November 2004 - hunting 1-15.11.04

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BBC News Online 15.11.04 Blair backs hunt compromise deal - Tony Blair has made an 11th hour intervention in the hunting row by saying he would vote for a compromise allowing licensed fox hunts. Peers finish debating the Hunting Bill on Monday night. They have rejected MPs' calls for an outright ban…. No 10 says Mr Blair would back a plan to allow licensed fox hunts but ban stag hunts and hare coursing… BBC political correspondent Carole Walker said it was unclear whether he was prepared to stand up to anti-hunt MPs to try to get a compromise, or whether he was simply trying to distance himself from an outright ban which will provoke fury amongst hunt supporters…. (story)

Times 15.11.04 Foxhunters plan bureaucratic sabotage BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - Landowners intend to fight back with non-cooperation strategy - FARMERS and landowners fighting a ban on foxhunting are planning a war on electricity installations. Power companies are to be besieged with requests to remove or relocate installations as part of a new campaign of non-cooperation with the Government, its agents and utility companies. The aim is to minimise disruption to the public but to wreak havoc for the authorities, to clog government machinery and impose extra bureaucracy on officials…. Derek George, 67, a retired farmer from Llangewydd, near Laleston, Bridgend, in South Wales, has two large pylons and one post on his 75-acre holding… Mr George has hunted for 45 years with the Llangeinor hunt and has decided that if a hunting ban were introduced, his only retaliation would be to withdraw goodwill from the authorities… Richard May, 60, who runs his own Forest and District beagle pack on his 160-acre farm south of Macclesfield, Cheshire, is also ready to ask for the removal of six posts and a pylon…. “I am not going to put those dogs down. People in the countryside are law abiding and we hope that reason will prevail in Parliament. But if it doesn’t, I’ll use every trick in the book to bugger up the authorities.”… (story)

Times 15.11.04 Ban could be election issue BY DAVID CHARTER - PEERS were threatening yesterday to take the “kamikaze” option of an immediate ban on hunting in an attempt to make it a general election issue…. (story)

Daily Mail 15.11.04 Lords plan 'kamikaze'bid for instant hunt ban - Pro-hunting peers are planning a bitter election blow for Tony Blair by threatening a "kamikaze" vote for a rapid fox hunting ban today. Lords who oppose the Hunting Bill are considering stripping out the current delay of 18 months when they vote on legislation for the final time. That could trigger a fierce campaign of civil disobedience in the run-up to the General Election expected next May. … (story)

Evening Standard 15.11.04 Threat over hunting bill - Peers are threatening a "kamikaze" vote for a rapid fox hunting ban that would deal Tony Blair a bitter election blow. Pro-hunting Lords are considering stripping out the current 18 month delay when they vote on legislation for the final time…. (story)

Sky News 15.11.04 LORDS 'KAMIKAZE' VOTE - Peers are threatening a "kamikaze" vote for a rapid fox hunting ban today that could deal Tony Blair a huge election blow. Pro-hunting Lords are considering ditching the proposal for an 18-month delay on imposing a ban when they vote on legislation for the final time… (story)

Independent 15.11.04 Time runs out for hunting ban compromise By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent - The battle over the future of hunting with hounds is heading for a dramatic conclusion in Westminster this week with Labour MPs preparing to force a ban into law within three months. With the Commons and Lords still on a collision course on the issue, Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker, is expected to invoke the rarely used Parliament Act to resolve the acrimonious stand-off between the two Houses…. (story)

Guardian 15.11.04 Tory peers may force early ban on hunting - Sarah Hall, political correspondent - Tony Blair faces the damaging prospect of a ban on hunting being enforced in time to hit his expected general election campaign if a Tory ambush succeeds this week in the House of Lords. Mr Blair had hoped to kick the issue into the long grass to avoid redundancies among huntsmen and film footage of hounds being put down before May's expected poll. Peers are willing to wreck the 18-month delaying tactic which Mr Blair has supported… (story)
Guardian 15.11.04 Hostages to fortune - Leader - Ask them what they think about their own MP and the public's answer, by and large, is that the constituency connection is important and that the local man or woman is doing a useful job. But ask them what they think about MPs as a whole and the Daily Mail world view - that MPs are self-important, out-of-touch, overpaid, ineffectual windbags - too often elbows its way into the frame… Which is why it cannot be good that MPs may be gearing up to do two things that, whatever some of the other rights and wrongs of them, are all too likely to hand fresh weapons to the populist cynics and weaken the reputation of parliament just when it needs to be strengthened. The first is this week's probable rejection of a compromise licensing scheme in the hunting bill and the consequent likely use of the Parliament Act to push through the final outlawing of foxhunting on Thursday. You can take whichever view of hunting and the countryside you like. But it is beyond doubt that this entire saga has done nothing - but nothing - for the reputation of parliament…. (story)

Telegraph 15.11.04 Hunt protests to hound Blair election campaign By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent - Tony Blair was last night facing the prospect of a general election campaign overshadowed by pro-hunting protests as peers suggested they would rather have an "honest ban" than an 18-month delay just to help the Prime Minister.... (story)

Telegraph 15.11.04 Lords threaten to fast track hunting ban - The House of Lords is threatening to vote for a rapid ban on fox hunting in a move that would set it on a collision course with the Commons. Peers are threatening to embarrass the Government and vote in favour of a rapid fox hunting ban during their final reading of the Hunting Bill today. … (story)

BBC News Online 15.11.04 Hunt Bill goes into 'final week' - Wrangling in Parliament over a possible ban on hunting with dogs is entering what could be its final week. Peers are on Monday expected to vote for hunting to be licensed in England and Wales from December 2007…. (story)

BBC News Online 15.11.04 Q&A: Hunting Bill - The Hunting Bill is entering what could be its final week of parliamentary debate. Here's a guide to what's happens now…. (story)

Yahoo! 15.11.04 Hunt bill set for parliament showdown By Kate Holton - LONDON (Reuters) - Tony Blair could face a protest campaign in the run up to an expected 2005 election if the House of Lords switches tack by voting this week for an immediate ban on fox hunting…. (story)

Western Daily Press 15.11.04 LAST BID TO SAVE HUNTING - Last-ditch attempts are continuing behind the scenes at Westminster to try to achieve a compromise on hunting, a Labour former minister revealed yesterday. As Parliament enters its final session this week, MPs and peers remain on a collision course on the sport's future… (story)

Western Morning News 15.11.04 COMPROMISE STILL SOUGHT ON HUNT BAN - Hunt supporters yesterday welcomed claims that last ditch attempts to achieve a compromise on hunting were still continuing at Westminster. The claims were made by Labour's former sports minister Kate Hoey, who opposes a ban…. Guy Morlock, master of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, said: "We are hoping there will be a compromise. We are not giving up."… (story)

Western Morning News 15.11.04 HOWARD STAKES RURAL CLAIM - Tory leader Michael Howard has staked his claim for the rural vote with a package of measures designed to woo back voters in the countryside who have deserted the Conservatives at the last two elections… He pledged that a future Tory Government would give Parliament the opportunity to reverse the ban on hunting with dogs, which is likely to be forced on to the statute books this week…. (story)
Western Morning News 15.11.04 THE ROAD TO POWER NEEDS RURAL REVIVAL - As the Government's rural strategy comes under fire, Tory leader Michael Howard lays out his own vision for the countryside to WMN Editor Barrie Williams and London Editor… his policy on foxhunting might offer a glimmer of hope to those in the Westcountry who fear it will be banned this week. "I have always voted against a ban and when I was on the backbenches I spoke against a ban," Mr Howard says. "I will continue to vote against a ban. And I have made a commitment that if a ban is on the statute books by the time we win the election we will introduce a Government Bill in Government time which will give MPs the opportunity to vote to overturn a ban…" (story)

Newcastle Journal 15.11.04 Ban on hunting 'will cost votes' By Robert Brooks, The Journal - Defiant foxhunters have warned the Government that attempts to force through a ban on bloodsports this week would spark a countryside-wide revolt which could cost Labour vital seats at the next election… "If the Government believes a hunt ban will be a vote-winner, they are sadly mistaken," said Martin Claxton, a professional huntsman with the Percy Hunt at Alnwick in Northumberland…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 15.11.04 150 years on - D'ye ken John Peel? - Hunt supporters gathered at the weekend to pay tribute to one of the sport's heroes. They were joined to pay tribute to John Peel, the Cumbrian huntsman immortalised in the world's most famous hunting song, D'ye Ken John Peel, on the 150th anniversary of his death… Representative's of John Peel's hunt, that evolved over time into the Blencathra Foxhounds, kennelled in Threkeld, and who hunt on foot over the fells of north and north-east Lakeland, were on hand to receive and lay the many wreaths and flowers that were delivered to the churchyard from hunts and hunt supporters around the country. The Cumberland Hunt who were meeting just outside Caldbeck, delivered wreaths on horseback, before starting their hunt…. (story)
Cumberland News & Star 15.11.04 Hunting family salute their famous son John - By Julian Whittle - HUNTING supporters met in Caldbeck on Saturday to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of John Peel, the most famous huntsman of all time. The short ceremony, at Peel’s graveside in Caldbeck churchyard, was as much a gesture of defiance against the Bill to ban hunting with hounds, which returns to the Commons tomorrow…. 21-year-old Diane Todhunter, Peel’s fifth great granddaughter, laid a wreath at his grave alongside others from hunts all over the country, some from as far as Suffolk, Surrey and Cornwall. She said: “I am a kennel groom with the Haydon Foxhounds in Northumberland. I will lose my job and my home if hunting is banned. It is just prejudice. Half of them down there in Westminster haven’t seen a hunt and they don’t know what it entails. They think it’s just about ripping a fox to bits." The Cumberland Foxhounds stopped to leave a wreath as they set off in the sunshine for a day’s hunting. There was a rendition of the hunting song, D’ye ken John Peel, before Dr Jim Cox, joint master of the Blencathra Foxhounds, read messages of support from Cumbrian peers Lord Bragg of Wigton, Lord Inglewood and Lord Cavendish, and from Brian Fanshawe, chairman of the Campaign for Hunting…. (story)
Cumberland News 12.11.04 Lake legend John Peel unites hunters - HUNTING legend John Peel will be remembered at the weekend as MPs prepare to vote on the future of the traditional country sport. The Cumbrian huntsman, immortalised in the song D’ye ken John Peel, died 150 years ago on Saturday, November 13 and hunts from all over the country are sending wreaths to Caldbeck churchyard in the Lake District. The Countryside Alliance said that earlier in the day John Peel’s Hunt, the Blencathra, will meet at the White Horse Inn, Scales, Threlkeld near Keswick…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 15.11.04 Pro-hunt peers in kamikaze vote plan By Julian Whittle - PRO-HUNTING peers are threatening a “kamikaze” vote to ban their sport, in the hope it will damage Tony Blair before the next election…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 15.11.04 PRO-HUNT PROTESTERS APPROACH SHONA - Cleethorpes Mp Shona McIsaac was the latest politician to be met by pro-hunt protesters at a public engagement in North East Lincolnshire. Following on from the scenes that met both Stephen Twigg and Margaret Beckett when they came to the area in recent weeks, the Labour backbencher was approached outside the Winter Gardens before she gave a talk to the Chamber of Trade at the Winter Gardens. One of the protesters was Louth war widow Isobel Jones, who lost her husband Capt Dai Jones last year… (story)

Telegraph 15.11.04 You must enforce the law, JPs told By Joshua Rozenberg and Richard Savill - Magistrates must enforce hunting laws passed by Parliament or resign from the Bench, the Constitution Secretary Lord Falconer has warned. In a foreword to revised guidelines currently being distributed to all 28,500 JPs, Lord Falconer said that magistrates are required to enforce any law that is enacted.... Lord Falconer has revised the wording to cover a magistrate who has "indicated an intention to disobey a law with which they disagree, should it be enacted in future". This is understood to refer to the Hunting Declaration, the supporters of which have vowed "to disobey, peacefully, any law purporting to ban hunting"... Magistrates who have spoken out in support of hunting include Derek Pearce, 58, a semi-retired farmer, who has sat on the bench in North Avon for 18 years.... Mr Pearce, a churchwarden, and a member of the Beaufort Hunt, has said he expected either to be asked to stand down or to resign, if hunting becomes illegal.... (story)

Times 15.11.04 First blood to the vegetarian foodmaker in branding row BY JACK MALVERN, ARTS REPORTER - ONE of the country’s leading hunts has lost a trademark dispute with a vegetarian food manufacturer. The Quorn Hunt, which has pursued foxes in Leicestershire for more than 300 years, took on the 18-year-old Quorn mycoprotein fungus in an attempt to create a trademarked range of hats, horse blankets and drinking flasks. But its application to the UK Patent Office stalled after Marlow Foods, the owners of Quorn, claimed that people would be confused between the meat substitute and Quorn Hunt-branded kitchenware…. The fungus won. The hunt, which presented no evidence in the case, has been ordered to pay £2,500 towards the food manufacturer’s costs, but hopes to lodge an appeal…. (story)

Shropshire Star 15.11.04 Shooting of hounds is sadistic A lengthy report from "Defra", a Government department, has just revealed the most disgusting news, and I quote: "Animal Welfare is a major consideration for the Government - in terms of dogs and horses, as well as the wild animals which are hunted. Dogs used for hunting normally shot when no longer needed 'some 3,000 a year'." Some 3000 a year! What a sacrifice, what a slaughter, what carnage to keep this vile, sadistic, so-called blood sport continuing…. Mrs V Duncalfe, Telford (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 15.11.04 HUNTERS SHOULD ACCEPT VERDICT OF DEMOCRACY - As An anti-hunt supporter, I wholeheartedly agree that the kill-animals-for-fun supporters have a right to protest. Our troops fought for the right to freedom and democracy…. the pro-killing supporters must accept the result of democracy that our brave soldiers so valiantly gave their lives for. TONY SHORTT, Labour Councillor for Cainscross, Stroud District Council (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 15.11.04 CRYING 'CROCODILE TEARS' OVER FATE OF FOXHOUNDS - Why does the pro-hunting lobby always have to distort the truth in their pathetic attempts to persuade the public that they are humane and caring people? The latest case is the ludicrous claim of the so-called "master" of the South Notts Hunt - "A burning desire to fight ban"… He goes on to blub through his crocodile tears that their hounds are "almost like children". I strongly suggest that the child protection organisations look into the implications of this with some alacrity… JOHN TRUSCOTT Kent Road Mapperley (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 15.11.04 All in the name - PLEASE ask your reporter David Taylor not to use the expression "countryside enthusiasts" to describe hunt supporters…. They are hunt supporters. I am a countryside enthusiast, but not a hunt supporter…. Jeremy Wilcock, Main Street, Kilnwick (letter)


Channel 4 14.11.04 Ban compromise? Hunting - By: John Vidal - Seven years of argument in Parliament over fox-hunting are almost certain to end next week and quite possibly with the Commons invoking the Parliament Act to over-rule the Lords and ban the sport outright…. But away from Westminster the hunters are planning. John Holliday has become a local hero. Back in Septmeber he made an appearance on TV screens as one of the famous five who stormed the House of Commons and brought the men in tights to their knees…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 14.11.04 Peers plan 'kamikaze' vote on hunting ban By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - Hunting with hounds will be illegal by the New Year if the House of Lords succeeds in "kamikaze" attempt to embarrass the Government this week. Peers are threatening to wreck the 18-month delaying motion supported by Tony Blair that would spare him politically inconvenient clashes with hunt supporters - and the prospect of throwing country people out of work - before the general election.... Lord Donoughue, who has acted as a middle man between the Lords and Downing Street, said: "I am in no doubt that the Prime Minister wishes a compromise involving registration. But I am not sure if he has the will to pursue it against the opposition of his party in the Commons. I'm even less sure if he has the power to succeed even if he has the will." (story)

Independent on Sunday 14.11.04 MPs to invoke Parliament Act to bring in ban on fox hunting By Andy McSmith, Political Editor - Seven years of argument in Parliament over fox-hunting will end this week, almost certainly with the Commons invoking the Parliament Act to over-rule the House of Lords and ban the controversial sport outright. The House of Lords has one more day tomorrow to argue over details of the Hunting Bill, but it is thought highly unlikely that they will be able to agree on a version of the Bill that would have a chance of being accepted by the Commons… Although Tony Blair has publicly declared his support for a ban, he is thought to be very reluctant to antagonise the well-organised pro-hunting lobby. The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, is also reluctant to have the police drawn into enforcing the ban when hundreds of hunt supporters have pledged to carry on hunting in defiance of the law. (story)

Sunday Times 14.11.04 Memoirs of a foxhunting thespian - Jeremy Irons pleads tolerance towards the ‘other England’ of country pursuits - One of the benefits of this media age, where television and newspaper coverage span the globe, is that we all have access to how the rest of the world lives and behaves… It can also create a political zeal to encourage everyone to live as we do… Using the hunting bill to settle old scores may be acceptable behaviour within the walls of the palace of Westminster, but when viewed from the perspective of a tolerant and law-abiding populace, it is at best undemocratic and at worst despicable… I do not believe that those of us who voted this government in dreamt that it would countenance such an abuse of democracy. Let us hope that the final outcome of this bill will go towards uniting our nation rather than dividing it still further. (story)


Yorkshire Post 13.11.04 LABOUR MPS SCENT VICTORY BUT AT WHAT PRICE? - HUNTING with hounds begins its slow death within days and there is very little that anybody, even the Prime Minister, can do to stop it. The Hunting Bill will ping-pong its way between the two Houses of Parliament from Monday and on Thursday the Speaker of the House of Commons is expected to use the Parliament Act to force through the will of MPs, who are overwhelmingly opposed to the rural sport…. (story)

Times 13.11.04 Fox's fate in hands of Speaker amid theatre of Parliament BY GREG HURST, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - THE future of foxhunting will lie, briefly, in the hands of one man next week as Michael Martin, the Speaker of the Commons, settles the stand-off between MPs and peers. All eyes in the Commons chamber will be on Mr Martin as, probably on Thursday, he rises to announce if foxhunting is indeed to be banned. It falls to him to decide whether the Hunting Bill should be forced into law against the wishes of the Lords under the terms of the Parliament Acts. … (story)

Independent 13.11.04 Blair orders Labour MPs to resolve fox hunting dispute By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor - Labour MPs have been put on a three-line whip to resolve the long-running saga over a ban on fox hunting next week. Ministers say that a total ban on fox hunting before the general election is now inevitable, unless the House of Lords climbs down on Monday and accepts the so-called middle way, banning hare coursing and stag hunting, but allowing fox hunting on licence… American pro-hunting protesters heckled the Prime Minister at the White House yesterday, underlining the determination of hunters to protest against a blood sports ban wherever Mr Blair goes… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.11.04 WEST PRO-HUNT MAGISTRATES TOLD EITHER ENFORCE THE BAN OR QUIT - Pro-hunting magistrates in the West were given a stern warning by the Lord Chancellor that they must enforce a ban on hunting, it emerged yesterday. Lord Falconer told magistrates not to let their personal views on hunting get in the way of their job - and warned them not to speak out against the ban. The warning came as a direct result of the Western Daily Press revealing how one West magistrate, Derek Pearce, had signed the "Hunting Declaration", pledging to defy any ban on hunting and to break the law to continue…. Lord Falconer made it clear last night that they had no option but to enforce the hunting ban and abide by the law themselves…(story)

Western Daily Press 13.11.04 COMPARISON WITH WORLD WARS IS CONTEMPTIBLE - Actress Annette Crosbie - better known as Mrs Victor Meldrew - yesterday slammed hunting campaigners as "contemptible" for comparing their fight against a ban with the two World Wars. Ms Crosbie spoke of her "horror" that Beaufort Hunt spokeswoman Jo Aldridge told the Western Daily Press that hunting was an issue of freedom… (story)

Western Mail 13.11.04 Marginal seat Labour MP rejects hunt vote pressure - Colin Hughes, Western Mail - PRO-HUNT supporters lobbied another anti-hunt MP in Wales yesterday- but failed to persuade Huw Edwards to change his view that hunting with dogs is "morally wrong". The Monmouth MP met the master of the Monmouthshire Hunt Gary Yeomans by appointment while more than 100 supporters protested outside the constituency office in Agincourt Street…. But the Monmouth MP said, "The majority of people who have contacted me believe it is morally wrong to hunt animals for the purposes of sport and I have consistently voted accordingly. Two representatives came into my Monmouth office as part of the pro hunting demonstration and presented their case in a decent, courteous way…." (story)
South Wales Argus 13.11.04 Pro-hunt demo as protesters meet MP - MORE than 100 people gathered outside Monmouth MP Huw Edwards' office yesterday to protest against his vote to ban fox hunting. The demonstration attracted hunters, farmers and pro-hunt supporters from across Gwent. One of the masters of the hunts represented, Gary Yeomans, who headed the protest, had a meeting with Mr Edwards while the crowd chanted "Edwards out" and paraded in Agincourt Square, Monmouth…. (photo)

Western Morning News 13.11.04 BLAIR COULD STOP 'UNJUST' HUNTING BAN - Prime Minister Tony Blair could act to prevent an "unjust" hunting ban becoming law "if he chooses to do so," a senior pro-hunting supporter said yesterday. The president of the Countryside Alliance, Labour peer Baroness Mallalieu QC, warned of "immediate legal challenges," and "a constitutional crisis" if MPs vote next week to criminalise hunting with hounds…. (story)
Evening Standard 12.11.04 Peer warns of hunt ban legal battle - Prime Minister Tony Blair could act to prevent an "unjust" hunting ban becoming law "if he chooses to do so," a senior pro hunting supporter has said. President of the Countryside Alliance Labour peer Baroness Mallalieu QC, warned of "immediate legal challenges," and "a constitutional crisis" if MPs vote next week to criminalise hunting with hounds…. (story)

Spectator 13.11.04 Politics - Now ministers are trying to win their case by dividing the bloodsports lobby - Peter Oborne - Events are now moving very fast. By this time next week, the Bill to ban hunting will have received royal assent. The fight to halt this oppressive piece of legislation is moving away from Parliament, into the courts and, probably, on to the streets. The government is preparing with great care for the looming battle. According to trustworthy accounts from rural communities, the police have already started work setting up a network of informers. They are offering cash. I know of one huntsman who was visited by a police officer and offered ‘a formal arrangement so that you won’t need to cover any expenses’…. But the government is not merely preparing the way for what may turn out to be a violent confrontation with rural communities. Ministers have worked hard at winning their case by dividing the bloodsports lobby… The key target has been the remarkably gullible leadership of the venerable British Association for Shooting and Conservation, which claims to be the ‘national representative body for country shooting’. It would be ungracious not to acknowledge the skill and assurance with which the rural affairs minister Alun Michael has detached BASC from the wider Countryside Alliance… Downing Street would promise to secure a future for hunting to continue on a heavily licensed basis in return for the immediate cessation of stag-hunting and hare-coursing… (story)

Shropshire Star 13.11.04 MP hits front line of hunting debate By Lorna Paterson - Wrekin MP Peter Bradley has put himself on the front line of the hunting debate by meeting with Shropshire hunt supporters. Around 20 pro hunt constituents put questions to Mr Bradley - who is vehemently in favour of banning the controversial sport - when they met at Albrighton Hunt Kennels yesterday…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 13.11.04 Dentist defiant in fighting for hunt - A DENTIST and hunt member could face disciplinary action if he receives a criminal conviction for flouting any potential hunting ban, the General Dental Council has said. Tim Lewin, of Upton-upon-Severn Dental Surgery, is one of several huntsmen and women who have signed the so-called Martyrs List, volunteering to be the first people to go to prison in the event of a ban….(story in archive)

York Evening Press 15.11.04 How tasteless - THERE being no serious scientific, intellectual or animal welfare case for a ban on hunting that has convinced any of the committees or commissions that have looked into it since the Second World War, the case presented by the anti-hunt brigade is at best misconceived and misleading, and even at times faintly irrational…. James Shepherd, Grove Hill Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 13.11.04 Protest at exports - ALL those who complain about hunting being cruel should protest about cattle and sheep being exported live from Germany, France, the Netherlands and Ireland… Hunting does not cost the taxpayer anything - but if a lot of jobs are lost the taxpayer will have to pay benefit to the unemployed. Mrs E Etheridge, Farrington (letter)

Leicester Mercury 13.11.04 HUNTING IS NATURAL - In response to Sophie Wilkinson's RSPCA letter (Mercury Postbag, October 29), why the big fuss about hunting with dogs and no mention of cats hunting? The biggest domesticated killer of wildlife is a cat…. The RSPCA re-releases foxes into an already heavily foxed country, making it worse for the hare. The Game Conservancy Farm, at Loddington, brought the hare back from a couple of pairs to a few hundred pairs, in a few years, by farming sympathetically and controlling foxes…. Hunting with dogs is not barbaric. It is nature, as it is with a cat. Leave the dog to follow its nose. David Chapman, Groby. (letter)


Independent 12.11.04 MI5 is bugging my phone, claims hunt protester Otis By Guy Adams - Otis Ferry's invasion of the House of Commons in September has cost him a lot more than a night at Charing Cross police station. It's also robbed him of his privacy. The pro-hunting campaigner, son of the rock star Bryan, has accused the Government of using anti-terrorist laws to eavesdrop on his telephone conversations…. Although the Home Office wouldn't discuss Ferry's comments yesterday, security experts said that the Government is "highly likely" to be monitoring his calls… (story)

Scotsman 12.11.04 US Hunters Protest at Blair Visit By Mark Sage, PA in New York - Pro fox-hunting campaigners in the United States today accused Prime Minister Tony Blair of trying to “suppress” the rural way of life. Protesters gathered outside the White House in Washington where Mr Blair held talks with President George Bush. The Masters of Foxhounds Association of America (MFHA) said they were protesting in solidarity with their fellow huntsmen and women in Britain…. (story)
Evening Standard 12.11.04 White House hunt demo By Paul Waugh, Evening Standard - Pro-hunt campaigners targeted Tony Blair in Washington today in a bid to highlight next week's historic vote to ban the sport. The Masters of Foxhounds Association of America (MFHA) was set to stage a demonstration outside the White House in support of their British counterparts. Protestors will also picket the Prime Minister's Mansion House speech in the City on Monday, the day before MPs vote on outlawing hunting with hounds…. (story)

South London Press 12.11.04 Peer warns of hunt ban legal battle - Prime Minister Tony Blair could act to prevent an "unjust" hunting ban becoming law "if he chooses to do so," a senior pro hunting supporter has said. President of the Countryside Alliance Labour peer Baroness Mallalieu QC, warned of "immediate legal challenges," and "a constitutional crisis" if MPs vote next week to criminalise hunting with hounds…. She told Radio 4 World at One: "I think there are a large number of Labour MPs, some of them in the Cabinet, who think this matter must be resolved with a registration bill, and I suspect the Prime Minister is one of them…." (story)

BBC News Online 12.11.04 Minister urges hunting compromise - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has urged peers to accept a compromise on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. With a complete hunt ban set to be pushed through Parliament next week, Mr Michael said time was running out.... (story)

Guardian 12.11.04 MPs go for kill in final rites for foxhunting - Patrick Wintour - Parliament is to be placed on a high security alert next week as MPs prepare to ban foxhunting in a final battle which is likely to lead to protests from pro-hunt supporters, who have already invaded the chamber and clashed with police in Parliament Square. But their protests and last-ditch efforts in the Lords to prevent a ban are highly unlikely to prevent the Commons from finally getting its way. The Speaker, Michael Martin, is expected to invoke the Parlia ment Act next Thursday, forcing through the will of MPs.... (story)

Telegraph 12.11.04 Peers back ploy to delay hunt Bill By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Peers voted yesterday to delay implementation of the Hunting Bill for three years in a negotiating ploy designed to put pressure on Tony Blair. Pro-hunters in the Lords want the Prime Minister to believe that, if MPs insist on outlawing the sport, peers will not agree with his plan to postpone the ban until 2006.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 12.11.04 COLLISION COURSE OVER HUNTING - Peers remained on collision course with the Commons after the House of Lords overwhelmingly voted to allow hunting to continue under regulation. Rural affairs minister Alun Michael said he was "disappointed" by the peers' decision, and urged them to reconsider when the Hunting Bill returns to Lords for its third reading on Monday.... (story)

Western Morning News 12.11.04 PEERS REJECT HUNT BAN COMPROMISE - .A TOTAL ban on hunting with dogs moved a step closer yesterday after peers rejected a Government-backed "compromise" solution as a "back door ban". Peers voted by 189 votes to 39 to reject a series of amendments that would have banned stag hunting and hare coursing outright and imposed an "unworkable" licensing system on foxhunting. The vote leaves the Commons and the Lords heading for a major constitutional clash next week when the issue must be resolved…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 12.11.04 Collision course over hunting - PEERS remained on collision course with the Commons today after the House of Lords overwhelmingly voted to allow hunting to continue under regulation…. (story)

Western Daily Press 12.11.04 TIME RUNNING OUT ON HUNTING - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael last night made a last-ditch attempt to compromise with peers over hunting. An overwhelming vote in the House of Lords put it on collision course with the Commons… (story)

Worcester Evening News 12.11.04 Ministers sidestep hunt protesters - TWO hundred hunt supporters from Worcestershire and Herefordshire joined around 3,000 others from across the Midlands and South East in an Armistice Day protest in London… "Everyone respected the solemnity of the occasion," said Audrey Steel, chairman of Worcestershire Branch of the Countryside Alliance, which organised the protest…. (story in archive)

(probably Gloucestershire Echo) 12.11.04 HUNT DEMO: WE WILL NOT GIVE IN - Hundreds of hunt supporters from Gloucestershire delivered a defiant message to Downing Street yesterday. They joined a crowd of 1,500 protesters in Whitehall for a peaceful but noisy protest as government ministers arrived for a Cabinet meeting… Bob Cooper, senior master of the Cotswold Hunt, said: "We intend to carry on because we won't accept this unjust law if they put a banning bill into operation."… Richard Leeke, whose son Tom made his name as one of the Commons invaders during September's controversial reading of the Bill, rides with the Ledbury Hunt…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 12.11.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS PROTEST AT NO.10 - Hunt supporters from Gloucestershire delivered a "no surrender" pledge to Downing Street yesterday in what is likely to be the last show of strength before the contentious hunting stand-off is resolved…. Roger Bennett from Broadway, who is a member of the North Cotswold Hunt, said the demonstration was a final show of defiance to prove the hunters would not give up…. Bob Cooper, the senior master of the Cotswold Hunt said: "This is a good turnout. It is exceptionally important that the Government realise we are not going to go away…." (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 12.11.04 HUNT PROTEST GOES TO BLAIR - Hunt supporters from Notts protested outside No 10 Downing Street to plead with the Prime Minister to save the bloodsport…. Barbara Todd, from Laxton Lodge, near Newark, was one of those standing at the front of the barricades. Ms Todd said she would continue to allow local hunts to use her land even if the ban came in…. (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 12.11.04 COUNTY HUNTERS PROTEST AT DOWNING STREET - Hunting supporters from Derbyshire have protested outside Downing Street in a last-ditch attempt to save their bloodsport… As reported in yesterday's later editions, they gathered to mark the last Cabinet meeting held by Mr Blair before the bill to ban hunting returns to the Commons on Tuesday… (story)
Derby Evening Telegraph 11.11.04 COUNTY HUNTERS PROTEST AT DOWNING STREET - Hunting supporters from Derbyshire protested outside Downing Street today to plead with the Prime Minister to save their bloodsport…. Demostrators from Derbyshire's hunts at the march said they were focusing their attention on Mr Blair, who said he would personally prefer hunting to continue under a licensing system…. (story)
Gloucesteshire Echo 11.11.04 PRO-HUNT DEMO TAKEN TO NO 10 - Bus loads of hunt supporters from Gloucestershire were due to descend on Whitehall today. They planned to demonstrate outside Downing Street during the weekly Cabinet meeting. Thousands of supporters from all over the country were expected to attend, including 100 from the county. The Cotswold, Ledbury and Vale of the White Horse hunts had all organised buses to the capital. Members of the Berkeley, Heythrop and North Cotswold hunts were also planning to join the demonstration…. (story)
Evening Standard 11.11.04 Hunt supporters protest at Downing Street - Crowds of pro-hunting protesters gathered outside Downing Street today to urge Government ministers arriving for a Cabinet meeting to stop using hunting as a "political football" and not to ban it. Around 1,500 protesters, mainly from Oxfordshire and a 150-mile radius outside London, joined the picket line in Whitehall which is to be the final protest before Parliament resolves the hunting issue…. (story)
Western Daily Press 10.11.04 IDIOCY OF THIS HUNT PROTEST - It is difficult to put into words the outrage I felt when I read that the hunting fraternity intends to use the service at the Cenotaph to stage yet another of their crackpot "demonstrations". What a colossal insult to equate the fight for freedom in two world wars to their "battle" to preserve the savagery of hunting… Jean Turner Plympton Plymouth (letter)
Western Daily Press 8.11.04 PROTESTERS TO TARGET POPPY DAY - Hunt campaigners sparked fury last night by preparing to hijack Armistice Day for their latest demonstration. More than 1,000 pro-hunters are expected to descend on Whitehall this Thursday - November 11 - to lobby the weekly Cabinet meeting. Ex-servicemen who are pro-hunting are also being called on to attend, and will be given a special place in the front of the protest…. It has prompted anti-hunt groups and some veterans' groups to fear that Armistice Day will be 'hijacked' by the pro-hunters…. The Countryside Alliance told its supporters: "The Alliance has been liaising with the Western Front Association and the police to ensure that the solemnity of the occasion is in no way compromised. "The Western Front Association are supportive of our picket taking place on the understanding that it does not affect their ceremony."… Jo Aldridge, from the West's biggest hunt, the Beaufort, said: "We are very mindful of the fact that the Cenotaph ceremony is going on. We're very aware of the sensitivity of the situation, and if our opponents wish to say we're being insensitive then let them…" (story)

Mid Wales Journal 12.11.04 Hunting – MoD ban still an option - Threats by Mid Wales farmers to ban military manoeuvres on their land in protest at plans to outlaw fox-hunting were debated when farming chiefs met Army bosses. Some landowners, including Llanwrtyd Wells farmer and the master of Irfon and Tywi Hunt, Ken Jones, say they will prevent the Army from training on their fields. They have also called on the Army to buy more British produce….(story)

Ham & High Express 12.11.04 Fox hunting letter is thanks for nothing - A PUBLISHER from Belsize Park has been thanked for fighting a ban on fox hunting, even though he has not raised one fist in protest. David Stark, 52, of Belsize Crescent, has received a letter from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) signed by rural affairs minister Alun Michael, thanking him for his recent letter about the hunting bill…. However, Mr Stark had not sent any letter about the bill - or any other political issue. He said: "I am not political. I am neither for fox hunting nor against it. "I don't do too much hunting up in Belsize Park." Two weeks before getting Mr Michael's letter, Mr Stark received a thank you card from 10 Downing Street, which he ignored…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 12.11.04 MP FACESHUNTPROTEST - Hunt supporters staged a protest outside a local MP's office in Ollerton where he was holding his surgery. The group, representing Grove and Rufford hunt among others, staged the protest to call for Sherwood MP Paddy Tipping to consider alternatives to an outright ban on hunting. Mr Tipping spent half an hour with the 40-strong pro-hunt gathering discussing their various concerns about a total ban…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 12.11.04 DEATH THREATIS SENT TO MP - A Death threat sent to a local MP's home is being investigated by Special Branch officers. The direct threat, scrawled in biro on a piece of paper, was put through the letter box of Bassetlaw MP John Mann's home. The note, reading 'We know where you live - you will be hunted down and killed,' is believed to have been sent by an anonymous pro-hunt extremist. But Mr Mann says he will not be intimidated by such an approach…. (story)

Cumberland News 12.11.04 Defiant hunt followers out in force for the new season By Dave Gudgeon - CUMBRIAN hunt supporters turned out in force to send a defiant message to a Government intent on enforcing a ban. About 200 people gathered at Welton, near Carlisle, for the first meet of the new season of the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds…. (story)

Darltington & Stockton Times 12.11.04 If only the antis had met us in the churchyard by Mike Keeble - ONE of the advantages of having this column is the response it brings from readers; some agree, others do not, but two recently stand out. Last Friday, the D&S reported on the service at Kirkby Knowle church when the Rev Toddy Hoare blessed dogs of all sporting varieties. The previous week, I had linked religion and the Hunting Bill, and a reader I met in town took me seriously to task about it…. We came from across the politcal spectrum: Labour, Tory, Lib-Dem and of no particular persuasion. As the service finished, I just wished that the anti-hunting politicians could have joined us, for they would have been welcomed, listening at last. Albeit in an old fashioned scene, they would have met a community which understands the balance of the countryside…. (story in archive)

Kent & Sussex Courier 12.11.04 MAJORITY OF MPS SHUN VISIT TO KENNELS - Wealden Mp Charles Hendry was one of only two politicians to attend an open day organised to help MPs make "informed decisions" about the imminent hunting ban. The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt initially invited 19 elected representatives and prospective candidates to their kennels in Felbridge as part of a fact-finding exercise…. A few of the invited MPs, including MP for Mid Sussex Nicholas Soames and East Surrey MP Peter Ainsworth had prior engagements and others turned the offer down but Crawley MP Laura Moffatt, who supports a ban, was unable to find the kennels…. (story)

Hexham Courant 12.11.04 HUNTS MEET - Border Hunt… Tynedale Hunt… (story)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 12.11.04 Sheerman speech 'best of the year' By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner - A SPEECH by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has been voted the best of the year at an award ceremony in London. The annual Spectator Parliamentarian Awards were held at the Mandarin Hotel yesterday and Mr Sheerman scooped the speech prize. And he says his award-winning speech was only his second best of the year. But it was the controversial speech calling on the Government not to ban fox hunting that was the favourite of the 10 judges made up of political journalists…. "It is not so much that I support the practice of fox hunting but that I don't like to see minority groups targeted…" (story)

Western Daily Press 12.11.04 CHELTENHAM FAITHFUL STAY IN THE HUNT - As diehard hunting followers made another London assault yesterday morning to try to rescue something from the government, others are attending today's Countryside day at Cheltenham Racecourse where, prior to racing starting, 14 well-known jockeys are galloping up the course on many of the big name winners who have retired to the hunting field… (story)

Scotsman 12.11.04 Huntsman trial - A LEADING huntsman accused of breaking anti-hunting laws will stand trial later this month. Trevor Adams, 46, is the first person to be charged under the Protection of Wild Mammals Act 2002 as part of an organised hunt. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 13.11.04 Pro-hunt voting was not fair play - CONSIDERING that 3,000 people voted over several weeks in the News & Star’s hunting poll, it does seem somewhat strange that in only two days a further 1,000 had voted, turning it from 59 per cent in favour of a ban to 55 per cent against. Clearly, your safeguards did not work against voting from all over the country, following telephone tree requests…. ELAINE MILBOURN, Torpenhow
Editor’s note: Our online polls do not claim to be a scientific test of Cumbrian opinion, but we do screen against multiple voting. The hunting poll, like all the other votes on our website, remains open for people to register their opinion…. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 12.11.04 Suffering animals From G W O Lawrence, Histon Road, Cottenham - I REFER to Nick Richardson's recent correspondence, (Letters, October 26) and have to say I agree completely with the views expressed…. On the subject of foxhunting, I find the hypocrisy of the Prime Minister breathtaking. As Mr Richardson says the proposed ban has nothing to do with animal welfare but everything to do with staying in power. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 12.11.04 Spoiled brats From Mike Michalak, Swaffham Road, Burwell - SO, THE huntsmen in your report (News, November 6) intend to break the law when hunting is abolished. We constantly hear members of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance whining about rural crime and the lack of police officers to deal with it…. (letter)

Western Morning News 12.11.04 Where's the logic? FOR a Government that is obsessed with control, new laws and restrictions, Mr Blair's performance shows him to be strangely ignorant of the Law of Unintended Consequences. For example, the proposed hunting ban. Following their evident mismanagement of the Parliamentary procedures there is now the prospect of the use of the Parliament Act…. So who are the peers who have to be overridden? Why, the ones created by the people in the House of Commons as part of the democratic process. If there is a place for logic in all this where is the need for a Parliament Act at all? Should it not now be repealed as being superfluous?... Brian Russ, Kerswell (letter)

Cheshire Chronicle 12.11.04 WE wonder how many of your readers realise the current Bill to ban hunting with hounds, which obsesses so many Labour backbench MPs, including Christine Russell, is not a Bill to stop the killing of foxes but on the contrary is likely to lead to an increase in numbers killed…. It is essential that all those MPs who have so far voted in favour of a ban should now, at last, heed the evidence produced by their own inquiries and the more balanced views from the House of Lords…. J SELLERS On behalf of The Cheshire Hunt Supporters Group, Tarporley
SOME people may have been led to believe that a ban on hunting with hounds is the will of Parliament. However, there are two Houses of Parliament: a majority of 184 voted for a ban in the House of Commons, but a majority of 250 voted against a ban in the House of Lords, including the present and former Lord Chancellors…. I hope that our own Labour MPs are not prejudiced against a minority. I hope they will heed the evidence of the Burns Report and the views of the House of Lords and that they will seek a compromise to allow hunting to continue under its present self-regulation and strict code of conduct. SIMON ASHWORTH Woodworth Green, Bunbury (letters)

Harrogate Advertiser 12.11.04 OH WHAT tangled values this nation has! Although we all know that the hunting issue is no longer about the supposed cruelty to foxes, there are people who still believe it is cruel. Most of those same people, who worry about the distress of the chase on the fox, have over the past few days/weeks and will intermittently throughout the year, continue to unleash, indiscriminately, untold distress on pets, farm animals and wildlife with fireworks…. (letter)

Post & Times 12.11.04 HUNTERS DERANGED - I note with interest the ongoing correspondence in your columns from those for and against foxhunting with dogs. I am rather amazed, however, in view of the fact that the countryside lobby has known for years that a ban on hunting is bound to come, they and the masters of hunts throughout Britain have done virtually nothing to publicise their activities. For the first time, a Mr Herbert, in your newspaper, says people would now be welcome to visit the kennels of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt to see what fine places they are. I should have thought that this gesture should have been made by all hunts many years ago… Now, local farmer, Neil Seaton, attacks foxhunting and hunters, even though he was associated with their activities himself for several decades… Seaton Supporter Rocester (letter)

Gloucestershire Gazette 12.11.04 True country folk back hunting ban - What a wonderful day it will be when hunting is banned once and for all. We true country people have longed for this for years after seeing the wanton cruelty that it involves, not only to the deer and foxes, but also the hounds and horses that are used in this evil so called sport…. S R Grimes, Oakfield Way, Sharpness (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 12.11.04 Death will linger for fox with mange - What power the fox wields in this country - even to the extend of interfering with army training! It is indeed laughable if it were not so tragic - that is tragic for the fox. Why should a landowner who is banned from controlling the fox population by traditional methods, then allow the government to use his land as a favour, free, gratis and for nothing?... Dreena Menelaws, Byron Road, Dursley (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 12.11.04 BODIES COUNT - It is indeed refreshing to see David and Gill Purser's story and one must admire the principled stance that they have taken. They are far from being alone in their opinion. There are many farmers who think little of the hunt and would not tolerate them over their land were it not for the fact of carcass disposal…. John Campbell Veterinary surgeon Cardiff (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.11.04 CUBS AN EASY KILL FOR HOUND - I feel I must defend Helen Weeks after the condemnation of her letter by Ray Bird. As I am sure Mr Bird knows, fox cubs do suffer horribly as a result of hunting, even if it is not quite as Helen describes. Mr Bird is in fact being pedantic in an attempt to defend a cruel and barbaric sport…. Harriet Allen Westbury Wiltshire (letter)

South Wales Echo 12.11.04 IN reply to Gordon Howell's letter, "Hunting Can Have Its Place." I have no objection to foxes being dealt with by humane means if necessary, or employing a proven marksman to shoot them. But to suggest being chased around by hounds, to be torn to pieces, is humane, is unbelievable. How gullible does he think we are?... P O'Shea, Glenroy Street, Roath, Cardiff (letter)

York Evening Press 12.11.04 Bring the dogs ONCE again the hunting season is upon us (November 8). So if like me you are aroused by butchering foxes, join me in the big hunt…. Remember, it's okay for us to hunt foxes as it's tradition to be inhumane. How could anybody possibly oppose us?.. Mike Holden, Longcroft, Wigginton, York. (letter in archive)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 12.11.04 Pro-hunt groups ‘are just so sad’ - A number of the pro-hunting lobbies (Countryside Alliance) claims would appear, at best, ill-founded. How, for instance, can a ban on a cruel and largely unnecessary practise (RSPCA, LACCS and IFAW all oppose hunting) be deemed an attack on the liberty and freedom of country dwellers? Should people be “free” to pursue any chosen course irrespective of the consequences? Are the laws against muggers, rapists and paedophiles a restriction on freedoms too?... Jackie and Tony Rowe, High Street, Old Fletton, Peterborough (letter)

Bucks Free Press 12.11.04 No need for hunts to breed pups - SO the conclusion has been reached that two beagle puppies stolen just days before the season opening of the Vale of Aylesbury hunt (Bucks Free Press, Princes Risborough News November 5) were probably taken by animal rights activists…. Is it not incredible that now, just as we are on the brink of finally getting a ban on hunting with hounds, hunters and breeders are not in any way winding down their despised sporting activities, but are actively engaged in the breeding of dogs that will according to the hunters be unfit for re-homing and, therefore, these pups, still by then young dogs, will be subject to as near as possible public execution in order to ring as much pathos out of the situation as possible… Bea Bradley Cuxham Road Watlington (letter)


BBC News Online 11.11.04 Peers vote for new hunt law delay - New laws to ban or restrict fox-hunting should not come into force until the end of 2007, says the House of Lords. Peers on Thursday voted to delay any limits on hunting with dogs until vets reported on whether it caused more pain than other pest control…. (story) 11.11.04 Parliamentary clash looms on hunting ban MPs and peers remain on course for a constitutional clash over attempts to ban fox hunting. As the Hunting Bill continued its passage through the House of Lords on Thursday, peers rejected a compromise bid to ban stag hunting while introducing licensed foxhunting. They upper house has already overturned plans, approved by the Commons, to ban hunting with hounds from July 2006…. (story)
Scotsman 11.11.04 Hunting Compromise Rejected By Amanda Brown and Anthony Looch, PA Lords staff - A compromise bid to outlaw stag hunting while still allowing regulated foxhunting was rejected in the Lords today. Voting was 189 to 39, a majority of 150, during the Hunting Bill’s report stage to – in effect – permit both with peers standing by their decision of two weeks ago…. (story)
Western Morning News 11.11.04 PEERS USE STAG HUNTING TO SAVE FOX COMPROMISE - A Westcountry peer will today call for stag hunting to be banned as part of a last-ditch effort to persuade the Government to back a "compromise" on foxhunting…. Lady Miller, the Lib-Dem rural affairs spokesman in the Lords, said there were more humane ways of culling stags than hunting. She said it would be pointless to return the Bill to the Commons next week with stag hunting still intact…. (story)
Western Daily Press 11.11.04 HUNTERS WON'T LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE - Stand by for more fun and games next week as the hunting classes line up for a rematch ag-ainst the Metropolitan Constabulary…. But what's this? An eleventh hour appearance in the long-running wrangle over the Bill's merits or otherwise by Baroness Mil-ler of Chilthorne Dom-er, better known as Sue Miller, the Liberal Democrat Somerset coun-ty councillor. She has inserted no fewer than 14 clauses, one of which calls for a total ban on staghunting an activity which her own council tried, unsuccessfully, to ban on its land some years ago. (story)

Ormskirk Advertiser 11.11.04 Proposal to muzzle cup dogs - SUPPORTERS of the Waterloo Cup are considering muzzling their dogs in a last ditch attempt to head off a hare coursing ban. The ban is due to come into effect alongside fox-hunting legislation…. (story)

Evesham Journal 11.11.04 Hunt supporters confront Brown - MEMBERS of hunts across Worcestershire confronted Chancellor Gordon Brown as he arrived in Birmingham to make a keynote speech at a CBI conference at the ICC on Tuesday. Among the 100 members of the Countryside Alliance was Jamie Smith, of Ashton-under-Hill, and member of the North Cotswold Hunt, who said: "We wanted to show the Government that we are determined to and committed to fighting this unjust law to ban hunting and that is why we are holding these demonstrations."… (letter in archive)
Shropshire Star 10.11.04 County hunters protest to Chancellor - Scores of Shropshire hunt supporters joined a protest outside a conference centre in Birmingham where Gordon Brown was delivering a speech…. Diana Rowson, Countryside Alliance member and follower of the South Shropshire Hunt said: "We wanted to show the Government that we are committed to fighting this unjust law and that is why we are holding these demonstrations." (story)

East Grinstead Courier 11.11.04 DISAPPOINTING TURN OUT FOR HUNT BY KAREN STYAN - In A BID to help MPs make informed decisions about the imminent hunting ban, a hunt had an open day at its kennels on Friday last week. But organisers were left disappointed after only two out of the 19 MPs invited managed to make an appearance at the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt kennels in Felbridge…. Crawley MP Laura Moffatt, who supports a ban, failed to turn up despite confirming that she would. A spokeswoman from Laura Moffatt's office said that the MP "couldn't find the kennels". She said: "She drove around East Grinstead and Felbridge for an hour and a half asking people for directions. No one could help her. She tried until 3.30pm."…. (story)

Kentish Gazette 11.11.04 Defiant mood at opening hunt - SOME 60 riders and more than twice that number of foot followers attended the opening meet of the East Kent Hunt on Saturday… Supporters spokesman Nick Onslow said: "I was one of 2,700 from South East packs that signed up over a year ago declaring an intention to continue. "This is not about random lawlessness. It is the act of peaceful, orderly civil disobedience as the last resort of a law-abiding minority."… (story)

Yorkshire Post 11.11.04 HUNT PROTEST PUTS ELIGIBLE OTIS AT TOP OF THE TOFFS - Andrew Vine Chief Reporter - HE'S hardly a household name, and until a few weeks ago the public might have asked "Otis Who?" Suddenly, though, Otis Ferry – son of pop star Bryan Ferry – is not just famous, he's been named one of the most eligible bachelors in Britain, second only the film world's favourite English gent, Hugh Grant…. Mr Ferry began his hunting career as a whipper-in with Yorkshire's Middleton Hunt, before becoming the country's youngest master of a hunt, in Shropshire… (story)
South Shropshire 11.11.04 Hunting activist Otis on most eligible list - The Shropshire pro-hunt campaigner who stormed the House of Commons and heckled MPs has been named as one of the UK's "most datable men". Otis Ferry, 21, son of Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry, was unknown before September 15, when he and a group of activists entered the Commons, shouted at MPs and were involved in a brawl in the chamber. He lives near Shrewsbury and is the joint master of the south Shropshire hunt….(story)

West Essex Independent 11.11.04 Veterans tour the Commons - MEMBERS of the Harlow BT and Post Office Veterans Association were given an hour-long tour of the Palace of Westminster, including a walk through the Lords and the Commons chambers by Harlow MP Bill Rammell… During the session, Mr Rammell asked the 40-odd members of the group whether they supported a ban on fox hunting, and all but four supported such a move… (story)

Western Daily Press 11.11.04 RIDING TRAGEDY OF WEST HUNTSMAN - Members of one of the West Country's most historic hunts were last night mourning the tragic death of a life-long hunt supporter killed in a freak riding accident. A well-known and respected figure both within the hunt fraternity and his own village community, Murray Stoddart, 62, of East Coker, near Yeovil, Somerset, died after he was thrown from his horse. The horse bolted while he was out with the Cattistock Hunt, near Eggardon Hill, Dorset, on Tuesday… (story)

BBC News Online 11.11.04 Dead rider 'had love of hunting' - Tributes have been paid to a 62-year-old rider who died when he was thrown from his horse while out hunting. Murray Stoddart, 62, of East Coker, near Yeovil, Somerset, was killed while riding with the Cattistock Hunt, at Eggardon Hill, Dorset, on Tuesday…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 11.11.04 HUNTING APPOINTMENTS - Atherstone… Belvoir… Cottesmore… Fernie… Quorn…. (story)

Tamworth Herald 11.11.04 HUNT'S NEW YEAR MEET - The annual New Year's Day meeting of the Atherstone Hunt will again take place in the Market Square…. (story)

Western Morning News 11.11.04 Showing tolerance - I NOTE Labour MP Andrew Bennett (who voted for an outright ban on hunting despite his Government finding hunting with dogs as being no more cruel than any other form of control), said: "Conflict between gypsies and travellers and the settled community has steadily escalated in recent years. It is a disgrace. In a supposedly civilised society people ought to be able to tolerate each other." Obviously he is unable to tolerate a minority who do something he doesn't like! R Stevens, Newlyn (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 11.11.04 WILL MP VOTE WITH HEART OR TOE PARTY LINE? - The Hunting with Dogs Bill returns to the Commons next week, but it is completely different from the one over which Old Labour backbench bigots recently flexed their muscles…. will Gillian Merron fall into line?... The question Ms Merron has to answer is, will she follow her conscience on an issue she claims she deeply believes in and vote against the amended Bill? Or will she again drink from the chalice of political expediency and do her masters' bidding, knowing that hunting with dogs may continue? DAVID McLEISH Michaelgate, Lincoln. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 11.11.04 leave foxes alone: I would like to offer a possible solution to the fox-hunting saga, based on our own experiences with the character at the core of the debate - namely the fox… Could not the fox-hunting fraternity adopt a compromise whereby the chappie with the long thin bugle dashes off in front, then the doggies and main cavalry follow. There could still be lots of yoiksing and tally-ho-ing…. Come on chaps, give the dog a bone and leave the fox alone. John McCartney, Broughton Avenue, Littleover. (letter)

Shropshire Star 11.11.04 Blooding was still happening in the 60s - I would like to comment on two letters from Neil Matcham - the Area Manager of the North Shropshire Hunt and G Morris, Newport, who appears to be an expert on the fox (Shropshire Star October 22). Mr Matcham claims that the tribal-like custom of brushing a young rider's face with blood from a foxes tail was a popular custom in Victorian times. I worked on farms for 25-years and I can assure readers that blooding was still taking place in the sixties…. Ray Williams, Shifnal (letter)

Shropshire Star 11.11.04 Halt these barbaric pastimes - Over the years, I've seen articles in your newspaper glorifying bullfighting, supporting foxhunting, praising gamekeepers for rearing pheasant chicks for the sole purpose of providing enjoyment for sadists who like to shoot, almost tame birds and now, through Mr Brunt's letter, in a recent Shropshire Star, I find you support the caging of wild birds. What on earth are you going to support next?... C Edwards, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 11.11.04 Settling a hunt row - At last we have put the Hunting Bill to sleep after the majority of the public, who put New Labour into power with a huge majority, had been promised a ban on fox hunting with dogs. There are a few pockets of resistance, but a good dose of common water with red dye would soon settle the argument…. G Evans, Telford (letter)

West Briton 11.11.04 MORE PRESSING ISSUES FOR MP THAN HUNTING - As a resident of Candy Atherton's Falmouth and Camborne constituency I find it quite shocking to read of her efforts to ban hunting when far more pressing issues need dealing with everyday here in Cornwall, such as fishing, low wages, unemployment, traffic chaos, paedophilia, dumping, etc…. P LEMON, St Thomas Street, Penryn (letter)
Western Morning News 9.11.04 MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES THAN HUNTING - As a resident of Ms Atherton's Camborne and Falmouth constituency, I find it quite shocking to read of her efforts to ban hunting. There are far more pressing issues that need dealing with everyday here in Cornwall, such as fishing, low wages, unemployment, traffic chaos, etc… Perhaps, if Ms Atherton spent less time on photo opportunities, writing feeble articles to the local paper and more time avoiding being totally humiliated in Parliament by Devon MPs, we might actually have a representative in Westminster that puts forward the views of the majority of Cornish folk…. P Lemon, Penryn (letter)

Ilkley Gazette 11.11.04 Silly attack - Mr Roderick Thomson is too generous to Mrs Cryer, MP. Her silly attack on Migration Watch followed her letter on foxhunting, which was equally prejudiced. The polls I have seen confirm the views of Mr Victor Bean. If the question is `Do you approve of foxhunting?', 70 per cent say 'No' (as I would myself). However, to the more relevant question, `Should there be a legal ban on foxhunting?', 60 per cent say 'No'…. COLIN CARPENTER, 63, Grove Road, Ilkley.
Victor Bean is entitled to have an opinion on the issue of foxes killing cats. To re-emphasise: foxes do not kill cats. The victim he saw lying dead by a fox's lair would have been either a victim of a road accident or the victim of a youth with an airgun… AUDREY HARGREAVES, Cats Protection, Wharfe Valley Branch. (letters in archive)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 11.11.04 Banning hunting won't help foxes - IN the last few weeks we have seen many words and pictures devoted to the issue of hunting with dogs… Hunting with hounds ensures either the death of the fox or its escape without injury unlike shooting or snaring. It is clear the banning of hunting will provide no benefit to the welfare of the fox… Martyn Pocock Home Farm House, Barrow (letter)

North Devon Journal 11.11.04 FOLLOW EUROPE: KEEP HUNTING - I was pleased to read Chris Anderson's comments on hunting and now shooting. I cannot see why he does not say that fishing is also in the sights of his organisation. At last they have come partly clean regarding the shooting of pheasants…. Lastly I am delighted Mrs Garwood of Horns Cross has pointed out the RSPCA will accept hounds if and when hunting goes. I think she understands there will be thousands to be looked after, fed and exercised each day. Doubtless they will accept the horses as well. ALAN POPHAM, Rolle Street, Barnstaple (letter)

The Forester 11.11.04 PUTTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ABOUT FOXES - I Enjoyed crossing pens with Robin Bonser, but I rested my case in our debate last week, so shall say 'no more'. Mrs C. D. Keeling, however, demands a reply. Her 'facts' need closer examination. Her first 'fact' that foxes are classed as 'vermin' and need controlling is true, but only because the people who hunt made sure of this classification in the past so they would be immune from prosecution for cruelty to animals, allied with the farming lobby (whose reasons were more valid)…. Let's face it Mrs Keeling, you do it for fun don't you? I've no objection if you dress up and ride across the countryside on a fine horse view-hallooing to your hearts content, it's just the unnecessary bit of gratuitous cruelty at the end that I can't stomach…. John Belcher, Joyford Hill (letter)


Hull Daily Mail 10.11.04 HUNTERS INVOKE HUMAN RIGHTS - Countryside enthusiasts have launched a new attack on the ban on hunting with hounds. Fox hunters are mounting a legal challenge to the move to outlaw their pastime by using European human rights legislation. Members of the Holderness Hunt backed the latest measure when they headed to fields around Dunnington, near Hornsea, yesterday… Charles Gunnery, huntsman to the Middleton Hunt, which operates in the northern area of the East Riding, said: "Hunting enthusiasts have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. We must use any legal moves to undermine the Government's case, and that also means a legal challenge to the use of the Parliament Act." (story)

Petersfield Post 10.11.04 Appeal attracts big crowd to hunt - A PUBLIC appeal to watch a fox hunt in action brought out a bumper crowd of supporters to see the first meet of the season on Saturday…. Bill Tyrwhitt-Drake, who hosts the Hursley Hambledon Hunt on his land at Bereleigh, said that as many as 400 people followed the hunt, either on horse-back or on foot…. (story in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 10.11.04 ANGER AT THREAT OF PRO-HUNT VIOLENCE - All of the foxes and hounds in the UK are not worth the life of a single human being, the county huntsman who stormed the House of Commons in September has said. David Redvers, 34, a stud owner from Hartpury, was responding to reports in Sunday papers suggesting that Government ministers might be "assassinated" if a ban on hunting with dogs went ahead… South Shropshire hunt joint master Otis Ferry, the son of singer Bryan, admitted on Sunday that fears were growing that violence might occur, but said it would be a "disgrace"…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 10.11.04 Hunt campaigners' defiant message - FOX hunting supporters across North and East Yorkshire have vowed to defy the looming hunting ban after turning out in force for the official start of the new season. Dozens of people attending the Middleton Hunt at Scrayingham, near Stamford Bridge, said they would continue hunting whatever the cost…. Timothy Forbes Adam, of Escrick and Naburn, gave a service of thanksgiving and blessed the hounds…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 10.11.04 Foxes and 'fascists' IN the House of Lords debate on fox hunting (October 12) Lord Mancroft accused ministers of acting like a "fascist dictatorship". If the noble Lord expresses this description of the Government on such a subject, one is bound to ask how he would describe ministers who are pushing through the Civil Contingencies Bill in orders of magnitude. Michael Champness, Callington (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 10.11.04 FOX-HUNTING FROM ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE - I Refer to Post correspondents' letters about fox-hunting and suggest that we look at the problem from a new perspective. If I were a fox, what would I think? I have two choices. Number one, I can be out looking for food one night and suddenly be blinded by a fierce light. Behind the lamp is a well-trained, humane fox killer, holding a high-powered rifle, who nearly always puts a bullet into his victim. 9r secondly, I can be flushed out of cover during the day by a pack of hounds - I can usually escape death or injury at the cost of some unscheduled exercise. Given the choice of certain death or unlikely death, I would choose the latter… do not lecture the rural people about how they should control the rural fox - and let them devise ways of enjoying the process if they can. That is only human. John Milbourn, name and address supplied. (letter)

Western Mail 10.11.04 Seeing true evil - How truly edifying to read in your letters column (November 2) of a GP who opposes using animal experimentation as a means to "further" medical research… Thank God also, I say, for a lady denouncing the wearing of fur! And yes, for Peter Hain's outspokenness (page 5) concerning a pro-hunt group. The latter have every right to protest, but it horribly disturbs me that they should fight so aggressively in order to satisfy a craving to see one defenceless creature fleeing for its life from a pack of hounds… The Rev JAMES THOMPSON, Fron Park Road, Holywell, Clwyd (letter)

York Evening Press 10.11.04 Time to grow up - SO the Middleton Hunt "applauded and cheered" a declaration of martyr at their meet, did they (November 8)? Would this be the same sort of thing that sends suicide bombers on their way to blowing up British soldiers like the Black Watch the other day?... Andrew Tessier, Rose Street, York. (letter in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 10.11.04 It's a myth - TYPICALLY of pro-hunt supporters, B. Lammas appears short on facts but long on misinformation in his/her recent letter. The claim that `the fox is officially classified by DEFRA as vermin' and `hounds do an efficient job of pest control' is laughable…. Maurice Brett, Linehouse Lane, Bromsgrove (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 10.11.04 ASTOUNDED BY FARMS PROTEST - I was astounded to read that farmers may ban the Army from training on agricultural land in protest at Government plans to outlaw fox hunting. During World War II, I trained as a soldier all over southern England and Wales. Farmers were very grateful to see us on their land… Today I read that hunt campaigners are preparing to hijack Armistice Day for their latest demonstration. What will they target next? It's their right but it could be a demonstration too far. L G Barnett Ex-Royal Artillery Ex-No 2 Commando (Army)1939-1947 (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 10.11.04 POLICIES - NOT PLEASANTRIES - The recent leaflet from Tory MP hopeful Karl McCartney (October 13) is devoid of policies and is largely devoted to how he knows us all so well…. It might be more interesting to know how he would have voted on "fox hunting" and "Iraq" and whether he agrees with increased spending on public services…. NORMAN DRURY, Oakfield Street, Lincoln (letter)

Worcester Evening News 10.11.04 Error over fox control - MR P Bunce (You Say, Tuesday, November 2) was absolutely right to point out my technical error regarding fox control. I should have stated that under sections 98 and 99 of the Agricultural Act 1947 and the Agricultural (Scotland) Act 1948 the fox is clearly regarded as a pest. However, numerous dictionaries do actually include the fox in their description of the word vermin…. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 10.11.04 Pretty face on hunting - I would like to make a comment on the Star letter headlined "Ridiculous claims of opponents to hunting", penned by Neil Matcham, manager of the North Shropshire Hunt…. I seem to remember not too long ago one of the Royals being blooded at the kill. It seems to me that the hunting supporters are now trying to "pretty things up". But we know, don't we? B Banks, Ludlow (letter)

Horncastle News 10.11.04 As an ‘ethnic minority’ hunters have to risk becoming criminals to save wildlife ‘Hunting ban compromise’ 27.10.04: Does Douglas Baxter of the League Against Cruel Sports approve of deer, hare and mink hunting?... Deer, fox and hare today survive as wild farm pests because they are hunted. As quarry species they are culled sensibly, especially the hare as it is legally protected only on Sundays and Christmas Day…. HENRY FOSTER, Woodhall Spa (letter)

Louth Leader 10.11.04 Hunting ban will ruin countryside - Yet again I am writing in after the not unexpected hue and cry my letter caused (Leader, October 20) The point I was trying to get across was utterly misread and totally missed. Deer hunting in the West Country was banned a number of years ago. The result? The red deer herds either no longer exist or are virtually extinct…. Ditto losing foxes from the countryside. But of course, I am a heartless individual, do not consider wildlife and only use ‘propaganda’ so say your readers…. Mrs G P Hoblyn North Street Caistor (letter)
Louth Leader 3.11.04 Stop the persecution of foxes - Ref G Hoblyn on foxhunting. Sorry, but we will not be influenced by his/her glowing tales. Foxes kill to eat. Man is the biggest predator - killing for fun… P Rogers, Bawtry (letter)
Louth Leader 27.10.04 Face facts, hunters enjoy killing foxes - EDITOR - In response to G P Hoblyn’s letter, I feel compelled to put forward the feelings of people, like myself, who find fox hunting abhorrent…. it was a well known fact foxes were imported into the area in which I used to live, prior to a hunt, because there were not any present…. It is true there is a misconception of ‘toffs’ participating in fox hunting but this is due to wealthy people, many in the House of Lords, constantly blocking progress in this respect and, in doing so, against the democratic wishes of the majority in the UK. David Broomfield, Victoria Road, Louth
Jobs lost is small compared to the slaughter - EDITOR - I would just like to say how appalled I was to read the letter G P Hoblyn wrote. I know this person is in favour of fox hunting but what a one-sided argument. This person seems to be a heartless individual who does not give any consideration to wildlife or the world we live in…. Fox hunting should be banned and I for one will be behind this 100 per cent as it is totally unnecessary in today’s society. Name and address supplied (letters)
Louth Leader 20.10.04 Try to understand our fox hunting ways - I feel compelled to write because I am so sick of reading letters from people who are against the hunt, 99.9 per cent of which do not know what they are talking about…. Have any of your hunt protesters seen a field full of dead lambs after the rampage of a single fox? Not very pretty…. G P Hoblyn, Caistor (letter)


Western Mail 9.11.04 Opik leads calls for more time to consider compromise Hunting Bill - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE all-party Middle Way Group has called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to allow more time to consider the controversial Hunting Bill. The Bill, which originally proposed a blanket ban on hunting with hounds, is due to have its Report Stage in the House of Lords on Thursday….(story)

Western Mail 9.11.04 Hunting season opens with civil disobedience campaign - Sally Williams, Western Mail - HUNTS across Wales are stepping up their protest against Government plans to make their sport illegal. They chose the official start of the hunting season on Saturday to show their rising determination to fight a ban on hunting through what the Countryside Alliance called peaceful, targeted, civil disobedience to fight an "unjust law"…. Ken Jones, Master of the Irfon and Towy Hunt based in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, who joined a protest hunt outside the Prince Llewellyn Inn, at Cilmery, vows he will continue to fox hunt on horseback or on foot, if a ban goes ahead…. More than 100 mounted followers and several hundred foot followers gathered at the Heol-y-Cyw Social and Workingman's Club near Bridgend for the Llangeinor Hunt's opening meet … CLA director, Julian Salmon, said the prospect of hunting being banned was nonsense…. Mr Salmon who belongs to the Teme Valley Hunt in Knighton, Powys, claims hunting is an important part of life in rural communities and is a healthy country pursuit…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.11.04 DILEMMA OF THE HUNTING SOLDIERS WHO CANNOT WIN - The port tasted the same and the hounds were as mischievous, but this was a meet with a difference. It was in the front garden of a senior officer in the British Army, and getting there involved passing two armed soldiers. For the opponents of hunting, especially those more interested in class war than foxes, this scene shows how deeply entrenched hunting is within the Establishment. But this week, the pull of their dual lives - as soldiers and huntsmen - was harder than ever for the Royal Artillery Hunt…. after the farmers' protests, when landowners told the Ministry of Defence they would no longer be welcome if the Government bans hunting, their lives took on a strange twist. Vast swathes of Salisbury Plain are suddenly out of bounds for the hunting officers when they plan army exercises during the week, but at weekends on horseback, they are more than welcome…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 9.11.04 Huntsman tells of miraculous escape BY DANIELLE NUTTALL - A LEADING huntsman who broke his back in an horrific horse riding accident spoke last night of his miraculous escape from more serious injuries. James Buckle, 39, joint master of the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds, was cantering across a field during a hunt when his horse caught its front feet in a hole and somersaulted before landing on top of him….(story)

Ireland On Line 9.11.04 Farm group calls for action on foxhunting - A group of farmers has demanded the Government crack down on foxhunting because it is damaging their livelihoods. Farmers against Foxhunting and Trespass said those involved in hunts were trampling on the constitutional rights of farmers by trespassing on their land… The group's secretary, William O'Donoghue, said: "It has happened to me on a number of occasions. I had wire fences cut, fences broken down…." (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 9.11.04 SCHOOLCHILDREN QUIZ MP ON WORLD ISSUES - Year six pupils from Seely Church Primary School, Arnold, asked him about the Iraq war, the US elections, and fox hunting. Katie Roper, 10, said: "He said he wanted fox hunting banned, and also stag hunting and grouse hunting because they are not very fair."…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 9.11.04 STAG DEATH - Police are investigating the killing of a 12-year-old stag at a League Against Cruel Sports sanctuary near Dulverton… (story)
Western Morning News 3.11.04 TROPHY HUNTERS SUSPECTED IN SANCTUARY STAG KILLING - A stag living in a deer sanctuary, on Westcountry land owned by the League Against Cruel Sports, has been shot and decapitated by trophy hunters… Tom Yandle, chairman of Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said: "This is certainly not something that the hunters would get involved in. It would be by no means in their interest."… (story)
Western Daily Press 1.11.04 MONARCH OF THE MOOR IS BUTCHERED AT SANCTUARY - A Deer sanctuary manager told of his shock last night after finding the headless body of a large stag that had been decapitated by trophy hunters on his land. Paul Tillesley, who runs a vast swathe of Exmoor for the League Against Cruel Sports and ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, found the stag on Friday afternoon in a wood that is supposed to be a private sanctuary for the creatures… There is no suggestion the local stag hunts were involved - indeed, they are historically opposed to unauthorised trophy hunters shooting stags - but Mr Tillesley claimed both hunts and poachers are increasingly ignoring landowners like the League Against Cruel Sports, the National Trust and the Forestry Commission, who have all banned hunts from their land…. Tom Yandle, chairman of the Devon and Somerset Hunt, said: "This is certainly not something the hunters would get involved in. It would by no means be in their interests."… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 9.11.04 Hunting: a view from the other side - IN response to the Pennymoor author of 'Hunting no fun for the stag or fox', he/she is obviously an animal lover like me, and up to a year ago, I would have echoed such feelings about hunting with hounds… I used to go out of my way to sign anti-hunt petitions and have been known to spend many an hour knocking on doors for signatures when the proposed ban was first spoken about. My children have also been brought up to consider that hunting was bad…. However, my daughter's love for and involvement with horses introduced her to this fraternity and throughout last season's hunting period, I listened very carefully to the 'other side', viewing for myself the world of hunting. My only disappointment is that I had not done this sooner and now that I can speak from personal experience, I am proud to say that I am 100 per cent pro-hunt…. Dictatorship is wrong and this present Government obviously does not understand how the countryside works… (letter)

Tivyside Advertiser 9.11.04 Anti-hunt faction moves in by Natasha Owen, Cardigan - Re: Hounds run amok (Tivy-Side, October 27). I have worked at different hunt kennels and know that like all animals hounds have minds of their own but at the same time are easily controlled, it is just one of those things that sometimes happen. I could understand if a herd of elephants ran through the gardens then there would be some sort of mess left behind but a pack of hounds! - a few flattened flowers perhaps. As for saying what would have happened if the children were playing how ridiculous - these people have obviously never been to a meet or to the kennels where the hounds are children's best friends, they play and DON'T harm any of them!... (letter in archive)
Tivyside Advertiser 26.10.04 Hounds run amok - The Tivyside Hunt has come under fire after a pack of hounds ran amok through five residential gardens. Residents have described the incident as 'disgraceful' and are now demanding an assurance from hunt members that it will never happen again… (story in archive)

Western Morning News 9.11.04 WHY DON'T HUNTERS GO DRAG HUNTING? - I WOULD like to take up the issues presented in your front page report (WMN, Oct 18) about the action of the police against a mob of pro-hunt rowdies and the "threat" to the future of hunters and hounds. This is yet more reporting of falsehoods peddled by the hunts…. Finally, I think every person living in the rural Westcountry should consider the effect this minority is having on our future. Actions that prevent government ministers from visiting our area, even in support of the development of our communities and businesses, could have a serious adverse impact on funding of all kinds…. Peter Edwards, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 9.11.04 - Don't kill the fox - I HEARTILY agree with Phyllis Voisey (WMN, October 26). Her outlook is very similar to my own and, I suspect, a good many others. The country way of life should not change, just don't kill the fox or deer at the end of the hunt. Drag hunting seems to be the perfect solution…. Mrs Tara Moore, Camborne (letter)

Western Morning News 9.11.04 PROTESTING HUNT SUPPORTERS ARE ALIENATING PUBLIC - Do the hunt supporters think that they are furthering their cause by dumping animal carcasses in towns and costing the local taxpayers a fortune in policing their rallies? If they want public support, they should show that they are law-abiding and peaceful, which they have yet failed to do…. Mrs V Durbin, Fowey
Definition of a sportsman - IN Mr Bygraves' recent letter headlined "Hunting is not a sport" he draws our attention, as support for his premise, to an Oxford Dictionary definition of a sportsman as being "a person who behaves fairly or generously". In comment, I would refer him to the copy of the Oxford Dictionary I consulted, in which the first two lines under sportsman are "a man who follows, engages in or practises sport; especially one who hunts or shoots"…. Nick Holdsworth, Ogwell (letters)

Western Daily Press 9.11.04 FARMERS MUST BE CONTROLLED - I wish to protest at the attitude of our farmers. I was practically brought up on a farm and am now an old man, but I see nothing has changed…. The farmers were blockading the petrol pumps to get a couple of pence knocked off petrol and diesel, and we saw pictures in your paper of a smiling farmer pouring milk down a drain…. A week or so ago, we saw with disgust the carcass of a dead horse callously dumped, and now they want to disrupt the whole country so that they can still get their fun from tearing animals to pieces…. G T Adams Highbridge Somerset (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.11.04 IT'S TIME TO ACCEPT THAT HUNTING WILL BE BANNED - Please, Mr M Lewis, stop writing letters on your passion for hunting with hounds, they are ridiculous. If the subject wasn't so serious, we would be doubled up with mirth. Years ago we used to eat tripe - but now we read it in your letters. There is no justification for chasing, tormenting and ripping to pieces an animal for fun. If a farmer has a 'pesky fox', shoot it…. Mrs Jennie Cook, Honiton (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 9.11.04 Protect these animals - Now that both Houses of Parliament have agreed to ban, or at least modify, fox hunting, is it not time to take steps to ban cruelty in other areas? Poultry kept in cases with only room to stand or sit, often steeped in their own excrement or herded together in a warehouse with scarcely room to move, never allowed out in the fresh air…. RON THWAITES Wentworth Road, Chilwell (letter)

Shropshire Star 9.11.04 Supporter of the hunt - I quite agree with V Yapp (Shropshire Star, October 11). The only good Otis Ferry did breaking into the House of Commons was to show what a waste of money is spent on security. … I'm a long-standing supporter of SSH. M Pugh, Shrewsbury (letter)

News Shopper 9.11.04 Try being a fox yourself - I WRITE regarding a quote from Melissa Kite: "For the umpteenth time, the fox is ripped apart after it is dead, OK?" This comment really insults the intelligence of the public. This is what they want people to believe but she forgets anti-hunt protestors witness kills also and the fox is ripped apart alive…. Cherie Apps Bexley (letter)

News Shopper 9.11.04 Why not kill all the animals? A READER says he would like to shoot me with his Enfield rifle because I choose to feed the wildlife in and around my garden (News Shopper, October 27)…. I can only conclude by stating, I know who the majority of people would like to get rid of and shoot with their pop gun. Mr W D Leman Bexley (letter)
News Shopper 28.10.04 Animal lover is a total menace - IF I had the misfortune of living next door to Mr W D Leman (Letters, September 22) he would feel the full force of buckshot from my old Enfield rifle (metaphorically speaking of course!) in his behind. The man is a positive menace with the views he holds. A garden full of foxes, rodents (for that's all squirrels are) and damn birds which, in turn, attract the neighbourhood cats and dogs, is enough to make a man call the borough's cleansing department…. H A Windass, Old Bexley (letter)
News Shopper 28.10.04 Animal lovers are wrong about foxes - SO MR W D Leman (Letters, September 22) caught the scent and closed in for the kill but once again failed miserably to achieve his objective…. there are now many problems caused by the excessive suburban fox population which cannot be ignored and a lot of which are caused by fox-feeders/tamers… I did listen to the experts but quickly found these were obsessive fox lovers. I then started doing my own research, including communicating with learned professors as far away as Australia…. Doug Walters, Halfway Street, Sidcup (letter)
News Shopper 21.9.04 Feeding animals does no harm - Here we go again, same old rubbish written by Doug Walters from Sidcup, the local fox hater. He is now telling us not to feed the lovely and harmless foxes because they attack humans and even eat babies. What a complete idiot. Just ask any expert on this subject. Do not believe these lies…. Mr W D Leman, Bexley (letter)

Worcester Evening News 9.11.04 Death is... fatal - WHAT I find most striking about Tim Pinney's response to Mike Huskisson's opinion that stag hunting is cruel (You Say, November 2) is his language "..nothing other than a dead animal!" If he were to come across someone passed away on the pavement in Peopleton, would he make a similar clumsy observation… WENDY HANDS, Upton-upon-Severn (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 2.11.04 Just a dead animal and some hounds - MIKE Huskisson ("The cruelty of staghunting", You Say, Tuesday, October 26) is short on facts and large on propaganda… the photo shows nothing other than a dead animal being sniffed by a few hounds! He then goes on to distort the words of Lord Burns who led the Government's independent inquiry into hunting with dogs. What he also fails to mention is that Lord Burns stated recently that there is no just cause for the banning of hunting in this country. TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 26.10.04 The cruelty of stag hunting - WHEREVER cruelty is legalised in the UK, we are all responsible. So let us hope that our MPs will have the resolve to quickly end the pastime of hunting with dogs our native red deer in Devon and Somerset…. M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service. (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 9.11.04 HUNT CLAIM NONSENSE - Mike Huskisson, of the anti-hunting group Animal Welfare Information Service (Postbox, October 22), is getting increasingly desperate in his attempts to smear hunting with his propaganda fuelled arguments. Hunting starts in the autumn when the fox population is made up of physically mature foxes, able to fend for themselves. Autumn hunting is little different from hunting at any other time of the year and the suggestion that it is in some way hidden is complete nonsense. The claim that the government inquiry into hunting was "barred" from autumn hunting is simply wrong… Adrian Simpson, Wales director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Worcester Evening News 1.11.04 - Welcome to witness `autumn hunting' - M J Huskisson (You Say, Monday, October 18) made certain allegations regarding the research visits for the Burns inquiry into hunting with dogs. The following facts clearly refute Mr Huskisson's claim that members of the Burns Committee "were barred from seeing cub hunting,"… The committee was appointed in December, 1999. Their research visits began on February 4 with hare coursing and finished on June 7, 2000… Because autumn hunting runs from September to late October, it was the Government's own timetable, which precluded Burns from studying hunting at this time of year…. Mr Huskisson quotes Burns as stating, foxhunting "seriously compromises the welfare of the fox." Mr Huskisson omitted to disclose that Lord Burns concluded the same for fox shooting and snaring. AUDREY STEEL (MRS), Chairman, Worcestershire Countryside Alliance, Inkberrow.(letter in archive)
South Wales Evening Post 22.10.04 SAVAGERY IS OUT OF SIGHT - M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service PO Box 8, Halesworth (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 21.10.04 Cub hunt is an education - M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Worcester Evening News 18.10.04 Try this in slow motion... M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth. letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 16.10.04 SECRET CRUELTY OF CUB-HUNTS - M J Huskisson Animal Welfare Information Service PO Box 8 Halesworth (letter)
Sunderland Echo 13.10.04 Full measure of savage hunting - MJ Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth, IP19 0JL (letter)
Horncastle News 13.10.04 If cubhunting was a TV ‘sport’ it would have been banned years ago - MIKE HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Chester Chronicle 8.10.04 - THE long saga of the hunting debate would have ended sooner had the media been able to secure access to expose the cruelty behind the glamorous façade… M J HUSKISSON Animal Welfare Information Service (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 8.10.04 TRUTH WOULD HAVE ENDED DEBATE ON FOX HUNTING - The long saga of the hunting debate would have ended sooner had the media been able to secure access to expose the cruelty behind the glamorous facade. An example now is cub-hunting, the training of novice foxhounds to hunt fox cubs…. The Burns Hunting inquiry endeavoured to inform Parliament but even they were barred from seeing cub-hunting. Their guided tours by the hunting fraternity lasted only from February to June 2000…. MIKE HUSKISSON Animal Welfare Information Service Halesworth Suffolk (letter)


Worcester Evening News 8.11.04 Fox-hunting season opens on note of defiance as more riders join up - THE foxhunting season got underway on a bullish note at the weekend. Members of hunts in Worcestershire and Herefordshire said they would not give up their fight against a ban on hunting with hounds because they did not want to see a "rural way of life destroyed." Some huntsmen and women, including Worcestershire dentist Tim Lewin, of the Ledbury Hunt have signed the so-called Martyrs List, volunteering to be the first people to go to prison if prosecuted in the event of a ban… Bob Brierley, Worcester Hunt spokesman, said nobody truly believed this would be their last season… But Anita Knittel of the Worcester branch of the League Against Cruel Sports was hoping this would be the last season…. (story in archive)

South Wales Echo 8.11.04 Village is focus of pro-hunt campaigners - Paul Maunder, South Wales Echo - MORE than 150 pro-hunt campaigners marked the start of the hunting season with a mass protest against Government plans for a ban. The rural village of Heol-y-Cyw, near Bridgend, was the focus of the protest which involved more than 100 riders supported by locals and visitors at the start of the Llangeinor hunt season…. Darren Hughes, a spokesman for pro-hunting group, the Countryside Alliance and the Llangeinor Hunt, claimed the ban was designed to have "a crack at the toffs". He said stereotyping of the hunt could not be "further from the truth" in Wales where the majority of Llangeinor's members are farmers with one section even being police officers…. (story)
BBC News Online 6.11.04 Welsh hunts join protests - Pro-hunt campaigners in Wales have been holding peaceful protests against a ban on fox-hunting to mark the start of the hunt season across the UK. Demonstrations took place on Saturday in Bridgend in south Wales and in St Asaph, in Denbighshire..... Around 10 meets were arranged in Wales and England for Saturday. In Wales, these included the Flint and Denbigh Hunt Cefn in St Asaph, the Llangeinor Hunt in Heol y Cyw, Bridgend.... (story)

Western Mail 8.11.04 Teenagers showing an interest in joining the hunt - Daniel Davies, Western Mail - FOX hunting is attracting more children and teenagers as the prospect of a ban approaches, hunters claimed when they set out on the first weekend of the season. Darren Hughes, a member of Llangeinor Hunt, near Bridgend, said, "An awful lot of teenagers are hunting. The political discussion has made a lot of people go and see what all the fuss is about...." (story)

Western Morning News 8.11.04 HUNDREDS TURN OUT FOR START OF NEW SEASON - As the hunting season got under way in the Westcountry this weekend, hunters say they are still determined to fight the possible ban. About 100 followers turned up to join the Exmoor Foxhounds on Saturday… (story)

Western Morning News 8.11.04 RIDERS ARE READY TO DEFY ANY 'UNJUST LAW' - A defiant member of a Cornish hunt founded 224 years ago has openly vowed to join 60,000 other normally law-abiding people in Britain and disobey "any unjust law that bans hunting". Stephen Jinks, a Falmouth shopkeeper, signalled his intent on Saturday as the Four Burrow observed a time-honoured tradition by holding its first meet of the season at Four Burrows Farm, near Truro…. (story)

Western Morning News 8.11.04 MOVE TO DELAY HUNT BAN FOR THREE YEARS - The impending ban on hunting with dogs could be delayed for up to three years under proposals to be debated by the House of Lords this week. Peers, who will debate the controversial Hunting Bill again on Thursday, will call for the delay to allow time for research into alternative methods of fox control to be carried out…. Pro-hunting peers believe that a three-year delay would provide a "reasonable period" for hunts and other rural businesses to adjust to the prospect of a ban. They also insist the time is needed for research into more humane ways of dealing with foxes in the event of a ban…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 8.11.04 HUNT: WE'LL FIGHT A BAN - Open season declared on bill that will outlaw hunting - Huntsmen and women marked the traditional start of the season with an act of defiance against plans to ban hunting with hounds. A copy of the House of Commons-backed Bill to outlaw hunting was symbolically burned by Michael Moore, joint master of the East Devon Hunt, on Saturday. In a speech before the horses and hounds set off from Rockbeare Manor, he called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to show as much courage on the issue of hunting as he had on invading Iraq….(story)

Yorkshire Post 8.11.04 TALLY-HO RINGS OUT AS HUNTING FRATERNITY SOUNDS DEFIANT NOTE - As what could be the penultimate hunting season gets under way, Brian Dooks joins the York and Ainsty South Hunt to gauge members' reactions to the proposed ban…. (story)
Northern Echo 8.11.04 Keeping up hunt tradition - perhaps for the last time by David Roberts - FOR what could possibly be the last time, the traditional start of the hunt season got under way at the weekend…. Nearly 40 riders met at the Colton hunt on Saturday, organised by the York and Ainsty South Hunt, with a large number of followers on foot…. (story in archive)

York Evening Press 8.11.04 Defiant ones - FOX hunting supporters across North and East Yorkshire have vowed to defy the looming hunting ban after turning out in force for the official start of the new season. Dozens of people attending the York and Ainsty South Hunt, on Saturday, at Colton, near Tadcaster, and the Middleton Hunt at Scrayingham, near Stamford Bridge, said they would continue hunting - whatever the cost… (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 8.11.04 FOX-HUNTERS IN ACT OF DIFIANCE OVER HUNT BAN - Fox hunters today pledged their defiance to the proposed ban on the sport by turning out in droves for the start of the hunting season. Last weekend saw the first meeting of the Atherstone Hunt at Peckleton. The meet attracted scores of huntsmen and women, plus hundreds of their followers who joined in a collective act of defiance against the proposal…(story)

Newcastle Journal 8.11.04 Huntsmen pledge to flout the law By Dave Black, The Journal - Defiant foxhunting enthusiasts turned out in force at the weekend for the start of a new season - vowing they will never be driven to ground by a Government ban on their threatened sport. Local supporters took to the fells on Saturday to watch more than 50 riders with the historic Haydon Hunt set off from Newbrough in the Tyne Valley near Hexham for what could be their last-ever legal meet…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 8.11.04 HUNTERS DEFIANT AS SEASON BEGINS - Defiant hunt members were out enjoying their sport at the start of the season despite proposals for an outright ban. Members of the Burton Hunt turned out in force on Saturday, defending their right to practise a sport which some have labelled barbaric…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 8.11.04 Cumbrian hunt supporters in defiant mood - By Dave Gudgeon - CUMBRIAN hunt supporters turned out in force to send a defiant message to a Government intent on enforcing a ban. About 200 people gathered at Welton, near Carlisle, for the first meet of the new season of the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds…. (story)

Beaufort 8.11.04 HUNTERS DEFIANT AS CHASE BEGINS BY JOHN LE COUTEUR J.LECOUTEUR - Riders and supporters of the Beaufort Hunt turned out in defiant mood to herald the first day of what may be the last fox hunting season. Around 220 riders and more than 400 supporters gathered on the Duke of Beaufort's estate at Badminton on Saturday…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 8.11.04 THOUSANDS TURN OUT AS HUNT SEASON STARTS - Huntsmen in the Dulais Valley were among thousands across the UK to turn out for the start of the fox hunting season in defiance of a proposed ban on the sport. Organisers of the age-old Banwen Miners Hunt have already begun their season…. (story)

Western Mail 8.11.04 Trainer cleared of cruelty after pony dies By Gemma Collins - A former champion showjumper was today cleared of cruelty to a pony which died after falling and splitting its skull at a charity event…. (story)
BBC News Online 8.11.04 Trainer cleared of pony cruelty - A former champion show jumper and a pony owner have been cleared of cruelty charges to a bay mare. North Avon Magistrates' Court cleared Robert Rowsell, of Pontypridd, south Wales, now a top trainer, of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. The owner, Laura Ashelford, also of Pontypridd, was found not guilty of permitting the pony to be subjected to cruelty. The pony, Fanta, fell and split its skull after a 10-mile charity ride at the Beaufort Estate in Badminton, Gloucestershire in September 2003… (story)
Western Mail 5.11.04 Pony beaten with a pipe before it died, court told - A PONY that refused to go into its horsebox was beaten for 15 minutes before it split its skull from ear to ear in a fall and died, a court heard yesterday…. (story)
South Wales Echo 4.11.04 Terrified mare 'was kicked and beaten' - Wayne Nowaczyk, South Wales Echo - A TERRIFIED Welsh pony had to be destroyed after being beaten with plastic piping on the Duke of Beaufort's estate, a court has heard... Duty vet Charlotte Brown told the court Fanta's head injuries exposed brain tissue and said a man she believed responsible for the animal refused a lethal injection, insisting instead she "give it the bullet". Consequently, said Ms Brown, there was a further delay as a slaughter man from the Badminton hunt kennels had to be sent for.... (story)
Western Daily Press 3.11.04 PONY DEATH PAIR ON CRUELTY CHARGES - Former jockey Robert Rowsell beat and kicked a pony so badly at a West charity event it injured itself and had to be put down, a court heard yesterday. Rowsell, now a top point-to-point trainer, allegedly beat the pony with a plastic hose after it refused to walk into its horse box…. Vet Charlotte Briggs described the animal's injuries as "grotesque" and decided to put Fanta out of his misery…. Miss Briggs was then told by the man holding the horse that he didn't want the animal injected. She agreed to sedate Fanta instead and the group waited for a gunman from the nearby Beaufort Hunt to put him down…. (story)
Bristol Evening Post 2.11.04 'PONY FRACTURED SKULL AS IT ESCAPED BEATING BY COUPLE' - A Pony was attacked at a charity ride, suffering such severe injuries that it had to be put down, a court heard. The animal was "kicked in the guts" and beaten with a plastic pipe as a group of people attempted to force it into a horsebox, North Avon magistrates' court heard yesterday… A vet who rushed to the scene to administer a lethal injection to save the pony from further pain was stopped by one of the men involved in the beating. Instead the man said "give it the bullet" and there was a further delay as a slaughter man from the Badminton hunt kennels had to be sent for…. The case continues. (story)

Bolton Evening News 8.11.04 Animal lovers should look at their pets - THE letter on Wednesday from L Powell once again uses generalisations to make a point. To compare fox hunting to hanging is irrelevant and, in my opinion, both are necessary even today… Animal lovers? I regret that so many antis do not know the meaning of the words. Do they spend many a long hour, in atrocious weather, tending to livestock, feeding and caring for wild and domesticated ducks, geese or pheasants. No, but they do think it is kind to keep an often large dog cooped up in a small house, perhaps full of cigarette smoke and take it for the occasional stroll up and down the street until it eventually dies from boredom, overfeeding or both…. Dr G.C.Gibson, Czech Republic (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 8.11.04 FOCUS ON SOME REAL ISSUES FOR A CHANGE - As a regular reader of your newspaper, I am getting heartily tired of reading so many of these unsubstantiated claims from those opposed to hunting. Hunting is not a danger to the security of our country, neither is treason likely to result from this activity. It does, in fact, create a lot of employment, provide much business and revenue to the Government, so the Parliament Act is not justified…. J N Spratt Tockington South Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.11.04 RIDE ON, BUT WITHOUT CRUELTY - Jane Arnold tells us that she and her children love to hunt and describes her daughter asking "what will we do if they ban hunting?" I trust she reassures her children that they can continue to enjoy riding to hounds, simply by convincing those in charge of their hunt that a change to drag hunting is the way forward…. Gill Purser Cheltenham (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.11.04 IS IT TIME FOR AN UPRISING? - Given that vast numbers of the electorate want to live their lives in peace, without burglary, rape, animal abuse, firework hell, alcohol and substance abuse, and given that it could be argued that no government seems able, or willing, to tackle anti-social behaviour effectively, I wonder if it's time for a new political par ty… We have voted to ban hunting, complained in our thousands about fireworks distressing our pets, demonstrated against the war. The Government was not listening. Once the big parties have our votes they forget election promises…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Morning News 8.11.04 Hunting in pictures - "ONE picture is worth a thousand words", and that peculiarly English art form, the traditional hunting print, says a lot about foxhunting…. However, I have yet to see a print that shows the things that hunting folk now claim hunting is really all about. Where are the prints with titles like "A Chicken is Saved", "Balancing the Ecosystem", "A Pest Humanely Killed", let alone "The Exercise of Human Rights"? Theo Hopkins, Lifton, Devon (letter)

Worcester Evening News 8.11.04 How can Church bless destruction? - YOUR article headlined "Man's blessed friend" (Evening News, Saturday, October 30) begs one question. If Penny Plath accepts Christian teaching… How then does she justify asking the Church to bless her destructive pastime of stag hunting and hare coursing?... HELEN SMART, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 8.11.04 IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH AS DEAD AS OUR DEMOCRACY? - It would seem that your correspondents, John Phelps and others, are no longer satisfied merely to dictate to others what they may and may not do. They now seek to control what others may actually say, Points of view, October 25, regarding complaining to Ben Bradshaw about what Lord Mancroft is alleged to have said… Steve Cox, Whipton Barton Road, Exeter (letter)

Yorkshire Post 8.11.04 Hunting ban would hit all types of wildlife From: B Robinson, Midland Terrace, Hellifield, near Skipton. It is to be hoped that when the Hunting Bill returns to the Commons the backbench MPs come to their senses. A hunting ban would be a disaster for the wildlife… (letter)

Shropshire Star 8.11.04 Fox could be tamed - Re: B R Lewis, of Shrewsbury, letter, October 16, 2004, "Lies over fox scene". When a fox goes to ground (their natural home), they are dug out…. P Taffs is right in his/her letter October 16, 2004. A fox could be tamed for a pet. I have first hand knowledge of this. B Banks, Ludlow (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 8.11.04 Hunting can have its place - I RESPOND to Ruth Ann Fox's letter of October 30. I am well informed on the subject of hunting with hounds, and with my own lurcher, worked in times gone by, and I have also shot foxes in Lisvane, when I was in better health… I have also watched hounds flush injured foxes from cover and dispatch them painlessly, saving them from a lingering death…. Gordon Edward Howells, Plas-y-Delyn, Lisvane, Cardiff (letter)

Jersey Evening Post 8.11.04 True country people respect all animals From David Toone, The Hollies, Copston Magna, Hinckley, Leicestershire. MY wife and I had a few days' holiday in Jersey recently, and reading a letter from Bridget Murphy (JEP, 15 October) has prompted me to write to put a countryman's point of view on hunting. Mrs Murphy says that she has 'witnessed at first hand the obscene cruelty and violence to hunted animals'. Not from a true countryman she hasn't…. The hunting fraternity are good, sound, honest hardworking people who love the countryside. I sincerely hope that common sense will prevail and that hunting will continue for many more years. (letter may be in archive)


Sunday Telegraph 7.11.04 Hunting season opens in defiant spirit - and the fox gets away By David Harrison with the Bicester Hunt - To a triumphant toot of the huntsman's horn, 140 eager horses and 30 tail-wagging hounds headed off across the fields in Oxfordshire yesterday. The hunting season was under way for the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase.... (story)
BBC News Online 6.11.04 In pictures: Hunt season begins - Huntsman Patrick Martin and hounds of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase Hunt were one of 300 hunts in England, Scotland and Wales on the first day of the season.... (story)

Sunday Times 7.11.04 I have a message here from the country ... Rob Williams tells of the many acts of kindness he met on his lone ride across England in support of hunting... I wanted to see whether the people of England loved horses and hunting enough to carry us all the way to Buckingham Palace. Quixotic as it sounds I banked on the fact that, in 2004, an unheralded horseman could get a stable and a bed for the night.... On the Quantock hills, lost and tired, we bumped into the West Somerset Foxhounds, which were out hunting. Two old gents gave me the name of a man beyond the next hill, in Nether Stowey, who might be able to put us up for the night... In Wandsworth, southwest London, I met Richard Fuller of Young’s brewery, who offered us a stable among the shire horses. “Brewers,” Fuller told me with yeomanlike simplicity “are pro-hunting.” So are bishops, as we discovered at the palace of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. So are generals and farriers, and so is the man who drives the dustbin lorry up the King’s Road early on a Sunday morning.... (story)
Western Morning News 2.11.04 HUNT SUPPORTER APPEALS TO PALACE - REBECCA SHORT - A dedicated member of a Westcountry hunt has arrived at Buckingham Palace on horseback, after completing a 250-mile ride to deliver a personal letter to the Queen in support of hunting. Rob Williams, 29, who hunts with the Tiverton Staghounds on Exmoor, began his Devon to London journey with his horse, Dakkers, on October 14 and arrived at the palace on Sunday…. Mr Williams said his letter to the Queen was two pages long, but he refused to disclose its contents. "I just wanted to state to her how important hunting is for so many people right across England. It's a liberty issue and that's why I went to the Queen rather than 10 Downing Street,"… (story)
Telegraph 1.11.04 Huntsman takes his protest to the Queen after 250-mile ride By Michael Kallenbach - It was unusual for the 250-mile Devon to London journey to take just over two weeks. But it ended yesterday when Rob Williams arrived at Buckingham Palace on horseback to give a letter to the Queen protesting about the possibility of a hunt ban. Mr Williams, 29, hunts with the Tiverton Staghounds on Exmoor and feels so passionately about the future of the countryside that he decided to take a personal stand and go to the highest authority in the land.... "We set off without an itinerary, unannounced, as I wanted to see whether a horse and rider could cross the country because of people's devotion to hunting. I never told anyone about my plans or alerted anyone to my journey for two reasons: first, I wanted a genuine reaction as to how I would be received, and second, I was reluctant to attract publicity en route for fear of encouraging the antis."... (story)

Sunday Times 7.11.04 No 10 in fight to stop total hunt ban - JONATHON CARR-BROWN - THE government is trying to stop attempts by Labour backbenchers to secure a total ban on foxhunting. Ministers and moderate MPs are being asked to vote for a compromise deal when the Hunting Bill goes before the Commons next week.... Downing Street is sanctioning the unusual move for the vote on November 15 because it is concerned that a hunting ban will cause civil disturbance during the run-up to the general election.... (story)

Observer 7.11.04 Ferry fears ministers may die in hunt row - Mark Townsend - The ringleader of the group of hunt supporters who stormed the House of Commons has warned that ministers might be 'assassinated' as anger mounts over a possible ban on blood sports. Otis Ferry, the son of rock singer Bryan, said he feared that deepening resentment towards the government could result in people being killed.... Ferry, a celebrity member of the hutning fraternity who rode out as joint master of the South Shropshire hunt told The Observer: 'Feelings are running high. People are starting to realise a ban might happen and people might get assassinated. But I would feel terrible if anyone assassinated someone like Alun Michael. It would be a disgrace if anything violent happens.'... (story)

BBC News Online 7.11.04 £1m spent on firms' new security - Firms afraid of attacks from animal rights activists, computer hackers or terrorists have spent £1m on extra security this year, says a new survey. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey of 100 top companies suggests most of them have shaken up their security arrangements…. (story)
ThisIsMoney (Mail) 7.11.04 Businesses back police protection - Dan Atkinson, This Is Money - NEARLY half of British businesses are ready to fund a specialist police squad to protect them from terrorists, animal rights extremists and computer hackers. The Confederation of British Industry is backing the demand with the launch of a campaign to lobby the Government....(story)
Independent on Sunday 7.11.04 CBI to press Blunkett to set up special police force - Digby Jones plans to meet the Home Secretary to ask for help to combat 'threats to democratic capitalism', writes Clayton Hirst - Digby Jones, the director- general of the CBI, is to press the Government to set up a dedicated police force to tackle the rise in security threats against business. Mr Jones believes that British companies need more help from the Government and the police to combat what he said are "threats to democratic capitalism" - such as terrorist attacks, animal rights extrem-ism, espionage and computer hacking.... (story)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 7.11.04 Fish deserve scales of justice - I write in response to Mr Lowe's article last week concerning the Nirah project. Fish are sentient beings with feelings and reactions. Anyone who has seen one on the end of a hook or in a net and removed from its environment will be in no doubt that they suffer and feel pain.... Government and media hysteria over successful campaigns like Cambridge University's decision not to build a massive primate testing and breeding laboratory, due entirely to peaceful and lawful protest, has meant we are treated like terrorists wherever we protest.... Ritchie Clark, St Leonard's Avenue, Bedford Animal Action (story)
Milton Keynes Citizen 2.11.04 Dome will be safe - THE Dive Dome has hit back at accusations from animal welfare groups that the facility will jeopardise 'animal welfare and public safety.' The Born Free Foundation and Marine Conservation Society both have "grave reservations" about the Knowlhill proposals… But a spokesman for the Dive Dome said: "We will use specially aqua-cultured fish, that have been hand-bred and are used to human interaction. They will not be taken from the sea."… (story)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 31.10.04 Steve Lowe on Sunday - Animal activists back wrong horse - ECO-WARRIORS and animal rights protesters stormed the barricades last week. Or at least the steps of Bedford Town Hall…. I love a good protest and used to participate in a few but worrying about fish not enjoying life in a purpose-built environment is a new one…. Nirah actually want to be kind to fish - certainly much kinder than the average fish and chip shop or supermarket freezer cabinet, which to my knowledge are rarely picketed…. I do not wish to dampen the ardour of political protest, but there could be better causes than fish swimming happily in old clay pits…. (story)
Bedfordshire on Sunday 24.10.04 Fish will suffer in 'evil project' - ANIMAL welfare campaigners stormed the borough council offices on Friday in protest at plans for an Eden Project-style development near Stewartby. A dozen police officers were called after placard-bearing members of Bedford Animal Action staged a sit-in on the staircase in the Town Hall's reception area. They were protesting about a number of animal welfare issues and claim the project, being put together by the National Institute for Research into Aquatic Habitats (Nirah), will cause suffering… Group spokesman Sheila Turner said: "Has the council actually asked anyone if we want it?... (story)


Guardian 6.11.04 Suddenly it's hip to hunt: how the looming ban has lured youngsters to the countryside - John Vidal - Tracey Worsfold is terrified at the prospect of hunting for the first time. She sits bolt upright on a large stallion called Cobweb, after only a few riding lessons. She is dressed to the nines and steadying her nerves with a warm rum punch.... "Steady, girl. I think you'd better have another drink," says a Surrey Union hunt follower, dodging the enormous backsides of some horses and offering more punch to the riders at a farm near Albury.... Jeremy Gumbley, 25, one of the Surrey Union's five joint masters, had never ridden a horse when Labour was elected in 1997 but is now one of the youngest professional huntsmen in England. The girls flock to him... (story)

Guardian 6.11.04 Prince Charles still enjoy thrill of the chase while still legal despite mother's advice - Stephen Bates - Prince Charles, the country's most eminent foxhunter, has no intention of stopping hunting until the practice is made illegal, Clarence House has said.... The Queen is understood to be concerned that more than 60% of the public are opposed to hunting and that allying too publicly with a raucous minority campaign could prove damaging... The prince, Mrs Parker Bowles and William and Harry have usually ridden with the Beaufort hunt which meets in Gloucestershire, near his country home at Highgrove, but he also occasionally goes out with other hunts including the Meynell in Derbyshire, where he fractured his shoulder blade in a fall in January 2001. He had previously also broken a rib in January 1998 while riding with the Wynnstay hunt at Malpas in the Welsh borders. ... (story)

Scotsman 6.11.04 Fox-Hunt Supporters Plan Defiant Start to Season By Neville Dean, PA News - Around 150,000 people are expected to turn out across Britain today for the start of the new fox-hunting season in a show of defiance over the proposed ban on the sport. More than 300 hunts are meeting in England, Scotland and Wales, with supporters more determined than ever that this will not be their last hunting season.... (story)
ITV 6.11.04 Hunt season starts as supporters defy ban attempts - A proposed ban on foxhunting will not stop more than 300 hunts across the country meeting for the start of the new season.... (story)
BBC News Online 6.11.04 Thousands ready for hunt season - Thousands of people are expected to attend more than 300 fox hunts across the UK this weekend as the hunting season gets under way.... Hunts taking place will include Gloucestershire's prestigious Beaufort Hunt, which in the past has attracted the Prince of Wales and his sons Princes William and Harry... (story)
Express 6.11.04 Show of defiance at new hunt season - About 150,000 people are expected to turn out across Britain for the start of the new fox-hunting season in a show of defiance over the proposed ban on the sport... (story)
Telegraph 6.11.04 Hunts make call of defiance - Thousands of people have turned out across Britain for the start of the new fox-hunting season in a show of defiance over the proposed ban on the sport. More than 300 hunts are meeting in England, Scotland and Wales, with supporters more determined than ever that this will not be their last hunting season.... (story)
Cumberland News & Star 6.11.04 Show of defiance by the hunts - AROUND 150,000 people were expected to turn out across Britain today for the start of the new fox-hunting season in a show of defiance over the proposed ban on the sport.... (story)

Western Daily Press 6.11.04 HUNTSMAN VOWS TO DEFY BAN - Second-generation huntsman Richard Standing said yesterday he is ready to defy any ban on foxhunting. A ban on hunting with dogs may be approved by Parliament later this month - and come into force as early in February. Mr Standing, huntsman and Master of Mendip Farmers' Hunt, still hopes for a compromise over the controversial issue.... (story)

BBC News Online 6.11.04 Thousands turn up for hunt season - Thousands of people have attended more than 300 fox hunts across the UK this weekend as the hunting season begins. About 600 people turned up for the prestigious Beaufort Hunt on the Gloucestershire-Wiltshire border. ... In Peckleton, Leicestershire, hundreds of people gathered to watch the Atherstone Hunt, which has been running since 1815... Hunt follower Dennis Smith, 66, said he had worked since he was 15 in coal mines... (story)

BBC News Online 6.11.04 Crowds turn out for Beaufort Hunt - More than 200 people on horseback and 500 on foot have attended the first day of the Beaufort Hunt.... (story)

BBC News Online 6.11.04 Blair burnt at stake in hunt fury - A 30ft replica of Tony Blair is being burnt at the stake as part of a Kent town's bonfire festivities. The government's campaign to outlaw hunting made the prime minister the popular choice for Edenbridge Bonfire Society's "celebrity guy".... (story)

Cambridge Evening News 6.11.04 Hunters vow to defy ban and risk arrest - HUNT supporters in Cambridgeshire have vowed they will not stop the sport they love if the ban goes ahead. MPs have voted to ban hunting with hounds but the House of Lords could put the dampeners on the Bill. Yesterday followers of the Cambridge Hunt and Enfield Chace said they would defy the ban and risk arrest.... (story)

Leicester Mercury 6.11.04 HUNTERS BURN PM'S EFFIGY - Up to 500 cheered as a copy of a Bill to ban hunting and effigies of Tony Blair and Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, were torched. All six hunts in Leicestershire were represented at Melton Airfield for the ceremonial gesture of defiance.... Dean Andrews, who rides with the Quorn Hunt, said: "This is a way of life for us and we help manage the countryside...." (story)
Scotsman 6.11.04 Hunting bill put to fire - HUNTSMEN burned an effigy of Tony Blair and a copy of the Hunting Bill on a bonfire yesterday in a "symbolic act of defiance" against the proposed legislation. The Countryside Alliance’s protest at Melton airfield in Leicestershire attracted about 500 supporters.(story)
BBC News Online 5.11.04 Pro-hunt protestors burn 'bill' - Hunters have burned an oversized copy of the Hunting Bill on a bonfire in a "symbolic act of defiance" against the proposed legislation. The protest at Melton Airfield in Leicestershire coincided with the start of the hunting season… Local MP Alan Duncan spoke at the rally, which was followed by a meet of the Quorn hunt…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 5.11.04 PROTESTERS GATHER TO OPPOSE THE HUNTING BILL - Hunting supporters from across Lincolnshire today joined protesters in Leicestershire to burn a copy of the Hunting Bill on a bonfire. Hundreds of pro-hunt protesters from across the East Midlands attended the Countryside Alliance event at Melton Airfield…. (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 5.11.04 A BURNING DESIRE TO FIGHT BAN - JAMES KAY - Hunt supporters in Notts are braced for a ban on their sport - but they will not go quietly. Huntsmen from the region's five packs were gathering at Melton Airfield today to burn a copy of the Hunting Bill…. Tim Rogers, master of the South Notts Hunt, said the hounds faced a bleak future…. (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 4.11.04 HUNTING BILL ON BONFIRE - Protesters will mark November 5 with a bonfire - consisting of the Hunting Bill. The East Midlands branch of the Countryside Alliance will gather at Melton Airfield tomorrow. Hundreds of supporters will watch the huntsmen from the region's five packs, including the South Notts Hunt, consign the controversial Bill to flames…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 4.11.04 SYMBOLIC ACT BY HUNTERS - Hunters The protest, at Melton Airfield, has been timed to coincide with the traditional start of the hunting season and will be followed by a meet of the Quorn Hunt. Organisers said the fire would be lit by the professional huntsmen of five local packs, along with representatives of other forms of hunting with dogs before a blown-up version of the Bill is thrown onto the flames... (story)
Leicester Mercury 30.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS VOW TO 'BURN' BILL - Hunt supporters are to hold a bonfire on November 5 to burn the Hunting Bill in a message of defiance. The Countryside Alliance is holding the event - which marks the start of the hunting season - at Melton Airfield, Dalby Road…. Commons next month. Professional huntsmen of five county hunts will light the fire and organisers expect more than 500 people to turn out. They include members of the National Farmers Union, the Country Land and Business Group and National Gamekeepers Organisation…. (story)
Leicester Mercury 28.10.04 HUNTERS BACK LICENSING - Hunt supporters today said they would welcome licensing for their sport if it meant a blanket ban could be avoided…. Joe Cowen, joint master of the Fernie Hunt, said: "Clearly, a ban is completely unacceptable. It's something the Lords think is unacceptable and it's not acceptable to the public at large…." Cottesmore hunt follower Philippa Mayo agreed, saying the fact that a licensing system was being discussed was a positive sign…. William Cursham, of the Quorn Hunt, also gave qualified backing to a registration system… A protest rally at Melton Airfield is being planned for 11am on November 5…. (story)

6.11.04 'I'M DEFIANT OVER HUNT BAN THREAT' - Dressed in a casual sweatshirt with his taxi driver's badge hanging from the collar, it would be hard to guess Robert Thorpe was a keen huntsman. But Mr Thorpe (51) grew up on a farm and has been hunting for 40 years. Today Mr Thorpe read a statement, defying any future hunting ban, to members of the Blankney Hunt, which was meeting at Asgarby, near Sleaford. His stand was part of nationwide show of defiance as thousands of huntsmen and women read out the statement at the start of hunts up and down the country... (story)
6.11.04 'WHY I SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH' - This is the speech Mr Thorpe was reading to fellow hunt supporters today: I have never broken the law in my life. I am a taxi driver - an ordinary, decent, law-abiding member of this community. It is with great sadness that today I reiterate my intention to disobey any unjust law that bans hunting at the first possible opportunity. I will not resist arrest nor attempt to evade punishment - I will accept the consequences of my actions.... (story)

Yorkshire Post 6.11.04 Stock disposal From: Fred Pearey, Melrose Close, Guisborough. I WONDER how many of the MPs who voted to ban hunting with dogs appreciate the fact that 143 hunt kennels are, with DEFRA approval, continuing to collect fallen stock from farmers, and disposing of the carcasses in a manner which meets with EU bio security requirements?... (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.11.04 WHAT ABOUT THE HOUNDS? -he Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) has published a report called What About The Dogs? It has estimated that there are 20,000 hounds and dogs to be dealt with in the event of a hunting ban... Take the re-homing of hounds as domestic pets. I knew someone who was an expert handler of a pack of hunting foxhounds and who knew their characteristics. Two efforts were made to domesticate the favourites. Both attempts were failures.... in the event of a ban, the great majority of working hounds would have to be destroyed. All those historic bloodlines in a foxhound's pedigree would be lost for ever. The destruction of even 10,000, let alone 20,000, does not bear thinking about. R J Berkeley Berkeley Castle (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.11.04 PORTENT OF EVIL - A free-running fox in the Houses of Parliament. Was it smuggled in by a wellmeaning MP to show what a nice creature it really is or did a wild fox actually gain access unaided? Whatever the reason, let's hope for Mr Blair and the Government's sake that certain ancient Chinese texts got it wrong when they believed that a wild fox in the seat of government was an evil omen and nothing short of a portent of disaster. Mike Pearson Cinderford Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.11.04 KEEP PETS OUT OF HUNT ISSUE - How I laughed at the letter from Roger Stratton. Then I realised it wasn't April 1 and he was being serious. How much more desperate are the hunting fraternity going to become in their attempts to justify their pastime? Yes, most pet cats will catch and kill a certain amount of wildlife, as they would in the wild. It is their natural instinct, their owners do not train them to do this and it is not possible to train them not to.... Barry Lloyd Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.11.04 INSTINCTS TELL US HUNTING SET CAN'T BE RIGHT ON CAT CRUELTY - I have noticed in the last few years that the hunting fraternity and their supporters have decided to kick out at cats... We should not be creating a sport out of killing animals. After all, as Roger Stratton probably likes to think, we are intellectually superior to other creatures, are we not? Rosemary Davies Address supplied (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.11.04 BACKBENCH MPS COULD SABOTAGE HUNT DEBATE - The next two weeks will see the culmination of a long and divisive parliamentary debate on the hunting issue. The Government's own inquiry, public consultation and public hearings all concluded that there is no scientific case for a ban. In addition, most reasonable people, including those who hunt, would favour a sensible compromise. Yet now the Government is in danger of indulging the whim of a few obsessive backbenchers rather than engaging in reasoned debate which would allow it, as promised, to reach a just solution based on 'evidence and principle'.... Those vociferous backbenchers who continue to ignore the evidence and lobby for an outright ban risk making the Government look trivial and ridiculous as it approaches a general election in 2005. Simon Hart, Chief executive, Countryside Alliance (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.11.04 BANNING FOX HUNTING IS NOT AN ACT OF PREJUDICE - On recent walks with my dogs in East Budleigh, I have noticed a house with a window poster proclaiming: "Stop the prejudice, fight the ban!" I would just like to know how banning hunting with hounds is an act of prejudice?... The whole point of banning hunting is to prevent people from abusing their positions and to show compassion and empathy, qualities humans are supposed to possess. I hope this letter reaches the minds of those who still persist in fighting the ban. Take a long hard look at yourself and ask if you really are human. I doubt if you are human enough to even do that. Miss A Williams, Frogmore Road, East Budleigh (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.11.04 TOTAL BAN IS ONLY WAY TO END CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE - November 1 was the official start of the fox-hunting season when those puppies that have shown an aptitude for hunting during the cubbing season and have not been shot, will be initiated into their first fox hunts. It is also the start of the hind-hunting (female deer) season, which lasts until February.... A total ban is the only way to resolve this issue. There can be no compromise on cruelty. Frances Wicks, Alphington Road, St Thomas, Exeter (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 6.11.04 A great day out – for us all - I AM not a hunt follower, but I would like to take issue with Amanda Little’s criticism in her column (News & Star, November 3) of “hunting propaganda” at Carlisle Races on Sunday. Amanda quite rightly explains the link between horse racing and point-to-point meetings organised by the hunting fraternity, so is it not possible that those involved in horse racing may wish to support those who help originate their sport?... E Evans, Cleator Moor (letter)
Cumberland News & Star 3.11.04 Hunting propaganda was a turn-off at races - I BET I wasn’t the only person at Carlisle Races on Sunday who thought they had mistakenly attended a political rally rather than a sporting event… While it was lovely to see the hounds from hunt packs from both sides of the border parade at the course, the commentator spent at least 10 minutes on his soapbox ramming the hunting argument down everybody’s throat…. It’s only right and proper that the strong links between jump racing and hunting are highlighted. But there’s a time and a place for political debate and I believe the mark was over-stepped on Sunday. (story)


Cumberland News 5.11.04 Pro-hunt crew stage protest HUNT supporters will protest against Government proposals to ban the sport tomorrow – the start of the new hunting season. Protesters from the Cumberland Farmers Hunt will gather at Welton at 10.45am. A poll on the News & Star website asking if hunting should be banned has seen nearly 4,000 votes cast. Opinion in the on-going vote was yesterday split down the middle… (story)

Western Morning News 5.11.04 HUNT PROTEST TARGETS CABINET MINISTERS - Westcountry hunt supporters made their feelings known about the impending Government ban on hunting yesterday when they joined a mass lobby of ministers in Westminster. Around 200 hunt supporters, including many from the Westcountry, staged a noisy but peaceful picket outside Downing Street yesterday to lobby ministers attending the weekly Cabinet meeting. Brian Friend, one of seven members of the Cotley hunt who left Devon at 5am to attend yesterday's demonstration, said Labour MPs were wrong to dismiss hunt supporters as "toffs"…. Nick Viney, senior master of the Dulverton West hunt, was one of several protesters to hint that they would consider civil disobedience if the controversial Hunting Bill is forced through later this month…. (story)

Western Morning News 5.11.04 LEAGUE ACCUSED OF BLOCKING TB INQUIRY - A war of words has erupted over claims that the League Against Cruel Sports had obstructed an investigation into the spread of bovine TB on Exmoor. The respected British Deer Society (BDS) said it was "very disappointed" by the failure of the league to agree to an investigation of TB levels at its controversial Baronsdown deer sanctuary on Exmoor…. Mr Green said the society had carried out tests on deer found close to Baronsdown earlier this year, following "further reports of sick and thin deer" in the area. He said the results were "very disturbing indeed", with all eight deer tested found to have bovine TB…. (story)

Daily Post 5.11.04 Ban hunting and we'll ban army By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - WELSH farmers have told army chiefs that they will block military manoeuvres on their land if fox hunting is banned. Farm union leaders yesterday told the land commander-in-chief General Sir Timothy Granville Chapman that soldiers will be refused access to thousands of agricultural acres for training… (story)
BBC News Online 4.11.04 Army talks over farm hunt threat - Threats to ban military manoeuvres on farmers' land in protest at plans to outlaw fox-hunting were debated when farming chiefs met Army chiefs. Some landowners in mid Wales say they will prevent the Army from training on their fields…. Ken Jones, of Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, who has 800 acres at Bylchau Farm and is master of Irfon and Tywi Hunt, is one of hundreds ready to ban the Army from his land… (story)
Western Mail 4.11.04 Farming leaders meet general over training exercise ban By Laura May - Farming union officials met Army top brass today to discuss farmers' threats to ban vital military manoeuvres from their land in protest at Government plans to outlaw fox-hunting.... Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) president Gareth Vaughan said today's meeting with the Army's land Commander-in-Chief General Sir Timothy Granville Chapman had been "very productive".... (story)

Scotsman 5.11.04 Council baited in bizarre hunt protest - A BIZARRE protest has been staged by a fox-hunting campaigner in Shetland - where no foxes live. Hotel owner Gordon Williamson, 46, rode on horseback through the island council’s HQ to express his anger at a ban on hunting. (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 5.11.04 ALLEGATIONS MADE AFTER HUNT FRACAS BY MARCEL LE GOUAIS - A Fracas between fox hunters and protesters in Penshurst has revealed the vicious hostility at the heart of the national row. The row between both parties in Kent and Sussex has nearly reached crisis point after an incident on Saturday, last week, at Lock Skinners Farm, where protesters claimed they were attacked while a hunt group described it as a "non-incident". The Hunt Saboteurs Association alleged one of its members was ridden over and knocked unconscious at the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt meeting. But a huntsman categorically denied the allegation and claimed a saboteur tried to pull a rider from his horse and suffered injuries in the process… (story)

Leicester Mercury 5.11.04 HUNTING FIXTURES - Belvoir… Cottesmore… Quorn… (story)

Wells Journal 5.11.04 HUNTERS THANKFUL FOR AIR AMBULANCE RESCUE - Fox hunters have thanked the Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance after it came to the rescue of one of its followers. Mendip Farmers' Hunt held its opening meet at the weekend, in the traditional setting of Priddy Green…. Fox hunters have thanked the Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance after it came to the rescue of one of its followers. Mendip Farmers' Hunt held its opening meet at the weekend, in the traditional setting of Priddy Green…. (story)

Times 5.11.04 Labour peers and votes on hunting - Sir, Anthony Howard says Labour whips in the Lords “could muster only a pitiful proportion of the party’s nominal voting strength” for a ban on hunting (T2, November 2). Labour peers had a free vote on this issue just as they have every time this issue has been before Parliament. Neither I nor my colleagues have ever been approached by a whip to tell us how to vote on this issue.... GRAHAM of EDMONTON, (Opposition Chief Whip, House of Lords, 1990-97), House of Lords. (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.11.04 KEEP FARMERS ON OUR SIDE- May I congratulate Ray Bird on his letter. It is high time cub-hunting was put into its true perspective. I purchased a photograph of three fox cubs from Mr Bird at a show some years ago and it still adorns my living room wall to this day. Sadly, if hunting is banned, such wonderful sights like the one portrayed will, I fear, disappear from much of our countryside. Mr Bird said upsetting landowners and farmers was not the sensible way to approach animal welfare issues and I support that view but it doesn't apply to just foxes…. D Walker Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.11.04 FOXES BRED TO BOOST 'SPORT'- Sir - I live in a hunting community and have followed a hunt just twice. That was enough… Animals are all regarded as disposal commodities, to be used and abused by hypocrites who often claim they are animal lovers…. Drag hunting, which I now enjoy, has the same pageantry and thrills without any cruelty. Name and address supplied (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 5.11.04 SETTING RECORD STRAIGHT OVER HUNTING PROTEST - I Write in reply to a letter from Mrs Mills in The Citizen on Monday to set the record straight. I wrote to The Citizen just after a hunting protest that took place outside my place of employment on Friday, October 8…. I wrote this letter in good faith as a member of the public whose office overlooks Mr Dhanda's office and whose work colleague was involved in that protest…. The police actually arrived at Mr Dhanda's office at 10am that morning. They knew the hunters were due as they went to see them the evening before and gave them an escort en route…. They were told that Mr Dhanda was "in a meeting" not that he was not there. After about an hour they left. Some time later I saw Mr Dhanda leave the office. All of the above is factual. If I have accused Mr Dhanda wrongly of being in his office when he was not then I apologise. I would, however, question why his office replied as they did to the protesters…. LISE NOAKES, Abbeymead (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 1.11.04 CLAIMS OVER MP WERE UNTRUE - On October 19, The Citizen published a letter from Coun Lise Noakes - Barnwood ward councillor - in which she said that Parmjit Dhanda MP was in his office at Pullman Court, Gloucester on Friday October 8 when a demonstration was held outside it by pro-hunt supporters… Two local councillors, a Citizen photographer, teachers, parents and hundreds of pupils will vouch that Parmjit was in fact at Tredworth Junior School at the time of the incident…. The Citizen included Coun Noakes' letter in good faith, even though it was incorrect. Coun Noakes should apologise publicly through The Citizen to the readers of the newspaper. KAY MILLS, Chair, Gloucester Constituency Labour Party (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 22.10.04 HEALTHY OPTIONS AT MEALTIMES - I Feel I must respond to the two matters regarding Tredworth Junior School (The Citizen, October 19). Firstly, MP Parmjit Dhanda was actually at the school on the day that the hunt supporters were at his office…. ANDREW DARBY, Head teacher, Tredworth Junior School (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 19.10.04 MP 'IGNORED' HIS CONSTITUENTS …. I was so disgusted by the way the Gloucester MP Mr Dhanda ignored a number of his constituents last Friday. A number of those constituents rode to his office, on horseback, to present a letter to him but he refused to speak with them. The excuse given was that he was 'in a meeting.' However, I work in an office across the courtyard from Mr Dhanda and saw him later coming out dressed very casually in jeans, so suppose that any meeting was only internal…. I would also like to comment on how courteous the riders were, ensuring that everybody had access to their offices and clearing up any mess made by the horses. LISE NOAKES, Middle Croft, Abbeymead (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 19.10.04 WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE? - So Fiona Cameron and her hunting friends turned up at an MP's surgery unannounced and expected to see him straight away. Who do these people think they are?... OAP Gloucester, Name and address supplied (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 14.10.04 MP HITS BACK AFTER HUNT DEMO CRITICISM - City Mp Parmjit Dhanda has defended the fact that he was not present at an anti-hunt protest held outside his Gloucester offices. Last Friday, more than 25 members of the Cotswold Vale Hunt rode into the city on horseback to present Mr Dhanda with a pro-hunt letter - but the MP was engaged on other official business. Mr Dhanda told The Citizen had he known what the protesters were planning, he might have been able to rearrange his prior engagements…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 14.10.04 THANK SUPPORT IN RIDE TO MP - On behalf of my fellow horse-riders, I should like to thank police for their assistance this morning while we rode to Pullman Court to deliver a letter to the Gloucester City MP, Mr. Parmjit Dhanda. If we briefly delayed any motorist we apologise… JASON WARNER, Brookthorpe (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 14.10.04 COUNTRY FOLK IGNORED BY MP - I Rode with the Cotswold Vale on Friday, October 8, as we went to deliver a letter and hopefully to meet Parmjit Dhanda, MP. We pitched up on our horses, a cross section of the rural community, nurses and a picture restorer, farrier and farmers, a lollipop lady and a software writer - at least two working mothers made up our number… How sad that an MP totally ignores one group of his constituents, is that fair and good? FIONA CAMERON, Grafton, Tewkesbury (letter)

Post & Times 5.11.04 FORCED TO THE POLLS BY HUNT BAN - There is talk of a "snap" general election in February, rather than May, 2005… Pro-hunting Labour Party members say that the prime minister dare not hold an election after any hunting ban comes into force for fear of the hunting season being "extended" if necessaryup to the next election day. Imagine your hunt meeting at your local polling station?..., Far better - it is said - for Labour to "go to the country" while hunting is still legal and not risk the sight of elderly ladies being arrested for doing something they have done for the past 50 years, or a group of 50 hunt followers that haven't got a parking fine between them "giving themselves in" at their local police station… Peter Brady New Lodge Farm Flash (letter)

Harborough Mail 5.11.04 Silly hunt excuses get sillier - I WONDER how many people enjoyed a good laugh while watching Look East (TV news) on Monday? I really thought that hunt supporters had exhausted their list of silly excuses for persecuting foxes… A joint master of the Thurloe hunt, an elderly gentleman whose name escapes me, solemnly proclaimed on TV that it is man’s DUTY to hunt foxes, to save them from becoming toothless… J Gee, Lubenham.
Sooner ban comes, the better - ON Saturday the hunt meeting at Gumley was not something I was upset about, but some of the people, or idiots as they would be better called. I was walking around Saddington Reservoir when some of these supposed hunt supporters started to race around the narrow road in their four-wheeled drive motors…. Name and address supplied. (letters)

Wiltshire Times 5.11.04 Love life, not country - I HAVE just followed a male driver, driving a vehicle displaying the Countryside Alliance 'Ban Hunting' sticker in the back window. This driver was over the speed limit through Lacock, and reading a map whilst driving… T WILTSHIRE, Melksham (letter in archive)

Sutton Guardian 5.11.04 Foxes must not be tortured for sport - In answer to the letter on October 14 regarding foxes…. Foxes are lovely creatures that suffer a great deal when hunted. Hunting debases those who do it, especially as they treat it as a sport…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Kingston Guardian 5.11.04 Stop hounding foxes - Foxes are delightful creatures and I feel privileged to feed my two regulars every night and watch their antics… Tony Blair has done nothing for animals, in fact quite the reverse. He promised a royal commission on vivisection, a review on factory farming, a ban on live animal exports, and a ban on the cruel evil blood sport of hunting with dogs. He is now about to take action on the latter and not before time…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Wells Journal 5.11.04 SOONER HUNTING IS BANNED THE BETTER - The horses are fine-looking creatures, as are the dogs. The riders are cheerful and the scene on a foggy Priddy Green is nice to look at. Do I think fox hunting should be banned? Yes, I do, and the sooner the better. I am one of the 76 per cent (MORI, November 2003) of the British public who believes that hunting with dogs should not be legal…. Jason Bryant, Whitstone Rise, Shepton Mallet (letter)

Wells Journal 5.11.04 FANATICS' PATHETIC TEMPER TANTRUMS - With regards to your various recent letters referring to the posh pro-hunt fanatics, I notice not a single letter defending stag or deer hunting. Obviously the innocent bambis are "vermin" too and must be eaten alive by hounds…. Adam Guinness, Manor Close, Glastonbury (letter)


Daily Post 4.11.04 Flint and Denigh Hunt vows 'civil disobedience' to ban - THIS weekend, the Flint and Denbigh will become one of the first hunts in Britain to pledge to flout a hunting ban…. At its Saturday meet in Cefn, St Asaph, the Flint and Denbigh will join nine other hunts in publicly stating their determination to challenge a potential ban through "peaceful, targeted, civil disobedience"… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 4.11.04 Cumbrian pro-hunt demo planned - The Countryside Alliance said law-abiding citizens from all over the country would reaffirm their commitment to disobey any unjust law banning hunting on Saturday November 6, at the start of the new hunting season… Saturday November 6, the Haydon Hunt, 11am, Newbrough, Hexham… Cumberland Farmers Hunt, 10.45am, Welton… York and Ainsty South, 11am, Coulton… Atherstone Hunt, 11am, Peckleton, near Hinckley… Bicester Hunt, 11am, Stratton Audley… Friday November 5, Ledbury Hunt, 10.45am, Corse Lawn House Hotel… Saturday November 6, Beaufort Hunt, 11am, Worcester Lodge… Flint and Denbigh Hunt, 11am, Cefn, St Asaph… Llangeinor Hunt, 11am, Heolycyw Social Club, Bridgend…. East Devon Hunt, 11am, Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.11.04 NEW SEASON FOR HUNTING - Hunters in Devon intend to carry on fighting plans to ban hunting as the season gets underway this weekend. The East Devon Hunt will hold its first meeting at Rockbeare Manor on Saturday, the first day of the new hunting season. And hunts across the country will express their opposition to the Hunting Bill…. (story)

Cornishman/Cornish Guardian or West Briton 4.11.04 WAS THIS ST JUST'S LAST HUNT? - STEVE FLETCHER - Hundreds of people crowded into St Just's Market Square on Monday in a massive show of support for what could be the last meet of the Western Hunt at St Just Feast before a possible Government ban on hunting with dogs. A huge cheer went up as Master of the Hunt, Ben Sparrow, led around 50 horses, their riders and dogs in to the town to receive the stirrup cup at the start of one of the biggest hunts St Just Feast has seen for many a year…. Just one person showed his opposition to the hunt. Local character Alan Britt, known as 'Wild Owl', covered his push bike in anti-hunt slogans for a peaceful demonstration. The hunt was attended by mayor Roy Lee; Christian Mitchell, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for St Ives - and St Just Vicar, the Rev Stephen Leach. Music was provided by Pendeen Silver Band… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 4.11.04 BLESSING THE HUNT IN HONOUR OF ST HUBERT - The hounds of the Blankney Hunt have been blessed to celebrate St Hubert's day - which is dedicated to the patron saint of hunting. The Reverend Derek Scarborough was a member of the Blankney Hunt, which is based near Lincoln, from 1947 until arthritis forced him in to retirement two years ago. He gave the blessing yesterday…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 4.11.04 Canon gives his blessing to hunt LYNETTE ALCOCK - On a crisp autumn morning, the red- coated riders of the West Norfolk Foxhounds sat stony-faced listening to the words of Canon William Sayer as he blessed their hounds. On the day of St Hubert, the patron saint of hunting, the blessing of the hounds should have been a joyous occasion. But for many, the words of Canon Sayer sounded more like those of a clergyman rallying his troops before battle.... Canon Sayer spoke of the adversity the hunt was facing, with a complete government ban looming, and encouraged those involved to remain dignified despite their anger, warning them not to sink to the level of hunt saboteurs... "... what Mr Blair should realise is the rich and the powerful will continue to hunt, they will go to Ireland or America, it will be the everyday people who have worked on the land all their lives who will suffer." (story)

Northern Echo 4.11.04 Hounds sent packing as huntsmen mark death of saint - RED-FACED huntsmen who gathered for a saintly anniversary on a bleak moor were forced to leave by an angry sheep farmer. Members of the Weardale and Tees Valley Beagles converged on the moor above Stanhope, County Durham, yesterday to mark the death of St Hubert, the patron saint of hunting. But shortly after the local rector, the Reverend Malcolm Goodall, had blessed the 35 hounds, sheep farmer Emerson Dobson drove up and told the huntsmen and their followers to get off his land…. An embarrassed Simon Beckett, senior master of the beagles pack, apologised and said the whole affair was due to a failure by the hunt to inform the landowner in advance about their meet….(story in archive)

Western Daily Press 4.11.04 ANTI-HUNT PROTESTERS SCENT CHURCH ROW AS HOUNDS ARE BLESSED - The Church of England was dragged into the row over fox hunting yesterday, as vicars across the West took part in an age-old ritual to "bless" the hounds. St Hubert's Day - which commemorates the patron saint of hunting - was marked by a short ceremony at many meets and saw the local vicar asking for God's blessing on the dogs and for the sport to continue…. But the Western Daily Press has learned that increasing numbers of men of the cloth - especially the newer generation of parish vicars - are reluctant to continue the tradition, as the controversy over fox hunting sparked a row within the church itself. At West Kington, in the heart of the south Cotswolds, Rev Christopher Mulholland yesterday blessed the Beaufort hounds at the biggest meet of the day in the country… (story)

North Devon Journal 4.11.04 WHO SAID THAT? …"Do you seriously think that destruction of vermin in the countryside is a matter of such constitutional importance that the House of Commons should use its muscle in such a way that can only lead to the interpretation that there are times when might is right and sense is absolutely abandoned?" Gwynneth Dunwoody, senior Labour backbencher questioning the Constitutional Affairs Minister, Chris Leslie. "... conceived in prejudice and born in ignorance." Lord Steel commenting on the anti-hunting bill. (story)

North Devon Journal 4.11.04 DEFRA PLANS STILL UNCLEAR - The defra scheme for the collection of fallen stock from farms is due to get underway on November 22, but there are still no details as to how it will function…. The member for North Wiltshire, James Gray, questioned Mr Bradshaw on his reply to a question on July 22 on the role of hunt kennels in fallen stock collection when he had described their part as a small role… The farming community knows full well that hunt kennels play a front line major role in such collections… (story)

Forester 4.11.04 MY LAST WORD ON THE MATTER MR FOX - Over the past few weeks I seem to have become embroiled in a war of words with a man I never met. This all started because I responded to a particularly scurrilous letter that had been written under the guise of a pseudonym, namely, A.Fox… Referring to the dictionary, he tries to tell us that 'uncontrollable' and 'instincts' mean the same thing. As we all know, the dictionary lists more than one meaning for each word, dependant upon context. Does 'uncontrollable' really mean the same thing as 'unconscious skill,' or 'intuition'? Referring to the dictionary, he tries to tell us that 'uncontrollable' and 'instincts' mean the same thing. As we all know, the dictionary lists more than one meaning for each word, dependant upon context. Does 'uncontrollable' really mean the same thing as 'unconscious skill,' or 'intuition'?... Robin Bonser, Cinderford (letter)

Forester 4.11.04 CAN YOU TELL US - WHAT IS GOING ON? - On Sunday, October 24, while watching ITV News at 10.20pm, my husband and I were interested to note, during the footage relating to the Manchester Utd/Arsenal derby, that the Manchester Utd fans protesting about the possible 'buy-into' by Mr Glazer (USA) caused chaos and damage to the Manchester Utd superstore and pushed and broke down a police barrier. This happened all without a baton being raised, heads and faces smashed by same and no protester being knocked to the ground! Odd, when one remembers the scenes of the Pro Hunt March - can anyone explain?... Pauline and Robert Civil, Tutshill (letter)

Forester 4.11.04 IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF TOFFS ON HORSES - I Wish Jon Burgess could have got his facts right in reply to my letter (October 7) 'Hunting with dogs'. Nowhere did I quote toffs on horses…. Mr Burgess states that I have given a totally false impression on hare coursing. Well of course he is entitled to express his views. However I would like to raise the question about the Waterloo Cup held annually where the hare is involved. These hares are not there for their health…. G.H.Cowmeadow, (late of Steam Mills (letter)

Western Daily Press 4.11.04 A FEBRUARY POLL IS CYNICAL PLOY - The whispers about the possibility that the Prime Minister may call a General Election in February, I believe may well have a basis in truth. If an election was called then, it would almost certainly preclude the final stages of the Hunting Bill being completed in this Parliament…. In my view the banning of hunting with dogs is an electoral trump card. If this same trump card is played for a third time it must surely provoke some cries of "cheat". John Tuck Swindon Wiltshire (letter)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 4.11.04 Banning hunting won’t help foxes - IN the last few weeks we have seen many words and pictures devoted to the issue of hunting with dogs. Sadly too many of these words and images have done little to communicate on the subject of the welfare of the animals concerned. It is generally accepted the same number of foxes will be killed after hunting is banned as are killed now…Your readers should question why the banners are hell-bent on introducing a bad law that does not benefit the quarry species as was the case when cock fighting and bull baiting were banned. There is no precedent for this bill in this country. Martyn Pocock Home Farm House, Barrow (letter)

Western Gazette 4.11.04 CUT THE WAFFLE - I Write concerning the issue of hunting and in paticualar the House of Lords. Baroness Sue Miller of Chilthorne Domer (Lib-Dem) adopted the usual Lib-Dem position of "sitting on the fence" over this controversial bill…. A simple for or against without the waffle should suffice. L. George, Crewkerne, full address supplied. (letter)

St Helens Star 4.11.04 Why this barbarity? TO say that a non fatal bullet can be just as painful as death from a hunt is a total load of rubbish (Dear Star, Sept 30). The poor fox is torn limb from limb whilst still alive by the hounds whilst the huntsmen sit tall and proud and laugh whilst this barbaric act is going on… NAME and address supplied. (letter in archive)

Bolton Evening News 4.11.04 Lie repeated about animals - WHY do the hunting fraternity and their supporters keep on repeating the old lie that foxes are killed by one quick bite to the neck?... Dorothy B Waters says that people who support a ban on hunting should stop eating meat. Is she not aware that animals for human food are killed humanely, not torn to bits for sport? J Mitchell, Settle Street, Little Lever (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 4.11.04 THIS GOVERNMENT IS FAR FROM PERFECT - Peter Brimble makes a brave but hollow attempt to demonstrate how Blair and New Labour have made our country better (Open Lines, October 26). He appears to have forgotten the unending list of betrayals and attacks on ordinary people…. Under Labour we've seen the most vicious attacks on our civil liberties. If all it would take for Mr Brimble to feel proud to be British is a ban on hunting, I think he is the one on another planet. The rest of the population of this country are crying out for an alternative and a bit of respect. Neil Roberts, by e-mail (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 4.11.04 NO 'BAD DREAM' FOR THE HUNTED FOXES - Have you ever had a dream where you are being chased by you don't know what, but you know that if "it" catches you, you are dead. You wake up with a start, your mouth is dry, sweating and glad to be awake. It was only a bad dream… I don't care if you are rich or poor - hunting with dogs is cruel… Ann Browne, Oldland Common (letter)

Shropshire Star 4.11.04 First step to control population so simple - M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Whitehaven News 4.11.04 - M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 2.11.04 ROYALS SHOULD FEEL SOME SYMPATHY FOR THE HUNTED - M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Dundee Courier 30.10.04 Might this change their point of view? M. J. Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service. PO Box 8, Halesworth, Suffolk. (letter)
Manchester Evening News 29.10.04 Not funny - NOW that Prince Harry has become the latest royal to be hounded by the media pack, might our royal princes show some sympathy themselves for the quarry, and refrain from hunting wildlife with hounds?... M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth IP19 OJL (letter)


Berwick Advertiser 3.11.04 Increased support for hunt in wake of ban threat - THE opening meet of the College Valley North Northumberland Hunt was held on Saturday at Etal Manor, kindly hosted by Lord and Lady Joicey. Some 60 riders attended, as did a large number of foot and car followers…. (story)

Birmingham Post/Mail 3.11.04 Darling skirts difficult issues By Campbell Docherty …Considering nearly 150 figures from business, transport and other interested parties had mostly turned up to The Birmingham Post's third Get Moving debate to give Alistair Darling a bit of a roasting, was that sympathy I sensed in the hall? Probably not… Alistair Darling was forced to dodge pro-hunt protesters when he turned up to address business leaders in Birmingham. About 25 demonstrators carrying placards picketed the Colmore Row offices of Wragge & Co where Mr Darling was due to speak at The Birmingham Post's Get Moving forum…. Alison Allman, aged 41, from the North Staffordshire hunt, said: "I have known nothing else since I was nine and I want to carry on doing it. I wonder how many Government Ministers have been out hunting and felt the community of it all." (story)

Petersfield Post 3.11.04 Appeal made to "see hunt work" - A LANDOWNER has called for anti-hunt protesters to put "prejudice" and "ignorance" aside and see for themselves how fox-hunting works. The call comes in the form of an invitation for people to attend this weekend's first meeting of the season of the Hursley Hambledon Hunt from Bill Tyrwhitt-Drake, owner of the Bereleigh Estate, near East Meon…. (story)

Liverpool Echo 3.11.04 Ride for fun - THE debate on hunting with dogs could be resolved. In the absence of artificially stimulated blood-lust, a pack of hounds is a lovely thing. If killing the fox was banned, then many more people would gather on Sunday mornings and pay a sizeable fee simply to ride with the hounds along directed routes… William Chirgwin, address supplied (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 3.11.04 ON FOXES AND TURBINES . . . As conservation is my subject I am saving space by combining two letters in one. On fox hunting, all populations are 'self managing.... Perhaps it would be better if the hunting debate focused on people rather than foxes: surely the important question is not whether we need to protect ourselves against the threat of various pests but whether it is morally permissible to take pleasure in doing so.... B D Faux, Llanfihangel ar Arth (letter)

Argus 3.11.04 Letter: What about the animals? I'm very sorry to hear that Jonathan Broise has had his life ruined by anti-hunt protesters (The Argus, October 28) but I wonder if he has ever stopped to think about the many creatures - not just the foxes - which live in the undergrowth… Rena Collins, -Brighton (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 3.11.04 I BACK HUNT SUPPORTERS - I Strongly agree with the hunt supporters' protests. They are just being used in another political ploy. These so-called politicians and animal rights activists are meddling with people's jobs, livelihoods and freedom… Rob Morgan, Rhydypandy Road, Swansea (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 3.11.04 LABOUR HAS MADE PROUD COUNTRY A LAUGHING STOCK - Your correspondent GF Knighton (Letters, October 25) rightly asks local Labour MPs to give just one example where this government has been tough on crime…. Yes, Labour has waged a relentless war against soft targets such as motorists and fox-hunters (for revenue and political spite), but its claim to be tough on crime is what it has always been, complete empty rhetoric… L. CAXTER Wollaton Vale Notts (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 3.11.04 THE FOX - Cunning and sly… Not much of a chance/As the hounds advance… S. P. BLACKBOURN Arnold
City Dwellers … With just Kentucky Fried to chew/It"s what's an urban fox must do - R G PHIPPS Pippin Close (poems)

Western Daily Press 3.11.04 THE FOX HOUNDS ARE JUST AS LOVING AND LOYAL - Not one hound, horse or huntsman would lose out if drag hunting took the place of fox hunting. Bassets, beagles, deer hounds, wolfhounds, Afghans and salukis, to name but a few, have all at one time been bred for hunting, mostly in packs, occasionally in pairs… R M Morris Minehead Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.11.04 IF BLAIR KNEW HOW WE CARED …. After hunting this week, my 11-year-old daughter, now in her third season with the Berkeley hounds, commented: "I have had a fantastic day. "My pony jumped all the hunt jumps. What will we do if they ban hunting?" If only Mr Blair knew how much we really care. Jane Arnold Rudgeway Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 3.11.04 PREDATOR IN OUR HOMES - I think it is pretty important to point out the inherent cruelty involved in keeping domestic cats. I find it quite difficult to get the most important point across to the public, who often criticise we hunters without looking at their own behaviour…. Roger Stratton Burnett Keynsham (letter)


Cumberland News & Star 2.11.04 59% back hunt ban in News & Star web poll By Nick Griffiths - PRO-HUNT campaigners have been defeated by the anti-foxhunting brigade in a News & Star online poll. In a result many might find surprising, given that Cumbria is a rural county, more people wanted a ban than were in favour of keeping the countryside tradition. More than 1,830 readers, 59 per cent of those who registered their vote on our website,, said they felt the blood sport should be banned…. (story)

Western Morning News 2.11.04 BAN IS HUMAN RIGHTS BREACH - Government plans to ban hunting with dogs will breach European human rights laws, a key Parliamentary committee warned yesterday. In a detailed report, the Joint Committee on Human Rights confirmed that the Government's failure to offer compensation to those affected by a ban meant that the controversial Hunting Bill was likely to fall foul of the European Convention on Human Rights…. Speaking as the Dulverton West hunt rode out for its first meet of the season, Pam Macro, of the Sportsman Inn on Exmoor, said: "The politicians who say it won't affect the rural economy are talking nonsense. Businesses like us and many others on Exmoor would be hurt if hunting is banned."… (story)

Times 2.11.04 Blair is foxed into a corner and the hounds scent blood - ANTHONY HOWARD - WHEN political historians come to look back on the seven-year battle at Westminster over hunting, what will they make of it? My guess is that posterity will regard it as a classic case of a government finally being caught out by its own policy of procrastination.... The massive vote in the Lords last week — 322-72 — in favour of a registration system (once the Government’s own preferred option) certainly puts Blair on the spot. Since the Labour Whips could muster only a pitiful proportion of the party’s nominal voting strength of more than 200 into the division lobby, the threatened use of the Parliament Act looks more inappropriate than ever.... (story)

Western Mail 2.11.04 Down to 'common sense' as hunting clash looms - A CONSTITUTIONAL clash over hunting with hounds drew nearer this week after a Government Minister rejected what peers described as a constructive compromise. Rural Affairs Minister Lord Whitty expressed disappointment that the House of Lords had not moved realistically to meet the House of Commons on the Bill proposing an outright ban.... Lord Donoughue, a former Labour Agriculture Minister and supporter of the Middle Way Group, said, "The Government's Hunting Bill, when it arrived in the House of Lords, had all the signs of a piece of legislation drafted in a hurry, not properly scrutinised in the Commons and written by people who know very little about the issue...." (story)

Western Mail 2.11.04 Hain hits out at violence - ELEMENTS of the pro-hunting lobby are undermining its position by resorting to violence and thuggery, says Commons leader Peter Hain. He told the Commons that the security of MPs and ministers was increasingly under threat. Mr Hain, Labour MP for Neath, was pelted with eggs by pro-hunt demonstrators as he addressed a meeting at Balliol College, Oxford, last week... (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 2.11.04 Hunt rides again as season kicks off BY DAVE GOODERHAM - THE familiar sight of red-coated riders and scores of horses filled the Suffolk skyline yesterday for the traditional start of the ancient winter hunt season. Fresh from the shocking scenes when pro-hunt campaigners stormed the House of Commons, Suffolk supporters returned to the more typical grassroots of the sport for the long-standing Thurlow Hunt. Dozens of foxhounds from the Thurlow Hunt kennels belonging to millionaire Edmund Vestey took part in the popular meeting - which will now become a regular fixture in the local area until March.... (story)

Western Daily Press 2.11.04 NOVICE JOINING THE HUNT FOR WHAT MAY BE ITS LAST HURRAH - The hunting season that starts this week could be the last - but yesterday a rider explained why he has taken up what most people believe is a doomed pastime. Management consultant John Jeeves had never ridden to hounds until six weeks ago, but this week signed up to become a subscriber to the West's biggest hunt, the Cotswold-based Beaufort. The 40-year-old said he had been ambivalent towards foxhunting when he moved to the Wiltshire countryside eight years ago. But now he has become one of a growing number of people who, the hunting lobby says, are taking up their reins for the first time, despite the imminent ban… (story)

Daily Post 2.11.04 Muzzle bid to beat hare coursing ban By Deborah James Daily Post Staff - SUPPORTERS of the Waterloo Cup are considering muzzling their dogs in a last ditch attempt to head off a hare coursing ban due to come into effect alongside fox-hunting legislation…. David Midwood, chair of the Waterloo Cup organising committee, was last night unavailable for comment. But Charles Blanning, secretary of the National Coursing Club, which supervises 23 greyhound clubs, confirmed legal advice was being sought on a number of issues related to the Bill…. (story)

Birmingham Post 2.11.04 Civil war looms as blood boils in hunt community By Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post - The countryside is heading for civil war over the Government's decision to ban hunting, the shadow Rural Affairs Minister has warned. Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, said anger in rural communities was reaching boiling point as people became increasingly frustrated by a lack of Government understanding about the countryside…. His claims were backed by Penny Plath, a member of the Countryside Alliance, the Countryside Action Network, the Union of Country Sports Workers and the Free Church of Country Sports, who carried out a blessing of hounds at her farm in Pershore, Worcestershire, on Sunday…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 2.11.04 UNCERTAINTY OVER EXACTLY HOW HUNTING BAN WOULD AFFECT RURAL BUSINESSES... Rural businesses face uncertainty as the hunting debate rages but, as Glynis Fox discovered, many believe a complete ban is unavoidable… Norman Smith from Saxby, near Spridlington has been a farrier for more than 30 years. "I suppose I shoe an average of 60 horses a month," he said. "Thirty to forty per cent of my work is hunt-related and I travel to my customers. I currently shoe for the Burton Hunt Kennels and some customers only keep horses for that purpose."…. Farmer Adrian Whitehead is a member of the Blankney Hunt, which typically turns out with 70 horses, including followers. Horses are shod every six weeks, and it can cost anything from £40 to £60 an animal, he said…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 2.11.04 SABOTEURS TRY TO DISRUPT HUNT MEET - Saboteurs disrupted the first meeting of what may be the historic Quorn Hunt's final season. Police were called after complaints about protesters running in front of horses during the weekend meeting at Hoby… Press photographer Lionel Heap was left shaken after being allegedly knocked to the ground by one of the protesters during the event… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 2.11.04 ELECTROCUTED FOX CUB SAVED A LIFE - If a fox had not decided to try and sharpen its teeth a child might have died. That was what farmers in hunting circles around Sleaford were saying today after a fox cub had been found electrocuted…. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Sly live at the farm, which is in the heart of the Belvoir Hunt country, and their youngest children Phillip (7) and Richard (4) play in the field where the fox was found… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 2.11.04 POINTS FROM THE POST - Offensive Names: I was enjoying a quiet pint at a hostelry on the banks of the Foss Dyke the other evening when I was incensed to see on the walls two deeply offensive pictures. One showed a pack of hounds in full cry… Get rid of them like our brave council did with the point-to-point races on the Carholme, because of their tenuous links to fox-hunting…. Thank goodness our politicians have got their priorities right. VIC HARROD Wolsey Way, Lincoln. (letter)

Cambridge Evening New 2.11.04 Hostile intent was obvious From Katherine Watson, Rushton Drive, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire - WHAT did the Lord Chancellor do to deserve the abuse he suffered from hunt demonstrators at the opening of Cambridge's new Crown Court? This may have been a peaceful demonstration, in the sense of no breach of the public order law and nobody injured, but the hostile intent was obvious from the chants, jeers and banners… (letter)

South Wales Echo 2.11.04 They have run out of excuses - I REFER to the letter (Viewpoints October 26) from Gordon Howells. Pro- hunters must be running out of excuses to justify their cruel pastime, which he supports…. Reg Wilson, Thornhill Street, Canton, Cardiff
Straight to the point - I HAVE a slight suspicion that Skippy the fox could have been a planned exercise by the hunting brigade to enhance their evil claims that hunting is good for the fox. Owen Martin, Ridgeway Road, Rumney, Cardiff (letters)

Times 2.11.04 Compromise refused on Hunting Bill - Sir, Your headline (October 27) “Peers snuff out final hopes of compromise on hunting” could not be more misleading. Our all-party alliance to oppose a crude ban has already made many significant compromises... It is those in the Commons insisting on a total ban who have never yielded an inch during these many years of debate on this socially divisive issue. Did you perhaps mean that peers had snuffed out hopes of “capitulation” by our side? That would be very true. Yours sincerely, BERNARD DONOUGHUE (Labour; Minister for Farming and Food, 1997-99), LLINOS GOLDING (Labour; co-chair, Middle Way group), RICHARD LIVSEY (Liberal Democrat spokesman on rural affairs), ANN MALLALIEU (Labour; President, Countryside Alliance), MANCROFT (Conservative; board member, Countryside Alliance), House of Lords. (letter)

Western Morning News 2.11.04 WHERE ARE ALL THESE ALLIANCE MEMBERS? - I note a report in your newspaper which gives the strength of the Countryside Alliance as 100,000. This represents 0.05 per cent of the population or one-in-500…. Apart from hunters, where are all these Alliance members? I have lived in the countryside for over 80 years and my family for generations before that, and I have never met anyone who claims to be an Alliance member… L B Ward, Crackington Haven, Bude
Don't break the law - THE vast majority of people in this country have no interest whatsoever in hunting of any kind and it has only been brought to their notice by the antics of Tony Blair and his cohorts in their attempts to use hunting as a sacrificial goat to bait their unruly backbenchers. Therefore, it is imperative that the hunt lobby, in their fight for justice should not alienate these people in any way. Hunters should forget legalities and concentrate on practicalities to challenge this unjust, vindictive and unworkable law…. W T Sweet, Mawgan Cornwall (letters)

Western Morning News 2.11.04 Don't be blackmailed - DON'T let the minority pro-hunting group blackmail concerned animals lovers by stating that all the hounds will have to be destroyed. The sad fact is that when they are no longer able to keep pace with the hunt, the hounds, at quite a young age, are shot… Barbara Garwood, Horns Cross Bideford (letter)

Western Morning News 2.11.04 ONLY A TRAINED HOUND IS ABLE TO FLUSH OUT THE CRUEL FOX - After the numerous correspondence on the need of dogs to control the fox population, I would like to point out that the trained hound is the only thing that will flush out the fox from the dense covers of the countryside…. The lamb is a much easier target than young rabbits or the like. I cannot imagine that the smallest minority of those who decry the use of dogs ever have seen the consequences of suffering and cruelty left by the fox or foxes - too numerous to re-tell. David J Thomas, Launceston (letter)

Western Morning News 2.11.04 END OF TRUE DEMOCRACY - It was way back in 1964 that Quentin Hogg warned that Britain was heading for an "elective dictatorship" and that is precisely what we have in our country today… We have just seen a prime example of this by the invoking of the despicable Parliament Act to steam roller the anti-hunting bill through the House of Lords…. Archie Smith, Gorran Haven (letter)

Shropshire Star 2.11.04 Come and get first hand view of hunting - I read the letter about autumn hunting in the Star on October 12 with some surprise. I am not sure that the writer of the letter has ever been out hunting to observe what happens. I have been following the South Shropshire Hunt regularly for the last few years and I have taken every opportunity available to me to watch what the huntsman and terriermen do, so that I can be sure that my views on hunting with hounds are based on my own observations and fact…. I'm sure most people who support a ban on hunting with dogs have a hunting horror story that they have heard somewhere, but I believe that it is basically as humane as any other method of culling foxes…. Georgia Keeys, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 2.11.04 Hunt ban is warped - Isn't it strange that the only European government to ban hunting in the last century was that of Adolph Hitler - and remember what he did to people? The warped mentality continues as our Government pushes through a bill to ban hunting and seeks to control our lives while doing nothing to improve the NHS or education and destroying our pensions… Michael Evans, Kenley (letter)

News Shopper 2.11.04 Don’t discriminate against the hunts - A nation can only be judged or measured on how it treats it's minorities and how it protects them within the law, ensuring equal opportunity and social inclusion. However, this Government in its attempts to discriminate against people who hunt foxes is possibly in breach of the Human Rights Convention, which it itself signed up to…. This Government has gone down the road of political correctness too far and I believe by picking on some of the most law-abiding taxpayers in the country, they may have just opened Pandora's box…. W Mackie, Address supplied (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 2.11.04 LOVE ENGLAND AND DEMOCRACY - Re: Coun Allan Smith's diatribe against the fox hunting community and their demonstrations. In London and Brighton, they have now been classified as racist by Coun Smith. Apparently, someone - possibly a Labour Party activist - stated Gerald Kaufman was Jewish and a bigot. Bigot by definition is a person obstinately devoted to a particular creed or party. Kaufman must be very proud of his Jewish roots and his strong affiliation to the doctrine of New Labour. Surely, in retrospect, he was paid a complement…. We should not demonise any group in our democracy because their views and lifestyle conflict with ours. I'm not a hunt supporter, I detest cruelty in all forms and I love my country and democracy. Dennis Littler, West Street, Winterton. (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 2.11.04 COMMENTS ILLOGICAL - Re: Coun Allan Smith's attack on the pro-hunt protesters in Viewpoint, October 6. He suggested because one man out of 8,000 is a racist, then the others would like to put all Jews in a concentration camp…. And this man is a councillor? (Mind you, they do sound like good solid Labour conclusions to draw, come to think of it)…. If Coun Smith wishes to draw conclusions of a racist nature from the event, then the obvious one is the behaviour of the police. Can anyone seriously believe if they had been faced with protesters from an ethnic minority, the truncheons would have been flying so freely? Think about it…. PR North, Brigg. (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 13.10.04 REMARKS INSULT MANY FROM OTHER NATIONS - In His letter of October 6, Coun Allan Smith rightly berated a nasty yob who allegedly made foul and racist remarks to Gerald Kaufman MP, calling him a 'Jewish bigot' among other things. Coun Smith then tried to make political advantage of the situation by implying this one man spoke for the whole 8,000 people who gathered peacefully at Brighton to protest against the Government… I am no fan of foxhunting. I always have and always will oppose those who kill for sport. But if this Government is as serious as it pretends to be on animal welfare, then it should ban this barbaric, Stone Age ritual slaughter which has no place in the modern world, but I know it has not got the guts…. Paul Potter, Glanville Avenue, Scunthorpe. (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 12.10.04 'SCANDALOUS' NAZI REMARKS - Even if it is true Gerald Kaufmann was the subject of racial abuse - which along with most other people I condemn - it does not give Coun Allan Smith (Viewpoint 6 October) the right to vilify hunt supporters in general and call them racists. I find it astonishing a local councillor should, by his own admission, spend his time checking 8,000 demonstrators to see if he can spot a black face. That he should then seek to pile injury upon insult and accuse people who support hunting - ordinary folk as well as 'toffs' - of having nazi-style racist attitudes is nothing short of scandalous…. Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby (letter)
Scunthorpe Telegraph 6.10.04 DEMONSTRATOR'S RACIAL ARROGANCE - Re: The pro-hunt demonstration. They have every right to demonstrate. That's democracy - something which they don't seem to understand. But worse is their racial arrogance. Gerald Kaufman MP was surrounded by demonstrators, and one of them rushed up to him and called him a 'Jewish bigot'…. In rural Lincolnshire, there are quite a few fox hunts. So would the message from the hunting people be, if you are Jewish or even foreign, you should be expelled from Lincolnshire?... Coun Allan Smith, North Lincolnshire Council, Burton-upon-Stather and Winterton ward. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 2.11.04 BRING IN THE BAN AS FAST AS WE CAN - An anonymous fox hunt supporter wrote 0It is known that one way of fox control is as cruel as another"… If hunt supporters could see themselves as others see them, then there would be no need for legislation to outlaw their inappropriate activities but, in the meantime, bring on the ban and make it quick. Gill Purser, by e-mail. (letter)


Midhurst & Petworth Observer 1.11.04 Hunt has nothing to hide – literally - Members of the Petworth-based Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt are out to prove they have nothing to hide – literally. They have shed their clothes and unashamedly jumped on the WI bandwagon to provide their own naked calendar for 2005…. (story)

Telegraph 1.11.04 Riding to hounds, aware our way of life could soon be over By Michael Kallenbach - The Royal Artillery Hunt was one of several to hold its opening meet at the weekend. The only pack of military foxhounds in the country set off across Salisbury Plain.... As a relative newcomer to hunting - it is only my fourth season with the RA - I have witnessed the dogged determination of its members not to be defeated by the anti-hunting lobby.... But John Bowen, from Everleigh, an amateur whip for five years, believes that if the ban comes into force, the army hunts will be the first that will have to be disbanded... (story)

Times 1.11.04 Hare coursers muzzle dogs to beat ban BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - SUPPORTERS of the sport of hare coursing are planning to muzzle their dogs in an attempt to head off a ban due to come into effect alongside foxhunting legislation. Competition coursing involves the chasing of a hare by two dogs. The aim is to test the prowess and agility of the dogs, not to kill the hare. But the coursing community is nervous that its sport will be sacrificed. Coursing associations which represent greyhound, lurcher, saluki and deerhound clubs are seeking legal advice to see if there is any way that they can avoid a ban. … (story)

Western Morning News 1.11.04 DOUBTS CAST OVER HUNT COMPROMISE - People on both sides of the hunting argument yesterday reacted with scepticism to reports that Tony Blair’s Cabinet allies were desperately trying to persuade Labour MPs to allow hunting to continue under licence rather than push for a total ban… Peter Anderson, of the League Against Cruel Sports, said suggestions that there was a drive to achieve a compromise over a ban on hunting were wishful thinking by hunt supporters…. (story)

Western Daily Press 1.11.04 STAGGERING - The arguments for and against hunting have become familiar to us all in recent months. But wherever people stand on the issue, there can be no excuse for the behaviour of the sadists who trapped a stag in an animal sanctuary and beheaded the creature…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 1.11.04 PRESCOTT SEES HUNT SUPPORTERS - Alexandra Wood and Andrew Robinson - SUPPORTERS of fox hunting have vowed to continue their protests – despite little success lobbying Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott at the weekend.Members of the Holderness Hunt delayed the start of their first meet of the season to gather outside the East Hull Labour Party offices. Kevin and Josie Jackson, from Hull's Bransholme estate, who have been following the hunt since 1997, spent 20 minutes with Mr Prescott, who is the MP for Hull East. Mr Jackson, a lorry driver, said: "His line is that there is no middle way. He wants the ban, and his constituents all want one. He said we were the only two who had been to see him who were for hunting…." (story)
Hull Daily Mail 1.11.04 PRO-HUNT PROTESTERS FAIL TO SEE PRESCOTT - About 50 pro-hunting protesters staged a peaceful demonstration outside the east Hull offices of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. The demonstration took place hours before Saturday's opening Holderness Hunt meet at Rise Park, near Skirlaugh… (story)

South Wales Evening Post 1.11.04 CHARITY IN PLEA ON HUNT DOGS - Swansea's Rspca animal centre has urged people not to abandon their dogs in the event of a ban on hunting. The RSPCA has actively campaigned for a ban on hunting but it also fears that imposing such a ban could lead to widespread dumping or killing of dogs…. (story)

Times 1.11.04 Not going to ground Do you applaud the Lords for opposing the total ban on hunting with hounds?...
... The Labour Party’s manifesto of 2001 promised to look at how the issue could be resolved if it became blocked in Parliament. There was no commitment to pass banning legislation... Dominic Webber, Lawyers for Liberty, Temple, London EC4
Numbers say it all - IN RECENT months there has been a number of independent online and telephone polls on the subject of hunting, and the results overall have been remarkably consistent, with between 50 and 60 per cent of respondents voting for hunting to continue... Alison Bolt,Leece, Cumbria
Keep standing - I CANNOT understand why Tony Blair allows the Lords to continually defy him.... However, as new Labour appears to get ever more dictatorial, one hopes that the Lords will continue to stand up to the Government and somehow force it to withdraw on the issue of identity cards, too. Christopher Banks, Watford, Hertfordshire
A duty to defy - THE Lords should certainly defy the Commons, to change a Bill based on prejudice and bigotry to one based on evidence and principle.... John Rushton, Chippenham, Wiltshire
Dealing with bullies RARELY have I seen as misleading a headline as “Peers snuff out hopes of hunt deal” (The Times, October 27). This heads a story in which peers insisted on a compromise. What sort of deal is it, if one group forces its will on the other without compromise? David J. Critchley, Winslow, Buckinghamshire
Protect our pests - IF THE Commons was really interested in foxes it could change the animal’s classification from “pest” to “protected species”, and voila! No more fox hunting.... Franchesca Dening, Higher Mudford, Somerset (letters)

Times 1.11.04 The kill without the chase - Foxes will now have to be controlled by shooting. But are they really vermin?...
I FARM 5,000 acres in Cheshire and foxes are welcome on my land. The only vermin in this debate is the the human lowlife carrying rifles or wearing hunting pink.... John Sterndale
No sentimentality - OF COURSE foxes are vermin and should be treated as such! The trouble these days is that all the “luvvies” who say otherwise have never seen a field of savaged lambs; a hen house full of massacred chickens or a family of kittens in a barn left after the visit of a typical fox.... Alan & Patricia Hebron Branston, Lincolnshire
Simple survival - WE COUNTRY folk know about the myth of foxes being vermin — perpetuated by some farmers and grasped by the hunting fraternity... he fox is a wild animal that deserves a life — other than as a political football or a lazy man’s pest. I. L. Rubery, Hulland Village, Derbyshire
New slaughter - I DO not agree with the way every man’s hand is turned against the fox in the countryside... I feel that the ban on hunting will lead, with no protective measures in place, to indiscriminate shooting, poisoning, snaring and gassing that will devastate the fox which, after all, is only a small, wild member of our beloved dog family. John Whiscombe, Berkshire
Not so cute - WHY, I ask myself, do people argue about whether a fox is vermin or not? Rats, mice, mink and weasels are treated as vermin as they destroy and kill. Is all the conjecture about foxes simply because they are larger, more well-known and perhaps “cuter”?... Katie Bailey (aged 17), Address withheld (letters)

Shropshire Star 1.11.04 Snaring cannot be humane - One day when travelling along a country lane I noticed some movement in the long grass on the verge. I got out of the car to investigate and discovered a fox hanging by its one front leg which was in a wire snare…. This one I was able to put out of its misery, but how much better for it not to have been snared but hunted by the fox hounds. Then it would at least have had two chances, one to get away unhurt and the other a run to earth, followed by a quick and humane dispatch with a single shot from the huntsman's pistol. Michael G Tudor, Shrewsbury (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 1.11.04 Hunt out the facts first - Lord Laird (Writeback, October 21) shows total contempt and misunderstanding regarding the countryside and the issue of hunting. He conveniently fails to refer to the recent debate on hunting in the House of Lords or, indeed, the Burns Inquiry into hunting. Of the 57 Peers who spoke during the Lord's debate, only 11 supported the Bill… the Burns report states that if hunting was banned "that at least an equivalent number of foxes, deer and hares would be killed by other means. The number of deaths is not likely to be reduced by banning hunting."… GORDON ANDERSON, Countryside Alliance Ireland, Lisburn, Co Antrim (letter)

Belfast Telegraph 1.11.04 Natural instinct - We have been tolerating much humbug from the so called defenders of animal rights for too long and their lack of perspective has been permitted to prevail. Nature provides a very savage and cruel background to our lives that we can do very little about…. The truth is that we are hard wired as unsophisticated hunter gatherers. What rationality we have should not be allowed to embrace sentimental foolishness. MALACHY McANESPIE, Dunmurry, Co Antrim. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.11.04 TAKE A BALANCED VIEW ON YOUR LOVE OF ANIMALS - Miss a Williams, Points of view, October 25, a qualified park ranger and animal carer and who spent her life studying and working with various animals states that chickens etc should be locked up to prevent savaging by foxes…. Does Miss Williams love rats? It could be argued that it has just as much right to live as a fox and is much more useful, albeit not nearly so attractive and "cuddlesome" as it is used to detect and cure diseases in human animals. As for protecting livestock from predators, I would like Miss Wiliams to tell us how a farmer can lock up his sheep and lambs to prevent them having their stomachs ripped out by foxes. M Lewis, Rackenford, near Tiverton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 25.10.04 - HUNTING EXCUSES DON'T STAND UP TO ARGUMENT - In reply to M Lewis, of Rackenford, Points of view, October 9, while John Phelps may not want to respond to your letters any more, I will… Hunting is not about class war or how people feel about the individuals who take part in this activity, it is about the cruelty inflicted on the animal as a result of the hunt…. A note to all those who have lost livestock from foxes (chickens etc); lock up your stock at hours that the fox is most active. Foxes don't carry keys!... Miss A Williams, Frogmore Road, East Budleigh (letter)

Sunderland Echo 1.11.04 Why hunt foxes? I AM not a country person, I have no particular axe to grind with country folk…. I'm just sitting here reading the letters page, finding my gaze returning time upon time to the photograph accompanying your first letter dated October 13, 2004. Over my personal revulsion one word is resonating in my head – "Why?"… JTP, Pallion, Sunderland (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.11.04 MENACE OF CITY SLICKERS - Every time I see a letter from members of the hunting fraternity, or the Countryside Alliance, I feel they are not factual and contradict one another. The letter from Ray Bird that country people don't target fox cubs has some truth in it. Many hunt supporters are city slickers, who only come down to their country cottages at the weekend to decimate our wildlife, either on horseback or with their guns… M J Hayes Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.11.04 LET NATURE DO TALKING FOR STAGS - Johnny Kingdom mentioned a very old stag eating acorns and looking after his family, then went on to say it is too old and must be culled to stop it passing on faulty genes. Why cull when it is still in charge of its hinds and still strong and dominant enough to chase other stags away?... If it is to be killed, I hope it will be stalked, not hunted. Janet Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)