November 2004 - hunting 16-22.11.04

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Times 22.11.04 Blunkett seeks delay to help police BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - MINISTERS are frantically attempting to devise a quick fix to delay enforcement of the hunt ban to prevent widespread civil disobedience in the countryside before the general election. One option is to introduce a new one-line Bill in the new parliamentary session. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said yesterday that a delay was desirable for police to gather intelligence on potential hunt rebels and he had voted for a delay to allow time for “intelligence-based policing” to be developed…. (story)

Times 22.11.04 Defiant rallying cry made from horseback BY JOANNA BALE - THE first meeting of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt since the Government’s decision to ban the sport began on Saturday with a defiant rallying cry from its joint-master. “Hunting will continue,” Captain Ian Farquhar declared, capturing the mood of the 200 riders as they gathered in the grounds of Badminton House, Gloucestershire…. (story)

Times 22.11.04 Two-dog plan to keep law at bay - DEER hunters on Exmoor are to test a new form of hunting that they believe would comply with the laws covering the ban. Instead of mounted riders following a pack of hounds, it is envisaged that just two dogs will be used to locate a stag and hold it at bay…. Mr Yandle, who is also chairman of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said last night that he intended to seek legal advice to clarify the position of using two dogs. Under the new hunting laws a maximum of two dogs may be used to flush a quarry from its cover. The animal can then be shot by a marksman… (story)

Times 22.11.04 Our dysfunctional family is determined to carry on BY JANE SHILLING - Our correspondent discovers a very English kind of defiance - mild but insistent - as she rides out with the Ashford Valley Hunt… The Ashford Valley Hunt was meeting in the village of Bethersden. As we hacked along the roads, a young woman motorist drew up alongside. “Are you going hunting?” she called. “Yes,” we shouted back. “Here come the verbals,” murmured my neighbour. But, “Good, I hope you keep going”, said the woman, and drove off…. (story)

Telegraph 22.11.04 Blunkett urges 'sensitive' policing of hunts By George Jones, Political Editor - Police chiefs will be told to apply common sense when enforcing the ban on hunting, David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said yesterday. He indicated that hunts that switched to drag hunting might not face prosecution if their hounds accidentally killed a fox. But if they deliberately sought to flout the law, they would be prosecuted.... (story)

Telegraph 22.11.04 Home Front By Philip Johnston - Look out! More Bills on their way - Here we go again. Pausing only to take on fuel, the legislative locomotive that last Friday ran into the buffers of the last parliamentary session will tomorrow begin another journey, spewing laws and regulations into the chill autumn air.... It is, however, revealing to go back and see what it was that Her Majesty said 12 months ago on behalf of her Government. There was, for instance, no mention of a Bill to ban foxhunting in England and Wales.... (story)

Telegraph 22.11.04 What the Act allows - and what is illegal By Charles Clover - Foxhunting - Hunting a fox in the traditional fashion with a pack of hounds, whether on a horse or on foot, is banned by the Act, but drag hunting and rabbit hunting remain legal and are likely to be taken up by many hunts, either as a way of keeping the hunt going and their members amused, or as a defence against clandestine hunting.... (story)

Telegraph 22.11.04 Twice as many foxes killed in Scotland since ban introduced By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent - The number of foxes being killed in Scotland has almost doubled following the ban on traditional hunting. New methods used by the 10 hunts operating north of the border are said to have resulted in 900 foxes being killed last season, compared with an average of 500 before the ban. There are fewer hunt followers and fewer hounds but the hunts still meet regularly to offer a "pest control" service to farmers and landowners.... Before the ban, which was imposed two years ago, the Duke of Buccleuch's hunt in the Borders killed an average of 50 foxes in a season. Last season, the number rose to 103.... The Berwickshire Hunt, which formerly killed around 30 foxes a year, accounted for 51 last season. Sandy Thompson, master of the hunt, said: "There is more suffering for the fox now. Foxes are not easily shot and they are very tough animals...." (story)

Telegraph 22.11.04 Thrill of the chase leads English to Ireland By Thomas Harding in Cornafean, Co Cavan - Ireland will become a haven for hounds and huntsmen from England if a ban is enforced, hunting enthusiasts said yesterday.... Deep in the Co Cavan countryside on Saturday, the Sunnyland Beagles had crossed the border from Antrim to hunt at the invitation of a farmer... The limited number of riders on Irish hunts, between 40 and 80, means that there will be room for only four or five English guests. Some already have places, such as the actor Jeremy Irons, the master of the West Carberry hunt in Cork, and Lucy Ferry, the former wife of the singer Bryan Ferry, who hunts in Limerick.... (story)

Guardian 22.11.04 'Defiance will be seen as a badge of honour' The ban which comes into force next year is considered (story)

Guardian 22.11.04 Up against the dates of wrath - Big events are crowding the Blair calendar, and could cost him dear - Peter Preston - Time has a nasty way of running out. Time can turn from best friend to foe in a trice. And, when you examine Tony Blair's grey, wary public grin these days, you know that he knows that, too. Dear diary 2005 ... Turn its pages and count the dates of wrath…. Probably, it will all emerge roughly right on the night. Probably, most of the polls will stay benign as Labour slips back into power again. But the desperation of that spurned 18-month or even two-year compromise delay on a hunting ban gives more than foxhunting games away. The idea was to push countryside strife far out of balloting time, to pick an anodyne season for protest to peak and wither. It was obvious calculation, and such calculations are the often forgotten staples of politics…. (story)

Guardian 22.11.04 A Georgian invention - One universally accepted fact in the blood sports debate is a lie - that foxhunting has history on its side - Jonathan Jones - William Hogarth was the archetypal townie. Born near Smithfield meat market in 1697, the great painter and engraver lived all his life in London. So perhaps it's easy for the Countryside Alliance to dismiss his views on cruel sports. But they can't deny that the founder of British art has at least as secure a place in our history as red coats and packs of hounds…. But the Quorn hunt was founded in the 1770s, along with the Pytchley, the Belvoir and the Cottesmore. "Fox-hunting as we know it," wrote the great social historian Roy Porter, "was a Georgian invention." It was not in the 14th century but the 18th that horses and hounds were bred to new peaks of running, jumping and following a scent, that hunting clubs with annual subscriptions were founded and painters like George Stubbs gave the hunt its glamorous image. This means that hunting in its modern red-coated form is actually less old than British sympathy for animals. … (story)

Guardian 22.11.04 The election starts here - The Queen's son is the focus of much attention today, but the Queen's speech is really the event of the week…. It may seem absurd - and of course it is - that a minority country sport should shape our politics as much as a war. But the ban is now law, and the clock is ticking towards February, when it will come into force. Protesters have already shown their power to disrupt and annoy. But that is as nothing to the repertoire of mayhem that could come once the ban exists… Politically, much of this could play the government's way, since most people regard hunters as alien and slightly mad; theirs is not a cause to which the uncommitted will rally. But if things get nasty, they may blame the government for the inconvenience, not least for the waste of police time… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 22.11.04 Fight or flight? A day with the hunt - The first sign appeared just outside Litcham, seven miles north-east of Dereham: "Fight prejudice, fight the ban", the rallying cry of the Countryside Alliance tacked to a tree beside a narrow, leafy lane. Minutes later Lexham Hall came into view over a rise in the road, and with it assorted four-by-fours and horse boxes belonging to riders of the West Norfolk Foxhounds…. Hunt master Roger Lyles vowed the hunt would survive, albeit in severely curtailed form. He said: "I feel a bit gutted. We shall hunt right up until the ban, but then we shall just let people come on hound exercises and Saturday rides with us. "We won't shoot any hounds and we won't sack anyone. We will work our guts out to help pro-hunt MPs and get rid of the ones who voted for the ban…." (story)

Newcastle Journal 22.11.04 Hunt's police threat to quit By Paul James, The Journal - Home Secretary David Blunkett was last night facing a massive revolt over his threats to jail hunt followers from within the police force. Officers who hunt are considering resigning from the force rather than arrest fellow supporters who pledge to flout the ban. One Northumberland officer who has been a PC for all his working life is facing the dilemma of arresting his wife, who has vowed to go to jail rather than give up hunting…. Newcastle detective George Morrison will be forced to stand down as secretary for the Borders Hunt when the ban comes into place, but the 49-year-old is due to retire from the force in May and is considering his position…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 22.11.04 Ban is not new Poll tax - Hunting with hounds will become illegal, sooner or later, and it will do no one any good to defy the law when that happens…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 22.11.04 HUNTERS: 'WE WILL NOT BE HOUNDED OUT' - The Burton Hunt has been a regular sight in countryside north of Lincoln since 1670. But centuries of tradition are destined to be lost to history as hunting with hounds becomes outlawed from February next year. Here Paul Whitelam joins the hunt on its first outing since the House of Commons forced through the ban ... (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 22.11.04 'HUNTING SPANS AGE RANGE' - Hunting foxes with hounds has an appeal which unites people of all ages and backgrounds, supporters claim…. Beginning her first season with the Burton Hunt this year is Bethany Airey (10), from Morton, near Gainsborough…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 22.11.04 'WE HAVE A GOOD CHANCE TO FIGHT BAN' - Student George Lockwood battled his allergy to horses to ride with the Burton Hunt on Saturday. Mr Lockwood (19), who is studying land management at the University of Reading, travelled north for the day's hunting. His father John is senior master of the hunt, a position his grandfather Arthur previously held for 40 seasons…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 22.11.04 THE HISTORY OF THE BAN - The total ban on hunting with hounds forced through Parliament last Thursday came after six years of political wrangling…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 22.11.04 HUNTERS VOW TO DEFY THE GOVERNMENT - Huntsmen turned out in force at the weekend and pledged to defy the Government ban. The Cotswold Hunt gathered at Witcombe Park, near Birdlip, for their last legal hunt at the venue in their 150-year history. Riders moved off after a rousing speech by hunt master Bob Cooper… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 22.11.04 DEFIANT SUPPORTERS BURN HUNT BAN BILL - The bill to ban hunting was symbolically burned in a defiant rallying call at the first meeting of Gloucestershire's Berkeley Hunt since the new law was forced through Parliament. Flames licked from the bucket where a copy of the law was deliberately set on fire by hunt master Henry Berkeley. Mr Berkeley, 35, addressed 60 to 80 riders and a hundred or more foot supporters who gathered in the shadow of his ancestral home Berkeley Castle, in the Severn Vale, on Saturday…. (story)

Daily Post 22.11.04 Ban on hunting will be enforced 'with sensitivity' By Gavin Cordon, Daily Post - HOME Secretary David Blunkett yesterday issued a warning to hunt followers that Parliament's ban on their sport would be fully enforced by the police…. (story)

Western Daily Press 22.11.04 WAS RIDING INTO A STORM AFTER THE BAN AN OMEN? - Snow fell mercilessly as Linda Green gathered her horses. High in the Cotswolds, what had been driving sleet turned into a blizzard as more than a hundred riders on horseback with the Vale of the White Horse Hunt packed into the yard at Kilkenny Farm…. "People simply think that there is nothing to stop all these riders just going drag hunting," she said, casting an eye over the crowd assembling behind her. "But it isn't as simple as that. Drag hunting is essentially rows and rows of jumps, which require different horses, different riders and is just completely different, and not as popular." Some of her older horses would have to be put down, unable to cope with the rigours of drag hunting, she explained… (story)

Western Morning News 22.11.04 HUNTERS ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW - Home Secretary David Blunkett yesterday issued a warning to hunt followers that Parliament's ban on their sport would be fully enforced by the police… (story)

Western Morning News 22.11.04 COUNTRYSIDE CAMPAINGER QUITS ACCESS FORUM TO PROTEST BAN -A disgruntled volunteer has resigned from a group which improves public access to the countryside over what he says is the Government's "disregard for country traditions". George Whitfield, of Devon Local Access Forum, e-mailed his letter of resignation to the group's chairman on Friday following the Government's ban on hunting… He said: "This is the only legal protest I feel I have left. I am not a hunts person myself. I have never hunted but I do believe the traditions of over 400 years are important and they are traditions this Government is intent on bringing down…." Mr Whitfield represented the interests of cyclists and also advised on tourism issues…. (story)

Western Morning News 22.11.04 ARSON ATTACK BLAMED ON ANTI-BAN GANG - Rail investigators looking into an arson attack on the Exeter to Waterloo line believe hunt supporters may have been responsible. The fire started at around 12.30am on the Exeter side of Whimple Station. It caused damage to signalling cables after 22 concrete lids which covered them were removed. Graffiti near the track said "no ban" and the possibility that the fire could have been started by a hunt supporter is being looked into by the British Transport Police…. (story)

Western Morning News 22.11.04 SINISTER TREND OF STATE CONTROL - We are obliged to record today that George Orwell - author of that nightmarish vision of totalitarian rule in 1984 - was somewhat wide of the mark…. But the term "Orwellian" is increasingly tripping off many tongues, and it's easy to see why. We may yet be far from a "police state" in our Western liberal democracy, but the "policed" state is fast becoming a reality…. This Government, with its zealotry for attending to the minutiae of how society functions, now feels emboldened to introduce some of the most intrusive and authoritarian legislation in contemporary times. It has already swept the question of civil liberties under the floorboards with its plethora of curfews, curbs on anti-social behaviour, diktats on parenting, and citizenship, you name it. Add to that list the "Nanny knows best" restriction on smoking in public places soon to come into effect, and its relentless pursuit of a hunting ban which could criminalise a minority for an activity that has long been part of the fabric of rural life…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 22.11.04 The hunt goes on by Sarah Jones - THE mood was defiant when the New Forest Hounds staged their first hunt since MPs voted to ban the bloodsport. More than 60 huntsmen and women plus a 150-strong crowd gathered before Saturday's hunt to show their determination to fight on…. The New Forest Hounds have vowed to adhere to guidance from the Countryside Alliance on what strategy they should take in the coming weeks…. (story in archive)

Argus 22.11.04 Bang goes Blair by Tom Pugh - An effigy of Prime Minister Tony Blair was blown to pieces in front of thousands of people at the last bonfire society meeting in Sussex this year. The narrow streets of Robertsbridge were crammed on Saturday night as 32 bonfire societies from Sussex, Kent and Hampshire led a colourful and noisy procession through the village…. During the grand finale more fireworks were set off behind a 15ft-tall effigy of Mr Blair, complete with a fox at his feet to symbolise the controversy over the hunting ban…. (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 22.11.04 CLASS PREJUDICE IS NO LONGER A LAUGHING MATTER - We used to laugh at Cleese, Barker and Corbett, but we should beware of that sketch's truth, says John Florance - We are rightly discouraged from expressing prejudice against people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. But there remains one area where prejudice is apparently quite acceptable. This is to do with class… In a debate on hunting with dogs on my BBC Radio Leicester programme the other day, someone advanced the old clich?? that it was a "toff's activity" and so, it goes without saying, should be banned for that reason if no other. Of all the arguments against hunting this is the least valid, because it is based solely upon prejudice… (story)

Northern Echo 22.11.04 Defiant mood as hunters gather by Stuart Mackintosh - AS the riders assemble and the hounds bound around the frosty field, rays of sunshine burst through the clouds to create a typical picture postcard country scene. But this is no typical November's day for the enthusiasts and supporters of Bedale Hunt, in North Yorkshire…. (story in archive)

Irish Examiner 22.11.04 English fox hunters ‘not welcome here’ By Dan Buckley - ENGLISH fox hunters will not be welcome in large numbers in Ireland, following the House of Commons ban introduced last week…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.11.04 HUNTING ARREST - A man has been released on bail following a clash between pro and anti-hunt supporters, which resulted in one protester being taken to hospital with hand injuries. Police were called to Widecombe-in-the-Moor just before noon on Saturday after a disturbance between protesters and members of the South Devon Hunt. Around 20 hunt protesters were at the meeting of the South Devon Foxhounds…. (story)
22.11.04 PROTESTER HURT IN CLASH AT MOOR MEET - A hunt protester was taken to hospital after a clash at a meet on Dartmoor over the weekend. The incident happened at around 11.30am on Saturday at Widecombe in the Moor…. A 49-year-old man, believed to be a member of the South Devon Foxhounds, was arrested on suspicion of assault and taken to Torquay police station for questioning before being released on bail…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 22.11.04 THREE HURT IN HUNT CLASH BY PAUL JAMES - Three protesters from South Devon were hurt as violence erupted at the start of fox hunt on Dartmoor over the weekend…. A South Devon Animal Rights spokeswoman claimed the alleged attacks on members from Marldon and Newton Abbot were completely unprovoked. James Fordham, 19, from Marldon, was left battered and bruised after allegedly being kicked in the head in the Hookney Tor area on Saturday morning where the Denbury-based South Devon Foxhounds had gathered for a meet…. Julie, a spokeswoman for the animal rights group, said: "We thought we might have some hassle at the hunt - but nothing like what we got."… Hunt protester Alex Greenhorn from Plymouth said the group's Land Rover was also targeted…. (story)

Telegraph 22.11.04 Ratting is fine, but leave the mice alone - If Germaine Greer continues to allow her black poodle Michael to dig for moles after the Hunting Act comes into force she could be prosecuted for hunting a wild mammal with a dog…. Simon Temple, Lancaster, Lancs
Supporters of fox hunting are harming their cause by saying they will have to put down hounds because they are of no use for any other purpose…. Norman Plastow, London, SW19
Charles Moore urges those in favour of hunting to expose the absurdity of the new law… those who condemn the law to ban hunting should join together to pay unjust hunting fines and subsidise less contentious hunt activities until the ban is revoked. Ranulf Rayner, Ashcombe, Devon (letters)

Guardian 22.11.04 Alliance should heed historical lesson - The Countryside Alliance appeals to people who regard themselves as naturally law-abiding citizens but view the law against hunting as the one issue about which they're prepared to take to the streets (Police fear hunting ban strain, November 20). In this, the CA resembles a mass movement that came to prominence in the final decade of the Soviet Union: the popular movement for environmental reform… Dr Jonathan Sutton, Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Leeds
Despite fears about the hunting ban (Letters, November 20), there is no danger of being prosecuted if a pet dog chases a squirrel - unless deliberately assisted or encouraged…. Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals
So, the police will find the ban difficult to enforce? They didn't complain when it was the miners or poll-tax protesters - those must have been more fun. The problem could easily be solved by recruiting saboteurs as special constables. Robin Keable, Shoeburyness, Essex (letters)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 22.11.04 ANGLING CRUEL - I was brought up in the countryside and I agree with foxhunting. If the Government wants to ban it they should also look at banning other sports such as angling, which I consider much more cruel than foxhunting… Brenda Flear, March Street, Kirton Lindsey (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 22.11.04 CONSIDER PRIORITIES - John Hill (Viewpoint November 19), writes the ban on foxhunting is long overdue and that hunting is a cruel sport. I do not participate in a hunt myself, and I am neither for nor against the ban on hunting…. Mr Hill demonstrated clearly he does not understand the parliamentary process in this country, in that the House of Lords does not and should not simply be an echo of the majority in the elected chamber…. John McKenzie, Burton-upon-Stather (letter)

Irish Independent 22.11.04 Why we should ban fox hunting - At last, it's happened: the land that invented, and for centuries eulogised, the hounding and tearing apart of foxes and other animals for fun has now outlawed this obscenity…. John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Oxford Mail 22.11.04 Ban on hunting all wild mammals - The Hunting Bill forced through Parliament imposed a ban on hunting with dogs, not only foxes and hares but all wild mammals such as mice, squirrels and weasels. Anyone allowing their dogs to transgress may face the prospect of a large fine and a criminal record…. In view of the number of 'squirrel hunts' one sees in the Oxford parks, what steps are the park authorities going to take to protect themselves against being prosecuted under this Bill? Jessica Leigh-Pemberton, Faringdon (letter in archive)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 22.11.04 Depravity of the hunt lobby - It haunts me that hunt supporters should fight so aggressively in order to satisfy their craving for seeing one defenceless creature fleeing for its life from a pack of hounds…. Rev James Thompson, Holywell, Clwyd. (letter)

Northern Echo 22.11.04 HOUSE OF LORDS: NOW that the House of Lords has shown its total disregard for democracy by trying to treat with absolute contempt the wishes of the people over the issue of hunting with hounds, is Tony Blair at last going to replace this House with a democratic branch of Parliament?... Norman Smith, Newton Aycliffe. (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 22.11.04 FOX HOUNDS NOT BRED TO BE PETS - With reference to the letter by Mr Truscott 'crying crocodile tears over fate of fox hounds' (Post, November 15). Just a few thoughts. Yes, Mr Truscott is correct with some of the things he says in his letter, fox hounds would make terrible household pets, but not because they would eat your children!... I would like to challenge Mr Truscott to find a dog trainer in the land that could train an adult pack of fox hounds to hunt an artificial line and also to find a farmer that would let them on their land to do such a thing…. JUDITH RICHARDSON Park Road East Calverton Nottingham (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 22.11.04 HUNTERS ARE THE GREATEST FRIENDS OF THE FOX - As supporters of hunting we find the views of the RSPCA and the "League Against Cruel Sports" confusing. Foxes need to be controlled and hunting with hounds controls numbers, disperses fox populations and has a closed season. The above organisations are happy to have foxes shot, snared, gassed and poisoned with no closed season - all because these methods of control are not in the public view…. MR AND MRS C. ABELL Heath Lane, Metheringham.
I can't believe MPs banning hunting when there's so much more good they could have done with their time. Many ban MPs are "one trick ponies" who could not give a jot about the important issues such as health, education and transport that could possibly make life better for all…. MRS J. ELKINGTON Brauncewell, Sleaford. (letters)

Gloucester Citizen 22.11.04 WE'VE NOT HAD REAL DEMOCRACY - Re: the letter by Tony Shortt, and the rubbish about democracy. I was a regular Marine for years, during the war and after, I volunteered 64 years ago, not for democracy, but for the retention of freedom, for Britain to remain the same. There never was and never will be true democracy here. Do you think the troops you talk about would appreciate how these so-called democratic people have given this country away?... I have never been fox hunting, though I realise it is a sport that takes lots of courage with some of those fences. To stop this, the practice of years, is yet another British custom lost… A. W. E. CARTER, Sandyleaze, Gloucester (letter)

South Wales Echo 22.11.04 Out-foxing the Roath residents - WHEN will these Cardiff townies learn? Referring to the recent letter from P O'Shea, Roath, it is virtually impossible to shoot a fox. They do not emerge in daylight, apart from in Roath perhaps… Mike Parry, Gwendoline Street, Treherbert (letter)

Argus 22.11.04 Letter: Who is watching the Countryside Alliance? I find it most interesting that while the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (Netcu) monitors groups such as Fathers for Justice, as well as anti-GM groups and the anti-globalisation movement, animal rights extremism is their main focus. There is no mention of the Countryside Alliance, despite the fact its members have attacked police officers outside Parliament, sawn through the leg of an electricity pylon, vandalised sites of national interest with slogans burnt into the hillsides, hurled eggs at ministers, barricaded Peter Hain in his house for nine hours making him late for the conference… -Sue Baumgardt, Hove (letter in archive)

Western Daily Press 22.11.04 THIS WAS A VOTE FOR THE END OF WILDLIFE - By voting to ban hunting, MPs have voted for the destruction of our wildlife…. J Thomas Williton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 22.11.04 POOR PRIORITIES BY SOME FARMERS - The Farmers For Action chairman, David Handley, calls his organisation a "countryside army," adding that the Government has "stirred up the people in the countryside, which is a very dangerous thing to do." Such comment makes me think that he and his group are actually flying the flag for the "huntryside," which is a very different place with very different concerns to those that bother everyday farmers and country folk…. Gill Purser Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 22.11.04 HOW MANY PEOPLE REALLY SUPPORT HUNTING? - Regarding the story of the pro-hunt protesters at the Winter Gardens (Grimsby Telegraph, November 15). My job involves me driving around the county quite a lot and have noticed a lot of the posters claiming 59 per cent of the public back hunting with hounds. I just wonder where the 59 per cent comes from. I don't know of anyone who has been asked their opinion, so I can only presume that only fox hunters have been asked… Norman Hunt, Edge Avenue, Grimsby. (letter)

Worcester Evening News 22.11.04 There can be no compromise on cruelty - FOR more than 30 years, I've campaigned for the protection of animals, particularly wild animals hounded to death in the name of sport…. JOHN BRYANT, Protect Our Wild Animals. (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 3.11.04 THE REASON TO BAN HUNTING - John Bryant Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)
Salisbury Journal 27.10.04 Hunting Bill is now a test of democracy - FOR more than 30 years, I have campaigned for the protection of animals, particularly wild animals hounded to death in the name of `sport'. I have always believed that the right way to win reforms is to pursue one's cause through our parliamentary democracy. I have never wavered from that path, despite the fact that, when living in my native Somerset, my property was invaded by rioting hounds, and hunt supporters threatened me with violence, stabbed one of my animals to death in my garden, shot-gunned my telephone cables, smashed my front gate with tractors and chainsaws, dumped dead foxes and badgers on my drive and threw a brick through the window of my car… If a ban now fails to become law, either because Tony Blair reneges on his promises or the unelected House of Lords conspires to frustrate the elected chamber, it will demonstrate that our much-vaunted `democracy' is a total sham… JOHN BRYANT, Protect Our Wild Animals, Tormount Road, Plumstead Common (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 22.11.04 OVER the past 10 years, MPs have consistently voted time and time again to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. JOSEY SHARRAD, International Fund for Animal Welfare, London. (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 16.11.04 TIME THIS BILL BECAME LAW - Josey Sharrad International Fund for Animal Welfare (letter)
Shropshire Star 4.11.04 Time for hunting ban to be imposed - Josey Sharrad, International Fund for Animal Welfare, London (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 26.10.04 TIME TO IMPOSE FOX-HUNTING BAN - Josey Sharrad, International Fund for Animal Welf are, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London, SE0 7UD. (letter)
Worcester Evening News 19.10.04 Cruel sport - JOSEY SHARRAD, International Fund for Animal Welfare, London. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 18.10.04 Cruel sport - JOSEY SHARRAD, International Fund for Animal Welfare, London. (letter in archive)
Bolton Evening News 16.10.04 Hunting: Get facts right - THE writer J Sharrad (Bolton Evening News, October 12) and others of her ilk would please me, and many other informed hunters, if they could at least do two things: a) call them hounds… and b) take their convictions about animal welfare sincerely and assist in the mass slaughter and disposal of the thousands of hunting hounds and horses, not to mention fallen sheep which are used as food for the hounds…. To suggest that the majority of British people support such a ban from the findings of a small survey is taking a typically narrow-minded conclusion!... Dr G C Gibson, Czech Republic (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 15.10.04 LORDS CAN'T COMPROMISE IN HUNTING BILL DEBATE - Josey Sharrad, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Albert Embankment, London (letter)
Penarth Times 14.10.04 Landmark - Josey Sharrad International Fund for Animal Welfare London (letter in archive)
Barry & District News 14.10.04 Cruel sport - Josey Sharrad International Fund for Animal Welfare 87-90 Albert Embankment London SE1 7UD (letter in archive)
Hillingdon Times 14.10.04 There is no compromise on hunting - Josey Sharrad, International Fund for Animal Welfare, London (letter)
Bolton Evening News 13.10.04 Can be no compromise on cruelty - THE VOTE to ban hunting with dogs by MPs last month was a landmark decision for animal welfare. This week the House of Lords will have their chance to debate the Hunting Bill and they have threatened to amend it to a compromise. But there can be no compromise on cruelty…. Josey Sharrad, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Albert Embankment, London (letter in archive)


BBC News Online 21.11.04 Hunt campaigner warns of 'mayhem' - Pro-hunt campaigner Otis Ferry says supporters will cause "mayhem" for the government in the run up to the general election, in protest at the ban. The son of rock star Bryan Ferry told BBC's Breakfast with Frost he felt a "total commitment" to continue hunting. But Education Secretary Charles Clarke said he thought predictions of trouble had been "overstated"…. (story)

BBC News Online 21.11.04 Sunday papers ponder hunt ban - They may be known as a "Press pack", but instead they are off in different directions looking for a lead story. Naturally, hunting itself gets a thorough run-out after a ban was pushed through Parliament last week. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 21.11.04 Dictator Blair causes havoc, and lets slip the hounds of war - GERALD WARNER - FASCISM has had its best week since 1945. The ban on hunting in England and Wales imposed by the House of Commons - not by Parliament - brings British law into harmony with the Führer’s decree of 1936. This comes as the climax to a positive blizzard of bans, both from Westminster and its pygmy parody at Holyrood. Unfortunately for the Leader of All Progressive Humanity and his dictatorial cohorts, it also comes at a heavy price. The régime has finally overreached itself…. Roger Scruton, the eminent philosopher, now has 56,000 signatures on his Hunting Declaration - all people pledged to defy the ban and go to prison. They would also merit status as political prisoners - the Solzhenitsyns of the new Stalinist age. All that is before the inevitable violence begins. Nice one, Tony (story)

Sunday Times 21.11.04 Hunt farmers vow to keep police off land - GARETH WALSH AND JON UNGOED-THOMAS - SOME landowners are to impose a ban on police officers using their land to pursue horses and hounds after foxhunting is outlawed next year. Officers plan to use trail bikes to follow riders they suspect of hunting. However, a senior legal adviser to the Countryside Alliance said yesterday farmers would be entitled to treat them as trespassers and throw them off their land…. (story)

Sunday Times 21.11.04 Leading article: Hunting the toffs - And so, after seven years of hard pursuit and 700 hours of heated debate, Labour is to ban foxhunting. In February, assuming that the legal challenge by the Countryside Alliance fails, the ancient right of the English and Welsh to chase their furry, fleet-footed quarry will be no more. But banning hunting, like stopping motorists using mobile phones, is easier said than done… Most of us, too, recognise dissembling when we see it. Seldom can a prime minister have been less enthusiastic about a policy introduced by his own government…. There is a wilful myopia over the real nature of cruelty to animals. What about the 900m animals reared in dreadful battery conditions and killed each year? Our forebears were kinder when it came to animal husbandry. When future generations look back it may be with unease at our treatment of dumb animals, not with admiration at the decision to ban hunting. (story)

Sunday Times 21.11.04 Focus: A great day for animals? You must be joking BY JONATHAN LEAKE AND DAVID CRACKNELL - After 700 hours of debate, MPs have finally pushed through a ban on foxhunting. Animal rights activists are celebrating, but experts say they picked the wrong target… For many, the gloom only deepened as they left the Commons to see, just over the road on College Green, the surreal sight of two women dressed as animals doing a victory dance for MPs and the television cameras. Rosa Hill, dressed as a stag, and Hattie Blok, in a fetching fox outfit, are from the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals (CPHA). But the banners they carried, displaying a big “Thank You” message to MPs, just angered the hunters even more… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 21.11.04 Offending we will go, offending we will go... After the bill to ban hunting was passed last week, Melissa Kite rode out with the Surrey Union Hunt at Effingham Hill Farm near Cobham where men in pink are brewing civic disobedience… In the car park, men in red coats handed out flyers. The leaflets contained precise instructions for the actions to be taken in three months' time, when this social get-together will become a crime.... Like housewives during the Blitz, everyone in the polite crowd was ready to do their bit. The Surrey Union has swelled in numbers and many young people and metropolitan types are flocking to join. Karl Sessions, 28, from Kennington, south London, on his first hunt, said: "I don't think a ban is justified. I came to see hunting for myself before deciding. I think I will come again." Izzy Myers, 31, from Roehampton, south London, called it"a travesty".... "Sod the legal challenge," said one well-known hunting campaigner. "If we can keep up morale, that is more crucial than anything else. We need to keep ourselves going and then, whenever we get rid of this f***ing government, whether it is in six years or 11 years' time, we will still be there." Until then, there is little the thousands of people whose jobs are at stake can do except to make life as difficult for Mr Blair as they can. As one hunt member put it: "They can ban hunting, but they can't ban us." (story)

Sunday Telegraph 21.11.04 Death to the enemies of Blair, but the foxes must be spared By Geoffrey Wheatcroft - In the scheme of things, it may not greatly matter whether fox-hunting survives in England. We live in a world of woe and suffering, of pestilence, poverty and war, where millions die each year from hunger or violence, where a vast crisis in the Middle East threatens to erupt catastrophically. A sense of proportion should tell us that the future of a country sport enjoyed by barely a quarter of a million people in a damp little island cannot be of the highest importance. And yet the hunting controversy is also like a great sheet of lightning that has lit up the whole political landscape in all its horrible detail. Last Thursday's climax was much more than just a showdown between Lords and Commons; it was one of the bleakest moments in recent political history. We should almost be thankful for the politicians who forced the Bill through, since they demonstrated in the process the sheer rottenness of our political culture.... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 21.11.04 It was the PM, not the Lords, that the Commons defeated By Matthew d'Ancona - For my money, the most intriguing MP of the moment is Iain Duncan Smith… No less interesting will be IDS's response to the ban on hunting with hounds when it comes into force on February 18. I well recall a conversation with him some years ago when he told me that such a measure might force him into acts of civil disobedience. Whatever else is said about Mr Duncan Smith, he is a man who treats the law - and parliamentary statute in particular - with the utmost reverence. The dilemma which he and other MPs who share his views on hunting now face is a serious one…. On the Labour benches, memories are still fresh of the Iraq vote in March 2003: on that occasion, Mr Blair's MPs voted with a heavy heart for a war about which most of them were, even then, deeply unsure. In January, they saved the Prime Minister from a calamitous defeat over tuition fees only when Gordon Brown signalled that the moment was not ripe for outright mutiny. In the past month, they have been restive over gambling reform and parental smacking. On Thursday, the Labour tribe simply said: Enough… (story)

BBC News Online 21.11.04 No extra money to police hunt ban - Police forces will receive no extra funding to help enforce the imminent ban on fox hunting. Home Secretary David Blunkett says money currently used to protect hunts from saboteurs will be used…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 21.11.04 Pro-hunt agitators target 37 MPs at start of 'five-year campaign' - Investigation: How activists will sabotage the ban through the courts, the ballot box and beyond - By Severin Carrell and Andy McSmith - Fox-hunting supporters are preparing a five-year campaign on three battlefronts to overturn the ban on the sport imposed last week by the House of Commons. They plan to challenge the ban in the countryside - through a campaign of civil disobedience - in the courts and at the ballot box. The hunting lobby has drafted a hit list of 37 Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs in marginal seats, seen by The Independent on Sunday, which includes several ministers and many of Labour's most vocal critics of fox-hunting…. Rose Tait, of the Vale of the White Horse hunt in Gloucestershire, said: "We're carrying on regardless. On 19 February, which is a Saturday, I have it ringed in my diary. My husband and I, and our two children, who are six and seven, are going hunting ... I'm just going to carry on hunting."… Otis Ferry… was out riding with the South Shropshire Hunt…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 21.11.04 'Let's go hunting': Beaufort battles on - Yesterday, on a bitterly cold November morning, a small, angry army gathered in the driving sleet on the Duke of Beaufort's rolling Badminton estate in Gloucestershire. Some 200 on horseback, accompanied by several hundred equally determined foot soldiers, were here for the Beaufort Hunt - one of the oldest and grandest…. (story)

Sunday Express 21.11.04 Hunt supporters vow election mayhem - Pro-hunt campaigners have vowed to create 'mayhem' in the run-up to the general election. Protester Otis Ferry, son of rock star Bryan Ferry who was one of the protestors who broke into the Commons chamber, said: "There are a lot of people who have lived the life of hunting for many more years than me. I am only 21 and I feel incredibly strongly about it," he told BBC1's Breakfast with Frost programme…. (story)

Mail on Sunday 21.11.04 Blair's secret plan to delay hunt ban until after Election - Labour MPs last night reacted with fury after it was revealed that Tony Blair was drawing up secret plans to overturn the immediate ban on foxhunting. Alarmed by the threat of violent mass demonstrations, the Premier has ordered Ministers to find ways of delaying the ban until after the next General Election. But Mr Blair's last-ditch attempt to postpone the implementation of the Hunting Act will infuriate many backbenchers who are impatient to end the blood sport…. (story)

Observer 21.11.04 Hunt ban muddle as Blunkett signals softly-softly approach - Gaby Hinsliff, Juliette Jowitand Antony Barnett - The ban on hunting was plunged into confusion last night after Home Secretary David Blunkett warned that police needed more time to gather intelligence on rebels - and suggested hunts would not be prosecuted for killing foxes unless it was clearly deliberate. He made clear he had wanted the ban delayed to allow detailed preparations to combat the expected campaign of mass disobedience…. the Council of Hunting Associations said of the 320 hunts in Britain it expected virtually all those which held meets in February to go out on the day after the ban - including the Beaufort. 'There will be more people who hunt on that day than on average,' said Brian Fanshawe, the association's secretary…. (story)

Observer 21.11.04 Too much a nanny - Government meddling is misguided - Leader - Politicians fall into two categories; those who want to change the world and those who want to leave well alone. The truth is that society requires both as circumstances and attitudes change. One of the points of democracy is that it allows us, the citizens, to choose. But in a week that has seen a succession of bans and proposed interventions - on fox-hunting, on smoking in public places and on unhealthy eating - from a government that is also taking a notably free and easy view of gambling and 24-hour drinking, it is not obvious that it possesses clear criteria on where to draw the line between changing the world and leaving well alone. We are to have more casinos which we don't want, while we are to ban fox-hunting about which very few, apart from fox-hunters and animal rights campaigners, genuinely feel passionate…. (story)

Observer 21.11.04 Small ideas, big issues - Smoking, drinking, eating, gambling and hunting. The government seems to want to be involved with every aspect of our lives. But should it? - Henry Porter - Don't sweat the small stuff. By any definition, the banning of hunting, the penalising of smokers and the announcement of action about fat, salt and sugar in food is small stuff, as important to the world's future as the Galloway libel case or the letter stolen by a disgruntled Prince Charles employee…. And yet_ and yet the small stuff is important because it reveals the government's inconsistency about personal choice and freedom and, more widely, underlines the rather martinet tone that has emerged in the past two years. From measures as disparate as the spread of speed cameras to David Blunkett's proposals on identity cards and the outlawing of criticism of a person's religious beliefs, one feels an oppressive, wheedling bossiness… (story)

Observer 21.11.04 Mr Reynard doesn't help Mr Howard - The hunters might be in full pursuit of the government, but it is the Conservatives who could end up being foxed - Andrew Rawnsley - Tyrants? If this is a tyrannical government, then the long and still unfinished saga over foxhunting demonstrates that it is a pretty timorous sort of bully…. Unwhipped, MPs have overwhelmingly voted to ban hunting no fewer than six times in the past four years. Opinion polls suggest a majority of the public agrees that hunting is an ancient British tradition which now belongs there: in ancient history, along with cockfighting and bearbaiting. It is a myth, sedulously promoted by the apologists for hunting, that this is a vicious assault on the liberties of country folk by ignorant townie class-warriors headquartered in Islington. The truth is that rural opinion is divided for and against hunting…. Cries of havoc will disturb Tony Blair, but those dogs of war may bite harder on Michael Howard. (story)

Observer 21.11.04 UK fox hunters 'not welcome in Ireland' - Nicola Byrne - Frustrated British fox hunters will not find a refuge in Ireland after the blood sport was banned in the United Kingdom on Friday. The Hunting Association of Ireland says that the 80 hunts operating in the Republic are already oversubscribed and there is very limited potential for 'hunt tourism'. However, proponents of hunting in Ireland fear it may not be so easy to put off mainland animal rights activists, who are now expected to turn their sights on Ireland and France in a bid to achieve a Europe-wide ban…. The North Galway Hunt will continue to accommodate Captain Mark Phillips, the former husband of the Princess Royal, who runs a twice-yearly hunting and cross-country clinic in Co Mayo, and the West Waterford, which hunts near the Lismore home of the Duke of Devonshire, is rumoured to be ready to extend an invitation to the Prince of Wales. (story) 21.11.04 Hunt followers warned to heed ban - Hunt followers have been warned that Parliament's ban on their sport will be fully enforced by the police. Home Secretary David Blunkett said that any attempt to carry on fox hunting in defiance of the Hunting Act, passed last week, would be a challenge to the whole basis of the legal system…. (story)

Wales on Sunday 21.11.04 Hunt vows to defy ban - Kate Jackson, Wales on Sunday - FOXHUNTERS in Wales have vowed to defy the ban on hunting and say they are prepared to go to jail to keep their hobby alive… About 20 riders saddled up at Cross Inn, near Llantrisant, South Wales, for their weekly meet. They were joined by another 20 supporters, many carrying Countryside Alliance placards…. Yesterday Pentyrch hunt master David Thomas warned supporters are willing to make huge sacrifices to protest the ban…. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 21.11.04 Fox killings double since ban - Scots hunts despatch twice as many animals with marksmen outdoing hounds - EDDIE BARNES- THE ban on hunting with dogs in Scotland has resulted in a doubling of the number of foxes killed, it emerged last night. New figures obtained by Scotland on Sunday show that large numbers of foxes are now being shot by hunters, and dozens of the animals continue to be legally killed by hounds. Scotland biggest hunt, the Buccleuch, killed an average of 50 foxes a season prior to the ban. Figures produced by the huntsmen themselves show that for 2003-04, it alone killed more than 100…. Sandy Thompson, master of the Berwickshire Hunt, said: "In my view there is more suffering for the fox now because as anyone who knows who has been clay-pigeon shooting, they don’t hit it every time…." The Fife Hunt recorded a similar figure to Berwickshire. A total of 58 foxes were killed; 45 shot, nine killed by hounds and four shot after escaping from boltholes. Meanwhile, the Kincardineshire Hunt killed a total of 82 foxes, with all but one killed by guns…. (story)

Sunday Herald 21.11.04 Racing to survive hunting ban - Hundreds of years of tradition may be over, but it’s not all doom and gloom, believes Jim Delahunt … I’ve never been particularly pro-hunting but I’ve definitely never been anti the sport or, if you prefer, the practice. The link between the hunting field and the racecourse is a trad itional one but not vital and while much has been made of the top-class chasers which have made their mark on the racecourse having been weaned chasing foxes, there is little current evidence that those which stay in the hunting field bring much to racing’s table…. (story)

Sunday Herald 21.11.04 Civil disobedience? I’d like to see them try - Muriel Gray reckons that, if Countryside Alliance types carry out their threats to flout the hunting ban and dump dung in cities, they may not only improve Tony Blair’s popularity, but also stir up a constituency with a real axe to grind… (story)

Sunday Herald 21.11.04 Holyrood acts as London muddles - Iain Macwhirter says notions of the Scottish parliament as an assembly of do-nothing numpties need revising. Holyrood has boldly taken the lead in issues such as fox-hunting and smoking, while Westminster bumbles behind. It’s not that I’ve stopped being opposed to fox hunting – I still believe it should have been abolished a century ago, consigned to history alongside bear-baiting and cock- fighting. But after last week, it’s difficult not to sympathise, just a little, with the men in red coats. The cynical and incompetent way in which this government has tried to abolish hunting with hounds in England and Wales has undermined its moral authority and provoked a needless constitutional confrontation between Lords and Commons. And for what? To save a handful of foxes which would be killed anyway ... (story)

Leicester Mercury 21.11.04 FORMER UNION BOSS ATTACKS LABOUR - The Labour Party has lost its "ideological compass", a former general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union has said. Sir Bill Morris said the first term under Labour was a "tremendous success" but the second term had seen "a lot of disappointment". "It seems as if en route we have lost our ideological compass," he told GMTV. "This week, what has been the big issue? Fox hunting and casinos. It seems to me that we have to recover a radical reforming streak and there are still some very, very big issues..." (story)

Observer 21.11.04 Country set that has scented an easy kill - Sally O'Sullivan - Islington, trendy as it is, would hardly see itself as a rival to Bond Street, but last weekend was different. The streets were buzzing with gaggles of stylish women carrying large bundles of expensive shopping bags. They had been, in their thousands, (about 30,000 in fact), to Country Living magazine's Christmas Fair… Contemporary is not a word one would associate with a deeply traditional publication like Country Life but it's very much on editor Clive Aslet's mind. 'Our readers are changing,' says Aslet emphatically. 'People now move to the country when they're much younger, bringing more contemporary ideas with them…. We're pro-hunting, for instance. Not all our readers will agree with us but we always present our arguments intelligently and with knowledge.'… (story)


East Anglian Daily Times 20.11.04 Police fears over hunting ban By Danielle Nuttall and Graham Dines - SUFFOLK'S Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter warned last night of the difficulties faced by police forces as they tried to enforce the new ban on hunting with hounds…. Mr McWhirter said some anti-hunting groups would re-emerge as hunt watchers, which could cause its own problems as drag hunting and exercises with hounds would still take place legally and might be mistaken for foxhunting…. (story)

Spectator 20.11.04 The Spectator’s Notes - Charles Moore - Although hunt supporters are right to point out that people of all classes hunt, Labour MPs are equally right to see their ban on hunting, now at last being enacted, as a great blow against the upper classes… Hunting is close to the heart of an aristocratic approach to life because it is communal, dangerous, unintellectual, non-commercial, ceremonial, hierarchical and depends on a love and knowledge of animals…. Since the hunting ban will, in practice, be defied, could the sport gradually creep back to legality?... (story)

Spectator 20.11.04 Death to Iraqis, not to foxes - In the scheme of things, it may not greatly matter whether fox-hunting survives in England. We live in a world of woe and suffering, of pestilence, poverty and war, where millions die each year from hunger or violence, where a vast crisis in western Asia threatens to erupt catastrophically. A sense of proportion should tell us that the future of a traditional country sport enjoyed by barely a quarter of a million people in a damp little island off the north-western corner of Europe cannot be of the highest importance. And yet the hunting controversy is also like a great sheet of lightning which has lit up the whole political landscape in all its horrible detail…. We should almost be thankful for the politicians who have forced the Bill through, since they have demonstrated in the process the sheer rottenness of our political culture…. (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 20.11.04 We'll keep on hunting by Bob Jolliffe - FOXHUNTERS in the New Forest have vowed to keep chasing their quarry until it becomes illegal to do so on February 18. New Forest Hounds secretary Graham Ferris has also said the hunting infrastructure will be kept in place until the Conservatives get into power and repeal the Hunting Act, as promised…. (story in archive)

Daily Mail 20.11.04 Hunt protester injured in clash - A hunt protester was taken to hospital after a clash at a meet on Dartmoor. The incident happened at Widecombe in the Moor, said Devon and Cornwall police. The injured man was taken to Torbay hospital with a broken hand, added a force spokesman. A man was arrested on suspicion of assault and has been taken to Torquay police station for questioning. But the police were unable to confirm yet whether he was part of the hunt…. (story)
BBC News Online 20.11.04 Arrest after hunt protester hurt - A hunt protester was taken to hospital after an incident on Dartmoor. Police were called to Widecombe-in- the-Moor on Saturday after the protester had to be taken to Torbay hospital with a suspected broken hand…. (story)

BBC News Online 20.11.04 Police 'can cope' with hunt ban - Senior police officers say they have enough resources to deal with the ban on hunting with hounds. Hunts in England and Wales will meet on Saturday for the first time since the ban was pushed through Parliament. Many hunts men and women have vowed to flout the law when it comes into effect on 18 February by continuing to hunt…. Mr McWhirter, the Association of Chief Police Officers' spokesman on rural affairs, admitted the ban would be "difficult to manage" and labelled it an "additional burden"…. The application for a judicial review is being lodged by Countryside Alliance chairman John Jackson, farrier's wife Mair Hughes, from Rhondda, south Wales, and Bicester Hunt member Patrick Martin…. South and West Wilts Hunt is among the hunts meeting on Saturday. David Corbin, secretary of the hunt, said he expected the occasion to be marked with anger and sadness…. (story)

BBC News Online 20.11.04 Huntsmen 'destroying more foxes' By Huw Williams - Hunting with hounds is supposed to be banned already in Scotland. But there are just as many hunts north of the border and - it's claimed - they're killing more foxes since the law came in…. The biggest is the Buccleuch. At their kennels, joint master and huntsman Trevor Adams talked to me, as he looked after his hounds…. There are three cases are going through the courts, including one against Trevor Adams from the Buccleuch Hunt… (story)

BBC News Online 20.11.04 South: Town V Country - Ian Paul - The long game of parliamentary ping pong has come to an end with the Parliament Act invoked to ban fox hunting. Just another example of the metropolitan elite imposing its alien values on the rural community?... Is there really a yawning chasm of incomprehension between the metros and the rusticos? The answer is no…. (story)

Independent 20.11.04 Compensation for ban on fox hunting may cost taxpayer £150m By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor - Taxpayers are facing a bill running into millions of pounds in compensation for fox-hunting supporters over claims that next February's ban will cost them their livelihoods. Pro-hunting campaigners, who are threatening to disrupt Prime Minister Tony Blair's general election campaign, yesterday said that the claims could amount to £150m…. Alastair McWhirter, chief constable of Suffolk and the Association of Chief Police Officers' spokesman on hunting, told The Times: "It is not an offence to wear red or pink coats or jackets, it is not an offence to exercise hounds or keep up traditions of using horns. Unless someone owns up to it, you need a wild animal in the picture to show someone has committed an offence.".. (story)

Independent 20.11.04 Back in the kennels, Blair is thrown to the dogs - Jill Burt enjoys a day out with the Surrey Union Hunt and yesterday the 70-year-old former veterinary nurse was on a hillside in the North Downs musing on the hunting ban as she waited for the horses and hounds to stream by. She was wearing a baseball cap embroidered with the slogan "Bollocks to Blair" which she uses to taunt her non-hunting friends who disapprove of her 50-year association with the Surrey Union ... The Joint Master, Katherine Meller, read to the assembled gathering from a prepared statement backing the Countryside Alliance's legal challenge. The official position is that when the sport is banned the Surrey Union will take up drag hunting, the chasing of a peppermint scent through the countryside. Unofficially, if a fox happens to get in the way, they have been advised that hunts will not be prosecuted for "accidental kills". … Another foot follower, Jane Williams, described herself as a suburban housewife. She's the sort of suburban housewife that can handle a four-wheel drive down a vertical muddy hillside while maintaining perfect composure… PLANS FOR PROTEST - Continue hunting: Julian Barnfield, leader of the Cotswold Hunt, says: "I won't obey this law."… (story)

Guardian 20.11.04 Police fear hunting ban strain - Rosie Cowan, crime correspondent - Police could be stretched to the limit dealing with widespread public disorder following the hunting ban, the leading representative for rank and file officers warned yesterday. Jan Berry, who chairs the Police Federation in England and Wales, admitted that vociferous opposition to the new law would put huge strain on the resources of small rural forces and create problems for officers on the ground…. (story)

Guardian 20.11.04 'Martyrs' ready for prison as activists plot tactics - Radical groups plan unlawful disruption - Steven Morris - In a cosy pub close to the Shropshire-Worcestershire border over a fortifying drink and supper, the three-strong steering group which coordinates the work of the Countryside Action Network will meet next week to finalise its plans for rebellion and disruption…. Brian Hughes, a farrier from the Rhondda Valley and joint master of the Llangeinor hunt, is among those earmarked as a martyr…. George Bowyer, joint master of the Fitzwilliam hunt in Peterborough, is planning to make his point through the democratic process. He believes he can get more than 100 hunt supporters out on the streets to campaign to oust the MP for Peterborough, Helen Clark…. (story)

Guardian 20.11.04 Campaigners launch historic challenge - Clare Dyer and Michael White - The Countryside Alliance yesterday made good its threat to launch a legal challenge against the government's ban on hunting with dogs, as Tony Blair's rural affairs minister warned militant pro-hunters not to try and "punish society" for a democratically-taken decision…. (story)

Guardian 20.11.04 Switch to shooting means more foxes are killed - Jobs lost but hunts adapt to change - Kirsty Scott - If the frost holds off, Trevor Adams will ride out with the Buccleuch Hunt in the Scottish borders this morning as he has done for many years… "Hunting was something that kept the local tourism and B&B businesses going through the winter months when there was not much other trade. We know that farriers have had to move, stables have had to close. The social and economic impact has been quite huge in a very small area."…(story)

Telegraph 20.11.04 Police say hunting ban a 'burden' - Enforcement of the ban on fox hunting will impose an "additional burden" on police forces, senior officers have warned. Suffolk chief constable Alistair McWhirter, also the Association of Chief Police Officers' spokesman on rural affairs, said they would be looking to ministers for guidance on what resources they should divert to policing the ban.... (story)

Telegraph 20.11.04 Landowners who back hunt threaten to obstruct utilities By George Jones, Political Editor - Pro-hunting landowners were urged by the Government yesterday not to "punish society" by withdrawing permission for essential utilities such as electricity pylons….(story)

Telegraph 20.11.04 Will they dare free burglars to make room for beaglers? - Poor, busy David Blunkett. The Home Secretary has to worry about terrorism and illegal immigration and gun crime. He has to read reports from MI5 about al-Qa'eda and from the police about the growth of drugs gangs. Now, thanks to his own party and government, he will need to start reading Baily's Hunting Directory… You can't find a policeman for love (no longer existent) or money (you've paid it already). Villages are vandalised, householders are burgled, but when you complain, you are told that "resources" have to be committed elsewhere. But if the hunting ban is to mean anything, Mr Blunkett will have to make sure that 300 meets per Saturday (and a rather larger number accumulating over the rest of the week) comply with the law…. According to Baily's, the two most recently appointed Masters of the South Notts are Lt Col G. E. Vere-Laurie and Mrs H. Oldershaw-Dubey. Time, obviously, to surround their houses with SWAT teams in case they dare to continue with their cruel practices…. (story)

Times 20.11.04 Hunt ban impossible to enforce, Police say BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR, AND PHILIP WEBSTER, POLITICAL EDITOR - THE ban on hunting will be almost impossible to enforce, police chiefs said yesterday, hours after it became law. Senior lawyers also predicted that the level of proof required for a successful prosecution would be difficult to obtain…. (story)

Times 20.11.04 I play hunt the compromise, and find little to cheer the Prime Minister - NICK ROBINSON - LOOK. It is all very simple. The Lords voted against a ban on hunting and for a three-year delay, which meant that they had voted for a hunting ban but against delaying it. This was the opposite of what most of their lordships had originally wanted, but at the end of this dramatic week they had the biggest smiles. You are still following this, aren’t you? Welcome to my world. Day after day, I have shuttled back and forth from the Commons to the Lords in an increasingly frantic attempt to understand what was going on… (story)

Irish Examiner 20.11.04 Pro-foxhunt lobby launches court battle, plans civil disobedience By Gavin Cordon - THE long battle over fox hunting moved to the law courts yesterday as pro-hunt campaigners launched a legal challenge to overthrow the British Parliament’s ban on their sport…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.11.04 IT WILL BE LIKE A 'CARRY ON' FILM - An MP yesterday poured scorn on the chances of police enforcing the Government's ban on hunting. Anthony Steen, the Conservative MP for Totnes, said that the prospect of police officers chasing hunters on horseback pursuing a fox would be like "a scene from a Carry On film"…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.11.04 ALLIANCE CONFIDENT OF STRENGTH OF CASE - A legal challenge to overturn the ban on hunting was launched yesterday at the Royal Courts of Justice. Lawyers for pro-hunt campaigners, backed by the Countryside Alliance, began what could be a long pursuit through the courts by lodging papers seeking a judicial review… The application for judicial review is in the names of the Countryside Alliance chairman and former law student John Jackson; Bicester Hunt member Patrick Martin, from Oxfordshire, and Mair Hughes, wife of the Master of the LLangeinor Hunt who is also a farrier from Gilfach Goch, Mid Glamorgan…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.11.04 LEGAL VIEW SUPPORTS VALIDITY OF COURT CHALLENGE - One of the country's foremost legal minds has said there is merit to the challenge to the legality of the use of the Parliament Act. Former Master of the Rolls Lord Donaldson said: "The challenge is founded on the basis that in 1911 an agreement was reached between the Commons and Lords, which limited the rights of the Lords to block legislation from the Commons…. " (story)

Western Morning News 20.11.04 CIVIL WAR CAUSED BY THE BACKBENCH BIGOTS - Wmn Farming Editor Peter Hall has hunted foxes and hares for well over 40 years. During that time he has written extensively about hunting and, as Trotwood, is one of the longest-serving contributors to Horse & Hound magazine. Here he records his feelings about the bid to ban his sport WE lurch, inexorably it would seem, towards civil war in the countryside - a conflict not of the countryside's making but of a bunch of vindictive and small-minded MPs hell-bent on destroying something they do not understand…. (story)

Western Morning News 20.11.04 OUR DIFFERENT WAYS OF LIFE - Actor Jeremy Irons bemoans the increasing urban domination of the countryside and rural life… This article originally appeared in the Sunday Times (story)

Sun 20.11.04 Foxhunt battlers in court - THE foxhunting battle switched to the courts yesterday as campaigners launched a legal bid to beat the ban…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 20.11.04 They're hunting us, say villagers By David Ottewell - A STUFFED fox's head looks plaintively down at customers in the Shoulder of Mutton pub. If he's looking for sympathy, he's come to the wrong place. The Shoulder of Mutton, in Holcombe village, is the meeting place for one of the oldest hunts in the country. In the corner, out of sight of the unlucky fox, is a 90-year-old photograph of his nemesis - the Holcombe Hunt in its pomp…. (story)

Shropshire Star 20.11.04 Hunts turn out in force after ban vote - Hunts in Shropshire and Mid Wales were today meeting for the first time since the Government pushed through its highly controversial ban on fox hunting…. The North Shropshire Hunt welcomed dozens of riders to the Wroxeter Hotel, near Shrewsbury, shortly before 11am…. The Tanatside Hunt has its usual Saturday morning hunt, as did the The David Davies Hunt, the latter heading for the Pant, Llandinam. Myles Salmon, master of the hunt at Bridgnorth, said morale had been low at the Wheatland Hunt. (story)

Western Mail 20.11.04 Not a veggie? Then you're not anti-hunting - Charles Williams, Western Mail - IT'S not often I find myself sticking up for vegetarians, but you have to admire their principles. Some people don't like the idea of killing animals for food and so they don't eat meat. It's that simple. Much easier to grasp than religious beliefs, and infinitely more logical. Vegetarians are the only people who are entitled to climb onto any kind of moral high horse over the issue of fox hunting. Put simply, if you oppose fox hunting, but you eat meat, you're a hypocrite, and should shut up…. The other thing that people hate about fox hunting is that toffs do it… it's always the Quorn or Beaufort that gets on the telly, rather than the hunts composed almost entirely of farmers in West Wales, or the miners' hunts in the Valleys…. (story)

Western Mail 20.11.04 Lawyers warn on challenge over Act forcing hunting ban - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE use of the Parliament Act to force through a ban on hunting sets up the biggest constitutional challenge in living memory, lawyers have warned…. MAIR HUGHES of Gilfach Goch, the 45-year-old wife of farrier Brian Hughes who is also Master of the Llangeinor Hunt, has become something of a media star…. Mair's partners in the legal challenge are Countryside Alliance chairman John Jackson and Patrick Martin, huntsman with the Bicester and Waddon Chase Foxhounds…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 20.11.04 HUNT BAN: 'BLAIR FACES BIG ELECTION BLOW' - We've lost the battle but not the war, a leading county huntsman has claimed. Henry Berkeley, master of the Berkeley Hunt, said hounds would inevitably be lost and lifestyles would have to be massively altered as he reflected on a "black day" for the rural community.... (story)

Torquay Herald Express 20.11.04 HUNTERS VOW TO CARRY ON FIGHTING BAN - Hunt supporters in South Devon have vowed to fight on after a ban on fox hunting was finally backed. Yesterday a legal challenge to overturn the ban was launched at the Royal Courts of Justice. Lawyers for pro-hunt campaigners, backed by the Countryside Alliance, began what could be a long pursuit through the courts by lodging papers seeking judicial review…. Admiral Sir James Eberle master of Dartmouth based Britannia Beagles said the fight would continue…. Caroline Lewis of the Halwell based Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers was among protesters at Windsor Castle on Thursday…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 20.11.04 ASSOCIATION HITS OUT AT HUNTS BAN - County: An organisation that represents rural business has spoken out against the likely ban on fox hunting. President of the Country Land and Business Association, Mark Hudson, said that the hunting ban would be dangerous for rural areas…. (story)

Sky 20.11.04 HUNT BAN 'A BURDEN' - Enforcement of the ban on fox hunting will impose an "additional burden" on police forces, senior police officers have warned… (story)

Yahoo! 20.11.04 Fox hunters take battle to courts after sport is banned - Supporters of fox hunting took their battle to the courts after the Labour government capped a seven-year debate by ramming through a ban of the centuries-old blood sport…. (story)

Scotsman 20.11.04 Hunting ban faces challenge in courts - JAMES KIRKUP - POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - CAMPAIGNERS protesting against the coming ban on foxhunting in England and Wales yesterday pledged both to use the law and to break it in order to thwart the government’s plans…. (story)

Western Daily Press 20.11.04 HUNTERS OUT TO UNPLUG BRITAIN - Electricity supplies and even sewage treatment will be disrupted in the battle over hunting, campaigners vowed last night. As MPs finally voted to ban hunting with dogs from February, landowners and farmers revealed plans for civil disobedience when the law is enforced in less than 90 days. And perhaps the most disruptive of those actions threatened by Countryside Alliance chiefs was a mass refusal of farmers to take human waste from water companies to spray on their fields. That raises the prospect of millions of tonnes of solid sewage waste being left with water companies, which will then be forced to find other alternatives for its disposal… (story)

Western Daily Press 20.11.04 WE WILL USE OUR CLOUT AND MAKE MPS RETHINK - Farmer John Herdman yesterday became the first landowner in the West Country to bar electricity workers from his land in protest at the ban on hunting. And the Cotswolds cattle farmer said many of his neighbours would follow suit, which could lead to disruption of power supplies this winter…. Mr Herdman rides with the Cotswold Hunt twice a week and has spent 10 years as its field master. He said: "We've got to use everything in our power to make these MPs think. They haven't really taken much notice so far."… Bosses of the Cotswold Vale Hunt described their proposed £100,000 stables and kennels complex in Gloucestershire as "new and exciting"… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 20.11.04 HOUNDS 'FACE DEATH' DUE TO HUNTING BAN - Hounds and horses in Devon could face being put down following the outlawing of hunting. The animals used in the ancient blood sport have been bred solely for hunting, and some of their owners say they will no longer have any use for them if a ban comes in. Among them is Norman Brend, 50, one of four hunt masters at the Eggesford Hunt, who runs Bold Try Equestrian Centre in Chulmleigh…. Roland Notley, chairman of the Tiverton Foxhounds, claimed his hunt's 70 hounds and 12 horses all faced destruction…. Patricia Bromal, master of Silverton Foxhounds, said the hunt would have to put 70 dogs down. Similarly, the Tiverton Staghounds will have to find a way to dispose of the 50 stag hounds in their care. The Taw Valley Beagles, which hunts around Exeter and near Tiverton and Crediton, has 60 beagles. And the Stoke Hill Beagles, which also hunts around Crediton, Tiverton and as far south as Axminster, has 60 beagles all of which face bleak prospects…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 20.11.04 HOUNDS' CULLING IS NOW A POSSIBILITY, SAY HUNTS - BY BEN FARMER - Hunt supporters today warned hounds may have to be culled unless they are allowed to hunt. Defiant supporters - who face a ban in just 90 days' time - say they would continue to campaign against the new law…. Joe Cowen, joint master of the Fernie, said: "We are funded by subscription and if hunting stops, people will stop paying and over a period of time there will be losses…. The Countryside Alliance claims a ban would cost Leicestershire's rural economy £9.2 million a year. Leicestershire and Rutland's five hunts - Atherstone, Quorn, Belvoir, Fernie and Cottesmore - employ about 30 full-time staff and members own about 1,500 horses - costing £4,000 to keep each year…. The Quorn Hunt keeps 76 dogs at its kennels in Kirby Bellars, near Melton. Spokesman Rad Thomas said: "Eventually, the animals will have to be put down. That is that stark reality of the situation…. Claire Bell, of the Cottesmore Hunt said: "I have about 100 hounds, and if I couldn't go hunting they would have to be shot…" However, Tor Owen, chair of the Belvoir Hunt committee said they would look at ways to save their 100 hounds and 11 horses… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 20.11.04 BAN ON 'CENTURIES-OLD PASTIME' - Hunting with hounds and dogs has been made illegal in a historic move by Parliament. Countryside reporter David Taylor visited the Middleton Hunt to gauge the mood of its supporters. There was an air of defiance as hunting enthusiasts gathered in a Kilham farmyard for a meet of one of East Yorkshire's oldest fox hunts… (story)

Hull Daily Mail 20.11.04 ALLIANCE WARNS OF TROUBLE TO COME - Hunt supporters have warned of more civil unrest as they fight to overthrow the ban…. East Yorkshire fox hunts, including the Holderness and Middleton, are to meet others to discuss their campaign…. (story)

Hull Daily Mail 20.11.04 'THEY WON'T OUT-FOX THE LAW' - Animal rights campaigners are calling on the police to enforce the hunting ban when it becomes law in February. Anti-hunting groups who fought for the ban, such as the League Against Cruel Sports, say nobody is above the law and offenders must be prosecuted…. Animal rights activist Steve Broom, 54, of Ings Road Estate, east Hull, said: "It is a victory for the majority of people who oppose the barbarity of hunting with dogs…." (story)

Eastern Daily Press 20.11.04 Hunts: We'll carry on as we are - NICK PARKER - The ink is barely dry on the Royal Assent, but questions are already being asked about how to decommission a centuries-old, multimillion-pound industry. The ban on hunting with dogs leaves the 25,000 hounds currently used by hunts in England and Wales in limbo – along with thousands of people, from kennel owners to farriers, whose livelihoods depend on hunting… Roger Lyles, master of the West Norfolk Foxhounds, said: "I personally believe we will not go out and shoot the hounds and we will carry on employing everyone for as long as our membership supports us….@ John Ibbott, joint master of the Waveney Harriers, said his hunt would keep operating whilst fighting what he sees as an impractical, ill-conceived law…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 20.11.04 Police warn of hunt ban problems BY DANIELLE NUTTALL - SUFFOLK'S Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter warned last night of the difficulties faced by police forces as they tried to enforce the new ban on hunting with hounds…. (story)

Spectator 20.11.04 Oborne off target - Peter Oborne seems to have spent too long in his stuffy London office and has developed a conspiracy theory too far concerning rural sports…. BASC remains steadfastly opposed to the Hunting Bill, and has supported the Countryside Alliance through its legal protests in the run-up to the Bill. Tens of thousands of BASC members attended the marches in London and I have spoken at a number of rallies including one in Parliament Square and the recent demonstration in Brighton… It would, however, be negligent of us to allow legislation which would affect shooting sports to go unchallenged. To that end we have worked to secure amendments from the government to the Hunting Bill, which will protect shooting sports…. John Swift, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Wrexham (story)

Sunday Mail 21.11.04 MAIL BOX: TIME WE HUNTED THOSE STUPID MPS - THE British Government has just spent almost eight years and 700 hours of Parliamentary time discussing a ban on fox-hunting in England. Most people do not give two hoots about this issue. What they do care about is the fact that we are on the edge of World War Three and Blair and his gang are doing nothing to stop the madness. It's time they got their priorities right. - G. Moore, Glasgow. (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 20.11.04 Keep eating the meat, Pete! I HAVE just read Peter Hill’s “My shout” where his small-minded opinion is forwarded on the subject of vegetarianism…. He probably supports hunting and will be crying into his beer at this moment as at last this Labour goverment gets something right…. Nick Beal, Carlisle (letter)

Telegraph 20.11.04 Hunted by regulations … My retired hunter will be put down today, despite being in excellent health.We face the loss of hunt kennels and the only alternative would be an abattoir, involving distress and a long journey by road. It is now illegal to bury her on our land (although I could bury my wife), so having her put down by a vet is not a practical solution…. Christopher Morgan, Sherston, Wilts
Reading your survey of hunts (News, Nov 19), I was struck by how, without exception, the female masters vehemently vow to continue hunting illegally and using civil disobedience to fight their cause. The men, by contrast, seem relatively conciliatory…. Tim Coles, Carlton, Beds (letters)

Independent 20.11.04 Democracy, Prince Charles and others - Do MPs really need to hunt for something worthwhile to debate? …Let's look at how the MPs have spent their time recently: resolving to wage war in Iraq (100,000 dead at the most recent estimate) - 10 hours; discussing the sixfold growth in the Chinese economy since 1984 and the challenge it poses to the UK and Europe… Instead we learn that some 700 hours of parliamentary debate has been spent on arguing about whether to ban hunting. The Government has grown used to dangling this childish bauble in front of MPs whenever they need distracting. And the MPs have fallen for it every time…. MARK ROGERS, London SE11
Given all the hysteria about the use of the Parliament Act to push through the anti-hunting legislation, I thought I would have a look at the Act to see what all the fuss was about…. it says "whereas it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation". CRAIG A THOMSON, Newport-on-Tay, Fife
I take it that now that the unelectable in pursuit of the trivial have had their way, PC influences will now be in force over the word "fox". The "foxtrot" will now be renamed the "dragtrot"… IAN WARING GREEN, Alresford, Hampshire (letter)

guardian 20.11.04 Hunters refuse to go to ground - Simon Hart, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, may believe that the ban on hunting undermines a tolerant society (Parliament Act brings an end to 700 years of hunting, November 19), but this was a democratically made decision (unlike others this government has made) and the Countryside Alliance and its supporters should just accept it…. Juliet Collier, Oxford
… I hate foxhunting. But four miles down the road from me are 65,000 battery chickens. A hundred thousand Iraqis have died. Thanks for your "principles", New Labour. Bruce Robinson, Dorstone, Herefords
I do not believe that Labour MPs are concerned with animal welfare. If they were, they would ban angling. However, they class this as a working-class sport, to ban which would lose them millions of votes. They are just interested in getting their own back on people whom they consider to be "toffs"…. Dave Shields, Warrington, Cheshire
The protesters against the ban on hunting with dogs are questioning the legitimacy of the Parliament Act, but their case is severely undermined by the lack of democratic legitimacy in the House of Lords… Ian Broadbridge, Bristol
So MPs have had their way over the Lords in forcing through the hunting ban - but at what cost? The police will have powers to stop and search and detain any "vehicle, animal or other thing" on the suspicion that they may be used to commit an offence. If any other community in this country were subject to this treatment there would be uproar from civil rights campaigners…. Jessica Leigh-Pemberton, Faringdon, Oxon
What on earth are hunt saboteurs going to do now with the ending of the ancient tradition of distracting the hounds? My wife has had an idea. With their expertise and access to the chemicals needed, why don't the sabs lay the scent trails for the drag hunts that will now become popular?... Rev Jonathan Hagger, Newcastle
I wonder if those hunts that say they'll carry on illegally are aware of implications under civil law. For example, hunts themselves will no longer have the protection of public and employers' liability insurance, and people injured while hunting will not be able to claim compensation, nor will they be insured against any damage to third-party property… David Taylor, Hebden Bridge, W Yorks
Can we look forward to members of the Countryside Alliance now using their influence and devoting more time, energy and money to all the pressing rural problems they originally claimed to be concerned about… Peggy Wibberley, Ashford, Kent
I trust that we can expect our police to enforce the long-awaited foxhunting ban with the same enthusiasm and vigour that they demonstrated when dealing with striking miners at Orgreave in 1984 and poll tax protesters in London in 1990. Prof Michael Wooldridge, Liverpool
Will all those The Fox and Hounds pubs now have to be renamed? How about The Law or Liberty? Dr EJ Zuiderwijk, Cambridge (letter)

Times 20.11.04 Government's handling of the debate on the Hunting Bill - The foxhunting debate (letters, November 19) illustrates the importance of protecting our constitution and of retaining our system of parliamentary government as it should operate: namely, that new law should be proposed by the Commons, rejected or amended by the Lords and, if passed by both Houses, should finally receive the Royal Assent. Many people seem to be under the illusion that the will of the elected House should prevail as though it enjoyed some special magic; they forget how the Lords on a number of occasions obstructed or opposed Bills put forward by the Thatcher Government, which, like this Government, enjoyed a large majority…. W. H. R. CRAWFORD, Dalgonar, Dunscore, Dumfriesshire DG2 0SS.
You are wrong to suggest that the Prime Minister failed until this week to show his support for a compromise solution to the hunting debate (leading article, November 18). He could not have tried harder to promote agreement between the strongly held polarised views which so clearly divide people… ALUN MICHAEL, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, SW1P 3JR.
Sir, A sad, sad day for the Mother of Parliaments. Pro-hunting, anti-hunting or couldn’t care less, we are all the losers as might and prejudice trample over principle and evidence. Yours sincerely, JOHN RUSHTON, 11 Hazel Copse, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 0PD. (letter)

Western Daily Press 20.11.04 AFTER THE HUNT BAN, A CAMPAIGN ON SHOOTING - I was very interested to read the article Hunting all set for ban, Echo, November 18. My thanks go to the Echo for the extensive reporting of the hunting debate during the past decade and to the very many correspondents who have written about this issue. A few hundred people working in the business of killing animals for sport may have to find alternative employment, but I do not think Echo staff need be too worried about the security of their own jobs as a campaign against shooting birds for fun will soon take off and keep newspapers busy for the next two or three years…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Worcester Evening News 20.11.04 Buffoons on horseback - IT has often been alleged by the pro-blood sports lobby that hunting preserves the species. Quite how a gang of smirking buffoons on horseback, watching hounds disembowel some unfortunate creature can achieve this, escapes me. F ALLARD, Worcester (letter in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 20.11.04 KEEP THE HUNT, CUT THE CRUELTY - At long last an end to fox hunting is in sight. There is no place in the 21st century for wanton cruelty and barbarism towards helpless animals…. DENNIS SUTHERLAND Newark Road, North Hykeham (letter)

Yorkshire Post 20.11.04 Vet's view of hunting is right From: S.Thomas Doncaster Road, Mexborough, South Yorkshire. Emma Milne's opinion on blood sports so clearly reflects my own. How any civilised person can call the taunting, chasing and subsequent violent death of an animal a fun pastime is beyond my understanding…. (letter)

Northern Echo 20.11.04 HUNTING WITH all the crime and anti-social behaviour there is around, I would have thought that MPs had more important things on their minds than foxhunting. - RJ Walters, Whitby. (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 20.11.04 OPEN LETTER TO IAN CAWSEY MP - We Are some of your constituents who have endeavoured to discuss the case against an immediate ban on hunting by writing to you and/ or visiting your surgery. Our letters have been unanswered, and your surgery cancelled - allegedly through an accommodation problem. Having been denied the right - as enshrined in British democracy to lobby our MP in person, we feel the only opportunity left to raise our questions is via the local press. Our questions are: Why do you reject the compromise position of hunting under licence, which is favoured by many in your party, including the Prime Minister?... Even though country sports are the fifth most popular leisure activity in the country, which puts them roughly on a par with football, we who are involved are always referred to as 'a minority'. Shouldn't the interests of minorities be protected?... Signed on behalf of John and Neil Heyward, Sam Waites, Sarah Wright, Ruth Stubley, Jeff Clark, Ged Hallam and Heather Graham. All Isle of Axholme residents. (letter)


Cumberland News & Star 19.11.04 So who’s this John Peel anyway? The widespread fame of John Peel as a foxhunter depends upon a chain of events which starts with the hero’s birth and career…. John Peel, then, was the son of William Peel, a small “statesman” or yeoman, and his wife, Lettice, whose maiden name was Scott. He was born at Greenrigg, a little hamlet in High Caldbeck township; the exact date of his birth being unknown….
photo: Memorial: Diane Todhunter, great grand-daughter of John Peel, with her hounds, Alan Bolt, Master of the North Lonsdale Foxhounds, Bobby Hudson, a descendant of John Peel, and Dr Jim Cox, Master of the Blencathra hunt, laying a wreath on the grave of John Peel on Saturday in Caldbeck on the 150th anniversary of Peel’s death… (story)

BBC News Online 19.11.04 Pro-hunters lodge ban challenge - Pro-hunt campaigners have begun their legal challenge to the government's ban on hunting with hounds. Members of the Countryside Alliance have gone to the High Court in London to seek a judicial review…. (story)

BBC News Online 19.11.04 In pursuit of civil disobedience - Hunt supporters have promised a multi-pronged campaign of civil disobedience and disruption in protest at the government's outlawing of hunting with dogs… Some pro-hunt landowners have already withdrawn their permission for military training to take place on their land and others say they plan to follow suit… Thousands of protestors insist they will defy the ban when it is introduced. They say it would be a logistical nightmare for police to make arrests and then deal with horses and hounds…. The Energy Networks Association said most agreements allowing pylons on private land were voluntary "wayleaves" which could be terminated by a landowner with an agreed notice period…. (story)

Independent 19.11.04 Day of chaos ends with fox-hunting ban forced into law By Ben Russell and Colin Brown - A ban on fox hunting was finally forced on to the statute books last night after a day of anger and chaos as peers defied a last-minute attempt by ministers to delay the law's introduction until after the next general election…. Ian Agnew, chairman of the Surrey Union Hunt, near Dorking, said: "I'm sure, in their heart of hearts, individually the Royals are against a ban - and are on our side."… (story)

Independent 19.11.04 Manifesto pledge is fulfilled after 21 years By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor Labour first promised to make all forms of hunting with dogs illegal in its ill-fated 1983 manifesto, described at the time by Gerald Kaufman as the "longest suicide note in history". Labour support for a ban on hunting gained momentum but Tony Blair was wary of upsetting Middle England and the 1997 manifesto offered a fudge. It promised "a free vote in Parliament on whether hunting with hounds should be banned by legislation"…. (story)

Times 19.11.04 In 90 days, foxhunting will become a crime BY PHILIP WEBSTER AND DAVID CHARTER - THE foxhunting community declared war on Tony Blair last night as the countryside tradition enjoyed by monarchs and peoples of all classes for more than 300 years was made a crime…. (story)

Times 19.11.04 Speaker's 14 words that mean an end to hunting BY DAVID CHARTER, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - A BILL to ban hunting next February finally received Royal Assent last night after a day of sometimes farcical shuttling between the Commons and Lords. Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker, certified that the Hunting Bill should pass under the Parliament Act after being rejected by peers in successive parliamentary sessions. The final rejection yesterday afternoon had, he said, “brought us to the end of the road”…. (story)

Times 19.11.04 Lawyers join late efforts to delay ban BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - GOVERNMENT lawyers were locked in talks last night to see if there was any way that the enforcement of the hunting ban could be delayed. Ministers are anxious to avert chaotic scenes in the countryside before the general election, with hunt enthusiasts defying a ban and being taken to court…. (story)

Times 19.11.04 Parliamentary Sketch - Confusion reigns in political madhouse BY ANN TRENEMAN - THE House of Commons went mad yesterday, and not for a short time. I watched the entire four-hour farrago and can report distinct stages. First came outrage, then confusion, anger, suspicion and hysteria. Of these confusion was the strongest, and a golden thread of chaos ran through it all. It began at 12.05pm with a rumour that the Government had tabled two amendments to the Hunting Bill. One was for a ban in 2006, and the other for 2007. What did this mean? You could see MPs asking each other as the rumour went round the chamber. Some tried to run out but, as the double doors swung open, they ran smack into MPs running in. Groups formed, their whispers so furious that angry thought bubbles could be seen emerging over their heads…. (story)

Times 19.11.04 New Act being pursued by two legal challenges BY PETER RIDDELL - THE battle over the future of hunting now passes from Parliament to the courts. What is at long last the Hunting Act faces two separate legal challenges starting today. These raise questions over the legal validity of the Act and the timing of its implementation. But supporters of hunting should not be too hopeful…. (story)

Times 19.11.04 Hunt question foxes President BY PHILIP WEBSTER - PRESIDENT CHIRAC was asked whether, in view of the impending foxhunting ban in Britain, he would welcome British huntspeople joining French hunts. After a lengthy pause and a glance at Mr Blair he shrugged and responded: “I don't hunt. I have no judgment to make on a great British tradition.”… (story)

Guardian 19.11.04 Parliament Act brings an end to 700 years of hunting - Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent - The Speaker of the Commons, Michael Martin, last night invoked the Parliament Act, overriding the opposition of the House of Lords and bringing to an end almost 700 years of foxhunting in England and Wales. Within hours, the Queen gave her royal assent and the total ban on hunting with dogs will be enforced from February 18 next year…. (story)

Guardian 19.11.04 A great ballyhoo at the death of tally-ho - Chaos rules as seven-year debate reaches climax - Patrick Wintour - It became clear that parliament was going through one of its most anarchic of days yesterday when the Speaker, Michael Martin, cried out: "Could I ask someone to find out what is happening?" As the hunting debate reached its seven-year climax last night, Labour MP Peter Pike said he had been trying to find out what was going on but every MP he spoke to had given a different explanation. … (story)

Guardian 19.11.04 Burning issues that left Blair singed - From student fees to civil partnerships the parliamentary year, which ended yesterday, has not been easy for the prime minister - Michael White, political editor - It was the year when Labour MPs finally decided they were fed up with being written off as Tony Blair's tame Commons majority and persistently set about demonstrating their independence as legislators on issues exotic and obscure…. (story)

Guardian 19.11.04 Crunch time for outlaw in the making - Decca Aitkenhead - As Julian Barnfield watched the television news in his farmhouse last night, it was with a mixture of bewilderment and a curious sense of relief…. Mr Barnfield, 41, is the professional huntsman of the Cotswold hunt in Gloucestershire. Yesterday dawned for him much as every hunt day since he was 16: he cleaned out the kennels and exercised the hounds…. Outsiders looking in can easily mistake what they are seeing, too. Mr Barnfield's father was a bus driver; a ban will cost him both his livelihood and his home…. (story)

Guardian 19.11.04 A short history of the foxhunt (story)

Telegraph 19.11.04 Hunting to end in three months By Toby Helm and Andrew Sparrow - The Parliament Act was used last night to force the Hunting Bill on to the Statute Book. The rarely-used Act was invoked by the Speaker to end the deadlock between peers and MPs after a day of drama and confusion.... (story)

Telegraph 19.11.04 Hunted down by class warriors who revelled in the thrill of the chase - The class warriors had their best day's sport for years in the Commons yesterday. The toff-hunters have had a thin time of it since Tony Blair took control of the Labour Party, but their consolation is that after seven years of unremitting effort they have pushed through a ban on hunting with dogs, which they fondly believe to be the toffs' favourite recreation.... (story)

Telegraph 19.11.04 Final day of farce - 12.30pm MPs start their final debate on hunting, with many of them shocked to learn that Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, has tabled a last-minute amendment proposing delaying implementation of the Bill until July 2007…. (story)

Telegraph 19.11.04 Three forces that trapped the hunt By Philip Johnston - Class - The perception that foxhunting is a pastime undertaken by the landed gentry and red-coated toffs has pervaded the debate since the first attempts were made to ban or restrict it after the Second World War. ... (story)

Telegraph 19.11.04 `War has been declared. We will do what it takes' By Charles Clover - Hunting will continue, within or outside the law, despite the ban passed by the Commons last night, according to a survey of hunts conducted yesterday…. quotes from: Albrighton, Albrighton Woodland, Atherstone, Badsworth & Bramham Moor, Banwen Miners, Barlow, Beaufort, Bicester with Whaddon Chase, Blackmore and Sparkford Vale, Blankney, North Ledbury, Mendip, Meynell & South Staffs, Middleton, Monmouthshire, Grafton, East Kent, Fernie, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Holderness, Grove & Rufford, Surrey Union, Warwickshire, Wilton, Flint & Denbigh, West Street Tickham, Garth & South Berks, Staintondale… (story)

Telegraph 19.11.04 Labour gets its ban - but forfeits all respect - The natural reaction to the shenanigans over hunting yesterday is: what a shambles. There it was, the Mother of Parliaments, which has stood firm against tyranny in all its guises for three centuries or more, and which once resounded to the stentorian tones of Disraeli, Gladstone, Lloyd George and Churchill, reduced to a chaotic discussion of an illiberal and petty measure such as the Hunting Bill. As we pointed out yesterday, that Bill comes at the end of one of the worst weeks in the history of legislation in this country. Last night's scenes turned tragedy into farce… the Countryside Alliance should do all it can to appear reasonable, in the hope that, one day, a future government makes hunting legal again. In that regard, it can take heart from the fact that the spectacle of Mr Blair manoeuvring in such an undignified fashion, and the Labour Party behaving like an unruly rabble, has done very serious damage to the authority of the Government. (story)

Telegraph 19.11.04 End column - By Peter Simple - What the Papers Say - In a thoughtful leader, The Feudal Times and Reactionary Herald discussed the last stages of the infamous Bill to ban hunting: "Like the most part of our readers, many of whom, as peers of the realm, have played a noble part in the efforts to frustrate this despicable measure, we feel a certain despair at what seems to be the triumph of a pack of foaming radicals, alien agitators and enemies of England. If the worst happens, what remains?... (story)

Express 19.11.04 Hunt lobby mounts court challenge Supporters of fox-hunting are preparing a legal challenge to the Hunting Act… (story)

BBC News Online 19.11.04 Legal challenge to ban on hunting - Pro-hunt campaigners are preparing a legal challenge to overturn a ban on hunting in England and Wales… (story) 19.11.04 Fox hunting banned - Hunting foxes with dogs will be banned in England and Wales in three months time, after the Parliament Act was invoked to steam-roll the Hunting Bill onto the statute books... (story)

Star 19.11.04 Hunters in court action over ban - The Countryside Alliance is going to court to try and overturn the ban on fox-hunting after the law was forced into legislation with the Parliament Act…. (story)

Yahoo! 19.11.04 Fox hunting ban passed By Mike Peacock - LONDON (Reuters) - Fox hunting has been banned, despite a last-minute attempt by the government to delay its demise until after the next election…. (story)

Melbourne Age 19.11.04 Anti-hunting ban demo at Windsor Castle - Around 1,000 pro-hunting demonstrators protested angrily outside Windsor Castle as guests arrived for a banquet for visiting French president Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Waving placards and sounding hunting horns and whistles, the protesters shouted anti-Government slogans outside the castle on Thursday night…. "There are a lot of angry people here - people of all ages and from all backgrounds - who are fed up with being ignored," said Ian Agnew, chairman of the Surrey Union Hunt, near Dorking…. (story)

San Jose Mercury News 19.11.04 Britain outlaws fox hunt but supporters plan chase By Beth Gardiner - Britain outlawed fox hunting in England and Wales on Thursday as elected legislators won a dramatic standoff with the House of Lords to ban a popular country sport that is despised by many urbanites. Some hunting supporters vowed to defy the ban…. ``There are a lot of angry people here, people of all ages and from all backgrounds, who are fed up with being ignored,'' said Ian Agnew, chairman of the Surrey Union Hunt…. (story)

Sydney Morning Herald 19.11.04 Lords lose as foxhunt era ends - Almost 700 years of foxhunting in England and Wales is to end after the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, on Thursday night overrode the opposition of the House of Lords to the ban…. "This has now gone beyond the issue of animal cruelty and is pure prejudice and bigotry," said one of the demonstrators, Ian Agnew, chairman of the Surrey Union Hunt…. (story)

BBC News Online 19.11.04 Hunt ban 'will destroy culture' - The hunting ban pushed through by MPs on Thursday will destroy a culture and turn rural areas into a playground for city dwellers, a campaigner says. Mark Bycroft, huntsman for the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt for 18 seasons, said the ban would end what had been a way of life for centuries…. (story)

Reuters 19.11.04 Fox hunt protests to give Blair election headache By Andrew Cawthorne - Fox hunters furious at a ban on their ancient pursuit have vowed to harass Prime Minister Tony Blair's government with a civil disobedience campaign in the run-up to next year's expected election…. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 19.11.04 Region's hunt supporters will fight ban BY DANIELLE NUTTALL - HUNT supporters across East Anglia remained defiant last night in the face of a Parliament Act that will force a ban on foxhunting with hounds in England and Wales from February. The move, which came after the House of Lords voted again to allow hunting under regulation, caused outrage among countryside campaigners who refuse to accept the situation “lying down”…. Cheryl Bickers, master of the East Essex Foxhounds, described the decision as “devastating”, saying it signalled the beginning of the end of the countryside and its sports…. Sue Drake, of Ipswich Animal Rights, said: “It's a great relief. The total hunt ban was inevitable at some point. We were optimistic it would come to pass….." Edmund Vestey, master of the Thurlow Foxhounds, said: “I think the whole thing is so disgraceful and the way it has been handled…." But Jonathan Douglas-Hughes, the secretary for the East Essex Hunt, said he would not be one of those who would defy a new law…. “Personally, I would not defy the law, but there are others who have said they will and I have no reason to disbelieve them…." (story)

Scotsman 19.11.04 Legal battle looms as hunting ban becomes law - JAMES KIRKUP - POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT … Story in full HUNT supporters last night threatened legal action and warned of mass civil disobedience overshadowing the general election after a ban on fox-hunting in England and Wales was forced through by the House of Commons….
A leading Scottish huntsman appeared in court yesterday and denied deliberately hunting a fox with several dogs. Rory Innes, 27, pleaded not guilty at Jedburgh Sheriff Court to a breach of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 19.11.04 Hunt protesters to launch court fight - THE Countryside Alliance was set to go to court today to try to overturn the ban on fox-hunting after the act was forced into legislation, despite the opposition of peers… John Jackson, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Mair Hughes, a farrier’s wife from the Rhondda, and Patrick Martin, a member of the Bicester hunt, were expected to lodge the application this afternoon. (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 BANNED - Hunting with dogs was banned last night after a day of Parliamentary farce in which ministers were accused by MPs on all sides of bringing the political process "into disrepute"…. Brian Friend, who rides with the Cotley Hunt, plans to oppose the new Act, saying rural people were a minority whose rights were being abused… (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 SPEAKER CONFUSED? THEY ALL WERE .... Disarray gives too orderly an impression of proceedings. Chaos is too tidy a word for it. Shambles is the only word that comes close to summing up the final day of Parliamentary deliberation on the Hunting Bill…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 EXMOOR FACES END OF RURAL LIFE - Over the centuries Exmoor has been shaped by the hunting and farming community, but since the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, both locals and visitors have witnessed a fragile environment struggling to survive…. Christine and Bob Pennells, owners of the Jubilee Inn, in Yeomill, West Anstey, said the hunting ban would kill their business and would be the death of the local community. Members of the local Dulverton Farmers Hunt regularly drink and eat at their pub…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 ANOMALIES WILL MAKE BILL UNWORKABLE - The Hunting Bill is commonly thought to ban all hunting with dogs, but it contains a number of exemptions designed to allow gamekeepers to continue to operate - and several anomalies which critics say will make it unworkable…. the Bill does not define exactly what hunting is, leaving the courts with a potentially tricky judgment to make…. Jim Barrington, of the hunting Middle Way group, said: "It is a ludicrous piece of legislation that makes it illegal to hunt a hare, but legal to hunt a rabbit. At what point is the dog supposed to tell the difference? It will make us a laughing stock throughout the world."… (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 PM A MAN OF 'HOLLOW WORDS' - Tony Blair yesterday claimed that he had worked hard to find a "compromise" on hunting, but his record in Government suggests otherwise.In the last few weeks Mr Blair has indeed used the "c word" regularly in relation to hunting, but he has frustrated hunt supporters by failing to match his words with action until far too late in the day…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 SHOW ME A BETTER WAY - The future welfare of foxes concerns Grand National winning jockey-turned-trainer Jimmy Frost, who grew up hunting on Dartmoor, near his Buckfastleigh home… "Foxes dying a slow, agonising death because they have been shot will become normal as more people apply for shotgun licences and go out into the countryside at night to kill. And big, easy targets like deer will be included as tenant farmers turn a blind eye as they cause too much damage to their land and they no longer preserve them for the hunts. How many more cases like that poor little boy killed in Harbertonford will there be, and how long will it take for the countryside to be associated with torturous deaths so far kept at a minimum because of hunting?" (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 FUTURE OF THE HOUNDS LOOKS UNCERTAIN - The future of the hounds is a difficult problem which has yet to be resolved, hunt staff said last night. Tony Wright, professional huntsman for the Exmoor Foxhounds, said: "The future of the hounds has got to be considered. There are various factors to look at, but the main fear is that they will have to be put down…." (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 DARK DAYS AHEAD FOR HORSE OWNERS - The ban on foxhunting will affect far more than just the hunt yards, as WMN Equestrian editor Lucy Johnson, reports - It is believed that 60,000 horses are kept primarily for hunting and while many will remain cosseted by their owners, others will effectively find themselves out of a job and home as hunt yards are sold up and huntsman and grooms find alternative employment…. Leading trainer Philip Hobbs, a committee member of his local point-to-point, said: "We can't be sure, but I'm worried that, if hunting goes, point-to-pointing will go. I think there will be a lot fewer courses. I have about five horses a year that have come from point-to-pointing, but other trainers, such as Henrietta Knight and Robert Alner, have more… " (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 POLICE WILL BEAR BRUNT OF MAKING BAN EFFECTIVE - Failure to enforce the hunting ban could lead to the police bearing the brunt of the law they are supposed to enforce. "If police did fail to investigate or prosecute hunts that went ahead illegally, then it would be possible for those opposed to hunting to prosecute the police," said Lord Mackenzie, former president of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, last night…. Lord Mackenzie said policing a hunting ban would be a monumental headache, but added that when the ban became law people had a duty to abide by it…. (story)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 DECISION STRIKES AT HEART OF BRITISH DEMOCRACY - Devon's Admiral Sir James Eberle, a keen hunting man, says the battle is far from over. This has been a very sorry week for Britain's democracy. The freedoms for which so many of our forebears have fought and died, and particularly those of minorities that it is Parliament's duty to protect, have suffered a serious blow. The future of our rural communities, the countryside and its wildlife, have been placed at uncalled-for risk. Yet another blow to our respect for the law, and for our lawmakers in Parliament, has been struck….(story)

Western Daily Press 19.11.04 OFFICIAL: HUNT IS BANNED - Fox-hunting with hounds is to be banned in England and Wales from February after the Queen gave her Royal Assent to the controversial Hunting Act…. (story)

Western Daily Press 19.11.04 AS LORDS REFUSE TO LET LABOUR OFF THE HOOK, SCENE IS SET FOR CIVIL WAR - Hunting in England and Wales will be banned within 12 weeks after the Parliament Act was used last night to push through the bitterly divisive law - bringing the threat of a civil war in the countryside. The dramatic decision came after a day of confusion and bruising political confrontation in both the Commons and the Lords…. "There are a lot of angry people here - people of all ages and from all backgrounds - who are fed up with being ignored," said Ian Agnew, chairman of the Surrey Union Hunt…. David Sivell, of the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt, said last night: "We are confident hunting will go on well into the future. I am the fifth generation in my family to hunt, it is a tradition. We just want to carry on as we normally would…." (story)

Yorkshire Post 19.11.04 HUNTERS CLAIM MANDATE TO DISOBEY - Simon McGee Political Editor - PRO-HUNT campaigners have been handed a "mandate for civil disobedience", they claimed last night as the Commons finally steamrollered the outlawing of hunting with dogs into the statute book…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 19.11.04 ANTI-HUNTERS SCENT A KILL A MESS ENTIRELY OF TONY BLAIR'S MAKING - IT APPEARS that the squalid row over hunting – which has now, apparently, wasted around 700 hours of parliamentary time – is nearing its equally squalid end. The use of the Parliament Act to force such a divisive Bill through is clearly wrong, yet it is grimly appropriate given the way that the entire matter has been mishandled from beginning to end…. For a government to use the Parliament Act to force through a complete ban when the official position of the Prime Minister is opposed to such a ban, and in favour of a compromise, is unheard of. That it has come to this may be indicative of Mr Blair's desperation to win friends in his own party. Yet the introduction of such bad and divisive law also calls into question his competence as a politician and leaves an indelible stain on his reputation. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 19.11.04 HUNTING BEN - Hunt groups to target MP - Furious Devon hunt followers have threatened civil disobedience and to target Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw after the House of Commons voted to ban hunting with hounds last night…. Michael Moore, a master of the East Devon hunt, warned: "This particular battle they have won, but the war is just beginning. And it will be a war…." George Lyon-Smith, a master of the Mid-Devon hunt, which is this year celebrating its 400th birthday, said there were no plans to disband… (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 19.11.04 FOX HUNTING: 'We will oust Government' - THE master of a hunt has vowed to fight a fox-hunting ban by ousting the Government.George Bowyer, joint master of the Fitzwiliam Hunt, spoke out after the ban was last night rubber-stamped to begin in February…. (story)

Sheffield Star 19.11.04 What'll we do when we pack in hunting? After months of debate – and bloody protests outside Parliament – the long-running battle over fox-hunting ended last night…. HUNTING is Nigel Cox's life. It is his home, his occupation, his sport and his hobby. The 51-year-old has enjoyed hunting for over three decades, and country life is the only life he knows. Nigel lives in a tithe cottage in Bakewell paid for by the High Peak Hunt. His job, along with two other full-time staff, is to look after the 60 hounds bred to hunt hare and fox in the countryside around Bakewell, Buxton, the Hope Valley and Matlock…. Joan Williams, aged 50, from Bradfield in Sheffield is a Superintendent with South Yorkshire Police and has hunted with the Barlow Hounds for 21 years. Her husband is master of the Pennine foxhounds in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. She said: "A ban means I will have to stop hunting because I obviously cannot commit any criminal offence – nor would I want to – and expect to stay in my job…." (story)

Burton Mail 19.11.04 Protest vow after hunting is outlawed by KATHERINE GIBSON - PRO-hunt supporters across Burton and South Derbyshire have vowed to continue their protests after fox hunting was outlawed by MPs last night… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 19.11.04 Fight to stop hunt ban '100% strong' - ONE of Britain’s most senior retired judges said today that a legal challenge to the ban on hunting in England and Wales had "100 per cent strength". Former Master of the Rolls Lord Donaldson said the bid to overturn the ban agreed by MPs yesterday, on the basis that the 1949 Parliament Act used to force it through was invalid, was right…. A petition challenging the legitimacy of the Parliament Act will now be tabled in the names of Countryside Alliance chairman John Jackson, Bicester Hunt member Patrick Martin and Mari Hughes wife of the Master of the LLangeinor Hunt. (story)

Metro 19.11.04 Do you agree with the hunt ban? - A BAN ON fox-hunting in England and Wales will become law next year after MPs and peers failed to reach a compromise on the issue…. (story)

News Letter 19.11.04 Fury As Hunting Ban Finally Becomes Law By Gemma Murray - A ban on fox hunting will be in place by February 2005 causing outrage among Ulster's Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.11.04 POLICE FEARS OVER FOX HUNTING BAN BY JON DI PAOLO - Police officers may have to be taken away from town and city centres to enforce the hunting ban, it emerged today… Bambi Hornbuckle, honorary secretary of the Belvoir Hunt, said: "The fight has only just begun. We're going to fight it through the courts, and through the Human Rights Act. We're law-abiding, but even a worm will turn. I'm not saying we're going to do anything drastic and silly, but we will carry on." Will Cursham, joint master of the Quorn Hunt, said: "There is a lot of frustration and anger and that will manifest itself. There will certainly be people who carry on hunting. We think it's an unjust law." Atherstone Hunt chairman Dr Paul Davenport said: "We will have huge manpower targeting 100 marginal Labour seats. We won't be chasing foxes, we'll be chasing Labour MPs." Clare Bell, Cottesmore Hunt secretary, said: "This is going to cause a lot of misery in the countryside and it is clear that no-one really appreciates the full implications." (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.11.04 HUNTS PLEDGE THE FIGHT WILL GO ON BY JON DI PAOLO - Defiant hunts were today warning of chaos in the countryside as police faced up to the nightmare of enforcing a ban… Quorn Hunt joint master Will Cursham said: "There will be a lot of frustration and anger about what's happened and that will manifest itself. There will certainly be people who carry on hunting. We think it's an unjust law…. Belvoir Hunt honorary secretary Bambi Hornbuckle said: "I don't think police want this any more than we do…" Cottesmore Hunt secretary Clare Bell said: "This is going to cause a lot of misery in the countryside and it is clear that no one really appreciates the full implications."… Atherstone Hunt chairman Dr Paul Davenport said: "We will have huge manpower targeting 100 marginal Labour seats…." (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.11.04 THREE WILL CHALLENGE HUNT BAN - The Countryside Alliance will go to court today to try to overturn the ban on fox-hunting after the act was forced into legislation, despite the opposition of peers… (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.11.04 DO YOU THINK WE'LL SEE THE BACK OF HUNTING? - When is a hunt not a hunt? When it's over the border. As Leicestershire's hunting community braces itself for a ban, Sarah Staples reports from Scotland on how the Scots got round a law change… Two years ago, the horn which has sounded around the historic border town of Kelso since the Duke of Buccleuch's foxhounds pack was formed in 1863, looked likely to be silenced for ever…. "By law, we can flush a fox out with the dogs and shoot it," explains joint Buccleuch Master Trevor Adams, with no sense of moral victory. "It used to be 10 per cent of foxes were killed by the hunt, now it's 50."… (story)

Leicester Mercury 19.11.04 LAW-BREAKING SPREE WILL HURT HUNTING CASE - In this country, it is the role of the elected representatives of the people to make the laws by which we are governed. Anyone disagreeing with proposed legislation has the right to bring pressure to bear through a variety of means, short of breaking the law…. The law has been passed. Our hunts have a choice. They can either position themselves as the victims of an unfair law and challenge it through the courts. Or they can indulge themselves in a spree of law-breaking that will undermine their legal case and alienate the public (story)

Western Mail 19.11.04 Act invoked to force through Hunting Bill - FOX-HUNTING with hounds is to be banned in England and Wales from February. The House of Commons last night witnessed the Parliament Act being invoked to force the Hunting Bill through against the opposition of the House of Lords…. (story)

Western Mail 19.11.04 Welsh huntswoman leads legal challenge to hunting ban - Steve Dube, Western Mail - A WELSH huntswoman is one of three hunt supporters who will challenge the Government's foxhunting ban in the highest court in the land. Mair Hughes, 45, who helps her 49-year-old husband Brian and 23-year-old son Michael with their farrier business at Gilfach Goch, will line up with Countryside Alliance chairman John Jackson and Patrick Martin, professional huntsman with the Bicester with Waddon Chase Foxhounds, in a legal challenge that could have far-reaching consequences…. Hunting plays a central role in the Hughes household. Brian is Master of the Llangeinor Hunt, and has said he is willing to go to prison rather than give up hunting…. (story)

Western Mail 19.11.04 MP apologies for hunt protest error - MONMOUTH MP Huw Edwards, who accused Conservative AM David Davies of addressing a pro-hunt demonstration in his constituency last week, admitted yesterday he had got his facts wrong. Mr Edwards said, "In a press release following the pro-hunt protest outside my constituency office last Friday, I stated that David Davies AM attended and spoke to the protesters. "I accept this was incorrect. David was not present and I have apologised to him." (story)

Newcastle Journal 19.11.04 Peers reject hunting deal By Zoe Hughes Political Editor, The Journal - Centuries of hunting tradition will come to end in just three months time after the Government was last night forced to admit defeat in its attempts to reach a compromise… The Countryside Alliance and members of North hunts are preparing legal challenges to the ruling. Last night, North-East regional director of the Countryside Alliance, Richard Dodds, vowed to take the battle to carry on hunting to "every court possible"… Joint master of the Morpeth Hunt in Northumberland Samantha Ord said: "I'm very disappointed because the Government has done this on no scientific basis and purely for political reasons." (story)

Newcastle Journal 19.11.04 The Journal: Today's Voice of the North - Hard to see any winners - Just because you make a decision, it doesn't necessarily mean the issue is closed - even if you are the Government of the day with a healthy majority. One suspects that Tony Blair is about to find this out after last night's decision to use the Parliamentary Act to impose a ban on hunting with dogs from February next year…. Now he has to deal with the consequences. And it is hard to see either side in this heated debate - which became a political mish-mash - being happy in the longer term. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 19.11.04 WE'RE FIGHTING ON, PLEDGE HUNTSMEN - A Travesty of justice - that is how county stud farm owner David Redvers described yesterday's decision to ban fox hunting…. Elsewhere, the Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt has reiterated its determination to press on with plans for a £100,000 hunting centre…. (story)

The Sentinel 19.11.04 MP'S LONELY STAND AGAINST HUNT BAN - A Stoke-on-trent Labour MP was one of only three from his party who made a lonely last stand to save hunting with dogs, which was banned in Parliament last night. Mark Fisher, the Stoke Central MP, said his constituents could not care a less about an issue that overwhelmingly concerned rural residents, not those in cities…. "I get almost no correspondence about it," he told The Sentinel…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 19.11.04 LINCOLNSHIRE ECHO - COMMENT - So on which great issue of our time have the Government's massed ranks of backbench MPs chosen to defy their leadership and electorate to ensure they get their own way?... The diminishing size of the state pension, perhaps? Or maybe the lack of NHS dentists? What about our crumbling railway system? No. None of these. Last night the House of Commons' urban majority used the little-known Parliament Act of 1949 to force its politically- correct will on a reluctant public. Fox hunting has been banned…. Once again our personal freedoms have been limited because the heavy-handed, over-bearing politicians we elected decide they know best. We should all hang our heads in shame. (story)

Northern Echo 19.11.04 The final kill as hunting is banned by Rob Merrick and Hannah Chapman - FOXHUNTING was finally banned last night after a day of confusion at Westminster, paving the way for clashes in the countryside during next year's General Election campaign…. Ginny Jukes, wife of Zetland huntsman David, said: "The only way that anything seems to happen is by violence and disobedience, and I can have sympathy for people who want to do it, because it is entirely unfair. I am quite happy to go to jail." Livery yard manager Meg Abu Hamdan, a follower of the Middleton Hunt, based near Pickering, North Yorkshire, also vowed to disobey the ban… (story in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 19.11.04 Jobs, hounds and horses - the hunting world - THE Hurworth Hunt opened its doors to illustrate the role hunting plays in the local community. The long parliamentary debate over hunting is reaching its final stages and the hunt wanted to show at first hand the devastating effect that a banning Bill would have on the rural community and ordinary hardworking families…. Huntsman Joe Townsend, who lives on site with his family at West Rounton, will lose his job and home if there is a ban. He said: "We have 33 Old English Hurworth hounds which are a black and tan colour. They are bred for hunting on low land and arable-type country. "We also look after the Bilsdale Hunt hounds which are a fell cross breed for the hills and moorland… (story in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 19.11.04 HUNTING OUTLAWED - DAVID BYERS PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT - Mps have won their battle to ban fox-hunting after the Government forced through the controversial move…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 19.11.04 WE’LL HAVE TO KILL HOUNDS By Phil Coleman and Andrea Thompson - MANY of Cumbria’s foxhounds and hunt horses are likely to be destroyed after they are rendered redundant by the looming ban on hunting with hounds, says a leading Cumbrian hunt master. Peter Wybergh, hunt master with the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds, made the grim prediction as The Countryside Alliance went to court today in the hope of overturning the ban that MPs have forced on to the statute books despite the opposition of peers…. Richard Bland, huntsman of the Melbreak Foxhounds, spoke for all the local hunting packs when he said they were devastated at news of the bill…. A spokeswoman for the Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds said: “We are devastated. We are not going to let this lie.”… (story)

Manchester Evening News 19.11.04 Hunting ban: The battle begins - Ian Craig - FARMERS in the north west are threatening to rebel over a ban on fox hunting. Some are planning a campaign of civil disobedience to stop utility providers crossing their land to carry out vital servicing work…. Michael O'Hanlon, chairman of the Holcombe Hunt, said civil disobedience would be a matter for individual members to consider…. (story)

Liverpool Daily Post 19.11.04 The death knell for fox hunting - FOX-HUNTING with hounds - along with deer-hunting and hare-coursing with dogs - is to be banned in England and Wales from next February, after the Parliament Act was invoked to force through the Hunting Bill against the opposition of the House of Lords…. And the death of the Waterloo Cup after 170 years will spell doom for up to 800 protected hares on the Altcar Estate where it is staged, it was claimed last night. The National Coursing Club (NCC) said a ban would lead to more hares dying because they would be poached or fall prey to foxes… (story)

Chester Chronicle 19.11.04 We will defy a ban on hunting by David Holmes, Chester Chronicle Newspapers - HUNT supporters look set to flout the law after the House of Commons was yesterday expected to make hunting illegal, possibly as early as next February…. Nancy Shepherd, a secretary for the Sir Watkin Williams Wynn hunt, which covers Cheshire, Flintshire and Shropshire, said a ban on hunting would not mean the fox would be saved… She said the Wynnstay Hunt had about 60 hounds which would have to be put down if a ban came into force. She claimed not many people in the rural area were against hunting as indicated by the public support in Malpas each Boxing Day…. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 19.11.04 Hunts banned, but the battle set to rage on By Anne Alexander - Foxhunting will be illegal in three months after the House of Commons pushed through a ban in a day of farce and drama at Parliament…. (story)

Oxford Mail 19.11.04 Council leader 'tempted to defy hunt ban' - Keith Mitchell, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, has admitted he would be "very tempted" to break the law and continue fox hunting -- despite a ban being passed in the Commons last night (November 18)… Members of the Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase joined a nationally organised protest outside Windsor Castle last night in a last-ditch demonstration against the ban…. Penny Little, an Oxford-based animal rights protester, said: "If the hunters think they will be able to continue hunting then they'll have to learn the hard way that they are not above the law." (story in archive)

Scarborough Evening News 19.11.04 Huntsmen pledge to carry on the fight - HUNTSMAN Henry Vickery says he is "devastated" that MPs have forced through a ban on hunting with dogs. Mr Vickery, who is employed by the Staintondale Hunt, looks after 69 hounds including 13 puppies at his kennels. He has worked for the hunt for 32 years and been involved in rearing hounds for almost 50 years…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 19.11.04 Countryside divided over hunting ban - It is a highly charged issue - so what do people living in the countryside thinking of hunting and the impending ban? Cat Bartman takes a look and Celia Wigg talks to some of those who will be affected by a ban…. A strong hunt supporter, Isabelle Woljung, who runs Hempnall Stores with her husband, Frank, has ridden horses for many years. But she only took up fox hunting last year, riding with the Dunston Harriers and West Norfolk Fox Hounds…. Roger Lyles, Master of the West Norfolk Foxhounds, said the sooner the ban was enforced the better, as people whose livelihoods are at risk would then know exactly where they stood…. Huntsman Mike Karayan is convinced the 50 hounds he cares for will have to be destroyed when the ban comes into force. He and his wife both work for South Norfolk-based hunt the Dunston Harriers, and they stand to lose their livelihood, their home and a way of life they adore… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 19.11.04 Ban is not the end say hunt supporters by Chris Yandell - HUNT supporters were today preparing a legal challenge to the ban on hunting which they claim will put more than 250 people out of work across Hampshire…. Among those who face losing their jobs are huntsman Paul Woodhouse and two other employees of the New Forest Hounds (NFH), who also stand to lose their homes at the kennels near Cadnam…. (story in archive)

Kent Messenger 19.11.04 Hunt supporters to challenge ban in courts - THE foxhunting community in Kent is preparing to join pro-hunt campaigners across the country in preparing a legal challenge to overturn a ban on hunting in England and Wales…. Pro-hunt campaigners insist their way of life will be changed for ever. Mark Bycroft, huntsman for the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt, said the change in the law would end what has been a centuries-old tradition…. Members of the East Kent Hunt rode out from Aldington, near Ashford, on Wednesday for what could be one of their last legal hunts…. (story in archive)

Lancashire Evening Post 19.11.04 End in sight for Waterloo Cup - Lancashire's Waterloo Cup could be outlawed in three months after a ban on fox hunting and hare coursing was pushed through the House of Commons last night…. David Welsh, the chairman of the Vale of Lune hunt, near Lancaster, said he was devastated by the ban. He added: "Up until the time it becomes illegal to hunt we will continue as normal…." Charles Blanning, of the National Coursing Association, said a meeting will take place next week where organisers of the Waterloo Cup will discuss bringing the event forward… Mike O'Hanlom, chairman of the Holcombe Hunt covering parts of Chorley, Tarleton and Brindle said: "The act is a total affront to liberty and to freedom and, if it is allowed to go ahead will destroy the countryside." (story)

Newark Advertiser 19.11.04 Pro-hunters remain defiant By SHARON HODKIN - Untold trouble lies ahead in the countryside if the Government goes ahead with a hunting ban, a leading hunt campaigner has warned…. Miss Anne Jepson, the secretary of the South Notts Hunt, said all hunts were waiting for the final verdict from the House of Commons…. There are three other active hunts in the area - the Grove and Rufford, Belvoir, and Per Ardua Beagles…. (story may be in archive)

Cumberland News 19.11.04 Hunting: Rest in Peace? By Phil Colemanand Natalie Wilson - PRO-HUNT activists in Cumbria are likely to use increasingly extreme tactics as they step up their campaign against last night’s Parliamentary vote on hunting says Carlisle MP Eric Martlew… Peter Wybergh, hunt master with the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds, said he believed Mr Martlew’s fears about hunting supporters stepping up their campaign of direct action were unfounded. “I think Martlew will be hurt more through the ballot box than by graffiti,” he said…. (story)

Cumberland News 19.11.04 Respect the voice of the Commons - AS the birthplace of legendary huntsman John Peel and with its large rural heartland, Cumbria is perhaps more exercised by the hunting debate than any other county in England…. This is a mess but the issue should not be ducked any longer. The people have spoken through their elected representatives. If you don’t like it, vote them out. (story)

Morpeth Herald 19.11.04 Hunting supporters turn to religion - FOXHUNTING supporters are praying for divine intervention as the battle to stop a ban continues. After taking to the streets in protest, and bombarding 10 Downing Street with letters and petitions, hunting enthusiasts are changing tack and looking to a higher source for help…. The new religion, The Free Church of Country Sports, is based on the philosophy of Saint Hubert, the patron saint of hunting…. James Cookson, the Joint Master of the Morpeth Hunt, himself a follower of the Free Church of Country Sports, said the new faith was for real… (story)

Ledbury Reporter 19.11.04 Hunt will keep going - The Ledbury Hunt could carry on as the Hounds Exercising Club or the Rabbit Hunting Club until a change of Government reverses any ban on fox-hunting…. (story in archive)

Rutland Times 19.11.04 Pylon protest pledge as Hunt ban looms - Rutland landowners are being urged to join hunt supporters in refusing permission for the siting of electric pylons on their land. Philippa Mayo, of the Countryside Alliance and a member of the Cottesmore Hunt, said: 'We do not want to upset the public but we will have little option but to be obstructive if this hunt ban goes through.”… (story)

Shropshire Star 19.11.04 Hunt leaders vow to carry on battle - Hunt leaders in Shropshire and Mid Wales today vowed to continue the fight against the controversial hunting ban - with some saying they would defy it if necessary… David Jones, huntsman for the David Davies Hunt, based in Llandinam, Powys, faces losing his job, his home, horses and the pack of 90 hounds that have been his life for the past 31 years…. Lindsay Hill, spokeswoman for the United Hunt, which meets in Bishop's Castle, said that a ban would not save the lives of foxes. Jennie Stafford, joint hunt master of the Tanatside hunt from the Shropshire/Powys border said they were backing the legal challenges mounted today by the Countryside Alliance. (story)

Shropshire Star 19.11.04 Hounds die after running across road - Two hunting hounds from kennels in Bishop's Castle were killed and a third was seriously injured after they were struck by a car on the A49 at Little Stretton. The hounds, which were out with the United Hunt, were hit at 2pm yesterday and police were called…. (story)

Malvern Gazette 19.11.04 Hunt denies trespass Continued from page one. Dave Jackson, of Wildlife Coppice Crafts, who was working at the centre's woodland area, said: "It's twice now the hounds have just wandered around and come into my open air workshop when I was teaching kids…. North Ledbury Hunt master Val Alfrey denied their hounds had encroached onto centre land…. (story in archive)

Hexham Courant 19.11.04 HUNTS MEET - Border Hunt… Haydon Hunt… North Tyne… Tynedale… (story)

Western Daily Press 19.11.04 RIGHT TO PROTEST - As an anti-hunt supporter, I wholeheartedly agree that the kill-animalsfor-fun supporters have a right to protest… the pro-hunting supporters must accept the result of the democracy that our brave soldiers so valiantly gave their lives for. Tony Shortt Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 19.11.04 A GRAVE BLOW TO FREEDOM - On November 11, there was a pro-hunt demonstration at Downing Street, as there has been every Thursday for a few weeks. This has usually been a cheerful and noisy affair, with hunting horns and whistles, shouts, placards and banners. Those mounting demonstrations did so on this solemn day with the full support of the Western Front Association, which organises ceremonies at the Cenotaph. Banners and placards were put out of sight and shouts, whistles and horns were silenced as a mark of the enormous respect hunting people have for those who died defending our freedom…. The vindictive attempt to ban hunting, when it has been admitted by Tony Banks that it is "an important political issue, not an important animal welfare issue", is a grave blow to the freedom of the people - Janet Barkwith Horton Bristol (letter)

Gloucestershire Gazette 19.11.04 Men who backed hunting - R J Berkeley, Berkeley Castle (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 19.11.04 NORMAL TO PUT DOWN HOUNDS - I felt I must reply to R J Berkeley's question about the hounds that will have to be dealt with when hunting is banned - in other words "put down". This should be no problem to the huntsmen as this is the normal practice when hounds are too old for hunting, usually at five to six years of age… S R Grimes Berkeley Gloucestershire (letter)
18.11.04 VAST AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE LED TO HUNT FINDINGS - The Scott Henderson Committee, set up by a Labour Government to inquire into hunting with dogs, came to the following conclusion, and I quote: "Foxhunting makes a very important contribution to the control of foxes, and involves less cruelty than most other methods of controlling them. It should therefore be allowed to continue."… Lord Burns, who under the instruction of the Labour Government headed the inquiry into hunting with dogs, said: "There is insufficient verifiable evidence to reach views about cruelty, one way or the other, and our committee came to that conclusion."…. These are the findings of men who took a vast amount of evidence and who came to their conclusions dispassionately. R. J. BERKELEY, Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 19.11.04 Agree to disagree - IT is a shame that people can't agree to disagree. I have many friends who don't understand the issues about hunting, but we agree that we lead very different lives; therefore what doesn't suit the goose suits the gander. I felt relationships between town and country folk could become difficult if the hunting ban was enforced and already this seems to be happening…. D Olof, Axminster (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 19.11.04 A TELLING ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAW - You reported that hunters plan to use human rights laws to defend the activity (Mail, november 10). When hunters abuse the concept of human rights for their own ends, it shows not only how desperate their case has become, but also how far they are prepared to go to ensure they get their own way…. Christopher W Fox, Watersedge, Driffield (letter)

Post & Times 19.11.04 PREPARE TO BE SHOT - I think any fair-minded readers of my letters would not agree that they were personal, nor vitriolic. I only reply to statements made in other letters and must remind John Herbert of the old saying that if you put your own head over the parapet you should be prepared to be shot at… . Yes, I did welcome my hunting friends, but, when hunting changed to chasing, a distinct difference, I could not agree with certain aspects of this and having a mouth as big as Portsmouth ( my words ) I voiced my concern. It was then I was told I was thought to be a mole to the anti-hunting brigade and at a meeting with the hunt chairman I complained… I made too much fuss over the farmers and I was a prima donna who ran to whatever master I could curry favour with. These are just some of my reasons for my change of heart over fox-chasing. Would you like to hear some more? Neil Seaton Clowneholme Marston Bank Rocester (letter)

Harrogate Advertiser 19.11.04 - IN RESPONSE to last week’s letter asking ‘Why not ban domestic cats?’ The pro-hunting brigade just don’t get it! Cats, like dogs are animals after all. It is not the behaviour of the dogs that is so abhorrent, it is that so called human beings (who should be above animal behaviour), find fox-hunting so enjoyable…. Amanda Wilkinson, Hales Bar, Crescent Road, Harrogate (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 19.11.04 FOX HUNTING BAN IS LONG OVERDUE - I see the unelected members of the House of Lords have once again gone against the wishes of the elected MPs in the Commons in not banning hunting with dogs…. John Hill, Exeter Road, Scunthorpe (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 19.11.04 ‘Town folk are ill-informed’ - I write with reference to Andrew Hannon’s recent letter about hunting. I wonder if Mr Hannon would prefer his fox to be blasted with a shotgun or strangled slowly in a snare? Banning hunting with hounds will not stop foxes from being culled…. Nicky Bailey, Rectory Way, Stilton, near Peterborough
‘Why don’t we muzzle hounds’ - WHY hasn’t someone thought of muzzling the hounds when hunting foxes?... ROY RICHARDSON, Oundle Road, Orton Longueville, Peterborough (letters)


Reading Chronicle & other ic sites 18.11.04 Queen approves hunting ban - Fox-hunting with hounds is to be banned in England and Wales from February 2005 after the Queen gave her Royal Assent to the controversial Hunting Act. The announcement that the Act was now law was made in the House of Lords with the traditional Norman words "La Reyne le Veult", to a mixture of jeers and cheers from peers and MPs summoned for the ceremony marking the end of the parliamentary session…. (story)
BBC News Online 18.11.04 Hunt ban forced through Commons - Commons Speaker Michael Martin has invoked the Parliament Act meaning a ban on fox hunting will be in place by February 2005. He told MPs the Act was being used for only the fourth time since 1949 - a move sparked by peers who earlier rejected a ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Solihull Times & other ic sites 18.11.04 Hunting Bill pushed through by Act - Fox-hunting with hounds is to be banned in England and Wales from February 2005 after the Parliament Act was invoked to force the Hunting Bill through against the opposition of the House of Lords…. (story)
Reuters 18.11.04 Government bans fox hunting By Mike Peacock - LONDON (Reuters) - Fox hunting has been banned, despite a last-minute attempt by the government to delay its demise until after the next election. Prime Minister Tony Blair, worried that banning the pastime now would hurt his campaign for a third term in power in an election expected next year, tried to put off the day on which hunters with hounds would no longer be able to chase and kill the fox. But, in extraordinary scenes in parliament, he was defied by both lower house politicians, many of them members of his Labour Party, and the House of Lords, the upper chamber… (story)
Daily Mail 18.11.04 Hunting Bill pushed through by Act - Fox-hunting with hounds is to be banned in England and Wales from February 2005 after the Parliament Act was invoked to force the Hunting Bill through against the opposition of the House of Lords…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.11.04 Mixed emotions in hunting town - "Ladies and gentleman, 5.30pm, Windsor Castle for President Chirac." - It is not unusual for the field master of a fox hunt to issue a rallying call at the start of a hunt. But Helen Jackson's final instructions before the horseback members of the Vale of Aylesbury Garth and South Berkshire Hunt follow her into the fields must rank among the most unusual of such calls…. "We're going to fight this all the way," Ms Jackson explained before the hunt in the picturesque village of Cuxham, Oxfordshire…. Seventy-six-year-old Beatrice Bradley, who has opposed hunting since her childhood, says she is "very pleased I am going to see a ban in my lifetime"… (story)

BBC News Online 18.11.04 Hunt ban's impact on Blair - Analysis - By Nick Assinder - It all started when Tony Blair stunned everyone - including, it was said, his own cabinet - by declaring he would ban hunting before the election…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.11.04 Q&A: Hunting Bill - A ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales is expected to be forced into the law books on Thursday. Here's a guide to what is happening…. (story)

BBC News Online 18.11.04 Fox-hunting set to become illegal - A ban on fox-hunting is expected to be forced into law by MPs after peers defied the House of Commons and voted against outlawing the practice…. (story)

Telegraph 18.11.04 Peers force hunting showdown By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent - A decision to outlaw all hunting with hounds across England and Wales from next February was expected today as the Speaker of the House of Commons prepared to force a ban on to the Statute Book.... (story)

Telegraph 18.11.04 A load of old Bills – and more to come next year - The Government has been bulk-buying at the legislation shop, and, as so often when the Christmas season approaches, it's nothing but Bills, Bills, Bills…. Here are some of the really bad bargains. The Civil Contingencies Bill. If "something happens", the Government will be able to repeal or suspend any Act, apart from the Human Rights Act. The Lords tried this week to preserve Habeas Corpus and the Bill of Rights (1689), but the Government insisted they might have to be dumped, too. The Hunting Bill. The Lords won't pass this, but it will be deemed to have passed, thanks to the provisions of the Parliament Act, unless these are found in this case to be unlawful.... (story)

Telegraph 18.11.04 Immediate legal challenge will be followed by mass disobedience, says rural alliance By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - An immediate legal challenge to a hunting ban will be started as soon as the Bill receives Royal Assent, probably tomorrow afternoon, leaders of the Countryside Alliance said yesterday…. Jim Barrington, of the Middle Way Group, said: "It's the last drink in the last chance saloon, but it is still a drink." Meanwhile, supporters of hunting began preparing either to break the new law or to test it. Brian Fanshawe, the secretary of the Council of Hunting Associations, said the first priority for hunts would be to ensure that their kennels could continue to operate legally, for example by disposing of equipment that could be used by police as evidence of hunting for live quarry…. (story)

Telegraph 18.11.04 100-year campaign nears the end By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - The abolition of hunting will mark the end of a campaign begun by animal rights activists more than 100 years ago… (story)

Telegraph 18.11.04 Nuclear option of last resort By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor - When Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons, issues his certificate to order the Royal Assent for the Hunting Bill, he deploys the nuclear option of the Lower House, the Parliament Act. The button is only pressed when there is no other way to assert the supremacy of the elected Commons over the unelected Lords.... (story)

Telegraph 18.11.04 Labour will always decide what's best By Boris Johnson ...the Labour Party has a drug of its own. It is called interference, and there is nothing that gives the present lot a bigger kick than locating what they believe is an imperfection in human nature, and stamping it out. That is why they want to ban hunting.... The whole thing is mad, and a waste of police time. There will be mutiny in the countryside, and lawlessness, and bloodshed, and all because the modern Labour Party believes in the perfectibility of man; whereas the true conservative knows that dogoodery is often far more dangerous than masterly inactivity.... (story)

Times 18.11.04 Row over hunting ban goes down to the wire BY JENNY BOOTH, TIMES ONLINE - Foxhunting in England and Wales faces extinction tonight as a defiant House of Commons prepares to invoke special powers to ram through a ban on the controversial blood sport…. Tonight, 500 members of the Countryside Alliance demonstrated outside Windsor Castle, where Mr Blair and Mr Chirac were being entertained to dinner by the Queen…. (story)

Times 18.11.04 Lords' defiance may bring hunt ban sooner rather than later BY DAVID CHARTER - With the threat of the Parliament Act hanging over them, peers still refused to bow to the majority of MPs over the Hunting Bill - THE Lords voted by more than two to one last night against a ban on foxhunting, in the so-called “kamikaze option” that will cause the Government maximum difficulty…. The sound of baying and the pungent smell of dogs may seem timeless features of the English countryside, but Malcolm Scobie, 37, senses the fragility of that scene. For the huntsman at the Avon Vale’s kennels at Spye Park, in Wiltshire, there has been no other life since leaving school at 16…. (story)

Times 18.11.04 A field day ahead for m'learned friends BY VALERIE ELLIOTT - THE battle will move from the field to the courts as early as tomorrow as hunt supporters turn from direct action to legal action. A legal challenge to the use of the 1949 Parliament Act is expected to be lodged in the High Court. It is being billed as the most important constitutional case to go before the courts…. The alliance is also ready to pursue a secondary action under human rights legislation, accusing the Government of depriving people of liberty, livelihood and home…. This case will be be led by Sir Sydney Kentridge, QC, 81, who has represented Nelson Mandela and the late Steve Biko in South Africa. (story)

Times 18.11.04 Protests and civil disobedience will follow the ban BY TOM BALDWIN AND VALERIE ELLIOTT - HUNT supporters will begin a campaign of protest, civil disobedience and direct action by seeking to disrupt Jacques Chirac’s meeting today with Tony Blair in London. The demonstrations at Lancaster House this morning will be followed by a picket of Windsor Castle this evening where the two leaders are due to attend a state banquet with the Queen…. (story)

Times 18.11.04 A centuries-old tradition - 1660s Hounds first trained to hunt foxes… (story)

Times 18.11.04 Parliamentary Sketch - Fox gives Westminster chickens the runaround BY ANN TRENEMAN - EVERYONE was on the lookout during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday for the sight of a small, red-haired creature slipping round the side of the green benches. Foxes venture out and are seen mostly at night, but urban ones are becoming very bold. This week they have been seen day and night in both the Commons and the Lords….. (story)

Times 18.11.04 Where jobs and animals' lives are on the line BY SIMON DE BRUXELLES - THE same routines and rituals have taken place daily for generations at the Avon Vale’s kennels at Spye Park in Wiltshire…. The sound of baying and the pungent smell of the dogs may feel like timeless features of the English countryside but today they are tinged with an air of fragility. All three full-time employees of the hunt, which has chased foxes across some of the lushest parts of Wiltshire since 1888, know that their jobs are likely to disappear… Like the majority of members of the Avon Vale, Mr Seed has pledged to defy the law and carry on hunting even if a ban is introduced. His pink hunting jacket was airing in the breeze. There was plenty of wear left in it. (story)

Times 18.11.04 Hunted down A lamentable failure of leadership from the Prime Minister - Oscar Wilde memorably dismissed foxhunting as “the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable”. The parliamentary campaign to ban what a minority are entitled to regard as part of their way of life has, though, been a case of the implacable in full pursuit of the illogical…. It also reflects especially badly on the Prime Minister. On Tuesday night he finally chose to cast a vote in the House of Commons on this question. He opted to back the compromise option… Tony Blair can only blame himself for this outcome. If the “middle way”, which he has come round to supporting publicly, is in the best interests of the country now, it surely must have been so for the past seven years. Yet Mr Blair has consistently failed to declare his hand, signalling a distaste for the hunting ban through nods and winks, newspaper leaks and by proxy, courtesy of supporters sent out to be shot politically on behalf of their master…. Tough restrictions on foxhunting are appropriate. A total ban is excessive…. (story)

Guardian 18.11.04 Hunt campaigners saddle up for protest - Battle will be waged in street, courts and on general election platforms - Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent - The Lords vote last night was the starting gun, pro-hunt campaigners say, to the biggest campaign of civil disobedience yet seen over a parliamentary bill. "True civil disobedience" with thousands of people clogging the courts, practical support being offered for most Tory candidates in the general election, and two legal actions, were all promised yesterday by a Countryside Alliance reeling from the decision of parliament to impose a total ban on hunting…. (story)

Guardian 18.11.04 Search for answers in politics of country pursuit - What is the Parliament Act?.... (story)

Reuters 18.11.04 Hunting ban to be forced through - LONDON (Reuters) - A ban on fox hunting with dogs is expected to be forced through parliament today after a final defiant stand by peers. The House of Lords rejected the bill on Wednesday but the government is now likely to use the Parliament Act -- a rarely used device to carry the will of the elected chamber -- to force a ban in England and Wales into law… (story)

Western Mail 18.11.04 Commons to force hunting ban - Foxhunting looks set to be banned despite the House of Lords again rejecting the move…. (story)

Western Mail 18.11.04 Fox hunting ban looms as peers stand defiant Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - A FOX HUNTING ban is set to be forced on to the statute books, ending the end-of-session stand-off between MPs and peers. The Lords last night voted to overturn the Commons ban on hunting by 188 votes to 79…. (story)

Scotsman 18.11.04 Ban on hunting with dogs to be forced in - ROB TOMLINSON - MPS are set to force through a ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales today, bringing the government into fresh conflict with hunt supporters in the run-up to the next general election…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 18.11.04 PEERS DEFIANT TO LAST ON HUNT BAN - Simon McGee Political Editor - HUNTING with hounds is set to be outlawed across England and Wales from February after the House Lords voted overwhelmingly last night to overturn the full ban agreed by MPs…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 18.11.04 MPS TO BAN HUNTING AS DEAL HOPES FAIL PARLIAMENT ACT TO BE INVOKED AS LORDS STAY DEFIANT - Simon McGee Political Editor - MPs are today expected to finally enforce their will and ban hunting with dogs after hopes of a compromise last night failed….
They are taking away my job, my house and my life, says huntsman - JOE Townsend has hunted foxes all his life and has no intention of settling for drag hunting in place of the blood sport. The 51-year-old professional huntsman with the Hursworth Hunt in North Yorkshire said that following an artificial scent on a pre-set trail would be like "playing football without a ball"….
Protesters hope for divine intervention - Julie Hemmings - PRO-HUNTING protesters have unveiled a banner at York Minster. Edward Duke, a former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, organised the stunt, in Dean's Park, next to the Minster…. Mr Duke rides with the Middleton Hunt. Hounds from Middleton, York and Ainsty South, Bilsdale, and Badsworth and Bramham Moor accompanied the protest….
Live-quarry enthusiasts left with few alternatives - Jane Charnley - HUNTERS of live quarry are left with few alternatives if their sport is outlawed – only draghound or bloodhound hunting… There is one bloodhound hunt in this region, the Four Shires, which hunts across South Yorkshire and Derbyshire…. the Masters of Bloodhounds and Draghounds Association, which represents almost all such hunts in the country, denies that its sports are "alternatives" to fox hunting. The organisation has actively campaigned against a ban…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 18.11.04 Hunting ban inevitable - Foxhunting – a rural pursuit that can be traced back to the 17th century – will be outlawed today, when the Queen formally gives the Royal Assent to the Hunting Bill after an epic parliamentary conflict… (story)

Western Daily Press 18.11.04 HUNT GOES TO WAR - Determined hunt supporters yesterday vowed to wage a bitter war against the Government after Parliament voted to completely outlaw hunting with dogs….(story)

Western Daily Press 18.11.04 WE'LL SEE YOU IN COURT! - Hunt campaigners yesterday launched a five-pronged attack against the Government, designed to force a U-turn over the hunting ban. Less than 24 hours after Parliament finally voted, by a majority of 117, to completely outlaw hunting with dogs, the Countryside Alliance came out with its teeth bared and vowed to: Challenge the legality of the Parliament Act, which may be used to force it onto the statute books
Challenge the Hunting Bill under the Human Rights Act
Step up a campaign of non-co-operation with the Government…(story)

Western Daily Press 18.11.04 AS THE HUNT DECLARES DEFIANCE, OPPONENTS PLAY WAITING GAME - West huntsmen slammed MPs last night and declared they would ignore the imminent hunting ban, as the countryside teetered on the edge of civil war. Hunts across the West repeated their willingness to defy the ban, as anti-hunt campaigners pledged they wouldn't rest until hunting had finally ended…. The joint master of the West's biggest hunt said the entire countryside felt betrayed by the Government. Captain Ian Farquhar, from the Cotswold-based Beaufort Hunt, said: "The feeling at the moment is anger. The farming and hunting part of the countryside just feels totally betrayed…." (story)

Western Daily Press 18.11.04 PEERS VOTE TO OVERTURN BAN - Defiant peers last night voted to overturn the ban on hunting with hounds agreed by the Commons just 24 hours earlier. By 188 to 79, a majority of 109, the Lords backed a move by Baroness Mallalieu to put a registered hunting scheme back in the Hunting Bill… (story)

Evesham Journal 18.11.04 MP Luff on the attack over hunting move - VALE MP Peter Luff has attacked an "intolerant and bigoted" House of Commons for rejecting a last-ditch compromise to ban fox hunting…. "My only consolation is that the banning bill is so badly drafted and so full loopholes and inconsistencies that it is unlikely to stand the test of time." (letter in archive) 18.11.04 Lords vote against hunting ban - The House of Lords has defied the will of MPs by again voting against a total ban on fox hunting.... (story)

Evening Standard 18.11.04 Threats of defiance over hunt ban By Joe Murphy, Evening Standard, Political Editor - A campaign of civil disobedience was today threatened by fox-hunters as a ban on the sport was finally steam-rollered onto the statute books. Protesters planned to disrupt today's visit by French president Jacques Chirac by picketing talks in London and a banquet at Windsor Castle…. (story)

18.11.04 HUNT BAN WILL NOW GO AHEAD - The controversial ban on hunting with dogs will become law today, following the failure of last-ditch efforts for a compromise. A Commons spokesman said that the Parliament Act process was "almost under way" last night after the House of Lords again rejected Government proposals for a total ban on hunting… (story)

18.11.04 LIVELIHOOD LEFT IN TATTERS BY IMMINENT HUNT BAN - When your business is based in the heart of a rural community on Exmoor, changing your living is no mean feat. The hunting ban has effectively meant the end of the road for 61-year-old Jo Strong's rural livery yard. Ms Strong, from Bury near Dulverton, said she was "speechless with shock" by the vote to outlaw hunting…. (story)


Gloucestershire Echo 18.11.04 IT'S ALL OVER - Hunts across Gloucestershire declared war on the Government today as ministers prepared to ban hunting. Huntsmen and women are planning a massive campaign of civil disobedience if the Hunting Bill is made law…. Richard Leeke, who lives in Longdon, near Tewkesbury, and is a member of the Ledbury Hunt. He said: "The next general election will be fought in the countryside. "Any politician that comes into the country will not be able to move for protests."… (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 18.11.04 Move to force foxhunting ban - FOXHUNTING looks sure to be banned today, despite the House of Lords rejecting the move… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 18.11.04 MP tries to invoke the PM's vote - The Commons Speaker Michael Martin came under pressure to take the Prime Minister's views into account if he uses the Parliament Act to push through a complete ban on hunting. Tory James Gray (North Wiltshire) asked yesterday if there was any precedent for a Bill which the leaders of the Government had voted against to be forced through the House by the Parliament Act?... (story in archive)

Grimsby Telegraph 18.11.04 HUNTERS VOW TO IGNORE 'CRAZY LAW' - DANIEL EVANS - The master of a local hunt group has vowed to carry on hunting if the "crazy law" to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales gets approved today. Nick Ashcroft, of the South Wold Hunt, said the Countryside Alliance will take the fight to the courts if the age-old activity is outlawed. Mr Ashcroft, of Belchford, near Louth, said: "We won't give up the fight - it's too important…." (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 18.11.04 'FOX-HUNTING BAN WILL LEAVE US ALL HOMELESS AND TOTALLY PENNILESS' - A Family say they will lose their home and their livelihood if the Government bans fox hunting. Julie Barker and Jim Lang, who have worked together at the Burton Hunt in Riseholme, Lincoln, for the last 20 years, will lose the home they share with their 15-year-old daughter Helen if a total ban is forced through by the House of Commons… (story)

Northern Echo 18.11.04 Defiant Lords reject ban on fox hunting - Defiant peers last night voted to reject the ban on hunting with hounds, which was agreed by the Commons only 24 hours ago…. (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 18.11.04 Hunt ban to be forced through - FOXHUNTING looks sure to be banned today, despite the House of Lords rejecting the move…. (story)

York Evening Press 18.11.04 Hunt fraternity vow to defy ban by Victoria Young - HUNT supporters in North Yorkshire have pledged to fight to the bitter end as foxhunting looked sure to be banned today… Livery yard manager, Meg Abu Hamdan, a follower of North Yorkshire's Middleton Hunt, has vowed to disobey the hunt ban at the first available opportunity….. Secretary of the Sinnington Hunt, Bridget Till, who had a successful hunt meet in Ryedale yesterday, said hunts would ignore a ban and continue hunting….. According to George Atkinson, master of the Farndale Hunt, if supporters defy the ban they may run into difficulties because they may be denied permission to hunt on land owned by the Forestry Commission… (story in archive)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 18.11.04 Hunt masters despair at ban - THE masters of two Northamptonshire hunts have claimed democracy has failed as a total ban on fox hunting was today looking inevitable…. The master of the 250-year-old Grafton Hunt, Colin Richmond-Watson, said: "This says a lot about democracy. The function of the Lords as the second house, one of the things that underpins British democracy, has been bypassed…" Michael Bletsoe-Brown, the joint master of the Pytchley Hunt, said: "The Parliament Act is meant only to be used in times of national importance and you cannot apply that to hunting…" (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 18.11.04 Government to force through hunting ban - The House of Lords last night voted by more than two to one against an out-right ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales… (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 18.11.04 Atherstone Hunt could defy ban - Hunt enthusiasts have reacted angrily to a ban on foxhunting with some vowing to defy the government. The ban is almost certain to go through, despite opposition from the House of Lords…. John Kennelly, a huntsman at the Atherstone Hunt Kennels, Witherley, said he was "totally devastated" by the MPs' decision and said defiance of the ban could be an option… (story)

Bournemouth Echo 18.11.04 `We'll carry on hunting until stopped by law' by Bob Jolliffe - FOXHUNTERS in the New Forest will continue to hunt right up to the day their sport is outlawed. New Forest Hunt secretary Graham Ferris made the pledge as an outright ban on hunting with hounds looks likely to be forced through by the government under the auspices of the Parliament Act later today… Frankie James of New Forest Animal Protection Group who, with husband Ken has been a dedicated anti-hunt campaigner for a decade or more, welcomed the prospect of a ban…. (story in archive)
Southern Daily Echo 18.11.04 Hounds to be shot if hunt is outlawed by Chris Yandell - HAMPSHIRE huntsman Paul Woodhouse today issued a last-ditch plea to the government: "Don't force me to shoot my dogs." Mr Woodhouse said 60 animals owned by the New Forest Hounds (NFH) would have to be put down if hunting with dogs was outlawed…. (story in archive)

Economist 18.11.04 No smoking, foxhunting, sugar, salt, fat... What the government should and shouldn't do to make people live better lives - ENJOYING yourself? Well you'd better stop, then. This week is banning week in Britain. The government has, as near as dammit, banned both smoking in public places and foxhunting, as well as making it clear that it takes a very dim view of those who eat too many burgers and too few carrots. For those who take their pleasures where they can get them, it looks as though the government has succumbed to a nasty bout of gloomier-than-thou Methodism… Liberal democracy demands that governments should inform people, then leave it up to them to make their own mistakes. If they want to be fat, smell like ashtrays and die early, let them. (story)

Solihull Times & other ic sites 18.11.04 Foxhunt ban compromise proposed - Foxhunting looks set to be banned despite the House of Lords again rejecting the move. The House of Lords voted by more than two to one against an outright ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. (story)

Solihull Times & other ic sites 18.11.04 Lords reject hunting ban compromise - Speaker Michael Martin was expected to invoke the Parliament Act for only the fourth time since 1949, in order to force through a ban on fox-hunting with hounds in England and Wales against the opposition of peers…. (story)

North Devon Journal 18.11.04 - A ban on hunting with dogs was looking likely to become law today, after Labour MPs rejected last-ditch plans for a compromise…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 18.11.04 HUNT MEETS ARRANGED FOR THE WEEK AHEAD - Atherstone… Belvoir:… Cottesmore… Fernie… Quorn… (story)

Kentish Gazette 18.11.04 Drink-drive huntsman had revolver in car - A HUNTSMAN was found drunk and slumped over the wheel of his car with a revolver and ammunition in the vehicle, a court was told. Nigel Church appeared at Canterbury Crown Court for sentence having admitted possessing a handgun and ammunition in a public place on May 6, and excess alcohol.Church, a man with no criminal record, was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and banned from driving for 12 months… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 18.11.04 Fos Hunt Ban Delayed - MPs today backed a compromise move to delay a fox-hunting ban until the end of July 2006…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 18.11.04 Hunt ban to be forced through - FOXHUNTING looks sure to be banned today, despite the House of Lords rejecting the move. Commons Speaker Michael Martin is expected to invoke the Parliament Act, forcing through the ban supported by the majority of MPs…. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 18.11.04 Strict rules for blood sports - Peter Rhodes - After foxhunting, what next? The chances of angling or shooting being banned are pretty remote if only because both, unlike foxhunting, are enormously popular throughout the EU. But both shooters and fishermen should proceed carefully. Idiot anglers who mutilate fish and abandon yards of line to snare any passing bird are a bigger menace to the sport than any animal-rights loonie…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 18.11.04 Commons to force hunt ban - THE Speaker of the Commons was expected to use the Parliament Act to force a hunting ban into law today as the House of Lords continues to obstruct the will of MPs…. "Whatever the shenanigans in Parliament, hunting will continue as normal," said Clare Rowson, West Midlands regional director of the Countryside Alliance, the rural interests pressure group…. (story in archive)

Western Gazette 18.11.04 MASTERS ARE ON STANDBY FOR BAN ON HUNTING - Hunt followers were yesterday bracing themselves for a blanket ban on the sport after the Parliamentary year ends today. But saboteurs are calling for police support to monitor hunt activity once the ban is in place… Debbie Banwell, joint master of the Seavington Hunt in south Somerset, said: "I am very disappointed that is has come this far but this will not end this week…." Richard Standing, master of Mendip Hunt, said the hunt would continue to ride even if the ban is brought in…. Andrew Cook of the Blandford-based Portman Hunt said: "We are not very surprised by what has happened. It's disappointing, but there is talk of a legal challenge, which we will know more about as it goes on…." Neil Buckoke of Dorset Anti Blood Sports says violence against saboteurs has increased as the final decision draws closer, and he is concerned about the repercussions of a ban…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 18.11.04 Hunting Bill chaos halts MPs' debate - THE Commons was suspended for 40 minutes today amid chaotic scenes over moves to ban hunting. Speaker Michael Martin ordered the delay to give himself more time to consider amendments to the Hunting Bill…. (story)

Reading Chronicle 18.11.04 Protesters bay for approval on Reading's high street - FOXHUNTERS who brought the countryside - and their pack hounds - to Reading town centre say they were "gobsmacked" with the support they got from shoppers. Countryside Alliance organiser Amanda Stewart admitted her band of hunters and supporters expected "a real hard time" when they arrived in Broad Street… "We were absolutely gobsmacked at the response - 60% to 70% of people were positive and didn't want a ban. "In fact they didn't want to see all sorts of things banned - like cigarette smoking and fireworks."… (story)

Independent 18.11.04 Hunting lobby's tawdry hijack of those who died for freedom - The sight of pro-hunt demonstrators with placards, decorated with remembrance poppies, saying "They died for our Freedom", and "They fought for Liberty. Let us keep it" (photograph, 16 November) disgusted me. My father died in the wreckage of a burning Lancaster bomber over Germany in 1945…. I believe that my father would have been as opposed to this odious blood-sport as am I…. W P MOORE, Fakenham, Norfolk
Surely all can agree that the poisoning and snaring of foxes should be deprecated as a means of control. This leaves the "sport" of "lamping" as the primary means by which foxes will be destroyed if there is to be no more hunting. Lamping is very cruel and appallingly dangerous to humans….. HUGH PITMAN, Malmesbury, Wiltshire (letters)

Western Daily Press 18.11.04 VERMIN FOXES WILL BE CULLED - Anti-hunter Harriet Allen described me as being pedantic, which was rather rich coming from a person who proclaimed that heavily pregnant vixens, and those with newly-born cubs, are hunted, while ignorant of the simple fact that during that period vixens give off little or no scent, it being "nature's way of protection"…. Ray Bird Acton Turville Gloucestershire (letter)

18.11.04 SOONER WE GET BAN THE BETTER - So we now know that Gloucester's Tory candidate, Paul James, supports hunting with dogs…. The sooner the hunting ban comes into force the better, so we can finally put an end to Paul James and the landed gentry sipping champers on horseback, after a fresh kill. SONIA FRIEND, via e-mail (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 18.11.04 HUNTSMAN TOOK CONTROL - Like your correspondent, (Postbox, November 11) I also watched the Banwen Miners Hunt on November 6, near Llangennith. The fenced-off area in question was fenced to keep sheep out and none were inside. The huntsman was in complete control of the hounds….. The farmers were not too pleased to still have a killer around their lambs, especially one who does not only kill to eat, but will kill everything it can. Name and address supplied (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 11.11.04 A CHALLENGE TO THE HUNT - The master of the Banwen Hunt, Billy Hancock, was quoted in the Post as saying: "I think the national debate on hunting has enlightened people as to what we do"… While out running with a friend near Llangennith, we saw the hunt gathered around a small, fenced- off area of gorse and woodland, which had a number of sheep inside. The hounds were running wild inside, petrifying the enclosed sheep… Name and address supplied (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 18.11.04 SEARCHING CONSCIENCES - The fox murderers, masquerading under the anodyne title of Countryside Alliance, complain that 1,000 jobs will be lost if they are prevented from carrying out their nefarious activities. Recently, 1,000 jobs were lost when a steelworks was closed. This news was forgotten within days, with hardly any media attention…. Jonathan Isaacs, the writer of the article, wonders what the police would do if an illegal hunt was attempted? Surely the police would coral them like football fans. The liberal use of dogs and sticks would be appropriate. They would then all be bussed off to be charged. An anti-social order could then be put on them, preventing them from approaching a fox or hound. M Jones, Swansea Road, Waunarlwydd, Swansea (letter)

Jersey Evening Post 18.11.04 Foxes are pests, like pheasants From Tony Banner. 136 Sandway Road, St Mary Cray, Orpington, Kent - READING Mr Toone's letter (JEP, 8 November), I agree with him completely. Foxes do have their place in the ecology. In one place I worked I had a pet fox. He would literally eat out of my hand and walk beside me during my tours of the site. As the site had a rabbit problem, I was asked how to control them. My answer was to encourage the foxes. However outside their place the fox is as much a pest as the pheasant is becoming in Jersey… There is also a social and economic argument for hunting with hounds. If a factory closed that put thousands out of work there would be outrage, so why destroy a complete industry? (letter may be in archive)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 18.11.04 I hope fox hunting will stop forever… and soon - SO the privileged 11-year-old enjoyed his many days out with the hunt (Letters, last week). And thus his parents perpetuate the so-called ‘tradition’ of killing foxes all in the name of sport, and to clear the countryside of an animal they consider vermin. How come then that so many hunts breed foxes to release into the countryside because there aren’t enough to provide for their enjoyment?... No matter what the pro-hunters say with regard to this being a ‘sport for everyone’, the majority are still the upper-class elite, as keeping and caring for horses is an expensive business…. A Richards Wakerley (letter)

North Devon Journal 18.11.04 MY POETIC THOUGHTS ON CURRENT HUNTING ISSUE - This poem is called Aspects of the Seasons… The ripped and shrieking hare/The breathless sobbing fox, despairing deer/Exhausted, turned, dragged down in fear, Despatched, preserve the country way of life... PETER HINCHLIFFE, Castle Hill, Berrynarbor. (letter)


Ryedale Gazette & Herald 17.11.04 Foxhunting ban likely after Commons vote rejects compromise - FOXhunting in Ryedale will be banned from February unless anti-bloodsport MPs perform a dramatic U-turn… Hunt leaders in Ryedale claimed today that a ban on foxhunting would not save a single fox. Charlie Gundry, master of the Middleton Hunt, said it would now depend on the details of the legislation as to what action hunts took….. Bridget Till, secretary of the Sinnington Hunt, which dates back several centuries, believed there was a strong possibility that hunts would defy a ban….. George Atkinson, master of the Farndale Hunt, said he did not know what action his hunt would take if a ban were imposed. … (story in archive)

BBC News Online 17.11.04 Fox hunting ban looks inevitable - A ban on fox hunting in England and Wales now looks inevitable after MPs rejected a last-ditch compromise. The Commons voted by 321 to 204 to reject a deal that could have allowed regulated hunting of foxes to continue. … (story)
BBC News Online 16.11.04 The parliamentary battle over hunting By Sean Curran - It is, by any standards, an unusual game of ping pong that ends with one player using a nuclear weapon. Between now and Thursday we expect the Hunting Bill to be batted from the Commons to the Lords and back again as MPs and peers argue for and against a complete ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. (story)

BBC News Online 17.11.04 Hunt licence MP fears for animals - A Welsh Labour MP who proposed a compromise to the Hunting Bill to allow hunts to be licensed has voiced concerns over animal welfare. Ogmore MP Huw Irranca-Davies' amendment to the bill was rejected by a Commons vote on Tuesday. He said he was worried about how a quick ban would affect animals… Alex Ford, huntsman for Llangeinor Hunt near Bridgend for 18 years, said: "I don't know any other job. I'm the wrong side of 50…." (story)

Guardian 17.11.04 MPs stand firm to ban hunting - Lords motion and compromise heavily defeated - Patrick Wintour - The stage was set for a clash in the courts and the fields yesterday when MPs voted overwhelmingly for an outright ban on hunting with hounds, leaving the speaker, Michael Martin, with little option but to override the objections of the Lords…. (story)

Guardian 17.11.04 Challenge to Parliament Act - Pro-hunting group plans to open new legal front - Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent - A legal battle to overturn the Parliament Act will begin on Friday if, as expected, hunting is banned this week, the Countryside Alliance promised yesterday. The well-funded challenge to the legislation - which allows MPs to force through laws rejected by the House of Lords - could make a hunting ban illegal. … (story)

Telegraph 17.11.04 Hunting ban in sight as MPs reject deal By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent - A total ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales came a step closer last night when MPs rejected a compromise plan backed by Tony Blair. Under the compromise proposal, hunting would have been allowed under a licensing system so long as it was for pest control. After 30 women in favour of hunting chained themselves to a fence outside the House of Lords, as Labour MPs rejected the "middle way" plan.... (story)

Telegraph 17.11.04 With all these laws, our precious liberty is going up in smoke By Philip Johnson - It is said, though less often now than it used to be, that the basis of English liberty is the rule of law, under which everything is allowed unless specifically prohibited… The announcement yesterday that smoking in most public places is to be made an offence, presumably punishable by a fine, is the latest addition to a lengthening list of things that were once allowed but are now to be criminalised…. Under the Children Bill it will be a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to smack your own child if a visible mark is left as a result…. By February, or within a few years, depending on what happens in Parliament this week, it will be a crime to mount a horse and ride off in pursuit of a fox. Since 1997, it has been a criminal offence to possess any handgun, even a .22 calibre, for sporting purposes.... you can go to prison for not getting a horse an ID card when it has been perfectly lawful to own an animal without state interference since our forebears painted their faces blue. But if you are a thief, expect a rap on the knuckles, apparently because it takes up too much police time to deal effectively with "low-grade" shoplifters.... You may think that one, two or even all of these new offences are justified and appropriate. We have all been tempted, when confronted with behaviour we do not like, to say that "there should be a law against it''. Well, now there is (story)

Times 17.11.04 Blair sits on fence as MPs vote to ban foxhunting BY PHILIP WEBSTER AND DAVID CHARTER - THE centuries-old pursuit of foxhunting was finally outlawed in England and Wales by the Commons last night. The ban will be forced on to the statute book tonight or tomorrow and is likely to be put into effect by February… (story)

Times 17.11.04 Conservatives would repeal 'filthy little arrangement' BY DAVID CHARTER, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - THE Tories vowed to repeal the hunting ban as they supported “with a heavy heart” a doomed attempt to preserve the practice under a strict licensing system in the Commons last night. With cries of “Tally ho!” MPs voted by 321 to 204, a majority of 117, against the last-ditch amendment supported by Tony Blair to allow some foxhunting to continue in England and Wales for pest control purposes. They threw out changes from the House of Lords designed to save some registered fox and stag hunting and hare-coursing by 343 votes to 175, a majority of 168…. (story)

Times 17.11.04 Blair's record (story)

Independent 17.11.04 Blair defeated over hunt ban compromise By Colin Brown and Ben Russell - Tony Blair suffered a humiliating defeat over fox hunting last night as Labour backbenchers overwhelmingly rejected his last-ditch attempts at a compromise and forced through an outright ban. The vote means all hunting will be banned, possibly as soon as February, after MPs voted 321 to 204, a majority of 117, to reject proposals backed by Mr Blair for limited hunting to be permitted under strict licensing…. (story)

Independent 17.11.04 Blair hopes courts will overturn hunting ban By Colin Brown and Ben Russell - Tony Blair is secretly hoping that hunt campaigners will overturn a ban on fox hunting in the courts and prevent a row souring next year's general election campaign. A cabinet member told The Independent that legislation to impose a ban on hunting as soon as February would be "wide open" to legal challenge under human rights legislation. "The campaigners are saying they will take this to court for a judicial review. We think they will be able to. We are wide open on it," the minister said…. (story)

Western Mail 17.11.04 MPs reject compromise of hunt licences - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - HUNTING with dogs was last night set to be outlawed after MPs rejected an eleventh hour compromise. Labour backbencher Huw Irranca-Davies had proposed allowing fox hunting to continue under licence. But the Ogmore MP's amendment, thought to be favoured by Tony Blair, was thrown out by the Commons…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 17.11.04 Hunt lobby pin hopes on legal challenge - Hunt supporters are pinning their remaining hopes on a legal challenge today after MPs backed an outright ban. Tony Blair saw the compromise he had hoped for rejected overwhelmingly by the Commons last night…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 17.11.04 MPS SPLIT OVER HUNT BILL VOTE - The region's MPs were divided last night as the Commons sounded the death knell for hunting. At 11pm yesterday, to cheers of "tally-ho", MPs threw out a compromise amendment, supported by Tony Blair, to allow fox hunting under licence by 321 votes to 204…. Gloucestershire hunt supporters are furious. Tom Leeke, who lives in Longdon, near Tewkesbury, is a member of the Ledbury hunt…. He said: "Now we know what we're dealing with…." (story)

Western Daily Press 17.11.04 THE GATE IS FINALLY SHUT ON THE HUNT - The death knell finally sounded for fox hunting last night as MPs voted for a full ban. In a late-night series of votes, MPs rejected last-gasp compromises for the country sport to continue under licence… (story)

Western Daily Press 17.11.04 LAST HURRAH FOR THE WEST HUNTS - Hunting will be doomed by the end of tomorrow after MPs last night rejected eleventh-hour appeals for a compromise - and humiliated Tony Blair. The Prime Minister had made a dramatic last-ditch bid to allow foxhunting to survive under a licence system… Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort Hunt, accused the Government of "betraying the countryside"…. In Dorset, secretary of the Portman Hunt Jan Tory said they were "obviously very disappointed"…. Amid tight security, about 30 women from the West managed to lock themselves to a fence outside the Lords for an hour in a move reminiscent of the Suffragettes. And they said last night they would remain defiant as thousands of their fellow hunters pledged to defy a ban. The women came from 10 hunts, which included the Avonvale in Wiltshire, the Beaufort in Gloucestershire, the United Hunt in Hereford, and the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. Ward sister Pat Blackband - the face of controversial Countryside Alliance billboards last year - was among the protestors. She hunts in Herefordshire and said she had feared arrest…. (story)

Western Daily Press 17.11.04 LIKE THE SUFFRAGETTES, WOMEN WERE CHAINED TO PARLIAMENT - As MPs banned hunting last night, demonstrators chained themselves to iron railings outside Parliament in a last-ditch protest. Amid tight security, about 30 women from the West managed to lock themselves to a fence outside the Lords for an hour in a move reminiscent of the Suffragettes… d last night they would remain defiant as thousands of their fellow hunters pledged to defy a ban. The women came from 10 hunts, which included the Avonvale in Wiltshire, the Beaufort in Gloucestershire, the United Hunt in Hereford, and the Devon and Somerset Staghounds…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.11.04 HUNT BAN COMPROMISE REJECTED BY COMMONS - JASON GROVES - A ban on hunting with dogs is on course to become law tomorrow after Labour MPs rejected last-ditch plans for a compromise. In a late night vote, MPs voted by 321 to 204 to reject proposals that would have banned deer hunting and hare coursing, but allowed some foxhunting to continue under licence…. (story)

Western Morning News 17.11.04 MPS TAKE PART IN BAITING OF A DIFFERENT KIND - Labour MPs are fond of trumpeting their dislike of hunting, but they demonstrated again last night that they are not above partaking in other, more sophisticated, forms of cruelty - particularly the nasty old sport of baiting. The victim in this case was Huw Irranca-Davies, an obscure Labour MP who was picked by Downing Street to put forward a "compromise" on hunting so that Tony Blair could come and vote for it…. The heckling and cat calling, mainly from a bunch huddled together on the very back of the Labour benches, began slowly but built to a crescendo, forcing the Speaker to call for "tolerance". The veteran Labour backbencher Gwynneth Dunwoody also felt moved to appeal. "If any member of the Parliamentary Labour Party is not entitled to speak their views without others shouting them down then we shall be in very deep trouble," she said…. The real enemy of those huddled together on the Labour backbench was the absent Prime Minister. Sir Gerald Kaufman put it like this: "The Prime Minister did not ask us to compromise with Saddam Hussein; is he really asking us to compromise with the Countryside Alliance?"… (story)

Scotsman 17.11.04 Courts likely to decide future of fox-hunting - FRASER NELSON - A BAN on hunting with dogs in England and Wales moved a step closer last night after MPs rejected an eleventh hour compromise…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 17.11.04 Obey the hunt ban' plea after MPs take hard line - WORCESTER MP Mike Foster is urging hunt supporters to respect the ban on foxhunting which looks inevitable after MPs last night rejected a compromise…. (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 17.11.04 RIGHT 'PING PONG' OVER FOX-HUNTING BAN - A ban on fox-hunting moved a giant step closer last night after MPs again overwhelmingly rejected a compromise that would have allowed hunting to continue under a licensing system…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 17.11.04 A-hunting we will go, vow protesters - HUNTERS in Cambridgeshire have vowed to carry on - despite a Commons vote sounding the death knell for the countryside pursuit…. The Fitzwilliam Hunt sent a defiant message when it met at Alconbury Weston…. Sacha Wheatley, joint-master of the Cambridge Hunt and Enfield Chace, which has its kennels in Caxton, said: "I have signed a declaration saying we will carry on hunting if there's a ban…." (story)

Cambridge Evening News 17.11.04 MP votes for ban amid passionate opposition - CAMBRIDGE'S Labour MP Anne Campbell voted for a fox hunting ban in the face of passionate opposition from the countryside, Tories and the House of Lords. She joined anti-hunting MPs who on Tuesday night rejected last-ditch attempts at a compromise which would have allowed hunting to continue under license…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 17.11.04 BLAIR IS SNUBBED AS MPS VOTE TO OUTLAW HUNTING - Commons rejects licence compromises setting scene for countryside mayhem in run-up to next general election - Simon McGee - LABOUR MPs looked as if they would seal the fate of centuries of countryside history last night, turn their backs on their Prime Minister and vote overwhelmingly for a full ban on hunting foxes with dogs, stag hunting and hare coursing… (story)

Shropshire Star 17.11.04 Railing protest will not stop hunt ban - A ban on hunting with dogs will be introduced in February and only a challenge through the courts or a last minute climbdown by the House of Lords can stop it being outlawed… Lindsay Hill, from Bishop's Castle, and Pat Blackband, from Craven Arms, took padlocks and chains to London yesterday and were joined by 40 more women from Gloucester, Dorset and other parts of the West Country. They chained themselves to the railings for 75 minutes yesterday lunchtime…. (story)

North East Evening Gazette 17.11.04 On the scent of a ban - Julie Martin, Evening Gazette - Prime Minister Tony Blair's attempts to find a compromise over fox hunting are about to be rejected by Teesside MPs.Instead they have scented blood and are determined to kill off hunting by the end of the week…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 17.11.04 MP backs fresh bid to ban fox hunting North Warwickshire MP Mike O'Brien believes the rare Parliament Act will be invoked today after his colleagues in the House of Commons comprehensively voted to ban fox hunting last night…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 17.11.04 Ban on hunting 'unenforceable' - Members of the Warwickshire Hunt were out on a regular meet today in spite of last night's Commons vote which rejected a compromise deal allowing limited hunting under licence. Robin Smith-Ryland, former master of the Warwickshire Hunt, said the ban - which would come into force in February - was totally unenforceable…. (story)
BBC News Online 17.11.04 Hunt supporters 'defiant, determined' - Sarah Mukherjee - BBC environment reporter in Warwickshire - The Warwickshire Hunt set off on Wednesday morning from the village of Shutford. The atmosphere was jovial - a glass of port and plates of hot sausages were offered to the 100 or so people who attended on foot and on horseback. But the mood was determined…. (story) 17.11.04 MPs reject compromise on hunting - MPs have rejected a late bid to win a compromise on fox-hunting, by voting for an outright ban on all forms of hunting with dogs in England and Wales…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 17.11.04 Lords warned over hunt rebellion - Ian Craig - THE government today appealed to peers to step back from legal challenges over the proposed ban on foxhunting… (story)

Manchester Evening News 17.11.04 Hunting: MPs vote to ban it outright - HUNTING with dogs was set to be outlawed after MPs last night rejected an eleventh hour compromise. Labour backbencher Huw Irranca-Davies had proposed allowing fox hunting to continue under licence. But the Ogmore MP's amendment, favoured by Tony Blair, was thrown out by the Commons… (story)

Newcastle Journal 17.11.04 Hunting faces sudden death By Zoe Hughes, The Journal - Hunting with dogs was last night set to be outlawed after MPs rejected an eleventh hour compromise…. (story)

York Evening Press 17.11.04 Hunts resigned to a total ban by Ian Drury - FOXHUNTING in North Yorkshire will be banned from February unless anti-bloodsport MPs perform a dramatic U-turn…. Stephen Rawlings, secretary of the Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt, told the Evening Press that hunt supporters in North Yorkshire were resigned to ignoring any ban and taking part in mass civil disobedience, especially those arranged purposely to embarrass the Government before a General Election…. (story in archive)

Bristol Evening Press 17.11.04 THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE - It's Saturday morning at Beelzebub Mansions. The smoke from the illegal gipsy camp, now relocated courtesy of the European Parliament to the walled vegetable garden, drifts across the patio…. It's at times like this that I miss my man Whittaker, the former household factotum who was driven mad by Princess Toni's anti-hunting policies and now resides, naked, in a bush in the Lower Meadow, with only a Sylvester Stallone video and some orange cats for company… This so-called bunny-hugging Government has already condemned hundreds of thousands of foxhounds to an untimely death. Now it's planning to impose pain and misery on the Smoking Beagles. Now there's a worthy cause for the animal rights loonies, if ever I saw one. Never mind whining about the plight of guinea pigs. When are we going to see a gang of balaclava-clad Lefties dancing around outside Huntingdon Life Sciences waving "Nicotine Now" placards and throwing packs of Bensons over the fence? Animal lovers, my arse…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 17.11.04 Fox-hunting ban in place in just three months? by Ian Drury - FOX-hunting in Hampshire will be banned within three months - unless anti-blood sport MPs perform a dramatic U-turn…. Graham Ferris, joint honorary secretary of the New Forest Hounds, ruled out hunters defying the ban if it was imposed in February next year. He said: "We shall be looking at all the options for surviving as long as possible, whether in the form of legal challenges or if there is a change in government and the law is repealed…." (story in archive)

Essex Evening Echo 17.11.04 Basildon: MP's "no" to fox hunting - A BAN on fox hunting in England and Wales now looks inevitable after MPs, including staunch supporter Angela Smith, MP for Basildon and East Thurrock, rejected a last-ditch compromise last night…. (story in archive)

Carmarthen Journal 17.11.04 POLICE DOUBTS ON HUNT BAN - Parliament may ban hunting with dogs, but Dyfed Powys Police are scratching their heads over how they will enforce it. Alun Williams, chief superintendent of the Carmarthenshire division, said dealing with the potential problem of hunters disobeying any new law would be tricky…. Farmers and landowners are turning up the heat on the government by asking for electricity lines to be removed from their land. It is understood that more and more landowners are bombarding energy companies with requests for the removal of poles in a bid to make life as tough as possible for hunt ban backers. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 17.11.04 Stop cruelty From D Jones (Mrs), High Street, Willingham - I REALLY must put pen to paper to let you know what a barbaric sport 'hare-coursing' is. What is even more barbaric is when it is allowed 'legally' as on farm land , as I recently witnessed…. (letter)

Salisbury Journal 17.11.04 Hunting: myths or realities? - THE fact that correspondents from Cornwall (a few weeks ago) and Bristol and Plumstead (October 28) are having to put the case against hunting in your Postbag seems to indicate that there is little support for a hunting ban in this area…. MALCOLM READ, Broadmead Farm, West Grimstead
PROFESSOR Stephen Harris stated in his letter (Postbag, October 28) that to chase animals with a pack of dogs is not humane or natural and to argue otherwise shows a complete lack of understanding of wildlife biology…. STEVEN WILSON, Bishopdown Farm, Salisbury
WITH reference to Postbag, October 21, I should like to say that Sally Marshall is missing the point of fox-hunting. It is not a sport or something people do because they are not out clubbing. It is a way of life for some country people…. SIMON THOMAS, Fairview Road, Salisbury (letters in archive)

Horncastle News 17.11.04 Hunting is simply about killing animals for sport - John Marshall’s letter, ‘Using hounds to hunt controls with discrimination’ (Horncastle News October 20), subjects us yet again to the myths and propaganda so loved by pro-hunt protagonists…. PATRICIA WICKHAM, Caistor
Why not try drag hunting? - So, according to John Marshall (Letters, Oct 20), only the sick and elderly foxes are killed and cubs hunted during the autumn have been thrown out by their mothers. Perhaps then he could explain to me how I witnessed a mother fox trying to encourage her cub along faster whilst being chased around a rabbit fenced copse for an hour… Sue Baumgardt, Hove, Sussex (letter)

Louth Leader 17.11.04 We cannot stand by and see our lives destroyed - Over the years I have read and listened to a great deal of unqualified opinion on the subject of fox hunting, Mr Broomfield’s recent letter being a typical example… We cannot stand by in silence and watch our countryside, our rural communities and our ways of life destroyed forever by misguided urban political correctness, ignorance and prejudice…. John Jarvis, South Cockerington (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 17.11.04 STILL HUNTING FOR AN ANSWER - Firstly, I do not favour a compromise. Such a move would still allow hunting to continue, albeit under tighter regulations… hunt supporters divert attention by telling people to concentrate on more important issues and by questioning the right of urban opponents to give their views. Such tactics work, if William Bethell is to be believed, but they are divisive and can only make opponents more determined to have hunting banned…. Christopher W. Fox, Watersedge, Driffield (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 17.11.04 ‘Let the hunters become hunted!’ - I WRITE with reference to Mr and Mrs Rowe’s recent letter on fox hunting. At last! Someone who is against the idiots who profess that the hunting down of many of God’s creatures is OK and that the law should be in favour of them…. Andrew Hannan, Gunthorpe, Peterborough (letter)

Worcester Evening News 17.11.04 Backbenchers rocking boat over hunts issue - SIMON HART, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance. (letter in archive)
Derby Evening Telegraph 11.11.04 MPS MAY SABOTAGE HUNT DEAL - Simon Hart, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance. (letter)
Western Morning News 9.11.04 PREJUDICE IN THE WAY OF SOLUTION TO HUNT ISSUE - The Government's own inquiry, public consultation and public hearings all concluded that there is no scientific case for a ban on hunting with dogs. 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… Simon Hart, Chief Executive Countryside Alliance (letter)


16.11.04 HUNTING BAN: NUMBERS SAY IT ALL CLAIM CAMPAIGNERS - HUNDREDS of people brave the weather to gather in a muddy field in Grandborough on a cold Thursday morning…. With the House of Lords due to debate on a hunting ban in the next week, we were invited to see firsthand behind the scenes of the Warwickshire Hunt…. (story)
16.11.04 'WE KILL THE FOXES THE FARMER WANTS KILLED' - WHEN talking to people about the hunt what comes up again and again is the way in which the hunt helps out farmers in exchange for access to the swathes of land they can ride across. Members of the hunt seem to attach more importance to this synergy, and the mutual benefits of it, than the actual act of the kill. Warwickshire Hunt member Dianne McDougall explains: "The majority of people hunting are there to enjoy riding their horse across farmland. In the early part of the season, from September to mid October, we go to farms that are saying they've got problems with foxes. It's not sport, it's pest control. We concentrate on killing foxes the farmer wants killed…. (story)

BBC News Online 16.11.04 Hunt debate prompts new protest - MPs are debating whether to vote again for an outright ban on hunting in England and Wales and override peers' calls for a licensing system… Pro-hunt protesters chained themselves up outside Parliament as MPs prepared for the showdown with peers over calls for a ban on hunting with dogs. About 30 women locked themselves to a fence outside the House of Lords…. Kitty Bishop, 18, from the Beaufort Hunt, accused MPs of "prejudice and ignorance" in trying to end a system which had worked for centuries… Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies is putting forward an amendment which would revive Mr Michael's plan…. In an unusual move, Downing Street said the prime minister would vote for that option and it is understood members of the Cabinet are being encouraged to follow suit - even though there is a free vote… (story)

Telegraph 16.11.04 Blair at bay over vote to license hunting By George Jones, Political Editor - Tony Blair launched a last-ditch effort to secure a compromise on hunting last night after the House of Lords paved the way for an end-of-session constitutional clash with the Commons.... Lord Whitty, who complained of being subjected to "abuse and harassment" during the Bill's passage, said he did not think peers had done enough to persuade MPs that regulated hunting was the way forward.... (story)

Telegraph 16.11.04 On the prowl A fox has been spotted on several occasions loping around Westminster, and even penetrating the corridors of Parliament… Robin Cook has also increased his public appearances, sometimes seeming to be on more than one television channel at once. But the crafty, intrepid fox and the rufous, bristly Mr Cook are never seen at the same time… This hypothesis will gain in probability if Mr Cook finds himself strangely obsessed with the progress this week of the Hunting Bill. (story)

Telegraph 16.11.04 Huntsmen, foxes and police are all heading for a fall By Alice Thomson - 'The Queen is our last chance," said the Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik. "We'll have to throw ourselves at her feet and ask her not to sign the Bill." The huntsman from Tiverton last weekend was even more depressed. "If they are going to shoot us, I would prefer them to put us out of our misery now. A clean shot is better than a wound. I would hate to bleed to death slowly."... The Labour backbenchers have won. They have been humiliated over the Iraqi war by their leader, but at least they can tell their grandchildren that they won the war of the red coats.... So what will happen next? In Scotland, where hunting has already been banned, no one is happy. The 10 hunts continue, but they must shoot any foxes they find and a police officer is required before the start of every hunt. Lucy Whaley, former joint master of the Berwickshire, explained: "Now twice as many foxes are being killed in Scotland, and many more wounded, it's far more dangerous for everyone involved – it fails on all counts."... It's not too late. Parliament has not yet jumped the fence. The whole field can rein back. Mr Blair's compromise – licensed hunts – has been derided by both sides; even he couldn't be bothered to vote for it last time. But for the rest of us, whose blood isn't up, it is the best solution. (story)

Guardian 16.11.04 Countryside Alliance urges last gasp deal - Patrick Wintour - The Countryside Alliance yesterday called on Labour MPs to back a last minute compromise on hunting. As parliament entered its final week, peers and MPs have begun a battle that is almost certain to see a bill of some sort become law by Thursday but could result in either a full ban or an unexpected compromise… (story)

Guardian 16.11.04 Country 'heroes' ready to go to prison - John Vidal - David Redvers, a gentleman horse trainer, calls himself a "token toff". His colleague, professional hunter Tom Leeke, has no airs whatsoever. But since they invaded the Houses of Commons with three others to protest about the proposed hunting ban last September, the two quietly-spoken men have been described as both threats to parliamentary democracy and heroes of the countryside.... Mr Leeke, the Ledbury's huntsman, judges the mood at the grassroots to be angry and defiant, and says he knows that a ban would not only be unenforceable but would be ignored…. "If people are treated unfairly, they will react. If the countryside erupts then the only people to blame is the government", said Darren Hughes of the Llangeinor hunt in Monmouthshire, south Wales…(story)

Independent 16.11.04 Blair in last-ditch bid to find middle way on hunting ban By Ben Russell Political Correspondent - Tony Blair made a last-ditch attempt to secure a compromise on fox hunting yesterday as he pledged to back efforts to introduce regulated hunting instead of an outright ban…. (story)

Times 16.11.04 Blair pushes for 'middle way' hunt vote BY DAVID CHARTER -TONY BLAIR intends to vote for a compromise to keep some foxhunting in a last-ditch attempt to head off an outright ban in the Commons today, Downing Street said last night. The Prime Minister will be joined by several leading Cabinet members including Hilary Armstrong, the Chief Whip, and John Reid, the Health Secretary, if given a chance to vote on a compromise amendment… (story)

Times 16.11.04 Because I can ... now I'll tell you about a bunch of vindicative, obsessive MPs - MICHAEL GOVE - WHAT ARE the three cruellest words in the English language? I suspect they may be “because I can”. It’s the reply of those with power, to those they hurt, when they feel no need to justify their actions…. In the debate on foxhunting, which reaches its Westminster climax this week, those opposed to the sport feel they are about to humble the arrogant. They’re about to dash the stirrup cup from the snarling lips of those who have long enjoyed pursuing sentient animals to their grave for personal pleasure…. The truth of the hunting debate, however, is that those inflicting the unnecessary suffering are the MPs who demand a ban…. Anti-hunting MPs are using their majority to cause harm to a minority they don’t like. Just because they can… As an approach to politics, I think that it stinks. Government should be about judging what is in the national interest, not pandering to the prejudices of those who want to stigmatise minorities… (story)

Sun 16.11.04 Foxhunting's end in sight - LABOUR MPs will today go in for the kill in their bid to ban foxhunting…. (story)

Daily Record 16.11.04 HUNT BAN CONCERN - TONY Blair is braced for a campaign of civil disobedience by pro-hunt supporters during next year's general election.... (story)

Mirror 16.11.04 BLAIR'S HUNT FEAR By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent - TONY Blair will today seek a compromise over hunting to try to stave off a civil disobedience campaign during next year's election. Time is running out for the PM to find an agreement between MPs determined to ban fox hunting and peers who want to save it.... (story)

Eastern Daily Press 16.11.04 Region's hunting parties ready to fight - RACHEL BULLER - The region's hunting fraternity were in defiant mood last night as they accused the Government of "destroying" England and warned that the battle against a ban had only just begun…. Sheila Castle, joint master of Dunston Harriers which has around 300 members, said: "I agree totally with the Lords that they should make Tony Blair face up to making a decision this week…" Roger Lyles, joint master of West Norfolk Hunt, said: "If it was banned we could start the legal fight. But if they keep holding off we don't now what we are fighting for." (story)

Western Mail 16.11.04 Peers set stage for total hunt ban today - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - DEFIANT backbench MPs are today set to ignore Tony Blair's appeal for compromise and back a total ban on fox hunting in an historic vote which signals the death knell for the sport.... (story)

Western Mail 16.11.04 MPs to back total ban on hunting - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - DEFIANT backbench MPs are today set to ignore Tony Blair's appeal for compromise and back a total ban on fox hunting in an historic vote which signals the death knell for the sport…. (story)

Western Mail 16.11.04 Army fears ban may hit training - Steve Dube, Western Mail - ARMY chiefs will warn the Government that they risk losing the right to practise over vast areas of the countryside if hunting with hounds is banned. The message was spelt out by the president of the Farmers' Union of Wales Gareth Vaughan in a meeting with the Army's Commander-in-Chief (Land) General Sir Timothy Granville Chapman and Commander (Wales) Brigadier Ian Cholerton…. (story)

Whitby Gazette 16.11.04 MP still against hunting ban - WHITBY MP Lawrie Quinn is sticking to his guns in the fox hunting debate. Mr Quinn met members of the Derwent Hunt in Whitby to discuss the issue on Friday and still maintains the ban is what the majority of his constituents want…. The Derwent Hunt invited Mr Quinn to attend the kennels but the meeting was held at his office in Whitby…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 16.11.04 ANGER AS PEERS PAVE WAY FOR HUNT BILL SHOWDOWN - Grace Hammond - PEERS last night set up a major confrontation with MPs by backing regulated hunting with hounds…. (story)

Western Daily Press 16.11.04 BLAIR TO VOTE ON HUNTING - Tony Blair will today make a dramatic last-minute plea to the House of Commons for a compromise on hunting. The Prime Minister intends to make a rare visit to the House to vote for legislation to allow hunting to continue under licence…. (story)

Western Morning News 16.11.04 BLAIR GIVES HOPE TO HUNTERS - Tony Blair was last night engaged in frantic behind-the-scenes efforts to persuade ministers to back a "compromise" on the future of hunting, in an extraordinary last-ditch attempt to avoid a ban…. Candy Atherton, Labour MP for Falmouth and Camborne, said: "It is the Prime Minister's prerogative to vote as he sees fit and it sounds like there will be an alternative amendment for him to pursue," she said. "But the reality is that the overwhelming majority of MPs have consistently reiterated their support for a total ban and I fully expect them to do so again."… (story)

Bristol Evening Post 16.11.04 SHOWDOWN IS LOOMING AS LORDS OPPOSE HUNTING BAN - Mps are poised for a major showdown with peers today after the House of Lords backed regulated hunting with hounds. The Government's Hunting Bill - altered by peers so that hunting would be allowed under strict regulation - got its third reading without a vote in the House of Lords last night…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 16.11.04 Hunt supporters' warning to MPs - Pro-hunt supporters in the North have warned MPs they will "set the countryside alight" if they back legislation implementing an immediate and full ban on hunting with dogs… Berwick's Alan Beith however warned he would be voting against a ban today, saying a compromise needed to be found "rather than forcing through something which will turn law-abiding people into criminals…" (story)

Evening Standard 16.11.04 MPs rule out hunting ban deal By Jason Beattie Political Correspondent, Evening Standard - Hopes of a last-minute deal on hunting look doomed today as MPs prepare to reassert their demand for an outright ban. Downing Street said Tony Blair was still holding out for a compromise which would allow hunting to continue under a licensing scheme…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 16.11.04 Pro-hunt campaigners boo minister - Hunt supporters brought their battle to Coventry and Warwickshire as the parliamentary debate on an all-out ban reached fever pitch. The demonstrations were targeted minister at of state for rural affairs Alun Michael who visited Coventry University's Technology Centre and Stoneleigh Park yesterday. About 60 placard-bearing supporters booed, hissed and heckled and some predicted this was just the start of a "civil war"…. Warwickshire hunts will run as normal this week with meets at Watergall, Bishops Itchington, at 11am on Thursday and Saturday at 10.45am at Compton Scorpion. (story)

Guardian 16.11.04 Hunt for a compromise - You suggest that one of the two things that MPs should do to restore public confidence would be to back down on banning hunting… It would be seen as ludicrous if we collapsed at the last hurdle. Nick Palmer, Lab, Broxtowe
… it is unreasonable for you to suggest that: "it is not too late for MPs to embrace the compromise" - there is no compromise on offer. And how, indeed, can there be a compromise on cruelty?... John Rolls, RSPCA
If there is no hunting, foxes will be controlled - indeed, eliminated - by "lamping". Only the existence of hunting now prevents "lamping" on a wide scale. "Lamping" is extremely cruel and desperately dangerous…. Hugh Pitman, Malmesbury, Wilts
The hunting bill has been passed repeatedly by overwhelming majorities in the Commons, and was included by many MPs in their personal election addresses to the voters who elected them…. Christopher Clayton, Waverton, Cheshire
I have a letter from Blair when he was leader of the opposition, stating that a Labour government would make a free vote available on abolition of hunting with dogs, and that his position is that he would vote for abolition. Has he ever voted for abolition? Roger Parker, Ledbury, Herefordshire (letters)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 16.11.04 ‘How ignorant can you get?’ - How can anyone so get the wrong end of the stick? Country sport is a way of life. Hunting is not cruel, but for a good reason, such as culling certain animals which do a lot of damage…. J MOORE, Paston, Peterborough (letter)

Leicester Mercury 16.11.04 HERITAGE AND LIBERTY AT STAKE - Given that current knowledge provides no grounds to ban hunting and that the Prime Minister and the majority of his Government are thought to favour regulation rather than a ban, it will be interesting to see how our local Labour MPs vote…. Hunting has made Leicestershire famous throughout the world. It brings much-needed income to local areas and is part of our national heritage. What are we to have, honesty or party politics? True democracy or chaos? Liberty or a nanny state? Ian Kilgour, Thurcaston (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.11.04 OWNING UP TO CRIMINALITY? - Is it possible that Mr David Picton-Thomas does not understand the implications of his statement that "those who have the honesty to declare they enjoy killing foxes have the right to kill foxes"? The logical sequitur of this remark is that any kind of aberrant, deviant or criminal behaviour can be justified as long as the perpetrator is honest about his criminality…. If anyone had any doubts about the nature of hunt activities, the same issue carried the story of a young deer being disembowelled alive by the hounds. No doubt considered a good afternoon's "sport"! B Nowlan Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.11.04 IT'S NOT FAIR TO CALL HUNTING WITH HOUNDS UNDISCIPLINED - I seem to have missed the letters regarding cats, but read Barry Lloyd's reply…. Equestrian people do not hate cats. Most stable yards have a cat. They do sterling work keeping the mice down and horses like them…. It would seem to be a lack of knowledge which leads fair-minded people like Mr Lloyd to be troubled. Hunting is not a free-for-all, undisciplined affair, with everyone going flat out on hounds' heels. There is a regulatory body called The Masters of Foxhounds Association which lays down a set of rules which hunts must abide by…. people do not sit around, in a circle on their horse, deriving "apparent enjoyment in the kill". I hunted with my father as a child and a scrubby schoolgirl and I never witnessed a kill. Diana M Harvey Dursley Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 16.11.04 CATS KILL FOR FUN NOT TO EAT - I am no hunter, but I feel Mr Stratton makes a good point about cats…. I have put out of their misery small rabbits which have been paralysed and used as playthings by cats… Andy Leach Eastend Northleach Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 16.11.04 Confused views - MANY of the vociferous minority who write to you to support a ban on hunting with dogs seem to think that Parliament has spoken and that a ban is inevitable. May I remind them that our democracy has a Parliament of two houses and a bill has to be passed in both to become law…. If the Government invokes the Parliament Act in defiance of the House of Lords it may well be an improper use of the Act. This would be both a corruption of democracy and legally questionable. Gerry Matthews, Black Torrington (letter)

Western Morning News 16.11.04 AT LEAST HUNTERS CAN BE HELD TO ACCOUNT - hopkins paints an evocative picture of grand ladies genteelly pouring tea in their morning rooms against a backdrop of pictures showing the daring deeds and blood thirsty antics of the hunting fraternity. As is so often the case the picture the antis paint bears little resemblance to reality. The picture of a live fox being thrown to hounds dates from the century before last and is a custom that has not been practiced for many years…. However, one thing that makes the image relevant today is that it clearly shows that hunting practices have always been open to accountability, something that the balaclava clad antis have yet to follow. Jo Rumble, Ashburton (letter)

Western Morning News 16.11.04 CANDY'S COMMENTS WERE IRRESPONSIBLE - So Candy Atherton as quoted in your edition of October 1 believes that the actions of the Alliance in defending their right to hunt consists of "thuggery and violence" I wonder where she got that idea from. The only thuggery and violence apparent so far seems to have been on the part of the police in Parliament Square. What a stupid claim to make. She should apologise forthwith…. John Montague, Alphington (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 16.11.04 NEW BILL WOULD BE 'STEP TOO FAR' - The Labour Party is proposing a Civil Contingencies Bill. It is being taken through our parliamentary system right now. It was debated in the House of Commons on September 15, 'Battle of Britain Day', along with the ban on fox hunting. It had its second reading in the House of Lords on November 9…. Pat Wells, West Common Gardens, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 16.11.04 WHICH GROUP WILL BE NEXT TARGET FOR THE WHINGERS? - Well, we seem to be giving the old people a real bashing at the moment with their council taxes, etc. We also seem to be hunting weary and we haven't heard about unmarried mothers for a while…. So who are we going to whinge about next - The Knitting League for not supporting sheep farmers? The Flower Pressing Society for decimating our wild flowers? And isn't that the crux of the matter, that some people go on and on about other people because they're different to them?... Alan Jones, Mayflower Avenue, Exeter (letter)

News Shopper 16.11.04 Forget hunting and deal with fireworks - FOR some reason I believed at letter which arrived last year from Downing Street promising me fireworks were to be much less noisy this year. Perhaps this year I will write a letter about flying pigs or the tooth fairy…. How can people campaign for the abolition of fox-hunting when night after night domestic animals are terrified by huge bangs, flashes and screeches?... Town people self-righteously complain about country people who hunt foxes …. Sheila Nunn, Belvedere (letter)