do the Princes William and Harry. How on earth can these people have anything in common with an animal welfare society? J Browning, Plympton (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 ECO-FRIENDLY METHOD OF DEALING WITH A PEST … Anyone who can't realise that sometimes things have to die, needs to open their eyes a little. The eco-friendly way of dealing with a pest is to use a predator… What form of management is going to replace hunting? Who is going to pay for it? How are they going to make sure no one enjoys themselves doing it? Kate Rogers, Bodmin
No winners - WHO will gain by a hunting ban? Not rural communities. Not the countryside…. So who will benefit by a ban? P H Burbage, Redruth (letters)

Western Daily Press 7.5.02 HUNTERS STUCK IN A TIME WARP - Your correspondent Caroline Gent appears to have been in a time warp… Burns reached the conclusion that fox hunting in terms of control "is almost certainly insignificant in terms of the management of the fox population as a whole"… The process of banning hunting will start soon and within a few years will be an unwanted relic of history. Kevin Hill Crewkerne Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 6.5.02 HUNTING SEASON IS A NIGHTMARE - For a woman professing to know the realities of fox hunting, I can't imagine what sort of fox hunt Caroline Gent is out playing with.... Cub hunting is so cruel it is no wonder hunters chose never to mention it.Hunting wildlife with packs of dogs is cruel by design and calculation... And there are no instant kills in digging out; foxes have been known to have been thrown to the dogs alive. J Hall Northhome Road, Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 TIME TO TAKE ACTION TO STOP CRUELTY TO PRIMATES … At Huntingdon Life Sciences 500 animals are killed in a day…. Uncaged Campaigns continued to inform the public, at great cost to themselves, of the atrocities performed on the primates at HLS and the cruelty and blundering by the scientists… The matter became subject of Early Day Motion 516. As far as I am aware, no date has been set for the debate… So can Early Day Motion 516 be heard at the earliest opportunity? John Cowen, Edinburgh (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 IN reply to Louise Piddington's letter (WMN, March 26), about animal research… the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, Dr Hadwen House, 84A Tilehouse Street, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 2DY. Joy Leaford, Sidmouth (letter)

Western Morning News 7.5.02 NO BADGERS BUT THERE'S TB … could the badger be an innocent victim and perhaps the Ministry should carry out much more research before carrying out such drastic measures? G Brooks, Plymouth (letter)

Evening Leader 7.5.02 HELP BEAT THE BADGER BAITERS - EVIDENCE of cruel badger baiting has been discovered at a quarry in Marford and local youths are believed to be responsible… (story in archive)

St Albans Observer 7.5.02 St Albans woman condemns greyhound abuse in Spain - ST ALBANS woman Lucinda Read has condemned dog abusers following a report by a leading animal rights charity. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) exposed the way thousands of Spanish greyhounds (known as galgos) are hanged each year when the hare coursing season ends. … (story)

Daily Record 7.5.02 Cruel side of human nature - THE Record feature on the work of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals made shocking reading… It's high time the Government made a real effort to crack down on animal cruelty and provided funding for the vital work carried out by these organisations. - T. McCracken, Edinburgh.(letter)

Burton Mail 7.5.02 RSPCA in desperate appeal by JOHN ROBERTS …Yvonne Asker, centre manager for the RSPCA’s shelter in Stretton, said waiting lists for animals were now eight weeks long and dogs were being turned away from the kennels… (story)

Western Daily Press 6.5.02 WHY NO-ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW - The official hunting bodies are not so arrogant to think themselves above the law - that is why thousands of country people went to Smith Square to hand in their letters of protest against the bill to ban hunting to Mr Alun Michael and hundreds of thousands will be in London on September 22.... Such lawbreakers will have sought and received permission and encouragement from the landowners and farmers over whose land they hunt. With the current levels of street and other crime, it is unlikely that police will have either the resources or indeed the will to intervene... S Paine Withypool Near Minehead Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 6.5.02 No comparison - ANTI-hunt protesters ask if "hunters" suggest that people who indulge in illegal cock-fighting, badger-baiting, bear-baiting and dog-fighting should be allowed to carry on their activities in the name of freedom of choice and civil liberties. What a ridiculous question - of course we shouldn't… Animal baiting and fighting involve the use of captive animals in an alien environment from which they have no possibility of escape. Hunting consists of the finding (if possible), and pursuit (if the scent holds) of a wild animal, in its natural environment, where it has every chance of escape… People should bear in mind the fact that Richard Martin and many of the other men who made cock-fighting etc illegal were themselves keen foxhunters. Jonathan Marshall, Lydeard St Lawrence Taunton (letter)

Western Morning News 6.5.02 Election promise - YOUR correspondent John Riches asks readers to remember, at the next General Election, that the vote in the House of Commons to ban hunting with dogs is proof of the most ignorant and arrogant Parliament in recent years…. Electors, including myself, did not vote for Labour out of ignorance, but were attracted to the party by the policy of opposition to hunting with dogs for sport. John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.5.02 CAMPAIGNERS SHOULD WATCH WILDLIFE FILMS Mrs Y Nicola, Points of view, April 9, quotes Lord Burns - "the killing of a fox by hounds is not always affected by a single bite to the neck and death often results from massive injuries to the chest and vital organs... Only a fortnight ago, I noticed a lamb in a field with its whole stomach gouged out - obviously the work of a fox - with no attempt to eat the whole animal. What is the anti-hunt brigade doing to put a stop to all this cruelty?... H Lewis, South Molton (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.5.02 SPORTING CHANCE AT CUP EVENT ...The Waterloo Cup, one of the biggest coursing events in England has recently taken place. Out of 126 hares coursed 12 were killed. This is in contrast to a recent hare shoot near Newmarket when 600 hares were shot. Martin Wood Minety Malmesbury Wiltshire (letter)

Daily Record 6.5.02 Food for thought ...the story about the malnourished vegan baby in the US... The diet given by these parents was an example of a very bad vegan diet. - George D. Rodger, The Vegan Society. (letter)

Northern Echo BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS ...they pen cattle in small byres so they cannot run, chain dairy cattle in the byres 40 or 50 a time in the winter and when they come out to grass they find the cows have TB - then they blame the poor old badger... Stanley Bowden, West Cornforth (letter in archive)

Burton Daily Mail 6.5.02 Badger cull to restart in county by SARAH JAMES - BADGER culling is to resume in Staffordshire and Derbyshire after figures revealed more than 225 of the counties’ cattle have been slaughtered so far this year because of bovine TB... wildlife campaigner Faye Burton, co-founder of Staffordshire badger group, branded the trial a "waste of money"... (letter)

Sunday Times 5.5.02 Protection for all - A LAW to protect animals from abuse and cruelty is long overdue ... Sara Ashley-Middleton, Birkdale, Southport
... Factory farm and laboratory animals are slaves, with no rights and miserable lives... Joyce Moss, Cirencester, Gloucestershire
The freedoms for animals should be applied rigorously to child welfare in Britain... Animals, yes, but children first. Babies before budgies. Norma Hornby, Warrington, Cheshire
Once the government has applied itself to the howler about animals’ rights, perhaps it could make a legal provision, using the same wording, for dependent old people. Maureen Finney, Amberley, Gloucestershire (letters)

Western Daily Press 4.5.02 TACKLE THIS HYPOCRISY - I fully agree with Mike Ribbeck's piece about animal abuse... millions of animals are killed every year in vivisection laboratories... It is legal to terrorise, chase, then rip to pieces, foxes, deer, hares and mink... Millions of birds have their lives blasted away or crippled... Millions of animals are forced to endure the horrors and bloody carnage of the slaughterhouse... Until this legal abuse is stamped out we cannot hope to eradicate any other abuse. P Richardson Woodmancote Cirencester (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 4.5.02 POLICE TO HOLD WILDLIFE SEMINAR - The seventh wildlife law enforcement seminar will be held at Derbyshire police headquarters on Wednesday. The event is run jointly by Derbyshire police and the British Association of Shooting and Conservation... (story)

Gloucester Echo/Gloucester Citizen 4.5.02 STOP TORMENT OF THE BADGER - IT is now well over 25 years of the badger being killed in some way. First by gassing, pumped into their setts by MAFF and the "men from the ministry". Now by trapping and shooting by DEFRA.... Stop making the badger the scapegoat. PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)

Burton Daily Mail 4.5.02 No more pets at DIY store by JOHN ROBERTS ... Focus Do It All in Wellington Street will be closed on July 21 and converted into a Wickes Home Improvement Centre. The move will mean the closure of the store’s PetWorld, which has attracted protest for over two years for selling reptiles, birds, mammals and fish... Animal Aid has been campaigning to stop the sale of animals at Focus Do It All stores across Britain... The campaign’s director, Andrew Tyler, today welcomed the news of the store’s impending closure... (story in archive)

Telegraph 3.5.02 Foxhunting museum opens - THE first museum to be devoted to the sport of hunting, its devotees and opponents is to be opened in Melton Mowbray, Leics, today.... It will be opened by Lady Mallalieu today. (story)

Sussex Express 3.5.02 SURELY the problems of the NHS and the rail service, the plight of asylum seekers, and the growing illicit drug cult in Britain… are more important than the argument over fox hunting? How does the government dare give precious parliamentary time to criminalizing people who hunt when it can’t find the time to deal with the real problems… Alice Renton, Offham. (letter)

Hexham Courant 3.5.02 ARROGANCE - WITH regard to the letter from Jennifer McGee (Courant, April 26th), Alun Michael had agreed to meet members of the Countryside Alliance when he visited Hadrian's Wall… What can he expect? If I were a Minister in charge of banning football (which I would not), I would expect to meet with angry football supporters who would want to put their case to me…. Richard Dodd, Regional Director NE, Countryside Alliance. (letter)
Hexham Courant 26.4.02 HOW refreshing it was to read Peter Atkinson saying that it would be a "crime" if the Government used the Parliament Act to force a Bill through Parliament to ban hunting (Courant, April 19th)!... they still nurture fox cubs to hunt for another day. If the Countryside Alliance people are conserving the countryside for my benefit, why can't I walk on it because they have ploughed over the paths!... ALAN WRIGHT, Stocksfield. (letter)
Hexham Courant 26.4.02 WRONG TO HIJACK MINISTER'S VISIT - At this time Northumberland, and especially Tynedale, is attempting to promote its image regarding what it can offer to the many tourists we would all like to encourage here, namely the launching of the Hadrian's Wall Spring Festival... Countryside Minister Alun Michael was invited to launch the festival... Coverage by your newspaper showed where some people's priorities lie. The front page headline read: "Huntsmen's message to Minister" and, further on, a huge article "When the Minister met the countryside... This is a time when we should at every opportunity be promoting our district not, as some have done, an chance to promote their own causes. Coun. Jennifer McGee, Edgewell Grange, Prudhoe. (letter)
Hexham Courant 19.4.02 HUNTSMAN'S MESSAGE TO THE MINISTER - HUNDREDS gathered to witness professional huntsman Andrew Robb hand the Defra Minister for rural affairs a letter demanding a fair solution on the fox hunting issue… (story) (photo)
Hexham Courant 19.4.02 WHEN THE MINISTER - THE GOVERNMENT will create 250,000 criminals if MPs vote to ban fox hunting with hounds, Defra Minister Alun Michael was told when he visited Tynedale. A delegation of more than 400 representatives of the Countryside Alliance confronted Mr Michael on Friday when he visited Hadrian's Wall to help boost tourism in the district… (story)
Newcastle Journal 13.4.02 Minister jeered by angry hunt supporters - Hundreds of hunt supporters jeered the minister responsible for the future of their sport yesterday and made it clear they would fight every step of the way to keep it legal. The Rural Affairs minister Alun Michael was in Northumberland on a two- day visit... At the Twice Brewed Inn, close to the Housesteads Roman Fort, yesterday around 300 CA supporters packed a breakfast meeting with Mr Michael... Mr Michael said he was committed to listening to all sides.... (story)
Cumberland News & Star 13.4.02 HUNT SUPPORTERS STAGE DEMO ... The peaceful demonstration in Carlisle at midday included representatives from the Melbreak pack in Loweswater, the Central Committee of Fell Packs, the Blencathra group at Threlkeld, Lunesdale Foxhounds in Sedbergh and others from Ullswater and Bewcastle...(story)

ThisIsDevon (probably Exeter Express & Echo) 3.5.02 I was shocked and disappointed to read a letter in Postbag (March 29) inquiring whether animal lovers would help the RSPCA release foxes… Mr Budd (veterinary manager, RSPCA) should not advertise the release of foxes or any animal anywhere in the country. T McCANN, Southway (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.4.02 RSPCAHAS IT ALL WRONG - I was appalled to read Peter Budd, RSPCA veterinary manager at West Hatch asking for sites to release foxes on our already threatened wildlife... As a vet he can anticipate the effect this will have on ground nesting birds, hares, rabbits, shrews and dormice which foxes feed upon... P Richards Weston-super-Mare, Somerset (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal) 9.4.02 VERMIN ARE UNCONTROLLED ON LAND OWNED BY TRUSTS - After reading Peter Budd's letter regarding fox releases, Points of view, March 20, he ought to face a few facts of life… The trusts do nothing to control pests and now, to top it all, the RSPCA is releasing more unwanted vermin back into the wild, at a cost of £1,000 per pen to feed them in. What on earth has gone wrong with this country? With regard to this particular problem, who is the biggest pest, the RSPCA or the fox? R J Peake, Doccombe, Moretonhampstead (letter)
Western Morning News 4.4.02 HELP RELEASE FOX CUBS IN WILD Peter Budd Veterinary Manager RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Hospital (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald, North Devon Journal, Western Morning News) 29.3.02 WILL YOU HELP TO RELEASE FOXES? PETER BUDD, Veterinary Manager, RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Hospital (letter)
ThisIsDevon 26.3.02 SEARCH ON FOR FOX FRIENDLY FARMERS - PETER BUDD Veterinary Manager RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Hospital Taunton (letter)
ThisIsDevon (Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News, North Devon Journal, Torquay Herald Express, Plymouth Evening Herald) 25.3.02 COULD YOU HELP WITH FOX CUBS? - PETER BUDD, RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Hospital, Taunton. (letter)
ThisIsBath (Bath Chronicle, Western Gazette, Western Daily Press) 21.3.02 HELP US PUT FOXES BACK INTO THE WILD - I am writing to inquire whether there are animallovers among your readership who may be willing to help the RSPCA with our carefullymonitored programme of releasing rehabilitated fox cubs back into the wild... The RSPCA is frequently accused of taking van-loads of mangey town foxes on to the moors and hills of the south west and releasing them. This is patent nonsense and has never been the case... PETER BUDD Veterinary manager RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Hospital (letter)

Westmorland Gazette 3.5.02 Deer cull outcry - THE National Trust has been forced to change its deer culling policy following outrage from a group of Grasmere residents who saw two red deer stags slaughtered by a stalker just metres from their homes (story in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 3.5.02 BID TO RECRUIT BADGER KILLERS AS CULL RE-STARTS AFTER BREAK - Badger killers are being recruited across Gloucestershire after the Government restarted its controversial culling programme this week. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will not say where culls will take place - but confirmed they would centre on farms in the Forest of Dean and the border with Herefordshire… A peaceful demonstration has been promised by the Gloucestershire Badger Group once the local cull goes ahead… Stroud man Martin Hancox, a former member of the Government's consultative panel on badgers and TB, maintains cattle pass the disease to badgers… (story)

Western Daily Press 3.5.02 NOT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE …it seems that poor old Brock is yet again to be made the scapegoat for the discredited industrialised farming practices that has already brought us BSE and foot-andmouth disease… As usual, not a peep from the RSPCA, or the so-called animal rights movement… Maybe if the men doing the ghastly business wore red coats and riding boots, we might get some action…. (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.5.02 PLEASE DON'T BLAME BROCK - It's about time the Government, NFU and farmers faced the truth - badgers are not the cause of TB in cattle… as you read this, badgers who have spent many hours trapped in a small cage, are being shot by the Government's paid murderers… (letter)

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Review 3.5.02 MEMBERS of a Forest badger protection group claim a sett near Soudley has been deserted because of the creation of a cycle track. Several holes were filled in and spoil heaps were removed to create a series of jumps in a circuit over the sett area, says the Forest of Dean Badger Patrol.... quote from spokesperson Tracey Lambert (story in archive)

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Review 3.5.02 Badgers at risk - I WAS saddened to read the letter from the lady whose attempt to rescue an injured badger casualty on the A48 near Chepstow was thwarted by the criminal and mindless act of an individual... As a member of the Forest of Dean Badger Patrol, both my fellow members and I have witnessed many incidents involving cruelty to badgers... Dave Bayliss, badger welfare officer, Forest of Dean Badger Patrol. (letter in archive)

Newark Advertiser 3.5.02 Cockpit sites hunt By DANIEL CHURCHER - Cockerels are being goaded by gamblers to fight to the death in the Newark area. The RSPCA is appealing for information to help it catch the people running the fights... RSPCA inspector Ian Callingham said he had seen a pit in a back garden on a housing estate in Newark.... (story may be in archive)

Leamington Spa Courier 3.5.02 PROTESTS OVER CIRCUS WITH ANIMALS - ANIMAL rights protesters greeted visitors to a travelling circus in Cubbington. Cars were stopped by 11 campaigners waving placards and giving out leaflets in opposition to the use of performing animals in the show…. Peter Jolly, 29, defended the circus tradition and his own show… (story)

The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 3.5.02 ABATTOIR SHOULD BE SOMEWHERE ELSE ... I feel it is totally inappropriate to have a slaughterhouse - as it was described - right under the public's nose. I find it quite distressing on doing my weekly shop... I would say that I was an animal lover but not a vegetarian, but having this issue of slaughtering paraded in front of me, week after week, when I go shopping I am seriously thinking of becoming one... MISS H WILLIAMSON Shelton (letter)
The Sentinel (Stoke on Trent) 3.5.02 RUNAWAY BULL KNEW HIS FATE - I was sickened to hear about the bull that escaped while on its way to the dreaded abattoir and was then caught and destroyed... I wish that we could have rescued the bull and let it spend its long life in comfort in a sanctuary. We have managed to do this many times... JANET CUMMINGS Rugby (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 3.5.02 I READ that pet animals are to be given 'rights.' What will this lead to? Rights for cotton mill workers or even women?... MICHELLE PICKERING (Mrs), Olympia Street, Burnley. (letter in archive)

Burnley News 3.5.02 No incinerator in our backyard - RE: the proposed animal waste incinerator in the Hapton area. Given that the vast majority of the population eats an animal-based diet, it raises the question of how much should that population duck its responsibilities and be sheltered from the more unpleasant consequences of such a diet?... MR MICHAEL MARTIN, Valley Gardens, Hapton (letter)

Worcester Evening News 2.5.02 Pro-hunt anger as Minister cancels - AN angry hunt spokesman has accused a Government Minister of being "spineless and gutless" after he cancelled a visit to Worcester. Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State of Work and Pensions, was due to open a new office block in King's Court, near the new hospital yesterday. But Worcestershire Hunt spokesman, Bob Brierley said he believed Mr Darling had cancelled his visit because he knew the hunt supporters would be there.... (story in archive)

Telegraph 2.5.02 'Rush to legislation must be resisted' By Michael Kallenbach ... Charles Moore, the editor of The Daily Telegraph, said there should be a presumption in favour of freedom... There had never been a ban on hunting with hounds and hunting had taken place for centuries. "You need not ban something just because you think it is wrong. If hunting were to be banned, it will seem incredible in years to come."... (story)

Worcester Evening News 2.5.02 Another waste of time over hunting - ACCORDING to Minister Alun Michael MP, "hunting is far from being the important issue for rural people". If this were the case, then why has the Government launched a six-month consultation period to be followed by a Bill?... J WOOD, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 2.5.02 readers have to suffer bizarre questions from W W Scott (April 23) such as: "Does anybody care how a rat is put to death?".The fox controls such vermin and will probably eat the rat for breakfast... John Phelps, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.5.02 DON'T BLAME CATS FOR THEIR NATURE... I would like to strongly reply to your reader R J Hatherly who wrote about a neighbour's cat which trashed a nest and killed five baby robins... They don't do it for fun, and you cannot compare this with men using hunting dogs, which is a very cruel sport.... Also, where are they expected to go to the loo, if not in gardens... (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.4.02 IT'S NOT ONLY DOGS THAT DELIVER THE KILLER BLOW - I READwith daily interest the on-going correspondence in your paper about the rights and wrongs of hunting with dogs… One morning I was devastated to find the nest had been trashed with baby robins on the ground dead, the others missing and the parents gone. The culprit was not a pack of hounds, not a hunter with a gun, not a fisherman with a rod, but a neighbour's black and white cat!...Is anyone interested in a campaign to ban hunting with cats? I guess not. (LETTER)

Shropshire Star 2.5.02 Anti-hunt lobby is growing minority Your regular anti-hunting correspondent, Roy Dowsett is worrying unnecessarily about hunting people keeping to the rules. But he should be worried about the latest opinion polls which show he and his 'anti' friends are increasingly in the minority, with the latest opinion polls showing over 54 per cent of people against any form of ban on hunting... when hunting was allowed to resume under strict Defra conditions, every person in the country who went hunting obeyed the demanding Defra conditions to the letter. Every single person went through a disinfecting process every day they went hunting, and signed a legally binding agreement in confirmation... The so-called 'antis' threatened to invade restricted areas and blatantly risk spreading the disease in order to discredit the hunt! Patrick Webster, Newport (letter in archive)

Berwickshire News 2.5.02 Chance to create other jobs with horses ...Hunting with hounds is now effectively a thing of the past but hunters, as is their democratic right, may fight the ban in every British and European court if they wish.... I do not share Wendy Turnbull's pessimism about the ability of people to do different types of work... It is my fervent hope that hunters, whilst fighting the ban, are also researching ways to retain and indeed increase jobs for people who want to work with horses. RICHARD WALTHEW, Whitsome Crofts, Duns. (letter)

Mercury (Staffordshire) 2.5.02 FOX HUNTING ENTERTAINS THOSE WITH MORE CASH THAN SENSE I don't fox hunt, and I don't paint banners against it either. But I think, in agreement with your correspondent (Mercury letters, April 25), classing fox hunting as a sport is wrong… we should look to a more decent way of handling the problem. Jacky Grice, Jesmond Close, Rawnsley. (letter)

Buckingham Advertiser 2.5.02 HUNT RIDS ME OF UNWANTED FOX - YOU recently published a letter from E M Britten... suggesting that creating a false trail to follow rather than chasing live animals ‘would be acceptable to most people’. It would not be acceptable to me! I am a landowner and I allow the hunt over my land to rid me of unwanted foxes and for no other reason.... In short, the hunt performs a service; drag hunting does not. B J Cooper, Chetwode Priory, Buckingham. (letter)
Buckingham Advertiser 25.4.02 HUNTING WITHOUT FOX? ... I follow no religion, but feel very strongly that for one species – namely ourselves with our supposedly superior intellect and powers of reasoning – to chase, torment and kill other creatures for pleasure, is morally abhorrent.. E M Britten, West Well Lane, Tingewick. (letter)

Evesham Journal 2.5.02 Vixen kills calf in `unique' attack on farm A MONTH old calf died hours after a Vale of Evesham farmer found it being attacked by a vixen on Monday morning... Tony Bomford, of Norval Farm, South Littleton... was checking his cows and calves when he found the heifer calf, worth £70, lying in a corner of the field with the vixen chewing at its tail and back end. "I had two or three goes at chasing the vixen off before she eventually went,"... (story in archive)

Bolton Evening News 2.5.02 Fox attack fear after pet rabbits are killed - RABBIT owners are being urged to make sure their pets are secure at night after five were killed at the same time... Lindsay Bird, from Farnworth, who looks after rabbits for the RSCPA, fears an urban fox is likely to be responsible... "... I've seen a number of cases where foxes have taken the heads of their victims.."

Western Morning News 2.5.02 GASSING BADGERS WON'T WIPE OUT TB - Not so long ago NFU representatives stood in the reception room at 10 Downing Street adamantly refusing to have anything to do with the inoculation of animals against foot and mouth. Now they have renewed their familiar plea for a cull of badgers as the answer to the problem of bovine TB in cattle... H V F Winstone, Bideford (letter)

Cornishman 2.5.02 BADGER CULL UNLIKELY TO BE SOLUTION TO BOVINE TB ... there is a growing body of opinion that believes that the problem emanates from the cattle themselves with the spill-over to badgers and other animals.... (story)

Irish Independent 2.5.02 Badger case dismissed over date error - AN accusa tion of badger-baiting against an Englishman living in Cork was dismissed yesterday, after a District Court judge said that the incorrect date was specified in the charges. Judge Michael Patwell dismissed the charge against Colin Bowie of Glennorth, Banteer, Co Cork at Kanturk District Court - after animal welfare inspector described the condition of a Fell terrier who had lost half its lower jaw and large areas of flesh as among the worst he had seen in 32 years as an inspector... (story)

Telegraph 2.5.02 Learning scheme was open to fraud, say MPs By John Clare, Education Editor - THE Government's multi-million-pound Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) scheme was a debacle, wide open to fraud and a "licence to print money", the Commons education committee reported yesterday... (story)
Western Mail 20.2.02 Twelve appear before magistrates accused of conspiring to defraud learning fund …All 12 were yesterday granted unconditional bail by magistrate Bob Taylor to reappear before Northampton Crown Court next Monday for a preliminary hearing… (story)
Ananova 19.2.02 Twelve in court accused of learning fund fraud …They spoke only to confirm their names as the cases against them were adjourned by Northampton magistrates… They were arrested as part of a National Crime Squad investigation into the activities of animal rights activists following a series of raids last autumn… All 12 were granted unconditional bail to reappear before Northampton Crown Court next Monday for a preliminary hearing…The following were charged with two counts of conspiracy to obtain property by deception: Colin French (aka Michael Shanahan), 35, of Hartwell Road, Ashton, Northampton and Gamal Eboe, 32, of Queens Mansions, Eastbourne, East Sussex. His wife, Louise Eboe (formerly Watson), 29, of the same address was charged with one count of conspiracy to obtain property by deception. The others charged with the same offence were: Kate Fowler, 30, of Hilmor, Pyecombe Street, Pyecombe, West Sussex; Carl Goodrick, 36, of Hazeldene Road, Northampton; John Hughes, 34, of Kenilworth Road, St Leonards, East Sussex; Christopher Kent, 37, of Fieldway, Northampton; Anthony Mann, 33, of Cloutsham Street, Northampton; Keith Mann, 35, of Boat Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire; Maximillian Watson, 30, of Yew Tree Road, Manchester; Kerry Williamson, 30, of Jameson Street, Wolverhampton; and Gary Egan, 41, of Windward Close, New Duston, Northampton. (story)
Ananova 19.2.02 Eleven accused of learning fund fraud - Eleven people are to appear before magistrates charged with fraud against the Department for Education and Skills… (story)
Ananova 14.2.02 Ninety Six probed after learning fraud claims - Ninety six people involved in the Government's Individual Learning Account scheme are being investigated following allegations of fraud. The initiative, which offers adults government cash for education courses, was suspended late last year after police were called to investigate the allegations… (story)
Times 2.2.02 Activists charged with fraud (story)
BBC News Online 1.2.02 Eleven accused of training fraud plot ... The eleven were among 35 people arrested last autumn... another man was to be charged next Tuesday... Of those not charged, 7 have been cautioned, 3 have refused caution, and papers have gone to the Crown Prosecution Service. No further action will be taken against the 13 others... charged with two counts of conspiracy to obtain property by deception: Colin French (aka Michael Shanahan), 35, of Hartwell Road, Ashton, Northampton, Gamal Eboe, 32, of Caledonian Road, Brighton. Charged with one count of conspiracy to obtain property by deception: Louise Caroline Watson, 29, of Caledonian Road, Brighton, Sussex; Kate Michelle Fowler, 30, of Hilmor, Pyecombe Street, Pyecombe, Sussex; Carl Westley Goodrick, 36, of Hazeldene Road, Northampton; John Edward Hughes, 34, of Kenilworth Road, St. Leonards on Sea, Sussex; Christopher John Kent, 37, of Fieldway, Northampton; Anthony James Mann, 33, of Cloutsham Street, Northampton; Keith James Mann, 35, of Boat Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire; Maximillian Watson, 30, of Yew Tree Road, Manchester; Kerry Ann Patricia Williamson, 30, of Jameson Street, Wolverhampton. (story)
Ananova 1.2.02 Animal rights activists charged - Eleven suspected animal rights activists have been charged with swindling tens of thousands of pounds out of the Government...charged with conspiracy to obtain property by deception... bailed to appear at Northampton magistrates court on February 19 (story)
Bolton Evening News 8.1.02 Suspected animal activists could face fraud charges (at the end of the month) - The Bolton man and woman were released on bail pending further inquiries after they were arrested last September in connection with attempting to cheat the Department for Education and Skills. (story in archive)
Argus 15.11.01 Woman arrested in fraud probe by Phil Mills - Police have arrested a Brighton woman in connection with an alleged fraud by animal rights activists. A total of 35 people have now been arrested nationwide by the National Crime Squad, six of them from Sussex. The woman was among six people picked up around the country yesterday alleged to be involved in swindling tens of thousands of pounds out of the Government's Department for Education and Skills... (story in archive)
Independent 27.10.01 Police arrest 29 animal rights activists in fraud investigation By Richard Garner, Education Editor ... A total of 29 people - 16 men and 13 women - with links to animal rights' groups have been arrested in two police operations connected with fraud inquiries into the Individual Learning Accounts scheme... The £150m scheme which has provided two-and-a-half million people with government subsidies to sign on for courses in basic skills and retraining, has been suspended. ... separate police raids in Northampton, St Leonards, Brighton, Haverhill, Edenbridge, Bournemouth, Wolverhampton, Greater Manchester and Leicestershire ... the money was used to fund individuals' own lifestyles, boost funds for animal rights activities and even gain information about those involved in "legitimate research"... (story)
BBC News Online 25.10.01 Training accounts scrapped - Education ministers are scrapping the English operation of a UK-wide scheme designed to help people with training costs, following allegations of fraud... Police believe some of the alleged fraudsters are animal rights extremists who have netted "tens of thousands of pounds"...realised that the learning accounts were being misused because it knew where people were on days they claimed to have been getting training... (story)
Ananova 4.10.01 Animal rights suspects held in fraud swoop - 18 suspected animal rights activists are under arrest on suspicion of defrauding the Department for Education and Skills. Detectives believe the money was used to support extremist animal rights activity... A special police team led by detectives from the National Crime Squad was set up earlier this year to target the ringleaders of animal rights extremism with links to serious criminal offences (story)
Argus 19.9.01 National fraud arrests by Phil Mills - A man and woman from Sussex were among 11 people arrested after a police investigation into animal rights campaigners... key players in animal rights extremism... fraudsters were granted money from the Department of Education's Individual Learning Account Programme, to teach skills. No teaching ever took place and both applicants and their supposed students shared the cash... Neil Giles, Assistant Chief Constable with the National Crime Squad, said: "... What we have uncovered we believe is an example of crimes used to further sometimes very violent and dangerous protests." (story)

Guardian 2.5.02 Live rats driven by remote control - James Meek, science correspondent - Scientists have turned living rats into remote-controlled, pleasure-driven robots which can be guided up ladders, through ruins and into minefields at the click of a laptop key... (story)
Guardian 2.5.02 The animal research I can't defend - Roborats give serious scientists the chance to draw an ethical line - James Meek ... for the sake of helping ill human beings, I am prepared to accept scientists hurting, restricting and manipulating animals - even though I would be too squeamish to do such things to animals myself. The difficulty is in deciding what constitutes acceptable research.... When I approached Britain's Research Defence Society yesterday about the ratbots, the organisation - which lobbies for scientists' right to experiment on animals - refused to comment, saying that it would only deal with medical research issues. OK, but that contributes to the public impression that all scientists support all animal experiments, even the weird ones.... (story)

Argus 2.5.02 Curb cruelty - The inadequate three-year ban imposed upon the owner and employee of a Burgess Hill reptile shop who were found guilty of cruelty to the animals in their care (The Argus, April 26) yet again indicates the lack of seriousness society places on the lives of animals.... -David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks (letter in archive)

Daily Record 2.5.02 WORLD'S SEXIEST VEGGIES - actress Natalie Portman has been named the world's sexiest vegetarian. The 20-year-old - Queen Amidala in George Lucas's films - picked up the award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals... (story)
Glasgow Evening Times 2.5.02 Animal-free attraction STAR Wars beauty Natalie Portman and Spiderman star Tobey Maguire were today voted the world's sexiest vegetarians... "They're both super sexy, oozing with vegetarian vitality," said a Peta spokeswoman... (story)
Edinburgh News 2.5.02 Stars top sexy veggies poll (story)

Bolton Evening News 2.5.02 RSPCA calls for power to the pets - PETS look set to be given better protection if government plans to introduce a "bill of rights" for animals gets the go-ahead... (story in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 30.4.02 BILL OF RIGHTS - Animal owners who cannot provide a minimum standard of care should be prosecuted, says the RSPCA… The RSPCA's application for an animal "bill of rights" will allow prosecution of owners who abuse their pets…. (story)
Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph 30.4.02 MP SEEKS TO PLUG LOOPHOLES IN PET LAWS …Scunthorpe MP and environment minister Elliot Morley is looking to get new legislation passed safeguarding cats, dogs, and other pets from cruel owners….(story)
Telegraph 29.4.02 Bill of Rights for pets 'is silly and unenforceable' By George Jones and Thomas Harding - NEW welfare laws to protect pets and captive animals were welcomed yesterday but it was questioned whether a "Bill of Rights" was necessary or enforceable... Dr Lewis Thomas, a retired veterinary pathologist, said: "I just hope the Government doesn't think of extending this 'Bill of Rights' to wildlife. It seems that anything this Government does is unreasonable, silly and unenforceable."... (story)
Glasgow Herald 29.4.02 Animal rights bill for Scotland not practical, says SSPCA - VALERIE HANNAH ... The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it supported in theory plans by Elliot Morley... However, Libby Anderson, parliamentary officer for the SSPCA, said the sheer volume of legislation passing through the Scottish Parliament would make it impossible to campaign for a similar bill in Scotland... (story in archive)
Sunday Times 28.4.02 Cats, dogs and budgies to get ‘bill of rights’ - JONATHAN LEAKE, ENVIRONMENT EDITOR - BRITAIN’S pets are set to get their own “bill of rights”. Ministers are planning legislation that would guarantee cats, dogs and other pets a minimum quality of life. Under the rules owners could be prosecuted if they failed to give pets what they needed — ranging from adequate food and water to enough space and companionship... The RSPCA, which is working with the government on the changes, has already drawn up provisional standards. Elliot Morley, an environment minister who is drawing up the proposals, will make a speech on Tuesday outlining possible recommendations... (story)

North West Evening Mail 1.5.02 DEBATE IS DEMANDED ON FUTURE OF HUNTING - A GROUP of MPs and peers have demanded the creation of a Westminster committee to debate the future of hunting. The Middle Way supporters argue a joint committee is needed to help to find a compromise over controversial proposals to ban hunting with dogs… (story)

Irish Examiner 1.5.02 Raise issue of animal rights - AS General Election fever sweeps through the country, the candidates are setting out their views on various issues to entice people to vote for them…. one issue that fails to get a mention is animal welfare… John Tierney, Campaigns Director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs, PO Box 4734, Dublin 1 (letter)

Northwich Guardian 1.5.02 However you dress it up, hunting is cruel …This fellowship can continue if rides continue in the form of drag hunts - so riders could continue to dress up in their hunting attire and follow hounds, and the kennel hands would still be needed. All that would be missing from the sport would be the death of the fox…. M COLEBROOK, The Spinney, Cuddington (letter in archive)

Edinburgh News 1.5.02 COMMENT: Flag daze - THAT the members of the Scottish Parliament should want to literally fly the flag for devolution at the new Holyrood building comes as little surprise. But the revelation that more taxpayers’ hard-earned money looks set to be wasted in the design and production of a special parliamentary flag simply beggars belief… MSPs have hardly impressed so far with their track record of banning fox hunting and repealing Section 28, let alone their managing the cost of building of the new parliament… (story)

Western Daily Press 1.5.02 BURNS REPORT OVERLOOKED …I think it is sad that the Burns Report has been so overlooked as the fox population is going to have to be controlled in any event…The other methods of controlling fox numbers as they have no predators in the wild, are snaring, shooting and poison. These are totally indiscriminate as to the age and health of the fox, and will ultimately lead to a weaker population, as well as a lingering, agonising death for many… (letter)

Eastern Daily Press/Evening News 1.5.02 Gamekeeper spared jail for having trap - GILL JENKINS - A gamekeeper was spared a jail sentence yesterday after admitting keeping a trap and pesticides capable of being used illegally to kill wildlife. Peter Frost, 63, who worked at Snailspit Farm, Swaffham, was the first gamekeeper to appear before the courts since laws protecting wildlife were toughened… Malcolm Savory, for Frost, said his client, a gamekeeper for 40 years, was guilty of not keeping up with the times…. (story)

Western Daily Press 1.5.02 THE TRUTH ABOUT TB, CATTLE - AND BADGERS - As a former member of the Government's Badgers and TB Consultative Panel, I am saddened but unsurprised at the present cattle TB crisis and renewed calls for yet more badger culls… (letter)
Western Daily Press 19.4.02 DON'T BLAME BADGER FOR SPREAD OF TB Having been on the Government's Badgers and Bovine TB Panel, I was saddened to see the recent coverage of the predicted explosion in cattle TB.... Martin Hancox, Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press/Bristol Evening Post 28.3.02 COLLECTING THE FACTS ON CATTLE TB - Having been a member of the Government's Badgers and Bovine TB Panel, I was saddened to see the recent coverage of the predicted explosion in cattle TB... Sadly, DEFRA is not doing enough to catch up on the test backlog, and unless cattle are tested before they're brought in for restocking, TB will simply spread like wildfire. It's clear what needs to be done, but seemingly not to our political masters. M Hancox Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Leicester Mercury 1.5.02 Leicester Mercury 1.5.02 CATTLE TB UNLIKELY IN HUMANS - The article "Farms hit by TB blow" (Mercury, April 23) contained many inaccuracies… There is no direct evidence that anyone has actually caught the bovine Tuberculosis disease this way. It is not the same disease as human TB and is very rare in humans. It is most unlikely that badgers caused the outbreak… Dr Pamela Mynott, Leicestershire Badger Group. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 1.5.02 BADGER CULLING RESUMES TODAY - Badger culling will resume in Derbyshire today in a bid to discover whether the animals are linked to the spread of tuberculosis in cattle… (story)

Irish Independent 1.5.02 Dolphin deaths - BBC's Countryfile recently carried a sad commentary on the grand-scale killing of the beautifully intelligent dolphin by pair trawlers in waters around the British Isles… Surely it's time to put a stop to this barbarism? Richard Dowling, Mountrath, Laois. (letter)

Edinburgh News 1.5.02 May Day protests gear up …In Edinburgh, hundreds of anarchists were expected to stage a May Day picnic in Princes Street Gardens. Lothian and Borders Police said they did not expect any trouble at the event organised by the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, which includes Angry Youth, Edinburgh Claimants, Edinburgh Animal Rights and the Mutiny Collective… (story)
Evening Standard 1.5.02 Protesters target fur shops - About 100 May Day demonstrators targeted fur shops in protest at the "cruel" trade. The protesters lined the street opposite Philip Hockley fur shop in Conduit Street, off Regent Street, for about 20 minutes… Demonstrator Anna Smith, 54, an actress from Redbridge, London, said: "We're here because there's no excuse for trading in fur…" Christian Trotter, 32, and his girlfriend, Gillian May, from north Devon, said they were acting out of the "May Day spirit"… (story)
Ananova 1.5.02 Fur shops targeted by May Day protesters - About 100 May Day demonstrators have targeted fur shops in protest at the "cruel" trade...(story)