November 2004 - hunting 23-30.11.04

Back to News Index

(*)- added since last update


Telegraph 30.11.04 Scruton hunts for pastures greener - As co-founder of the Hunting Declaration Group, Professor Roger Scruton has made his views on the hunting ban plain enough. But now the Act is on the statute book, I hear that the academic and Right-wing thinker has decided to emigrate to America. "Hunting is one of the things Roger feels strongest about," I'm told. "So the fact that it is now definitely going to be banned in Britain is really the last straw for him. He doesn't see why he should stay here any longer and is keen to set up home in Virginia, where tradition is more respected."…. (story)

North Yorkshire Advertiser 30.11.04 Action pledge over hunt ban - FARMERS who support hunting with dogs are threatening to refuse access to their land. Hunt masters meeting to discuss the ban on the sport said landowners would be 'bloody minded' when bodies such as utility engineers, council officials or the Army asked for permission to come on their property…. Peter Dennis, farmer and master of the Hurworth Hunt, based at West Rounton, near Northallerton, is planning to refuse access to his land. He said he wanted to make a stand. John Snaith, chairman of the Zetland Hunt, which hunts around the borders of North Yorkshire and County Durham, added: "We may be a little bloody minded when it comes to people like water and electricity companies getting access to our land. They may find things a little awkward…." (story in archive)

The Sentinel 30.11.04 CHIEF MUST END HUNT FOUNDED BY ANCESTORS - Staffordshire's top-ranking police officer must ban fox hunting on his own family estate - even though his ancestors founded a prominent hunt. But Chief Constable John Giffard says his historic connections with the pursuit will not affect him enforcing new laws to be introduced in February. His great-great-grandfather Walter Giffard founded the Albrighton Hunt on the Staffordshire-Shropshire border in 1830…. (story)
Shropshire Star 29.11.04 Police chief to ban hunting on estate - Police chief John Giffard, whose ancestors were involved in founding one of Shropshire's leading hunts, today faces having to ban foxhunters from his 4,000-acre estate…. The Albrighton Hunt was founded by his ancestor Walter Giffard in 1830 and his father Peter de Longueville Giffard was its vice-chairman…. (story)
Burton Mail 29.11.04 Anger at fox hunt article by HANNA DAVIES - CHIEF constable of Staffordshire John Giffard has hit out after a national newspaper revealed his history of hunting… a spokesman for Staffordshire Police said this morning: "John Giffard is angry and unhappy over the piece in The Sunday Times. "He’s always policed hunts in the area in a professional and impartial manner. He doesn’t hunt, he’s never hunted, and he hasn’t even ridden a horse for 40 years." (story)
Birmingham Post/Mail 29.11.04 Squire will ban hunt from estate By Sarah Probert - His family may have founded the Albrighton Hunt, but John Giffard, the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, knows where his loyalties will lie when a hunting ban is introduced. The police chief has never followed a hunt. He has not ridden a horse for 40 years and as far as he is concerned the pursuit will be banned in February…. (story)
Sunday Times 28.11.04 Police squire in mire over hunting ban - DAVID LEPPARD - WHILE police forces across the country prepare for widespread civil disobedience as they try to enforce the hunting ban, one chief constable has more reason than most to agonise over the ramifications of the new law. John Giffard, chief constable of Staffordshire, faces a difficult conflict between professional duty and family tradition when the ban is introduced in February. For Giffard is also the Eton-educated 29th squire of Chillington Hall, near Codsall Wood, Staffordshire, and comes from a long line of fox-hunters…. The local Albrighton hunt was founded by his ancestor Walter Giffard in 1830 and his father, Peter Richard de Longueville Giffard, was its vice-chairman…. In public at least, Giffard plays down his involvement with the Albrighton hunt. However, his reputation as a hunt supporter is so well established that it has led some in the Countryside Alliance to talk of him as a possible candidate to succeed John Jackson, the chairman, when he steps down…. (story)

Western Daily Press 30.11.04 SLOW START FOR STOCK SCHEME - The National Fallen Stock Scheme has been up and running for just over a week. But there are concerns that in many remote areas, the message has not sunk in - and farmers are still burying stock. According to NFU livestock board chairman Richard Haddock, only 20 per cent of farmers had signed up by the time the scheme went live - and even he admitted that he had not yet completed the paperwork to become a member…. Mr Haddock says one of the problems may stem from the daunting collection prices of £30£35 a ewe which were bandied about before the scheme was put in place. … Meanwhile, there are reports from hunt kennels - which represent a sizeable chunk of the official fallen stock collection force - that around a third of the expected dead livestock is still unaccounted for, as farmers in remote areas continue to dispose of their dead lambs by burying them…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 30.11.04 POLICE SEEK CULPRITS AFTER PRO-HUNTING GRAFFITI IS DAUBED ON ROADS - Pro-hunting messages have been painted on roads around Bath. Council officials and police say the 'Hunt on' daubings amount to criminal damage and will be treated as such…. Avon Vale Hunt master Jonathon Seed said he understood why the daubings had appeared. "I think keeping the issue in the public eye is important. But people do have to be very careful not to break the law…" Justin Broadwith, a member of the Bath Hunt Saboteurs Association, said it was time for pro-hunt campaigners to end their protests…(story)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 HUNTING ACT IS TOO CONFUSING FOR WORDS - An MP is to investigate what he describes as a 'mad situation' in the Hunting Act, where legal semantics are giving farmers a headache. Mark Clough - A north Devon farmer who has never shot a deer in his life believes he could now be forced to shoot the animals because of an "insane" ruling in the new law banning hunting… Giles Bradshaw, who farms at Rose Ash, near South Molton, believes that the provisions contained in the Hunting Act, which will outlaw hunting after February 18, mean that if his dogs chase deer he will have to shoot them. The Act states that if an animal is "flushed out" by a dog, steps must be taken as soon as possible for the animal to be shot by a "competent person"… "I walk my dogs around the farm and if they see deer they chase them for about 100 yards. They never catch them and the deer run off," said Mr Bradshaw. "But the Hunting Act states that if dogs are used to flush out animals that are damaging crops then they must be shot as soon as possible…. Nigel Davies, of Defra's hunting policy unit, told Mr Bradshaw: "I have spoken to one of Defra's lawyers and we are of the opinion that the activity you describe is in fact merely 'chasing away' unwanted animals -deer or foxes- from your land and that you are not in fact hunting as described in the Hunting Act 2004."… (story)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 70% SAY POLICE SHOULD NOT ENFORCE A BAN - Seventy per cent of the public believe the police should not enforce the ban on hunting when the legislation comes into effect in February, according to a new opinion poll… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 29.11.04 Police urged to ignore hunting ban - By Stephen Meredith - SEVENTY per cent of the public believe the police should not enforce the ban on hunting when the legislation comes into effect in February…. (story)
Western Daily Press 29.11.04 LEAVE HUNTERS ALONE, SAYS POLL - Seventy per cent of the British public say the police should not enforce the hunting ban due to come into effect in February, according to a poll published yesterday… (story)
Sunday Telegraph 28.11.04 Don't enforce hunt ban, say 70pc - Seventy per cent of the public believe that the police should not enforce the ban on hunting when the legislation comes into effect in February. An opinion poll, conducted by ICM for The Sunday Telegraph, found that seven out of 10 of those questioned believed that police officers should concentrate on other areas of crime once hunting with hounds becomes illegal.... (story)
Scotsman 26.11.04 Nanny state restrictions alienating voters - RHIANNON EDWARD - AN overwhelming majority of voters think the government is going too far in restricting individual liberties on issues like smoking, smacking and fox-hunting, according to a poll released yesterday. Some 71 per cent of people questioned by ICM for thinktank Reform agreed that too many "infringements on personal liberty" were being proposed… Overall, 27 per cent of those questioned said the government should legislate on issues like smoking, smacking and hunting…. (story)
Sky News 25.11.04 PUBLIC UNHAPPY WITH LAWS - The Government is going too far in restricting individual liberties on issues like smoking, smacking and fox-hunting, according to a new poll. An ICM poll for thinktank Reform found that some 71% of people agreed that too many "infringements on personal liberty" were being proposed…. (story)
Daily Mail 25.11.04 Government 'going too far with nanny state' - An overwhelming majority of voters think the Government is going too far in restricting individual liberties on issues like smoking, smacking and fox-hunting, according to a poll. Some 71 per cent of people questioned by ICM for thinktank Reform agreed that too many "infringements on personal liberty" were being proposed…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 30.11.04 WHAT MAKES A 39-YEAR-OLD DRESS UP LIKE A FOX AND GET A CRIMINAL RECORD? - Every Saturday DURING THE HUNTING SEASON, HUNT SABOTEUR SUZANNE AMOS IS A WOMAN ON A MISSION . SARAH STAPLES MET HER TO FIND OUT WHAT MAKES HER TICK… Her conversation is peppered with references to "they", and "these people", and "them", and finally the "blood junkies". She's not talking about terrorists. She's talking about hunters. It's a war out there - and finally, she feels the anti-hunt campaign has won it….(story)

South Wales Evening Post 30.11.04 GROUP IN HUNT PLEA - A Rural pressure group is calling for Wales to "go it alone" on hunting. Speaking at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in mid Wales later today, Ross Murray, of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), will call for the sport to be licensed in the country…. (story)

Birmingham Post 30.11.04 Virtual hunting is a real alternative By Sarah Rrobert, Birmingham Post - Hunts across the West Midlands have invented a new pursuit to keep them happy once a ban is introduced next year - virtual hunting…. the proposals, raised at a Midland meeting of the Council of Hunting Associations, will include chasing other prey - rats and rabbits…. (story)

Daily Post 30.11.04 Defy hunt ban on its first day By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - WELSH fox packs are being urged to defy the law and go hunting on February 19, the day it becomes illegal. The call received unanimous approval from 17 packs competing in the hound show at yesterday's Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Builth Wells…. Taking part in yesterday's show was Ivor Evans, who runs the 30-hound Aber Valley Hunt in Conwy and Snowdonia…. Following a Daily Post story highlighting how 60 Eryri Hunt hounds may be shot, RSPCA Cymru has urged the pack to consider the APGAW recommendations and allow their hounds "a second chance of life". (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 30.11.04 FARMERS' HUNT- Dulverton Farmers Hunt meets for December… (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 30.11.04 STAGHOUNDS - Devon and Somerset Staghounds Hind Hunting meets for December and January… (story)

Runcorn World 1.12.04 It's our duty - I HAVE been fishing and shooting since the 1970s and my first responsibilities were when I became head gamekeeper for the Bold and Aston estates…. We should all be out there protesting, it's our duty. I certainly will be from now on; the whole thing makes my hair stand on end. Keith Standish MBE, Widnes (letter in archive)

Tivyside Advertiser 30.11.04 No way to win hearts and minds - by C E David, Tremain - I was taking my dog for a walk in my garden when the Tivyside Hunt dogs ran all over it. My dog was bitten and bleeding. It was most upsetting…. Why can't these people inform housholders of their intended presence so children and pets can be kept indoors…. (letter in archive)

Telegraph 30.11.04 It's a drag without the fox Sir - John Mittaz (Letters, Nov 23) asks why drag hunting is anathema to hunting people…. Drag hunting's too predictable. It's like the difference between a well-behaved doll and a lively child. Gillian Bence-Jones, Ipswich, Suffolk (letter)

Western Mail 30.11.04 Upstaged by Queen - So the supporters of blood sports are prepared to use intimidation and bully-boy tactics to threaten our elected Government into submission. It is vital that this stubborn and arrogant minority are not allowed to dictate their behaviour to the clear majority of decent law-abiding people who are opposed to these barbaric practices… ROB CURTIS, Merthyr Dyfan Road, Barry
The Class War and Foxey Loxey….Talk to anyone here in the old mining valleys about hunting, you hear - "remember the strike! We'll give them the same support they gave us". Even after all these years the refusal of the farmers in Abergavenny market to let the women miners' support groups collect is still remembered with hostility… NEIL THOMPSON, Cwmtorlais Road, Newbridge (letters)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 HIGHLY SELECTIVE VIEW OF ANIMAL RIGHTS SUPPORTERS ON HUNTING - I am not a huntsman, have never been on a horse and have no strong opinion either way about hunting. I am puzzled that animal rights people are concerned about foxes which are vermin, but do not seem to be worried that the ban on hunting will mean that numerous horses and dogs will be killed… LA Parry, Falmouth
Should others break law? IF the hunting fraternity insist on civil disobedience and breaking the law, then I suggest that other factions can also have carte blanche to exercise "civil disobedience" towards laws they disagree with…. B Crofton, Weston Super Mare (letter2)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 HUNTING ISSUE IS THE VICTIM OF EVENTS - The hunting issue is to be "resolved" at last, and a squalid resolution it is, appropriately overseen by that loyal New Labour contortionist, Alun Michael… Yet even with all that seething class hatred, hunting would probably have survived if it were not for Iraq. Blair had to have his war and the only way to persuade his doubtful backbenchers to vote for it was to sacrifice hunting… M Hunter, South Zeal (letter)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 I DEFEND THE RIGHT OF OTHERS TO HUNT - When the next General Election is called, I hope all the people who value freedom will remember November 16, 2004. This is the day the present government announced plans to ban smoking and once again voted to ban hunting with dogs…. MPs are elected to serve the people, not to feather their own nests, waste public money on a vast scale and make their constituents' lives miserable by legislating on matters that should be none of their concern. A G Yates Colyton, East Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 BAN WON'T HIT THE LABOUR VOTE - Many readers will wish to express their appreciation to the Western Morning News for extensive reporting of the hunting debate during the past decade…. A few hundred people working in the business of killing animals for sport may have to find alternative employment, but I do not think newspaper 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, Exeter Rights infringed - MANY of us served this country in the Second World War so that Tony Banks and his friends could grow up in a free country - not under a Nazi dictatorship. We feel the banning of hunting is an infringement of our human rights… Elizabeth M Weir, Chagford (letter)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 WHAT'S NEXT? A VISITING PROFESSOR? - Since the ban on hunting became law, a number of those who supported the ban have suggested that drag hunting could replace hunting of foxes. They have usefully advised that the first requirement will be to retrain hounds! But how? Since there is no indication (as yet) that the government intends to set up re-training centres for this purpose…. it must be assumed that such training must be undertaken by hunts… Some hunts may wish to invite an anti-hunt MP to come, as "visiting professor", to explain to the hounds the reasoning behind their new role and the need for them to "re-focus"…. With goodwill on all sides, as now advocated by the Minister for Rural Affairs, I am sure there would be those from the hunting community who would be prepared to sit on a focus group to advise him what he should do next and precisely how to do it. G Mannell, Truro
What about religious killings? I FULLY sympathise with Mrs E Etheridge (WMN, November 13) with her complaint about those who condemn hunting as being cruel, but ignore the dreadful fact that hundreds of thousands of animals endure horrendous land and sea journeys for many days on end, to then face first being restrained and then having there throats cut without any humane stunning first, all in the name of religion… Neil Kernick, Newton Abbot (letters)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 THE UNSPEAKABLE IN PURSUIT OF THE INEDIBLE - In the WMN letters pages as recently as November 16, the pro-hunting lobby were saying a ban on hunting was by no means inevitable… Foxes will kill far fewer hens after foxhunting is banned, because hunts will stop "seeding" their country, allowing fox numbers to decline. Mike Baker, St Austell (letter)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 SOMETHING'S SERIOUSLY WRONG - Do not be surprised when the hunting ban is widely ignored. Those who dislike hunting should remember that not only did the Government's own Burns Report find insufficient evidence of cruelty to justify a ban, but very recently Lord Burns himself did not see how the use of the Parliament Act could be justified where the scientific evidence is not clear…. Dr Christopher Maycock, Crediton
MPs not responsible - KATE Ironside (WMN, November 22) is right to say the hunters have virtually no chance of overturning the ban by court action… Clearly the red mist descended upon their normally temperate Lordships, and any hunt staff who might find themselves jobless and on the streets in February will have their ermine-coated friends to blame, not those in the Commons, who were left with no choice but to enact the Bill with the shorter delay or lose it altogether. M Crofting, Hayle, Cornwall
Vermin are now safe FOLLOWING seven years of New Labour rule, all they have achieved is to show that all forms of vermin are now totally safe, nationwide. Be it the foxes in the countryside or the tearaways in the towns, both can now operate with total impunity. Ian Oxley, Paignton (letters)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 HAS ALL THIS HELPED THE COUNTRYSIDE? - I'm indifferent to the argument as to if hunting is, or is not, more humane than shooting, trapping or poisoning foxes, and then having to decide on their merits if these are then done well or badly . It's six of one and half a dozen of the other. However, I am infuriated by the way those who call themselves countrymen claim they alone understand how to conserve the countryside. Their claim is poppycock…. Theo Hopkins, Lifton
Barbaric throat cutting - IN common with others in this New Labour government, Candy Atherton MP has been vocal on the issue of hunting with dogs… However, we have heard nothing from her or any of her cronies on such major cruelty issues like the methods of slaughtering favoured by some religious groups in this country, namely the throat cutting favoured by the Jewish and Muslim communities… Peter Keen, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 IT WILL BE A LIVELY 2005 ELECTION - The fumbling incompetence of Government over the Hunting Bill has been truly remarkable. Once the Burns Report had been published, it was clear that there was no justification for a ban based on "principle and evidence", and Government should have engaged with the middle way option wholeheartedly…. J Ward-Hayne, Modbury, South Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 VICIOUS ATTACK UPON OUR FREEDOM - The Last Days of the anti-Hunting Bill - the Dog Days of the House of Commons - the "school" which finally forgot itself and its great traditions, and fell victim to the influence of the "backbench school bullies"… Cry "freedom" for the Isles of Great Britain and all her peoples. Tess Nash, Helston
Ban should not be allowed I WOULD like to express my support for hunting and other country sports. Country sports touches many people. The Government should not have the right to force the ban. F Partridge, Sandford Orcas, Dorset (letters)

Western Morning News 30.11.04 Right to hunt - MY congratulations to Peter Bradley, MP, for at last admitting the bigoted reasoning behind the Labour backbenchers' relentless pursuit of a hunting ban. Yet if, as he says, the million or so who marched, came to London to protect their landowning elite, then why was it the threat of the ban on hunting that was the rallying cause and not the CRoW Act and its "right to roam" which has a more significant impact on the country landowner?... Joanna Rumble, Ashburton, Newton Abbot (letter)

Daily Record 30.11.04 HUNT THE TRUTH - AS a working class Glaswegian, I take exception to the stereotyping of those who hunt with dogs. In my experience the hunting fraternity are down-to-earth people and by no means exclusively the rich and famous…. Hunters have the right to use civil disobedience as a means of protest against this unjust and discriminatory legislation… D.Kay,Glasgow (letter)

Yorkshire Post 30.11.04 From: R Littlewood, Hazlehead, Sheffield, South Yorkshire. I don't think the anti-hunt Labour members are actually anti-toff or pro-fox. They are simply worried that someone may fall off his horse and sue. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.11.04 HUNTING BILL A VICTORY FOR THE TOTALITARIAN IMPULSE - Your correspondent John Phelps asserts that the House of Lords had no right to reject the Hunting Bill, Echo, November 20. Not only did the peers have the right, they had the absolute constitutional duty to scrutinise, amend and, if necessary, reject legislation which is not based on evidence or reason and which discriminates against a section of society…. J Ward-Hayne, Broad Street, Modbury, Devon (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.11.04 GOVERNMENT, NATIONAL AND LOCAL, LETS US DOWN ….I am getting fed up with both national and local government in their total failure to realise that a majority in the South West are feeling persecuted in the country of our birth. Look at what we are faced with - the banning of hunting with hounds; gipsy camps on the borders of Exeter; refugees being placed in Exeter; wind farms defiling the countryside; a policy to effectively close some rural branch lines, others will follow; a government that decrees that there should not be any cruelty to animals, yet allows halal and kosher meat; a meat rendering plant in Exeter… Mr T A Griffin, 2 Salmon Pool Lane, St Leonard's, Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.11.04 COUNTRYSIDE WRECKERS WILL SACRIFICE PUBLIC SYMPATHY - Due to your newspaper's excellent coverage of the hunting debates - through features, news stories and readers' correspondence - we should all be better informed. However, some issues are being ignored, distorted, or, lied about…. Civil disobedience and breaking the law is unacceptable. Those who advocate tactics that will disrupt people's lives need to remember that tying up resources will lose them sympathy and make them more vulnerable if law enforcers are engaged elsewhere. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.11.04 ACT'S ESSENTIAL FOR DEMOCRACY - I must take issue with Martin Scott. The Parliament Act 1911 had three provisions…. No longer could an un- elected unaccountable second chamber overrule the elected and accountable government of the day…. The hunting ban in Scotland came into force without having to have the legislation sanctioned by the Lords. Does Martin Scott condemn this as undemocratic?... John Crole Street Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.11.04 TAX HANDICAP FOR THE HUNTS - Little thought seems to have been given to any alternative to discourage fox hunting. If, instead of this ban, measures had been taken to impose additional bureaucratic, regulatory and tax measures, then the various hunts, would, I am sure, eventually have given up. For instance, each hunt should be required to obtain an annual licence for which it would have a cost to pay (a tax); then each master of fox hounds could be required to apply for an annual licence at a cost borne by that person (another tax)… Patrick Hastelow Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 30.11.04 HUNTING BAN WAS DELAYED - It's wonderful hunting with dogs will be outlawed by mid-February. But Blair and Co could very easily have stopped those noisome individuals by simply backing Mike Foster's Private Members Bill seven years ago this month. Instead, this odious government wasted parliamentary time by stalling every time other MPs voted overwhelmingly for a total ban… DAVE MANLEY, New Exeter Street, Chudleigh (letter)

York Evening Press 30.11.04 Beautiful foxes? FCJ Radcliffe states that foxhounds are "God's beautiful creatures" and describes them as being "predatory, with unique powers of scent, sight, speed and stamina" (Letters, November 23). Sounds like a description that could also be applied to the fox! Mrs Barbara Boyce, Admiral Walker Road, Beverley. (letter in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 30.11.04 LET'S HAVE SOME PROGRESS AND A BAN ON FOX HUNTING - Having read your article about those who support fox hunting (November 22), I just had to write. It was quite clear from what your hunting followers were stating that what they're really trying to protect is a "tradition". Pest control or any other excuse was just lame. They themselves admitted, it's the actual action of the hunt they find exciting, the chasing, the good country air! What wishy-washy, thatched cottage, chocolate box sentiment!... P. COUSINS Lincoln.(letter)

Argus 30.11.04 Letter: There is no excuse for such cruelty - So much media coverage has been given to the lamentable bellicose behaviour of the so-called "pillars of the community" (The Argus, November 20) it seems fair and fitting to also give the view of ex-Master of Foxhounds Robert Churchward who, late in life, came to see the error of his ways…. -Beatrice Paufrey, Worthing (letter in archive)

Argus 30.11.04 Letter: Lenient course Illegal hare coursing has operated, even flourished, for years without police or political interference. It will be interesting to see if illegal fox hunting is offered the same leniency and if not, why not? -Andrew Shanks, Uckfield (letter in archive)

Argus 30.11.04 Letter: No compromise - With the fox-hunting controversy going to the High Court, I wonder how many more years this issue will go unresolved?... Democracy cannot work if we only obey the laws we like. My major concern is the cost of taking this issue through the judicial system. Unless attitudes change, it will take many years to be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved. -Steve Fuller, Hove (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 30.11.04 Above the law? THE hunting brigade intends to show the British nation they are above law of the land. Why should 59 million of us in Britain have to obey the law, when these people refuse to do the same? K HEMMING, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 30.11.04 Perosnal vendetta is just not acceptable - The article in the Sunday Telegraph by Peter Bradley (MP for the Wrekin) saying that banning hunting with hounds is all about class warfare demonstrates the sheer rottenness of our political culture…. His recollection of the conversation surrounding the map shown to him by a few of his constituents is distorted. It showed some 270 farms where foxhunters were allowed. His reaction was immediate in that it only represented 270 votes… (letter)

Shropshire Star 30.11.04 Hounded by Labour class war - I commend Peter Bradley on finally coming clean. This legislation has nothing to do with welfare. It's all about his hatred of certain constituents (who don't happen to live in towns)…. Both my parents were staunch Labour supporters, yet my father took me hunting and we followed hounds on bicycles. He'd be turning in his grave. Name and address supplied (letter)

Shropshire Star 30.11.04 Raving at hunt lobby - MP Peter Bradley has obviously had a bad experience with the hunt lobby with his ravings on class war. Hunting is a way of life, like breeding birds to shoot, fishing, and other feathered and furry creatures which mankind hunts and chases for their blood, not because they are hungry… John Tomkins, Wellington (letter)

Shropshire Star 30.11.04 Reminded of brutal socialism in Russia - Mr Bradley's recent class rant in a national newspaper has done a great service to the electorate of The Wrekin. It has shown Mr Bradley for what he is… Mark Pritchard, Conservative spokesman for The Wrekin (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 30.11.04 BLAME LIES WITH HOUSE OF LORDS - While I respect Martin Kirby's point of view, I would like to point out, regarding time spent on the hunting issue, that the blame lies with the House of Lords. They have been given every opportunity, could have had a compromise, but not a chance, it was all or nothing… PAMELA DEAN, Field Road, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 30.11.04 ONE BAN TOO FAR - Ban sport fields, ban bent bananas, ban Christmas, ban Father Christmas, ban junk food, ban the St George Flag, ban smacking, ban fireworks, ban fox hunting, ban smoking, what next? Our liberty, our free speech, our cars, our fresh air, our ability to think for ourselves?... Ronny Jillings, Petchell Way, Grimsby (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 30.11.04 NOW CHASE A ROBOT FOX - When Countryside Alliance members are interviewed, they all bleat about democracy as if it means we can do as we please. But that would result in anarchy. The vast majority of us consider that hunting a fox with dogs until it is torn to pieces is a cruel sport which should be banned. The Hunting Bill has been passed - that's democracy…. Sue Rowlands, Manselfield Road, Murton, Swansea (letter)


BBC News Online 29.11.04 'License hunting in Wales' call - A rural pressure group is calling for Wales to "go it alone" on hunting. Speaking at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in mid Wales, Ross Murray, of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), will call for the sport to be licensed in the country…. (story)

Times 29.11.04 Hunting ban MPs face election fight BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - A CAMPAIGN for the tolerance of hunting is the latest vehicle planned by hunt supporters to target 50 marginal seats at the general election. The intention is to register the campaign with the Electoral Commission so that its aim of ousting anti-hunt MPs is transparent…. The move has no involvement from the Countryside Alliance, which has made clear that it cannot participate directly in election campaigns…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 29.11.04 YORKSHIRE'S 29 HUNTS VOW TO FIGHT ON AGAINST 'UNJUST' BAN - Brian Dooks - AS the deadline for enforcement of the ban on hunting draws nearer all 29 hunts in Yorkshire have voiced their determination that February 17 will not be the last Tally-ho. Representatives from all 29 hunts packed the Golden Fleece in Thirsk yesterday for a 90-minute meeting to agree a campaign of concerted action. The meeting was private, but afterwards Countryside Alliance regional director John Haigh made it clear that the Government would not end one of the traditions of the countryside…. (story)
York Evening Press 29.11.04 Determined group to disobey hunt ban - A CAMPAIGN of mass civil disobedience against the ban on hunting with dogs has been agreed on by North Yorkshire hunt supporters. Representatives of the 29 hunts in Yorkshire, and the county's three coursing clubs, packed into The Golden Fleece hotel, in Thirsk, yesterday to form a plan of action…. (story in archive)
Hull Daily Mail 29.11.04 PRO-HUNTERS JOIN IN DEFIANCE TO FIGHT BAN - East Yorks: Hunt supporters are joining colleagues across Yorkshire to fight the ban on hunting with hounds. Officials from all 29 hunts in the county declared defiance when they met yesterday…. Farmer Chris Richardson, joint master of the Holderness Hunt, said: "We have decided to continue hunting, but within the law…." (story)
Northern Echo 29.11.04 Hunting fans draw up ban action plans by Joe Willis FARMERS who support hunting with dogs are threatening to refuse access to their land. Hunt masters, meeting yesterday to discuss last week's decision to ban the activity, said landowners would be "bloody minded" when bodies such as utility engineers, council officials or the Army asked for permission to access their property…. Peter Dennis, farmer and master of the Hurworth Hunt, at West Rounton, near Northallerton, is planning to refuse access to his land. John Snaith, chairman of the Zetland Hunt, which hunts along the borders of North Yorkshire and County Durham, said: "We may be a little bloody minded when it comes to people like water and electricity companies getting access to our land. They may find things a little awkward…" (story in archive)
Yorkshire Post 27.11.04 HUNT MASTERS TO DECIDE ON DISOBEDIENCE - A CRUNCH meeting of Yorkshire's masters of hounds this weekend will decide how regional hunts will wage co-ordinated civil disobedience in response to the ban on hunting with dogs passed last week. Simon McGee - The strategy could involve a point-blank refusal by landowners to give bodies such as power companies, councils or the Army access to their land…. The joint master of East Yorkshire's Middleton Hunt, Mary Rook, has said she would "just carry on doing what we're doing in defiance", while Steven Clark, joint master of the Barlow hounds in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, said his "unofficial plan" was to "continue as normal"…. A militant group, the Real Countryside Alliance, has announced it will be setting up a "rebuttal unit" to attack the claims of animal welfare organisations that have been urging for a ban… (story)

Western Morning News 29.11.04 HUNT BAN WILL STOP TOURIST VISITS TO THE REGION - The Westcountry's appeal as a hunting destination for tourists received its first setback this week when an Exmoor hotel received a letter from a leading Austrian dental surgeon cancelling all future bookings because of the forthcoming government ban. In two passionately written letters to the owner of the Crown Hotel, Exford, Dr Christian Willinger says he regards the Government's move as a personal offence directed against "his way of life"…. For the past decade, Dr Willinger has visited the region an average of three times a year to hunt with the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, and in his letters he laments: "Britain has changed too much during the last decade. I do not find the old spirit any more, let alone the old values and traditions…." (story)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 TRUST PARENTS TO KNOW WHAT'S BEST … For all his crass insensitivity in saying so, John Prescott had a point when he talked about fox hunting not being a major issue. He was right. Most people outside of the countryside aren't concerned either way - so why did the Government waste hours of Parliamentary time on it, when there are pressing problems that need to be addressed?... (story)

Times 29.11.04 Police ability to enforce hunt ban - As a hunt saboteur and protester I was surprised to read that senior police officers believe it will be difficult to police foxhunting after the ban comes into force (report, November 20). They seem to have been able to monitor protesters and saboteurs easily enough… PHIL SENIOR, 63 Forest Rise, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 2EP.
am not surprised that there is concern over policing illegal hunting given that it would appear that there are not enough police to enforce the ever-increasing number of motorists currently driving whilst speaking on mobile telephones. MICHAEL HENDERSON-BEGG, 66 Westbury Road, New Malden, Surrey KT3 5AS. (letters)

South Wales Echo 29.11.04 Hours wasted on fox debate - I WOULD like to respond to the recent letter from C Roberts of Marshfield (Echo), regarding fox-hunting and the availability of other riding sports. I agree there are, but certain sports involving horses are dependant on hunting… We have lost too many of this country's traditions already. This country's Government has already spent in excess of 700 hours in Parliament discussing fox-hunting. I would have thought they had far more important issues to debate than banning fox-hunting. Mike Parry, Gwendoline Street, Treherbert, Rhondda Cynon Taf (letter)

Daily Record 29.11.04 TIME TO END CRUEL SPORT OF THE RICH - THE hunt lobby plans chaos for the election and mass civil disobedience, but nobody is above the law…. If the hunting hooligans start civil disobedience we should beon the streets to tell them we don't still practise the class system and we won't have it… Will Paxton,Aberdeen (letter)

Western Morning News 29.11.04 SPOT THE DIFFERENCE - There has been widespread newspaper comment on the difficulties that police will face in enforcing the Hunting Act. Hunts which are determined to continue can increase these problems by declaring themselves to be drag hunts… Differentiating day in, day out between a drag hunt and an illegal hunt will be virtually impossible for the police, and completely unjustifiable in terms of police resources and priorities. Norman Cowling Widecombe, Dartmoor (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 MR BLAIR WILL REAP WHIRLWIND ON HUNT VERDICT - After seven years of arrogance from their leader downwards, it's refreshing to hear Labour MP Peter Bradley tell the truth. As most of us knew, the fox hunting ban is as much about class-war as animal rights… Ron Tanner Tetbury Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! - Hands up all those who have been complaining about the surrender of parliamentary sovereignty in Britain for years to the European Union, who now support the challenge to that same sovereignty in Westminster because they do not like the Hunting Bill passed by the democratically elected House of Commons? A line of legal authorities going back hundreds of years, stating that the courts will not challenge the internal workings of Parliament, says that it is doomed to failure… Lionel Hutt Keynsham Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 NO CLASS, JUST CRUELTY - It is simplistic in the extreme for anyone to claim that anti-hunters object to any class perception of hunting, rather than animal welfare issues. Just because one government employee thinks it's a class issue, does not mean that everyone else does… Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY! - I have read the majority of your articles on the recent ban on hunting, and the letters for and against. I am one of those people who cannot imagine the "pleasure" there is in chasing a fox for miles then watching while a pack of dogs rips it to pieces. I know that I would not wish to do it or to witness it happening, but that's me, I enjoy the freedom that I have to choose this…. I say ban the bans and save our democracy. Rose Johnson Kingswood Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 THIS ACT OF PETTY REVENGE - The letter from J Thomas of Williton takes the biscuit for sheer arrogance. There must be many readers, like myself, who were appalled at the presumption that a small minority of the population have the right to decide the fate of wildlife in this country. Taxpayers - through the Government - pay out millions in grants and subsidies to farmers and large landowners to support them and the countryside…. T Bennett Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 CONTRADICTION OVER WILDLIFE - J Thomas forecasts an end of wildlife when hunting is banned, and that foxes and badgers will disappear. This contradicts their claims that hunting is necessary to control fox numbers…. Marlene Thompson Hucknall Nottingham (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.11.04 KILL, OR BE KILLED - Am I correct in saying that fox-hunting is deemed as inhumane killing of the animal? If this is so, where does the law stand on the killing of animals with the halal method… Brenda Watts Nuneaton Warwickshire (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 29.11.04 HUNT BAN IS RIDICULOUS LAW BASED ON IGNORANCE - It will be rather a strange situation next February when the hunt ban comes in to effect…. I am sure that the police would think their time and resources better spent arresting drug dealers, muggers, vandals, hooligans and thieves rather than chasing around after people following a pack of hounds… ROBERT F. NELSTROP Branston, Lincoln.
Having spent 40 years rearing a country-loving family breeding horses and dogs and caring about nature and wildlife, we cannot understand why this tough, demanding sport requiring fitness, nerve, caring and common sense, the backbone of our country, should be stopped on a whim… MR & MRS R. KNOTT Benniworth (letters)

Yorkshire Post 29.11.04 Misguided support for hunting with dogs From: Eric Vevers, Alwoodley, Leeds. Having just read Bernard Dineen's "Political rabble trample on tradition over hunting" (November 22), can I perhaps suggest an answer to Dineen's posed last sentence question: "Who knows what the next target will be? How about Bernard Dineen himself?... From: David Billington, Dyke Bottom, Shepley, Huddersfield. Now that a decision has been made to ban hunting with dogs it is very important to take out the emotion and to highlight some facts: The following have been ignored: the Burns Report commissioned by the Government; the promises of Tony Blair and Alan Michael to make a decision based on principle and evidence; the impacts on rural employment, on social life and on the rural economy; dealing with fallen stock; what will happen to thousands of hounds and hunters, and the effect on jump racing with the demise of point to pointing; the feelings and impact of hundreds of thousands of protesters… (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.11.04 HUNTERS SHOULD ACCEPT NEW LAW AND ABIDE BY IT - Now that hunting is to be wound up in the very near future, those that would support this perverse hobby should think very carefully about what they do next….Hunters, there is no prejudice or town versus country. The truth is there is no place for your grubby pastime in the 21st century. Now is your chance to show that you have listened to what has been said. Will Symonds, Whitestone, Exeter >(letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.11.04 WHY DOESN'T PRO-BLOOD SPORTS BRIGADE GROW UP? - I was exasperated to hear on the news today that 'hunt supporting' farmers were exercising their right to refuse Western Power access to their land for necessary maintenance work. Why don't these people just grow up and stop behaving like nasty children throwing their rattles out of their prams? The Hunting with Dogs Bill has been passed as it is the will of the majority…. Name and address withheld by request (letter)

Leicester Mercury 29.11.04 HOW TOLERANT ARE YOU? - Toleration is a much vaunted word of proliferation and permutation pervasively intruding our lives these days… The European Human Rights Act enshrines the right of "Freedom of thought, conscience and religion". Yet even within the European parliament, they have demonstrated that is only applicable if it is in accord with the peer group…. We are now, because of the politicising of the word, more intolerant than ever before. While I have no prescribed opinion on the fox-hunting debate, those who oppose it (and they have every right to), have not shown the toleration that they advocate, but have imposed their will on others, and that is because what is being done is not in accordance with how they want to live their lives…. S P Vickers, Hinckley (letter)

The Sentinel 29.11.04 WOULD TORIES LIKE A BITE? - Conservative MPs want to keep the hunting and savaging of stags and foxes by hounds. I bet these Conservative MPs wouldn't like a nip from a dog themselves. T GRANTHAM Stoke (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 29.11.04 FINES WILL PAY TO ENFORCE HUNT LAW - The hunting people make me really mad. Just because they are not having their own way they may decide not to let people on their land and yet for years they have been riding over other people's land to chase a poor defenceless animal with a pack of dogs finally enjoying the kill… JUNE RICHARDS, Southfield Avenue, Paignton (letter)

Northern Echo 29.11.04 HUNTING - IN reply to Phil Townsend (HAS, Nov 24), he needs to check the validity of his own figures about hunting before criticising others. The supposed 58 per cent in favour of hunting was a poll carried out by the Countryside Alliance, which favours hunting…. John Adams, Durham.
JOHN Milburn misses the point on hunting (HAS, Nov 23). Firstly, this Government merely made a commitment to allow Parliament to "resolve" the hunting issue in its election manifesto and a huge majority of Parliamentarians voted against a ban… while Parliament may be democratically elected, it does not give them the right to steamroller through legislation which clearly acts in direct opposition to the rights of a minority…. James Bates, Spokesman for the Countryside Alliance in Durham and the North-East. (letters in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 29.11.04 Get priorities right, eric - A MAN attacked because of his Scottish accent, old people scared to go out after dark, murder and rape in the city centre parks, violence and prejudice in the centre of Carlisle, gypsy girls not allowed in pubs – it’s all getting worse in Carlisle and the MP has the cheek to tell me foxhunting is cruel.... Forget your Hooray Henry jibes, Mr Martlew. Get your streets cleaned up. I’m sure that’s what your electorate wishes. C SMITH, Fletchertown (letter)

Liverpool Echo 29.11.04 ... If the Countryside Alliance should resort to civil disobedience, I wonder if Her Majesty's government would deploy the same numbers of police and agents provocateur as were used against the mineworkers when they demonstrated against the loss of their livelihoods. Mr William T. Wall, L27 (letter)


Observer 28.11.04 In for a hound ... With foxhunting to be banned from February, Roger Scruton, one of Britain's leading philosophers, argues passionately that hunting and fishing are rooted in respect and deep love for animals and should be celebrated as the only true sports…(story)

Sunday Mirror 28.11.04 RACING: THE RACE WE MUSTN'T LOSE - ALASTAIR DOWN … Racing is changing - yet while we should be trying to forge a more inclusive future, the sport gets its tweed knickers in a twist about such matters as what to call March's Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham (and Aintree's Foxhunters) given that foxhunting will be illegal by then. I have always regarded the extremists on both sides of the hunting argument as beyond help, hope or salvation. If you pressed the bulk of Great British Public as to how far hunting came up their list of priorities it would figure around 74th, somewhere between the provision of disabled parking spaces at Asda and the price of Polo mints….. (story)

Wales on Sunday 28.11.04 Are hunt supporters missing point? - Greg Lewis, Wales on Sunday - HUNT supporters used eggs and threats to make their point in Cardiff. But, as they barracked Labour Party members, one of the central arguments against a ban was chased further into the distance. Both the present national secretary of the Rural, Agricultural and Allied Workers' trade group and his predecessor have spoken in favour of the new law. And it is their 16,000 members, according to the hunters, who stand to lose their livelihoods…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 28.11.04 The pack is in full cry after Bradley - Your front page report ("Government finally admits: hunt ban is part of the class struggle", News, November 21) seriously misrepresents what I wrote in the article that appeared on page 19…. My motive, in common with the large majority of MPs who voted for a ban, including eminent Conservatives such as Ann Widdecombe, is simply that I believe that hunting is cruel….
…If Peter Bradley thinks a hunt ban will hurt "the landed gentry" he is sadly mistaken. For the small percentage of them that make up the hunting community it is a recreational activity. But the hunt staff, terrier men, grooms, farriers, feed merchants and livery yard owners, decent ordinary working people - Labour people - will all need to find an alternative way of making a living, and it is them that Peter Bradley's smug satisfaction will hurt far more. Caroline Pitcher, Sheriff Hutton, Yorkshire
With his admission that Labour's hunt ban is about class war, Peter Bradley really lets the cat out of the bag…. R F Maycock, Halifax, West Yorks
Peter Bradley MP claims that a class war over hunting "was not launched by the tribunes against the toffs - it was the other way round." Presumably he believes that the Second World War was all the fault of the Poles for resisting the German invasion. John C Horton, Loughborough, Leics (letters)
Western Morning News 25.11.04 BAN FLIES IN FACE OF REASON - 'Nothing in democratic theory says we are morally bound to obey laws which defy reason' AYING that the Labour MP Peter Bradley is not even a household name in his own household would not do justice to the depths of his obscurity - yet the most invisible of dogs can have their day, and last Sunday Mr Bradley had his. Writing in The Sunday Telegraph - not, I suspect, his usual newspaper of record - Mr Bradley let the cat out of the bag, not through any inadvertence but through an excess of gloating that would have caused most of us to choke….(story)
Western Daily Press 24.11.04 FEUDAL ENGLAND'S FUTILE LAST HURRAH - It was in March 1998, when Labour had been in power for less than a year, that the first Countryside March descended on London. But the protest was not about the remorseless loss of rural post offices, village schools, affordable homes and public transport over the previous 18 Tory years. Nor was it just about hunting. What we were actually witnessing was the last hurrah of the feudal system, a final, vain attempt by landowners to assert their authority…. (story)
Guardian 22.11.04 Hunt ban is class war, admits MP - Michael White, political editor - The fallout from the political row over the new ban on hunting with hounds reached boiling point last night after an over-candid Labour anti-hunter admitted what the countryside lobby has claimed all along: it was "class war" against "the last hurrah of the feudal system." Peter Bradley MP, the former Westminster city councillor who now represents the industrial-rural mix of the Wrekin in north Shropshire, made his admission in the pro-hunting pages of the Sunday Telegraph… (story)
Shropshire Star 22.11.04 Toffs behind hunting class war, says MP - Labour MP Peter Bradley has admitted that class warfare lay at the heart of the battle over the future of fox hunting, which was finally outlawed by Parliament last week. The Wrekin MP said it was an experience in his constituency which confirmed his view that the debate was not just about animal welfare and personal freedom, but was the "last hurrah of the feudal system"….(story)
Western Daily Press 22.11.04 HUNTS ANGRY AT CLASS WAR JIBE - Hunts in the West reacted with fury last night after one of the main architects of the ban on hunting finally admitted it is about class warfare and not animal welfare. Rural Minister Alun Michael's right-hand man, Peter Bradley MP, said yesterday what pro-hunt campaigners have claimed for years - that the drive to ban hunting is as much to do with tackling a "squirearchy" of landowners and aristocrats as it is about protecting foxes… Jo Aldridge, spokesman for the West's biggest hunt, the Beaufort, added: "It's a disgrace. He's admitted something we've all known for ages…." (story)
Western Morning News 22.11.04 MP ADMITS LEGISLATION IS ABOUT WINNING A 'CLASS WAR' BATTLE - A labour MP has admitted that for many of his colleagues the long campaign to ban hunting was driven by notions of a class struggle - with the aim of removing power from the "gentry". Peter Bradley, the parliamentary private secretary to rural affairs minister Alun Michael, said that the reason many of his fellow MPs feel so strongly about the ban is because it is aimed at destroying "the old order"… Nicholas Kelly, secretary of the Lamerton Hunt which covers the triangle of land between Launceston in Cornwall and Tavistock and Okehampton in Devon, said: "They see people smartly turned out in a uniform and on horseback and think hunting is restricted to the upper-class. It isn't…" (story)
Sunday Telegraph 21.11.04 Government finally admits: hunt ban is part of the class struggle By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - A member of the Government admits today that the hunting ban is driven by old-fashioned class warfare and is, at its heart, a bitter battle for control of Britain. Writing in The Telegraph, Peter Bradley, the parliamentary private secretary to Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, reveals that the real reason that Labour MPs feel so strongly about the ban is because it is aimed at killing 'the old order' and is the first time in history that a Labour government has taken on 'the gentry'.... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 21.11.04 Yes - this is about class war - Peter Bradley, the MP who proposed the amendment to delay the Hunting Bill unitl 2006, says the battle is a last hurrah for the feudal system. Now that hunting has been banned, we ought at last to own up to it: the struggle over the Bill was not just about animal welfare and personal freedom, it was class war. But it was not class war as we know it. It was not launched by the tribunes against the toffs - it was the other way round. This was not about the politics of envy but the politics of power. Ultimately it's about who governs Britain.... Peter Bradley is MP for The Wrekin and the parliamentary private secretary to Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister (story)

Sunday Times 28.11.04 Letters to the Editor: Ban will echo across land - THE expression of anti-hunting arguments almost invariably prompts the media to bemoan the fate of those 900m animals slaughtered in this country to be eaten (Editorial, News and Focus, last week) and even to mention the 2.8m experiments on live animals carried out each year. As one of the oldest established faith-based animal protection societies in this country, we welcome this timely reminder, but the majority of hunt opponents are also involved in campaigning against all aspects of cruelty to animals…. Marian Hussenbux, Quaker Concern for Animals, Wirral, Merseyside
ROYAL RELICS: What a golden opportunity Prince Charles and his sons lost when they did not show themselves to be examples of a modern 21st monarchy during the recent hunting controversy. Surely they could have channelled their energies into guiding the hunting fraternity into alternative activities such as drag hunting?... Colin Blair, Darlington, Co Durham
TIT-FOR-TAT: Farmers are to remove electricity pylons, telephone lines, gas, water, and other services from their land as a reprisal for the democratically elected Commons daring to pass the hunting bill. Well, those of us who support the bill should let our feelings be known by boycotting British agricultural produce. Let market forces prevail. Ken Gregory, Monkton, Kent
HYPOCRISY: Jonathan Leake, Rod Liddle, and indeed your editorial Hunting the toffs (last week) all rightly point out our shocking hypocrisy in banning hunting with dogs while “900m animals are reared in dreadful battery conditions and killed each year”. Surely it would be more humane to liberate these 2.4m animals currently slaughtered every day into the countryside, where they can lead lives of dignity and freedom until, when required for the pot, they can be pursued on horseback by gallant huntspeople and their noble hounds before being lightly killed by a single nip to the neck. Harry Thomson, Bridge of Allan, Stirling
DEMOCRACY: Jeremy Irons (News Review, November 14) states: “We still have a second chamber peopled with lawmakers educated with a more informed overview of how to govern our nation”…. Labour swept to power with a huge majority in 1997 on an election manifesto which included moves to ban foxhunting. Mark Crivelli, Worcester
DISTRACTION: The hunting ban is neither well thought through nor enforceable and has been used to divert attention from weightier matters such as Iraq, the NHS and education…. Margaret Brown, Lincoln
PROTECTION: Civilised people, “townies” or country, abhor animals being torn to pieces for sport…. Joan May, Tonbridge, Kent
VOTES: It is difficult to understand the logic of MPs who voted in favour of killing innocent Iraqis in an illegal war and then against killing a few foxes in the countryside…. Tony Muddimer, Quorn, Nr Loughborough, Leicestershire (letters)


Spectator 27.11.04 The Spectator’s Notes - Charles Moore - There is no shortage of people who say that they are willing to break the hunting ban. Particularly the young, who have no responsibilities, and the old, who feel they have nothing to lose, declare themselves ready for prison, even for suicide. But supporters of rural liberty should beware of the great curse of English romantics — the love of the futile gesture. And those hunting people on the other side of the argument who fear that they can now be arrested for absolutely anything should also calm down. It is time to study the ‘best practice’ (good New Labour term, that) of non-violent conflict…. (story)

Spectator 27.11.04 Diary - Trevor Grove - Once a week I put on a suit and go along to the local courthouse, where I am elevated from plain Mister to Your Worship. This wonderfully inappropriate form of address is the only public reward for being one of the country’s 30,000 unpaid lay magistrates who deal with over 95 per cent of criminal cases in England and Wales…. But magistrates must not let personal feelings colour their judgments. They take an oath to uphold the laws of the land. If they feel a particular bit of legislation is more than they can stomach, they can always resign from the bench. Quite a few did so at the time of the poll tax, when the courts were swamped by citizens refusing to pay up. Now it seems probable that scenario could repeat itself, when the hunting ban comes into force next February and the country’s newest brand of law-breaker is hauled before the courts… here may not be many magistrates who hunt themselves, like the Staffordshire JP Chris Jackson, who has threatened to resign from the bench and defy the law, or Derek Pearce, a member of the Beaufort Hunt, who has sat on the North Avon bench for nearly 20 years… But there must be plenty of rural beaks whose chums hunt and whose sympathies lie with the ban’s opponents… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.11.04 WE WILL MAKE A MOCKERY OF THE LAW - Hunts in the West will continue to ride out to deliberately "make a mockery" of the hunting ban after February 19. That is the advice on tactics sent out to every hunt in the country from the Council of Hunting Associations, which told hunts to keep operating right up until the day the law is repealed…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.11.04 WE WILL MAKE SURE THE BAN IS ENFORCED - A Leading West anti-hunt group last night called on police to devote as much time to protecting foxes as they have to protecting hunts. The Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting said groups would turn their attention to ensuring the ban on hunting with dogs was enforced on the ground when it comes into force in 12 weeks' time. Co-founder Linda Graham said: "It is not a complicated issue. The Association of Chief Police Officers say they have enough resources to deal with the ban and there is a nationwide network of voluntary hunt monitors already in place with years of experience of following and filming hunts…." (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 27.11.04 Met probed over protests - METROPOLITAN Police officers are being investigated after pro-hunt campaigners complained they were assaulted during September’s demonstration outside Parliament, it was announced today…(story)
Western Daily Press 27.11.04 PROBE INTO ACTION BY POLICE AT HUNT DEMO - One of Britain's biggest investigations into alleged police brutality was launched yesterday, in the wake of another protest by pro-hunt supporters which descended into violence. Yesterday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) revealed details of a major inquiry into the actions of police at Parliament Square in September. The scenes of riot police raining blows on hunt supporters outside the Houses of Parliament were beamed around the world, but have since prompted dozens of official complaints from hunt supporters on the receiving end of the police action…. (story)

Western Daily Press 27.11.04 CUP HOPE KINGSCLIFF SET FOR HUNTING TREAT - Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Kingscliff is to have a day's hunting next week as he builds up to his seasonal comeback. "I'm going to take him out with the Portman next Wednesday," said trainer Robert Alner. "It could be the last chance I get," he added, referring to the ban on hunting with hounds which is to be introduced in February. It is a return to his roots for Kingscliff, who came from the hunting and point-to-point fields before sweeping to success in the Christie's Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham in 2003 when trained by Alner's wife Sally…. (story)

Western Morning News 27.11.04 WE SURVIVED FMD, JUST - BUT NOW THIS - James Morrish, former chairman of the National Young Farmers, who farms in Torrington, and became very well known in the Westcountry during the foot and mouth disaster, believes the hunting ban is another blow to rural life… (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 27.11.04 BOBLAXTON - Ban on hunting is long overdue - On The House - AFTER seven long years and over 700 hours of debate, along six or seven votes, we have achieved it. I refer, of course, to the banning of hunting with dogs, which includes hare-coursing, stag-hunting and fox-hunting…. My only regret is that we should have done so within the first two years of being in government…. (story)

Independent 27.11.04 Readers open hearts and homes to stray dogs By Terry Kirby - Jessie the foxhound spent much of yesterday, as she often does these days, romping around the countryside on the Welsh borders with her new friend, Blascun, a labrador…. Jessie's move to Wales is a return to her birthplace. She was taken to Battersea last September after she was found wandering on the Black Mountains. She was three months old and may have been cast out by a hunt because her gangly legs made her unsuitable for chasing foxes. She had to go to rehab because she found it difficult to socialise and had begun to bully other dogs; she also suffered stomach problems, which have now cleared up…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 27.11.04 Foxes lovely From J J Teasdale, New Road, Sawston - I DO not agree with Roland H Crane (Letters, November 23) saying foxes should be killed. Foxes are lovely animals. Why can't we leave them alone? They do not harm. They have as much right to live as dogs, cats and people. Hunting with hounds is cruel…. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 27.11.04 Hunt agenda - From GWO Lawrence, Histon Road, Cottenham - I REFER to Mike Michalak's correspondence (Letters, November 12), and to mine, which was published on the same day. I wonder if Mr Michalak is actually concerned about animal welfare? From the tone of his letter I would think he, like the Prime Minister, has a different agenda…. (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 27.11.04 HUNT BAN IS SPITEFUL - All "right-minded'' people will currently be rejoicing that hunting has finally been made illegal. It may be worth summarising the extent of this glorious and democratic achievement. Let us be clear that animal cruelty will not be decreased. On the contrary, alternative methods plus age and illness will leave foxes to die in agony over a period of hours or even days. Hunting is the most humane method of controlling the fox population, providing a relatively quick kill and concentrating on the weak and the sick who can no longer hunt for their own food… D J Lees, High Street, Clydach, Swansea (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.11.04 THIS BAN WAS BASED ON SHEER IGNORANCE - It strains credulity to believe that suddenly there was an overwhelming cry for a hunting ban. It must surely have originated in the minds of a very limited number of people, who no doubt were passionately opposed to hunting. Various opinion polls have proclaimed that there is a majority verdict in favour of the ban but what percentage will have had any actual knowledge of the hunt?... K Mitchelmore Trowbridge Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.11.04 CHEERS FOR HUNT BAN - Oh happy day! Hunting is soon to be banned, democracy has won at last. Congratulations and thanks must go to those who have made this victory possible…. Jean Turner Plymton Plymouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.11.04 HUNTING DEBATE IS FAR FROM OVER - Although finally hunting with dogs is consigned to the history books, I feel I must reply to Ray Bird's letter and his remarks referring to me personally. Mr Bird's first remarks that hunts do not hunt heavily pregnant vixens or new-born cubs need correcting, as a pack of dogs with their blood up will hunt anything, including cats, other dogs, hares, rabbits, roe and muntjac deer… M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 27.11.04 POWER CRAZY - Farmer John Herdman does the Countryside Alliance no favours when he threatens to refuse Scottish and Southern Energy access to pylons on his land. On a February night, with a blizzard blowing, and several thousand households, without power, how will he and his neighbours explain their behaviour? F Collins Timberscombe Devon (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.11.04 HUNTING ACT MORE TO DO WITH CLASS THAN WELFARE - If the Hunting Act had anything much to do with animal welfare, surely it should be brought into force as soon as possible. What justification can there be for the Government's desire to defer its application for a further 18 months? The only possible answer to that is to avoid embarrassing protests and civil disobedience during the forthcoming General Election campaign…. J Ward-Hayne, Broad Street, Modbury (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 27.11.04 COMPROMISE ON HUNTING HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE .. Mr Hart says the hunting community is prepared to compromise, but this has already been achieved. The first schedule to the Bill, for example, allows stalking a wild mammal, or flushing it out of cover…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.11.04 FOR A WOMAN, THIS JUST BEGGARS BELIEF - With reference to the ban on fox hunting, it is bad enough men hunting foxes but, being a woman, I cannot for the life of me understand a member of the fairer sex condoning it… Mrs M Banks, Aspen Court, Cleethorpes (letter)

Western Mail 27.11.04 SIR - What a sad week for British freedom and democracy. Over 700 hours of parliamentary time has been wasted, with both houses fiercely debating the Hunting Bill, and to what end? All for the highly contentious Bill to be forced through by the Parliament Act - and all this overseen by a Prime Minister who has interestingly changed horses along the way…. A THOMAS, Castlemorris, Fishguard (letter)

Leicester Mercury 27.11.04 HUNT BAN WAS LONG OVERDUE - Finally, we're moving into the 21st century regarding animal cruelty ("Hunting to be banned in three months"… A M Wallis, Stoneygate. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 27.11.04 SURELY, WE'VE GOT OUR PRIORITIES WRONG - At long last, after hundreds of hours of Parliamentary debate, the wily fox has won the day. No more shall we see hunters chasing around the countryside in their red tunics. Instead, our gallant policemen will throw them into jail or give them hefty fines…. Who likes people anyway? We have saved the cuddly fox. E Woodcock, Wigston. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 27.11.04 CHASING ONE'S TAIL? A senior officer has said that he wasn't sure the police would be able to handle the wrongdoing and the wrongdoers should hunting continue beyond the ban (Mercury, November 19)… I believe stealth is necessary. All horses suspected of being used for hunting will be required to display a number plate on their rear end. Speed cameras hastily withdrawn from harassing motorists will be placed strategically along likely hunt routes and will record the passage of horses and their riders for future prosecution…. "Tough on hunting, tough on the cause of hunting."… These are just a few ideas. However, I am sure, as time passes and the Home Office gets into the swing of it, daily initiatives will roll out to control the lawbreaking. John Hammond, Lubenham. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 27.11.04 TURNING A BLIND EYE - With reference to the threat of civil disobedience on the part of some huntsmen - how could the police restrain them if they got together to ignore the law? Perhaps they should copy the motorists, who every day ignore the law about parking after dark…. G Bowerman, Thurnby. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 27.11.04 TAKEN TO TASK - I was amazed to hear a chief constable saying that he would be able to find enough men to police the hunting ban. How must this make the likes of Tony Martin and other farmers and rural residents feel when, over the last few years, they have been told by chief constables that there are not enough police to patrol rural areas and protect residents… Anne Bond, South Wigston Conservative Action (letter)

Leicester Mercury 27.11.04 A GOOD WAY TO EXERCISE HORSE AND HOUND - Regarding the hunting ban, couldn't the answer lie in an athlete wearing shoes heavily sprayed with a scent that the hounds could easily follow, setting off an hour before the pack…. Brian Ashwell, Leicester. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 27.11.04 BROKEN PROMISE - The anti-hunting debates have led several Labour MPs to claim that they are only carrying out 1997 manifesto promises. I would remind them of another 1997 promise that they would stop the sale of school playing field land to developers. This they have failed to do… J E Hutchinson, Wigston (letter)

The Sentinel 27.11.04 HUNTERS ARE RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE - "A ban on hunting will protect society from individuals becoming desensitised and sick in the mind" according to Mr Richards (Sentinel Wednesday, November 24). The argument as to whether or not fox hunting with hounds is right or wrong will never cease. I happen to believe that the current legislation will not save the life of one single fox… The argument for and against fox-hunting has been won by the antis and that's democracy, but to state that we will now become a safer more protected society because of the ban on hunting is at best misguided and at worst slanderous. SHINO Hanley (letter)

The Sentinel 27.11.04 REAL FOLK DON'T BACK THE HUNT - Re. the story, November 19, referring to MP Mark Fisher and headlined, MP's Lonely Stand Against Hunt Ban. Well, well, well, here we have an MP representing the people of Stoke Central - one of the three bastions of the Labour party within the city of Stoke-on-Trent - actually making a stand for the nouveau riche in rural England so they can do just what they like, when they like…. J COYTE Hanford (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 27.11.04 WE'LL HELP POLICE ON HUNT LAW - The banning of hunting was proposed by the Labour Party in 1997. There has been plenty of time for the hunting covens to naturally reduce their stock of hounds and horses and for their suppliers to diversify…. BRIAN McAULEY, Punchards Down, Totnes (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 27.11.04 TIME TO REEL IN ANGLERS? - Now that Mr Blair has got the fox hunters, is it not time to tackle the anglers. Is this not a cruel sport? G. WEBSTER Larkspur Avenue Nottingham (letter)

Northern Echo 27.11.04 HUNTING - I HAVE just read, with some amazement, that a small section of the police force have threatened to resign if they are compelled to enforce the foxhunting ban. They did not have any difficulty in enforcing their will against the miners… Surely the people's government, New Labour, with its fantastic parliamentary majority and its resolute and war-waging leader Tony Blair will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted by a tiny majority of uniformed Luddites and red-coated sadists. Or will they? - James Fitzpatrick, Gateshead (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 27.11.04 SETTING THE RECORD SRAIGHT ON LETTER - I Read with some interest the open letter to my boss Ian Cawsey regarding the issue of hunting with dogs signed by nine local people….. there was an allegation some of them had written to Ian on the subject and received no reply. In fact, at the time their open letter was received, only two of the nine had written and both had been sent replies. Indeed, we can find no record of some of the names even existing on the electoral register and neither can North Lincolnshire Council… Maggie Taylor, Secretary/PA to Ian Cawsey MP, Market Place, Brigg. (letter)


Rye & Battle Observer 26.11.04 We'll fight on vows defiant hunt - DEFIANT supporters in the Battle area will not lay down and accept the ban on foxhunting. As battle lines are drawn, landowners are already saying they will restrict access and make it difficult for amenity services officials to carry out work…. The local East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt will then draw up action plans which may include a decision to carry on hunting…. (story)

Rye & Battle Observer 26.11.04 Angry farmers may leave country - CAMBER farmers Frank and Rosemary Cooke will consider leaving the country when the hunting ban comes into force next year. And Rosemary has resigned from her position as Camber Parish Clerk saying she will instead devote the time to fighting for the rights of country people to pursue their sport…. (story)

Western Morning News 27.11.04 WE'RE NOT READY TO GIVE UP OUR WAY OF LIFE - In the first of our series examining the future of Westcountry hunts in the face of a ban, Robert Jobson and Lindsey Kennedy look at Cornwall's Four Burrow - It looks like business as usual at the home of the Four Burrow - one of Cornwall's oldest and best supported hunts. A steaming grey horse is led past the window after a morning's exercise, a pair of breeches is drying over the fire and an untied stock lies on the table. However, in 84 days' time, hunting is likely to be outlawed and it will be anything but normality for Paul Hancock and his family…. (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 26.11.04 "I will break the law" – hunt supporter - DEFIANCE has been shown by pro-hunt supporters in the area as they received the news hunting will be banned next year. Ex-brewery worker and neighbourhood watch officer, Alan Simms, 55 has vowed to keep on hunting…. For kennel huntsman Gary Thorpe, the ban which will take effect on February 18 has come as a massive blow. Mr Thorpe, who works for the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt would have been happy to see a strict licensing of all hunting…. (story)

Hexham Courant 26.11.04 LOCAL HUNTERS ‘WILL DEFY BAN’ By WILL GREEN - TYNEDALE riders and supporters met near Birtley this week to show their defiance at the planned hunting ban due to come into force within three months…. Thirty-nine riders took part in the meet on Monday, with two packs of hounds at Whiteside Farm…. At Monday’s meet, master of the Tynedale Hunt Frank Houghton-Brown said: “There are still legal challenges to come, and I don’t think we should pre-judge them…. Haydon Bridge farmer and vice-chairman of the North-East branch of the Country Land and Business Association Annabel Morshead commented: “I do not think a hunting ban will save a single fox’s life – in fact I think it will lead to more being culled…." Allendale’s Eileen Finn of Thornley House, who has already banned blood sports from her land, is happy that a ban has gone through Parliament…. (story)

Hexham Courant 26.11.04 HUNT BAN ‘WILL LEAD TO GLUT OF CHEAP HORSES’ By WILL GREEN - MANY horses in Tynedale will not be kept on by their owners if a ban on hunting is implemented, as they are not suitable for other activities. A local horse owner and the British Horse Society (BHS) have been appealing to the Government to take horse welfare into account when they look at the future of hunting. Chris and Susan Peart, who run Peart Arenas at Hareshaw, near Bellingham, both ride in the Border and Percy hunts… (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 26.11.04 Supporters vow to fight on and will hunt day after ban comes in - HUNT supporters in the North-East and North Yorkshire have vowed to continue hunting despite any ban… Huntsman Joe Townsend, from the Hurworth Hunt, said that the bill was completely unjustified and prejudiced…. Judith Skilbeck, joint master of the Bilsdale Hunt, said that it would be taking guidance from the Masters of Foxhounds' Association, which is due to meet next week…. (story in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 26.11.04 A reasoned response - SO what does the hunting community do now in the face of an imminent ban on the sport?... Despite the unscientific basis for the ban and the hypocritical attitude of those MPs who happily voted for the outlawing of just one sporting activity - without accepting the logic of also banning other equally "cruel" sports such as angling - desperate expressions of anger are a waste of time… (story in archive)

Guardian 26.11.04 In for the kill - Gloucestershire - Colin Luckhurst - With the conclusion of the long-running farce at the Palace of Westminster, hunting with dogs will cease (unless the legal challenge succeeds) pretty soon. I shall be unfazed by this since our 10-year fun-farming period is behind us, and I no longer have to worry about fox depredations on newborn lambs on cold March mornings, or the chickens in the hen house. I did conclude, when I had a personal concern in the matter, that hunting with dogs was a very inefficient method of achieving the objective, whatever claims its supporters made…. (story)

Telegraph 26.11.04 Even after hunt ban, the Tories are losing the scent By Anthony King - Conservatives these days must envy Sisyphus. That poor fellow was doomed to spend all eternity rolling an enormous boulder up a hill only to see it roll back down again as soon as it approached the summit. Today's Tories are even worse off. They seem unable to push their boulder within sight of the summit.... according to YouGov's monthly survey for The Telegraph, support for the Tories has actually fallen slightly to 32 per cent.... However passionately a minority feels about the ban on foxhunting, the issue is evidently not a vote-winner for the Tories. YouGov asked a range of questions on the issue and the answers demonstrate that, although substantial numbers are opposed to the Labour-backed ban, a majority still wants foxhunting with dogs outlawed.... (story)

Keighley News 26.11.04 Huntsman fears for future by Clive White - A huntsman has spoken of the catastrophe facing his family and dogs after the Hunting Bill was forced on to the Statute Book. Father of three Bryan Robinson, master of the Airedale Beagles, said he could lose his home in the hunt's tied cottage…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 FARMERS BAN ON ELECTRIC WORKERS - Farmers in Devon yesterday joined the pro-hunt campaign of disobedience spreading across the West by declaring they too are determined to disrupt the region's power supply. Days after the Western Daily Press revealed how farmers and landowners in the Cotswolds are ready to turn away electricity workers wanting to maintain supplies across their land, their Devon counterparts have joined their ranks to exert more pressure on Tony Blair… With Pat and Raymond Ford, the power company has been foiled before it has even got started…. Neither are regular hunters and do not own a horse, although occasionally they follow the Torrington Farmers' Hunt and the Exmoor Staghounds… (story)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 OUR FREE SPEECH VICTORY - The Countryside Alliance and its media boss Mr Tim Bonner have finally been ruled out of order in their attempt to silence the views of Western Daily Press readers. Publication of the Press Complaints Commission's final adjudication on a complaint, made on August 5, should reassure readers that they are free to express their views as they see them without worrying that they are getting their favourite daily newspaper, or themselves, into trouble… (story)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 BACK ON COURSE - Organisers of the Waterloo Cup, the mainstay of the hare coursing season, yesterday announced plans to side-step the hunting ban - for at least a year. They have moved the 158th event forward to Valentine's Day next year, allowing three days of coursing before the ban is due to come into effect on February 19…. (story)
Telegraph 25.11.04 Quick change of course as cup dodges hunting ban By Charles Clover - The 158th Waterloo Cup, the main event of the coursing calendar, will be held a week earlier than usual next year to avoid the hunting ban. The organisers decided last night that the event would start on Valentine's Day, Monday Feb 14, to give time for three days of competitive coursing and a spare day, in case of bad weather, before the ban on hunting with dogs comes into effect on Feb 19.... (story)
BBC News Online 25.11.04 Hare-coursing cup dates changed - The Waterloo Cup hare-coursing event has been brought forward to allow it to take place before the hunting ban comes into place in February 2005…. (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 26.11.04 LOSS OF TRADITION A TRAGEDY - Responding to the ban, Tunbridge Wells MP Archie Norman said: "It is a tragedy - for the countryside and for a tradition that goes back to the 17th century and for those people for whom it is a pastime, many who are not well off and for those people also employed…(story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 26.11.04 HUNTING WILL GO ON WITHIN THE LAW - The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt joint master vowed to bring down Tony Blair for his Hitler-esque "abuse of power" and said hunting would go on - but within the law. Outspoken Graeme Worsley slammed the use of the Parliament Act to force the ban through as a "disgrace"….
An attack on civil liberty - WEALDEN MP Charles Hendry accused the government of forcing through a ban which he claimed would lead to prisons being filled with people who hunt rather than real criminals….
Man vows to break the law - MEMBERS of the Southdowns and Eridge Hunt have reacted angrily to the ban on fox hunting - with some even threatening to leave the country. Major John Byron is a member and former joint master of the hunt and has vowed to break the law over the issue…. (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 26.11.04 PAST MEMBER WELCOMES BAN - A Former hunt supporter who joined an Uckfield-based animal rescue charity after deciding the sport was cruel, has welcomed the government's ban. Lis Key used to be a member of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt but is now communications manager for International Animal Rescue….
Concern over stables' future - A WORKER at stables in Mayfield is worried about the effect hunting will have on then yard once the government ban is implemented. Warren Marshall, from Buxted, helps out at the stables and said the ban looks set to have a significant impact on the business as the yard runs its horses in point-to-point races….(story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 26.11.04 HUNTS AWAIT DECISION ON BAN APPEAL - Hunts across the Kent and Sussex Courier region are waiting with bated breath to hear if the High Court challenge to the government's hunting ban will be successful and allow them to carry on hunting…. Speaking on behalf of the Ashford Valley Hunt, Richard Middleton said: "The hunt will seek to ensure something is preserved so when there is a chance of government we will be prepared."… (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 26.11.04 FOX PROJECT BREAK-IN 'WAS LINKED TO BAN' - A Suspicious break-in at The Fox Project in Tonbridge could be linked to the ban on hunting, it has been claimed. The charity's office was burgled on Thursday - the same day foxhunting was outlawed - and director Trevor Williams believes it may be the start of a civil disobedience campaign by the hunting community - something pro-hunt people have completely denied…. (story)

Kent & Sussex Courier 26.11.04 ANGER AS CHICKENS ARE KILLED BY FOX - A Southborough pensioner has spoken out in favour of fox hunting after one of the sharp-snouted carnivores killed four of his chickens. Pat Rozier, 84, told of his anger and distress after the animals, which he had spent much of his time in retirement nurturing carefully, were left to the mercy of a fox he had seen prowling his neighbourhood. He said: "It happened while they were asleep and it's very upsetting. I am a lover of animals but when foxes do things like this, it's very hard for me to have any sympathy for them. I can't say I have any problem with fox hunting now."…(story)

East Grinstead Courier 26.11.04 'HUNT WILL CARRY ON DESPITE BILL' BY KAREN STYAN - The master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt has vowed to carry on hunting after a ban comes into force…. Graeme Worsley, master of the historic hunt, believes that there are enough loopholes in the law to allow them to keep hunting…. (story)

Hertfordshire Mercury 26.11.04 Hounds and workers face uncertain future - THE lives of 20 horses and almost 100 hounds used by the Puckeridge Hunt are under threat following new legislation to ban hunting, though its members have vowed to defy the law. With the animals used by the hunt facing an uncertain future, four full-time staff who care for them could lose their jobs when the Hunting Bill comes into effect on February 18 next year… (story)

South Shropshire Journal 26.11.04 Hunt ban 'won't protect dogs' - The hunting ban is certainly not about animal welfare, says a hunt supporter. Lyndsey Hill, who runs the United Pack’s kennels with her husband Oliver at Bishop’s Castle, told the Journal this week she was numb, angry and upset by the Government’s decision to use the Parliament Act to stop hunting…(story)

West Cumberland Times & Star 26.11.04 Fox hunt ban could increase dangers on fells - TOURISTS and ramblers in Cumbria might be at risk of serious injury when a ban on fox hunting comes into force… Bob Fell, secretary of the Blencathra Fell Pack, added that the ban was likely to increase the number of “lampers” - individual hunters roaming the area with guns…. His comments were echoed by Melbreak hunt master John Vickers, who said the hunting community was “stunned” by the ban…. (story)

West Cumberland Times & Star 26.11.04 Town and country battle lines being drawn for election campaign - THE selection of Judith Pattinson as Workington’s Tory election candidate will certainly spice up the local campaign…. It will be interesting to see how much play she makes of the furore surrounding the foxhunting ban. It is not, as Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott suggested this week, a minor matter of little interest to most voters…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 26.11.04 Hunting ban law after years of debate - By Ruth Lythe - The huntsman's horn could soon be sounding for the final time over the Lake District fells after Parliament voted to ban hunting with dogs from February 2005…. (story)
Westmorland Gazette 26.11.04 Hunting Ban: Defiant to the end By Ruth Lythe … Regional director of the Countryside Alliance Tom Fell called the Government's tactics "ridiculous, dishonest and time consuming"…. Joint Master of Coniston Foxhounds Roger Westmoreland described members of the hunting community, who publicly described how they were going to defy the hunting ban, as "very foolish." Indicating that he would be prepared to take some form of action, he added: "If we hadn't told Saddam that we were coming for him in Iraq then we would have caught him a lot sooner."… Master of North Lonsdale Fox Hounds Alan Bolt said that he hoped the Countryside Alliance's challenges to the ban would be successful and avoid the need for law breaking from hunt supporters…. (story)

Westmorland Gazette 26.11.04 Hunting Ban: RSPCA works to rehouse hounds By Ruth Lythe - One of the issues uppermost in the minds of many members of the hunting community is the fate of the hundreds of foxhounds, which form the Lake District's six fell packs. The RSPCA has said that it will be working with hunts to help re-home the dogs but, for many huntsmen, a question mark still remains over the animals' destiny. "It is difficult to say what will happen to them, it is too painful to face until I have to," said Barry Todhunter, of Blencathra Foxhounds…. Michael Nicholson, huntsman with the Coniston Foxhounds, said that the dogs' instinct to hunt would make them very difficult to re-home…. (story)

Chester Chronicle 26.11.04 Roodee chief breaks up 'handbags' at hunt ball By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - CHESTER racecourse boss Richard Thomas - a master of the Cheshire Hunt - had to intervene when a fight broke out at the hunt ball in the County Stand. Police are investigating the alleged assault in front of 500 guests in which a man got punched on the nose, causing it to stream with blood and security guards piled in to form what one onlooker called 'a rugby scrum'…. Alleged victim Douglas Thompson, 40, from Great Barrow, a former master of the Vale of Lune Harriers, whose shirt was covered in blood, has complained to police about what took place…. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 26.11.04 No cause to pontificate - Yet another minority group seeks to assert itself, with anti-fox hunting dogma by the Animal Rights Group. So many privileged people pursuing a poor little fox! How cruel if the fox cannot escape. Just as distressing is the poor little fish, hooked in its throat on the end of a line. Its chance of escape is much less - to the satisfaction of the predator…. I would suggest that all Animal Rights protesters sign an appropriate register, and in times of their illness refuse medicines developed by use of animals. J H Sale, Rowan Crescent, Wolverhampton. (story)

Yorkshire Evening Post 26.11.04 the jackal! - On the grounds that fox hunting is deemed to be a cruel sport it is now to be banned… I ask myself if such a ban would have been imposed against 'jackal hunting'…. S GOLDMAN, Sandmoor Lane, Leeds
Shame of hunting I would like to defend the new law that bans hunting with dogs. Many people support this bill which is not about class warfare…. GILLIAN GRANGER, Jackson Avenue, Leeds (letters)

Wells Journal 26.11.04 WHAT'S NEXT FOR BANNING? - Where will it all end? We can't drink when we want due to antiquated pub hours. Wecan't hunt the vermin fox which kills pets and livestock. Now we won't be able to smoke where we want…. I rather like the idea of passive smoking, it saves me buying so many fags. Dave Binning Hannah More Close Cheddar (letter)

Wells Journal 26.11.04 HUNTING 'FLIP-FLOP' - Clive Allen Parliamentary spokesman Somerton and Frome Conservatives (letter)
Frome & Somerset Standard 25.11.04 FLIP-FLOPPING ON HUNTING - Your readers will no doubt be as mystified as I am regarding the flip-flop position on hunting from the current Lib Dem MP for Somerton and Frome. On the proposed bill to ban hunting, the MP recently refused to vote, arguing: "The views of my constituents are equally balanced and equally strongly expressed on each side of the argument…. CLIVE ALLEN, Parliamentary spokesman, Somerton and Frome Conservative Party, Wincanton (letter)

Wiltshire Times 26.11.04 Hunt ban a victory for a democracy - LAST Thursday's ban on the barbaric sports of hunting and coursing with dogs is a great and long overdue advance for animal welfare…. D PETERS, Chippenham (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 26.11.04 Silent majority is against a cruel and violent 'sport' - Hunting is, as most of us have always known, a violent pastime for violent people. Pro-hunters, trying to sanitise, call it sport… Anon Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 26.11.04 The poor chickens? - I notice in most letters re fox-hunting that its always the poor fox. Nowhere have I seen anything about the fox causing trouble - which they certainly do when they raid a fowl's house - not because they are hungry…. Berkeley resident Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Kingston Guardian 26.11.04 No foxing about with slaughter of animals - It would be interesting to know what pets, that name and address' (Letters, November 4) has which are harassed by cats and dogs, but live in harmony with the foxes. He objects to foxes being termed as vermin, but has no qualms about referring to a section of humans as vermin…. If our laws on the humane slaughter of animals can be broken with impunity, so then can the laws banning fox hunting…. BILL DALLAMORE Merton Way East Molesey (letter)

Cumberland News 26.11.04 Democracy should represent the rights of all - THE continuing argument over hunting with dogs has highlighted a widespread misunderstanding of the nature of the democracy in which we live, and indeed of the very meaning of the word. The definition of a democracy is “a system of government which respects the rights and privileges of all”. It is not a system of government where the will of the majority merely obviates the rights of the minority: that is a system of government called a majoriat, not a democracy…. AC EGGLETONScroggie MeadowAnnan
Unfortunately, democracy in today’s England does not follow the pattern of such precepts. The present government has developed into an intellectually dishonest, hypocritical and tyrannical body of cherry-picking law-devisers… This is how our urban-dominated parliament, riven by class prejudice, tends to pontificate. Logical argument is anathema to it…. MRS DM BROOKSNook Lane CloseDalston
Our Prime Minister has just put his name to the EU Constitution, with no consent from the people. Is that democratic, Mr Martlew?... But after the next election many Labour MPs will find out what it’s like to be thrown out of work like the fox hunters. T GLENNENMortonCarlisle
… In a few months a farmer who uses terriers to kill rats will be committing a criminal offence. If, however, his cats kill rats in the same way the farmer is an upstanding citizen doing his best to comply with farm assured standards… This, I fear, is a result of MPs voting on the basis of gut instinct and not taking on board the recommendations of the Burns report. Such action only further erodes confidence in the political process. GORDON BROWNChairmanCarlisle branch National Farmers Union, PHIL CRAMWorkington (letter)

Hexham Courant 26.11.04 BAN DETRIMENTAL TO RURAL BALANCE - I AM writing to you on behalf of my family and myself to express our disgust at the proposed ban on hunting…. MRS S. RESTALL, Housewife, groom, puppy walker, farm labourer and mother, Otterburn. (letter)
Northumberland Gazette 25.11.04 Ban on hunting an attack on culture, way of life - and the fox - I AM writing to you on behalf of my family and myself to express our disgust at the proposed ban on hunting. I know first hand what hunting is really about and spend every day of my life preparing for, discussing, participating in and loving hunting…. I would urge any voter or MP to visit their local pack of foxhounds out hunting and at kennels to understand the essential and integral part hunting plays in our countryside, from an animal welfare and cultural perspective. Mrs S Restall, Housewife, groom, puppy walker, farm labourer and mother (letter)

Hexham Courant 26.11.04 BAN RAT PACKS - I WRITE as neither a hunt supporter/follower nor one who wishes to see the practice abolished… However, now that Parliament, or rather a section of the House of Commons, has successfully pushed through the Act to abolish hunting with hounds in England and Wales, it is time for those very same Honourable and Right Honourable Members to turn their attention to banning another rural pastime…. I, of course, refer to motor-cycling at excessive speeds along our country lanes! RICHARD SIMMANCE, Elsdon. (letter)

Hexham Courant 26.11.04 TIME WASTED - I WOULD congratulate the House of Lords in sensibly bringing the banning of hunting into the forefront of the General Election, something which Tony Blair wriggled to avoid. If hunting is an out-of-date anachronism, then it will die out and this disgraceful waste of Parliamentary time could have been avoided. If it is an integral part of the countryside social support system, then at a time when the countryside is being devastated by EU and Government policies, it should be encouraged…. C. JONES, Wall. (letter)

Hexham Courant 26.11.04 CONUNDRUM - WHAT animal lovers? Where are these so called animal lovers who pretend to be so concerned about animal rights? Are they prepared to see thousands of foxhounds put to sleep to save the lives of a few murdering foxes?... L. HEWER, Rowfoot, Haltwhistle (letter)

Worcester Evening News 26.11.04 Avoid dreaded word `ban' - WHAT an miserable example of small-mindedness is the law banning hunting with dogs…. M ABERDEEN, Twyning, Glos. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 26.11.04 Guns not answer - IN reference to Mr and Mrs Taylor's letter (November 23), to say "those against hunting are not ignorant of the facts" and then write that it is more humane to shoot foxes is an absolute joke! Shooting is quick and painless if you're clever enough to hit the target between the eyes. Even the best marksmen will tell you that they miss occasionally. Just which wild animal is going to stand still long enough for it to be done cleanly?... Emma Robinson, Ebberston, Scarborough. (letter in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 26.11.04 REPLACE THE FOX AND KEEP THE HUNT - The Government is not banning the keeping of packs of hounds or horses, or farriers or equestrian suppliers and jobs. The ban is on killing a little fox with cruel dogs…. Syd, Kingswood (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 26.11.04 Is drag hunting not good enough for killers? NOW that fox-hunting has been made illegal there is an outcry about people's livelihoods being destroyed as well as horses and hounds having to be killed. Why is "drag hunting" never discussed?... P WHITTLE (Mrs), Sunnyhurst Lane, Darwen. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 26.11.04 Suspect hunt vote - WHAT kind of democracy do we live in? It seems to me that the passing of the Hunting Bill, in its present form, is highly suspect… Derek Beale, Taunton (letter)

Malvern Gazette 26.11.04 A `grubby' law - I have never hunted in any way in my life and never expect to do so, but I am appalled by the abuse of government power which took place in the House of Commons last week… Bigotry is always ugly and so is prejudice. That we should see both dictate the law of this land is deeply depressing… Eric H. Jones (Dr.), Bamford Close, Guarlford (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 26.11.04 Shut up and go - SO Ledbury Hunt may carry on as a rabbit hunting club (Malvern Gazette & Ledbury Reporter, November 19), well, what a surprise! Now, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the main argument of the hunting fraternity the fact that they are essential for keeping the fox population down? So where do the rabbits come into it? I thought that killing things had nothing to do with hunting?... Lisa Bonomini, Beacon Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Post & Times 26.11.04 CARRY ON CHARLOTTE - Thank you Charlotte Atkins, for voting for the abolition of hunting with hounds. May you serve this constituency with the honesty and dedication you consistently display for many more years to come…. Animal Rights Supporter (Name and address supplied) (letter)

Post & Times 26.11.04 HUNT BAN DELIGHT - Three cheers for democracy and thank God for rebellious Labour Backbenchers. I am delighted to have lived long enough to see the cruel abuse of wildlife by packs of hounds, controlled by a section of the population intent on indulging their Neanderthal tendencies, outlawed… Cynthia Lubacz Leek (letter)

Post & Times 26.11.04 HUNT BAN WELCOMED - I must express my pleasure and that of my family and friends that hunting with hounds will soon be a thing of the past, despite the bad-tempered posturing of the Countryside Alliance and their childish supporters… David Rigby Leek (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 GOVERNMENT MUST BE FAIR - What hypocrisy from the Government. It rightly condemned racism on the football field in Spain, and yet at the same time it has been totally prejudiced against those on the hunting field…. C J Brown Yate Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 MOTHER SHOULD KNOW BETTER - Ever since I can remember, I have been anti-hunt. So, it follows that one of the reasons I helped to vote Labour into power was because of its anti-hunting policy. I have followed your letters page with great interest and have been saddened by some of the letters from the hunting fraternity, especially one from a mother who claimed her children would have nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon should hunting be banned… Mrs M Johnston Kingswood Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 GIVE BACK CASH - Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 25.11.04 GIVE BACK CASH - Pro-hunt farmers and land owners who refuse to let water, electricity or sewage workers on their land in protest at the hunt ban should be forced to hand back their publicly-funded subsidies, with interest, and the Government should compulsorily purchase their land. These people rely on public money to shore up their businesses, and the public has voted for a hunt ban…. Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 NO PLACE TO HUNT - Now that hunting foxes with more than two hounds is to be banned, it will be interesting to see where hunts will take place for those intending to ignore the ban. With a few injunctions against the owners of the large estates, usually trustees, contempt proceedings could swiftly follow. Don Rogers Corsham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 COULD THERE BE A HIDDEN AGENDA? - Having read many letters and editorials on both sides of the equation on hunting with hounds, I believe the hunting fraternity have brought this upon themselves. Their actions within and outside the House of Commons have done little to win the hearts and minds of the majority of the electorate, for whom the Government has now spoken… R S Blackmore Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 26.11.04 ANTI-WAR CROWD GIVE TERRORISTS NEW BELIEF - I am a firm and long-time supporter of the banning of hunting with dogs where foxes, deer and hares are concerned, and this Government's decision to rid the world of Saddam and his cronies who were using their own countrymen as target practice and worse. The hunters who are protesting over having their favourite toys taken away should make the logical change and create a great success with drag hunting…. Bob Andrews Taunton Somerset (letter)

Shropshire Star 26.11.04 Foxes not the only victims of hunting - Mrs Duncalfe (Star Mail, November 15) rightly condemns the routine mass slaughter of hounds by hunts. But 3,000 a year is just what hunts admit to - our research suggests the figure is much higher…. Alan Kirby, Hayle, Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)

Shropshire Star 26.11.04 Have MPs helped in hunt ban? - So the bigots on Labour's backbenches have finally had their way. You can almost sense their nauseous self congratulation. Their disproportionate determination to railroad this ban through Parliament was highlighted yet again yesterday when the chamber (full for the Hunting Bill) emptied before the following Civil Contingencies Bill was debated… Guy Mayer, Market Drayton (letter)

Shropshire Star 26.11.04 Fox killed eight hens - I do like free range eggs, and I only have to cross the road to buy them… Yesterday a fox, in the day time, killed all eight hens… If a fox in day time can chase and kill eight hens, why can't human beings chase and kill eight foxes? A Middleton, Shropshire (letter)

Newark Advertiser 26.11.04 Law of the land - Whatever the rights and wrongs of the new foxhunting law, I think that the intentions of the hunting fraternity to break the new law is absolutely wrong and can only detract from any regard the public has for them… TONY SMITH, Main Street, Upton (letter probably only on website for a week)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 26.11.04 ‘Fox letter really was ignorant’ - I was amazed to see in the recent letter from Mr Erik Vitins’ how someone could possibly fit so many inaccuracies and misconceptions into so few paragraphs… This ban is based on prejudice and ignorance of the sort displayed by Mr Vitins’ letter. It is bad for foxes, it is bad for the countryside, it is bad for the rural economy, it is bad for public safety and it is bad for civil liberties. It is for all these reasons that we shall continue to fight it – in the courts and beyond. George Bowyer, Joint Master of the Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt, Milton Park, Bretton, Peterborough
‘Can’t Labour got priorities right?’ It’s nice to know that New Labour have their priorities right. They forced through the law banning hunting with dogs – having wasted 700 hours of Parliamentary time – in a spasm of class envy, hatred and intolerance. … Stewart Jackson, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Peterborough
‘No fun anymore’ In reply to Roy Richardson’s suggestion of muzzling hounds to prevent cruelty to foxes while still enjoying the thrill of hunting, that would just be silly. Nice thought though, but there is a non-cruel way to enjoy hunting – drag hunting…. Amanda Porter, Foxley Court, Bourne (letters)

Bucks Free Press 26.11.04 Hunt children are blood smeared - THOSE of us who do not have a bloodlust cannot understand why the few people who go hunting are fighting for their right to cause pain and probable death to an animal. They even take their children along and some hunts have the tradition of smearing the blood of a newly killed stag, fox or hare on a child if it is their first time hunting…. Name and address supplied (letter)

News Letter 26.11.04 Counting Cost Of Hunting Ban - I could not believe that the Government did not do more to reach a compromise between pro and anti-hunt parties to enable many, many people to keep their jobs…. What angers me most is that those who think they have won the war against fox hunting are now setting their energies against those who shoot birds. The Bill sets a dangerous precedent for all field sports and rural activities… * Jim Shannon MLA, DUP Strangford (letter)

Chester Chronicle 26.11.04 SIXTY hounds, is that all the Wynnstay Hunt has got? By my sums, the Wynnstay should have 600 foxhounds. Where are all the hounds that should still be alive and kicking that were born in 1992, 1993, 1994, etc, what has happened to them. Shot dead by the hunt, I suspect…. NAME AND ADDRESS WITHHELD
I'LL HUFF and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down. So say the hunting lawbreakers. But they would, after all they've trespassed for years and I've personally seen videos of trespass on Severn Trent nature reserves… ALEX WOODS Long Looms, Great Barrow, Chester (letters)


Essex Chronicle 25.11.04 SABOTEURS TARGET HUNT - Hunt saboteurs were in operation at the first Essex Farmers and Union hunt since the Government banned hunting with hounds. The hunt ran between Maldon and Danbury with saboteurs laying false scent trials and using horns to distract the hounds. Two police vehicles arrived but no arrests were made…. Come February, however, hunts like Saturday's will be illegal under a Government bill passed with the assistance of the Parliament Act last Thursday… The decision has infuriated the hunting community which has three groups - The Essex Hunt, which covers an area from Chelmsford to Haverhill, the East Essex Hunt, which centres around Braintree and Halstead and the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, covering Maldon and the Dengie peninsular… (story)

Halifax Courier 25.11.04 MINISTER FAILS TO SHOW... BUT PRO-HUNT PROTESTORS UNBOWED - PRO-HUNTING campaigners were left disappointed but resilient after Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael cancelled his visit to Todmorden. More than 100 protestors gathered on the steps of the town hall in the hope of lobbying Mr Michael yesterday. But word soon spread round the activists that the minister was not going to appear at the conference for rural and social enterprise where he was due to speak…. Among the countryside alliance crowd were hunters from Pennine Fox Hounds based in Holmfirth, Airedale Beagles from Bingley and the Colne Valley Beagles, which has its kennels at Huddersfield, all of which hunt in Calderdale. Their numbers were further bolstered by members of the Castle Carr shooting syndicate which shoot grouse and pheasant at Wainstalls, Halifax…. (story)

Kentish Gazette 25.11.04 25.11.04 Hunt protests waste police time - MP ROGER Gale warned the pro-hunt lobby not to indulge in acts of civil disobedience that would waste police time….(story)

Cumberland & Westmorland Herlad 25.11.04 HUNT BAN TO BE DEFIED? - Officials and supporters of the Ullswater Foxhounds vowed to defy the ban on foxhunting which will come into force early next year. John Lowthian, joint master, said he had every intention of defying the ban… (story may be in archive)

BBC News Online 25.11.04 Hunt to build new HQ despite ban - A Gloucestershire hunt is to invest £200,000 in a new headquarters despite their sport being banned. The Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt has bought 36 acres of land near Bishops Cleeve to build kennels for 50 dogs, a stable complex and an office…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen or Gloucestershire Echo 20.11.04 BAN WON'T STOP HUNT EXPANDING - A Gloucstershire hunt is to build new kennels, despite the impending ban on fox hunting. The Cotswold Vale Farmers' Hunt has bought 35 acres of land near Tewkesbury for a new hunt centre. The exact location is not being revealed for fear of attacks by anti-hunt protesters…. (story)
Western Daily Press 20.11.04 DEFIANT PLANS FOR NEW £100,000 HQ - One West fox hunt sent a defiant message to the Government yesterday by unveiling plans for a new headquarters. Bosses of the Cotswold Vale Hunt described their proposed £100,000 stables and kennels complex in Gloucestershire as "new and exciting"… (story)
Gloucester Citizen 18.11.04 BUILDING GOES ON, SAYS DEFIANT HUNT - A New HUNTING centre estimated to cost in excess of £100,000 is to be built in the county despite a looming hunt ban. The Cotswold Vale Farmers Hunt has defiantly purchased 35 acres of land on which to build the new facility and say the building will continue despite any decision on a ban. The hunt's management said it is an act of defiance against the House of Commons anti-hunt proposals. "As this new and exciting initiative illustrates, we intend to continue hunting in whatever ways we can for many years to come," said hunt joint-master Geoff Peters…. Henry Berkeley, Master of the Berkeley Hunt, said: "I have just brought some new equipment which is just a sign that people are still investing in hunting…." (story)

Telegraph 25.11.04 Stop hounding us, lorry driver tells Prescott By Brendan Carlin, Political Correspondent - John Prescott was urged by one of his working-class constituents yesterday to lay off hunting just because it was practised by "very few" people. Kevin Jackson, who drives to hounds every weekend in his Lada car and works as a lorry driver, appealed to the Deputy Prime Minister for the very reason that it was a minority activity.... Mr Jackson put himself forward as proof that hunting was not all toffs in red coats. He got involved in hunting joining up with the Holderness Hunt in 1997.... (story)

Telegraph 25.11.04 Brief encounters - Many people think that the planned challenge to the new Hunting Act is unprecedented. Not so: a High Court judge has already rejected a claim that legislation cannot be passed under the Parliament Act 1949 without approval from the House of Lords because the 1949 Act was not passed in conformance with the Parliament Act 1911.... (story)

Telegraph 25.11.04 Tony Banks, the scourge of hunting, to quit Parliament By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent - Tony Banks, the maverick ex-sports minister and animal rights campaigner, is to step down from Parliament after realising one of his greatest political ambitions - to ban hunting. The 61-year-old, known for his risqué humour and love of Chelsea Football Club, said he decided to leave before people began to regard him as a has-been.... (story)
Daily Mail 24.11.04 MP's departure could spark 'Blair's babes' contest - Animal rights champion and former sports minister Tony Banks is to retire as an MP at the next election, sparking speculation that his safe-seat could be contested by an all-woman shortlist… (story)

Times 25.11.04 We argued the ethics of hunting, but forgot its pastoral aesthetics ARTS NOTEBOOK BY RACHEL CAMPBELL-JOHNSTON - I WENT hunting last weekend. It is not something I do often — just a couple of times a season when someone is kind enough to offer me a horse for the morning, a hot bath for the evening and, I hope, a few slugs from a hip flask in-between. But now, in much the same spirit as I would visit a great artwork that was about to be exported forever, I hope, over these last nostalgic months, to sally forth more frequently…. The hunt is as entwined with our heritage as pastoral poetry. The hounds have a pedigree akin to the provenance of an Old Master. The horn is music to hundreds who live a rural life. And the banning of hunting, like the abrupt abolition of the post of Lord Chancellor, seems a lamentable mark of a mindset that mistakes blandness for equality… (story)

Yorkshire Post 25.11.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS IN CONFERENCE DEMO - Sally Cope - MORE than 150 pro-hunt campaigners turned out in Todmorden yesterday to protest at the Government's ban on the sport as a conference met to discuss the future of the countryside. Lobbyists, including members of the Countryside Alliance and the Countryside Action Network, gathered outside Todmorden Town Hall where a meeting on rural sustainability was taking place… Peter Hole, a member of the Countryside Action Network steering group, said: "The Government, in setting about banning hunting, is taking hundreds of million of pounds out of the rural economy and taking business away from pub and hotels…" (story)

Northumberland Gazette 25.11.04 Blair effigy hung on gibbet - MOUNTING anger over a fox hunting ban reached high levels at the weekend when pro-hunters hung an effigy of Tony Blair from an historic scaffold. The life-size dummy, dressed in a blue shirt and grey trousers and wearing a rubber mask of the Prime Minister, was hung from Winter's Gibbet near Elsdon… Michael Hedley, of the Border Hunt, has not seen the effigy but feels it is representative of the general attitude towards Mr Blair over the issue… Ian McKie, master of College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt, also knew nothing about the effigy, but said: "I think it just re-enforces the strong views of everybody involved in hunting…." (story)

Cornish Guardian 25.11.04 THE CONTROVERSIAL BAN ON HUNTING WITH DOGS COULD COME INTO FORCE AS EARLY AS FEBRUARY NEXT YEAR FOLLOWING THE FAILURE OF LAST-DITCH EFFORTS FOR A COMPROMISE. The so-called "compromise" proposal, which would have banned all hare coursing and stag hunting but allow fox hunting under licence, was rejected by MPs by 321 votes to 204 in the House of Commons on Wednesday night last week. It had the support of MPs from Cornwall including Lib Dems Colin Breed (South East Cornwall); Matthew Taylor (Truro and St Austell); Paul Tyler (North Cornwall) and Andrew George (St Ives)…. (story)

Cornish Guardian 25.11.04 BURNING PASSION SHINES THROUGH ON A GLOOMY DAY OUT - Everyone I met had a burning passion for the hunt and all had their different reasons for being there, writes Amanda Oakley. The weather was unpleasant with mist and rain threatening whether the North Cornwall Hunt's meet would actually go ahead. But spirits were high and out of the 49 riders and even more followers not a single person there was against the hunt… >(story)

Cornish Guardian 25.11.04 'BULLYING TACTICS' - "I am sure the Government will not tolerate such threats and intimidation," he said…. (story)

Derbyshire Times 25.11.04 Animal welfare chiefs celebrate - Triumphant animal welfare campaigners are celebrating an historic victory after the Government rubber-stamped the long-awaited ban on hunting…. John Rolls, RSPCA director of animal welfare promotion, said: "This new legislation reflects modern society's abhorrence of cruelty to wild animals which has, for too long, been veiled in the bloody cloak of tradition and prejudice…." (story)

Derbyshire Times 25.11.04 Hunt chiefs vow to flout new law - Pro-hunt campaigners have vowed to defy the Government's controversial ban on fox-hunting – claiming it would force thousands from their jobs and homes…. Steve Clark, joint-master of the Barlow Hunt said: "This is an absolutely unworkable decision. The Barlow Hunt will continue to exist as it always has and, although we would not condone law-breaking willy-nilly, in relation to this particular legislation we will break the rules…" (story)

Western Morning News 25.11.04 I'D BREAK THE LAW TO HUNT - PETER HARRISON - A man who spent 30 years upholding the law as a police officer says he will defy the hunt ban. "If I cannot find a way of hunting legally, then yes, I will risk arrest," retired policeman Reg Willing told the Western Morning News…. (story)

Western Morning News 25.11.04 DRAG HUNTING STILL NOT A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE - Drag hunting is often cited by members of the anti-bloodsports lobby as a viable alternative to chasing foxes with hounds. But both foxhunters and drag hunters insist the two activities are not interchangeable. Even with a ban imminent, Westcountry hunt supporters have not altered their view. James Stewart, spokesman for the Four Burrow Hunt in Cornwall, said chasing a laid scent was "totally different" to the art of hunting a live quarry… "There have already been efforts to set up a drag hunt in Cornwall but they couldn't get the land to hunt on."… Vikki Robinson of the Modbury Harriers said: "It would be like saying to people who fish on rivers and lakes that they could only go fishing in a municipal pond. It would be like saying to golfers they could only use the pitch and putt." (story)

Western Morning News 25.11.04 DEFIANCE AT HUNT FOR 'ORDINARY' PEOPLE - Yesterday was the first time farmer Richard Hookway had ever gone hunting, but he is determined it won't be the last. Richard, aged 25, of St Giles in the Wood, near Torrington, in North Devon, was so incensed by the newly-passed hunt ban that he decided to take up the pastime. Yesterday was only the third time that Richard had ridden a horse as he turned out for a weekday meeting of the Torrington Farmers' Hunt held at Great Huish Farm, a few miles outside the town…. (story)

Western Morning News 25.11.04 BLAIR'S BIG BLUNDER ON HUNTING - Charlie Whelan, former Press Secretary to Chancellor, Gordon Brown, asks why the Prime Minister pushed ahead a ban which he and the Labour top brass don't really want - If I wasn't off fishing in Scotland this week I would be joining a hunt. I don't actually like hunting vermin, but it would be a show of solidarity with those that do, as they ponder what to do next, following the passing of the Hunting Act last week…. (story)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 25.11.04 HUNT BAN 'WILL COST RUTLAND' - THE fox hunting ban could cost Rutland's economy dear, hunters warned this week…. A survey carried out by the Countryside Alliance found hunting puts £10m into the rural economy of Rutland and Leicestershire… Cottesmore Hunt spokesman Philippa Mayo said: "There is a determination to keep the hunt together and there are a number of avenues within the law which will be explored."… (story)

Midhurst & Petworth Observer 25.11.04 Hunting ban will change way of life - Major changes in the law surrounding fox hunting are set to change the way of life for hundreds of people in the Midhurst and Petworth area…. Master of the Petworth-based Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray (CLC) Hunt, Nick Bamber, said he could offer no comment as to whether his group would continue to hunt after, or if, the law change is enforced fully… (story)

Windsor Observer 25.11.04 Protesters hound the PM - PROTESTERS in their hundreds gathered as part of a mass national pro-fox hunting demonstration to mark the arrival of guests and dignitaries for a royal banquet. About 2,000 Countryside Alliance supporters descended on Windsor on Thursday evening to mark the arrival of Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac for the event at Windsor Castle with The Queen. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 25.11.04 Hunt supporters pledge to defy ban - Hunt supporters remain unphased by Government moves to force the Hunting Bill through Parliament and have vowed to keep the bloodsport alive… Clare Rowson warned that in the meantime hunting will continue and a significant amount of civil disobedience will take place.. Dan Sidley, from a Black Country branch of the Hunt Saboteurs' Association, said: "We will carry on until the end…." (story)

Caernarfon Herald 25.11.04 Kill will continue By Tecwyn Hill, Caernarfon Herald - A MEMBER of the Eryri Hunt has told the Herald they are prepared to break the law when the hunting ban is brought into effect next February… following the Queen's Royal Assent for the controversial Hunting Act, which will ban fox hunting with hounds from February, Eryri Huntsman, Dylan Davies, 27, from Cwm Pennant, has said the foot pack will continue their work "regardless of consequences"… (story)

Wear Valley Advertiser 25.11.04 Alliance set for court - Pro-hunt campaigners have launched a legal challenge to overthrow Parliament's ban on the sport. Lawyers backed by the Countryside Alliance lodged papers at the High Court in London on Friday, seeking a judicial review of the Hunting Act which was finally passed by Parliament on Thursday (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 25.11.04 Supporters claim ban is unpoliceable - POLICE are remaining tight-lipped about how they will deal with any disorder once hunting with dogs is banned…. Ledbury Hunt supporter, David Redvers - who was one of the five men arrested for storming the House of Commons during the Hunting bill debate in September - said the ban was "unpoliceable"…. (story in archive)

Tamworth Herald 25.11.04 ATHERSTONE HUNT PLEDGES: 'WE WILL DEFY UNJUST BAN!' - Members of the historic Atherstone Hunt have vowed to defy the outright ban on hunting… (story)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 ANGER OVER 'IMPOSSIBLE TO POLICE' HUNTING BAN - There was anger and disbelief from MPs and pro-hunting groups in North Devon after the ban on hunting with dogs cleared its final hurdle. MPs used the Parliament Act to outlaw hunting with dogs from next February - despite the House of Lords opposing a ban… Torrington Farmers' Hunt master Ken Ford said: "This is another nail in the coffin of the countryside…." (story)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 'REPORT THOSE WHO STILL HUNT' - Writer Vernon Coleman has set up a new organisation in response to claims the pro-hunting lobby will continue to hunt after the Hunting Bill becomes law. The North Devon-based author and former GP has unveiled the League Against Unlawful Grouping of Hounds - LAUGH for short… (story)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 'DON'T BREAK THE LAW' PLEA - After 80 years of dedicated lobbying, animal welfare organisations have welcomed the hunting ban. The League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA both expressed delight but highlighted the need for those against the ban to act within the law… (story)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 FROM OUR MP BY NICK HARVEY MP FOR NORTH DEVON - Tuesday saw what we expect to be the last Queen's Speech - heralding a short Parliamentary session - before a spring election…. Unmentioned in the speech, but being discussed openly by David Blunkett, is another Hunting Bill (I'm not joking!) because they are waking up to the snags with the one they've just passed…. (story)

Tavistock Times 25.11.04 Hunters: we will not be deterred - WEST Devon hunts have vowed to continue their sport ? despite last week?s government decision to ban hunting with dogs from February 18 next year. Michael Bickell, chair of Lamerton Hunt, said everyone involved in the hunt was ?very positive? in the face of the new legislation…. Guy Morlock, master of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, said: ?Our plan is to try and work within the law ? if we have to go to hunt with a drag or just with a couple of hounds to flush out that?s what we?ll do…." (story)

The Forester 25.11.04 HUNTS SEEK LOOPHOLES - Foxhunting campaigners are meeting this weekend to discuss possible loopholes in the legislation which will ban their blood sport. Members of the Ledbury Hunt say they are determined to find ways of getting around the ban, due to bite in February, that will allow them to carry on hunting without technically breaking the law…. (story)

Frome & Somerset Standard 25.11.04 HUNT VOWS TO DEFY ANY BAN - Mendip's hunting fraternity has vowed to resist a ban on the controversial activity. The Mendip Farmers' Hunt has said it will continue fox hunting despite the government's decision to invoke a total ban by February 2005…. (story)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 25.11.04 Defiant over hunting ban - Arun Marsh - DEFIANT foxhunters look set to break the law and continue hunting once a Government ban comes in to place. Only days after the ban was passed by Parliament last week, members of the United Pack Hunt, in Bishop's Castle met. Although the hunt's committee has yet to finally decide on whether it will defy the ban, member Lindsay Hill said there was every intention to continue, as she hoped every hunt in the country would…. (story in archive)

Melton Times 25.11.04 WE WON'T GIVE UP! - WE won't give up – that's the message from Melton's hunt community as foxhunting is set to become illegal from February…. Michael Clayton, retired chairman of the Cottesmore, said the hunt community intends to resist the ban through various means… Victoria Owen, chairman of the Belvoir, said the hunt is preparing to work around the ban. She said: "We have no plans to just fold. We're trying to take a measured approach to this."… (story)

Worcester Standard 25.11.04 Hunt supporters will flout ban, Countryside Alliance - THE COUNTRYSIDE Alliance (CA) has warned that many Worcestershire hunt supporters will flout the law and continue to practice the sport in the wake of the ban on hunting with dogs which comes into force in February…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 25.11.04 Hunter injured - A HUNTSMAN was airlifted to hospital with suspected spine and rib injuries after falling from his horse. The 40-year-old, a member of the Vale of the White Horse hunt, was flown to the Great Western Hospital yesterday… Defiant hunters in the region are vowing to face jail rather than give up their sport. Earlier this week The Old Berks Hunt, which is based in Faringdon, held its second meeting since MPs voted to ban fox hunting from February next year. (story in archive)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 HUNT'S CHRISTMAS SALE - Game, preserves, fresh produce, second-hand clothes and presents will be among the attractions at the Cattistock Hunt's Christmas sale at Toller Porcorum Village Hall tomorrow… (story)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 RACE NIGHT FOR HUNT - Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt supporters are holding a race night and supper tomorrow night at Milborne Port Village Hall. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10… (story)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 WILDLIFE DECLINE - Prof W. R. Allen and Dr Lewis Thomas, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, Newbury, Berks. (letter)
Shropshire Star 24.11.04 Forbidding fox hunts would not help hares - The letter from Rodney Hale (November 4) chairman of the British Brown Hare Preservation Society is a mass of confusion. According to Mr Hale anyone would think that hunting and coursing were responsible for almost wiping out the hare…. Mr Hale claims the fox is no danger to the healthy hare but fails to mention the vulnerable leveret born above ground, a meal in waiting for the passing fox. A fox hunting ban would do the hare no favours… J. Burgess, Worcester (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 20.11.04 'BANNING HUNTING WOULD NOT INCREASE THE HARE POPULATION' - Stephen Lambert, Chairman, Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, PO Box 5682, Newbury, Berkshire (letter)
Western Morning News 16.11.04 BROWN HARE HUNT JUSTIFIED - Stephen Lambert, Chairman Association of Masters of Foxhounds and Beagles (letter)
Western Daily Press 12.11.04 HARE HUNTERS TAKE GREAT CARE - Banning hunting would not increase the hare population, as Rodney Hale seems to think. In his report on hunting with dogs, Lord Burns concluded: "It seems likely, that in some of those areas where hunting takes place the hare population, in the event of a ban, would be lower than it is now."… A ban on hunting would not help the national hare population, nor an individual hare. Stephen Lambert Chairman Association of Masters of Foxhounds and Beagles (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 4.11.04 HUNTERS ARE KEEPING HARES ALIVE IN ENGLAND - Rodney Hale claims to be from the British Brown Hare Preservation Society in a letter published in the Echo recently. He should therefore know that the only reason that there are any hares at all in much of Britain is because they have been encouraged by hunting people…. William Proudfoot, Fawkham, Kent (letter)
Shropshire Star 4.11.04 Cruelty nothing to do with management - Rodney Hale, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society (letter)
3.11.04 Hunting preserves the hare - THE letter from Rodney Hale (You Say, Monday, October 25) Chairman of the British Brown Hare Preservation Society is a mass of confusion. According to Mr Hale, anyone would think that hunting and coursing were responsible for almost wiping out the hare. Even the most vociferous anti-hunting organisations have never claimed this…. Instead of looking for confrontation, groups like the BBHPS should be working with the National Coursing Club and the Masters of Hare Hounds Association. These two organisations have a great practical knowledge of hare conservation. Anyone attempting to ban them is no friend of the hare. JON BURGESS, Malvern (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 2.11.04 CHASING FOXES WITH DOGS IS NOT HUMANE - Stephen Harris, Professor of Environmental Sciences University of Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 30.10.04 HUNTING BAN WILL HELP THE SURVIVAL OF THE BROWN HARE - Rodney Hale, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 29.10.04 PRO-HUNT VETS SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES - Rodney Hale, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society, Crediton (letter)
West Briton 28.10.04 HARES AND HOUNDS - A NEW VIEW - RODNEY HALE, MSc, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society (letter)
Salisbury Journal 27.10.04 YET again, Professor Allen and Lewis Thomas are trotting out the same tired and discredited arguments… STEPHEN HARRIS, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Bristol (letter in archive)
South Wales Evening Post 25.10.04 DISGRACEFUL COMMENTS - Rodney Hale, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society, PO Box 70, EX17 4ZQ (letter)
Grimsby Telegraph 23.10.04 'THE CAUSE OF HARE DEATHS - HUNTING - CAN EASILY BE AVOIDED' - Rodney Hale, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society (letter)
Wiltshire Times 22.10.04 Plea for an end to hare hunting - TWO `Vets for Hunting' are again widely circulating the nonsensical argument that "hunting is the natural and most humane method of controlling populations of all four quarry species and is a key element in the management of British wildlife in general". This is untrue of any, including the fox, but it is especially wrong of the brown hare, hunted by around 100 packs…. RODNEY HALE, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society, PO Box 70, Crediton, EX17 4ZQ (letter in archive)
Leek & Post Times 19.10.04 A HIDDEN AGENDA - I was concerned to read the article in your newspaper last week written by Clive Langford Mycock - Farming and Countryside… VAWM - the Veterinary Association of Wildlife Management - are a recently formed group previously going by the somewhat less-friendly name 'Vets for hunting'…. I am surprised the Leek Post and Time has compromised its usually high standards by allowing one of its contributors to promote a biased organisation in this way. Gillian Lee (Address supplied) (letter)
Wells Journal 21.10.04 UNDERSTAND YOUR WILDLIFE - The letter entitled "Disaster for four quarry species" (October 7, 2004). Yet again Twink Allen and Lewis Thomas are trotting out the same tired and discredited arguments. Chasing animals with packs of dogs is not humane and is not natural…. Stephen Harris, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Bristol (letter)
Worcester Evening News 15.10.04 Whitehall threat to welfare of wildlife - PROF W R ALLEN, DR LEWIS THOMAS, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, Newbury, Berks. (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 14.10.04 FOXES ABLE TO REGULATE THEIR NUMBERS NATURALLY - Stephen Harris, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Bristol (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 14.10.04 PROFESSIONALS SHOULDN'T WRITE SUCH NONSENSE - I am astonished that Professor WR Allen and Dr Lewis Thomas compromise their professional reputations by writing nonsense on the subject of hunting with hounds… Here in the South West, some hare populations are at a critically low level and likely to be unstable, with a high chance of local extinctions… Rodney Hale, Chairman, British Brown Hare Preservation Society, Crediton (letter)
Salisbury Journal 13.10.04 A disastrous downturn for wildlife welfare - PROF W R ALLEN, DR LEWIS THOMAS, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, Newbury, Berkshire (letter in archive)
Horncastle News 13.10.04 A ban will mean a disastrous downturn in wildlife welfare - PROF W R ALLEN, DR LEWIS THOMAS, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, Newbury (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 13.10.04 Arguments ‘tired and discredited’ - In reply to the letter entitled “Hunting ban will be disastrous” (Letters, October 6). Yet again, professor Allen and Lewis Thomas are trotting out the same tired and discredited arguments. Chasing animals with packs of dogs is not humane and is not natural. To argue otherwise shows a complete lack of understanding of wildlife biology…. Stephen Harris, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Bristol (letter)
North Devon Gazette 13.10.04 ‘Leave foxes alone’ - Stephen Harris, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Bristol (letter in archive)
Western Morning News 12.10.04 Hunts aid wildlife - Prof W R Allen, Dr Lewis Thomas - Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, Newbury, Berks (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 12.10.04 HUNTS NOT ONLY TRADITION TO CHANGE WITH TIMES - Despite my sincere intention not to respond to the ridiculous arguments voiced by the pro-hunt brigade, the comments of Professor W R Allen and Dr Lewis Thomas, Points of View, October 6, defy belief. I attended the recent demonstration in Queen Street with the intention of supporting any anti-hunt contingent…. Despite my sincere intention not to respond to the ridiculous arguments voiced by the pro-hunt brigade, the comments of Professor W R Allen and Dr Lewis Thomas, Points of View, October 6, defy belief. I attended the recent demonstration in Queen Street with the intention of supporting any anti-hunt contingent….. Name and address supplied (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 11.10.04 LANDOWNERS URGED TO ENCOURAGE MORE FOXES - Professor w R Allen and Dr Lewis Thomas, Points of view, October 6, refer to hunting as the natural and most humane method of controlling foxes: assumedly they were talking about the need to keep down the numbers of this quarry. However, I am reliably informed that last March Lord Daresbury, chairman of the Master of Fox Hounds Association, wrote to members urging them to persuade landowners to encourage more foxes to breed because of a nationwide shortage…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Wells Journal 8.10 04 DISASTER FOR FOUR QUARRY SPECIES - Prof W R Allen, Dr Lewis Thomas Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management Newbury Berkshire (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 7.10.04 Following countryside code - PROFESSOR W R ALLEN, DR LEWIS THOMAS, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, Newbury, Berkshire (letter)
Tamworth Herald 7.10.04 - BY bringing in legislation to ban hunting, the Government will be responsible for initiating a potentially disastrous downturn in the welfare of British wildlife…. Prof W R Allen, Dr Lewis Thomas, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, (via email). (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 6.10.04 'Hunting ban will be disastrous' - PROF. W.R. ALLEN, DR LEWIS THOMAS, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management (letter)
North Devon Gazette & Advertiser 6.9.04 Bad for wildlife - Prof WR Allen, Dr Lewis Thomas, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 6.10.04 MAN HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO MANAGE COUNTRYSIDE - By bringing in legislation to ban hunting, the Government will be responsible for initiating a potentially disastrous downturn in the welfare of British wildlife. Hunting is the natural and most humane method of controlling populations of all four quarry species and is a key element in the management of British wildlife in general…. At present, the hunts are indisputably the best custodians of British wildlife and the Government should be under no illusion that, if it removes this nationwide network of voluntary wildlife management and conservation, it will be directly responsible for a massive and cruel decline in the welfare of British wildlife. Professor W R Allen and Dr Lewis Thomas, Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, Newbury (letter)

Manchester Evening Post 25.11.04 Democracy? THE decision has now been made to ban fox-hunting with dogs by the democratically elected body for this country. To many people, this is right and humane. We are now being threatened with civil disobedience and even law-breaking by sections of the pro-hunting lobby. Michael O’Hanlon, chairman of the Holcombe Hunt, is reported in the M.E.N. as saying that “many members feel let down by the democratic process”. How this can be justified, I do not know…. Charles Laycock, Ashton under Lyne (letter)

Rutland & Stamford Mercury 25.11.04 Not just the elite who like hunting - WELL, well, it’s no wonder people ignorant of hunting and country life around this subject become anti-hunt when reading the ridiculous letter of total nonsense last week by A Richards of Wakerley, with the false and bitter accusations demonstrating he is more anti-society than pro-fox…. J BRASHER Edith Weston
Everyone will lose out in this hunting ban - I HESITATED to dignify A Richards’ letter (last week) with a response, but it is full of such nonsense I simply cannot let it go. Firstly he is responding to a well written letter, full of enthusiasm from an 11 year-old boy. Not a child from a privileged background, as Mr Richards suggests, but a boy being brought up by a single mother who works as a cleaner… Philippa Mayo Tilton-on-the Hill (letters only on site for a week)

Independent 25.11.04 Hunt protests backfire - You say that the Government will be unhappy at the prospect of a general election "complete with ugly mass demonstrations of the sort the Countryside Alliance has mounted outside Parliament in recent months" (leading article, 19 November). On the contrary, I would expect them to be delighted at the prospect. As the object of five demonstrations by the pro-hunting lobby since mid-September, several of them televised and the last of them outside my own home, I have enjoyed a new wave of support and sympathy… DAVID RENDEL MP, (Newbury, Lib Dem)
What happened to the Countryside Alliance's campaign against the closure of rural schools, post offices, bus routes, etc?... JOHN PLUMLY, Edgware, Middlesex (letters)

Northumberland Gazette 25.11.04 Terrier too old, aged one - I AM neither for nor against fox hunting. My main concern is for the hounds… Just how long are hounds allowed to live before they are put to sleep? It seems to me, they must have a pretty short life. N Coote, Rothbury. (letter)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 25.11.04 BECOMING A 'NANNY STATE' - I am beginning to wonder if I live in a democracy any more. The Government is turning the country into a nanny state whereby law-abiding citizens are being turned into criminals and their freedom of choice suppressed, whether this is for their pastime of hunting with hounds or having a cigarette in a public place…. Grace MacRae, The Cedars, Dunshillock, Mintlaw (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 25.11.04 HUNTING BAN IS AN ATTACK ON A FREE, TOLERANT SOCIETY - I Am absolutely staggered that the Government has voted in a Bill to ban hunting in defiance of evidence and principle. Such is the great strength of feeling and commitment to hunting and country sports that we will do what it takes to repeal this unjust and prejudiced law…. SARAH J. NELSTROP Branston
None of us can choose which law to obey, so I think the Countryside Alliance should accept the fact that hunting with dogs will be against the law from February next year…. I can forecast that the anti-hunting lobby will retaliate over the Alliance's threat to punish society and, sadly, this may lead to the anarchy that the Countryside Alliance also forecasted. Do they want civil war? WALLY CROFT Birchwood Estate, Lincoln
Just in case there is anyone who still believes that the fox is nothing more than an adorable, cuddly, animal who glories in the name of Basil or Reynard, may I remind them that it is a species of vermin that is infinitely more vicious than the wolf or tiger, more destructive than the wolverine, and more rapacious than the shark…. Do not be cowed by the tenth-raters who brought about this miserable ban. Remember your forbears who took their packs with them as they defeated Napoleon, who sounded hunting horns as they crossed no-man's land at the Somme, and who shouted 'Tally Ho!' as they fell upon enemy bombers…. E. C. COLEMAN Well Street, Bishop Norton
Hunters as "the fox's friend" needs qualifying (November 22). Even if it were true, it could only be by default. Because huntsmen don't put on the clobber and mount the nag saying: "Let's go and do the foxes a favour." They are inspired by a bit of blood lust and a lot of tradition…. MAX NOTTINGHAM St Faith's Street, Lincoln.
Fox hunting is just an emotional smokescreen. Lincoln MP Gillian Merron voted for the ban on "The Parliament's Act" of hunting with dogs, not just hounds. This will include: a terrier chasing a rat; a spaniel flushing a pheasant; a labrador pegging a partridge… But hunters need not worry, as the police cannot control the hordes of illegal hare coursers who swamp the county every weekend and pillage our countryside. STEWART AISTHORPE Lincoln. (letters)

Yorkshire Post 25.11.04 Why can't the pro-hunting brigade admit they are having fun? From: RA Crossley, Fall View, Silkstone, Barnsley. In the recent article by Sarah Todd, editor of Yorkshire Life (November 18), she says that there is a "hunters' fear of being upfront about what fun the sport is". I wonder why that should be. The fact that someone in her position says that, and presumably doesn't know why, speaks volumes about the mindset of hunt supporters…. You know, after writing this, I almost prefer the honesty of the genuine thrill seekers who lust for blood, than people who won't or can't exercise their brains around the reality of what gives them fun. (letter)

Cornishman 25.11.04 END YOUR PRO HUNT PREJUDICE - Name and address supplied AS A paper that "aims to report with no allegiance to any political party" and "does not deliberately discriminate against any group", The Cornishman seems to have very biased views when it comes to fox hunting… Editor's note: It is precisely because 'we do not deliberately discriminate against any group' that we report both on hunting and anti-hunt protests. As for St Just Feast, our reporter saw only one (rather brave) anti-hunt protester; had he seen more, we would have said so.) (letter)

Kidderminster Shuttle 25.11.04 Hunting ban thanks - ON behalf of the Worcestershire anti-hunt campaign, I would like to thank all members, past and present, who have worked so tirelessly over the years…. WORCESTERSHIRE ANTI-HUNTING CAMPAIGN, Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Sutton Guardian 25.11.04 Food chain sees foxes eat rats - In regards to "Foxes must not be tortured for sport", (Guardian letters, November 5) may I please point out foxes eat rats. We would have a vast rat problem if there were no foxes. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 WATCH OUT CHICKS - HERE WE COME - As a fox I would like to express my gratitude to those kind people who have fought to stop my friends and I being hunted by dogs and anything else for that matter. All being well we shall soon be provided with full, unhindered Rambler's Rights to Roam and happily pursue our natural depredations of the countryside's livestock… It is unanimously agreed however that if it ever came to a choice we would have preferred to take pot-luck and be killed instantly by the hounds rather than subjected to slaughter by the Halal method which entails taking some two minutes of pain to die upside down after waiting in a queue for the privilege which does seem rather cruel…. Reynard Vulpes-Vulpes of Crucigera, aka P. J. Maddock, Bay Lane, Gillingham (letter)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 IT'S A MAD MAD WORLD - So its true the World has gone mad. The raving mad George W Bush is back in power. He's back to wage war on people and wildlife…. Then in Britain we have people who killing for fun, whether hunting, shooting or whatever. But if you dare go against the status quo all hell breaks out…. Neal, Dorset Anti-Blood Sports and Animal Action, PO Box 1119, Dorchester (letter)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 HUMANE DISPATCH SERVICE PROVIDED - I Write in response to Julie Byngham's letter and I have to say I disagree with her. I have been beagling twice and had a great day on both occasions. On one of these days when the beagles started hunting a hare, I was amazed to see it stop to scratch its ear before continuing in a massive circle… I am 100 per cent against any criminal cruelty and I would not hunt if it was cruel. The independent evidence does not support a ban! Dorset countryman, name and address supplied. (letter)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 ANARCHY IN COUNTRYSIDE? - We are about to have anarchy in the countryside. When will the hunt campaigners come to their senses? They have been stopping hunting on private land for years therefore breaking the law…. They will start to take whatever action they need to against this Government and others to get back what is their right to hunt on their land. And to live on their private land and have a family life at home. This is the Human Rights Article 8. P. Culver, Fleet Street, Beaminster. (letter)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 LEAVE IT TO COUNTRY FOLK - It is a tragedy that the compromise measure on foxhunting has been thrown out by MPs representing urban constituencies who know nothing about wildlife and the countryside and care less for it. Will it lead to chaos in the English countryside? Hunting people should not be made into criminals, causing rural police to neglect real criminals in the countryside…. Jeremy Cusden, Wyke Road, Gillingham. (letter)

Western Gazette 25.11.04 AN OWN GOAL FOR THE ANTIS - Now that the Hunting Bill has been forced on to the statute book in the most disgraceful manner, spare a thought for the hunt saboteurs. What will they now do for a day's sport with no hunt followers to harass and no hounds to spray with citronella?.. Mrs V. Nicholas, Sydling St Nicholas (letter)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 SO WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE NOW?- According to some bod in the now defunct Ministry of Agriculture the sustainable size of the British fox population is about 360,000. Every year this figure increases to about 800,000. So every year about 400,000 foxes must die, for the fox's own sake…. according to the Burns Inquiry, hunting with dogs is no more cruel than any other means of control. But it is selective, self-funding, self-monitoring and totally accountable. It is the only system that leaves no injured survivors or walking wounded or decaying corpses…. C.J. WILSON, North Bradbury Farm, Chittlehampton
FIRST they ban fox-hunting, but I was not a fox-hunter so I did not protest. Then they banned smoking, but I was not a smoker so I did not protest… ROY MILLER, Broadlands, East-the-Water (letter)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 HOW THEY ARE FAILING OUR NATION - "THE people have spoken." I heard an MP make this statement during a television interview at the end of the vote on the Bill to ban hunting. Although I appreciate most politicians would not recognise the truth even if it bit them, this was a blatant lie, even by Parliamentary standards. I believe the Hunting Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister as a sop to those Labour MPs opposed to his Iraq policy. The Prime Minister himself did not support it… D.W. ALMOND, Pixie Dell, Braunton. (letter)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 WHY ARE THEY ALL SO AGAINST TAKING PART IN DRAG HUNTING? - Leaving aside the question of whether or not foxes need to be controlled and how, would someone from the pro-hunting fraternity please explain why they feel it is only by chasing a fox that they can enjoy riding through the countryside… NAME and ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

North Devon Journal 25.11.04 'INEFFECTIVE' PRO-HUNT LOBBY SHOULD NOW ACCEPT SITUATION - To re-cap, fox-hunting is about pest control. It now turns out that hunts across the country deliberately boost fox populations to provide sport. It is claimed stags need to be hunted with hounds to maintain a healthy population. In fact stags live and thrive all over the rest of the UK without being hunted with hounds…. R. CORNISH, Summerland Street, Barnstaple
NOW that the legislation to prevent hunting wild animals with dogs has at long last completed its protracted passage through parliament, we can only hope that the pro-hunting lobby will face up to reality and accept the verdict of the country…. C. HASSALL, Bideford.
AT last we have banned the sadistic pleasures of the hunters. In a futile attempt to discredit the majority, the hunters say our motives are class prejudice rather than animal welfare. This presumes that we consider them in a superior class to ourselves. I don't, does anybody else? DAVE WALDEN, Lee Road, Lynton. (letters)

Cornwall Packet 25.11.04 Does MP think Jews and Muslims are cruel? - IT is noticable that Candy Atherton, currently the MP for Falmouth and Camborne, has been very vocal in her condemnation of hunting with dogs, at times making it a very personal issue and citing "cruelty" as being one of the factors…. But we hear nothing from her about the barbaric issues of slaughtering favoured by various religious groups in this country, namely Muslim and Jewish,where the animals concerned face a lingering and terrifying death, despite it being an offence clearly on the statute books… Peter Keen, Westbourne, Blisland, Bodmin (letter in archive)

Tamworth Herald 25.11.04 HUNTING SHOULD GO ON THE 'SPORTS' PAGES - I See once again that the cowardly members of the North Warwickshire Borough Council have failed to listen to the majority of the boroughs' taxpayers and have allowed, the hopefully, soon to be illegal, New Year's Day Hunt meeting to gather in the Market Square in Atherstone…. 'Hyperion', Atherstone, (full details supplied). (letter)

Leicester Mercury 25.11.04 COUNTING COST OF HUNTING BAN - Regarding police fears over the fox-hunting ban (Leicester Mercury, November 19), they have no need to worry even though they are short of 200 officers and have a £50 million shortfall. I am sure our leader, Tony, and his Labour Party will sort out this minor problem. He could send in the cavalry to sort out these mounted vermin killers… John M Cox, Leicester. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 25.11.04 TALLY-HO, IT'S THE POLICE PATROL! - Police chiefs say they will have no problem policing the hunts when the ban takes place. How are they going to do it, I wonder? Are they going to use police officers on horseback following the hunt to make sure everything is legal. Interesting. J Walker, Leicester. (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 25.11.04 DRAG HUNTING - WHY NOT? - You have given publicity to the opinion of Henry Berkeley on the result of the Hunting Bill. Would you please tell us why he appears unable to accept drag hunting as an alternative?... Mrs A. B. LANGFORD, Lansdown Road, Gloucester (letter)

The Sentinel 25.11.04 CRUSADES ARE A SMOKE SCREEN - What shall we ban next? The last week of politics has been quite astonishing with the moral and health crusades we have seen and this is supposed to make us into a better society. In fact, it has pitched one group against another causing a general mindset of intolerance, which cannot be good in the long run… I'm not a fox-hunter, shooter or angler. Ban them all, but don't ban my Sunday lunch! Now we get down to the reality of the situation… JOHN BAILLOT Scholar Green (letter)

The Sentinel 25.11.04 PEERS HOLD NO SWAY TODAY - The recent forcing through Parliament of the bill to ban the hunting of foxes with hounds is final proof that the hereditary peers hold no sway over the government of our country. This long-awaited law should give the great majority cause, in the words of Margaret Thatcher, "to rejoice at this great victory"…. BG JONES Alsager (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 25.11.04 'ASYLUM' PLOY COULD HAVE AIDED HUNT LOBBY - The Countryside Alliance made one strategic mistake in its battle with this government which did not require hindsight to prove an acceptable solution. When the number of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants started to increase from 1997 onwards, they should have offered just a few free memberships of their hunting clubs together with free horse riding lessons. The government, which is so keen to help minorities from overseas, would never have considered banning fox hunting with such membership, and it would have been allowed to continue for an indefinite period…. DAVID L BAKER, Torquay Road, Paignton
FOLLOWING the day of farce and confusion at Westminster, the Parliament Act was used to railroad through the ban on fox hunting with dogs. Some 60 odd years ago as a young boy I recall how I marvelled at the sight of men on horses galloping across open land in pursuit of a fox which might have been guilty of the wanton slaughter of Squire Brown's chickens. It seemed the right thing to do then and even to this day I am neither for nor against hunting…. ROWLAND GERARD, Livermead Hill, Torquay (letter)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 25.11.04 Wrong priority - THE government spent seven years talking about fox hunting. I am neutral in that debate, my great grandfather was killed in the hunt, thrown from his horse. Surely the government has more serious things to worry about?... (Miss) B M PACKER, Croft Road (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 25.11.04 HUNT BILL UNENFORCEABLE - I am writing about the ban on hunting with dogs (Post, November 18) in total disbelief that Mr Blair's government could exercise such blatant prejudice against such a small minority…. SUSIE LAWRENCE Navenby, Lincoln (letter)

Northern Echo 25.11.04 HUNTING … I would advise Mr Milburn to read the column, then he might realise, as he has obviously been brainwashed at some time, that the hunting ban is not about "animals being ripped to shreds for pleasure" as he puts it, but it is, as admitted at the weekend in the national press, by none other than the minister for rural affairs' parliamentary private secretary, Peter Bradley, a class struggle, not about animal welfare…. Might I suggest that he reads a bit of background information on the Bill before passing judgement on all hunters. - Patrick Blewitt, Darlington (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 25.11.04 Enjoyable time with hunt -As stated in an earlier letter I am not a regular follower of our local fox hounds but in 1954 I contracted polio and following six weeks in the isolation block at the old Copthorne Hospital I was told to take plenty of exercise recuperating for the next six to 12 months. I did - I followed the South Shropshire Hunt and had some really enjoyable days sport… M Tudor, Shrewsbury (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 25.11.04 HUNTING BAN SHOULD BE SOUNDING ALARM BELLS - The recent legislation that was passed banning hunting with hounds is disconcerting to say the least. Not only is it an uncomfortable law but the way it was passed should start to sound warning alarms. The legislation does not stop hunts from riding across the countryside with their hounds, nor does it stop them from chasing wild mammals. All it does is to stop the hounds from killing…. To make it worse is that this was a backbencher's bill, not a government one and sets a dangerous precedent as this is the first time that criminal legislation has become law without the support of the Lords. It means that any MP can have a Bill on the statute book that could make criminals of us all…. Dave Mashiter, Mildmay Close, Exeter (letter)

Gloucestershire Echo 25.11.04 DON'T IGNORE THE CRUELTY MESSAGES - 10:30 - 25 November 2004 Madam - I read with amusement Mr Finn Gunn's comments in the Echo (November 23). He says that the Government is creating a nanny state because it says "don't smoke, don't drink, don't have unprotected sex and don't hunt". Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it a scientific fact that smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease and damage to unborn babies as well as create a whole host of other health problems?... Hunting with hounds has been banned because it is cruel to animals and the notion of people gaining enjoyment from killing an animal has no place in society today…. Ian Woodbridge, Address supplied (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 25.11.04 Tally ho, this is a class act - The police chiefs are saying policing a fox-hunting ban will be difficult. Try telling the former striking miners this…. Just a thought: can hunt saboteurs make citizens' arrests on hunters? Tally ho... GEOFF KERR-MORGAN, Middlesbrough (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 25.11.04 AN APPALLING PRECEDENT - I Have no strong feelings on fox-hunting. I can understand those who want it to continue and those who don't. But what a terrible price has been paid by the passing of this Bill, with such an unwarranted restriction of personal freedom… B Jones, Waun Daniel, Rhos, Pontardawe (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.11.04 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE THREAT IS OBSCENE GIVEN WORLD CRISES - Having been brought up in Blackmore Vale country I cannot be accused of being a townie with no concept of country traditions. With all the important issues facing the world in the 21st century the threat of civil disobedience by the prohunting lobby seems to me an obscenity… P M Osborne Yeovil Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.11.04 FOXES A TARGET - - Pro-hunting, anti-hunting or couldn't care less, for the Mother of Parliaments to allow might and prejudice to trample all over evidence and principle is a sad, sad day for all of us…. John Rushton Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.11.04 THIS BAN WILL DIVIDE COUNTRY - On October 12, in the House of Lords debate on the Bill to ban hunting with dogs, Lord Burns, who headed the inquiry into hunting, said: "There is insufficient verifiable evidence to reach views about cruelty one way or the other, and our committee came to that conclusion."… R J Berkeley Berkeley Castle Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.11.04 PR EXERCISE FOR HUNTING - We would like to say firstly how fair your letters and editorial pages seem to be when covering the thorny issue of hunting…. We did feel, however, that there were some inaccuracies in Tristan Cork's recent series highlighting the Burns Report on hunting with dogs, several of which should be addressed: The Burns Report was carried out after a few field visits by the committee to see hunts in action… The Hunt Saboteurs Association was specifically omitted from the list of groups contacted in advance of the committee sitting, despite more than 35 years of experience of hunting in the raw and witnessing and gathering evidence of the cruelty involved… Paul Gammon Hunt Saboteurs Association London (letter)

Western Morning News 25.11.04 I REJECT THIS BIGOTED BAN - I am a registered nurse and this week, as on all other weeks, I have been working in one of our local hospitals caring for ill and dying patients. As of tonight (November 18, 2004) I am considered by this Government to be cruel and my activities unacceptable. From February next year I will be criminalised if I carry on my activity, my horse will be confiscated and I may be heavily fined or imprisoned - all because I enjoy hunting… Rosemary Price Chagford (letter)

Shropshire Star 25.11.04 Total ban needed to finish argument - M Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, Suffolk (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 22.11.04 HORSE AND HOUNDS CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT CRUELTY - MIKE HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth, Suffolk (letter)
Worcester Evening News 19.11.04 There must be humane alternative to hunting - GIVEN the certainty that there will be disputes in our countryside over hunting, so long as wildlife remains the quarry, MPs seeking to resolve this problem must force the conversion of animal hunting to the humane alternative… M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service. (letter in archive)


South Wales Guardian 24.11.04 Hunt ban `will cause chaos' by Huw Waghorn - A ban on hunting with dogs could plunge large parts of the Towy Valley into chaos…. Farmers, landowners and pro-hunt campaigners are now bracing themselves for what could be an extremely volatile and turbulent period ahead…. Farmers, landowners and pro-hunt campaigners are now bracing themselves for what could be an extremely volatile and turbulent period ahead. (story in archive)

Telegraph 24.11.04 Hunting a minority issue? Tell that to the 400,000 country marchers, Mr Prescott - Hundreds of thousands of hunt supporters across the country were dismissed by John Prescott yesterday as a minority obsessed with an unimportant issue. Despite being part of a government that last week invoked the Parliament Act to force a complete ban on foxhunting into law, the Deputy Prime Minister branded it a marginal, "tally-ho" activity that was irrelevant in modern-day Britain....(story)
Telegraph 24.11.04 'It is one of those tally ho, tally ho issues - nothing to do with modern Britain' - This is a transcript of John Prescott's interview on the Today programme. John Humphrys, the presenter, asked for "a very final quick word" on foxhunting at the end of an interview with Mr Prescott and, in particular, about comments that abolition was partly about class war. Prescott: "Foxhunting? Cor blimey, why do we want to talk about foxhunting? Iraq's a very serious question – foxhunting isn't."... (story)
Western Mail 24.11.04 Tally Ho jibe angers hunters - Gareth Morgan, Western Mail - PRO-HUNT campaigners were furious last night after John Prescott said he did not think fox-hunting was a serious issue…. Mair Hughes, whose husband is master of the Llangeinor Hunt, said, "We have said ourselves that it does not matter to all the people on the street, but to me and lots of others it is vital - it is our livelihoods…." (story)

Telegraph 24.11.04 Hunting: the facts and figures - 252 hours: the time spent by the Commons and Lords debating foxhunting since Labour came to power in 1997…. (story)

Guardian 24.11.04 End of an era - As pro-hunters rally to defy the ban on hunting, Paul Gammon, a hunt saboteur for more than two decades, looks back on the casualties ... and hopes for a more peaceful future… (story)

Mirror 24.11.04 OTIS FERRY - (Sue Carroll) ONLY hours before the government unveiled its latest "crackdown" (ha ha) on crime, more than a dozen police - four vans of officers with dogs, three patrol cars and two unmarked cars - descended on the Shropshire home of pro-hunt protester Otis Ferry… But I'm impressed that the West Mercia force are taking Britain's gun menace so seriously. Let's hope the fine example they have set catches on in Brixton, Handsworth and Moss Side (story)
Mirror 23.11.04 TALLY BLOW - Hunt yob Otis has guns seized after police raid - HUNT protester Otis Ferry has had guns seized by police after a raid on his home. The 21-year-old - who led the storming of Parliament by pro-hunt campaigners - had a .22 rifle and 12-bore shotgun taken away. Police said they removed the legally held weapons because of concerns over the behaviour of rock star Bryan's son during protests…. (story)
Shropshire Star 23.11.04 Police launch raid on fox hunter Otis - Shropshire hunt protester Otis Ferry has had guns and other property seized by police after a raid on his home, it emerged today. Officers took away the legally-held guns, a computer and other items after an extensive search of the 21-year-old's house on the outskirts of Shrewsbury…. Mr Ferry, who is the joint master of the South Shropshire Hunt, stormed the Houses of Parliament in September during a debate on fox hunting…. (story)

Mirror 24.11.04 BIN THE BANS, TONY OR BE HOUNDED OUT (Sue Carroll) - WELCOME to Britain, it's a lot of fun if you do what you're told. After the recent outpouring of bans, guidelines and instructions on how we should conduct our lives don't be surprised to find a state-approved uniform shoved through your letterbox any day soon…. Like the majority of people in Britain I don't give two hoots about fox-hunting, it's so long since I've been on a horse I wouldn't know one end of it from another… But I would defend to the end the right of anyone to carry on doing it, so long as I don't have to play, thank you…. (story)

Times 24.11.04 On the scent of hypocrisy - ALICE MILES - Amid all the mawkish blether about doomed dogs, it's time for a sense of perspective … So it is with heavy heart and light tread that I approach the subject of the killing of dogs. The prospect of thousands of them being shot or put to sleep in the run-up to the general election has alarmed Tony Blair to such a degree that he is desperately trying to find a way to postpone the implementation of the Hunting Act next February…. About 3,000 hunting hounds are killed each year because they are deemed no longer useful. Do not fall for the caricature of the huntsman as noble champion of the poor, brave little doggie. And they are killed, in part, because they cannot be domesticated. These are pack animals, trained to hunt and to kill, not domestic pets. Not only are hounds not house-trained, they are large and need plenty of exercise, would become belligerent and worried without the company of other dogs… to buy into the hunting lobby’s cynical portrayal of themselves as protectors of the liberties and livelihoods of their dogs is just plain stupid… (story)

Western Mail 24.11.04 Rebecca Riots revived? - Gareth Morgan, Western Mail - THE legacy of civil disobedience that started with Wales' Rebecca Riots lives on today with the fox-hunting row, according to a historian. On Friday, Professor Hywel Teifi Edwards will lecture in Llanboidy on the legacy of the famous rioters who, more than 250 years ago, dressed as women and railed against tollgates…. (story)

Western Mail 24.11.04 Hunt ban 'could still be delayed' - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - COMMONS Leader Peter Hain has left the door open to delay the start of the foxhunting ban…. Mr Hain said if peers had a change of heart the Government would give it serious consideration… (story)

Kentish Gazette 24.11.04 Police chief to probe foxhhunters' intentions - KENT police will appoint a senior officer to deal with the threat of pro-hunt civil disobedience over the next three months. The appointment demonstrates concern over the prospect of officers having to spend valuable time enforcing the ban when it becomes law at the end of February… (story)
Kent Messenger 23.11.04 'Hunt czar' to prevent public disorder - KENT police are set to appoint a "hunt czar" in a bid to quell the threat of pro-hunt civil disobedience over the next three months…. The Kent Countryside Alliance chairman Richard Middleton, who is also chairman of Ashford Valley Foxhounds, claimed the new legislation could cause widespread unemployment and loss of income for those directly involved or supportive of the hunt industry indirectly…. At risk were 300 foxhounds belonging to the Ashford Valley, East Kent and West Street Tickham hunts; 150 beagles hunting with Blean, Wye and Bolebroke Beagles; horses owned by the three hunts and 120 ancillary personnel whose "sole purpose in life is hunting"… Any pro-hunt support from east Kent farmers will be unofficial, without National Farmers Union support. A leading NFU member said farmers in the district were running scared of hunt saboteurs. He said: "I am too frightened to speak publically on this issue. The intimidation from the saboteurs has been terrible. They are a bunch of fanatics, prepared to stop at nothing to disrupt our way of life. Unfortunately, it doesn't pay to speak publicly and identify yourself on this issue."… (story)

Petersfield Post 24.11.04 Confidence high that 'biased' ban will be overturned - THE area's fox-hunters are confident the "biased" ban imposed by Parliament last week will be overturned in the courts… Carolyn Humphry, president of the Hursley Hambledon Hunt, is sure that the issue, once taken out of the hands of "prejudiced" politicians will be resolved in their favour…. (story)

Petersfield Post 24.11.04 Could angling be next in line for ban? WITH fox-hunting all but banned, devotees of other country sports – such as angling and shooting – fear their beloved pastimes could be next…. The vehemence of the crusade has left Petersfield's angling community, who regularly line the banks of the Heath pond, anxious over the future of their sport…. (story)

Western Morning News 24.11.04 FARMERS REFUSE TO CO-OPERATE WITH POLICE - Farmers and landowners are threatening to obstruct police officers pursuing hunts, and to withdraw permission for utility companies to enter their land in protest against the ban on hunting…. Malcolm Yeo, a farmer at Yarnscombe Farm, near Torrington in North Devon, said: "As far as I'm concerned we would not allow the police to cross our land unless they have a court order to do so…." Today the Fords will tell a meeting of the Torrington Farmers Hunt that they will be refusing permission to all utility companies to come on to their land…. (story)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 A SPLIT ALLIANCE - The Countryside Alliance sparked speculation of a split among pro-hunting campaigners last night after it announced it would refuse to condone hunts that openly defy the hunting ban…. A straw poll of West farmers revealed that while almost all of them are prepared to allow hunting with dogs on their land while it remains legal, after the ban comes into force almost half are not prepared to permit illegal hunting because they could be prosecuted… (story)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 FARMERS' SUPPORT FOR HUNTS IS WEAKENING - Farmers throughout the West will hold the key to the future of hunting after next year's ban, and last night many insisted they will not allow hunting with dogs on their land from February. A straw poll of landowners across Wiltshire and Somerset revealed yesterday almost half would refuse to grant access to a hunt defying the new laws…. Shocked farmers were yesterday still reeling from the news they will be committing an offence if they knowingly allow a hunt on their land. But farmers could avoid prosecution by insisting they were under the impression the hunt was either lawfully drag hunting or merely exercising its hounds. The Western Daily Press questioned more than 70 farmers across Wiltshire and Somerset on this week, and discovered massive support for hunting and widespread anger at the forthcoming ban. But although a sizeable percentage of farmers said they were prepared to risk a criminal record if a hunt wanted to defy the ban on their land, many said they would insist the hunts on their land operated within the new rules…. Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the West's biggest hunt, The Beaufort, said his hunt would do nothing illegal, so farmers would be safe from prosecution… (story)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 THIS IS WHAT WE WANTED TO KNOW FROM COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANC - Ten questions to Countryside Alliance: 1. How many paid-up members does the Countryside Alliance have and do these members have any say in how the organisation is run, such as voting for executives, or major policies?... (story)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 PEERS CAN STILL DELAY - There could still be an 18-month delay before hunting is banned - but peers must make the first move, the Government said yesterday… (story)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 THEY WON THE BATTLE, BUT THERE'S STILL WAR - They think it's all over - but it's not: not by a long chalk. I have mutilated the most famous expression in the world of football to describe where the Government now stands on the issue of hunting. Ministers were innocent to the point of naivete if they thought that, by railroading the ban-hunting legislation through Parliament last week by a dubious use of the Parliament Act, that was the end of the matter…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 24.11.04 FOXHUNTER RACE SET FOR CHANGE - One of the races at the Cheltenham Festival is facing a name change following the decision to ban hunting. The Christie's Foxhunter Chase, won last season by Earthmover, may be run under a new title at the meeting in March. Edward Gillespie, the managing director of Cheltenham Racecourse, said the matter would be discussed at board level… (story)

Worcester Evening News 24.11.04 Hunting ban will "isolate" farmers - A BAN on fox hunting will make country life more isolated than ever, claims Terry Hill, chairman of the Worcestershire National Farmers Union (NFU)…. Mr Hill also said the Worcestershire Kennels provided a vital service in helping get rid of waste livestock, which would no longer be possible…. (story in archive)

Bristol Evening Post 24.11.04 DRAG-HUNT AND BEAT NEW LAW - Farmers' union leader from Weston-super-Mare Derek Mead says hunting groups should convert to drag hunting to get around the new legislation. Mr Mead, Somerset NFU chief, said all hunts should convert to drag hunting. He said: "If they turn themselves into drag hunts or hound exercise clubs, then there will be ways around it…. Farmers throughout the West will hold the key to the future of hunting after next year's ban, and last night many insisted they would not allow hunting with dogs on their land from February. The latest poll appears to show that, although about 95 per cent of farmers allow hunting on their land while it remains legal, the number will plummet after the ban comes into force next spring…. farmers could avoid prosecution by insisting they were under the impression the hunt was either lawfully drag hunting or merely exercising its hounds…. Captain Ian Farquhar, joint master of the West's biggest hunt, the Beaufort, said his hunt would do nothing illegal, so farmers would be safe from prosecution… (story)

Bristol Evening Post 24.11.04 THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE …Despite appearances, I am neither for nor against hunting. You would never, ever, find me clad in the finest pink on the back of a manic, but desperately stupid, dangerous animal. I know about horses. They are thicker than cows and a whole evolutionary lifecycle behind pigs. Climbing onboard one is akin to driving the wrong way down the M5 after drinking a bottle of Buckfast and a gallon of Scrumpy… But while I wouldn't go hunting myself, I would defend the right of others to do it. It's a matter of personal freedom…. (story)

Nantwich Chronicle 24.11.04 Defiance of hunt leaders By Alan Jervis, Nantwich Chronicle - FOX hunting leaders in Cheshire are meeting this week to decide how to combat the Government's decision to ban the sport…. Robert Walker, one of four joint master of the Cheshire Hunt, said: `The Countryside Alliance lawyers are studying the ins and outs of the Bill, and we believe there will be enough loopholes to make it unworkable.'… The ban on hunting, which also includes hare coursing, has angered Nantwich landlady Jill Llewellin, who runs the Black Lion in Welsh Row with her partner Mike Thomas…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 24.11.04 Have horse, will travel by David Jeffels- NEW Zealand could become a haven for huntsmen from North Yorkshire once a ban on hunting comes into force, it was claimed today… Countries where hunting remains legal, including the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, look set to see an influx of holidaying hunters, according to Owen Pugh, secretary of York and Ainsty North Hunt…. James Holt, chairman of Sinnington Hunt, said: "Moving isn't a real solution, as many people won't be able to just sell up everything. People might go hunting abroad for odd days, though."… Stephen Rawlings, secretary of the Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt, said members were prepared to fight the legality of using the Parliament Act and would be taking the battle to the law lords and the European Court of Human Rights. Middleton Hunt livery yard manager Meg Abu Hamdan vowed to disobey the hunt ban… The master of the Farndale Hunt, George Atkinson, said that many hounds would have to be put down as a result of the ban… (story in archive)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 24.11.04 Hunting's rallying cry by Claire Metcalfe - Reporter CLAIRE METCALFE joined the Middleton Hunt's meeting at Bishop Wilton to gauge reaction to the Government's decision to ban foxhunting…. (story in archive)

Tivyside Advertiser 24.11.04 Hunt: we'll defy ban - MEMBERS of the local hunt will challenge the ban on hunting with dogs and make "the best use of any loopholes" they can find to fight the new law. Master of the Tivyside Hunt, Dai Barber, said this week: "We will defy it as long as we can and we will be looking for every loophole…" (story in archive)

Tameside Advertiser 24.11.04 Huntsman vows to defy fox ban - HUNTSMAN John Weller says he is willing to break the law to carry on fox hunting. The houndsman with the Pennine Hunt, which hunts with hounds across Brushes Valley and on moorland above Carrbrook and Mossley, says he will risk a jail sentence rather than abandon the countryside pursuit…. (story)

BBC News Online 24.11.04 Farmers take action on hunt ban - A campaign of non co-operation has been launched by South West farmers incensed at the ban on hunting…. Geoffrey Cox at Witheridge has written to the water companies, Western Power Distribution, BT, Devon County Council and environment ministry Defra. The letters say that access to his farm is prohibited unless prior written permission is sought…. Mr Cox, Master of the Taw Vale Beagles Hare Conservation Group, said it was because the law sent a confusing message to young people… (story)

Taunton Times 24.11.04 TRY DRAG-HUNTING - I am a firm and long-time supporter of the banning of 'hunting with dogs for fun' when foxes, deer and hares are concerned, and this Government's decision to rid the world of Saddam and his cronies who were using their own countrymen as target practice and worse 'for fun'. The hunters who are 'crying' over having their 'favourite toys' taken away should make the logical change and create a great success with drag hunting…. Bob Andrews, Taunton (story)

Oxford Mail 25.11.04 Priorities are wrong - It is interesting to see that, while county council leader Keith Mitchell makes a song and dance over fox hunting (Oxford Mail, November 19), at best a pastime of a small minority, he is not similarly incensed to read your excellent coverage of the shortfall in services for elderly people and vulnerable children in the county…. Because of his 'position', Mr Mitchell won't be risking arrest by continuing to hunt. Cheering though it would be to see him parcelled into the back of a Black Maria, can I remind people that his 'position' is only temporary?... Bill Turner, Aston Street, Oxford (letter in archive)

24.11.04 WHO WILL ENFORCE BAN? - So the police don't know how they will enforce the law, should hunting be outlawed (Journal, November 17)? Are they implying they will turn a blind eye? They certainly did when I was assaulted by a member of a local hunt a couple of years ago…. Tessa Finch, 86 Station Road, Kidwelly (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 URBAN SLANT HURTS COUNTRY - It is a tragedy that the compromise measure on fox hunting has been thrown out by MPs representing urban constituencies who know nothing about wildlife and care less for it…. Jeremy Cusden Gillingham Dorset (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 RACING WORLD HIT BY FALLOUT - As a past clerk of the scales over many years at several point-to-points, I find it hard to believe that hunting ever came before Parliament in respect of a ban…. F A Saunters Banwell Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 PEST CONTROL DEFENCE FAILS - It was disappointing to see yet another huntsman making a fuss about the hunting legislation while claiming what he does is all about pest control. He completely ignores the fact that the Hunting Bill will still allow him to use hounds to control foxes to prevent or reduce serious damage to crops, although the number of hounds will be restricted to two…. Gill Purser Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 24.11.04 IT WILL BE EASY TO MONITOR BAN ON HUNTING - Now the law is on the anti-hunt side, I say this is the time for compromise. The people who hunt must ask themselves this question: why am I doing this?... With wireless webcams the size of matchboxes and just as cheap, it won't be necessary to leave home to monitor activities. The whole country can get involved with monitoring the ban…. My other bit of advice to the hunters is to ditch the Countryside Alliance leaders now. They have failed and now want to take hunters down a path of lawlessness and violence that is doomed to failure…. Alun Person Ston Easton Radstock Somerset (letter)

Scotsman 24.11.04 Outfoxing the hunt ban - The ban on fox hunting may have a positive impact for rural life north of the Border…. this could increase the demand for hunts in Scotland. After all, these hunts, for the most part operate similarly as before, with the only real difference being the method of killing. Although not a fox hunter myself, I oppose such bans, as I believe it is the first step in chipping away at the life and traditions of our rural areas…. NEIL FRESHWATER, Grove Street, Edinburgh (story)

Yorkshire Post 24.11.04 Feeling the full force of the Act From: John R Walker, Woodhall Park Mount, Stanningley, Pudsey. Now Tony Blair has shown his willingness to use the sledge-hammer of the Parliament Act to force through something as trivial, in absolute terms, as a ban on hunting with hounds, then we need be in no further doubt that he will do the same to force through ratification of the European constitution. … (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.11.04 HUNTING BAN SHOULD BE SOUNDING ALARM BELLS - The recent legislation that was passed banning hunting with hounds is disconcerting to say the least. Not only is it an uncomfortable law but the way it was passed should start to sound warning alarms. The legislation does not stop hunts from riding across the countryside with their hounds, nor does it stop them from chasing wild mammals. All it does is to stop the hounds from killing. The police do not have the resources to track every hunt, and how will they get admissible evidence as hunts ride on private land? How will they prove intent, should a hound make a kill?... Dave Mashiter, Mildmay Close, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.11.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS ENJOY A SOFT RIDE WITH THE MEDIA - I am astonished at the easy time journalists are giving those who are deliberately stating they will break the law. The majority of this democracy has voted and the law must be upheld…. Jamie Waddell, The Copse, Exmouth (letter)

Shropshire Star 24.11.04 Benefit of fox hunting - I write to you all again to defend the traditional countryside pursuit of hunting… If the Government actually knew how much good it was doing the countryside, then maybe it would make them think twice… James A Bruce, Condover (letter)

Shropshire Star 24.11.04 Dismay as Otis gets a new title - So that bastion of true silver spoon Brits and endangered country sports, the Tatler magazine, has named Mr Otis Ferry esquire as one of the UK's most datable men…. Richard Long, Telford (letter)

Leicester Mercury 24.11.04 IT'S TIME TO CONSIGN HUNTING TO HISTORY - It amazes me that, in the 21st century, we are still discussing a sport which has as its main enjoyment the hunting down of an animal using dogs and that animal's destruction by those dogs… John V Chaplin, Syston (letter)

Leicester Mercury 24.11.04 SIMPLY A BAD LAW - I don't hunt foxes with hounds. However, I own dogs and soon, if anti-hunting law is passed in its present form, I, like many other dog owners, will be open to prosecution…. Jeff Stone, Wibtoft (letter)

Leicester Mercury 24.11.04 CAMPAIGNERS CONFUSING ME - I'm sure I am not the only one confused by the pro-hunting campaigners quoted (Mercury, November 20) who complain that the ban will require them to put down their dogs. I don't see what these people are objecting to - as I understand it, killing animals is their hobby. Mr M Simpson, Leicester (letter)

Leicester Mercury 24.11.04 CRIME AND CLEAR CONSCIENCE IN THE COUNTRY - You report police fears that officers could be "taken away from town and city centres to enforce the hunting ban" (Mercury, November 19)…. If city crime rises as a result of police being "forced elsewhere", I trust that the "huntin' wallahs" will retain a clear conscience, but I'm not holding my breath. John Burrows, Leicester (letter)

Leicester Mercury 24.11.04 WE ARE ALL LOSERS - Regardless of the pros and cons over the hunting debate, we are all the losers. The Government's passing of this Bill is an erosion of our freedom. James R Wilson, a non-hunter, Billesdon. (letter)

Post & Times 24.11.04 HOW WILL LAW BE ENFORCED? - So The hunting with dogs lobby is now going to law in a last-ditch effort to defy Parliament's ban on its hideous and bloody pastime. I don't think for a moment that their actions will succeed, but I think it is fair to pose the question as to who will actually be able to enforce the new law?... Even community bobbies on bicycles, like those introduced in Uttoxeter by Inspector Mason, would find it hard to keep up with horses belting across rough country and the rest of our police force appears to be confined to cars, perhaps to reduce the costs of having their uniforms and boots cleaned… Cynicus Remus Marchington (letter)

Post & Times 24.11.04 NANNIES ALL ROUND - I Thought we voted in a democracy when New Labour took over the government of our country, but now I'm not so sure…. Attempts to create a 'nanny state' are everywhere. While the likes of John Prescott stuff themselves with junk food goodies, they try to tell us we shouldn't. Hunting the odd fox is definitely out… Smouldering Uttoxeter (letter)

The Sentinel 24.11.04 WE NEED A VOTE ON WARS FIRST - What a strange world we live in, and what of the country we live in? Years of debate about fox hunting, and finally an outright ban as from February next year, and why? Because of cruelty. Me, I don't like fox hunting but I wouldn't vote either way, not while there's killing of thousands of innocent Iraqis!... DAVE WILSHAW Betley (letter)

The Sentinel 24.11.04 HUNTING BAN OVERDUE - MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)
Daily Record 22.11.04 READER'S LETTER - I AM delighted to see that hunting with dogs will finally be outlawed… Mark Richards,Newcastle (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 24.11.04 FARMERS HAVE BEEN CONNED OVER HUNTING - Michael Turner (Your View, November 19) is wrong. Hunting is about animal welfare and it has been banned because it is organised cruelty, not a sport. If it is pest control why don't hunts chase rats and rabbits, which are a bigger problem to farmers than foxes or hares?... If you eat meat, of any sort, than you are part of the problem. LEN SHORT, For "Animal Voices", Upton, Torquay (letter)

Northern Echo 24.11.04 HUNTING - I SUGGEST Norman Smith (HAS, Nov 22) gets his facts straight. The public does not favour an all-out ban of foxhunting. Although 38 per cent are in favour, an overwhelming (or you would think) 58 per cent would like foxhunting to continue in some form…. Phil Townsend, student, Durham University. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 24.11.04 Wilfully ignorant - IT is immoral of Hugh Bayley MP to vote against hunting. It is a further breach by him (for he is pro-abortion) of his foremost duty, to defend human freedom from conception to natural death…. Mr Bayley has refused me assurances that he will defend the rights to shoot and to fish. F C J Radcliffe, Millfield Road, York. (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 24.11.04 Hunt ban is vital for animal rights - The Countryside Alliance has been publicly challenged as to why it refuses to adapt to drag hunting (a cruelty-free version of hunting with dogs). No answer is forthcoming. They merely continue to whinge about job losses and the putting down of hounds and horses… They now threaten to sabotage public utilities and make life unpleasant for the rest of us should they not get their way. We are not impressed. DIANE TORR Barnfield Wilford (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 24.11.04 THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MORE JOBS - What's all the fuss regarding the ban on hunting deer and foxes? The ban should have been brought in years ago. This is a rich man's sport for people who have nothing to do half the time… K Bradshaw (Mrs), Stockwood.
AS expected the hysteria and furore caused by banning fox hunting is claimed to be "purely a class thing against the rich". So why has the Government, at the same time, also banned hare coarsing?... Frank Murray Bedminster Down. (letters)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo/Evening Telegraph 24.11.04 Barbaric ritual should be consigned to history - I WAS mesmerised by the news report on BBC One where some fool astride a horse was openly declaring rebellion against the law of this land… Just what breed of people are they? Don't they realise that slavery, child and animal abuse and other forms of wanton and malicious cruelty should be consigned to the pages of history and left there?... Steven Martin, East Leys Court, Moulton. (letter)

Horncastle News 24.11.04 Countryside Alliance ads were flawed - At the risk of continuing the long running debate regarding the proposed legislation for banning fox hunting outright, please allow me to expose the desperation the pro-hunt lobby is feeling. Last year the Countryside Alliance ran a poster campaign with the slogan ‘59 per cent support hunting’. It is strange that the Advertising Standards Agency and the Market Research Society have upheld a complaint that this information is flawed and misleading… NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Louth Leader 24.11.04 Many rural people oppose foxhunting - - John Jarvis (Letters, November 17) is quite wrong to suggest ‘recent surveys have shown those opposed to hunting with hounds have based their opposition on ignorance and prejudice.’ Many people, such as myself, who have been born and brought up in rural areas and have lived in the countryside all our lives, are opposed to hunting for all kinds of reasons…. Tony Weedon, North Somercotes (letter)


Swindon Evening Advertiser 23.11.04 A hunting we will go - DEFIANT hunters met at Hinton Parva Manor and vowed to face jail rather than give up their sport. The Old Berks Hunt was holding its second meeting since MPs voted to ban fox hunting from February next year…. (story)

North Yorkshire Advertiser 23.11.04 Hunt protest heads for court - Pro-hunt campaigners have launched a legal challenge to overthrow Parliament's ban on the sport…. (story in archive)

Western Morning News 23.11.04 'CLASS WAR' COMMENTS STRIKE CHORD IN COUNTRYSIDE - Members of Westcountry hunts have agreed with MP Peter Bradley's comments in a Sunday newspaper, stating that the ban on foxhunting was about class warfare…. Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds said: "I think we all knew it was about class. It was never about animal welfare… (story)

Western Morning News 23.11.04 SCOTTISH FOX KILLS HAVE DOUBLED - Almost double the number of foxes have been killed in Scotland following a ban on hunting with hounds north of the border, the Scottish Countryside Alliance has revealed… Before the Scottish ban was imposed two years ago, the Duke of Buccleuch's hunt in the Borders killed an average of 50 foxes a season. Last season it killed 103… Sandy Thompson, Master of the Berwickshire Hunt, said:. "Foxes are not easily shot. They are very tough. If they are wounded and get away, they suffer for far longer."… (story)

BBC News Online 23.11.04 Hunt ban not big issue - Prescott - John Prescott has said he does not think fox-hunting is a serious issue, days after MPs forced through a ban. The deputy prime minister told the BBC that people who liked to hunt were "obsessed" with the issue. "How many people really care about fox hunting? Very few," he said adding that it was one of "those tally ho issues" and nothing to do with modern Britain…. "I think the majority of people in my constituency, quite frankly, see it as one of those tally ho, tally ho issues and nothing to do with modern Britain."…(story)
Daily Mail 23.11.04 Prescott: 'Very few' care about hunting - Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott today dismissed fox-hunting as a minor issue of little interest to the majority of the electorate…. Mr Prescott made clear he disagreed with Prime Minister Tony Blair's last-minute efforts to secure a compromise which would have allowed hunting to continue under licence… (story)

Telegraph 23.11.04 Cabinet may try to delay hunting ban By Toby Helm and Charles Clover - Ministers are considering yet another attempt to delay the ban on hunting after Tony Blair blamed senior Cabinet colleagues for failing to push it beyond a general election. The Prime Minister believes Hilary Armstrong, the Chief Whip, Margaret Becket, the Environment Secretary, and Peter Hain, the Leader of the Commons, let him down in one of the biggest tatical blunders of his seven years in government....

Telegraph 23.11.04 Livestock scheme needs kennels By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - A national scheme for collecting fallen livestock, which began yesterday, will depend on hunt kennels for its success, despite the hunting ban.... Some 167 organisations - 27 of them hunts - are registered as qualified collectors under the scheme, which is run by the privately-owned National Fallen Stock Company. The Government is paying £10 million towards the first year of the scheme....(story)

Independent 23.11.04 Prince hunts out loopholes to spend more time in the saddle By Guy Adams - In a move that will keep him at the top of the news agenda, the Prince of Wales has decided to continue riding to hounds after hunting is banned on 18 February. Although he is not prepared to break the law, the Prince is looking at two separate options, Pandora gathers, that will allow him to continue with the sport…. His intentions are hinted at in a letter sent last week to Captain Ian Farquhar, the Master of the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire, which he regularly follows. In it, the Prince - who has hardly hunted in the opening three weeks of the season - said he planned to spend more time in the saddle next year… (story)

Guardian 23.11.04 There's nothing like a bit of class war - David Aaronovitch - Prejudice, my dear reader, is such a nasty word. Over the weekend the Labour MP for the Wrekin, Peter Bradley, certainly reminded me of mine. There was now a class-war in Britain, Bradley wrote; one started by the hunting classes against the legitimate representatives of the people…. Prejudice, my dear reader, is such a nasty word. Over the weekend the Labour MP for the Wrekin, Peter Bradley, certainly reminded me of mine. There was now a class-war in Britain, Bradley wrote; one started by the hunting classes against the legitimate representatives of the people…. (story)

Times 23.11.04 Will the Countryside Alliance now fall victim to a rift? - ANTHONY HOWARD - WHAT FUTURE historians may come to regard as the most significant civil protest meeting since the founders of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament came together in 1958 took place in London last week. At an elegant address in Westminster a group of individuals met under the auspices of Reform, the new centre-right think-tank, to consider encroachments of state power…. the awkward truth is that an entirely new situation now faces the Countryside Alliance. Having decisively lost the constitutional battle, it has to decide whether to accept its defeat or to move on to new and more dangerous ground… It is here that the Countryside Alliance finds itself hooked on the same dilemma that finally did for CND… When the roof fell in on CND in 1961 Canon Collins, in a vain effort to keep his troops together, immediately let it be known that CND as an organisation had “never ruled out civil disobedience”… An identical fate, I suspect, awaits the Countryside Alliance unless it can come up with a new programme and approach that will satisfy its radicals without alarming those who prefer to think of themselves as realists. (story)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 THEY COULD RUN A COACH AND HORSES THROUGH THIS LAW - Picture the scene: A farmer goes out with his three faithful dogs to check on the spring lambs. He finds several have been killed by a fox, and the dogs suddenly bolt after its scent. In a woodland nearby, they catch the fox and kill it, before the farmer has the chance to call them off. Across the valley, a gamekeeper is checking his pheasant pen with his dogs. A fox has tried but failed to get in and the gamekeeper sets off after it, encouraging his dogs to follow the scent. They flush the fox out of a hole and the gamekeeper shoots it. Which one has just broken the law? The farmer, because the new Hunting with Dogs Act 2004 - the newest piece of legislation in Britain, and possibly the most contentious for a generation - says so…. Yesterday, pro-hunters highlighted what they said was one of a vast number of grey areas, loopholes and anomalies in the Act, which hunts across the West could exploit…. (story)

Western Morning News 23.11.04 HUNT BAN WILL KILL BUSINESS - A ban on hunting will have "catastrophic" financial implications for small businesses across the Westcountry, it was claimed last night. The stark message was delivered at a hastily convened meeting of the Federation of Small Businesses, held at Bickleigh Castle, Bickleigh, Mid Devon…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 23.11.04 PRO-HUNT STUDENTS' PROTEST - Pro-hunting students who swapped books for placards yesterday gained support from passing motorists. Some 25 students from Hartpury Agricultural College staged a demonstration by the side of the busy A4137, waving placards and shouting to drivers…. Fin Gunn, 18, from Salisbury, who coordinated the protest hunts with the South Dorset Hunt and has been hunting, shooting and fishing all his life, said: "We're somewhat relieved that it's been outlawed because we finally know where we stand, but I'm sickened by the hypocrisy."… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 23.11.04 MP'S FOX IN FRIDGES FEARS - Police deep freezers will soon be full of fox corpses waiting to be produced in court, says Totnes MP Anthony Steen. "Without exhibit A, there will be serious problems enforcing the new hunting ban," he claimed…. Paul Tillesley, who runs the League Against Cruel Sports animal sanctuary in the West Country, said: "I don't see arresting them as a problem. They are going to present themselves at meets."…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 23.11.04 FARMERS SCEPTICAL OVER NEW FALLEN STOCK SCHEME - The Government's new scheme for fallen stock has been launched amid concern from farmers that it will be expensive and impractical…. Stuart Meeson, farm manager of the Limestone Farming Company in Willoughton, said: "We haven't registered for the scheme because we estimate that it will cost us around £1,000 a year more than getting the local hunt to come and pick up our stock. The problem with this new company is that it hasn't published any prices yet, so we are being asked to sign up to something without being told what it will cost…" Mr Meeson said:… "At the moment we pay £250 a year to the Burton Hunt and they come and pick up any stock we lose, and they will come at any time, weekends, evenings, Bank Holidays, because obviously animals do not keep to business hours to die. The hunt are much cheaper than commercial stock collectors, and we have worked out that it would cost around £1,200 a year when we can't use the hunt…." (story)

Cumberland News & Star 23.11.04 Call off the hounds - DEMOCRATIC it may have been. But the vote to outlaw hunting was hardly a triumph for democracy. The manner in which the new law was pushed through using the Parliament Act has given many waverers in the hunting debate into the corner of the Countryside Alliance…. However, I think it would be a huge mistake for hunting people to bring chaos and disorder to the highways and byways of this country…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 23.11.04 HUNT SABOTEURS HOLD SECRET MEETING TO DISCUSS TACTICS - Hunt saboteurs are holding a meeting to share tactics in their continuing battle against fox hunting. Despite a ban being pushed through Parliament, Bath Hunt Saboteurs have vowed to continue their protests until the ban comes into effect….. "This will be a chance for us to get together to discuss what we are going to do and our physical tactics out in the field," said a Bath Hunt Saboteurs spokesman, known only as Justin for fear of reprisals…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 23.11.04 Fox hunters vow tradition will continue - Members of the Warwickshire Hunt who rode out at Charlecote yesterday have vowed that, despite a ban on hunting, the centuries-old tradition would continue in the county…. (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 23.11.04 'YOU WON'T STOP US HUNTING,' VOW SUPPORTERS - Supporters from across Mid Devon and Exmoor have vowed to flout a hunting ban…. Dominic Jones, joint master and huntsman of Tiverton Foxhounds, said his hunt would fight the ban 'tooth and nail' and was already planning to flout the ban in February… And hunt employees were left facing an uncertain future. Susan Allibone, who works for the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt along with husband Anthony, the pack huntsman, said unemployment and homelessness were on the cards for her family…. (story)

Times 23.11.04 Consequences of the imminent ban on hunting with dogs - The consequences of a ban on hunting (letters, November 20, etc) will be significant for many of those living and working in the countryside… My personal belief is that the Hunting Act is both illiberal and unwarranted. Most, but not all, landowners and farmers take the same view…. MARK HUDSON, President, Country Land & Business Association, 16 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PQ.
Sir, If a group of people on horseback, accompanied by their pet dogs, announce that they are going for an invigorating ride in the country, with no intention whatsoever of hunting foxes, what are the authorities going to do? Send mounted police to accompany them?... The wearing of pink is a positive move, in this safety-conscious world, to ensure that no walker accidentally wanders into their path. Of course, they should also sound their horns to provide additional warning. I look forward to seeing such groups for many years to come. Yours, NEIL MURRAY, 6 Meadow Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 4NF.
One casualty of the parliamentary battles about foxhunting that you do not mention (report, November 17) is the Disability Discrimination Bill. The Lords and Commons have expended so much time fighting about hunting that the Government has as yet been unable to introduce this vitally important piece of legislation into Parliament…. JOHN KNIGHT, (Head of Policy), Leonard Cheshire, 30 Millbank, SW1P 4QD.
If the hunts take as much notice of a hunting ban as our local hunt did of our request for them to avoid our garden and grounds, I can guarantee this topic will run for at least 20 years. … J. A. TEMPLE, Winwick Manor, Winwick, Northampton NN6 7PD.
I live deep in hunting country. An entry in our parish newsletter ominously tells us that at the next meeting of the WI (when the speaker is the dog warden), the competition is for a stuffed dog. Yours sincerely, E. WHITESIDES, The Hall, Thorpe Satchville, Melton Mowbray LE14 2DQ. (story)

Telegraph 23.11.04 I am not a toff, nor do I have any blue blood in my veins; I am an ordinary countrywoman (News, Nov 22). I have never been hunting in my life, but until February 18 I shall follow my local hunt, and shall continue thereafter to support those who go hunting, even though I may end up in prison…. Caroline Glover, Steep, Hampshire
Once I handle my dog's lead, he jumps and spins around in excitement. His brain is not telling him he is going for walkies to a coffee house in Islington: it is telling him, "We are going hunting."… We are not walking with dogs, but all dogs are hunting in their minds. Alan Taylor, Cookham, Berkshire
Could anyone explain why drag hunting is anathema to the majority of the hunting fraternity? Surely the chase is where the sport lies, not in the blood and death of an animal. John Mittaz, Cheltenham, Glos
It has been an Englishman's inalienable right to choose, in his dotage, to meet his end cleanly in the hunting field. Now is he only allowed to look forward to the less swift fate of MRSA in Tony Blair's NHS? Maxwell Blake, London SW3 (story)

Yorkshire Post 23.11.04 Reynard meets a grisly end From: Fred Newsome, Wrenbury Avenue, Cookridge, Leeds. As a lad of 16, it was my job to secure the hens in their hut each evening. If the fox got there before me, just bit their heads off and left them scattered in front of the hut….
From: Michael Stephen- Mycroft, Wilton, Pickering. Now foxhunting is an illegal activity, and participation will mean breaking the law, does this mean that when you write your CV, under the "job" or "hobbies" section you entitle yourself, full-time or part-time criminal?
First the foxes, now the cats From: Peter Hunt, Garforth, Leeds. Now that the Government has eventually banned the chasing of foxes by dogs, it is high time it legislate against murder by proxy committed by nine million cat owners…. (letters)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 REDUCED TO TEARS BY ATTACKS OF THESE SCRAWNY - So fox hunting is to be banned. As a shepherd on the family farm in the late 1970s I was lambing a small flock of pedigree Border Leicesters and a much larger flock of Improved Welsh Mountain sheep… Suddenly something disturbed my big Leicester ewe. I went to the door and in the half-light I could see the welsh ewe looked a bit disturbed. I thought she was going to produce a second. I turned back to let her complete the task, but the Leicester was still agitated. I turned back again just in time to witness a scrawny red vixen dragging off the first beautiful new ewe lamb…. I've never had the inclination to ride to hounds, but will support those who do until my very last breath. Andrew Banks Park Street Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 STOP ACTING LIKE SELFISH CHILDREN AND PLAY FAIR - In response to Mr Barton, yes, everybody's bit was important during World War II but some did rather well out of it…. If farmers do continue with their blackmailing of the country, so that they can continue their enjoyment of tearing defenceless animals to pieces, I suggest that all their subsidies and grants should be stopped and supplies to supermarkets should be blacked…. G Adams Highbridge Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 CARRY ON RIDING egarding Mrs Arnold's letter, could her daughter not continue to ride and jump on her pony after hunting is banned? Surely the only difference will be she won't witness the slaughter of a fox. Clive Green Devizes Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 DOESN'T ADD UP - Ray Bird claims foxes are vermin and need to be culled, yet hunts do not hunt during the breeding season, allowing numbers to multiply. Some hunts build earths for the fox to breed in…. Marlene Thompson Nottingham (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 BLAIR BENDING DEMOCRACY - We live in a democracy and bow to the will of Parliament. However, I believe this Hunting Bill is unjust and unworkable… However, as many believe the Hunting Bill is an abuse of power and not fair it will be challenged. Martin Scott Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 COURAGEOUS COUNTRY FOLK - Thank goodness for farmers like David and Gill Purser featured in your article, Couple's Crusade To Ban Bloodsports. As a founding member of Protect Our Wild Animals, and before that a co-ordinator for the League Against Cruel Sports, I have come into contact with many farmers who do not want hunting on their land…. Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.11.04 TOUGH TIMES FOR OUR FOXES - Fay M Funnell Othery Bridgwater Somerset (letter)
Somerset County Gazette 19.11.04 Foxy little fellow - FAY FUNNELL, Folly Farm Barn, North Lane, Bridgwater (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 17.11.04 A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE 'BELEAGUERED' FOX - May i offer a little good PR on behalf of the beleaguered fox? I kept chickens on my seven-acre property on the edge of the Somerset Levels and was shocked one morning to find that a fox had entered the chicken house and killed all 12 of them, laying them in a neat line along the outside of the shed. But whose fault was it that the wood had been allowed to rot to such an extent that the break-in was inevitable?... Fay F Funnell, North Lane, Othery, Bridgwater (letter)

Western Morning News 23.11.04 WRITING TO THE QUEEN MAKES NO DIFFERENCE - 11:00 - 23 November 2004 A dedicated member of a Westcountry hunt rode to Buckingham Palace with a personal letter to the Queen supporting hunting with dogs and requesting her assistance (WMN, November 2). What good will that do you, Rob Williams?... Stephen Hoskin Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 23.11.04 POLICE BRUTALITY COMPLAINTS MISREPORTED - The Government makes it too easy for potential criminals to use the law, which they would disregard so easily, for their own ends, This abuse of the law should be stopped. By potential criminals I mean members of the Countryside Alliance and associated hunt supporters… The Western Morning News, who I believe to be very unfairly biased in favour of the Countryside Alliance, has made much in reporting that 300 complaints have been made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, by people allegedly injured in clashes with police. But I have no doubt at all that many of the complaints are frivolous… Paul Burrett, Plymouth,
Editor's note: Wrong, Mr Burrett. The WMN reported fully on the unacceptable aggressive conduct of some hunt supporters. (letter)

Exeter Express & Ech 23.11.04 OUR MP REPRESENTS THE MAJORITY VIEW ON HUNTING - After reading the story Hunt groups to target MP, Echo November 19, I did not know whether to laugh or cry? The chairman of the Tiverton Foxhounds, Roland Notley, in response to Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw's support for a hunting ban, said: "Several thousand people are prepared to get out, canvass and lobby so that Ben Bradshaw loses his seat." I have some news for Mr Notley - bring your hard hats when you enter Exeter because I can tell you that Exonians will not take too kindly to people from the Tiverton Foxhounds knocking on their door telling them what to think…. Tony Badcock, Slade Close, Ottery St Mary (letter)

Exeter Express & Ech 23.11.04 BREAKING LAW WILL SURELY INVALIDATE INSURANCE - The Echo has widely reported the ban on hunting with dogs for sport, but there are one or two aspects to this matter that appear to have received little or no consideration. About 40,000 hunters have declared their intention to defy the ban and continue with their sport, but do they realise that such action would probably invalidate their insurance policies?... Finally, I mention that the law requires holders of firearms certificates to be of good character. I trust, therefore, that any hunter who fails to respect the ban will not be granted a certificate. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Leicester Mercury 23.11.04 QUESTIONING PRO-HUNT CLAIMS - David Chapman states: "It is a dog's natural instincts to hunt (Postbag, October 13), but he conveniently forgot to tell us that, in their wild state, dogs do not hunt in packs of 20-odd couples. Neither are they driven on by a group of half-crazed humans… G A Wright, Leicester. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 23.11.04 A PARLIAMENTARY PANTOMIME - I watched Parliament on TV last week. What a farce! The Hunting Bill was being discussed. … I noticed Tony Blair was conveniently absent. P Stevenson, Leicester. (letter)

Western Mail 23.11.04 Foxy comment - With fox-hunting to be banned from February, did Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael really say as reported on the BBC that all concerned should now "calm down and take stock"? The fox has always done that, surely? HUW BEYNON, Llandeilo (letter)

Shropshire Star 23.11.04 Myths of fox hunts spread by ignorance - The recent spate of letters debating the Hunting Bill in the Shropshire Star has thrown up many inaccuracies. The myths propagated by the pro-hunt lobby are easy to demolish, yet continue to be spread by those ignorant of the facts…. investigations carried out by the League Against Cruel Sports into the Croome and West Warwickshire Fox Hounds, released in April this year, revealed extensive evidence of hunt staff working to ensure a ready supply of foxes to chase…. Mike Hobday, Head of Public Affairs, League Against Cruel Sports, London (letter)

Shropshire Star 23.11.04 No role for hounds in killing of stag deer - I'm rather puzzled by Alan Tucker's letter in which he suggests that fox hunters should be opposed to staghunting in which, "the kill is obviously slow and cruel". Large numbers of fox hunting supporters follow the West Country staghound packs in spring and autumn and know perfectly well how a hunted deer is killed. It is surrounded by hounds which take no part in the kill. This means a headshot at close range by an experienced marksman, using an approved firearm… B Lewis, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 23.11.04 Lamping is no option - If Peter Bradley MP thinks that lamping is preferable to hunting with hounds for fox control, he is mistaken. Lamping, being a night activity, is dangerous and without accountability… John Francis, Broseley (letter)

York Evening Press 23.11.04 Those against hunting are not ignorant of the facts - IN your report "Hunt fraternity vow to defy ban" (November 18), Meg Abu Hamdan, a follower of North Yorkshire's Middleton Hunt, vowed to disobey the hunt ban at the first available opportunity, believing it to be an attack on their civil rights. Also Stephen Rawlings, secretary of the Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt, said members would take the battle to the Law Lords and the European Court Of Human Rights…. Mr M Taylor and Mrs J Taylor, Tennent Road, York. (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 23.11.04 TRY LIVING BELOW POVERTY LINE - I have read with interest the debate on foxhunting, but the open letter to Ian Cawsey, I feel, warrants a reply, to put some of the comments made into context and to stand by a man who has made animal welfare a primary concern over the years… Then may I suggest you stop breeding the dogs and you look to adopting a less barbaric form of equestrian activity… Name and address supplied (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 23.11.04 MORAL VICTORY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CRUEL PERSECUTION - Despite the protestations about the loss of livelihood, the spurious claims about conservation and the bullying tactics employed by a callous and lawless collective of miscreants, hunting with dogs is finally illegal…. This is a wonderful moral victory against all who would persecute and torture one particular species in order to just satisfy their cruel desires. RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln
The ban on fox hunting is an absolute travesty of justice and when it comes into being will be difficult to police. Not only will fox hunting be illegal but it will also be an offence if a dog on a walk chases a rabbit or hare. How can the police be expected to cope?... GRAHAM BROWN Coleby
The foxes of Britain have always been underestimated for their value in keeping down the numbers of vermin. But if they were eliminated, the rat and mouse population would soar…. So I am pleased about the Bill because it needs to be said that not all dogs and cats are natural rat and mouse catchers! MRS MARGARET NICHOLSON Faldingworth, Market Rasen. (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 23.11.04 REMEMBER THE MINERS... May I compliment Vernon Coaker the Labour MP for Gedling and the rest of the Nottingham Labour MPs for standing by their principles to abolish hunting by hounds…. RONALD JAMES COOKE Deerleap Drive Arnold
Foxes bred to be hunted - I come from Braunstone on the edge of Leicester, and as a youngster used to go to see the Cottesmore and Quorn hunts. I was fascinated until one Friday evening before a meet, I saw a fox released from a box ready for the hunt next day. I was horrified and from that day I have been very anti-hunting…. SYD HAYNES Glaisdale Drive West, Wollaton
Peers past sell-by date - After waiting for many years, the hunting with dogs issue is finally to be resolved, so let's hope we can now put it to bed and act like a civilised country…. JANET WENSKE Gardenia Grove, Mapperley (letters)

23.11.04 HUNTING - SO the pro-hunting lobby now intends to follow a path of civil disobedience rather than obey a law passed by a democratically-elected parliament… I sincerely hope that those imprisoned will find the experience equally as nauseating and horrific as the vast majority of our civilised society find the prospect of an animal being ripped to shreds for pleasure nauseating and horrific. - John Milburn, Chester-le-Street. (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Evening Post 23.11.04 Who pays? - A land-owner allows an illegal fox hunt onto his fields. Fox crosses road, hounds follow, car swerves and crashes... who pays? AT last, hunting with dogs is outlawed! But the hunters have bragged that they'll carry on regardless and no-one, not Parliament, the police, nor anyone else will stop them ripping wild animals to bits…. The insurance implications are endless. Imagine the scenario - a land-owning hunt fanatic allows a fox hunt (now illegal, remember) onto his fields. Fox crosses road, hounds follow, car swerves and crashes, who pays?.... Sue, Leeds.
Crack their skulls! Well done Tony Blair and the Government for banning the so-called sport of fox hunting. I have listened to both sides of the arguments over the years and have yet to hear a reasonable excuse for continuing this barbaric pastime… So if they are determined to fight the law and pursue their bloodsport, let's give them some, and see some cracked skulls. Tally ho! Kevin Jones, Heddon Road, Leeds
Throw them in jail - RE your Comment on the abolition of foxhunting (YEP, 19 November): It seems to me the main reason that so much parliamentary time has been wasted on the various hunting bills is because of the delaying tactics employed by the Conservatives in a bid to spoil a bill they knew they couldn't beat by argument alone…. Such cruelty in the name of pleasure can never be justified Nat Comber, Hilton Road, Leeds. (letters)

North East Evening Gazette 23.11.04 Society's view… Your correspondent Roy Mealing (RSPCA Hunted, 30.10.04) asks what the RSPCA's view on hunting is, and what the Society is doing to prevent "these horrendous events". The RSPCA believes hunting is inherently cruel and barbaric…. HEATHER HOLMES RSPCA Regional Press Office (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 23.11.04 CHERRY-PICKING HUNT EVIDENCE - Has anyone noticed how so few of the pro-hunting fraternity will admit to taking pleasure from the chase and the kill, but instead continually give us the impression that they are all doing us "townies" some enormous favour by keeping numbers down? Being city dwellers, we "don't understand the countryside"…. DARRELL TAYLOR, via e-mail (letter)

The Sentinel 23.11.04 INTERFERING HAS GONE TOO FAR - There is to be a ban on smoking in public places in England. Fox hunting will be illegal from next year. As part of a health and moral crusade, the Government will ban the televised advertisement of junk food before the 9pm watershed and the ultimate deterrent of smacking your child is prohibited by law. That the Government should feel sufficiently emboldened to take away the individual's freedom to decide how to live is a worrying trend… JOHN BAILLOT Scholar Green (letter)