October 2004 - Hunting 1-15.10.04

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(*)- added since last update


Guardian 15.10.04 Harried by the hunt, minister replaces the fox as quarry in the countryside - Alun Michael vows to stay the course despite being target of vitriolic campaign - Duncan Campbell - He may have two legs rather than four, no bushy tail and prefer his chicken cooked, but no one in Britain has a better idea of what it is like to be a fox than Alun Michael. The rural affairs minister, who has shepherded the anti-hunting legislation through the Commons, has become the quarry of the angriest of foxhunters…. It may be raining heavily, but about 200 hunt supporters have turned out to picket a conference Mr Michael is attending in Maidstone in Kent. The sight of his car is greeted with the sound of hunting horns…. (story)
Kent Messenger 14.10.04 Pro-hunt supporters in peaceful protest by Helen Greener - HUNDREDS of determined pro-hunt demonstrators gathered in a show of force at a conference attended by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael… The East Kent Hunt, farriers, anglers, the Hollingbourne Shoot, the National Gamekeepers Organisation and the Ashford Valley Hunt were all present to show their anger at the Minister who is heading a Bill to have hunting with dogs banned completely. Nick Onslow, from the East Kent Hunt, said: “If we don’t use hounds to hunt, people will use other more dubious means. The RSPCA say they will help to home the hounds, but they put down thousands of dogs because they can’t home them every year…. (photo) (photo) (story)

Western Morning News 15.10.04 WE DO CARE ABOUT RURAL LIFE - Is there really a civil war between town and countryside? The WMN has been examining the issue. Here, in the last part of the series, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, a key figure in the hunting debate, firmly denies that the Government is out of touch with rural communities… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 15.10.04 DEMO GIRL IN THE SADDLE - Hunt supporters will be among those in the saddle for a team chase near Stroud on Sunday. Riders, including hunt ban protester Polly Whitaker, will be competing in the two-mile, full speed gallop over 24 fences on an all-grass course at New Parks Farm, Hystfield… The team chase, organised by the Berkeley Hunt, was back after a four-year absence, said spokeswoman Mary Evans…. (story)

Post & Times 15.10.04 MP PRAISES RSPCA CALL TO SAVE HOUNDS - Rspca bids to help to re-home hounds threatened with slaughter when foxhunting is banned were applauded this week by Uttoxeter MP Janet Dean. And she joined animal welfare experts to refute huntsmens' claims that foxhounds, including those of the local and exclusive Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt, will not adapt to new lives as domestic pets…. Officials of the Meynell Hunt in the Uttoxeter district are understood to have been advised to avoid discussing foxhunting with the press. But one of their supporters, retired Uttoxeter schoolteacher Ron Herbert said foxhounds were extremely friendly animals and posed no danger to humans…. But Mr Herbert said he did not believe foxhounds would make good domestic pets…. (story)

Hexham Courant 15.10.04 HUNTSMEN JOIN IN PROTEST - MEMBERS of local hunts are anxiously watching the progress of the Hunting Bill through the Lords this week, as the controversial measure nears a climax. Joint master of the Tynedale Hunt Vanessa Ramm, with husband David and fellow joint master David Johnson, joined thousands of protesters at Parliament Square for the reading of the Hunting Bill last month and are now following its progress through the Lords…. (story)

Hexham Courant 15.10.04 FARMERS FURY OVER HUNT BAN By Kay Cooper - ANGRY farmers on the Otterburn Ranges are seeking ways to protest about the impending ban on hunting with dogs… Around Otterburn, where 55,000 acres is owned by the Ministry of Defence and rented out to long-established sheep farming families, the prospect of an end to controlling the fox population by hunting is widely unwelcome. Farmers on the Ranges plan an official meeting on December 17 when they are due to debate ways to protest in support of hunting…. “They need our support. We must keep our sheep off the ranges when they are firing. If we didn’t their guns would be silenced…." (story)

Cumberland News 15.10.04 MARTLEW TO SNUB HUNT INVITATION - PRO-HUNTING campaigners want Carlisle MP Eric Martlew to attend the Ullswater Foxhounds’ first meet of the new season at Patterdale tomorrow… But Mr Martlew will not be taking up the offer. He said: “I’m going to be at Brunton Park [to watch Carlisle United] tomorrow…." There were no takers either when the Cumbria Beagles, who hunt hares rather than foxes, invited the public to join them last Saturday…. Meanwhile, the Dumfriesshire Hunt, which disbanded in 2002 when Scotland outlawed hunting, has reformed. It gets around the new law prohibiting hounds from chasing foxes by using men on quad bikes to shoot foxes driven into the open by the hounds. >(story)

Somerset County Gazette 15.10.04 Hunt licence rapped - ANIMAL rights campaigners in Somerset have condemned pro-hunt plans to turn the Bill back into one that allows hunting with dogs to continue under licence. Paul Tilsely, West Somerset sanctuaries officer for the League Against Cruel Sports, said yesterday (Thursday): "Licensed hunting is licensed cruelty, and would result in business as usual… (story in archive)

Ledbury Reporter 15.10.04 Hunt trio face music - Three members of the Ledbury Hunt arrested for the House of Commons invasion are set to return to London next week to hear from the Metropolitan Police if they are to be charged… (story in archive)

Worksop Guardian 15.10.04 SPECIAL Branch detectives are investigating a death threat made to Bassetlaw MP John Mann – on a page torn out of the Worksop Guardian…. The page was torn from the 1st October issue of the Guardian, featuring Mr Mann's weekly column, where he voiced his support for the Government bid to ban foxhunting… "I've had excrement thrown at my house and my car has been scratched," said Mr Mann… (story)

Epsom Guardian 15.10.04 Vermin foxes should be kept out of our gardens - I am writing with regard to the article about the ban on fox hunting. It would seem that no one has thought this through. Foxes are vermin and since local councils have stopped disposing of them from people's back gardens, we are overwhelmed with them. The RSPCA, in its so-called wisdom, made a statement 15 years ago which said foxes only breed within a certain area of space. This is not so, and consequently we have seen a plethora of fox cubs roaming around during the day, looking for food. Many die before their first year of starvation…. I feel Blair is playing to the masses by putting a bill in for banning and, if the vote goes against him, he is going to implement the new law that he has invented to overthrow the results. This latest move is just one step away of a one-man party. In other words, dictatorship and democracy down the tubes. AME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Chester Chronicle 15.10.04 WITH the Government under extreme pressure to put through legislation making live animal hunting illegal, and two thriving drag hunts in Cheshire, clearly it is time for the Cheshire and Cheshire Forest Hunts and beagle packs to accept that this idea of sport is no longer tolerated in a civilised society…. KATHERINE WATSON, Stockport. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 15.10.04 Chase after a drag From WD Stanion, Wingate Way, Cambridge - NO-ONE much is against the hunt, as such…. It's entirely up to the countryside to enjoy their traditional frolics in a civilised fashion, without blood-lust. And, I need not again sweep up shattered shards of bone and fox-fur in my grandmother's garden after the kill. (letter)

Surrey Advertiser 15.10.04 Question of individual liberty - Guildford’s Liberal Democrat MP Sue Doughty defends her decision to vote against hunting, while a number of Socialist letter writers to your column think she is wrong. I belong to what I believe to be a large group of people who, while being unhappy about hunting, do not feel that there should be a law against it…. D. ANGUS PALMER, 9 Summerhouse Close, Godalming.
We should be grateful to MP’s stance - Anyone who has lobbied Sue Doughty about foxhunting knows that she considers the sport barbaric. She nevertheless voted against an outright ban…. We are just another strand in the diverse, multicultural society which is Britain today. We deserve the same consideration as other minority groups. We do not want special treatment. We do not seek public funding. We do not wish to impose our culture on others. We just want to continue to be able to enjoy the traditional sports and pastimes which are part of our rural culture…. MALCOLM BRENTON, Bramley.
Doughty gets my vote - There is, of course, room for a different view on Sue Doughty’s stance on the foxhunting bill…. Fox hunting does your correspondent no harm except to her emotions so why should she have any more right to have it banned than I have to have her banned from eating meat or wearing leather shoes or belts?... The argument about how the members of our second chamber are selected is a different one which remains to be resolved, but unless we have a second chamber with the right to act as a check on bad laws, far more of our freedoms will be at stake than the freedom to hunt foxes. I suspect that our excellent MP realised that as well. She will have my vote. JACK BAYLISS , Guildford.
Take a leaf out of the book Animal Farm - Like Karen Landles (Letters, October 8) I too was at the Labour Party conference, standing alongside members of the Banwen Miners Hunt. Personally, I was disgusted by the sight of designer-suited and coiffed delegates mincing about behind a wire cage while the working people whose lives they wanted to destroy had to be kept at bay by snipers and riot police. I wonder if she has ever read Animal Farm by George Orwell?... SARAH GODLEY, Dorking.
Hope that help will be forthcoming - As a professionally qualified riding instructor and wife of a farrier, I am naturally concerned by the possibility that one or more of my husband’s clients might be affected by a ban on hunting…. Name and address supplied (letters)

Yorkshire Post 15.10.04 Shooting the most humane form of fox control From: Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington - I am surprised that in the great newspaper debate about hunting, many letter-writers are only too willing to deprecate the shooting of foxes, claiming that the fox is usually peppered at long range with an inadequate shot size, and runs away to die a long lingering death. Have they never read Professor Stephen Harris's evidential report entitled Method that causes least suffering in controlling the quarry species… (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.10.04 MASTERFUL WAY OF AVOIDING THE FACTS - The most depressing thing about your feature on Ian Farquhar, Master of the Beaufort Hunt, is that it is so very predictable. The familiar Orwellian use of words like "love" and "respect", the same misrepresentation of the case for a hunting ban, the same loaded use of language ( hunt supporters "holler", while opponents "jeer" - supporters meet in cosy, friendly pubs, opponents, apparently, do not)… Hilary Holden Portishead Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.10.04 LET DECENT IAN LEAD THE WAY - Good for Ian Farquhar and followers of the noble sport of hunting everywhere. Your portrait showed him as a thoroughly decent, likeable man. Thank God we still have men like him prepared to stand up to the sleazy tide of sick, liberal sentimentality… George Masters Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.10.04 WHEN THE HUNTERS TRAMPLED MY MOTHER'S SOFT FRUIT BEDS - I was interested to read your article about the Master of the Beaufort hunt. I am in my 70s and I have lived in the countryside most of my life. I still remember watching one of Ian Farquhar's predecessors and his friends forcing their way across my mother's land, trampling the garden, our soft fruit beds, the saplings in our orchards - and I still remember the patronising and insulting way he answered her protests…. Helen Connolly Shepton Mallet Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.10.04 MASTERS OF THE ANIMAL WORLD - Thank heavens for the sound good sense of Ian Farquhar of the Beaufort Hunt. God appointed us as masters of the animal world. We can do with them as we please…. Does the fox stop to think about "cruelty"? I think not!... David Picton-Thomas Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.10.04 MADE ME CRY - I want to protest as strongly as I possibly can at the way you put your article supporting illegal cruelty to animals next to the news about Ken Bigley…. Kayleigh Williams Clevedon (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.10.04 WHAT CHANCE HAS FOX GOT? - The Master of the Beaufort Hunt says that he has no blood lust and he sometimes wishes the fox would get away. Who does he think he is kidding? No doubt some of his earth stoppers had been out before the start of the hunt to make sure the fox did not have an escape route that way…. S R Grimes Berkeley Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 9.10.04 I HAVE NO BLOODLUST... SOMETIMES I WISH THE FOX WOULD GET AWAY - Ian Farquhar took a long drag on his white-filtered cigarette and stared into the space ahead of him, thinking. The question on his mind was one he may never have been asked before. Does this man, who has spent the past 30 years chasing foxes on horseback four days a week in the hope that his hounds will catch and kill them, ever wish the fox would get away? "Yes," he said finally, smiling. "Do you know, sometimes I do."… For the people in the delightfully named Cat and Custard Pot pub, deep in the heart of the Cotswolds, hunting is a way of life. And here, Ian Farquhar, the master of the Beaufort Hunt, is among his people. Here is a man who is close friends with royals and stablehands…. (story)

Western Daily Press 15.10.04 SHOOTING FOXES IS A CRUELLER OPTION - Richard Pierce says fox-hunting in Scotland has been reformed, fox control is better there and packs of hounds plus hunting horses still have a role. Unfortunately, he makes a big mistake in assuming that this will lead to less cruelty. Following the enactment of the Wild Mammals Protection (Scotland) Act 2002, I carried out legal gun pack work in Berwickshire in order to keep my foxhounds alive and in a humane environment pending the outcome of a legal challenge. I saw more suffering in one month of legal gun pack than I have seen in 23 years of hunting foxes the traditional way…. Jeremy Whaley Duns Berwickshire Scotland (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.10.04 PRIORITIES FOR LABOUR ACTION - Some reply needs to be made to RJ Berkeley's letter on abortion… Fox-hunting in Scotland has been reformed, fox control is better there and packs of hounds plus hunting horses still have a role - could we not follow this example? Richard Pierce Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.10.04 HUNTING ISSUE SHOULDN'T BE A GOVERNMENT PRIORITY - Many people have asked me where I stand on hunting. I should say, first of all, that whilst I have been an active angler for many years and am not, therefore, neutral on the subject of field sports, I do not hunt, nor do I have particularly strong views on the matter of hunting with dogs. I do believe that the determination of this Labour government to introduce a ban on hunting is an unwelcome distraction from what should be the substantive issues of government, such as health, education, crime, transport, pensions and tax to name but a few… Whilst not being a supporter of hunting, I do not support the Government's pursuit of a ban. Peter Cox, Parliamentary Candidate, Exeter Conservatives (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.10.04 WHAT PLEASURE IS THERE IN THE KILLING OF ANIMALS? - In answer to David Topples' letter, Points of View, October 11, I think people are probably silent on the production of halal meat because it is not English people who are producing it. It would not be politically correct to criticise a minority group. What can I do to stop it?... . As far as fox-hunting goes, if people want a good ride out into the country, why not just do that? They could still dress up and have their drinks. I do not see why an animal has to die. Mrs S E Clarke, Area Park, Exeter (letter)

Shropshire Star 15.10.04 Foxes not needed to enjoy the country - It is good to read clear facts about fox hunting in Star letters. I wish the Government had dealt with other needs first but still believe hunting cruel, but also that farmers suffering cruel ravages from a fox, need to cull…. There was no Labour Party when Dr Samuel Johnson wrote in his miscellanies that "it is very strange and melancholy that the paucity of human pleasure should ever persuade us to call hunting one of them." Mary Stringer, Bridgnorth (letter)

Leicester Mercury 15.10.04 HUNTING CALL - When this unjust hunting ban is forced upon us, despite the protests of hundreds of thousands, how will the urban fox be controlled? When they are running wild in packs like stray dogs, spreading canine diseases, killing pet rabbits, biting your child, I can just hear the cry "Why are these pests not being controlled in the environment whence they came?... Clive Taylor, Gaulby. (letter)

Western Mail 15.10.04 Following the scent … If Mr Evans truly believes that all hunt-masters will faithfully retrain their hounds to wholly suppress their instincts, and then teach them to react only to artificial stimuli without any skilful ability to respond to the inherent smells, sights and sounds of the chase - fine, be my guest. But as a natural born rustic who has observed a rural community at work, rest and play, I strongly challenge the notion that the real world is as neat, tidy and equitable as that perceived by those born into an urban environment. HUW BEYNON, Llandeilo (letter)
Western Mail 11.10.04 Hounded 'townies' - Being one of Huw Beynon of Llandeilo's so-called "townies", I am slightly confused…. Surely the hounds are trained and under the skilled and trusted control of the hunt-master? If not under control then what on earth are they doing marauding about our countryside?... HUW EVANS, High Street, Pontardawe (letter)
Western Mail 4.10.04 Hunt ban? What a drag SIR - Although I did some rabbiting and fishing as a young lad on the family farm, I never metamorphosed into a fishing, shooting and hunting enthusiast because it is simply not part of my adult psyche…I am greatly seduced by the notion increasingly put forward by townies that the hunting brigade should embrace drag hunting. When hounds set off in pursuit of the drag, somewhere along the wide line that hounds take they will pick up the scent of a fox… The followers will then have to pursue at full speed to intercept, a task that will remain just outside their capabilities, if you grasp my nudge-nudge, wink-wink meaning… Forgive our politicians and their urbanite followers, Lord, for they understand not what they dabble in. HUW BEYNON, Llandeilo (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 15.10.04 SPREADING THE RURAL MESSAGE - On Saturday, the "countryside came to town" in Derby as part of the national countryside to town campaign. Representatives from the South Notts hunt spoke to shoppers in the Market Place, along with gamekeepers, fishermen, farmers and ferreters, all with the tools, and animals, of their trades…. Christian Walker, by e-mail. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 15.10.04 HUNTING IS NOT AN UPPER-CLASS SPORT - Once more, an ill-informed member of the public concerning hunting has written to the Post. Why, oh why, do these town people assume, quite wrongly that hunting is a sport of the upperclass? It may well have been, but it certainly is not the case now, even the MP for Neath who recently had his house surrounded by working hunt people stated he was not aware it was a sport of the working classes… Lynda Lewis, by e-mail. (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 15.10.04 Royal wrong - The RSPCA should retain the R and substitute "Royal" for "Right" and invite someone like Sir Paul McCartney or Sir Patrick Moore to act as patron…. How can we have someone who hunts and shoots animals for sport as patron of a charity designed to protect and defend animal welfare?... M ROBINSON, Ossett (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 15.10.04 Gallop off - In reply to DB of Brotton (30.9.04), if keeping the fox under control is so important, why not do it full-time as any other job would be done, instead of as it seems a gallop round the country for a day…. JOE McCABE, Fairfield (letter)

The Sentinel 15.10.04 ALL I SEE IS SADISTIC PLEASURE - I watched Trevor McDonald's programme on foxhunting. I have always been against this barbaric sport and more so, now, seeing how the huntsmen blocked the badger setts so that the fox and babies had nowhere to hide…. PAT HENSHALL Biddulph (letter)

Post & Times 15.10.04 WE'RE A CRAZY NATION OF HYPOCRITES - I don't actually ken any local John Peels nor their coats so gay, but I really must question some of the assertions as to the black natures of their characters which have being flying back and fro' in your readers' letters column… I hear no protests from the general public if they call in the local council rat-catcher to execute by any means possible offending intruders with tails… what real right have we to complain when we countenance real and deliberate cruelty to the many more innocent creatures we raise to have killed for our tables? Vincent the Veggie Marchington Woodlands (Name and address supplied) (letter)

Post & Times 15.10.04 THE REAL ARROGANCE - Andrew Jackson (letters, September 29) accuses Charlotte Atkins of arrogance. On the contrary, the real arrogance was shown by supporters of foxhunting, nearly every one of whom came from outside the Moorlands to try to shout her down at a parish council meeting…. Keith Hoptroff Sandon Street Leek (letter)

Post & Times 15.10.04 SLAUGHTER CHALLENGE - The last time I communicated (by email) with our MP - Ms Atkins - I congratulated her on becoming a Government minister, but sadly received no acknowledgement. On September 1 I wrote to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) asking it to offer opinion and advice on my formal complaint that among other systemic acts of discrimination the Labour Government had 'racially discriminated against the indigenous land-based ethnic minority in respect of banning foxhunting but has permitted the ritual slaughter of cattle (for consumption by the Muslim and Jewish communities) by slitting the throat and allowing the animal to bleed to death without prior stunning'…. Charlotte obviously doesn' t think it important (only 1 million cattle per year) and obviously doesn' t think it cruel; would she rather huntsmen trap the fox in a cage and then slit its throat without prior stunning and let it bleed to death? Would that be OK Charlotte?... Peter Brady New Lodge Farm Flash (letter)

Scarborough News 15.10.04 Fishing will be next in 'cruel' sport ban …Any right-minded person abhors cruelty where it can be avoided, but one must keep the subject in perspective. I have always thought that these anti-hunt and animal rights people were less concerned about animal welfare than they were about the large legacies that are sometimes to be harvested from the wills of well-meaning old ladies… Foxes are not cuddly friendly animals, they are destructive vermin, as every farmer knows, and they would suffer a worse fate if other means of control have to be used. Geoff Clayton, Highfield, Scarborough (letter)

Newark Advertiser 15.10.04 Wrong target - Hunting with dogs is a legal activity that has been part of our culture for a long time. If someone finds hunting unacceptable, that does not provide an excuse to carry out illegal activities to try to prevent it. On the other hand, hunt supporters who say they will ignore any future law relating to hunting are the worst advocates for their case…. What will be targeted next? Angling seems to be a good candidate. The Government should stop responding to the shrill demands of those who wish to control the lives of other people, and get on with the important things like sorting out the education fiasco… Gordon Pidcock, Cedar Cottage, Coddington. (letter probably only on website for a week)

Cumberland News 15.10.04 DID you intentionally publish such a provocative letter last week (October 8)?... While I have every sympathy with the Cavray workers, many of whom I know personally as decent hardworking hunting, shooting, fishing folk, Mr Martlew and the minuscule band of prejudiced anti-hunting, shooting, fishing correspondents who have enough time on their hands to fire off letters virtually every day should perhaps get a life and get out there and do something positive to help the environment and wildlife of the area…. JOHN ROBINSONAinstableCarlisle
… Foxes might well be very intelligent, shy creatures but they are also indiscriminate killers who will rip off the jaw of a newborn lamb and leave the carcass…. Just for the record, I have never been on a hunt but I would prefer the odd fox to be killed to thousands of foxhounds having to be slaughtered and a way of life being destroyed. JANE TIMBERSLow Row
Foxes are vegetarian and only eat small rodents (which aren’t cute or cuddly) when they have to; crows clean up the fields for the sheep; and all animals live in harmony. I fear, though, that someone’s been watching too many Disney movies…. HR GIBBONCarlisle
…Hunting is cruel, inefficient and unnecessary. A hunt in Scotland now uses its hounds only to flush out the foxes which are then killed by a marksman, and report they are killing many more than they would have done in the awful thing called a hunt. How’s that for proof of a hunt’s inefficiency?... JUDY BELFORDPort Carlisle (letters)

Harrogate Advertiser 15.10.04 From: Mr P H Metson, Valley Mount, Harrogate - THE Government announces that the dwindling numbers of Post Offices are to take over some of the responsibilities of the dwindling numbers of police stations…. What does the government do? After years of wasted parliamentary time, it bans fox hunting! (letter)

Wells Journal 15.10.04 FOX HUNTING - The real problem about hunting with dogs is that an animal is terrorised and, if the outcome of the hunt is successful, torn to pieces in the name of entertainment…. Rupert Bullock, Shapwick (letter)

Wells Journal 15.10.04 THEY'VE LOST THEIR SQUALID ARGUMENT - It was inevitable that my request to have my name and address withheld from last week's letters page would provoke a response from such as your correspondent Mrs Jackie Burbridge…. I didn't fancy a brick through my window, a point which you chose not to print. Fair enough. However, considering the behaviour of certain pro-hunt supporters at Brighton recently, where at least one female MP was physically assaulted and the masked and hooded intruders alleged to have besieged the homes of others, my caution was well founded…. Drag hunting? Ssshhh. Don't mention it. The public might realise that there is no need, after all, for the hunt to be disbanded…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Wells Journal 15.10.04 FOX HUNTING - The proposal to introduce legislation to outlaw fox hunting was part of the Labour Party manifesto commitment in 1997. It may be that the majority - not a minority of voters, as some hunt-supporters claim - support such legislation…. I intend to continue my opposition to hunting by supporting those MPs who will deliberate the ways and means to treat the disease. Well done to those who work for abolition. Ed Murfin, Northfield House, Bere Lane, Glastonbury (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 15.10.04 FIGHTING AN UNJUST BILL - Darren Hughes, Countryside Alliance, London (letter)
Worcester Evening News 14.10.04 Vandalism and yobbish acts at the conference - DARREN HUGHES, Countryside Alliance. (letter in archive)
Guardian 11.10.04 So Darren Hughes and the Countryside Alliance are feeling persecuted? (Letters, October 9). Perhaps they can now develop the unique ability of human beings to empathise with our fellow people and animals. Angela Crabtree, Poole, Dorset (letter)
Guardian 9.10.04 Hunters' unfair treatment - Re Gerald Kaufman's article (Larcenous, racist scum, September 30). I attended the Labour party conference on behalf of the Countryside Alliance. The event cost us several thousand pounds for the chance to engage in meaningful debate with delegates and MPs. While there, delegates accused me of being a paedophile, a pervert, child molester and a racist. Our stand was vandalised, defaced and, eventually, completely wrecked…. democracy in action?... Darren Hughes, Countryside Alliance (letter)

Wiltshire Times 15.10.04 Let's get real - MJ HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth IP19 0JL (letter in archive)
Welwyn & Hatfield Times 13.10.04 Lobby our future King - M Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth, IP19 0JL. (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 8.10.04 IT'S NOT END OF HUNTING - M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth IP19 OJL (letter)
7.10.04 TIME FOR PRINCE CHARLES TO ESTABLISH A SPECIAL DRAG HUNT - M.J. HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth. (letter)
Yorkshire Evening Post 6.10.04 Clarion call on hunting - M J Huskission, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesowen IP19 0JL (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 6.10.04 By royal consent - M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.10.04 PROTESTERS PAINTING A FALSE PICTURE OF HUNTS - As an active supporter of fox hunting for 26 years I am still astonished at some of the comments made by those against hunting. I have always believed that before condemning anything one should gain sufficient knowledge of the subject to make an informed argument. any of the letters against hunting I have read in this paper hold little substance. The letter from MJ Huskisson of the Animal Welfare information service proves this point…. P A Crook Raglan Monmouthshire (letter)
Dundee Courier 2.10.04 Charles to lead way? M. J. Huskisson. Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 1.10.04 'Prince should defuse problem' - MIKE HUSKISSON - Animal Welfare Information Service (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 29.9.04 PRINCELY SOLUTION TO HUNT UNREST M J HUSKISSON Animal Welfare Information Service Halesworth Suffolk (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.9.04 PRINCE MUST CHANGE 'CAVALIER ATTITUDES' - The welcome passing of the hunting Bill marks a change to hunting, not the end of it. With wild animals to be removed from the quarry list (and replaced with the humane alternative) hunting is elevated from a barbaric blood sport to a premier league pastime…. Surely this is a real opportunity for Prince Charles to show leadership? Who better to defuse the situation by setting up a pack of royal drag hounds?... M J Huskisson Animal Welfare Information Service PO Box 8 Halesworth IP19 OJL (letter)


Shropshire Star 14.10.04 Hunting for open minds - NATALIE GREENWAY VISITS A SHROPSHIRE OPEN DAY TO FIND OUT HOW THE COUNTY'S FOX HUNTING SUPPORTERS ARE SEEKING TO JUSTIFY THEIR OPPOSITION TO A BAN … I went along to one of the events, in the village of Shrawardine, with an open mind on the issue, keen to speak to both the regulars of the hunt and newcomers to find out what attracts them…. Regulars of the North Shropshire Hunt were enthusiastically welcoming new members and were keen to point out that foxhunting was about much more than the end result. Yet anti hunt protesters believe the sport is cruel and barbaric. So what have hunters got to say in its defence?... Trish Rigby, joint master of the Tanatside Hunt, on the Shropshire/Powys border, said it would be the hounds that would pay for a fox hunting ban. "I have a foxhound and they do not make good pets. It is ridiculous to say that the hounds could have a life after hunting, they will be the ones paying for this, with their lives."… (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 14.10.04 British public's flights of fancy - Peter Rhodes ….Robert Kilroy-Silk declares himself in favour of foxhunting. A fox recently killed the 30 rare Vietnamese pheasant roaming his manorial acres in Buckinghamshire. Two points. Firstly, if you want to keep poultry, look after them…. (story)

ITV 14.10.04 Hunting families to picket Blair - Families involved in fox-hunting are planning to mount a picket across the road from Downing Street in protest at plans to outlaw the pursuit. More than 200 people are expected to gather in Whitehall during the Prime Minister's weekly Cabinet meeting to underline their fears for the future if hunting is banned. The first Families 4 Hunting Picket will be mounted by families from the east of England.... (story)
Sky 14.10.04 NEW PRO-FOX HUNTING DEMO - Families who make a living from fox-hunting will be demonstrating outside Downing Street today against plans to ban the sport. More than 200 members of the new group Families 4 Hunting - most of whom are from the east of England - will picket Whitehall as the Prime Minister meets his cabinet…. (story)

Western Morning News 14.10.04 PEER URGES PM: SHOW LEADERSHIP ON HUNTING - A Westcountry peer yesterday challenged Tony Blair to "show leadership" over the hunting issue after the House of Lords indicated it would come forward with proposals for a compromise before the end of the month. The North Devon peer the Earl of Arran said the Prime Minister would be given an opportunity to demonstrate that he was serious about wanting a compromise on the issue when the Hunting Bill returned to the Commons in the next few weeks…. (story)

Denbighshire Free Press 14.10.04 FAMILY TELLS OF HUNTING-BAN HEARTBREAK - Cameras follow huntsman Jeremy Reed and his family - A FLINT and Denbigh huntsman and his family appeared on national TV this week to make a stand against the ban on fox hunting with dogs. Jeremy Reed, pictured, wife Lucy and daughter Charlotte were featured on Tonight with Trevor McDonald in a half-hour programme which examined the impact of the ban on both sides of the fence…. (photo) (story)

Southern Daily Echo 14.10.04 Mockery in the making - CAMPAIGNERS on both sides of the great fox-hunting divide have slammed proposals on how a ban will be policed in the New Forest…. Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan has said hunters caught breaking the law when the Bill is finally passed will not be immediately taken into custody by mounted police officers. He told the annual meeting of the Police Federation in Hampshire, officers would film any illegal activity and pass the information on to the Crown Prosecution Service as evidence. Animal rights activist Frankie James said Kernaghan's comments were a green light for unlawful hunting while pro-hunting New Forest Hounds chairman Mike Squibb said it proved the ban was "a total nonsense"…. (story in archive)

Croydon Guardian 14.10.04 A contempt for law of the land - For Stuart Sexton to claim that opposition to fox hunting is born out of sheer hatred for the countrymen and farmers,' is to put it politely, a delusion (Guardian, October 6). The elected House of Commons has consistently shown a huge majority for ending hunting. So have such bodies as the RSPCA… XENIA KARACAN Longhill Road SE6 (letter)

North Devon Journal 14.10.04 DELIGHTED THAT HUNTING WILL BE HISTORY - I was overjoyed that at long last I can call England civilised, by the fact that fox hunting has at last been consigned to the history books…. ANNE PHAIR, Amyas Way, Northam. (letter)

Manchester Evening News 14.10.04 'Greatest animal lovers' - Ian Craig - TORY peer Trish Morris broke her back in a hunting accident when she was a teenager. But she still backs the right of people to chase foxes. In her maiden speech Ms Morris - now Baroness Morris of Bolton - told the House of Lords that hunting was not only a country sport but a way of life which weaved itself through the fabric of a community. "If you hunt, as I did, around the urban conurbations of Bolton, Bury, Chorley and Wigan, you certainly do not meet many toffs," she said…. (story)

Daily Post 14.10.04 City tractor chaos By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - CHESTER city centre will be brought to a standstill on Saturday as thousands of furious country people voice their anger over the threat to rural livelihoods and facilities. Three convoys of farm vehicles will converge on Chester Racecourse from where protesters will march on the city centre for a series of speeches. The demonstration, called "Countryside Coming To Town", has been organised by Farmers For Action… Farmers will be joined at the event by hunt groups as well as the shooting and fishing fraternities…. FFA has also linked up with the Countryside Alliance in North Wales which plans to take scores of supporters to the protest…. (story)

Daily Post 14.10.04 Hunt bill through after nine-hour debate By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - THE HUNTING Bill passed through its second reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday following a lengthy debate that lasted nearly nine hours. Lord Whitty, who introduced the Bill, told the Upper House that the Lords were in "the last-chance saloon" and he urged peers not to provoke a clash with MPs…. (story)

Daily Post 14.10.04 Rural issues think-tank - THE PRO-HUNT lobby is in danger of alienating rural people among the urban majority, Lord Haskins warned yesterday. The Government's rural affairs adviser was speaking at the Rural Regeneration Conference, London. He felt both sides of the hunting debate had been too uncompromising, but warned the pro-hunt lobby their actions may have unintended consequences. "Urban people may start asking themselves why they should pay taxes to a bunch of fairly well off lawbreakers in rural areas," he said… (story)

East Grinstead Courier 14.10.04 'LAW CHANGE PUTS JOBS AND HOUNDS AT RISK' - SPECIAL FEATURE BY CHIEF REPORTER KAREN STYAN - After years of government debate, the controversial topic of fox hunting looked like it had come to an end with a bill that would ban hunting with hounds. For Graeme Worsley the effects of a complete ban will reach far wider than to those involved in hunting. Graeme Worsley is master of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt, and used to be anti-hunting until he met his wife Georgie, a keen hunter…. (story)

Whitehaven News 14.10.04 COUNTRYSIDE REVOLUTION - I WAS pleased to see Jack Cunningham getting a thraping in the letters column of the Whitehaven News for telling country folk to accept that parliament has banned hunting with dogs in the countryside. That pleasure is tinged with sadness that we now effectively have a very large proportion of rural England at war with our government…. (story)

West Briton 14.10.04 PROTESTORS OUT IN FORCE FOR MINISTER'S VISIT - A mob of angry pro-hunt protestors surrounded minister Ben Bradshaw's car and tried to pelt it with eggs and other material during his visit to Falmouth… He and local MP Candy Atherton came face to face with around 40 protestors prior to the engagement and spent a short time listening to their grievances. "It was very civilised and we had a little chat," he said. About 45 minutes later, on emerging from the festival marquee, the number of protestors had risen and Mr Bradshaw and Ms Atherton were confronted by around 60 to 70 protestors…. Among those attending were members of the Four Burrow, Cury, Western and North Cornwall hunts. They surrounded his car, started banging the windows and shouting and attempted to throw eggs and a mixture confiscated by police that protestors claim was eggs, flour and gravy powder, but was widely believed to be seagull excrement…. (story)
Cornwall Packet 14.10.04 Hunt supporters take message to minister - IT wasn't angry fishermen who greeted Government minister Ben Bradshaw when he arrived in Falmouth on Thursday but more than 100 hunt supporters who were determined to get their message across. News of Mr Bradshaw's visit to the port came in a press release from organisers of the Oyster Festival some days earlier. It alerted members of the Cury Hunt, near Helston, and the Four Burrow Hunt, near Redruth, that a protest against the anti-hunting lobby, in front of a Government minister, was possible…. (photo) (story in archive)
Cornwall Packet 14.10.04 Democracy at work as hunt have their say - MAY I through your column congragulate our MP Candy Atherton and the Minister Ben Bradshaw for spending a good deal of time debating with the pro-hunt people during his visit. It shows democracy is still alive, and that despite the hunt lobby losing the argument and the democratic vote in parliament, they can still have their say. D Evans, St Thomas Street, Penryn (letter in archive)

Wandsworth Guardian 14.10.04 Hunters will ‘hound out MPs’ Pro-hunt campaigners have found a new quarry two local Labour MPs. The blood sport enthusiasts have announced they will hound the politicians during the general election campaign, hoping to flush them out of their parliamentary seats. The Countryside Alliance has drawn up a list of 50 MPs with slim majorities who have voted to ban fox hunting, and their supporters plan to dog them every step of the way by flooding their constituencies with pro-hunt activists in an effort to oust them. Battersea MP Martin Linton and Putney's Tony Colman were judged particularly vulnerable with their majorities of 5,053 and 2,771 respectively…. (story)

Western Gazette 14.10.04 HUNT PROTESTER ARRESTED IN CLASH - Clashes at a hunt meeting between followers and protesters forced police to make one arrest using special powers. At 10.45am on Saturday 9 October, police received a request to attend the Wootton Fitzpaine area following minor clashes between hunt followers and approximately 15-20 hunt protestors…. One member of the anti-hunt group was arrested at the scene and later bailedl. Insp Alan Jenkins, utilised special police powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act… (story)

Western Gazette 14.10.04 WOMAN FEARS FOR SAFETY AS HUNT 'INVADES' - A Woman says she fears for the safety of herself and her pets because members of a hunt are trespassing on her land. But Seavington Hunt has refuted claims by teacher Eileen McCawley, who lives at Bagnell Farm in Little Norton…. (story)

Whitehaven News 14.10.04 FOXHOUNDS THANK TEAM - WASDALE Mountain Rescue team has been thanked to the tune of £128 by the foxhunting community, for their efforts to save a tragic hunt follower. The team was called out in December last year after hunt devotee Peter Beatson collapsed of a heart attack in Miterdale. Mr Beatson, who was following the Ennerdale and Eskdale Foxhounds, died before the rescuers could reach him…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 14.10.04 From: Richard Rusby, Low Winsley, Burnt Yates, Harrogate. I HAVE recently returned from a trip to Turkmenistan. According to the Western Press, it is a dictatorship with a downtrodden people. The Turkmen are a delightful, cheery, generous, friendly and hospitable nation… They are, however, incredulous about Tony Blair… How is it that Blair spends hundreds of hours of parliamentary time, police time and public funds attempting to ban the tradition of fox hunting and ignores huge number of his electorate but spends no real time or debate on the act of going to war with Iraq and killing thousands of innocent Muslims on the way?... (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.10.04 MAKE EXAMPLE OF LAW BREAKERS - Why do hunts and their supporters consider themselves a special case when it comes to job losses and that they are above the l aw ? Compared to the huge job losses in the mining, steel and shipbuilding industries their losses will be quite small…. P W Roswell-Dobson Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.10.04 HOUNDS' HEALTH IS A HUNT PRIORITY - I certainly do not condone the dumping of a dead horse outside the Labour Party conference but can assure Ms Scott that hunting people treat their horses with the care and kindness they deserve. Likewise our hounds. To suggest the simply barbaric notion that hounds are fed to hounds is simply absurd…. Jo Aldridge Sherston Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.10.04 ANGLERS WILL FACE DEMAND FOR BAN - Mr W Copeland is entitled to his views but just because others don't share them, calling them perverts is totally unnecessary and only makes him look silly. His hunting remarks will no doubt be challenged by other prohunt letter writers but, because I both hunt and fish, I would like to take up his fishing point. How can he say that the prohunters are trying to frighten the fishermen into coming on their side when the League Against Cruel Sports has openly admitted that shooting and fishing are its next targets?... J Parker Yate Bristol (letter)

Barry Gem 14.10.04 ‘Are the foxes really such terrible pests?’ IN reply to a GEM letter writer, EM Newton, who asked: “Is there any kinder way to deal with foxes?” the answer is yes – but I would firstly like to question whether foxes are the terrible pest that some country folk claim they are. It is a fact that 98 per cent of a fox’s diet consists of mice, rats, rabbits and road kills… Coun Rob Curtis, Barry (letter)

Barry Gem 14.10.04 ‘Fox hunting ban is long overdue’ - IN his recent letter to the Editor, Mike O’Leary expressed deep concern over the anticipated job losses arising from the ban on fox hunting. However, he didn’t express any criticism of the sadistic cruelty involved in that so called sport…. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 14.10.04 DISGRACEFUL ATTITUDE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE - May I attend a hunt meeting, stage a protest, throw a few eggs at the Master of Foxhounds and create a disturbance? The Echo reported the visit of Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw to Padstow on October 7. He was given such a hostile reception by a crowd of 200 hunt supporters that he had to be driven away in a police riot van…. If members of the Hunt Saboteurs' Association or the League Against Cruel Sports conducted themselves in such a disgraceful manner I am sure that the Countryside Alliance would be the first to complain. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Worcester Evening News 14.10.04 Foxes are not vermin - OVER the last few years, letters on hunting by Messrs Pinney and Burgess have regularly been published in support of the sport. Every excuse in the book has been used, and as they have now lost the argument, we now have moved on to feeble excuses… FRANK HOLT, Evesham. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 14.10.04 He dodged the issue of cruelty to animals - IN answer to Gary Webb, I wonder who is he trying to fool, because for someone who neither supports nor opposes hunting, his sentiments are very sympathetic to the pro-hunting debate… The letter also claimed, foxhunting "is all about class war." I agree - landowners object to walkers using public footpaths on their land, but allow the tally-ho brigade unhindered access to all their land with open arms…. L SPITERI, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 14.10.04 We care for our hounds - WHILE I don’t wish to get into a debate with E Milbourn (Letters, October 4) about alleged fox cruelty or our alleged uncaring attitude towards our hounds, I do fail to appreciate how even she could interpret our Boxing Day meet during foot and mouth as a publicity stunt…. I find myself wanting to say to E Milbourn that she should stop writing fiction. We at the Cumberland Farmers love our foxhounds. At the moment we have 64 hounds in kennels, the oldest being Pamela and Crystal who are 11 years old…. I agree with you, Elaine, “everything is fine in the countryside”. So why do you keep trying to change it? DEBBIE O’BRIEN, Welton, Carlisle (letter)

Manchester Evening News 14.10.04 Barbaric - CONTRARY to your correspondent’s mistaken belief (Postbag, Oct 7), hunting with dogs does not control the fox population…. Hunting with dogs is a barbaric and outdated blood sport in which animals are chased and killed for no other reason than entertainment…. Cheshire Reader (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 14.10.04 WORSE FORM OF CRUELTY - I Agree with B Jones (Postbox, October 9) regarding this Government's position on fox hunting and its politically correct stance. I wrote to the relevant Government minister, Steve Bradshaw, many months ago about "ritual slaughter"… I received a reply that while the Government would prefer the animals to be pre-stunned, it conceded to respect "religious belief"…. I don't agree with fox hunting but there are many much worse forms of animal cruelty about which this Government will do nothing. S Roe, Middle Road, Swansea (letter)

Kidderminster Shuttle 14.10.04 Hounds can adapt to new life as pets - I AM writing not on the issue of hunting, but on the welfare of the hounds and their future…. As a former RSPCA inspector of nine years I have seen hundreds of former working dogs rehomed successfully. These included foxhounds, harriers, lurchers, beagles, bassets, greyhounds and blood/otter hounds. Before 1992, even pit bulls bred for fighting were given chances…. FORMER RSPCA INSPECTOR, Name and address, supplied (letter in archive)
ONE of the persons interviewed on fox-hunting (View on the Street, September 23) used the persuasive argument that foxes deserved to be hunted because they were nasty to chickens (which is hard to dispute). But aren't poultry farmers nasty to chickens too?... NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED
I NOTE that the pro-hunt lobby considers a ban on hunting would infringe their democratic rights. Well, as a result of their recent demonstration outside Kidderminster Harriers' ground, where we were attempting to conduct our regular monthly Labour Party meeting, the social club quite understandably,in view of the damage and upset they caused, has asked us to find an alternative venue for our meetings …. CHRIS JONES, Stourport Road, Bewdley
THOSE who protested in London, with Mr Swann, look like hunting buffoons, making ridiculous threats…. BILL MORRIS, The Croft, Kidderminster (letters in archive)

Ilkley Gazette 14.10.04 Foxhunting - I noted that Audrey Hargreaves, of Addingham, and Mrs Ann Cryer, MP, responded to my earlier letter by implying that I took too much notice of The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday in arriving at a different conclusion to them on the subject of hunting with hounds… My principal and most reliable source of information is BASC whose experts advise HM Government on many matters relating to country activities… I must ask Audrey Hargreaves if her views would be different if foxes savaged her cats, and do not tell me that they don't, I have seen evidence… Victor M Bean, Flat 1. 114, Skipton Road, Ilkley. (letter in archive)

The Forester 14.10.04 I COME FROM A LONG LINE OF FOXES - You do get some wonderfully eccentric contributors to your letters page don't you, and I'm happy to make my contribution. So, S. R. Bonser thinks humans are creatures with uncontrollable instincts. Oh dear! I have always believed that our unique ability to reason sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. In future I shall eat my meat raw off the ground while on all fours… People don't like blood sports because they are unnecessary and, above all, cruel… John Belcher, Joyford Hill (letter)

The Forester 14.10.04 FUELLING THE BAN CULTURE - I Feel sorry for your 'middle-aged man who's been shocked out of his complacency' to discover that bear baiting has been banned… There is a lot of claptrap brayed in defence of hunting foxes, or as Oscar Wilde described the pastime: 'The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable'…. Paul Hayes, Lower Lydbrook (letter)

Saffron Walden Reporter 14.10.04 We shouldn't wish ill on any animals -IN RESPONSE to Gerald Snow's extraordinary letter (Postbag, last week, "Don't wait – put down hounds now"), may I make a few observations? If one loves animals, one should not wish them ill, let alone death, as he wishes the hounds… Does the use of language such as "toffee-nosed upstarts" actually betray Mr Snow's real position here? I think so, don't you? SIMON BRIGGS, Address supplied (letter)

Cornwall Packet 14.10.04 It's a pity Ashley doesn't care as much for foxes! - HAS any election leaflet from a political party showed such hypocrisy as the one the Conservatives are now distributing. We have Mr Ashley Crossley pictured in front of an injured dog with the headline "Ashley Supports Animal Hospital Appeal." This is the same Ashley who readily supports the ripping apart of wild animals for fun…. David Leamon, Old Hill, Falmouth (letter in archive)

Wiltshire Gazette 14.10.04 All choked up - LAST Thursday I was browsing through the Gazette when I came across an article on fox hunting which included comments that made me choke on my tea with astonishment and disbelief. How on earth can the Rev Chris Mulholland, vicar of St Mary's Church in Sopworth, have the gall to compare the pro-fox hunting fraternity with the struggle of the suffragettes?... They were far more important issues which affected majorities not minorities. MR K HICKS, Marlborough (letter in archive)

Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 14.10.04 Our fears over hunting move - Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals, Hayle (letter in archive)
West Briton 7.10.04 VILIFICATION OF THESE PEOPLE WAS UNFOUNDED - Bad behaviour of minority cannot be allowed to pay, Have Your Say (Alan Kirby) last week ALAN Kirby's emotive diatribe castigating the pro-hunt lobby on the day the discredited Hunting Bill was unceremoniously rushed through the Commons was factually inaccurate and deeply distorted. His offensive vilification of these people, who were only exercising their democratic right to demonstrate against an illogical law, was totally unfounded…. W T SWEET, Mawgan, Helston (letter)
Salisbury Journal 1.10.04 MOST people will be overjoyed at the long-awaited passage of the Bill to ban hunting with dogs on September 15… ALAN KIRBY Protect Our Wild Animals, Hayle, Cornwall (letter in archive)
Bucks Free Press 1.10.04 They might go for a compromise - Alan Kirby Phillack Cornwall (letter)
1.10.04 KEEP UP THE FIGHT TO END HUNTING CRUELTY - Alan Kirby Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)
Shropshire Star 1.10.04 Hunting Bill must be passed - Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 30.9.04 THE FIGHT ISN'T OVER - Alan Kirby, Protect Our Wild Animals, Churchtown Road, Phillack, Hayle, Cornwall (letter)

West Briton 30.9.04 BAD BEHAVIOUR OF MINORITY CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO PAY - Most people will be overjoyed at the long-awaited passage of the Bill to ban hunting with dogs on September 15 and appalled by the arrogant, violent and anti-social behaviour of the hunting minority on that day and since…. ALAN KIRBY, (Protect Our Wild Animals), 1 Churchtown Road, Phillack,, Hayle (letter)


Hull Daily Mail 13.10.04 LORDS GIVE GLIMMER OF HOPE TO FOX HUNTERS - East Riding: Fox hunters were today given hope that they will be able to continue despite plans by MPs to ban hunting. The House of Lords Conservative leader Lord Strathclyde last night urged fellow peers to amend the anti-hunt Bill and send it back to the Commons in the hope of reaching a compromise deal. He hopes a licensed fox-hunting system could gain the approval of MPs seeking a "sensible compromise". The prospect has been welcomed by Christopher Holtby, a former master of the Holderness Hunt…. (story)

Times 13.10.04 Hunt inquiry chief goes on the attack BY GREG HURST, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - THE head of the Government’s independent inquiry into hunting attacked the prospect of using the Parliament Acts to force through a ban yesterday and urged an eleventh hour compromise. Lord Burns, formerly the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, said such a move would be “inconsistent with the procedure” because there was insufficient evidence to endorse a ban…. (story)
Times 13.10.04 Parliamentary Sketch - Lords locked in denial behind a ring of steel BY ANN TRENEMAN - SCORES of police descended on Westminster yesterday. At first, I thought it was because the Foreign Secretary was giving a statement on Iraq. This was foolish, for that subject may be vexed but it has also exhausted everyone… No, the ring of steel was there to keep out anyone named Otis, for the Lords were debating hunting. Again. What are they going to do if this issue ever gets settled? They are never more eloquent than when speaking about their deep love of furry animals and why this means they must hunt and kill them…. (story)
Sky News 13.10.04 HUNTING BAN NEARER - The ban on fox hunting has taken a step forward after the House of Lords allowed the Hunting Bill to progress to its next Parliamentary stage. After a nine-hour debate, peers decided not to vote against the bill. If they had, the Government would have considered forcing it through anyway…. (story)
Telegraph 13.10.04 Ministers will 'force' hunting ban through Lords By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Ministers will not hesitate to use the Parliament Act to railroad the Bill banning hunting through the House of Lords, peers were told yesterday. At the start of a lengthy and impassioned debate, Lord Whitty, an environment minister, said that using the Parliament Act would be "in the interests of democracy" and that it would not provoke a constitutional crisis... (story)
Guardian 13.10.04 Burns protests at use of Parliament Act - Sarah Hall, political correspondent - The former top civil servant who headed the government's inquiry into foxhunting yesterday suggested in the Lords that it would be a misuse of the Parliament Act to push through a hunting ban. Lord Burns, former permanent secretary to the Treasury, said he would find it "very difficult" to accept use of the act when there was no clear scientific evidence supporting a ban…. (story)
Guardian 13.10.04 A toff-hunting we will go - Simon Hoggart - Lord Whitty, who proposed the second reading of the hunting bill in the Lords, began with a long, loud sigh, rather like Mr Bennet hearing another of his daughters knock on his study door in search of cash for a new dress. Everyone was familiar with the bill, he said - why, it was exactly the same as the one they had pondered last year. Was there any real need to consider it all again? The Commons had voted seven times, by huge majorities, for a ban on hunting. Can't we all, his body language, indeed his actual vocabulary, seemed to say, pack it in and go home?... (story)
Independent 13.10.04 Lords in 'last-chance saloon' over foxhunting deadlock By Ben Russell, Political Correspondent - The House of Lords is in the "last-chance saloon" over proposals to ban foxhunting, peers were warned yesterday as the Government urged them not to provoke a constitutional clash by blocking the will of MPs… But in an angry debate on the Hunting Bill, peers vowed to defy MPs and try to reintroduce the Government's proposed licensing system, despite its rejection by the House of Commons…. (story)
Western Mail 13.10.04 Labour peer calls for hunt compromise - Duncan Higgitt, Western Mail - A SENIOR Labour peer with hunting links last night called for a compromise solution to end the political storm over the sport's future. Baroness Mallalieu, Countryside Alliance president, urged the House of Lords to back this course of action, saying Tony Blair supported such a move. Her call came during yesterday's Lords debate, in which 50 peers took part…. (story)
Scotsman 13.10.04 House of Lords in 'last-chance saloon' over hunting bill - JOHN INNES - PEERS were warned yesterday that they were in "the last-chance saloon" over the bill banning hunting with hounds in England. Lord Whitty, the environment minister, issued a tough message in the House of Lords at the opening of the second reading debate of the Hunting Bill, which will outlaw the sport…. (story)
Western Daily Press 13.10.04 A LICENCE TO KILL? - Peers threatening to overturn the hunting ban are in the last chance saloon, the Environment Minister Lord Whitty warned yesterday. Speaking as the controversial Hunting Bill returned to the Lords, he told those who want to see hunting continue not to challenge the democratic will of MPs…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 13.10.04 MOVES TO HALT BAN 'DOOMED' - A Last-minute attempt by the House of Lords to prevent a ban on fox hunting is doomed to fail, an influential MP claims. Paddy Tipping, the chairman of the House of Commons' environment, food and rural affairs select committee, said the Lords' decision last night to promote a compromise motion - which would allow hunting to continue, under a licensing system - would still not prevent MPs voting for a ban when the Bill returns to the Commons… (story)
Nottingham Evening Post 13.10.04 HUNT BAN: NO COMPROMISE - DAVID BYERS PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT - A Last-minute attempt by the House of Lords to prevent a ban on foxhunting is doomed to fail, a leading anti-hunt MP claims. Paddy Tipping, Labour MP for Sherwood and chairman of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, said the Lords' decision to back a compromise motion - which would allow hunting to continue under a strict licensing system - would not prevent MPs voting for a ban when the Bill returned to the Commons…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 13.10.04 HUNTING LICENCE VOTE 'BOUND TO FAIL' - A Last-minute attempt by peers in the House of Lords to prevent a ban on foxhunting is doomed to fail, an influential anti-hunt MP claims. Paddy Tipping, the chairman of the powerful House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, said the Lords' decision last night to promote a compromise motion - which would allow hunting to continue, under a strict licensing system - would still not prevent MPs voting for a ban in the Commons… (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 13.10.04 Hunt ban a step closer by Ian Drury and Victoria Young - A BAN on fox-hunting in North Yorkshire moved a step nearer last night. Peers allowed the controversial Hunting Bill, which would outlaw hunting with hounds, to progress to its next parliamentary stage… In North Yorkshire, Clive Procter, a member of the Derwent Hunt, said: "We're really back to where we were years ago. The Lords will come forward with some sort of amendment then it's back to the House of Commons where they'll probably use the infamous Parliament Act…." (story in archive)
Grimsby Telegraph 13.10.04 HUNTING BILL BACK TO MPS - A Last ditch bid to scupper MPs moves to outlaw hunting with dogs gave Lincolnshire hunters fresh hope of a compromise. They hoped a move in the House of Lords would permit hunting under special licences. That is the preferred option of Prime Minister Tony Blair, though most of his Labour MPs back a total ban…. Every lord was written to by members of The Brocklesby Hunt in a bid to stop the anti-hunting legislation…. Master of Louth's Southwold Hunt Nick Ashcroft (40), of Belchford, said: "We will wait until we see what the new licensing system entails. We have made our views known at the protests in London and Brighton and we are writing letters to Lords, MPs and the Prime Minister to stop the ban."… (story)
Western Morning News 13.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS IN 'LAST CHANCE SALOON' - Hunt supporters in the House of Lords are "in the last chance saloon", the Government warned last night - as peers began a final effort to see off a ban on hunting with dogs… (story)

13.10.04 Beleaguered UK hunters head to France By Caroline Wyatt - BBC correspondent in Burgundy - As Britain debates when and how to ban hunting with hounds, the hunting season has opened in France, a country with more hunters per head of population than any other in Europe… It's the feast of St Hubertus - the patron saint of hunting. Before the local hunt can begin, there is an outdoor mass of thanksgiving - with huntsmen and hunt followers braving the wind and rain to attend…. But might the British anti-blood sports movement spread to France too? Pierre de Boisguilbert hopes not. "In this country, the main difference is that hunting with hounds or shooting is not a political issue, whether you are from the left or right it doesn't matter - it never has been a political issue."… (story)

13.10.04 Timeline: Hunting row - There is a long history of attempts to ban fox hunting - here are some of the key moments, and a look forward to what might happen next …. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 13.10.04 POLICE FACING 'HELL OF A JOB' - A West Wales MP says police will have a hard time trying to enforce a hunting ban. Simon Thomas, MP for Ceredigion, is a member of a cross-party group which has warned that officers will find the ban almost impossible to police without stiffer penalties and a radical new approach to wildlife crime…. (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 13.10.04 Beagles march out and preserve tradition - AMID the national controversy surrounding a proposed ban on hunting, a group which pursues one of the more minority branches of the sport opened its season in Ryedale last week. The Ampleforth Beagles is a hare-hunting group in which members hunt on foot with dogs…. The Ampleforth Beagles is holding its newcomers day on Saturday, meeting at the Horseshoe Inn at Levisham at 1pm. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 13.10.04 PROTEST AT FALLEN STOCK CAMPAIGN - Anti-hunt protesters in the West yesterday slammed the region's leading hunt for "using farmers as pawns" in their hunting ban protest. Last week, the Beaufort hunt became the first to announce it would stop collecting farmers' fallen stock - to highlight what would happen if its sport was banned…. Leading campaigner Gill Purser, herself a Cotswold farmer, told the Western Daily Press: "If any farmers start to litter the place with dead animals they will not only be breaking the law but they will sully their image beyond repair. We are well served by knacker's yards in the West and their prices are just as competitive, if not better, than most hunt kennels."…. (story)

Daily Post 13.10.04 Tale of dumped foxes 'a myth' - CLAIMS urban foxes are being collected from city streets and dumped in remote areas of North Wales were last night dismissed as "a rural myth". John Bryant, a wildlife consultant specialising in urban foxes, said he was offering a £1,000 reward for hard evidence…. (story)
Western Daily Press 13.10.04 FOX CLAIM MYTH - Claims that urban foxes are being collected from city streets and dumped live in remote areas of the Welsh countryside were dismissed by an expert yesterday as "a rural myth". "I just don't think it happens," said Mr John Bryant, a wildlife consultant and urban fox expert… (story)
BBC News Online 12.10.04 Urban fox-dumping a 'rural myth' - An MP's claim that urban foxes are being collected from English towns and cities and dumped live in rural Wales has been called a "rural myth". Conservative MP Michael Fabricant claimed he was told of the practice by "numerous" people in Wales…. But John Bryant, a wildlife consultant specialising in urban foxes, said: "I just don't think it happens."… (story)
Western Mail 12.10.04 Dumping of urban foxes 'a rural myth' - Chris Moncrieff - Claims that urban foxes are being collected from city streets and dumped live in remote areas of the Welsh countryside were dismissed by an expert today as "a rural myth". "I just don't think it happens," said Mr John Bryant, a wildlife consultant specialising in urban foxes… (story)
Western Morning News 12.10.04 ARE URBAN FOXES BEING DUMPED IN COUNTRYSIDE? - Ministers have been asked to investigate claims that urban foxes are being dumped in the Westcountry countryside by "misguided" animal welfare activists. The Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett is to face a series of Parliamentary questions about anecdotal evidence that large numbers of urban foxes are trapped and then released in the countryside, where they often struggle to exist…. The Union of Country Sports Workers has launched a survey of gamekeepers, farmers and landowners in a bid to build up a picture of where foxes are being dumped and in what numbers…. (story)
Western Mail 11.10.04 Urban foxes let loose by 'misguided do-gooders' - Claire Hill, Western Mail - URBAN foxes are being collected from the streets of Britain's cities and dropped in to remote parts of Wales where they are savaging sheep, poultry and pets, an MP claimed yesterday… However, Anne Holmes, of the League Against Cruel Sports was not convinced of an underhand practice to rid urban cities of foxes…(story)
Daily Post 11.10.04 English city foxes dumped in Wales By Eryl Crump, Daily Post - URBAN foxes are being collected from the streets of Britain's cities and dumped in remote parts of Wales, claims an English Tory MP. Last night, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant called for urgent action as the House of Lords prepares to debate the controversial ban on hunting…. Mr Fabricant is tabling a House of Commons question to Environment Secretary, Margaret Beckett, asking what evidence she has of this practice and what steps are being taken to stop it…. (story)
Telegraph 11.10.04 Urban foxes are dumped in Wales By Richard Savill - Urban foxes are being collected from towns and cities and dumped in rural Wales, an MP said yesterday. Michael Fabricant, Tory MP for Litchfield, said the foxes were savaging farm animals and pets.... Nick Smyth, of Llwyngwril, near Dolgellau, Mid-Wales, was so appalled by an incident that he wrote to his local newspaper. "A van in a motorway car park was found by acquaintances to be full of urban foxes," he said.... (story)
Wales on Sunday 10.10.04 'Urban foxes dumped in rural Wales' claim By Chris Moncrieff - Urban foxes are being collected from the streets of Britain's cities and dumped in remote parts of Wales where they are savaging sheep, poultry and pets, an MP claimed today. Michael Fabricant, Conservative member for Lichfield, said: "These misguided do-gooders have little perception of the damage they do to the livelihood of farmers in rural areas and to the livestock which they slaughter." Now, Mr Fabricant is tabling House of Commons questions to Margaret Beckett, Environment Secretary, asking what evidence she has of this practice and what steps are being taken to stop it…. (story)

Daily Post 13.10.04 Rhodri's appeal over hunting - FARMERS in Wales should still be allowed to use dogs to hunt foxes on their land, the first minister told AMs yesterday. Rhodri Morgan said: "I have always been in favour of allowing farmers to use dogs, not for the sake of sport, but for purposes of controlling the fox population." He said he believed this form of hunting would still be allowed under legislation currently being discussed in Westminster…. (story)

South Cheshire Chronicle 13.10.04 MR W Gibson's love of animals, Mob secured hunt ban (Views , October 6), might be better served if he were to examine the evidence rather than vent his spleen about mobs and the usual false stereotypes about toffs. The largest demonstration ever of more than 500,000 in favour of hunting was entirely peaceful and litter-free but to no avail… Although not condoning the antics of the few, it is entirely understandable that some will get carried away in such circumstances. Their behaviour is, however, a far cry from 'animal lovers and activists' who see no contradiction in their willingness to harm animals such as horses… Although Mr Gibson can safely publish his name since hunt supporters do not exact retribution on those who oppose them, the same cannot be said for animal activists. I would be grateful if you would withhold my details. HUNT SUPPORTER (name and address supplied) (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 13.10.04 Stop these hateful hunting comments - A member of Little Foxes Wildlife Sanctuary who lives in Cumbria has forwarded to me copies of some of the recent letters which you have published on the subject of foxes and hunting. I have to say I am appalled at the level of venom displayed by some of your very ill-informed correspondents… The fox is not, as W Brown says (7.10.04) a "voracious" killer of lambs - anything but. Foxes will visit the lambing fields seeking sheep afterbirth which is easily scavenged… We have been shouted down by hunters and selfish farmers for long enough - I hope those Cumbrians that agree with me will also write to your newspaper and address the imbalance currently shown. Penny Little, Founder, Little Foxes Wildlife Sanctuary, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire OX44 7JS (letter)

Guardian 13.10.04 Countryside compromise - I commend the courage and common sense of Tony Wright in his article (This is the worst form of hypocrisy, October 12). He is obviously right; use of the Parliament Act would be disproportionate and unwise. A complete ban on hunting will alienate large numbers of our fellow citizens in the countryside, and is hardly compatible with the trend towards liberal attitudes on how people live, subject, of course, to not injuring other human beings…. Shirley Williams, House of Lords
Congratulations to Tony Wright on the most sensible analysis I have read so far on foxhunting. While a majority of people seem to oppose it, I doubt whether many of that majority would rate it as an issue of great import compared to, say, schools or hospitals…. Dr Bill Jones, Stockport (letters)
Guardian 12.10.04 This is the worst form of hypocrisy - It would be madness for us to die in the ditch for a ban on hunting - Tony Wright - How on earth did we get into this mess? It is difficult for many of us to get very worked up about foxhunting, but it is easy to get worked up about the idiocy that has brought us to where we are now. It was obvious from the start that it would end badly. The loss of proportion is staggering. Whatever progressive politics is about, or worth taking on opposing interests for, it is not about views on alternative methods of pest control. Talk of invoking the Parliament Act is like declaring a state of emergency because of a patch of fog on the M4. I dislike the idea of blood sports…. The trouble comes when we start converting personal prejudices into state action. Not only do we stir up all sorts of unnecessary trouble, we wander into a bog of hypocrisies, inconsistencies and contradiction… There is no difficulty in constructing a sensible compromise. We could strengthen the laws that outlaw unnecessary animal cruelty, and force hunting to justify itself in relation to them. The Lords would approve it, the hunters would have to put up with it, most people would find it satisfactory, and a small advance for civilisation would have been made… (story)

Independent 13.10.04 The hunt is up - Sir: There are many people living in our countryside who hunt foxes but will be prevented from doing so when the new anti-hunting laws come into effect. I should like to suggest alternative quarries for such people; these are much scarcer than foxes but many hours can be spent trying to track them down in our country districts. My suggestions are: post offices, pubs, banks and primary schools. Dr NIGEL DIPPER, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham (letter)

Western Morning News 13.10.04 Hunting's relevance? SO Peter Hain thinks hunting is a fringe issue and Alun Michael thinks that it is not a big issue - so where is the justification for the use of the Parliament Act? Jo Rumble, Ashburton (letter)

Western Morning News 13.10.04 AMAZED AT HUNTING DEBATE - I am on holiday, visiting relatives in Plymouth. As an Australian, I am amazed at your coverage of the foxhunting debate. We have foxes in Australia (introduced by Poms) but we have humane methods of culling them. Why anyone could condone (especially an animal-loving nation like the UK) the cruel manner of their deaths from dogs, is a mystery…. Dr L R Allen Gooseberry Hill Western Australia (letter)

Argus 13.10.04 Letter: Labour MPs wage a class war on us - On Tuesday, September 28, the countryside came to Brighton. Ten thousand or more honest, law-abiding working people came from all parts of Middle Britain to protest against a political party that is intent on banning a sport for no other reason than years of bigotry and spite… -Graham Burgess, Brighton (letter in archive)

Argus 13.10.04 Letter: Uncivilised - There are none so blind as those who cannot see! The Countryside Alliance and pro-foxhunters have taken the side of anarchy by stating proudly that they will still practice fox hunting regardless of the ban.... Blood sports have no place in a civilised society - but will we have a civilised society left? -Mrs F A Inwards, Worthing (letter in archive)

South Wales Echo 13.10.04 AS a responsible horse owner myself, I was appalled to read the plight of the horses rounded up at Glan Hafren.... My final point is that if the ban on hunting goes ahead, there will be more horses and ponies dumped on common and waste land by selfish and uncaring owners. Sarah Lewis, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 13.10.04 WELL DONE FOR BAN ON 'SPORT' - The reason I am writing this letter to you is because the topic of fox hunting seems to appear in your paper a lot lately. This Government is the only one which has cared about this cruel, barbaric, so-called sport and to get this far on it is really great…. MRS JILL BROWN, Highfield Road, Ruardean (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 13.10.04 HUNTERS FUELLED BY FRUSTRATION - Your recent editorial was apt and to the point. Peaceful protest is a fundamental right. Violence is a fundamental wrong. No issue stimulates my indifference quite so much as hunting. Yet there are millions who feel about it passionately. What is interesting and disturbing is the fact that the pro-hunting lobby seem to be borrowing the tactics of the yob. But traditionally these people, Middle England to a man or woman, are among the most law-abiding in our society….. there is a feeling throughout rural England that the Government is not interested in the problems of country dwellers…. IAN HOLT, Hucclecote (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 13.10.04 RIGHTS AND WRONGS ON HUNTING BAN - June Richards (HE September 29) "cannot understand that people want to go off and kill" yet continues: "I would love to see the hunters on their feet and being chased to their death by a pack of animals". I think her views express the mixed feelings many of us have about this emotive subject. If we get angry enough, our baser instincts come to the fore…. I have lived in the town and on Bodmin Moor and I admit I am "sitting on the fence" over this issue. I used to be indecisive and now I'm even more uncertain. JACKIE SMITH, Hampton Close, St Marychurch, Torquay (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 13.10.04 TERRIBLE SCENES - I Was appalled, like millions of other people worldwide, at the disgraceful television scenes in London when the followers of the hunt became embroiled in a bloody battle with the police outside the Houses of Parliament. English people from all walks of life for hundreds of years have hunted the fox with horse and hounds as, despite its endearing appearance, it is a cold-blooded killer and an enemy of the farmer and his stock…. Labour Party sneer at what they call the posh Tory sport, yet hundreds of ordinary people, Labour members included, from all walks of life follow the hunt…. Josephine Gibney, Manchester Street, Cleethorpes. (letter)

Horncastle News 13.10.04 Give us some truthful answers on fox hunting - Please, please, please could someone with some hunting knowledge educate the general public! We have read many letters from pro-hunters but I think the general public’ questions need addressing. If hounds will have to be destroyed due to a hunting ban, what has happened to all the hounds bred in the past?... MISS V POLLARD, Horsington (letter)

Salisbury Journal 13.10.04 - I FEEL compelled to reply to the ranting hypocrisy of the letters in your paper on September 30, several of whose authors had not the courage to publicise their addresses…. The lie that must be nailed is that the people who go hunting do so for the pleasure of cruelty. They go hunting for the challenge, the adrenalin, the companionship and the pleasure of watching hounds going about their natural business, as well as the appreciation of the English countryside…. JAMES CARTER, The Old Vicarage, Chitterne, Warminster (letter in archive)

Wirral Globe 13.10.04 'Vile and barbaric pursuit of hunting on a par with slavery, child labour' - I FULLY agree with Mr Ken Clark's letter ('No justification for hunting cruelty, Mr Jones', Mailbox, September 29) - his view is, I am sure, that of the majority, who abhor even the thought of this vile, barbaric pursuit…. F. Harrison, West Kirby (address supplied) (letter in archive)
Wirral Globe 13.10.04 Fox 'is not a cuddly friend' - I HAVE never hunted or had any connection with any hunt. But I worked on farms in 1940 and 1941…. Does Mr Clark not realise that foxes are among the thugs and bullies of the animal world?... Please, Mr Clark, learn the full facts before backing a cause you obviously know nothing about. The fox is not a cuddly friend. Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Knutsford Guardian 13.10.04 Foxes are not cuddly, puppy-like creatures - I WASN'T really surprised that the Labour majority in the House of Commons should vote to 'ban fox hunting with hounds'. Coming mainly from towns they would have little knowledge of the whys and wherefores of country life and were called upon to vote on something they obviously knew nothing about…. MR J M GILLOW, Heath Farm, Peover Heath (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 13.10.04 BLAIR IS NOW DELUDED - I Agree with the letter from Mr G Evans (Postbox, October 5) in that we have a lack of democracy, bordering on dictatorship, in the New Labour Government… He has persuaded his backbenchers to vote for this war, with some arm-twisting, and the carrot of finally getting the fox hunting bill through Parliament. But even in this he is back pedalling, by bringing back the idea of licensing. I don't think the foxes care whether or not the huntsmen have a licence to tear them to bits…. B Williams, Parc Wern Road, Sketty, Swansea (letter)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 13.10.04 ‘I support protest’ - I totally support Mr Bowyer’s bid to protest against an impending ban on fox hunting by temporarily ending the dead livestock collection service (“Hunters call for carcass protest”, The Evening Telegraph, October 11). It is about time the Government and the general public thought about the services that the hunt offer. Claire Wright, Hyholmes, Bretton, Peterborough (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 13.10.04 Fox red herrings - May I comment on Mr DB of Brotton's view on banning fox hunting (Letters, 30.9.04). He mentions kennel men and maids and huntsmen losing their jobs. Why can't they still ride, they don't have to chase a fox to be able to ride a horse?... I hope Mr DB made his voice heard during the 1980s when electricians, fitters, platers, welders and plumbers in their thousands were forced out of work in heavy industry… FRED PREST, Eston (letter)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 13.10.04 Lobby our future King - M Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth, IP19 0JL. (letter)
South Wales Evening Post 8.10.04 IT'S NOT END OF HUNTING - M J Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth IP19 OJL (letter)
7.10.04 TIME FOR PRINCE CHARLES TO ESTABLISH A SPECIAL DRAG HUNT - M.J. HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth. (letter)
Yorkshire Evening Post 6.10.04 Clarion call on hunting - M J Huskission, Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesowen IP19 0JL (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 6.10.04 By royal consent - M J HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service, Halesworth (letter)
Western Daily Press 2.10.04 PROTESTERS PAINTING A FALSE PICTURE OF HUNTS - As an active supporter of fox hunting for 26 years I am still astonished at some of the comments made by those against hunting. I have always believed that before condemning anything one should gain sufficient knowledge of the subject to make an informed argument. any of the letters against hunting I have read in this paper hold little substance. The letter from MJ Huskisson of the Animal Welfare information service proves this point…. P A Crook Raglan Monmouthshire (letter)
Dundee Courier 2.10.04 Charles to lead way? M. J. Huskisson. Animal Welfare Information Service, PO Box 8, Halesworth (letter)
Peterborough Evening Telegraph 1.10.04 'Prince should defuse problem' - MIKE HUSKISSON - Animal Welfare Information Service (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 29.9.04 PRINCELY SOLUTION TO HUNT UNREST M J HUSKISSON Animal Welfare Information Service Halesworth Suffolk (letter)
Western Daily Press 29.9.04 PRINCE MUST CHANGE 'CAVALIER ATTITUDES' - The welcome passing of the hunting Bill marks a change to hunting, not the end of it. With wild animals to be removed from the quarry list (and replaced with the humane alternative) hunting is elevated from a barbaric blood sport to a premier league pastime…. Surely this is a real opportunity for Prince Charles to show leadership? Who better to defuse the situation by setting up a pack of royal drag hounds?... M J Huskisson Animal Welfare Information Service PO Box 8 Halesworth IP19 OJL (letter)


Scotsman 12.10.04 Compromise Call on Foxhunting By Amanda Brown, Lords staff, PA News. A senior Labour peer and leading member of the hunting community tonight called for a compromise solution aimed at ending the political storm over the sport’s future. Baroness Mallalieu, Countryside Alliance president, urged the Lords to back this course of action, saying Tony Blair had stated that he supported such a move…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 12.10.04 TORY PEERS PRESS FOR WATERING DOWN OF OUTRIGHT HUNT BAN - Simon McGee, Political Editor - TORY peers will today begin efforts to water down the outright ban on hunting with dogs and ensure the rural sport survives by securing a "middle way" option of licensed and restricted hunting… (story)
BBC News Online 12.10.04 Peers' 'last chance' over hunting - Peers have been warned they are in "the last chance saloon" over the Bill to ban fox hunting in England and Wales. Environment minister Lord Whitty told peers to either accept the ban on the practice or find a "way forward"…. Tory peer Lord Mancroft, who is on the board of the Countryside Alliance, accused the government of behaving like "a Fascist dictatorship" on the issue…. (story)
BBC News Online 12.10.04 Q&A: Hunting Bill - BBC News Online explains what may happen to moves to ban hunting with dogs. What does the government's Hunting with Dogs Bill do?... (story)
Horse & Hound 12.10.04 Lords begin scrutiny … The Second Reading of the hunting Bill has been taking place in the House of Lords this afternoon. It seems likely that the Lords will scrutinise and modify the banning Bill to a licensing system…. (story)
BBC News Online 12.10.04 Hunting ban debate moves to Lords - Peers are to debate government plans to outlaw hunting with dogs in England and Wales as the Hunting Bill goes to the House of Lords for its second reading…. (story)
Telegraph 12.10.04 Hunting ban row moves to Lords - The political row over fox hunting is set to reignite in the House of Lords. More than 40 peers are scheduled to debate the Second Reading of the Bill banning hunting with hounds.... (story)
ePolitix 12.10.04 Peers to debate hunt ban - Controversial legislation to ban fox hunting is being discussed in the House of Lords today. The Hunting Bill, which would outlaw hunting with dogs in England and Wales, is set to be debated at its second reading stage…. (story)
Manchester 12.10.04 Hunting ban 'deal' urged - Ian Craig - PEERS will be urged today to agree a compromise on banning fox-hunting. As they debate the second reading of the Hunting Bill, which prohibits hare coursing and hunting with dogs, some peers will propose a "middle way", allowing hunting to be licensed…. (story)
Sky 12.10.04 LORDS DEBATE HUNT BILL - The Government's fox-hunting Bill is due to be debated in the House of Lords later today. More than 40 peers will take part in the debate on whether to criminalise the traditional rural sport…. (story)
Mail 12.10.04 Hunting ban row returns to Lords - The political row over fox-hunting is set to reignite in the House of Lords. More than 40 peers are scheduled to debate the Second Reading of the Government's Bill banning hunting with hounds… (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 12.10.04 LORDS COULD GIVE HUNT LAST CHANCE - Countryside campaigners are hoping the House of Lords will offer a last-minute reprieve to hunting when they discuss a controversial bill today… (story)
Western Morning News 12.10.04 THE SECOND FRONT OF THE HUNT BATTLE - The political row over fox-hunting is set to reignite in the House of Lords today. More than 40 peers are scheduled to debate the Second Reading of the Government's Bill banning hunting with hounds…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 12.10.04 MP slams Lords bid for hunt compromise - FOX hunting could be banned before the traditional Boxing Day meeting if the House of Lords try to push the Commons to license fox hunting. Today, Peers are expected to amend the bill to prohibit hunting with dogs, when it comes before the second house…. (story in archive)
Cumberland News & Star 12.10.04 Hunting row set to reignite - THE political row over fox-hunting was set to reignite in the House of Lords today. More than 40 peers are to debate the Second Reading of the Government’s Bill banning hunting with hounds…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 12.10.04 Peers are ready to take up the chase yet again - The row over fox hunting is set to reignite today when peers in Parliament begin the process of trying to unpick the Government's bill to ban hunting with hounds….(story)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.10.04 MP DEFIANT ON HUNT BAN - Exeter mp Ben Bradshaw has said he will not change his stance on fox hunting, despite being targeted by pro-hunt supporters. Mr Bradshaw is being harassed by demonstrators who are angry at his support for a ban… Alison Hawes, South West regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "I do not think a few eggs are going to do anyone much harm." (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 12.10.04 WONDERFUL NIGHT AT HUNT DANCE - It was taken at the hunt dance in the Angel Hotel, Witheridge, and shows members of the committee and helpers. The picture was found and brought into the Gazette offices by Jim Partridge from Brook Meadow, South Molton… (story)

Manchester Evening News 12.10.04 A READER (Postbag, Oct 7) seems to think that the only way foxes die is when they are killed by foxhounds…. It must be obvious that fox hunting plays only a very small part in controlling foxes, and it will make very little difference if fox hunting with horses and hounds is stopped. Harry Earthey, Sale (story)

Basingstoke Gazette 12.10.04 An alternative to hunting - Having read various comments on hunting with hounds, I would like to give my opinion on the subject…. Would it not be better to have drag hunting, which I assume is prepared in advance, and the dogs only have to follow scents, which would give everyone exercise without killing the foxes! -Mrs O Wigley, Radford Gardens, Basingstoke. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 URBAN REMEDY TO RURAL PROBLEM - So, the urban busybodies with bees in their bonnets will have their way, and ordinary rural people will no longer be able to make a living or enjoy themselves in the way they have done for centuries. Hunting is to be prohibited by New Labour for all sorts of reasons, none of which have much to do with the welfare of foxes…. What New Labour wants is a countryside free from disturbing reality and, more importantly, free from smells and bells and crowing cocks. Laudable as that aim clearly is, I fear that the bees in the urban busybodies bonnets will continue to hum until the last wax jacket has been ritually incinerated and real mud on tractors and Wellingtons have been made a crime punishable by a prison term. M Hunter, South Zeal (letter)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 GOVERNMENT MADE MAJOR ISSUE OUT OF HUNTING - If hunting is the minority issue that Candy Atherton states, why is she and her Government making it a major one?... Mrs P Burbage, Mouzon, France
Not just about killing - TODAY has been a sad day, simply because so many people have not bothered to listen or even try to understand what happens in our countryside. Hunting is not just about killing deer or foxes; it's about providing a service to farmers, who may not even go hunting, disposing of fallen stock, now that the Government has already banned the buying of dead animals….. Sylvia Crocker, Bridestowe Devon (letters)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 HUNTING: IT'S TIME FOR ACTION - The Labour threat to use the Parliament Act to force through the Bill to ban hunting is an example of corruption of power by the Commons… For Skinner to rant that the Lords can go to hell merely illustrates the absence of a democratic process and gives a clear warning of the danger we will all face in the future from these overpaid lackeys of the Executive/Cabinet. Jeremy John Hooper, St Breward, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 UNEQUAL MEDIA COVERAGE FOR POOR - The pro-hunting demonstration at Brighton may have attracted the media attention both locally and nationally. But there was another rally on Brighton promenade on the Sunday of the Labour Party Conference that aims to have an even bigger effect. The Trade Justice Campaign held a peaceful and lively rally to draw attention to the need to change the rules of world trade to put poverty reduction and environmental protection at their heart…. John Ainsworth, Somerset (letter)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 FIGHT THROUGH THE PROPER CHANNELS - I am confused as to why the hunt protesters constantly bombard these Labour MPs and Mr Blair (who did not even vote) with disruptive and very occasionally offensive demonstrations. The Bill passed because local MPs voted on behalf of their constituency, despite their own personal opinion, that is what matters…. Guy Trevennan Fitter, St Columb Major
Scottish MPs have already voted … Scotland already has a law banning hunting with dogs, passed by the Scottish Parliament. This now begs the question whether Scottish MPs have any right at all to allow Scotland to have a "second bite at the cherry" by voting for the same measure in England (and Wales, for that matter). In my view, the participation of Scottish MPs in the vote, following the earlier decision in Scotland, casts considerable doubt on the legitimacy of the Bill as currently passed by the Commons and now before the Lords…. Timothy Garratt, Chagford
All in the name of sport? I HAVE heard that in some parts of the country the breeding of foxes is carried out specifically for the hunt - all in the name of sport?... Miss Delve, Fowey (letters)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 BLAIR SHOULD REFLECT ON DEMOCRACY - I was once given the following definition by a South African businessman: "In a democracy, any minority is entitled to have their viewpoint or opinion respected, recognised and upheld, if this viewpoint does not affect the direct interests of any majority opposing it. This is the fundamental precis tenet of democracy."… Mrs S E Batten, Taunton
Close to a dictatorship - IT would appear that if the proposed Hunting Bill is forced through Parliament, we are very close to living in a dictatorship…. Simon Henderson, Kingsbridge
Only crime seems to be hunting - I AM disgusted with the way the police handled the pro-hunt protesters at the demonstration in London. The demonstration was peaceful until they started lashing out with those batons, causing some very nasty head injuries… R Hancox, Plymouth (letters)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 WORTHY OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN COMIC OPERA - I laughed out loud when I heard that police with dogs were being deployed in Brighton to control demonstrating hunt supporters! Presumably, this will be banned by the Bill now going through Parliament as we wouldn't want a demonstrator, or a football hooligan, or a criminal, or a terrorists suffering an anxiety attack while being pursued by a police dog, would we?... R E Woods, Saltash Cornwall
Not at the top of agenda - DEAR Mr Blair, don't criminalise the hunting community just to score political points, it will benefit no one - especially not the fox - and only shows how out of touch you are with the issues that really matter to the public…. Nancy Hobbs, Moretonhampstead, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 DON'T KILL WILD PREY JUST FOR THE 'SPORT' - With all the writing and comments about the new law banning the hunting with hounds, I felt I should have my twopennyworth. The hunt people say that they are being hounded by Labour backbenchers with nothing else to do… However, after witnessing the outrageous scenes outside Westminster, I think the demonstrators were the arrogant bullies, as far as the policemen on duty who were accused of being heavy handed were concerned…. They should accept with grace that the cruelty of hunting with hounds is now outdated and in the past. The day has gone (I hope) when people's livelihoods and housing had to rely on killing wild prey. Not for the meal table - just for "sport". L Reg Heggie, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM OUR POLITICIANS …As an ex-RAF officer I can state that the few who allegedly saved Britain and our way of life, during the Battle of Britain, were mostly of the hunting, shooting and fishing type, which gave them the courage, determination and ability to engage enemy aircraft while greatly outnumbered. They thought they were preserving our British way of life…. Aubrey J Rigby-Jones, Mylor Bridge, Falmouth (letter)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 WAKE UP TO THIS NIGHTMARE - It's now more than obvious that we have a big problem in Iraq and nearly every day we hear of another bomb killing innocents,… The next question is what is the Government doing about it, and the answer seems to be to ban hunting, thus running the same possibility of upsetting the status quo here in this country…. Rod Newbolt-Young, Widecombe-In-The-Moor (letter)

Western Morning News 12.10.04 NO ROOM FOR DOUBLE STANDARDS …It is disturbing that a Countryside Alliance spokesperson in a TV interview called hunting on Exmoor a tourist attraction. Perhaps in the Bay we should look at bear bating or even a bare- knuckle prize fight as something to pull in the punters? M J ALLEN Hamilton Drive Newton Abbot (letter)

News Shopper 12.10.04 Do you think we’re stupid? In response to the letter by WR Jeavons (News Shopper, September 29). I cannot believe this person thinks the British public are so gullible as to think by one dog giving a fox "a quick shake" it would be dead. In reality, one dog pulls the fox down and then the rest of the pack tear it apart while it is still alive. This act is done in the name of sport…. Robert K Jury Dartford (letter)

News Shopper 12.10.04 Ritual slaughter ban as well as hunt ban - In thE letter What is so cruel about hunting? (News Shopper, September 29) W R Jeavons implies those of us in the animal welfare camp moan about hunting while ignoring the issue of ritual slaughter…. Those of us on the welfare side of the fence will continue to call for a ban on ritual slaughter as we have done for many years but with the policy of the Government ignoring its own advisory Councils recommendations, we will as always have another uphill battle…. Mark Johnson Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.10.04 THERE'S NO GOOD REASON TO BACK THIS BILL - The fact that a majority in the House of Commons is in favour of a bill to ban hunting does not mean the bill will be a good law, still less enforceable. Parliament should not enact laws which are not founded upon good reason, supported by the evidence…. David C Allen Burnham on Sea Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 12.10.04 FOX NUMBERS SELF-REGULATE - It would appear that I have upset J Cooper, but they say the truth hurts, so perhaps J Cooper should consider the facts…. The simple fact is that fox numbers are naturally regulated by their territory size and the food supply. It is simply as nature intended. If left alone their numbers will self-regulate…. Peter Clothier Calne Wilts (letter)

Worcester Evening News 12.10.04 The tone of article was to be expected - GIVEN that Mike Pryce's sympathies have long appeared to lie with the pro-hunting lobby, the tone of his piece of Thursday, September 30 was to be expected…. the Metropolitan Police were implicitly criticised for their approach at the previous demonstration in Parliament Square. Anyone viewing the coverage would have seen deliberate and violent attempts being made to breach the security barriers…. A REECE, Worcester.
Mike Pryce has fairly reported the hunting issue for the Evening News - Editor. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 12.10.04 Bin's the only place for threats - THE publicity surrounding MP Mike Foster (right) and the Hunting Bill is the very reason that no self- respecting member of the hunting community would have sent it… I hope that the police are successful in their investigations into this sorry state of affairs but would point out no such investigation has been started into the numerous death or bomb threats made to employees of the Countryside Alliance…. ROBERT BRIERLEY, Worcestershire Hunt Spokesman (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 12.10.04 Own medicine - OVER the years, foxhunts have called upon the police to disperse and arrest anti-hunt saboteurs. We now find that the boot could be on the other foot when a ban starts as hunters now call for civil disobedience…. R FRANKS, Pershore (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 12.10.04 RARE SIGHT OF A FOX IN FEAR - I have lived in the country all my life (some 60 years) and have followed the hunt for most of it (latterly only in the car)… In all that time, I can truly say that I have never seen a distressed fox (not compared with a distressed dog which runs around blindly with its tail between its legs) - not until today that is. This morning, at 8.15am in East Park Road in the city, I encountered a very distressed fox running blindly in one direction to another, dodging people and cars…. J Cowley, Gaddesby. (letter)

Shropshire Star 12.10.04 12.10.04 Foxes torn to pieces in cubbing - Recent photographs of hunt supporters in the Shropshire Star only showed the "public face" of this group. To be fair and open handed, surely a photographer should have covered the "cubbing" that followed. The "cubbing" is where the young fox cubs, not fully weaned, are dug, terrified from their homes, their mother being killed or driven away… Name and address supplied. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 12.10.04 Faith means caring for animals, too - From: Barrie Frost, Oakwood, Watson's Lane, Reighton, Filey…Why does Britain, concerned about cruelty to foxes, deer and hares, accept the slaughter of millions of animals annually without any pre-stunning for halal meat? The fear of the animals treated this way is indescribable… (letter)

Western Mail 12.10.04 Michael's foxy game - What on earth is Alun Michael MP doing! Our pensions are in a mess. I have neighbours and friends who have lost their livelihoods and everything they have worked for at Allied Steel in Cardiff and all he is doing is messing around with foxes… JOHN ALLEN, Aberdaron Road, Trowbridge, Cardiff
Accuse fox breeders - I am writing in response to Fran Jones's letter... I fail to see how I can be described as sinister when all I am trying to do is speak out for defenceless animals… I would like to conclude by saying if Fran Jones is to be believed, then she should direct her anger at those sinister people who encourage foxes to breed by building artificial earths… JUDI HEWITT. Rhyl, Denbighshire (letters)

Torquay Herald Express 12.10.04 GUARDIANS OF COUNTRYSIDE ONLY WHEN IT SUITS THEM - The pro-hunting lobby takes the biscuit for impertinence. Let's start with the notion the Countryside Alliance is the guardian of rural tradition. In the 1950s, many of the country's villages, from Kent to Cumbria, Midlothian to Merthyr, had coal-mining as their main economic activity. Between then and the 1980s, almost all the pits were closed…. Howls of anguish from the "country set"? Not a peep as this rural tradition was ended!... Someone has said - probably correctly - that hunting with hounds is probably about no. 155 in importance in the animal cruelty stakes. Still, every little helps. NEIL PICK Paignton (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 12.10.04 'SCANDALOUS' NAZI REMARKS - Even if it is true Gerald Kaufmann was the subject of racial abuse - which along with most other people I condemn - it does not give Coun Allan Smith (Viewpoint 6 October) the right to vilify hunt supporters in general and call them racists…. Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 12.10.04 NOT A VERY SPORTING GESTURE FROM HUNTERS - What a load of codswallop (or should I say horse manure) from the Beaufort hunt. So they're no longer going to collect dead farm animals to feed their dogs. Are they not going to feed them in the interim period of being banned? Or are the hounds going to be put down straight away?... E Chappell (Mrs), Arnall Drive, Henbury. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 12.10.04 CLEARING UP BAN DEBATE - My recent letter about Labour's foxhunting ban, fragments of which were published under the heading 'Class Warfare', was edited so severely that my main point was obscured… I wished to say that my qualified sympathy (to some extent) with opponents of the ban rests on the humbug of zealous, anti-hunting MPs who are somewhat less enthusiastic about dealing with far worse causes of everyday animal suffering…. I also explained that the comment on the electoral absurdity of Labour having a mammoth majority on a minority share of the vote, which was prompted by some pompous comments by Peter Hain MP on democracy, also applied to the former Thatcher government. Robert Vickers, Cedar Street, Derby. (letter)

Irish Independent 12.10.04 A film of cruelty - Aideen Yourell, Irish Council Against Bloodsports (letter)
Irish Examiner 11.10.04 Nothing funny about coursing film - ACTOR Sean McGinley, who plays the part of a crooked bookie in the newly released Man About Dog has called on people to go and see the film to see what coursing is “really” like. It is supposed to be a comedy, but it didn’t amuse me in the slightest. As a person concerned with animal welfare, I didn’t get any laughs from the cruelty depicted… Aideen Yourell, Irish Council Against Bloodsports, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (letter)

Northern Echo 12.10.04 MOTORBIKES - I READ (Echo, Oct 6) that yet another person has been mown down by a motorcycle…. We have MPs, all parties, shouting about hunting while every week this sort of thing happens…. Peter Brown, Trimdon Village, Co Durham (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.10.04 CORRESPONDENT HAS FAILED TO GRASP OPPOSING VIEW - Most people disapprove of hunting with hounds for sport, as they believe it is morally wrong to kill animals for fun. As this appears to be beyond the understanding of Mr H Lewis, Points of View, October 6, I do not intend to respond to further letters from him on the subject of hunting. John Phelps, Argyll Road Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 12.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS MADE A MOCKERY OF OWN BANNERS - Tv coverage of pro-hunt demonstrations has shown many people carrying banners which say 'Fight prejudice' on them. It is ironic, then, to read details of the recent attack on Gerald Kaufman in Brighton, in which the Labour backbencher was subjected to vile racist abuse…. Lydia Duddington, Pyne Cottage, Jackmoor, Upton Pyne, Exeter (letter)


Cumberland News & Star 11.10.04 Beagles about By Julian Whittle - PRO-HUNTING campaigners are trying to win recruits to their sport, despite the imminent threat of a ban. Last week was National Newcomers’ Week and the Cumbria Beagles, who hunt hares rather than foxes, invited anyone and everyone to join them on the fells above Ullswater on Saturday… The Ullswater Foxhounds has thrown down the gauntlet to Carlisle MP Eric Martlew, who is a long-standing opponent of hunting, by inviting him to the opening meet of their new season at Patterdale on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Dumfriesshire Hunt, disbanded in 2002 when hunting was outlawed in Scotland, has reformed…. (story)

Peterborough Evening Telegraph 11.10.04 - COUNTRYSIDE: Hunters call for carcass protest THE leader of the Fitzwilliam Hunt has revealed members may stop collecting dead livestock in protest against the proposed hunting ban. George Bowyer, master of hounds of the historic 300-year-old hunt, plans to talk with farmers and hunt officials over a possible move to boycott the disposal of carcasses in the area. It follows the lead taken by the famous Beaufort Hunt, which has already stopped collecting the remains of dead animals from fields…. Since the epidemic three years ago, all dead livestock has to be burned in a specially licensed incinerator, with hunt members volunteering to collect the carcasses – at great expense… (story)

Western Morning News 11.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS PLAN THEIR 'DAY OF DEFIANCE' - A "day of defiance" could be one way in which supporters of hunting express their opposition to any moves towards banning their sport, it was claimed yesterday. With tomorrow's reading of the Hunting Bill in the House of Lords possibly being another milestone along the route towards a ban, some campaigners have called for radical action in protest. The Countryside Action Network (CAN), which gives as its primary objective the coordination of "determined resistance to any attempt to ban or unfairly restrict legitimate country pursuits", has predicted that protests will spring up throughout the country if a ban becomes law…. Andrew Knox, the joint master of the Silverton Hunt, near Exeter, said: "I don't think there would be a conspiracy of violence, but a ban would result in a huge amount of anger…. Next Saturday at 10am, the Dulverton West Foxhounds are holding a newcomers' meet at Oakwell Cross, near Ilfracombe, which anybody can attend to find out more about hunting…. (story)

Shropshire Star 11.10.04 Hunt open days bid to build public support - A hunt in north Shropshire held an open day on Saturday for curious members of the public to go and see for themselves what hunting is all about. The North Shropshire Hunt held its open day at Shrawardine as part of the National Newcomers' and Free Hunting Week…. A number of hunts across Shropshire are holding open days over the next week. For details of hunt open days in north Shropshire contact Sue Belcher on (01938) 850300, for south Shropshire contact Trish Cornes on (07714) 025043, for Albrighton contact Judith Swinnerton contact (01785) 822244, for Tanatside contact Jean Gow on (01691) 780426 and for Teme Valley contact Sophie Blain on (01547) 550267. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 11.10.04 'Animals before children' slated - A Dromore church minister has said it is "sick" that people are raising the roof about bloodsports while at the same time tolerating abortion. The Rev David McCullough of Dromore Reformed Presbyterian Church said people gave more thought to the rights of "little furry animals" than to those of unborn children…. (story)
Ryedale Gazette & Herald 11.10.04 Last-ditch bid to save fox-hunting by Ian Drury - A LAST-DITCH attempt to save fox-hunting in North Yorkshire is expected to be launched in the House of Lords tomorrow. Peers are due to debate a Bill banning hunting with hounds after it was passed by the House of Commons last month… (story in archive)
Western Morning News 11.10.04 LORDS' TACTICS WILL PUT BALL BACK IN BLAIR'S COURT - Pro-hunting peers have not given up hope that they can see off a ban, as London Editor Jason Groves reports - It should be all over bar the shouting by now. When the Government announced it was prepared to use the Parliament Act to force through the Hunting Bill, it looked like the end of the line for hunting with dogs. That may well still be the case. But as peers prepare for tomorrow's debate on the Bill there is a glimmer of hope for those who would like to see the country pursuit continue…. When the Bill reaches the committee stage later this month, peers are expected to restore Mr Michael's Bill with just two amendments. The first would allow deer hunts and hare coursers to apply for a licence to continue under the tribunal system. The second would widen the justification for hunting to allow it to include economic grounds - if a hunt could show it was economically valuable to a community, then it would be allowed to continue, provided it could show it also kept cruelty to a minimum… the tactics of the Lords will put the ball back in Mr Blair's court. If he genuinely wants to see compromise then he will have to show leadership in the face of heavy criticism from his own party. But if he rejects the compromise he will find it much harder to wash his hands of the issue. (story)
Guardian 11.10.04 Peers to suggest licensed foxhunting in bill amendment - Sarah Hall, political correspondent - Conservative peers in the Lords are preparing to amend the hunting bill to allow foxhunting under licence in a move designed to depict MPs as extremists - and inflict maximum embarrassment on Tony Blair. Lord Strathclyde, the Tory leader in the Lords, said yesterday he was "convinced" peers would not reject the bill when it returned to the Lords tomorrow, but would instead scrutinise it and send it back - perhaps in the form originally presented by the government minister Alun Michael, which proposed a regulated hunt…. (story)
BBC News Online 10.10.04 Peer proposes hunting compromise - A Conservative peer has proposed a "middle way" which would safeguard the future of fox hunting. Lord Strathclyde, the party's leader in the House of Lords, has called for hunting to continue under licence… (story)

Guardian 11.10.04 Class divide - The Lords will rehash century-old self-serving arguments when it once again rejects the hunting bill - Roy Hattersley - During tomorrow's House of Lords debate on hunting, some noble participant will claim that abolitionists are less concerned with the welfare of foxes than with promotion of class war…Tomorrow we shall be told that the opponents of blood sports are motivated by malice; that urban MPs certainly do not understand and probably hate the countryside; that only elective tyrannies deny minorities the right to kill small furry animals; and that, in any case, the bill is the work of backbench members not the government… The Lords, once more displaying their sclerotic nature, will do themselves more damage…. (story)

Surrey Mirror 11.10.04 Hunt bill makes us a laughing stock - I ENJOYED reading Mr Well's somewhat unique view on the countryside and foxhunting, and can understand why he got a smile from the MP he mentions. Our landowners are not demonstrating arrogant contempt - I think it is our Government…. The normal parliamentary process has been waived, and it was clear that they wanted to spend absolutely no time debating the issue. Once the bill returns from the House of Lords they will use the parliament act to make it law. This will make us a laughing stock as a nation…. Geraldine Firth Millstream Cottage, Chilworth (letter)

Surrey Mirror 11.10.04 Dressing up for the occasions - IN HIS letter (our constitution is being threatened, September 23) Peter Lindsay of the UK Independence Party is rather scathing about parliamentary legislative procedures… This approach to the "system" brings to mind those people who ritualistically turned up - dressed in black T-shirts - to disrupt peaceful national demonstrations about 20 or so years ago…. are we to have a retrograde future situation, in which those anarchistic "class war" types being arrested at demos, are those people ritualistically turning up dressed in red hunting coats? Nick Wells, Firtree Walk, Reigate (letter)

11.10.04 York Evening Press 11.10.04 Let's be modern - REFERRING to Mr Ogilvy's diatribe concerning foxhunting (Letters, October 5), I am neither pro or con but wish to make several observations…. The hunts should advance into the modern world and either follow a trail, as has been the custom in the Lakes for centuries, or get some bright young man to invent a computer-guided "fox robot" which they can chase all day… he miners were justified in striking, they wished to prevent the unnecessary closures of their place of work. To suggest that people employed in breeding dogs and so forth can be viewed in the same light is contemptible. Joe Jones, Rawcliffe Lane, York. (letter in archive)

11.10.04 York Evening Press 11.10.04 I'm not obsessed - I READ with interest the reply to my letter regarding hunting from A Ogilvy (Letters, October 5). If the writer had taken the trouble to read my letter carefully, he would have noted that far from being "obsessed" (and by implication very biased) in favour of the miners' strike, I condemned illegal activities perpetrated by militants since they were breaking the law…. It is perfectly possible that an alternative government would overturn a hunting ban. If they do so, those who oppose hunting, such as myself, should abide by its decision, as should A Ogilvy if the ban becomes law… Mr C Corbett, Bull Lane, Lawrence Street, York. (letter in archive)

Northern Echo 11.10.04 HUNTING THE answer to the question posed by F Gill (HAS, Oct 7) of "what's the difference between cats catching rats and mice in The House of Commons, and hounds catching foxes in the countryside?" is that no MPs have ever been found breeding rats and mice with the intention of setting cats on them to rip them to shreds like various hunts have with foxes over the years. - Norman Smith, Newton Aycliffe (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 11.10.04 BAN FOX-HUNTING TODAY AND DO THE PAPERWORK LATER - Correspondent Mrs Freeman, (Oct 1) and other hunt supporters claim that there are more important issues than fox-hunting in UK. Absolutely correct!... The problem now is archaic Parliamentary procedure. The usual farcical routine has to be bypassed. This Government should announce that from 23.59pm, this very day, the barbarous bloodlust of hunting with dogs is illegal and banned. The necessary paperwork can be dealt with retrospectively. The Government can then get on with the "more important issues"…. J B Hill, Birstall (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.10.04 QUESTIONING OUR HUMANITY - Mr Maddocks was right to point out the great discrepancies that are apparent in our treatment of animals…. What does it say about the health of a civilised society when human beings get enjoyment from chasing animals to exhaustion and then watching them die? Name and address supplied (letter)

Shropshire Star 11.10.04 Wrong to call pro-hunt protester 'brave' - We must all be aware by now of the pro-hunt stance adopted by the Shropshire Star, but to describe Otis Ferry as "brave", beggars belief…. Is it brave to chase a terrified and defenceless animal for miles before it is torn limb from limb before a group of cheering barbarians…. V A Yapp, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 11.10.04 Shooting is inhumane - Jane Miles writes in a measured manner to support the pastime of hunting foxes and points out that it is more humane than shooting them. What she overlooks is the fact that some of these hunters also shoot birds for their pleasure…. Allan Tucker, Green End, Oswestry (letter)

Western Morning News 11.10.04 Bad decision - I BELIEVE that most people could not really care less whether hunting is banned, or not… Banning foxhunting is the worst possible decision to take and is inviting trouble for this Government from the moment a ban enters the statute book. And they deserve it. John Blayney, Banbury (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.10.04 HUNTING IS NOT A SPORT, IT'S AN OUTDOOR PURSUIT - Why does everyone refer to fox hunting as a sport? Surely it is an outdoor pursuit, with no 'sport' from the fox's viewpoint! Mrs J Harris, Stoke Valley Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.10.04 WILL HUNT OPPONENTS TRY TO BAN BULLFIGHTING NEXT? - While i am not in favour of blood sports myself - where is it eventually going to end? Are we to abolish the shooting of rabbits or, at the extreme, angling? Are we to ask Spain to stop bullfighting?... Name and address withheld on request (letter)


Independent on Sunday 10.10.04 Fallout from hunt ban could derail gay rights Bill By Andy McSmith, Political Editor - Gay partners hoping for the same legal rights as married couples are in danger of becoming casualties of the political battle over the future of foxhunting. The Civil Partnership Bill - which is due to come before the Commons on Tuesday - has just five weeks to complete its legislative journey in the lower house, and go back for final approval from the House of Lords… The legislation now has to be pushed through at the same time that the Commons and the Lords are locked in confrontation over the future of foxhunting. Peers are expected to spend about six full days arguing over the subject before they vote to overturn the proposed ban on hunting….

Sunday Times 10.10.04 Foxhunting lobby marks MPs’ cards - JONATHON CARR-BROWN - HUNTING campaigners are copying tactics used by American forces in the search for Saddam Hussein and his henchmen to identify a “wanted list” of ministers and MPs. A pack of 54 playing cards shows the faces of the “most prejudiced” politicians who oppose foxhunting and other blood sports…. (story)

Observer 10.10.04 Hunters plot to hide assets - A leading member of the pro-hunt movement has warned The Observer that thousands of pro-hunt supporters are transferring their financial assets to partners and relatives to avoid paying fines if caught hunting, should a ban be introduced…. (story)

Wales on Sunday 10.10.04 Badger baiters' sick warning to farmer - Lucy Ballinger, Wales on Sunday - A SICK gang strung up this badger as a chilling warning to a farmer who kicked them off his land…. The badger was found by a member of the public two weeks ago in Newchapel, near Boncath, Pembrokeshire. The passerby called the police, RSPCA and local animal rescue group Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed. Michael Sharratt, from Badger Watch, was one of the first people on the scene and took this photo…. Some badger campaigners believe baiting could be on the rise because of the Hunting Bill's return to Parliament. One said: "It may be some sort of sick retaliation by terriermen." But last night head of media for the Countryside Alliance Tim Bonner said the link was unjust "…I don't understand why anyone would link the two. I haven't seen any evidence of this and think it is an attempt to smear our campaign against the unjust hunting legislation."… (story)

Observer 10.10.04 How to save Labour - The government needs to face up to some unpalatable truths, and then move Gordon into Number 1 - Nick Cohen … Before the 1997 and 2001 elections, Tories stumbled around in a state of weary despair. Now they are furious about foxhunting, asylum seekers, crime and Europe. They hate Blair with a passion that those of us who see the Prime Minister's Thatcherite tendencies find quite mad. In an age of small turnouts, angry minorities have a disproportionate impact. To quote the most obvious example, hardly anyone will vote Labour because it wants to ban foxhunting with dogs. But foxhunters will vote and campaign for the Tories….. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 10.10.04 'If you want me as leader, then do something about it' By Melissa Kite - To say that Robert Kilroy-Silk had thrown a fit of pique would be a grave understatement. The former chat-show host turned guardian of British sovereignty was clearly at the end of his tether when, in exasperated tones, he told The Telegraph this weekend that he was done with playing leader.... When pressed, he declared himself against the death penalty, in favour of private health insurance (because he has it) and a supporter of hunting (because a vixen recently ate his 30 rare Vietnamese pheasants which were imported at great expense from Beijing Zoo to roam his garden).... (story)

Sunday Herald 10.10.04 Equality time in the countryside - Rural communities need a diverse racial mix in order to prosper By Muriel Gray - RUARIDH Nicoll’s debut novel White Male Heart is so spellbindingly wonderful, not just because of the obvious talent of the writer, but because the author’s childhood in the wilderness of Sutherland had so clearly informed the book’s beautifully drawn Highland setting… But the book and its deer-gutting black gamekeeper came back to me this week when Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, expressed concerns about how few black and Asian British citizens feel willing or able to choose a country life over a city one… Pro-hunt demonstrators at the recent Labour Party conference surrounded MP Gerald Kaufman, calling him a “Jewish bigot” and shouting “You’re an immigrant! You weren’t born in this country!”…(story)

Scotland on Sunday 10.10.04 If I ruled the world - Julia Carling, television presenter - Sally Raikes … Keep fox hunting and the royal family - I think we’re losing our sense of tradition in the UK, and probably around the world too…. think we should try to restore the things that make our country unique, whether it’s fox hunting, the royal family, morris dancing or Latin recitals…. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 10.10.04 Out of context - Of all the spin, disinformation and misquote supplied by those opposed to hunting, the reference to Oscar Wilde's "unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable" has to be the one most used out of context… The phrase is part of a speech made by Lord Illingworth in Wilde's play A Woman of No Importance and the words were put into his mouth as illustration of the thoroughly obnoxious character that he was, being his response to news of his elder brother's death on the hunting field… Jackie Drakeford, Walberton, West Sussex (letter)

Observer 10.10.04 Nothing to éclair - Cristina Odone (Comment, last week) displays a stuttering memory. I forgive her for getting my name and my school wrong, but the suggestion that I am a public school, privileged protesting heiress is bollocks… Minimal research would reveal that my friend Hector Christie and I support the ban of hunting with dogs, are against the Iraq war, are active members of Globalise Resistance and would never vote Conservative…. Birgit Cunningham, London SW7 (letter)

Sunday Post 10.10.04 Foxes - TOM DUNCAN’S assertion that English badgers spread Bovine TB to cattle has never been proved…. I’m looking forward to the end of barbaric fox hunting. Norman Wall, Wallsend. (letter probably on website for only a week)


Times 9.10.04 Hunting with dogs for rabbits 'is humane' BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - THE Government came out in favour of hunting with dogs yesterday — as long as it is for rabbits. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, hunting rabbits “is a relatively humane means of controlling them”. Hunting foxes, hares, deer and mink with hounds, however, is described on Defra’s website as “perceived to be a cruel and outdated activity”, but it emphasises that it is not branding anyone cruel….
The Masters of Fox Hounds’ Association (MFHA) has banned hunting by the Isle of Wight hunt until November 1. The punishment was over the dumping of a dead horse, a bullock and two calves in Brighton during the Labour party conference… The hunt masters, Andrew Sallis and Johan Christofferson, had “got wind” that a stunt was being planned, the MFHA said. Although they did not know the details, the MFHA has upbraided them for failing to find out more and to prevent the action, which had “done considerable damage to both the good name of hunting and the Countryside Alliance”…. (story)

BBC News Online 9.10.04 Hunt urges supporters to join in - Pro-hunt supporters in Kent and Sussex are being given the chance to try it for themselves on Saturday. As part of National Newcomers' and Free Hunting Week, the East Sussex & Romney Marsh Hunt has invited the public to Crowhurst to see what it does. It is providing experienced guides to look after and assist new followers, both mounted and on foot, in an effort to show it "has nothing to hide"…. (story)

Telegraph 9.10.04 Disbanded hunt meets again and is having a ball - Social life is restored as followers adapt to new rules, reports Auslan Cramb - Hunting is not just about controlling foxes. It is also about socialising at the hunt ball and the point-to-point races, and keeping in touch with like-minded people. When the 150-year-old Dumfriesshire Hunt was disbanded in 2002, its followers found that a large part of their social calendar had disappeared with it. Now, two years after chasing foxes was banned in Scotland, the Dumfriesshire has reformed, is actively seeking new members and is meeting on farms and estates where hunting has never previously taken place.... (story)

Western Morning News 9.10.04 FARM SITE WEDDING BAN FOR ANTI-HUNT GROUP WORKER - The foxhunting owners of a medieval barn have banned a couple from marrying at the venue after the bride-to-be unwittingly revealed she is a press officer for the League Against Cruel Sports…. (story)
Scotsman 9.10.04 Fox-hunters ban couple's wedding in the country - JOHN INNES - THE fox-hunting owners of a medieval barn have banned a couple from marrying at the venue after the bride-to-be unwittingly revealed she is a press officer for the League Against Cruel Sports. Zoe Mendies, 25, and Kushal Patel, 25, both from north London, had planned to marry at Notley Tythe Barn, in the heart of Buckinghamshire’s hunting country. But when the farm’s owner, Nick Reynolds, received a confirmation fax from the bride with the letterhead of the anti-bloodsport group, he cancelled the event…. (story)
Telegraph 8.10.04 Pro-hunt venue-owners cancel anti-hunter's wedding - A couple have been banned from getting married at a rural medieval barn after the fox-hunting owners discovered the bride-to-be is a press officer for the League Against Cruel Sports. Zoe Mendies, 25, and Kushal Patel, 25, both from north London, had planned to wed at Notley Tythe Barn, near Long Crendon.... Mrs Reynolds said.... "We have suffered personal abuse from the LACS and yet she wanted to come in and enjoy the heartland of the people whose lives she and her organisation are seeking to disrupt. She must feel incredibly stupid for having sent me that fax. How arrogant."... (story)
Bucks Free Press 6.10.04 Anti-hunt job costs couple barn venue By James Young - A BRIDE-TO-BE has had her wedding plans left in ruins after a venue refused to hold her ceremony because she is against fox hunting. Zoe Mendies, 25, was told by the owners of Notley Tythe Barn, in Long Crendon, that they will not hold her wedding there because she works for the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) which campaigned successfully to have hunting banned…. Miss Mendies and long-term partner Kushal Patel, 25, who live in London, had been in discussions with Notley Tythe Barn for about two months with a view to holding a mixed traditional English and Hindu wedding there in October next year… Denise Reynolds, owner of the venue, who hunts with the Bicester with Whaddon Chase, said she has nothing against the couple personally, and said they were charming, but it was a moral issue. She said: "Myself and my family have suffered physical and verbal abuse from people associated with the LACS. Miss Mendies is entitled to her opinion and her anti-hunt views are not a problem, but the LACS are so violent and aggressive in their opposition that we did not feel we wanted someone associated with the group here."…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 9.10.04 PLEA FOR ASSEMBLY POWER ON HUNTS - A Carmarthen-based pro-hunting campaigner is calling on the Assembly to take the fox hunting issue in Wales out of the hands of Westminster. Jonathan Andrews, the South Wales regional director of the Country Land and Business Association in Wales, said the Assembly should press for the power to go it alone on the fox hunting issue if the London-based Government could not reach a solution…. (story)
Carmarthen Journal 6.10.04 GO-IT-ALONE PLEA ON HUNTING BAN - A CARMARTHEN-based director of a leading countryside organisation has called on the Welsh Assembly to press for the power to go it alone on hunting. Jonathan Andrews, regional director for the Countryside Land & Business Association (CLA), wants the assembly to take the reins if Westminster bans hunting…. (story)

Western Morning News 9.10.04 PRO-HUNT GROUP'S DEFIANT MESSAGE - Angry pro-hunt supporters targeted junior minister Ben Bradshaw for the second time in two days as they pelted his car with eggs during a visit to a Westcountry farm for an agricultural event. More than 70 hunt supporters from across Devon and Cornwall gathered in Dartmeet, near Ashburton, yesterday ahead of the protest outside Brimpts Farm. The demonstration was organised by the Families for Hunting group and the almost entirely female turnout held placards aloft calling for an end to plans for a hunting ban…. Sara Birt, from the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, said: "I think there is no doubt about the strength of people's feeling…" Lisa Berrough, from Lamerton Foxhounds, said: "I don't think the Government will back down but everyone will keep on hunting anyway…." (story)

Spectator 9.10.04 Hunting lite - Petronella Wyatt - What a ballyhoo there has been over pro-foxhunting women, or ‘gels’ as they are called by the tabloids — personally, I never heard anyone pronounce girl to rhyme with Hell, but there you are — taking off their clothes in public. The moues of disapproval have been mainly on the grounds that their figures weren’t up to it…. Frankly, though, I don’t know why anyone would be surprised that the hunting set would get its kit off during chilly weather, or indeed engage in anything highly eccentric or even downright dangerous. For no one seems to have pointed out that the compulsive desire to go hunting — as felt by these men and women — makes them quite barmy in the first place… In most instances the fox is in very little danger. It is the riders who are in mortal peril…. (story)

Western Daily Press 9.10.04 CULTURE THAT ALLOWS KILLING - Further to Jacqueline E Fisher's letter Pleasure or Pain, I wish to take the situation of life or death on to a broader canvas. Do you know that a ludicrous situation exists whereby cats and dogs have more protection under English law than sick people?... If so many people, as those seen in London recently, are willing to protest so strongly at being denied the right to kill foxes, where are all those in the medical profession?... Joyce Dowds, Bridgwater, Somerset (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 9.10.04 WHY NO BAN ON OTHER 'SPORTS'? - I Think that I am almost persuaded to give the benefit of my doubts to the anti-hunting lobby that their drive is not about "class" and "toffs" but about animal welfare. I would be more convinced, however, if the excellent local MP, Parmjit Dhanda (e-mail from Steve Haines in the Weekend Citizen of October 2), could have told me in answer to my letter to him in January 2003 that, yes, after the ban on hunting with dogs he would be pressing for the immediate ban of: angling, greyhound and ferret and horse racing, equestrian sport, shooting and any activity that involved exploiting non-humans for fun. All he said in reply was "noted"…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 9.10.04 DISGUSTING SIGHT DURING PROTESTS - If we put our minds to it, we could all think of Bills we have not been in agreement with. Which is why it is left to our MP to deal with it…. The Labour Party made its view clear on hunting. … To target various MPs is wrong, and let's not forget it was a "free" vote and all parties decision… PAMELA DEAN, Whiteshill, Stroud (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 9.10.04 HUNT DEBATE HAMPERED BY HYSTERICAL ATTITUDE …Surely, someone should have recognised the need for fair do's for all creatures. Now is the time to demand the much-sought return of bear baiting, not forgetting bullfighting, along with licensed cock and dog fighting…It seems so unfair cows, mongrels, cocks, bears and winged creatures too, are ignored by the chaps in pink on nice gees-gees. Come on, fair do's. What's good for the goose (sorry, fox), etc. Charles Frank, Grimsby (letter)


Hereford Journal 8.10.04 Anti-hunting councillor is 'cursed' - Anti-hunting senior Herefordshire Councillor Chris Chappell has had a ‘Curse of the Nine Steps’ placed on him by a Druidic follower from Powys who tells him “the banshee will follow you close”…. The curse sender, Iowerth Frych ap Gruffyd, claims to come from Cadlas Maen Ysbridion, Llanrhaedr-Ym-Mochnant 780222…. (story)

8.10.04 Hunting vets may be struck off - Vets run the risk of being struck off if they continue to hunt after a ban. John Parker, president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon (RCVS), made the announcement at the recent British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) congress in Birmingham…. John Bailey, an RCVS council member and member of VAWM, says: “John Parker was probably speaking off the cuff but I think his opinion is ill-advised. To be struck off, a vet has to be unfit to practice, and I fail to see how carrying out an activity that has taken place for the past 300 years would affect a vet's ability to practice…." RCVS and VAWM member David Rennie hunts regularly with the Heythrop and says that he will continue to do so…. (story)

Times 8.10.04 Lords may allow hunting by licence BY GREG HURST, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - THE Conservative leader in the Lords hinted yesterday that peers would amend the Hunting Bill to allow foxhunting under licence rather than block the measure. The tactic would seek to put pressure on the Commons by giving the impression that peers were seeking a compromise and challenging MPs to vote again to ban hunting, probably in the final days of this parliamentary session… (story)

Yorkshire Post 8.10.04 BLAIR FACING FRESH CRISIS OVER LICENSED HUNT MOVES - William Green - TONY Blair is facing a fresh crisis over plans to ban hunting with dogs. Lord Strathclyde, Tory leader in the Lords, yesterday claimed there had been "noises" in recent days suggesting the Government was looking for a compromise, possibly by licensing hunting…. Peers may also reject a proposed 18-month delay on implementing a ban, or regulation, which would lead to the original six-month period being reinstated. And this could mean a hunting ban before the next general election, widely expected next May, and spark protests during the campaign… (story)

Western Daily Press 8.10.04 LORDS SCENT DEAL FOR HUNT LICENCES TO END BAN CRISIS - Hopes were rising last night that a compromise can still be reached in the increasingly bitter row surrounding the hunting issue. The House of Lords is due to meet next week to discuss the Bill to ban hunting with dogs… Meanwhile, it emerged an anti-hunt protester caused uproar at a Tory conference fringe meeting with a vitriolic attack on the Countryside Alliance. Lord Strathclyde, who was at the meeting, was almost shouted down. He was heckled by Chris Owen, who interrupted the meeting twice, saying he agreed with every Conservative policy except the pledge to reverse a hunting ban if Labour's Bill becomes law…. (story)

BBC News Online 8.10.04 Hunt group 'rides' on MP's office - About 30 hunt supporters rode on horseback through Gloucester on Friday in protest at plans to ban fox hunting. The group made their way to the constituency headquarters of the city's Labour MP Parmjit Dhandha. The mounted protesters included members of the Cotswold Vale, Berkeley and Beaufort hunts…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 8.10.04 BRADSHAW PELTED BY PRO-HUNTING LOBBY BY BEN NORMAN - Exeter mp Ben Bradshaw was pelted with eggs by pro-hunt supporters during a ministerial visit. The junior environment minister had to be driven away by police in a riot van. The Labour MP was targeted by a crowd of around 200 protesters during a trip to Cornwall yesterday. Mr Bradshaw, who has voted in favour of banning fox hunting, was escorted away by the police after a visit to a lobster hatchery in Padstow…. After the incident, the MP decided to call off a lunch visit to celebrity chef Rick Stein's restaurant in Padstow because he feared it might attract more protests. Earlier in the day, Mr Bradshaw was also targeted by pro-hunt protesters after a visit to open the annual Falmouth Oyster Festival…(story)

Stafford & Stone Chronicle 8.10.04 Animal group counters hunters' claims - A majority of the British public want to see fox hunting with dogs banned, according to the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW). The worldwide charity, based in London, was responding to claims made by members of the North Staffordshire Hunt that fox hunting was 'nothing to do with animal welfare'. IFAW spokeswoman Gemma Jeffcoate, said a recent MORI poll showed 76 per cent of the British public think hunting with dogs should be illegal and 80 per cent think it is cruel… (story)

Western Mail 8.10.04 'Hell of a job' to police a ban on hunting - Kirsty Buchanan, Western Mail - OFFICERS will find a hunting ban in Wales almost impossible to police without stiffer penalties and a radical new approach to wildlife crime. A report by a cross-party group of MPs, published yesterday, warned wildlife crime was undefined and under-resourced - a conclusion with clear implications for any hunting ban in Wales and England…. Simon Thomas, committee member and Ceredigion MP, said this had obvious implications for any hunting ban in Wales where the vast majority of hunting is not in red-coat horse packs but walking farmers with dogs…. (story)

Hexham Courant 8.10.04 CHILDREN MEET HOUNDS - MORE than 45 children enjoyed the Young Persons Countryside Day at Higham Lake organised by the Countryside Alliance this week. They took the opportunity to try fishing, clay pigeon shooting, ferreting, watching a falconry display and meeting the Tynedale Hunt Hounds…. (story)

Hexham Courant 8.10.04 FOXHUNTING WAS IN SPOTLIGHT 125 YEARS AGO - JUST as foxhunting is heading for a ban in the next few months, 125 years ago, it was the end of the line for one of the local packs. At a meeting in the offices of Baty’s solicitors in Beaumont Street, Hexham, it was agreed that the Slaley and Hexhamshire Hunt should amalgamate with the Haydon Hunt…. (story)

8.10.04 CHANCE TO SAMPLE HUNTING - The Mendip Farmers' Hunt will be taking part in the National Newcomers' Week with a meet at Hay Street Farm, Ston Easton, at 3pm on Saturday, October 9. This is an opportunity for anyone, of any age, who would like to try riding to hounds to come and have a go. It will be followed by a barbecue and is a great fun, free day out for all the family… (story)
Central Somerset Gazette 7.10.04 CHANCE TO SAMPLE HUNTING - The Mendip Farmers' Hunt will be taking part in the National Newcomers' Week with a meet at Hay Street Farm, Ston Easton, at 3pm on Saturday, October 9. This is an opportunity for anyone, of any age, who would like to try riding to hounds to come and have a go. It will be followed by a barbecue and is a great fun, free day out for all the family… (story)

Somerset County Gazette 8.10.04 Probe into why hounds strayed - QUANTOCK Stag Hounds are to be asked to explain how they strayed on Forestry Commission land, which is off-limits to hunts. Now, the commission has written to the hunt demanding an explanation as to why it reportedly went onto its land in the Quantock Hills on three occasions…. (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 30.9.04 Probe in hunt trespass claim - A stag hunt is to be quizzed over reports that it has strayed three times on to offlimits Forestry Commission land, it emerged yesterday. The commission has written to the master of the Quantock Stag Hounds, based near Bridgwater, after complaints that huntsmen have been on its land in the Quantock Hills…. (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 8.10.04 HUNT BAN AFTER CARCASES STUNT By Gavin Foster - THE IW HUNT and its masters have been banned from hunting for a month after being found guilty of misconduct. The ruling by the Master of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) follows the dumping by hunt employee Stuart Trousdale of four animal carcasses in Brighton during last month's Labour Party conference. The MFHA said the actions of the IW Hunt kennel man Mr Trousdale, 33, in dumping two calves, a horse and a bullock, in protest at the government-backed bid to ban hunting had done 'considerable damage to the good name of hunting.'… (story)

Harrogate Advertiser 8.10.04 Hunt supporters rally MP's surgery - HUNT supporters who surrounded an MP's Tadcaster surgery with horses and hounds on Saturday have warned "this is just the start". The protesters say their demonstration at Selby MP John Grogan's constituency surgery, which brought traffic chaos to the streets of Tadcaster, is only the beginning of their campaign against the sport being banned. Kennel Huntsman for the hunt, Gary Thorp, said: "The reaction that we got was great, people were coming out of the pubs to see us… Mr Grogan said police advised him to stay inside Manor Farm Youth Club while hundreds of angry hunt supporters rallied, including horses and hounds from Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt who had ridden to Tadcaster following a morning's hunting at Bilbrough…. (story)

Wandsworth Borough News 8.10.04 Anti-hunt MPs are the hunted By gavin mcgregor - Halooooo! Pro-hunt campaigners have found a new quarry two local Labour MPs. The bloodsport enthusiasts have announced they will hound the politicians during the general election campaign, hoping to flush them out of their parliamentary seats…. Battersea MP Martin Linton and Putney's Tony Colman were judged particularly vulnerable with their majorities of 5,053 and 2,771 respectively, and Countryside Alliance spokesman Tim Bonner who helped draw up the list said Mr Linton had been "very consistent" in his opposition to hunting…. Battersea's Dominic Schofield said such actions were "repugnant", and he had never hunted. "Last time I was on a horse I fell off," he said. But from a "small L' liberal" view, he confirmed he was against a ban, which would be "bad news for democracy"…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 8.10.04 TV SHOWED PEOPLE FOR WHAT THEY ARE - I Recently watched a programme on ITV about the way some people earn their living by hunting foxes. They disgust me. The women were worse than the men and one ghastly woman said her friend and child don't see the kill so that makes it OK. I hope these people do lose their living and allow city people to move in so that this barbaric practice ceases…. Peggy Bradshaw, Painswick, Stroud (letter)

Times 8.10.04 Hunting Bill - The Hunting Bill is now in the House of Lords… It is possible that it will be enacted via the Parliament Act of 1949, as distinct from the Parliament Act of 1911. If so, the first prosecution under the Hunting Act will provide a perfect opportunity to test the proposition advanced by the late Professor Sir William Wade and others, namely, that the Parliament Act of 1949 is void and of no effect, since it was a misuse of the power conferred by the 1911 Act…. BRIGHTMAN, House of Lords. (letter)

Yorkshire Post 8.10.04 ISSUE OF HUNTING IS ABOUT MORE THAN SENTIMENT From: Richard Linkogel, Greenburn Laithe, Cowling Hill, North Yorkshire. I do not doubt Harry Mead's strongly held feelings for foxes (October 4), but he should not project these on to an animal guided by instinct…. As for people getting up in fancy dress – every piece of the hunting attire has a function, whether it be the stock to be used as a field-dressing or the horn to communicate with the hounds. Without doubt, the intended banning of hunting is a sop to the Left who are still fighting a class war that ended the best part of 100 years ago… Hunting has moved on and in any hunt you will find a rich cross-section of British society….
From; John Marsden, Main Street, Willerby, Hull. I have a sort of sympathy with Harry Mead's feelings regarding his experience of witnessing the distress of a fox, but he did not have to watch, which shows that he has some blood lust in him anyway…. would like to ask where he was when the totally unnecessary slaughter of thousands of animals was taking place during foot-and-mouth?...
From: GR Roe, Berry Brow, Huddersfield. The article by Harry Mead was straight out of Wind in the Willows. How a grown man, who spends his leisure time in the countryside, can possibly think that banning hunting, shooting and fishing will benefit our wildlife, is totally beyond me! Nothing is further from the truth….
From: Mrs DM Proctor, West Burton, Leyburn. When I read the front page (September 27), I did not know whether to collapse with laughter or have what used to be called "a fit of the vapours"! If John Prescott believes that giving people the right to roam over other people's working land is "caring passionately about the countryside" he must be suffering from massive delusions…. Apparently, every rural resident must be subjected to every kind of upheaval to their normal lives and, at the same time, receive less and less in the way of services – but they must not raise any objections or they are stigmatised as a "braying mob"….
From: Michael Iveson, Summerbridge, Harrogate. My hearing may not be what it was, I can no longer hear a fox treading on a feather outside the chicken coop at 50 paces, but in extracts from the Labour Party Conference, I swear I heard Messrs Brown and Blair trumpeting people's rights and freedoms and a better world for hard-working families…. The ban on fox-hunting is only part of the seeming desire to bash the countryside, based we are told on avoiding cruelty, though there is cruelty in the average home, with pets kept in unnatural surroundings, to say nothing of issues such as ritual slaughter…. (letters)

Shropshire Star 8.10.04 Don't hunt the poor foxes - I am writing to you about fox hunting. I think it should be banned because those poor foxes should not be torn apart by hunting dogs…. S Parkinson, Oswestry (letter)

Shropshire Star 8.10.04 Carcass dumping bad example to young - Reference Star Letter, September 29, 2004: "Animals set on fire and maimed by young yobs". These young yobs should be named and shamed…. But then who are they supposed to look up to when grown and, what we think of as responsible, adults dump carcasses of horses and foxes on the streets of Brighton? I don't think the hunting fraternity have done anything for their cause at all. Sam Evans, Craven Arms (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.04 No riot gear - I REFER to your correspondent Robin Knight Bruce (October 5) and can assure your readers that "police officers in riot gear" were not within yards of the scene of the protest in Exeter…. The fact that the officers in reserve were not called on is a testament to the good humour and good-natured protest of members of the Countryside Alliance and hunt supporters, except for ''one or two slightly hot-headed cases'', as your correspondent acknowledges. Nigel Arnold, Deputy Chief Constable Devon and Cornwall Constabulary (letter)

Western Morning News 8.10.04 Blair has lost plot - ON September 30, on ITV News, Tony Blair declared that in his opinion the majority of country people were more concerned with a variety of issues than with hunting, despite the fact that he has allowed his hunting debate to take up countless hours of parliamentary time to the obvious detriment of other key issues. This is exactly what the pro-hunt lobby has been telling him for the last seven years…. W T Sweet, Mawgan (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.10.04 JAIL THE HUNT NUMBSKULLS - Recently, my friend and I were prevented, by a local hunt, from walking our elderly dog on Forestry Commission land that has public access. The hunt had obstructed the road for about half a mile with horse boxes, trailers and 4x4s. The gate to the forest for pedestrians was blocked by riders and horses, so the public could neither park nor get to the forest to walk…. As tax-paying voters, with MPs who have repeatedly voted against hunting, we are growing tired of the slow response of the Government and police to problems caused by hunts…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.10.04 ALLIANCE IN A DREAM WORLD - If the accusations that Darren Hughes makes against hunt saboteurs were not so pathetic and serious they would be laughable. He, like the rest of the Countryside Alliance, seems to live in a dream world. Not only does he seem prepared to lie about the activities of hunt saboteurs, he even contradicts his own statements in the same ar ticle. Animal rights people are not prepared to injure other living creatures under any circumstances…. P Richardson Woodmancote Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.10.04 MAJORITY RETORT - Robert Readman states that he had always been under the impression that in a democracy the will of the majority prevailed. It is a commonly held view but one which hardly squares with the fact that at the last General Election the Labour Party polled no more than 43 per cent of the total vote, and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of the majority of the electorate…. Tony Frost Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.10.04 HOW FAR WILL NEW FREEDOM ALLOW US TO ROAM? - Once again John Prescott engages his mouth before his brain. At least he now dispels the myth that a ban on fox-hunting is about animal rights rather than being part of a class war and a vote-catching issue. Talking of "braying mobs", I remember his contorted features when he led the louts on picket lines during the seamen's strike and his face when he floored a protester in North Wales…. Ron Tanner Tetbury Gloucestershire (letter)

Argus 8.10.04 Letter: Our war heroes did not fight to protect hunting - Some pro-hunt campaigners claim they are sticking up for what their fathers fought for in the Second World War. My sister-in-law came close to an asthma attack when she witnessed the dead horse near where she works in the centre of Brighton last week. I do not eat meat, my daughters are vegetarian and Brighton is the vegetarian capital of the UK…. RP Lambeth, -Martin Road, Hove (letter in archive)

Argus 8.10.04 Letter: Get real - I write in response to the readers disgusted by the abandonment of animal carcasses on the streets of Brighton. I would like to pose this question: Do these same readers find carcasses acceptable when displayed at The Tate Gallery in a tank of formaldehyde as a work of art? If shock tactics work to bring a minority grievance to the public's eye, then so be it. When this farcical law to outlaw fox hunting appears on to the statute book, many more thousands of animals will have to be slaughtered…. David Spear, -New Church Road, Hove (letter in archive)

Argus 8.10.04 Letter: A lesson in life - Referring to the pro-hunt exhibition of a dead horse, I hope all the shocked letter writers were vegetarian because I'm sure a visit to an abattoir would reveal much worse sights. As for dear little children being upset - what a wonderful opportunity to discuss eating meat, death, protesting or any other subject such an unlikely sight could have brought up…. Scilla Allen -Mill Lane, Shoreham (letter in archive)

Argus 8.10.04 Letter: Barbaric - Why do huntspeople want to carry on terrorising and killing Britain's wildlife?... A ban against this medieval and cruel sport will soon be embraced by us all. Elizabeth Taylor, -Furze Road, High Salvington (letter in archive)

Argus 8.10.04 Letter: Blood lust - Do the Countryside Alliance, or, as I like to call them, the Tally Ho! Brigade, really think people believe they have the countryside and its animals' interest at heart? When they put a dead horse with a wooden stake through its heart and two dead calves in the Old Steine, Brighton, for adults and children to witness such blatant animal cruelty, they have no argument… R E Sharp -North Lane, Portslade (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 8.10.04 Foxhounds are humane - IN his letter of Tuesday, September 21, Timothy Palmer referred to the conflict in Parliament Square that occurred on Wednesday, September 15. From what he writes two things are extremely obvious. One, he knows nothing of hunting and two, he was nowhere near London on that day. Having been in Parliament Square and watched the television news coverage afterwards, I can assure Timothy Palmer it was the Metropolitan Police who were mainly responsibility for the problems…. J WOOD, Rushwick, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Mail 8.10.04 Lamb losses - I am dismayed at the rhetoric being displayed on this hunting issue. In a letter in Saturday's paper Mrs Judi Hewitt of Rhyl says, "Only 2% of lamb losses are due to fox predation." Only 2%?... Eleven million lambs are born in Wales each year, so a loss of 2% equates to 220,000 lambs killed by foxes each year!... I think Mrs Hewitt and her Animal Rights' ilk need to get out into the countryside and start to learn about the realities of farming, and to get down from her cosseted, spiritual and sinister crusade. Mrs FRAN JONES, Abercraf, Ystradgynlais, Swansea (letter)

The Sentinel 8.10.04 BAN FIREWORKS AFTER HUNTING - Now that the Government seems certain to introduce a ban on hunting foxes, will those who have campaigned for this measure turn their energies to demanding a total ban on an activity which causes even more terror and torture to a greater number of animals? I mean firework displays of all types. I think not, as they only find cruelty where they wish to see it. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Post & Times 8.10.04 APPALLING ADVICE - Having observed the behaviour of the pro-hunt supporters, both at Westminster and at Brighton, I am appalled that the Tory Parliamentary candidate can talk of "their right to disobey this . . . legislation"… Having observed the behaviour of the pro-hunt supporters, both at Westminster and at Brighton, I am appalled that the Tory Parliamentary candidate can talk of "their right to disobey this . . . legislation" (letter)

Manchester Evening News 8.10.04 Cruel sports - WHEN the law against fox hunting and hare coursing goes through, let the anti-hunting groups take a well-deserved rest from their efforts, leaving the job dealing with the self-declared intended law-breakers to the police, who are better equipped for the work… LS, Manchester (letter)

Northern Echo 8.10.04 HUNTING: MANY thanks to Harry Mead for his excellent column (Echo, Sept 19). This makes the case against foxhunting very clear… R Brown, Newton Aycliffe (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 8.10.04 Missing the point - A OGILVY completely misses the point on fox hunting (Letters, October 4). Where most will agree foxes need to be culled at some point, it's the arrogant, pompus fools on horseback, with their silly grins, old sport, that the majority of people in this country are against… K Harris, Queenswood Grove, Acomb, York (letter in archive)

Barnsley Chronicle 8.10.04 Hunting best way to control foxes - Rosie Dymock, Tower Street, Barnsley - I agree with Mr Richardson in what he said in the Chronicle (October 1). I believe that people will complain more when they see more foxes that have been poisoned, shot, or trapped because this a painful way for the foxes to die. If huntsmen thought that the foxes were put through this amount of pain while hunting then I am sure the hunts would not be as successful…. (letter may be in archive)

Wells Journal 8.10 04 MOCK HUNTS SURVIVAL PLAN - Having watched the amusing antics of the pro- and anti-hunt demonstrators, I can't help wondering if they have given any thought to their long-term survival when the law takes its inevitable course. Might I suggest they amalgamate and form groups that stage mock hunts and demonstrations up and down the country to raise funds for worthwhile wildlife and countryside causes… R A Baker Hervey Road Wells (letter)

Wells Journal 8.10 04 IFHUNTING IS BANNED WHAT WILL BE NEXT - FISHING? - I was so incensed by one of the letters to the editor in the September 23 issue, that not putting pen to paper would have been a crime. "Name and address supplied" of Glastonbury used such outrageous and inflammatory adjectives to describe pro-hunting people that it beggars belief the paper was prepared to print it. Had these accusations been made against a named person it would have been slanderous…. It's a shame Anon of Glastonbury doesn't devote more attention to the genuinely warped people in this world who delight in the suffering of others, be it religious fanatics or sick paedophiles…. Mrs Jackie Burbridge Millstream Close Axbridge (letter)

Wells Journal 8.10 04 CURIOUS CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY -What a fascinating concept of democracy Stephen Baker has (letters, September 30). He says "democracy depends on the ability of the people to have respect for the opinions and actions of others". Opinions, yes, actions, no, not if the majority of the people have decided that any such action should be in breach of the law… Brian Smith Milton Lane Wells (letter)

Malvern Gazette 8.10 04 Argument is about dignity - GOOD for you for printing those anti-hunting letters last week. I have always been opposed to such savage sports and wish to see it placed with bear baiting and dog fighting - all banned…. MARION TAYLOR, Yates Hay Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 8.10 04 Peculiar culture - I WAS appalled by the crass bad taste of the Ledbury Hunt spokesman in comparing the antics of the hunting supporters in their recent televised invasion of the Commons with the brave self-sacrifice of Second World War soldiers at Normandy…. I did not hold any particularly strong views about hunting prior to this incident. I now see the sort of person who participates in this activity and trust that the will of parliament and the vast majority of the British people is going to finally prevail…. DR C IDE, Cromwell Road, Malvern (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 8.10 04 `We can so we will' - I APPLAUD the forceful and well reasoned letters you have published recently against fox hunting and agree entirely with their sentiments…. Your editorial of the previous week (September 24) in the last paragraph states that parliament's legitimate decision to ban fox hunting is `democratic tyranny' when it is clear that it is the hunt and supporters who are being tyrannical. E DAKIN, Cedar Avenue, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 8.10 04 A laughing stock - OUTSIDERS must view Great Britain with mirth or contempt. Burdened with the post-war legacy of Iraq, a deteriorating NHS, police, fire and ambulance and education services, increasing serious crime, unchecked immigration etc what does the incumbent government do? It prioritises the well-being of the fox…. W H TURBERFIELD, Childers Road, Priors Grange, Ledbury. (letter in archive)

Darlington & Stockton Times 8.10 04 See for yourself - Sir, - Evidence, so called, from other hunt countries continues to pour forth from V L Lonsdale… As she is well aware I imagine, the hunt does not own the coverts within its territory and cannot therefore invite the public to view them… But the Bedale and all other hunts in the country not only welcome visitors to the kennels and meets but they are also welcome to a day's hunting, on foot or by car. You will be able to see various coverts and a day's hunting and enjoy the company of other followers…. CHRISTOPHER CURTIS, Field House, Carthorpe, Bedale.
It's a hound's life Sir, - In view of recent claims concerning the uncertain future of their hunting dogs made by the pro-hunt fraternity during their recent very public demonstrations, I would like to point out that annually about 3,000 dogs are put down by hunts after six or seven years hunting… PATRICIA RAMSAY, Rook House, East Cowton (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 8.10 04 I LIVE in the town centre but that doesn’t mean I know nothing of the countryside… Mrs Breed (Letters, September 24), calls foxes vermin. They are, in fact, very intelligent, shy creatures whose diet consists mainly of small rodents. They will also eat fruit and berries…. Anti-hunters are not trying to control the countryside. They are trying to put an end to a barbaric and outdated practice. CINDY COLLINSWarwick RoadCarlisle (letter)

Hexham Courant 8.10 04 ALTERNATIVE - THE divide between the “country way of life”, and the urban sense of morality is of sufficient importance that the very fabric of democracy is threatened…. In place of the fox, let a trail be laid (of a dead fox?) and the hunt can exercise their many skills and enjoyment free as the air. They can put on their fancy dress, follow their rights and customs, and show off their daring to the uninitiated in tracking down the “hunt.” This notion seems to solve all of the problems that the hunting fraternity have and would relieve the threat to democracy…. R. CRAGGS, Shield Street, Allendale (letter)

Hexham Courant 8.10 04 HUNT BAN - I AM fed up with the pro-hunt brigade stating that those of us who oppose this cruel sport are town dwellers and anti “toffs”. ’ve lived in the country for nearly 30 years of my life and am a landowner. I have banned blood sports on my land as I think they are cruel, just as bear baiting and cockfighting are…. EILEEN FINN, Allendale. (letter)

Hexham Courant 8.10 04 INSTANTANEOUS - I MUST admit that I kill for pleasure – not personally you must understand. I leave that to my butcher and fishmonger…. I would not go down the road to see a fox killed but I believe it is right and proper that hounds should be successful and catch their quarry after a good and exciting hunt which I do enjoy or where foxes are causing problems and need controlling…. ALAN BOLESWORTH, Simonburn, Hexham (letter)


Llanelli Star 7.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS TO CHALLENGE AT ELECTION - ANTHONY O'CONNELL - Fox Hunting supporters may stand for election in Llanelli. The town is on a hit-list of 50 constituencies being considered by pro-hunt activists. They may offer support to opposing candidates in order to oust anti-hunt MPs, repeal the ban and introduce licensed hunting. Llanelli MP Denzil Davies voted to ban fox hunting…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 7.10.04 Ride with our hunt – we’ve nothing to hide By Ross Brewster and Kat Ferguson - DEFIANT Cumbrian fox hunters are asking newcomers to ride out with them to show opponents they have nothing to hide. The Cumbria Beagles and the Blencathra, two of the county’s best known hunting groups, will throw two special meets open to anyone who wants to take part or watch…. The Cumbria Beagles event takes place at Roe Head, Pooley Bridge this Saturday at 10am. Anyone wishing to take part should contact David Grayling, joint master on 0191 716 746. The Blencathra is holding its “come hunting” day on Saturday, October 16 at 9.30am…. (story)

Western Gazette 7.10.04 DEAD STOCK SCHEME CRITICISED BY HUNTS - A Hunt claims it and others in the South West are backing out of a Government scheme to collect fallen stock because of prohibitive costs of disposing of dead meat that is left over by hounds…. Under the scheme run by the National Fallen Stock Scheme, hunts that participate could face variable charges of between £60 and £400 per tonne for bits of carcasses not eaten by the hounds. Defra says it does not want that figure to be capped. The Mendip Farmers' Hunt recently spent £40,000 upgrading its flesh house and vehicles to comply with legislation… Huntmaster Richard Standing… said: "If farmers want to join the Government scheme, they have got to comply with some pretty strong measures. If they have a Government collector, carcasses could be left on the side of the road because they cannot drive on mud or cow manure. Therefore they will have to build some sort of reception to handle stock on the main road…." (story)

Western Daily Press 7.10.04 ANTI-HUNTING MP SCORNS DEATH THREATS - An Mp who received death threats ahead of the House of Commons vote to ban hunting said yesterday he would not be intimidated by such tactics. Michael Foster, who supported the legislation, was told in a phone call to his constituency office on September 15 that he would be dead within three weeks…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 7.10.04 Peaceful protest is over, says pro hunter - MILITANT pro-hunter Jamie Murray Wells says the time for peaceful protests is over and only action can stop Parliament banning fox hunting. Businessman Mr Murray Wells, from Shipton Moyne, was kicked out of the Labour party conference in Brighton last week after he and other protesters set off attack alarms to signify the Government's `rape' of the countryside…. More than 1,000 Wiltshire people including hunters from Badminton-based Beaufort Hunt and Burbage-based Tedworth Hunt, joined around 10,000 members of the Countryside Alliance in noisy protests just as Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed the delegates last Tuesday… The Tedworth Hunt is holding a newcomers day on Saturday and will be welcoming people who have never hunted before… (story in archive)

South Wales Argus 7.10.04 Dead foxes dumped at sanctuary gate - IN a macabre gesture of defiance against an outspoken opponent of hunting, six mutilated fox carcasses were dumped at her gate. All Creatures Great and Small manager Viv Harris found the carcasses as she arrived for work at the Llanfrechfa sanctuary, near Cwmbran, at 6am. Miss Harris said she is "sickened" by the incident… Huntmaster Gary Yeomans, of the Monmouthshire Hunt, said: "This is absolutely stupid and whoever has done it is certainly nothing to do with us…." (story in archive)

Lynn News 7.10.04 Fox and Hounds hunt ban lobby - HUNT supporters overran a Labour Party meeting at the Fox and Hounds pub in Heacham last week. The appropriately- named venue was chosen by supporters of prospective MP, Damien Welfare, to discuss his election campaign…. Mr Welfare, who hopes to replace Henry Bellingham as MP for North West Norfolk, said: "We had a good exchange and I explained the Government's position, but also my personal support for the middle option which was put forward last year… Heacham farmer John Austen helped organise the protest, he said: …" Mr Welfare spoke to us for about five minutes and then gave us ten minutes question time. He coped with it very well and we actually invited him on a hunt." (story)

Cornish Guardian 7.10.04 MOCK HUNT PROTEST BEMUSES SHOPPERS - One man and his dog paraded through Lostwithiel on Saturday morning to protest against fox-hunting but failed to provoke a reaction from bemused onlookers. Phil Reardon, clutching a battered bugle and accompanied by his foxhound cross Jazz, took a swipe at those who claim many involved in the sport would face the dole by carrying a fake P45 in the breast pocket of his threadbare pink hunting jacket… (story)

Whitehaven News 7.10.04 I’LL SUPPORT HUNTERS WHO BREAK THE LAW SAYS MUNCASTER CASTLE OWNER By Jon Colman - THE owner of Muncaster Castle, has said he would support huntsmen who chose to flout the impending fox-hunting ban. Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington also fired a broadside at Copeland MP Dr Jack Cunningham over his comments on hunting… Mr Gordon-Duff-Pennington, who is president of the Ennerdale and Eskdale Foxhounds with his wife Phyllida, said: “I think he is very mistaken in his attitude. To tell people who go hunting ‘that’s the law, like it or lump it’, is not good enough…." (story)

Melton Times 7.10.04 POLICE WILL HAVE TROUBLE COPING, SAYS COUNCILLOR - POLICE will have difficulty coping in the aftermath of a foxhunting ban, according to a borough councillor. Byron Rhodes, speaking as councillor for Long Clawson and Stathern, said that police in Melton and Rutland have limited resources and will not be able to effectively enforce the anti-hunting law. Mr Rhodes, who is also vice-chairman of Leicestershire Police Authority, added the police need more manpower and more money if they are to carry out the task… (story)

Sydney Morning Herald 7.10.04 Sharpe lambasts Blair - British author Tom Sharpe has used a presentation of his latest novel in Spain to lash out at British Prime Minister Tony Blair for supporting the US-led war in Iraq…. In a further dig at Britain under Blair, Sharpe, who spends part of the year on Spain's Costa Brava, said he opposed the British Government's long drawn-out battle to ban foxhunting. "I am in favour of foxhunting because foxes kill chickens," said the novelist, adding, by way of criticising Spain for good measure, that "they have more luck than bulls" (story)

Kentish Gazette 7.10.04 Winning ways of experts in the field - FARMING techniques dating back centuries were among the highlights at the 60th East Kent Ploughing Match… Members of the East Kent Hunt received a round of applause when they arrived with a pack of foxhounds, and Blean Beagles were popular among school groups. Stuart Sillars, joint master and huntsman of the Blean Beagles, said they had been encouraged by the support of the public… (story)

Banbury Guardian 7.10.04 NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT TO BAN HUNT - I refer to the letter (September 30) from the lady whose car sticker was amended to Don’t Ban Hunting. Last year our haystack, to which a hunting banner was attached, was set on fire. The fire brigade attended for two hours. Most readers will agree that this act of destruction was far more extreme and dangerous. Her car sticker was amended because no rational argument has been given to ban hunting… The lady concerned should get a life of her own rather than interfering in other people’s way of life. Robin Grimston, Elm Farm, Sibford Ferris
REGARDING your correspondent’s letter Time for fox hunters to get proper jobs (September 30), where does he/she get the information from that 79 per cent of the country want a ban? This is another case of numbers being casually used to support a cause with no evidence to back it up… Get your head out of the sand and ask a few local farms or huntspeople who have been visited by the balaclava-clad rent-a-mob armed with baseball bats etc. They do their utmost to provoke violence and accidents with the horses. Most people who hunt would be happy to settle for the damage to a car sticker that so distressed your correspondent… A Gowney, West Street, Banbury
BLOODSPORT UNPOPULAR - ONCE again the pro-hunters have shown their true colours. The body of a horse, with a placard saying: "If you ban hunting there will be more of these", forced into its side, was dumped in a Brighton street… Anne Wylie, Queens Road, Banbury
HUNTING people have no-one to blame but themselves for the antipathy the majority feels about their sport. If they kept to the fields and off the roads, if they were not so strident and rude in their approach and arguments, they would not be so tarred with this objectionable, upper class brush which makes people want to see the whole business banned. Name and address supplied (letters)

Cumberland News & Star 7.10.04 Mr Maclean is fighting democracy - Regarding the piece written by David McLean MP in the News and Star. This is not a plan but a bill by our elected members of parliament which has been held up by the prejudice of a minority. This piece by an MP, who is supposed to be a responsible person is nothing more than an incitement to violence…. This man is inciting people to rebel against democracy - this is a democratic country and the country and parliament have voted for a piece of legislation to protect animals from cruelty…. Rose Dalzeill, Lammerton, Tavistock, Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.10.04 PILES OF HOUNDS IN PUBLIC PLACES - To expect that the dumping of a dead horse outside the Labour party conference will somehow reverse a ban on hunting shows how distorted the obsession with blood sports has made the hunting fanatics…. Arminel Scott South West Deer Protection Williton Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.10.04 HUNT THEM DOWN - There is a law to prevent a person from being harassed or from being stalked. Why are the police not more active in assisting the pro-hunters who are stalking anti-hunting MP Peter Hain and Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael?... Roy Brown Radstock Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.10.04 ALTERNATIVE WAYS DON'T KILL CLEANLY - Sir - I have seen a fresh bird laced with cyanide put in a high hedge to kill foxes, wire snares where foxes have bitten off their leg to escape and foxes disabled by bullets and extra large shot. I am strictly neutral as to hunting as it is… Being a proven expert shot at fast moving targets then, the most certain shot for a fox would be at a maximum range of 20 metres. The area one has to hit is little more than that of an egg (the brain) in order to be absolutely certain of an instant kill. L H Hill Newent Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.10.04 HOW TO ENFORCE THE NEW BAN - I write as a consequence of the Hunting Bill going through Parliament. I run a small traditional mixed family farm in Somerset. I am opposed to hunting for the following reasons: 1. I have witnessed the cruelty of hunting first hand and do not like it…The solution I propose is very simple. In January, farm production subsidies are to be replaced by single farm payments. To obtain this single farm payment, it is necessary to do a thing called cross compliance… If hunting, or allowing hunting to take place on your land was added to this list, I believe the ban on hunting could be easily enforced, bearing in mind a lot of these payments will be very large. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 7.10.04 DON'T RELY ON A NATURAL BALANCE - Having followed your correspondence for many years on the pros and cons of fox hunting, I feel sure that the ban will come and that the fox will be the loser. I am a farmer, with no personal interest in fox hunting, but I have an abiding interest in the natural history and ecology of the countryside in which I have been privileged to work… Man has turned the fox into top predator by causing the extinction of the other predators, but centuries of fox hunting have ensured a stable and vigorous fox population. David Humphries Westerleigh Bristol (letter)

Tamworth Herald 7.10.04 THE FOX HUNTING PASSIONS RUN DEEP - As someone who has lived in both city and rural communities all over the country, I find the inane bleating of the local Atherstone Hunt fraternity to be nauseating…. Good riddance to the lot of them, bring on the Atherstone Book Town, get the boaters here, but put the hunt and its supporters where they belong, back in the 19th Century. Atherstone Reader (full email details supplied).
I WOULD like to reply to the two letters in the Herald of September 23 regarding the Hunting Bill. Firstly, neither of the writers had anything to say about the huntsmen all over the country who will lose their homes and their livelihood, or about the hounds who would have to be put down, hounds who have been carefully bred and loved by each huntsman…. I am a very proud supporter of the Atherstone Hunt and will continue to be so for a very long time - Mary Berry, Belgrave, (via email).
IT seems to me that for some Labour people hunting is, indeed, a class issue, whereas others are undoubtedly sincere in their dislike of needless cruelty to defenceless animals…. A Labour councillor once remarked to me that horse riding is not a sport but a 'rich person's pastime'…. For me, there are no differences between the yobs who torment animals in the street and those who enjoy seeing wild animals ripped to pieces by dogs or those working in animal abusing industries like laboratories…. Hazel Greenstiles, Atherstone.
WHEN is this fox hunting nonsense going to stop? 'It's cruel', they say, but the natural world is full of cruelty. What about the lamb torn to pieces by the fox, or the chickens killed for the sake of it and left torn apart?... People across the political spectrum have expressed views for and against hunting, but the Labour Party and our Government sadly appear to be indulging in class warfare…. Richard Meredith, Warton, Tamworth
I HAVE never read such a lot of codswallop as a recent correspondent in your sister paper the Herald Leader claiming hunting can actually be of benefit to the fox population. Once a fox has exposed itself to the hunt then it is as good as dead by being ripped apart by savage hounds - the most barbaric end you could wish on any animal…. Norman Baker, Wilnecote (letters)

Leicester Mercury 7.10.04 BLOOD SPORTS ARE ALREADY BANNED FOR 'COMMONERS' - I write in reference to the fox hunt "problem". How is this a problem? Blood sports have had a ban for years, that is for the "common" people…. As for the dogs, they don't make a pet - I should know. I tried in the 50s when I worked at a veterinary research station in Weybridge, Surrey, where there were packs of beagles used in the trials for new dog vaccines… A ban on blood sports should mean all blood sports and not depend on who you are. Mrs B Arden-Rowe, Loughborough (letter)

Shropshire Star 7.10.04 No action on this law During the debate on banning fox hunting the Government made much of its manifesto commitment. Also in the 1997 Labour manifesto was a commitment to introduce a law on corporate killing. Of this we hear nothing, as it would make ministers and others in government responsible if found culpable. We have a government with an acute case of BSE - Blame Someone Else. Parry Davis, Whitchurch (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 7.10.04 Hunting smokescreen - I read with some interest, Pudsey MP Paul Truswell extolling the virtues of banning hunting. I would have thought that Mr Truswell would better represent his constituents if, perhaps, he could comment on the collapsing value of their pensions, the fact that however the Government massages the figures, violent crime is still on the increase… PHILIP CORDINGLEY, Calverley (letter)

Barry & District News 7.10.04 Freedoms - I have working-class roots based in Barry where my family have lived for more than 150 years. I never want to participate in fox hunting but have great respect for the traditions of Wales and the United Kingdom and the right of law-abiding citizens to use his free time as he or she thinks fit…. Phillip A Stansfield Glanfa Dafydd Yrhodfa Barry (letter in archive)

The Comet 7.10.04 Happy to see hunting end - I would just like to say how happy I am now 'hunting' is on its way out. It is the end of a blood-thirsty, cruel sport regarded by a few ridiculously dressed people as 'enjoyment'…. ANDREW LAIRD, Cambridge Road, Hitchin (letter)

Whitehaven News 7.10.04 I am one of the people that Dr Jack Cunningham acted for in supporting a complete ban on fox hunting, and nearly every person I speak to shares my opinion of this barbaric activity…. Mrs J HURST, Fell View Avenue, Whitehaven
With reference to E Even’s letter (The Whitehaven News, September 30), Dr Cunningham has come to this conclusion because of the number of people, myself included, who have written to him which also includes animal rights campaigners and the IFAW…. Ms P BISSELLPriory Drive, Cleator Moor (letter)

Kidderminster Shuttle 7.10.04 Hunt ban is democratic HOW many of the hunt people who raided the Labour Party meeting in Kidderminster (Shuttle/Times and News, September 30) were actual hunt supporters? Not many I suspect…. They cannot say a ban is just "a Labour thing" because other parties must have voted in favour to achieve such a large majority. JOHN NORWOOD, St Cecilia's Close, Kidderminster (letter in archive)

Sutton Guardian 7.10.04 Hunting is not the only killer - A great deal of controversy and excitement has been aroused by the vote to ban hunting with dogs. Have those 356 MPs who voted for the ban considered that far more foxes are killed on the roads, poisoned, shot or trapped than are killed by hunting?... MP Tom Brake asserts that hunting will be "consigned to history", but much can happen before July 31, 2006 - MARGARET J BALLARD Sunnymede Avenue Carshalton (letter)

Western Gazette 7.10.04 GREEN CHAMPIONS ARE FOX HUNTERS TOO - The North Dorset Green Party candidate's opposition to hunting seems rather surprising. I would have thought that the sport depends on flesh, blood and muscle rather than manufactured items…. Fox numbers did rise in some areas following foot and mouth. The Welsh Farmers Union was certainly convinced of this. Of course only the end of one season and the beginning of the next were lost, and in many areas people who would normally have tolerated foxes for the sake of hunting took to gun and snare once the main Foot and Mouth scare was over…. Robert Tucker, Master of Hounds, Gladstone Close, Littlemoor. (letter)

Western Gazette 7.10.04 HUNTING VOTE DID REFLECT OPINION - I Refer to the letter from Geraldine Woodcraft in the issue dated 23 September in defence of hunting. There seems to be a view held by hunting people that the MPs' vote is unrepresentative of the public as a whole. Would they be prepared to accept the result if it went against them in a national referendum?... Should it transpire that hounds have to be destroyed, bear in mind that they suffer this fate anyway after as little as six years of life when they are considered to be too old for hunting. S. James, farmer's daughter, West Coker Road, Yeovil. (letter)

Evesham Journal 7.10.04 Will this ban stop animal suffering? IN your Journal of September 30, you print three hysterical anti-hunt letters. I have never hunted, but I find the people who will not listen to the argument bigoted…. ANNE PORTER, Birlingham, Pershore (letter in archive)

Bath Chronicle 7.10.04 FOXES FEED ON FRIED CHICKEN - Without wishing to enter the debate on the rights and wrongs of fox hunting, I am none-the-less curious to know exactly what proportion of the fox population is actually killed by the huntsmen. A number of pro hunt supporters claim that if it was not for the hunt then other more barbaric means would have to be resorted to in order to keep the numbers in check and yet I don't recall reading about an explosion in the fox population post the nine-month foxhunting ban imposed because of the foot-and- mouth epidemic…. M RUSSELL, Ambleside Road, Bath (letter)

Manchester Evening News 7.10.04 Is there a better alternative? - OVER a number of years we have seen foxes in our garden. Some have been surprisingly tame or inquisitive. The thought of huntsmen and hounds bursting into our garden to tear a fox to pieces is too horrible to contemplate. Yet those same tame and inquisitive foxes are regarded as enemies by local farmer friends. I was once shown a lamb that had been torn apart by a fox. It was a pathetic sight…. I lean towards a hunting ban, but I would like to hear how those MPs who voted in favour such enthusiasm are going to humanely control the fox population in the future…. James Dowd, Prestbury (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 7.10.04 … May I ask the many anti-hunt correspondents who disputed my claim that the hunting ban has nothing to do with animal cruelty and everything to do with Old Labour spite, to please read the letter written by Wally Croft letter (October 4)? Thank you, Mr Croft. I think you made the point far more eloquently than I did. DAVID McLEISH Michaelgate, Lincoln. (letter)

Northern Echo 7.10.04 HUNTING: IN view of recent claims concerning the uncertain future of their hunting dogs made by the pro-hunt fraternity during their recent very public demonstrations, I would like to point out that annually about 3,000 dogs are put down by hunts after six or seven years hunting… F Gill, Thirsk.
THE ban on hunting with dogs has far-reaching consequences which many people fail to consider or understand… The Government votes for a ban on hunting because the practice is outdated and barbaric, but they fail to see beyond this. The countryside must be managed properly by people who understand it…. Al Stewart, Northallerton. (letters in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 7.10.04 GOVERNMENT ATTEMPT TO DESTROY OUR WAY OF LIFE - I am somewhat confused by the view as stated by the Right Hon MP for Sherwood, Paddy Tipping, that he is opposed to hunting with hounds but supports the continued rights by country people to use guns to shoot rabbits, rats, pigeons and game birds. In a free democratic society I am entitled to voice my reply to this show of a very narrow knowledge of rural life…. My respect for the land and the animals that it supports comes from knowledge and experience. Unlike this poorly informed totally urbanised Government who appear to be doing their very best to destroy our country way of life. ROBERT JALLAND Manor Barn Farm Upper Broughton (letter)

Weston & Worle News 7.10.04 HUNTING ROW WILL GO ON - You reported that our MP, Brian Cotter, voted to ban hunting and hoped it would be an 'end to the matter', but I very much doubt it. I don't think anyone minds the hunt riding out, but where most of us object is in the killing of the fox, or stag, by the hounds… Surely the answer is to muzzle the hounds, preventing a savage kill. John Carter North Somerset councillor (1995-2003) (letter)

Somerset Guardian 7.10.04 THERE IS NO LOGIC TO BANNING FOX HUNTING - It is unbelievable that given problems such as the Iraq disaster, and a pensions crisis screaming for action, the only concern of the Labour backbench is forcing a hunting ban… C C CURRIE, Frome Old Road, Radstock (letter)

Somerset Guardian 7.10.04 OUR PROTEST IS FOR FAIR TRADE - On september 28, there were thousands of people outside the Labour Party Conference Centre in Brighton protesting about the banning of fox hunting. There was widespread media coverage of the protest. Did we see on television or read in the newspapers about another demonstration which took place on September 26 in Brighton for trade justice? Probably not, because it was peaceful and non-violent and on behalf of millions of people who are being forced into poverty and starvation by unfair trade… T J AND E A BELL, Underhill Lane, Midsomer Norton (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 7.10.04 NOT ALL COUNTRY FOLK LIKE HUNTS - I have always loved the countryside and enjoy owning and riding horses. However, that does not mean I have to enjoy bloodsports. Why do these pro-hunting activists seem to think only townies are against these barbaric crimes? I am fed up with attending agricultural shows to see posters claiming 59 per cent of the people are against a hunting ban…. MRS J COOMBES, Frome (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 7.10.04 IN RESPONSE - In response to Diana House's letter regarding hunting and fox behaviour, I have sympathy for the fact that she has obviously undergone many difficulties in life. However, I understand from wildlife documentaries the reason foxes kill more of their prey than they can immediately eat is that, in the wild, they would return to collect all animals killed in order to bury and hide them for future meals… HELEN FELTON, Long Ground, Frome (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 7.10.04 I WAS SURPRISED - I was surprised to read David Heath MP had abstained from voting in the parliamentary debate concerning the ban on hunting with dogs… As one of Mr Heath's constituents I would have respected him more had he cast his vote, demonstrating he was prepared to stand up and be counted, rather than see him accused of sitting on the fence. BLANCHE FARLEY, Upper Whatcombe, Frome (letter)

North Devon Journal 7.10.04 MISSING OUT ON REAL ISSUES - As someone who has made rural Devon their home I am saddened by the current destructive debate in national and local media on hunting. I would never hunt myself, either with gun or hound, but would defend the right of anyone wishing to participate in it…. an added negativity could be the obvious hardening of opinion among the many neutrals because of the vehemence displayed by several protesters. Healthy demurral is one thing, breaking the law quite another. DR BRYAN MACDONALD, Church Lane, Langtree.
IT is a shame that people can't agree to disagree. I have many friends who don't understand the issues about hunting but we agree that we lead very different lives, therefore what doesn't suit the goose suits the gander… t the simple fact is country, farming people enjoy their livestock whether they hunt it or farm it. I feel sickened that the law abiding country people cannot be left in peace. DEE OLOF, Axminster. (letter)

North Devon Journal 7.10.04 I AM amazed that the vociferous Countryside Alliance supporters, these stalwart custodians of our countryside, have made little or no opposition to the recently passed Right to Roam Act… It is strange that of all the problems currently besetting rural areas, the only one to really raise hackles is the long overdue banning of a barbaric and outdated sport. CHRIS TURNER, South Park, Braunton.
MUCH has been written by both town and country folk in their efforts to make a political issue of the hunting debate and many of the words used are irrelevant to the matter. Many of these people, I suspect, are not particularly interested in whether hunting is banned or not but use the opportunity to wage a campaign against a government which does not suit their own political leaning… MR T. WHITTAKER, Heal Park Crescent, Fremington. (letter)

North Devon Journal 7.10.04 SO MANY REASONS WHY I WOULD BE BETTER FOR YOU - Although it may be premature to respond to a headline like "My challenge to Orlando: what would Tories do for us?" (Letters September 30) before the actual publication of our general election manifesto, I feel it is a legitimate question which deserves as full a reply as possible… our pledge to bring a Government Bill to reverse the poisonous hunting ban clearly sets us on the side of reason, and of North Devon, in any constitutional debate…. ORLANDO FRASER, Conservative PPC, North Devon, North Molton. (letter)

The Forester 7.10.04 YOUR NOT A WILY ANIMAL, MR FOX - How cowardly is A Fox ? (Letters, September 30) He makes a scathing attack on Caroline Keeling, mentioning her name three times, then has the courage to hide behind a pen-name. A Chicken would be more appropriate. While we're on the subject of foxes and chickens, why is it that when a fox breaks into a hen-house, he finds it necessary to kill every bird in there?... I'm not a member of the hunting fraternity. I've never ridden a horse. I'm just a human and I like eggs. RS Bonser, Cinderford. (letter)

The Forester 7.10.04 WHERE'S FUN IN HARE COURSING? - So Brian Thornton thinks the legislation to ban hunting is an outrageous attack on individual liberty (Letters, September 30). What utter nonsense. It's about hunting with dogs Mr Thornton. If it was a working class blood sport such as dog fighting or bear baiting, hunting would have been banned years ago. It's precisely its upper class status and support in the House of Lords that has allowed it to survive this long…. GH Cowmeadow, late of Steam Mills. (letter)

Saffron Walden Reporter 7.10.04 Don't wait – put down hounds now - IN RESPONSE to Graham Bendall's letter (Postbag, September 23 "'Spiteful' Bill will not save animals") and Tony Blair's Bill saying hunts have two years to put down their hounds. They should put them down now, not wait two years, in which time more animals are going to die. Hunting is the curse of the countryside…. I won't have a picture of a hunt and I switch my radio off if either the tunes John Peel or the Post Horn Gallop come on. That is how much I am opposed to hunting… GERALD SNOW, Mead Court, Stansted (letter)


Horse & Hound 6.10.04 Racing and hunting links to be firmly identified - Isobel Walsh - Cheltenham Racecourse has commissioned a study into the links between National Hunt racing and hunting in an effort to provide firm figures in the increasingly inflamed hunting debate - The Managing Director of Cheltenham Racecourse, Edward Gillespie, has called for substantiated evidence to back-up links between hunting and National Hunt racing…. (story)
Telegraph 6.10.04 Fears over future for retired horses By Marcus Armytage - Jump racing faces a huge problem to find homes for retired chasers, and a potential PR disaster, if hunting is banned. That is the view of many jump trainers and it is the stark warning from Di Arbuthnot, director of operations of ROR (the Retraining of Racehorses), a British Horseracing Board charity... Henrietta Knight, trainer of Best Mate, said: "A ban on hunting would severely limit the outlets for horses retired from racing. We have never had trouble finding good homes for our horses, but I expect it will become a lot harder." (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 6.10.04 UNWANTED HUNTING DOGS FACE SAD FATE - Dozens of dogs used in a 'barbaric' blood sport across northern Lincolnshire have been abandoned, leaving a local dog sanctuary 'overwhelmed'. Bosses at the Jerry Green animal sanctuary near Broughton are now appealing for Scunthorpe Telegraph readers to come forward to look after the unwanted lurchers. They are worried the problem will get worse when the sport of hare coursing is banned, because they say hare coursers have no love for their dogs and will dump them when they are no longer useful…. Mr Barnett said the problem of abandoned hunting dogs was set to escalate when the ban was imposed. But the ban on hare coursing could not come soon enough, he said…. (story)

Western Daily Press 6.10.04 PACK LEADERS TOLD TO CALL OFF THE DOGS OF WAR - Hunting leaders issued a desperate secret plea to militant hunt "hotheads" not to use violence or disruption again after "getting away" with the Parliament Square riot, the Western Daily Press can reveal. In a leaked memo, the chairman of the Council of Hunt Associations called on everyone involved in hunting to campaign peacefully - otherwise he acknowledged any hope of victory or compromise would be lost…. (story)

Western Daily Press 6.10.04 MPS WHO ARE IN THE FIRING LINE - Hunt supporters are gearing up to spend a million hours campaigning against Labour MPs who voted against the sport, James Gray has said. He told a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference in Bournemouth they would target 102 key marginals… (story)

Western Morning News 6.10.04 BLAIR'S RURAL RECORD BLASTED - A Conservative Government would act to reverse a ban on hunting with dogs within days of coming to office, the Shadow Environment Secretary Tim Yeo said yesterday - as he launched a savage attack on Labour’s rural record…. (story)
Western Mail 6.10.04 'No hunt ban' pledge - THE Tories would reverse a ban on hunting if elected at the next general election, Shadow Environment Secretary Tim Yeo confirmed yesterday…. (story)

Northwich Chronicle 6.10.04 'Ban would leave us homeless' By Helen Cartwright, Northwich Chronicle - A NORTHWICH huntsman claims he would lose his job and his home if hunting is banned. Cheshire Hunt's Guy Mather, who is responsible for controlling the hounds at the Sandiway-based hunt, claims there would be an enormous impact on the rural community within Mid Cheshire if a ban on hunting with dogs becomes a reality… (story)

Welwyn & Hatfield Times 6.10.04 MP Melanie on hunt supporters' target list - WELWYN Hatfield MP Melanie Johnson is determined not to "cower in the dark" after pro-hunt protestors pledged to topple her at the next election. And she claims to have received hundreds of letters from people in Welwyn Hatfield backing the ban…. Conservative hopeful Grant Shapps said: "Naturally I always welcome additional support, but anyone joining my campaign will need to do so under both my own and the Conservative Party manifesto, rather than their own agenda. "I've no particular interest in hunting and would never join a hunt myself, in fact I find the whole idea unattractive. "I struggle to understand why this government spends so much parliamentary time obsessed by foxes."… (story)

Telegraph 6.10.04 Cheer up a bit - and don't mention the war By Andrew Gimson - Some of the great minds of today gathered in the Pavilion Theatre at Bournemouth yesterday to tackle the question: "What do the Tories need to do to win the next election?" A panel of five Telegraph columnists and Liam Fox, the Conservative Party co-chairman, drew an audience of 1,000 people for one of the biggest fringe meetings of the conference.... A member of the audience asked if the ban on foxhunting would turn out to be "Blair's poll tax". The panel replied that it would certainly not be the disaster for him that the poll tax was for Margaret Thatcher. Mr D'Ancona warned that going on and on about hunting "can easily marginalise you. It can make you look like a single-issue group." Lord Deedes outlined the tactics that could make the hunting issue rebound on Mr Blair.... (story)

South Cheshire Chronicle 6.10.04 - I WAS disappointed to read that Gwyneth Dunwoody MP said the hunting ban was not important. To me, as an animal-lover and one who hates any cruelty to animals, the ban is important and the sooner the better…. MR W GIBSON Narrow Lane, Sandbach (letter)

The Sentinel 6.10.04 HUNT BAN RIDICULOUS - You report that Janet Dean MP is celebrating the hunting ban - a ban which will do nothing to protect foxes. It will not save the lives of any foxes, but will condemn them to death by far more cruel means - snaring, shooting and poisonings to name but a few…. John Herbert The Blythe Stafford (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 6.10.04 I just felt I had to write about the letter from N Brown (T&A, September 29). I was brought up in Shropshire, so I know all about fox hunting and saw them setting off, all excited, ready for the kill. That was not to keep the foxes down but for their enjoyment…. Greta Ineson, Parkway, Bradford (letter in archive)

Taunton Times 6.10.04 CARNIVALS ARE NO PLACE FOR PROMOTING CRUELTY - I feel I must write to record my great disappointment at the seeming lack of judgement shown by the organisers of this year's Wellington Carnival….. I was both surprised and appalled however, when in the middle of the procession was a collecting trailer plastered with posters for the socalled Countryside Alliance. I really cannot see how this party political front organisation dedicated to promoting cruelty to animals was allowed into the parade…. Glenn Parker, Sherford, Taunton (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 6.10.04 Stop the vandalism and vote - RATHER than mindless acts of vandalism in the countryside, can I suggest that fellow hunt supporters use their energies more positively by working to ensure that Mr Eric Martlew is deprived of his seat in parliament at the next general election?... MR GW COLLINGE, Ainstable, Carlisle (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.10.04 HUNT DEMONSTRATORS ARE NOTHING BUT ANARCHISTS - I am assured you will not print this letter. Let us hope the cynics are wrong The farmers and their hired 'paid' thugs, who attend demonstrations against the proposed ban on deer and fox hunting, are nothing but anarchists…. As a Devonian by birth and coming from farming stock, I abhor blood sports. They are cruel and barbaric… Terry Lee, Tyrell Mead, Sidmouth (letter)

Carmarthen Journal 6.10.04 FED UP WITH HUNT LOBBY - So, being an open-minded, animal-loving, country-living person makes you qualified to come to the conclusion anti-hunt supporters are "short on facts but high on opinion"? (Letters, September 22) How can you class fox hunting as survival of the fittest when the fox is chased underground then dug up and killed?... Paul Price, Royal Oak Terrace, Johnstown, Carmarthen (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.10.04 NO THANK YOU - I wonder whose idea it was to dump a dead horse, cow and calves in Brighton? What sort of people are they? We were told a great many people came from Gloucestershire and "were speaking for us". Please do not include me… Pamela Dean Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.10.04 VIDEO FOOTAGE CONVINCED ME - Following years of claims and counter-claims, a recent late night TV programme on hunting provided clear evidence of fox hunting's most controversial but significant points…. After watching the actual killing sequence three times (I had video-taped it) to be certain of my facts, for both personal reasons and before writing this letter, I was left with no doubt that the pro-hunters' version was the correct one. Indeed, it had actually happened that quick I felt it was less cruel than a cat playing with a mouse before finally killing it. With the anti-hunt lobby having taken the film, one could say that they had scored a spectacular own goal…. D Smith Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 6.10.04 HUMANE TRAP TO CONTROL FOX - The humane cage trap is the proper way to control foxes when needs be… E A Smith Ashton Bristol (letter)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: Hunt all the toffs who think they're superior - Firstly, a question for the fox-hunting fraternity. Did we ever see the sport of fox-hunting and hare-coursing on Grandstand? I leave that thought with them. However, the main point of this letter is to congratulate Jean Calder for explaining so clearly the true significance of fox-hunting ("The braying defenders of privilege", The Argus, October 2). It is, indeed, the symbol of a class-ridden society operating under a very thin veneer of civilization… -David Pritchard, Southwick (letter in archive)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: No ruling class - What gives Jean Calder the right to be paid for producing a piece which has very little foundation in truth? She admits she has had "very little contact with the ruling class". Who on earth does she mean?... (letter in archive)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: Get out more - How much longer is Jean Calder to be allowed to waste a whole page of The Argus with her prejudiced and vindictive opinions?... If she means those who engage in fox-hunting with hounds, she should know that supporters of this so-called sport come from all walks of country life… -Peter Bailey, Brighton (letter in archive)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: Double standards - Thank you, Jean Calder, for highlighting how there appears to be one law for the Countryside Alliance followers and another for other, especially animal rights, protesters. I was recently on a very peaceful march and rally at Wickham… The police blocked the road and refused to let us near the gates, despite us being fewer than 100 people with no history of violence. No protests are allowed outside the gates of Huntingdon Life Sciences either… Ban hunting - and the sooner the better. -Sue Baumgardt, Hove (letter in archive)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: Well done, Jean Yet another excellent article by Jean Calder ("The braying defenders of privilege", The Argus, October 2). Well written and to the point. -Angie Rowland, Hove (letter in archive)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: Banning hunting won't stop killing of animals - Adam Trimingham (The Argus, September 29) intelligently examined the complex nature of animal ethics in Britain…. The hunting debate is a silly debate in many ways because both sides agree that a ban will not reduce the number of animals that are deliberately killed each year but merely change the method…. A hunting ban and its consequences will make us look ridiculous. Think about it. -Dominic Webber, Heathfield (letter in archive)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: I'll say what I saw The arrest of Heather Tait (Letters, October 1) was an outrage. After passing the rotting corpse at the Old Steine, my wife and I inadvertently wandered into the pro-hunt crowd and, as avid opponents of hunting, we decided to join the impromptu protest against this vile bloodsport… I saw Heather crumpling up a hunt placard… From what I saw, she was not violent, she was not threatening and she was not abusive…. I will gladly testify to what I saw and appeal to anyone else who witnessed this incident to come forward and testify if necessary. -Pete Gillman, Hythe Road, Brighton (letter in archive)

Argus 6.10.04 Letter: In the name of God - I was very interested to read that between 400 and 700 people a day have joined the Free Church of Country Sports since the Hunting Bill was passed…. We cannot worship a god who does not question our prejudices or way of life or enjoys hunting and killing sentient creatures for pleasure. -Rev John Webster, Hove (letter in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 6.10.04 DEMONSTRATOR'S RACIAL ARROGANCE - Re: The pro-hunt demonstration. They have every right to demonstrate. That's democracy - something which they don't seem to understand. But worse is their racial arrogance. Gerald Kaufman MP was surrounded by demonstrators, and one of them rushed up to him and called him a 'Jewish bigot'…. So would the message from the hunting people be, if you are Jewish or even foreign, you should be expelled from Lincolnshire?.... Coun Allan Smith, North Lincolnshire Council, Burton-upon-Stather and Winterton ward. (letter)

Northern Echo 6.10.04 HUNTING - I CAN'T make my mind up about foxhunting. On the one hand, a farmer states that a fox can kill everything in sight. On the other, it is cruel to chase an animal for hours until it is exhausted…. Is there no way to relocate foxes to fields overrun by rabbits?... I was appalled to read that huntsmen breed foxes so that they can hunt them to death…. Hugh Pender, Darlington. (letter in archive)

Torquay Herald Express 6.10.04 INTERFERING IN OUR WAY OF LIFE - Having read the letters from the anti-hunting people, may I ask a few questions? Have any of them seen a ewe give birth and watch her after a fox has taken her newly-born lamb?... E WHITEHURST Newtown Powys (letter)

Western Mail 6.10.04 Hunting down facts SIR - Truth is a moving target for all Countryside Alliance watchers. Hardly a week goes by that the Alliance doesn't issue a wildly inaccurate statement or statistic, which contradicts previous ones that they have made…. DD EVANS, Llanharan, Mid Glamorgan (letter)

Yorkshire Post 6.10.04 National asset From: Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington. (letter)
Hull Daily Mail 2.10.04 LET'S SEE THE GOOD IN FOXES - It's time the good that foxes do was brought to light. I was on holiday in the Dales a few years ago and met a pro-fox farmer. He warmly described foxes as "the great recyclers of the British countryside". Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington.(letter)

Leicester Mercury 6.10.04 IS THIS JUST AN EXCUSE TO PROTECT HUNTING RIGHTS? - So, even before a ban on hunting has been implemented, police chiefs are stating they will not be able to police hunting because of a lack of resources. Is this a further attempt by many in the force to protect the rights of hunters, this time by having in place ready-made reasons for not carrying out the law? Of course, we see the police in droves at many hunt meets when saboteurs and hunt monitors are accused of "interfering" in a lawful activity! They spare nothing to ensure that these "antis" are dispersed and, where necessary, made to pay for their interference…. Christine Harris, Loughborough (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.10.04 SUBSIDIES ARE HARMING IMPOVERISHED FARMERS - Exeter mp Ben Bradshaw, My points of view, September 22, wrote: "The taxpayer gives more than five billion pounds a year to landowners and farmers. Some of the richest landowners, who receive the largest subsidies, are also the most generous donors to pro-hunt campaign groups."… I have no wish to pay taxes to support hunting, but I feel even more resentful at the impact these subsidies have on impoverished African farmers who are unable to compete on world markets because of these payments…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 6.10.04 WITHOUT HUNTING, FOXES COULD BECOME EXTINCT - John Phelps wrote, Points of view September 30, that "with an abundance of food in a comfortable environment, all species including mankind, will reach and maintain an optimum level." Perhaps Mr Phelps does not believe that any animal culling should take place. Kangaroos in Australia have now reached such numbers that they are to be culled, like rabbits before them which were practically wiped out…. H Lewis, Rackenford, Tiverton (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 6.10.04 SYMPATHY FOR HUNTERS - I Think The Countryside Alliance is very justified in its demonstration against the ban on fox hunting. I am a townie, but can feel the frustration these people are feeling because no-one in this Government wants to listen to them, which is typical. Jobs, livelihoods and a whole way of life is at stake here…. J Mason, Greenwood Drive, Neath (letter)

Shropshire Star 6.10.04 This is the true face of hunting - Did everyone see the face of violence in the Star on September 23? We see a child with so much violence in his face it makes it even more important to ban this evil sport as soon as possible…. T Bowen, Oswestry (letter)

Worcester Evening News 6.10.04 Culture of violence, cruelty - IN the letter headlined "Spin and confusion over hunting issue" (You Say, Thursday, September 23) there were a number of inaccuracies which require rectification. Judy Gilbert voices a legitimate complaint, when she says that monitors are often prevented from filming…. The League Against Cruel Sports has campaigned peacefully and democratically for 80 years to bring about an end to hunting with dogs… DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports.
JON Burgess, in replying (You Say, Thursday, September 23) to my colleague Judy Gilbert, writes "she claims... POWA is prevented from gathering video evidence in the hunting field…. I, like Judy, am a POWA hunt monitor and we have recorded hours of hunt chaos including accidents caused by hunt hounds on public roads, hounds running amok in villages and gardens, distressed residents, hunt and hounds blocking roads, trespassing and so on…. PETER BUNCE, Protect Our Wild Animals Haddenham, Bucks. (letters in archive)

Worcester Evening News 6.10.04 Questions for Labour Party - SOME questions for Labour Party members. In the interests of debate and understanding, I invite Labour Party members to answer the following questions… Question 1: Why is it that the Labour Party claims to want a ban on hunting with dogs on grounds of animal welfare yet refuses to even condemn the far more prolific practice of ritual slaughter?... MARTIN ROBERTS, Worcestershire BNP. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 6.10.04 Tell me... what would you like to ban next? L SPITERI wrote (You Say, Saturday, October 2) that "I wish the Government's Hunting Bill every success in Parliament, so Britain can eradicate this barbaric sport for good". Well said, Mr Spiteri, and what precisely would you like to ban next? Fishing? Boxing? National Hunt horse racing? Rugby Union? Motor racing?... GARY WEBB, Worcester. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 2.10.04 Shoe is on the other foot now for the Conservatives HEAR hear to A Reece and John Norwood's comments over the current despicable behaviour of some Country Alliance supporters (You Say, Saturday, September 25). I too share their sentiments. Twenty years ago, the British miners took strike action against pit closures… Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the Conservative Party is adamant to oppose the government's Hunting Bill and by justifying the protesters' anger, by implication they are defending the mob-rule-behaviour of some Country Alliance members…. L SPITERI, Worcester (letter)

Horncastle News 6.10.04 People do not accept suppression of liberty - EDITOR - The Hunting Bill passed through the Commons as expected with a large majority. As night follows day, the Lords will reject the Bill with an even larger majority. Ironically, the House of Lords is populated by a huge number of Peers appointed by Tony Blair…. I believe Tony Blair is a good politician. He has held up this Bill, knowing full well the grief it will cause if/when it becomes law…. Unfortunately, his backbenchers are less astute. JOHN ELLIOTT West Ashby
How can any civilised human being call fox hunting a sport? EDITOR - It is the hunt lobby that has made hunting a class issue. We do not care if hunters are rich or poor, we just abhor cruelty…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED
Hunting must be the most inefficient way of controlling vermin - EDITOR - I have never ridden to hounds so am certainly not pro-hunting, but equally I’m not a dedicated ‘anti’. Arguments from both sides fail to convince me…. During my National Service I achieved considerable accuracy with a rifle… but I wouldn’t bet on even an expert marksman to hit a fast-running fox in a vital spot; is it less cruel to wound and leave an animal to die? So may I say to Mr Batchelor and his League, “Carry on the good work, this time against angling.” After all, I wouldn’t like to think the definition of a ‘Cruel Sport’ included a reference to the social level of the participants. RICHARD JOHNS Wood Enderby (letters)

Salisbury Journal 6.10.04 Anti-hunt brigade `vents pure hatred' - READING through the anti-hunt letters in the Journal last week, I looked in vain for any examples of gratuitous cruelty to foxes on the hunting field. All that your correspondents seemed to be worked up about was the demeanour of those who go hunting…. We are fearful for our democracy because a combination of ignorance and hatred is not the basis for good law. MALCOLM READ, Broadmead Farm, West Grimstead
IN response to your recent front-page article on the hunt ban (Salisbury Journal, September 23), I feel that Cliff Barnes, farrier, is merely using this newspaper as a free advertisement for his services in preparation for the forthcoming ban…. Is the public aware that he does not live in an `average' home? Highbury Farm has some 13 acres, stables and two arenas… I have hunted in the past and have also seen the devastation foxes can cause - but I can also appreciate the other side, the cruelty aspect…. NAME & ADDRESS SUPPLIED
I REALLY cannot let my good friend Brian Shemmings' letter (Journal, last week) go unanswered…. once again, the miners' strike is mentioned, which seems to support the view that there might be a touch of revenge creeping in. While Brian did not see any countryside supporters on those long-ago miners' strike picket lines, pro-hunters were not holding the country to ransom… RAYMOND RICKMAN, The Old Stores, Sandleheath
THE Wilton and South Wilts Hunt - nets at the ready - is in pursuit of the rare Bouslem butterfly…. If a fox happens to get in the way, no law can prevent cats from being cats, dogs from being dogs…. Long before introducing the ban on fox-hunting, they should have established schools to teach wild foxes not to interfere with butterfly chases. NAME & ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letters in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 6.10.04 Cruellest form of slaughter Your recent reader's letter Foxes Are Vermin Not Fluffy Animals sums up the arguments admirably. Foxes are pests and this must be the only country in the world that disagrees! And not for the foxes' welfare. How many so-called fox lovers eat fish? Trawler fishing is perhaps the largest and cruellest form of animal slaughter…. Name and Address Withheld (letter in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 6.10.04 What will I do if it is banned? DEAR EDITOR - On the hunting debate, Secretary of the Worcestershire Hunt Ian Frank is absolutely correct…. When will the democratically appointed House of Commons realise that they are not elected to express the will of the majority but rather to administer the will of us, the feudal minority…. whatever will I do with my Subaru pickup if hunting is banned?... Lady Annie Mel-Wright, Hunt End (letter in archive)

Louth Leader 6.10.04 I hope ‘stubborn’ hunt master DOES go to jail - EDITOR - I refer to the issue that features the stern, yet rather idiotic looking man with his hounds, on the front cover…. The fact he is likening his loss of a barbarous tradition to the suffragette movement and the poll tax riots is beyond all comprehension and ought to be enough to have him locked up anyway!... Just who do Master Nick Ashcroft and his cronies think they are ? Has there been a bill through parliament that allows fox hunters precedence over our public highways ? Ian Fenwick Grooms Cottage, Wold Newton (letter)

Knutsford Guardian 6.9.04 Shall we ban cats next? - AS a non-hunter who is against cruelty in any form I recollect animal rights campaigner Nicky Green saying I will be able to let my cats out once the hunt is banned… If cruelty to our indigenous wildlife is the only issue, how on earth can Nicky justify some eight million cats going on the rampage 365 days a year?... There is far more justification in banning cats than there is in banning fox-hunting. If the issue is cruelty, then if you ban one, you ban them all. CONCERNED ANIMAL LOVER, Wilson Crescent, Lostock Gralam (letter in archive)


Telegraph 5.10.04 50pc think that market research can't be trusted By Caroline Marshall - There were red faces all round in the market research industry when two expensive polls showed opposing results on hunting. A poll by NOP for the Countryside Alliance showed huge opposition to a ban and claimed 59pc support for hunting. It led to complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority from the League of Cruel Sports and other anti-hunting organisations, and their complaints were upheld. But what's this? A poll by Mori found that 76pc supported a ban on hunting. It has been a huge embarrassment for the trade body, the Market Research Society… (story)

Western Daily Press 5.10.04 MANDELA'S QC TO ACT FOR HUNTS - Sir Sydney Kentridge, QC, who once represented Nelson Mandela, has been hired by the Countryside Alliance to oppose plans to force through anti-hunting legislation, it was revealed yesterday… (story)
Guardian 4.10.04 Mandela's QC goes into battle for the hunters - Countryside Alliance hires top advocate to challenge law - Duncan Campbell - The man who once represented Nelson Mandela and the family of his fellow-South African civil rights campaigner, the late Steve Biko, will soon be using his legal skills on behalf of the hunters rather than the hunted. Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, at 81 one of the most highly-regarded barristers in Britain, will make the case for the Countryside Alliance in its challenge to the government's use of the Parliament Act to force through anti-hunting legislation…. He has also acted for Britons held at Guantanamo Bay…. (story)

Western Daily Press 5.10.04 POLICE LAUNCH PROBE TO FIND ALLIANCE HQ MOLE - Hunt leaders were last night embroiled in a row over claims a peer's letter called for the breeding of foxes to ensure there are enough to hunt. A letter from the Masters of Foxhounds Association chairman, Lord Daresbury, sparked embarrassing correspondence between hunt campaigners and the Countryside Alliance. And the Countryside Alliance said yesterday that its subsequent leak - seized on by anti-hunt campaigners as proof that claims fox hunting is about pest control are bogus - is now the subject of a police investigation…. (story)

Telegraph 5.10.04 Ferry dedicates award to hunting-row son - The singer Bryan Ferry yesterday paid tribute to his son, Otis, who invaded the House of Commons in protest at the proposed ban on hunting with hounds. Receiving the lifetime achievement prize at a music awards, the former Roxy Music star said he was dedicating it to his "brave" son…. But if the 59-year-old was hoping for a sympathetic reaction, he had chosen the wrong occasion. His short speech at the Q magazine awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London, was met with muffled boos from the audience, which included such rock luminaries as U2, Sir Elton John, the Pet Shop Boys and Elvis Costello… (story)
Guardian 5.10.04 Bryan Ferry booed as he pays tribute to his 'brave' son - Laura Barton - Rock star Bryan Ferry was booed and jeered by his fellow musicians at the Q awards ceremony as he spoke in support of his son, Otis, one of eight pro-hunt demonstrators who stormed the House of Commons in September, angered by the government's plan to ban fox-hunting. Collecting the award for lifetime achievement for his band Roxy Music, Ferry announced: "I would like to dedicate this award to my brave son Otis." The audience, which included U2, Sir Elton John and Elvis Costello, was audibly unreceptive…. (story)
Western Daily Press 5.10.04 ROCK STAR JEERED OVER DEMO SON - Rock star Bryan Ferry paid tribute yesterday to his hunt protester son Otis. The singer had previously kept silent over the 21-year-old's invasion of the House of Commons last month…. But the 59-year-old singer's short speech was met with several muffled boos from the rock-star audience, which included U2, Sir Elton John, Pet Shop Boys and Elvis Costello… Former public schoolboy Otis, 21, is the country's youngest master of the foxhounds, following his appointment at the South Shropshire Hunt last May. Raised in Sussex, he left Marlborough school at 16 to become an apprentice whipper-in at the Middleton Hunt in North Yorkshire. (story)

Telegraph 5.10.04 Notebook By Vicki Woods - Bournemouth won't be a war zone at any rate - As you read this, I shall be on my way to Bournemouth to take part in a Channel 4 debate on how the Conservative Party can get back into power…. But at least Bournemouth won't be a war zone, as Brighton was, and I won't have to breach massed squads of the Met fighting off the joint threat of an al-Qa'eda spectacular and the toot-toots of the foxhunting folk. The dumped animals were a bad idea, no question. My daughter sent me a txt-msg: "Dave says the Countryside Alliance has just dumped a dead horse outside his office in Brighton…" Alas, the people who saw the dead horse were a) baffled, b) frightened and c) utterly revolted by its horrid bulk, yuck, gross, ee-uw. Dave's co-workers took it rather personally…. (story)

Western Daily Press 5.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS TO AID TORY CAMPAIGN - Hunting supporters will back a Conservative campaign to target key marginal seats in the General Election, it emerged last night… (story)

Western Mail 5.10.04 Lest We Forget - Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE role played by hunting in country life features prominently in an evocative book written and illustrated by a countrywoman from the Vale of Glamorgan. Thelma Lougher rode out with the Glamorgan Fox Hounds from an early age and used to use her horse for shepherding…. The result is Lest We Forget, a colourful hardback that Thelma says is "a pick it up and put it down" book…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 5.10.04 MP MISSES HUNT EVENT - Pro-hunt campaigners have expressed their dismay that the MP for Lincoln was unable to attend an open evening. Gillian Merron was invited to meet members of the Blankney Hunt at their kennels, near Lincoln, last night… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 5.10.04 Hounds `trespass' at wildlife reserve by Tom Husband - A PACK of hunting hounds sparked fury by trespassing in a New Forest wildlife reserve, an animal rights group has claimed. Activists at the New Forest Animal Protection Group alleged the incident took place as the New Forest Hounds hunted for foxes next to Linwood Nature Reserve… A spokeswoman for the Wildlife Trust said: "The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is distressed to hear that the New Forest Hounds have allegedly entered the Linwood Nature Reserve in the New Forest…." Mike Squibbs chairman of the New Forest Hounds said: "Hounds did go on the Hampshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve. We called them off as quickly as we could. We have spoken to the trust about it and they don't seem horrendously upset but we will continue to talk to them and see what arises from that." (story in archive)

(Mid Devon Gazette) 5.10.04 HUNT FOLLOWERS TAKE THEIR FIGHT TO THE SEAFRONT - Brighton seafront was packed with thousands of pro-hunting demonstrators on Tuesday, including many from Mid Devon, to protest against a ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)

Bucks Free Press 5.10.04 Slide to anarchy? THE current brouhaha over fox hunting suggests it is merely another indication of national slide to anarchy!... No doubt, like Bucks CC, it is almost certain that some fox hunts will just ignore the Government and carry on as before as is the way with our arrogant, self-opinionated, reactionary horse and landowners, and forelock-touching servants who fear a fate similar to the miners and shipyard workers… Bill Purdie West Street Marlow (letter)

(Mid Devon Gazette) 5.10.04 BAN 'WOULD DAMAGE COMMUNITY' - No, Mr Wood (Letters, September, 28), the horse has not bolted. (If you doubt that, look around the district on any winter Saturday and see how many people are following how many packs of hounds.)… A ban on hunting would seriously damage that community well-being. That is why the district council should oppose it. David Pugsley, Leader Mid Devon District Council, Phoenix House, Tiverton.
Welcome for hunting ban - CAROLINE Llewellyn (Letters, September 28) made a number of unsubstantiated statements about the alleged benefits of hunting and then had the audacity to suggest that the Burns Report made the same points. In fact, none of her assertions formed any part of the Burns Report…. It seems almost certain that hunting with dogs is about to made illegal. When that happens I shall be extremely happy for the quarry species…. Ivor Annetts League Against Cruel Sports Tiverton. (letters)

Worcester Evening News 5.10.04 The great tradition of disregard for the facts - CONGRATULATIONS to Deana Jones for writing the first anti-hunting letter this season (You Say, Tuesday, September 28). It kept up that great anti-tradition of a total disregard for the facts… The "cubs" described by Ms Jones are physically well grown and fully independent before hunting starts. At this time of year hunting is to reduce numbers and also disperse the fox population…. Ms Jones makes the very serious allegation that foxes are being thrown alive to the hounds. This would be both a criminal offence and against the strict rules which govern hunting…. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 5.10.04 He won't debate hunts issue - THE quote by Worcester MP Michael Foster in your article on hunting (Country sport backers place faith in church) once again shows his breathtaking arrogance and ignorance on the issue of hunting with dogs…. Since when did Michael Foster or the Government that he supports ever listen to the will of the people?... Why is it that he finds hunting with dogs cruel, but yet finds it acceptable to allow a fish to wriggle on the end of his hook on his fishing line? TIM PINNEY, Peopleton, Pershore. (letter in archive)

Worcester Evening News 5.10.04 MP missing from demo - MP Mike Foster seems to be strangely missing when demonstrators who are pro- hunting come out en masse!... J CONNELL, Kilmarnock. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 5.10.04 No way to excuse the horror of the fox hunt - Animal lovers don't kill animals for fun. As a voluntary dog charity worker, I get very angry by the many letters on this page written by so-called "animal lovers" about how they take part in, support or condone the barbaric ritual of fox torturing/hunting…. Mike Claydon, Much Wenlock (letter)

Shropshire Star 5.10.04 Hunting is properly managed and run - Mr Veloso will be pleased to know none of the behaviour he describes is now tolerated. Foxhunting is governed by a strict set of rules and failure to comply to these leads to the dismissal of those involved and possible closure of the hunt concerned….Lastly, could Mrs J Jones and anyone else describing atrocities supposedly taking place out hunting please provide the name of the hunt concerned and the location and I will make sure they are reported to The Master of Foxhounds Association and appropriate action is taken. Jane Miles, Cound Moor, Shrewsbury (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 5.10.04 Emotional about fox cubs - IF Ruth Harland followed her own advice and got her facts straight, her letters might be worth reading (Letters, September 30). There are countless photographs and eyewitness accounts available of eviscerated vixens and unborn cubs… JUDY BELFORD, Port Carlisle
RUTH Harland really should get her facts straight before throwing a tantrum and accusing anti hunt campaigners of ignorance…. Obviously pregnant and lactating vixens are hunted. Fox cubs are born in March and some in April, so when cub hunting starts in August, the cubs are only four or five months old…. ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letters)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 THEY SHOULD ABIDE BY THE LAW - Like a bunch of spoiled children robbed of their favourite toy, the pro-hunting mob ride into town, leaping over Government ministers, the police and the law of the land, as though they were merely fences and ditches to be overcome in their usual pursuit of hapless animals…. Iris Rowe, Liskeard (letter)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 PROTESTERS HAD NO AGENDA OF VIOLENCE - I was concerned to read Martin Hesp's column (WMN, September 24). He would appear to infer that supporters of hunting are importing "Rent-a-Thug" (Mr Hesp's own words, based, it would seem, on meeting one "car-jumper ... down from Newcastle for the day"). Speaking as one who was on the spot, not up a fire escape but on the ground, for over three hours, here goes: There was no "full-blown fisticuffs" by any stretch of the journalistic imagination, and certainly no "minutes of rioting". Simply a spontaneous surge by a few protesters as Mr Michael's car passed by, coupled with one or two slightly hot headed cases of "car jumping" (I know one of the men involved - a milder mannered countryman you could not wish to meet) - all lasting hardly more than a minute… Robin Knight Bruce, Chairman Silverton Foxhounds
Disgraceful demo - WHAT a disgraceful demonstration of democracy in the House recently. One wonders how many members bothered, or even cared, to assess the true feelings in their constituency about hunting… I am not for or against hunting, however I am definitely against the way the campaigners have gone about it… G Newbury, Bovey Tracey (letters)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 BRUTALITY OF POLICE IS UNJUSTIFIED …I do not hunt, but have done in the past, so understand the issues. I went to Parliament Square and have one main point to make about the police brutality that was evident that day. I am a nurse, and there is never, ever any justification, or any reason known to civilised human society, to beat people around the head with iron bars - no matter what those people are doing… I felt nervous and cornered by the way the fencing was designed to contain the demonstrators. If a policeman had come near me waving those weapons I think I would have defended myself…. I intend to get involved with supporting the political candidates in my area who will stand up to this evil, smug and crass political machine which is driven by pure ignorance and spite…. Sue Underhill, South Brent Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 USE TAXES TO BRING HUNTING TO AN END - The divisive and controversial decision to ban hunting with dogs is stirring up a hornet's nest. The Labour Party could have taken another tack and it puzzles me that the taxation instrument was not used to "discourage" hunting, which would have a number of benefits…. It also would not be beyond imagination to tax private ownership of horses, as they are also a kind of transport…. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Government's decision, we all have to endure the legacy of the conflicts created by this ban. Rod Nelson, Ashburton
What should be blatantly clear to everyone is that one minority group, the animal welfare lobby, is getting its way at the expense of another minority group, the hunt lobby, because a third minority group - a collection of bigoted and prejudiced Labour Party activists - have abused their parliamentary privilege to curtail the freedom and liberty of a section of people who have continued to practise country traditions, pursuits and livelihoods as have generations of their forbears. W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letters)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 RURAL FOLK ARE SEETHING AT HEAVY-HANDEDNESS - In a long lifetime, I have never seen such disgusting behaviour by our police as in Parliament Square. They used their batons more heavily than when dealing with real rioters - smashing shops, burning cars and so on…. It was obviously a "put-up" disturbance - nothing to do with hunting at all, but with the objective of showing country people in a bad light, to be condemned in the eyes of the country as trouble makers. Never, since the time of Mussolini and Hitler's early days, has democracy proved to be so completely undemocratic.. . Molly Rodgers, South Molton (letter)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 TACKLE THE IMPORTANT ISSUES - I am appalled that this Government is taking up so much of its time pursuing a hunting ban when there are much more important issues which need addressing in this country… Rosalind Toman, Woolfardisworhy, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 NO SHAME IN WANTING SPORT TO END WITH KILL - Do the ignorant Labour backbenchers really care about how foxes meet their end, or do they instead suffer disdain for my enjoyment of the chase?... . It's not an insult when the antis call me a savage animal, have they forgotten we all are? Some of us don't want to suppress our instincts. Robert Portus, Ilsington
Thugs showed true colours - DESPITE all the recent prejudiced reporting regarding the Hunting Bill, I was very pleased to see that the hunters acted true to form. They showed the public what many of them are really like - thugs and bullies…. Mrs Y Street, Okehampton (letterS)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 PURSUIT IS ABOUT MANAGING FOXES - Like many of your other readers, we went hunting on Saturday and would like to share the following with you. Saturday was our first day hunting on horseback of the season, and prior to that we had been hunting on foot for two weeks… The farmer was grateful for the hunt's assistance in moving on some foxes. Our riders were not "toffs", but farmers, hard-working people and various age groups of younger people…. Over the next three-and-a-half hours, our hounds hunted five different foxes. All these foxes were young, fit and free from disease: none of the foxes were killed…. hunting is about the management of foxes, not just killing them. If we had been operating under this Government's intended law, all five of those foxes would now be dead…. P S Pyke QPM, Chairman, Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers (letter)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 THERE ARE CRUEL PRACTICES ON BOTH SIDES - The letters recently appearing in the WMN are distressingly adding to the idea of polarisation between "country person" and townie. It is all very simple. Foxhunting with many hounds, people on horseback, is a cruel practice… Name and address supplied
How do you define brutality? SIR John Stevens, the Metropolitan Police chief should perhaps note that, had I hit a misbehaving animal with such force that skin was broken and blood spilt, I would, rightly, have been prosecuted for gross and unnecessary cruelty. A E Sutcliffe, Newton Abbot Devon (letters)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 THOU SHALT NOT KILL EXTENDS TO FOXHUNTING - Britain is essentially Christian. From a spiritual point of view, the Christian commandment "Love thy neighbour as thy self" obliges us - no, commands us - to love and respect insects, birds, animals, fish - in fact, all forms of life. Nowhere in that commandment does it state that this applies to humans only. Another Christian commandment is "Thou shall not kill" - this too is not defined to humans only. It too applies to all life forms…. As long as mankind kills for fun, for food, or for food via the abattoir, then this world of ours will not spiritually progress as quickly as it should. The taking of life gives off a vibration that reverberates around our world, and this sets the pattern for more killing. This is why it is essential to ban foxhunting - in fact, any form of hunting and killing… John T Y Clapp, Exmouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 5.10.04 ALLIANCE SPLINTER GROUP IN ACTION? Are the Countryside Alliance tacticians hoping we all have short memories by now attempting to distance themselves from violence by urging protesters not to get involved with a new splinter group calling themselves the Real CA? On July 10, 1997, I attended the Hyde Park rally as a protester and well remember the cheers and excited approval radiating through the crowds when a speaker announced that they would close down the motorways, pollute water supplies and burn down the woodlands… Janet Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Leicester Mercury 5.10.04 FOXES CAN BE PEST-CONTROLLERS, TOO - Years ago people hunted and killed otters for fun. When the sport was threatened with a ban they claimed they were pest controllers doing us all a service. Now the same thing is happening with foxhunting. The fox is a terrible pest, they cry, which must be controlled. This, of course, is rubbish… Janet Gee, Lubenham. (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 5.10.04 HYPOCRISY OVER HUNTS' HOUNDS - Hunters crying tears over the possibility of having to kill their hounds if hunting is banned is quite stunning in its hypocrisy. Hunts routinely shoot hounds when they become too slow to keep up with the pack… ANTHONY BEE, Gloucester (letter)

York Evening Press 5.10.04 Arrogant hunters - I HAVE never seen so much arrogance as that shown by the hunting fraternity. "We will break the law" they say, and now they will target local MPs, private individuals in their own homes (Hounded, October 1). Maybe the miners and steelworkers should have blockaded Tory MPs in their private homes and perhaps pits and steelworks would still be open…. W Elliott, Kinbrace Road, Hartlepool. (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 5.10.04 HUNTING BAN WILL BENEFIT CRIMINALS - To enforce the ban on hunting would require large numbers of police to be diverted into the countryside. This would also put an increased strain on police resources in order to get them there. And who would benefit most from this? Criminals of course!... W. J. GREENGRASS Briar Close Beeston
Cruelty question - Regarding fox hunting, a point never mentioned is the number of animals killed to feed the hounds… F SMITH Cavendish Road Carlton (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 5.10.04 MINERS SHOW HUNTING IS NOT JUST A RURAL PURSUIT - If only rural folk can understand hunting with hounds, why was the demonstration outside the Labour Party conference on September 28 led by the Banwen Miners Hunt?... John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 5.10.04 BARBARIC CRUELTY CAN'T BE CONDONED IN OUR SOCIETY - With reference to the hunting debate, badger baiting, hare coursing and fox hunting are all forms of barbaric cruelty to the wildlife of this country…. Gloria Bates, Address withheld on request (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 5.10.04 HUNT FANATICS NO BETTER THAN FOOTBALL HOOLIGANS - It must have been a great shock to shoppers to witness a vicious, violent, bloodthirsty, baying mob cornering their prey in Exeter city centre. This time it was not an innocent terrified fox but a democratically elected government minister carrying out his job…. Name and address withheld on request (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 5.10.04 Outfox 'em...cage their canines - I note that a national newspaper claimed the cost to the country to police illegal hunts continuing after the ban on hunting with dogs comes into force will be around £30m. That seems ridiculous as all the police have to do is get a court order to seize all fox hounds on the day the bans comes into force…. MR T M HALL, Middlesbrough (letter)

News Shopper 5.10.04 Foxes are wonderful to watch - I totally agree with Mr Leman's letter about the joy of seeing foxes and other such animals in the garden…. Regarding the recent outrage of pro-fox hunting enthusiasts in London, the answer is simple. Set the police dogs on them and let them see what its like to be hounded and killed. Long live nature. R J Haxell Bexleyheath (letter)

News Shopper 5.10.04 Hunting is absolutely necessary - While I sympathise with Rachel Bradman's views on fox-hunting (News Shopper, September 15), I must agree with Rupert Smythe on the issue. If Rachel lived in south east London and had children with outdoor pets, she would have to ensure the pets were permanently caged in fox-proof pens…. Foxes have to be controlled and I would say hunting is the most efficient and humane way of doing it…. I would suggest the welfare of the fox is the last thing motivating the anti-hunt legislators at this time. Neil Gillies Orpington (letter)

Western Morning News 5.10.04 Welcome for ban - Philip Lymbery, Director of Communications World Society for the Protection of Animals >(letter)
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 25.9.04 A welcome ban Philip Lymbery, director of communications, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Albert Embankment, London. (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 25.9.04 BAN WILL HELP PROTECT OTHERS - Philip Lymbery, Director of Communications World, Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) (letter)
North East Evening Gazette 23.9.04 Fox hunt delight - PHILIP LYMBERY, Director of Communications, World Society for the Protection of Animals (letter)
Torquay Herald Express 22.9.04 LETTERS IN BRIEF - PHILIP LYMBERY Director of Communications, WSPA (letter)
York Evening Press 21.9.04 A welcome ban - Director of Communications, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Albert Embankment, London. (letter in archive)
Exeter Express & Echo 21.9.04 INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION REAFFIRMED BY HUNT BAN - The World Society for the Protection of Animals is delighted at the long-awaited vote by Parliament to ban fox hunting. This is a victory not only for the democratic process but also for animal welfare internationally…. Philip Lymbery, Director of communications, World Society for the Protection of Animals, London (letter)


South Shropshire Journal 4.10.04 We'll fight on, vows hunt supporter - A hunt supporter, who travelled to the Labour conference in Brighton to lobby delegates, told the Journal she hoped the protest wasn’t a waste of time. Lindsey Hill, from Bishop’s Castle, was on of 8,000 people who descended on the Brighton Centre on Tuesday in a bid to put across their message…. Mrs Hill, from the United Pack, said: “We’d like to think it wasn’t a waste of time. It is so difficult to tell…. (story)

Rutland Times 4.10.04 Labour hounded by local hunt protests - Eighty members of the Cottesmore Hunt joined thousands of pro-hunt protesters who gathered at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. Amongst them were hunt masters Tim Hercock, Clare Walme and Kim Smith-Bingham, huntsman Neil Coleman and spokesperson Philippa Mayo…. Kath Stipala, spokeswoman for The League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'Generally no efforts are made to re-home hounds or keep them once they retire. Some hounds belonging to fell packs retire to live with families who 'walked' them as puppies. This proves that hounds can be re-homed.”… (story)

Telegraph 4.10.04 Peer pressures Blair for compromise on hunt ban - The House of Lords was urged yesterday to back a compromise on hunting with hounds, rather than throw out the Government Bill banning it outright in England and Wales…. (story)
Newcastle Journal 4.10.04 Plea to reject hunt ban and find 'sensible solution' - A last-ditch plea has been made to the House of Lords by peers and countryside leaders. They want them to back the licensing of fox-hunting, instead of an outright ban… (story)
Sunday Times 3.10.04 Peers offer deal to license hunts - PRO-HUNTING members of the House of Lords are to offer a last-ditch compromise to their opponents in an attempt to rescind the total ban on the sport that was passed by the Commons, writes Jonathon Carr-Brown. The peers are to reintroduce a proposal to allow hunting to continue under a strict licensing regime. The scheme was originally backed by ministers but dropped in the face of opposition from anti-hunt MPs…. (story)
Mail on Sunday 3.10.04 Lords leader urges fox hunt compromise - The House of Lords has been urged to back licensed fox hunting and come to a "sensible compromise" over the issue, by Conservative leader in the second chamber, Lord Strathclyde. He made his plea to peers ahead of the second reading debate on the controversial Hunting Bill, due in the Lords next Tuesday, October 12. Lord Strathclyde told "Sunday with Adam Boulton" on Sky TV that the Prime Minister had "spun" the line about compromise over the Bill (which outlaws hunting) for so long, that "he's rather forgotten what is deliverable and what is not…." (story)

Yorkshire Post 4.10.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS FORCE MP TO GO TO GROUND - David Garner - AN anti-hunting MP was forced to go to earth in the face of a noisy protest at one of his routine constituency surgeries by angry Yorkshire hunt supporters. Selby MP John Grogan was advised by police to remain inside a Tadcaster youth centre on Saturday while up to 150 demonstrators were in full cry outside. The protesters included the horses and hounds of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt, who had ridden the five miles to Tadcaster following a morning's hunting at Bilbrough. Mr Grogan had an appointment at the surgery to discuss the Government's proposed ban on hunting with hounds with constituents Alan Simms, of Towton, and Richard Emmott, who is huntsman with the York & Ainsty (South) Hunt. But after he had arrived at Tadcaster Youth Centre, the demonstration by members of the four hunts which operate in his constituency – Claro Beagles and the Northern Counties Hunt, as well as the Badsworth and Bramham Moor and the York & Ainsty (South) – gathered swiftly outside…. (story)
York Evening Press 4.10.04 `If they bring this law in they take away my job' by Charlotte Percival - SELBY MP John Grogan says he will not be hounded into changing his agenda on fox hunting - despite a protest of about 150 hunt supporters outside his office…. Hunstmen Alan Simms and Richard Emmott attended an appointment with Mr Grogan inside, while hunt supporters young and old, with horses and hounds, waved banners and blew horns outside, shouting for Mr Grogan to address them. Fresh from a morning hunt with the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt at Bilbrough, kennel huntsman Gary Thorpe said he felt as though Mr Grogan was not representing his interests…. Mr Emmott, 38, hunt master for York and Ainsty South, accused Mr Grogan of "pure prejudice"…. Also represented at the demonstration on Saturday were supporters of the Claro Beagles and the Northern Counties Hunt (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 4.10.04 HUNTING BAN MINISTER TO SEE EFFECTS ON ECONOMY - The man responsible for getting the controversial ban on fox-hunting through the House of Commons is due to visit Melton. Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael has accepted an invitation to visit the town after being asked by a Leicestershire county councillor at last week's Labour conference…. Quorn Hunt joint-master Henrietta Madocks-Wright said the proposed ban had a long way to go before it became law…. (story)

Argus 4.10.04 RSPCA is pro-hunt target by Siobhan Ryan - A charity could be the target of attacks by pro-hunt supporters. Hunt activists are being told to step up protests against the Horsham-based RSPCA and concentrate on board members and executive officers. The call is on a new web site set up by hard-liners Real Country Action (RCA). … (story in archive)
Times 2.10.04 RSPCA is target in fight to save hunts BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - HUNT activists are being told to step up protests against the RSPCA and to concentrate on board members and executive officers in the fight to save their sport. The order to focus on one of the country’s most respected animal welfare charities appears on a new website set up by hardliners in the hunting community known as Real Country Action (RCA)…. In a separate move that may have a more immediate impact on the Government, farmers and landowners around Salisbury Plain, Northumberland and Yorkshire have closed the countryside to the Army. This campaign to ban military training from private land started in Wales two weeks ago…. It also emerged last night that the Masters of Foxhounds Association has started a disciplinary inquiry into the dumping of a horse, bullock and two calf carcasses in Brighton last week. Stuart Trousdale, 33, huntsman with the Isle of Wight Hunt, faces suspension after admitting helping to dump the dead animals…(story)

Redhill Reigate Life 4.10.04 The hippy hippy shake up needed in the borough By Stuart Pink - Debi Porter has a soft spot for classy French markets, but thinks men make better shoppers. The self-confessed caffeine addict tells STUART PINK why Christmas is in the heart and why we all need a day off from traffic wardens - Hunting protesters stormed the House of Commons and held a demonstration in London recently to show their disapproval of a new law that could ban fox hunting. Do you think it should be banned? Yes, I do because I don't feel the foxes have a chance, and I know they are raised for hunting but I don't think it's fair… (story)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 4.10.04 Hands off 4x4s - Just as New Labour stoked up prejudice against a minority group in the hunting debate, so too have top Liberal Democrats Matthew Taylor and Lord Razzel with their remarks about "Chelsea tractors". In reality most people have no problem with either hunting or 4x4s… Denis Spence, Mitchell Close, Idle. (letter in archive)

Cambridge Evening News 4.10.04 Ban rushed From Mrs K Bishop, Orchard Avenue, Histon - WITH kind respect to Melanie Dennis and her comments regarding hunting with dogs, (Letters, September 23). I'm sure in many people's minds this rushed ban is viewed as another erosion of this country's traditional identity, removal of another cultural symbol…. Hey, let's ban the beefeaters from The Tower of London, so as not to offend vegetarians…. (letter)

Independent 4.10.04 Hunting, Blair and others - Hunting traditions that only country people understand - Some time back, Tony Banks MP was on television preaching to the House of Commons on the morality of hunting. It was immoral, he said, for a human being to set a mammal on to another mammal to kill it…. I told Mr Banks that this was the countryside way of dealing with vermin - animal against animal. There, you don't "send for" the council's vermin operative team. Perhaps he did not know that rabbits and rats were mammals, or was the Bill intended to outlaw the killing of rabbits and rats?... DEREK STAPLEY , Sheffield
As one who grew up in a tied cottage in the country (no electricity, no mains water, drinking water bucketed from the local pump) and whose family had to stand mutely by while marauding packs of hounds raced through our garden trampling down sorely needed fruit and vegetables, and complete strangers, superiorly high on horseback, passed rowdily by, horn blasting, offering no apology and of course no compensation to us, I say to hell with tradition…. GILLIAN SPENCER, Bolton, Lancashire (letters)

Daily Record 4.10.04 A BIT FOXED - IN all fairness to these people demonstrating against banning fox hunting - they have probably been told to demonstrate by their rich employers, or lose their jobs and their tied houses. That's the way the rich work.... Mrs Roberston, Armadale
READER'S LETTER - I AM sick to death of anti-hunt people, the majority of whom are middle-class suburbanites who would not hesitate to call the police, fire-brigade and army if their wee Tiddles ended up savaged, as many cats are, by the urban foxes... The problem with these so-called animal-loving environmentalists is that what they really want isn't countryside, but a country theme park, all neat and clean and nice.... T.J., Ayrshire (letters)

Western Morning News 4.10.04 Threat to freedom - THE Civil Contingencies Bill (Opinion, September 15) is an enactment of more EU legislation disguised as coming from the UK Parliament. It takes away any form of organised protest by the people of this country…. MPs rubber-stamped this Bill, with the Government knowing that the Bill to ban hunting would create vast media coverage of the demonstration, using country people's anger as a smokescreen covering the Civil Contingencies Bill. It was helped by the overreaction of a few police officers indiscriminately lashing out with extending batons, injuring men and women unable to defend themselves, just two or three feet from where I stood…. Alan Cook, Liskeard (letter)

Western Daily Press 4.10.04 WE CAN'T TRUST THE HUNTERS WITH OUR RED DEER - How sad I was to read the simplistic article by Johnny Kingdom promoting the myth that only hunters are the real "protectors" of West Country red deer. It would have been hoped that Johnny would have had a working knowledge of the hunters' true involvement with the issue of control. For instance, the hunts have always down-played the numbers of deer in their hunting territories so as to inflate the importance of their role in control mana g ement… Ian Pedler Paulton Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 4.10.04 HUNT 'MASK' STARTS TO SLIP - Animal Rights protesters have been targeted by Oxford University, which sought an injunction to ban them from the city centre. In the light of the violent Countryside Alliance protest in Parliament Square, and the invasion of the Commons, perhaps the City of London could now take out an injunction to ban prohunt protesters from the capital…. Roy Franklin Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 4.10.04 A PASSION TO BE ADMIRED - I was angered by the words of Mrs Ratcliffe and Mrs Turner (Your Say, September 29). Far from being examples of our yob culture the actions of Otis Ferry and his team was an admirable demonstration of passion, courage and determination…. They did not use violence or obscene language. Under the circumstances, it is to Otis' credit that the worst thing he called Alan Michael was "a disgrace"…. When they go for a walk in the country one day, they will remember Simon Hart and his "thuggish, dangerous, obsessed" demonstrators. Particularly as they stumble across the snared fox - dying agonisingly slowly of gangrene…. J Miller Sturminster Newton Dorset (letter)

Worcester Evening News 4.10.04 Myth is blown apart - Phyllis Campbell-McRae, Director, IFAW UK (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 2.10.04 FOX PEST MYTH IS NOW BLOWN APART - Leaked Countryside Alliance documents complaining about a "shortage of foxes" have blown apart the myth at the heart of the hunters' argument - that the fox is a pest and needs to be controlled. The memo, said to be from Simon Hart, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, refers to a letter sent in March this year by Lord Daresbury, chairman of the Master of Fox Hounds Association, criticising landowners for not doing enough to encourage foxes to breed on their land…. Phyllis Campbell-McRae Director IFAW UK (letter)

Yorkshire Post 4.10.04 Commons invaders attack the lifeblood of democracy From: David Wager, Delf Close, Shelf, Halifax. Bernard Ingham (September 22) asserts that "the hunters are not interfering with the lifeblood of the nation or causing damage to others" in his rant in support of the unspeakable hunt supporters who assaulted the House of Commons, comparing this with the miners of the 1980s Thatcher land. Perhaps I am missing something, but is it not the case that invading the House of Commons in an attempt to intimidate the elected representatives is an attack on the freedom which democracy brings, the very nature of our "lifeblood"?... (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 4.10.04 SYMPATHY IS ERODED - Congratulations to the Government for introducing the Hunting Bill. I hope they will not falter at the 11th hour. Although I am anti-hunting, I have a very small amount of sympathy for hunt people, although this is being eroded by the antics of the pro-hunt loonies… Ralph Jones, Twyn y Gored, Cwmavon, Port Talbot (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 4.10.04 PEACEFUL RALLY OFFERS CONTRAST - Congratulations and thanks to The Citizen for reporting the Trade Justice Rally in Brighton… On Sunday an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people gathered in Brighton to "cast their votes" for trade justice and to show that they do care about the welfare of millions of fellow human beings across the world. What a contrast to the self-interested, bullying antics of the countryside pro-hunting protesters!... MRS K. A. DUNNING, Hucclecote (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 4.10.04 JUSTIFICATION FOR HUNT BLOWN APART - The Newton Abbot Labour Party fully endorses the democratic decision by the House of Commons in voting for and endorsing the end of hunting with dogs… BARRY KAYE Newton Abbot Labour Party media spokesman Ashburton Road Newton Abbot (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 4.10.04 - The venom of pro-hunting letters is amazing. It wouldn't surprise me if the Countryside Alliance wanted to invade another country…. David A. Ashley Hall asks (September 29) if the banning of fox hunting is due to class hatred and envy. It just could be that the ruling class has hated everyone below it for hundreds of years…. WALLY CROFT Birchwood Estate, Lincoln.
I have never been able to understand how an activity whose objective is the killing of a wild animal can be described as a sport…. S. SNELL Almond Avenue, Lincoln (letters)

Nottingham Evening Post 4.10.04 WEALTHY FUND THE HUNTING PROTESTS - J. Addison (September 18) is right, wild animals do kill other species, but it's for food not fun as in fox-hunting. He thinks those opposed to this 'sport' do so out of prejudice. Not so. People from all walks of life hunt, but it's the wealthy elitist core that finance protest campaigns…. M. A. THOMPSON (Mrs) Farleys Lane, Hucknall (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 4.10.04 Hunting is not about divide - JANE Loughran claims born and bred rural Cumbrians are a minority group (News & Star, September 22). Well, my family and I are certainly born and bred rural Cumbrians, as indeed are many of my friends. Contrary to her outrageous belief, we do not choose to set a pack of dogs on to a wild animal and watch it run until it is too exhausted to run any further and pretend that it is pest control…. The picture of the Cumberland Farmers foxhounds on bikes was a publicity stunt during foot and mouth and nothing to do with whether they are “toffs” or not , as she suggests… ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)


Sunday Mirror 3.10.04 BLOODY LIARS - Countryside Alliance email reveals plan to breed foxes ..so hunters can kill them By Grant Hodgson - THE pro-hunting lobby's main argument for killing foxes - to control them as pests - is today revealed as a lie. The Sunday Mirror has learned that a letter sent by the Masters of Fox Hounds Association to 800 hunt masters and chairmen warns of a nationwide "shortage of foxes".... The letter came to light when the Sunday Mirror obtained a copy of an email sent in response to it by Simon Hart, chief executive of the pro-hunt Countryside Alliance. In the email to Lord Daresbury, chairman of the MFHA, he expressed his concern that if the letter was leaked "we would be ridiculed in Parliament, the Press and in all parts of Britain where hunting is firstly population control and secondly recreational."... (story)

Observer 3.10.04 'Labour's proposed hunting ban has mobilised the Home County girls' - Cristina Odone - Back in Tony Blair's first term, a stunning Benenden-educated blonde hit Nick Brown, then minister for agriculture, with a chocolate eclair. The pastry splattered over the minister's face and Brigit Cunningham became an overnight media sensation…. A few years on, you can't keep count of the posh protesters rushing to the barricades (or at least to Brighton and Westminster). Young, public school-educated and with a taste for exhibitionism that once would have landed them in the Tatler but now gets them on the front pages of the tabloids, these protesters display a fearlessness and daring that their middle- and working-class counterparts would only show if bent on martyrdom… (story)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 3.10.04 Tally-ho again - The proposed hunting ban is only one illustration of the actions of our present intolerant and weak Government…. Everyone should stand up to protect freedom and liberty against such dictatorship. Andrew Pym, Sandy Road, Everton
In reply to Trudie Abbott's letter last week, I would remind her that this bill bans hunting with hounds. It is still permitted to shoot foxes or to catch them with wire snares…. It is just another blatant example of class warfare and town against country. Vivian Suter, St Mary's Close, Elstow
- When the fox hunting debate first arose, I thought it was all about cruelty to the fox. Since then, I perceive it to be about the 'class of person' who hunts as much as anything else… Hunting with hounds is by far the most humane way to dispatch a fox… Archibald Green, The Buntings, Bedford
For someone in the authoritative position of Nicky Attenborough I cannot understand how she would associate herself with the views expressed last week regarding hunting. As I understand it hunting does not manufacture anything or provide a valued paid for service… Underlying all this is the ethical view that if an entity, with the mental and physical superiority over Nicky Attenborough that she holds over a fox, asked her to run before its hounds so that they could enjoy the chase and watch her torn to pieces, would she approve and run willingly - I think not. A Ellis, ndon Road, Biggleswade (letters)

Sunday Herald 3.10.04 Ian Bell opines that hunting with dogs and horses is, of itself, no big deal… I wonder where the line is between finding enter tainment in tormenting to death a small animal and getting amusement from torturing and killing people. John G McKenzie, Dundee
I know that we should always take Ian Bell’s manic moral posturing with a pinch of salt but his article on Prince Charles and fox hunting requires an instant rebuttal. What is his problem with Charles hunting foxes this winter?... Is he telling us that it is morally incorrect to obey the law of the land? Fraser McLeod, Munich (letters)

Sunday Independent 3.10.04 Nothing is 'OK' about fox-hunting - Your columnist Declan Lynch (Sunday Independent, September 19) dictates to us as follows in relation to fox-hunting: "You just check with what the hunt saboteurs want and then you go with the opposite."… It would be nice if Declan could rise above his prejudice about a particular campaign group and look at the indisputable evidence that hunting wild animals with dogs is cruel…. Aideen Yourell, Spokesperson, Irish Council Against Blood Sports
Declan Lynch's contention that we should support fox-hunting because the hunt saboteurs oppose it makes me wonder if the man has his head screwed on…. Adolf Hitler hated smoking. Should we therefore lobby for the repeal of our smoking ban?... On the day all blood sports are banned in Ireland, I will celebrate, if I happen to be alive. Declan can either drown his sorrows, ignore the momentous occasion, or feel like an idiot. It's entirely up to him. John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letters)


Farming Life 2.10.04 Fox Hunting Debate Masks Deeper Divide By Richard Wright - The debate over fox hunting has, rightly or wrongly, prompted accusation of an urban bias in Government policy. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this argument, it is ironic that the media focus on fox hunting is masking a greater error in policy towards rural areas. That is its decision not to end the over thirty months cull.... The fact that the Government cannot, or will not, see this is a better example of an urban/rural divide than its anti fox hunting stance.

Telegraph 2.10.04 Huntsman faces job loss over carcasses protest - A professional huntsman's protest over Government plans to ban the sport could cost him his job after he took part in the dumping of animal carcasses in Brighton during this week's Labour Party conference. Stuart Trousdale, 33, faces losing the job his demonstration was intended to protect because his action has angered the hunt that employs him.... He has been a kennel huntsman with the Isle of Wight Hunt for two years and its chairman has referred the matter to the national body, the Master of Foxhounds Association.... (story)

Telegraph 2.10.04 How we did it, by huntswoman who entered the Labour den - The voice on the phone is very feminine, girly even, but there is steel in the soft brown eyes of Emma Wade, 27, photographer, huntswoman, and one of seven pro-hunting protesters who disrupted Tony Blair's speech at the Labour party conference in Brighton this week. The steel may lie in the genes. She is the eldest daughter of Ian Farquhar, joint master of the Beaufort hunt... The conspirators were Tom Leeke, 30, from the Ledbury, who met Emma on one of the countryside marches; Emma's husband George; Philip Hall, a tenant farmer from the Badminton estate; Harry Meade, 21, Emma's second cousin and son of Richard Meade, the Olympic gold medal winner; and Jamie Murray-Wells, 21, an internet entrepreneur who started Glasses Direct... When she and Catherine were separated from the others, two Labour men of about 50 called them names. "It was horrendous. It wasn't about animal welfare. It was 'You little toffee-nosed bitches'. It was pure class hate."... (story)

Scotsman 2.10.04 Power battle for the soul of Labour now seems certain - LETTER FROM THE EDITOR - TONY Blair has had an extraordinarily taxing week, by any standard…. However, these things said, Mr Blair’s attitude to a third Labour term has been accumulating flaws. First, he appears bent on placing himself above normal party politics, justifying his stance by the growing fractiousness of the nation. Alas, much of this dissent has its roots in Mr Blair’s own behaviour, from the dog-in-the-manger decision to ban fox hunting come what may, to his arrogant dealings with the BBC over Iraq…. (story)

Spectator 2.10.04 How far can they go? Molly Watson on the future plans of the pro-hunting hearties who invaded the Labour conference - When the Ledbury huntsman John Holliday was arrested with Otis Ferry and six other pro-hunting protesters for breaking into the House of Commons during the debating of the Hunting Bill last month, the police rushed off to search his cottage at the hunt kennels for clues. Along with his computer, the innards of his telephone and much of the detritus of hound vaccination forms and old receipts that were cluttering his desk, they seized his copy of Baily’s Hunting Directory… Of course, if anything brings Blair down it will be Iraq rather than hunting, and the cool heads at the Countryside Alliance acknowledge that traffic jams and power cuts will only serve to alienate public opinion. Yet there are strong signs that mainstream hunt supporters are growing increasingly frustrated with the Alliance’s genteel approach to protesting…. Peter Gent, leader of the Countryside Action Network, feels that it is vital for the pro-hunting lobby to keep its momentum and, while he claims to abhor violence, he’s willing to up the ante much further than the Alliance…. (story)

Spectator 2.10.04 Little man with a grudge - Jeremy Clarke - Standing directly behind our Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Local Environmental Quality on the deep carpet of the conference room at the Thistle Hotel, Exeter, while he gave a press conference, I took the opportunity to examine the man behind the anodyne words issuing from his mouth…. The one indication of character afforded by Mr Michael’s physical appearance is, perhaps, his height. Stalin was only five feet four inches tall. At just an inch or two taller, maybe Mr Michael is also a little man with a grudge… I stood behind one of the portable police barriers. Nearby was the Master of Fox Hounds of our local hunt. Under the Conservatives this mauve-faced man used to swear vilely at me and my well-mannered Jack Russells if he saw us in the field; but since New Labour came to power he’s curbed his language remarkably. We nodded bleakly at one another… It was over in seconds. Mr Michael came out, the sky was suddenly black with invective and airborne eggs, and he dived into the front seat of the car…. (story)

Telegraph 2.10.04 Foxes for themselves - The argument that hunting is husbandry (letter, Sept 30) is a weak one. First, to quote Lord Burns: "Hunting with dogs is likely to form only a relatively minor factor in determining farmers' and landowners' land-management practices."…. John Rolls, RSPCA, Horsham, W Sussex (letter)

Telegraph 2.10.04 Not a stereotype Ten years ago, I was unlucky enough to be one of the single mothers claiming benefits who were held to be responsible for society's imminent collapse… I have managed to transform myself in to a middle-class, SUV-driving mother who sends three children to private school - only to find that I am, once more, public enemy number one. Luckily, I don't hunt. Fiona Piper, Bradfield, Essex (letter)

Western Morning News 2.10.04 Jail meals for martyrs - AS a one-time anti-roads protester who has ended up in nick, can I offer practical advice to imprisoned hunt martyrs? Prison food is vile. However, you can get round this if after arrest you instantly convert to someone who will only - on ethical grounds of course - eat vegan food that certified GM-free, 100 per cent organic, fairly traded and locally sourced in the Westcountry…. This is difficult with institutional catering, so your special food will be bought in for you alone from a friendly nearby veggie caf??.... Theo Hopkins, Lifton, West Devon
Hain's hollow words - FOLLOWING the recent invasion of the House of Commons by pro-hunt supporters and a further security breach by a reporter from the Sun newspaper, both Home Secretary David Blunkett and Leader of the House of Commons Peter Hain praised the Sun for showing the lack of security. No approval for the pro-hunt protesters…. The incident further shows the contempt ministers have for country people… Dr A C Fitter, Bovey Tracey
More bans to come - I REMIND myself, and all others who believe in country sports, that a Parliamentary vote to ban hunting is but the start of a very much wider campaign. It has become the first major target of a bunch of people who have cultivated the anti-England, anti-countryside and anti-farming party known as New Labour, through which they plan to move onwards with other objectives…. Tom Jones, Plymouth (letters)

Western Daily Press 2.10.04 SICK STUNT BACKFIRES - I have just walked to work with tears in my eyes at the sight of the dead horse on your front page. Was this up until recently someone's pet? And doesn't this callous indifference by pro-hunters to the dignity of a dead animal just encapsulate everything that these ranting, foam-flecked nutters stand for?... Heather Wolf Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.10.04 RITUAL KILLING BEGGARS BELIEF - No one likes to change their lifestyle. However, as a civilised democratic country, it is difficult to see why the pro-hunting lobby can feel so righteous about their actions. It beggars belief that people still find pleasure in the killing of animals… Mrs E Bailey Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 2.10.04 TRADITION MUST GO ON TO SAVE DEER - Sir - Congratulations to Johnny Kingdom for an excellent article regarding the future of the red deer on Exmoor if hunting is banned. Deer do tremendous damage to farmers' crops and hedges and I fear that if hunting is banned the farmers won't tolerate the deer on their land…. P Anderson Taunton Somerset (letter)

Leicester Mercury 2.10.04 KEEP HUNTS, THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS - I would vote against hunting being banned. This is not because I am pro-hunting. The fox looks too much the underdog and being torn apart while alive is gratuitously cruel. On the other hand, I am not anti-hunting either. After all, we tolerate other minorities whose behaviour to animals seems cruel to some (for example, in the production of Halal and Kosher meat)…. It might be rather hard on our russet friends, but the lesser of two evils is to keep hunting going. Russ Ball, Leicester. (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 2.10.04 WAS TURNOUT A TRUE REFLECTION? - I Am both annoyed and surprised that my favourite newspaper should refer to the old "town versus country" routine regarding the Government's (long overdue) ban on hunting God's beautiful wildlife with hounds… A relative of mine worked in a hunting stable at the time of the rally, and three grooms who worked there were told "march or find yourself another job"…. I had dropped my membership to the Labour party as a result of the previous back-tracking of two election manifestos to ban this evil "sport"…. Steve Haines, via e-mail (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 2.10.04 HUNT BAN IS THIN END OF WEDGE - The Government plays this old chestnut every time an election is due or their back is against the wall for one reason or another. They should be dealing with important issues… MARK GRAY, via e-mail (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 2.10.04 COMICAL SIGHT OF HOUNDS ON TRAIL - I Have followed Bassets for many years and never seen them catch a hare. They must do sometimes…. The hounds are magical and comical to watch…. G. F. MARTIN, Saul (letter)

Western Mail 2.10.04 Shifting values as town fights country - Whatever your views about fox-hunting with dogs, it's apparent to the astute observer that bigger issues are unfolding, of which fox-hunting is part of a much greater groundswell of social and cultural change… Urban Britain is calling "time" on a perceived archaic way of life in which hunting, fishing and shooting are out of date, out of step with the rest of the world…. DAVID LLOYD-HOWELLS, The Life Search Project, Maindiff Court Farm, Abergavenny
Fox-hunting facts - I can only echo Mair Hughes's statement, "Here we go again"… Fiction - Foxes are vermin… Fiction - Foxes are pests… It will be interesting to see the rhetoric from the likes of Mair Hughes, if God forbid the Tories gain power. What reasons will they give to reinstate fox-hunting, apart from the usual propaganda?... JUDI HEWITT, Rhyl, Denbighshire (letter)

Daily Record 2.10.04 FOX FACTS - A.Delahoy,Edinburgh (letter)
Edinburgh Evening News 2.10.04 Why we have a moral duty to call off the dogs - JUDGING by the antics of the supporters of fox hunting, it would seem that they consider themselves above the law. This attitude is not really surprising when one thinks of their attitude to the fox: chasing it for miles with a pack of dogs, watching it being torn to pieces when caught…. A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh (letter)

Yorkshire Evening Post 2.10.04 Ban welcome - Fox hunting should have been banned in our country years ago. I cannot imagine why it has been allowed for so long…. MRS O TERRY, Whinmoor, Leeds (letter)

Dundee Courier 2.10.04 Country likely to become ungovernable - The fairly recent invasion of Parliament by hunt supporters was described as “an attack on democracy”. It certainly seems to bring the UK one step nearer to complete anarchy against a background of overcrowded prisons, increasingly antisocial behaviour, and low election turn-outs. The trouble is that people today—many of whom are normally law-abiding—want a bigger say on issues that affect their lives and they are no longer content to leave it to the “will of Parliament”, especially when politicians generally are held in such low public esteem…. Angus Ramsay. 34 Kings Road, Rosyth. (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 2.10.04 Compassion limited - Congratulations to East Midlands Labour MPs for showing compassion to dumb animals by voting for the abolition of fox hunting. What a shame they could not all show similar compassion to the children of Iraq who are not even able to compete with foxes in being able to sprint…. It would be interesting to compare how many people have been killed in Iraq since the illegal American/British invasion with the number of foxes killed in Britain during the same period through hunting. SYLVIA PARSONS Fenchurch Close Warren Hill (letter)

York Evening Press 2.10.04 Stop the Hunt - I WOULD like to thank John Grogan for supporting the Government's motion to ban fox hunting and I'm sure it will improve, rather than damage his chances of re-election, as the vitriolic minority Hooray Henries slowly fade into insignificance…. Chris Jones, Aldwark, York. (letter in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 2.10.04 HUNTING WITH HOUNDS IS AN 'UNNATURAL' ACT - The Hunting Bill is not just about foxes. People who "enjoy" country sports also quite legally subject deer and hares to unacceptable suffering…. In a democracy, the will of the majority should prevail over the will of a minority. Susan Butler, Church Close, Willington. (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 2.10.04 WHY NOT TRY DRAG HUNTING INSTEAD? - I View the hunting debate from the side of the victim - the fox. Consequently, I am against hunting foxes with dogs…. Philip Smith, Copandale Road, Beverley. (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 2.10.04 FEEDBACK: FOX-HUNTING - K M Borek's laughable criticism of my letter ("Our traditions are worth upholding", Open Lines, September 22) which supported fox-hunting, was full of the over-sensitive hyperbole to be expected of one who wrote: "I wonder how Mr Smith feels about the fox cubs that are left to starve to death when a vixen is hunted and killed and cannot return to raise her young." ("Out of touch over farming methods", Open Lines, September 29). The answer is: no different from how I feel after a boiled egg for breakfast…. I suspect that her contempt for fox-hunting has its genesis in watching too much of The Basil Brush Show as a child… R L Smith, Knowle (letter)
Bristol Evening Post 29.9.04 FEEDBACK: OUT OF TOUCH OVER FARMING METHODS - While Mr Smith does have a point that people no longer truly realise where meat comes from when they buy it packaged and prepared in supermarkets, it is beyond me to understand how he can link this with fox hunting. As Mr Smith should be well aware, the custodians of our countryside whom he defends raise much of our meat by intensive factory farming, in other words, concentration camps for animals…. K Borek, by e-mail. (letter)


Telegraph 1.10.04 Prescott rules out fox hunt reprieve - John Prescott snuffed out any hope of a reprieve for foxhunting yesterday when he told countryside campaigners that they had lost the argument and now had to "obey the law of the land". During a barnstorming end-of-conference speech, the Deputy Prime Minister tore into hunting supporters for what he described as their "savage" pastime and apparent desire constantly to kill animals.... (story)

Guardian 1.10.04 Back to just plain Labour again - Kevin Maguire … Most effective protest - Noisy but dignified Trade Justice Movement marchers won praise, while hunters, who dumped dead animals, shot themselves in foot … (story)

Newcastle Journal 1.10.04 Hunters set to ban Army - A ban on foxhunting will provoke retaliation from some North-East landowners against Government use of their properties, one of the region's major estate-holders warned last night. But Duncan Davidson, who holds the 21,500-acre Lilburn Estate near Wooler in North Northumberland, said it was too early to start disrupting organisations such as the Army in the wake of the Animal Welfare Bill being rushed through the House of Commons…. (story)

Western Morning News 1.10.04 HOPE FOR NEW HUNTING DEAL? - Tony Blair appeared to hold out a faint glimmer of hope for hunt supporters last night when he declared that he would still like to see a "compromise" on the issue of hunting with dogs. In an interview with the BBC Politics Show, to be broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday lunchtime, Mr Blair stressed that he had backed the "compromise" Bill produced by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael last year, which would have allowed some hunting to continue under licence…. (story)

Western Morning News 1.10.04 PUT UP OR SHUT UP, MP TELLS HUNT LOBBY - A Westcountry Labour MP has challenged hunt supporters to abandon their protests and field candidates at the next General Election if they want to block the Government's impending ban on hunting with dogs. Candy Atherton, Labour MP for Falmouth and Camborne, said it was time for the Countryside Alliance to "put up or shut up" at the ballot box rather than continue their campaign of high-profile protests…. Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said it was ridiculous to suggest that the hunting community should have to win a General Election to defend its liberties. And he warned that the Hunting Bill set a dangerous precedent for other "minorities"…. (story)

Western Daily Press 1.10.04 HUNTERS GET PREZZA BROADSIDE John Prescott yesterday ended Labour's Brighton conference the way he had opened it - with a stinging attack on hunt supporters. His speech came as police revealed that 60 officers had been injured in demonstrations outside Parliament Square this month. The Deputy Prime Minister had already angered the Countryside Alliance at the weekend when he attacked the "contorted faces" of the "braying mob" heading for the resort for a mass rally. And in his second speech of the week he launched a fierce assault on the actions of those who picketed the Labour conference…. Pro-hunt campaigners in mid-Wales say that they will refuse to allow Army training on thousands of acres of agricultural land…. (story)

Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard 1.10.04 Commons hunt campaigner speaks out - WHEN a group of pro-hunt supporters burst in on MPs in the House of Commons as they argued a ban on fox-hunting, it was the most serious breach of security at Westminster for over 350 years. The group included Beaufort Hunt member Luke Tomlinson who this week broke his silence over the chain of events and spoke exclusively to the 'Standard'…. (story in archive)

Chester Chronicle 1.10.04 Bishop refuses to join the fox-hunting debate By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - THE Bishop of Chester is keeping tight-lipped on whether he still stands by his previously expressed view in support of fox-hunting. The Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster said the sport was a necessary means of controlling the fox population and he wished to see it extended into urban areas after losing a hen… John McBlain, of the North West League Against Cruel Sports, who lives in Cheshire, criticised the bishop…. (story)

Stafford & Stone Chronicle 1.10.04 Hunt demo at Labour conference - The master of the North Staffordshire Hunt has vowed 'We will not go away' after attending protests at the Labour Party conference in Brighton this week. Ann Hartley, who farms at Great Bridgeford, near Stafford, attended Brighton with 16 members of the North Staffs Hunt to join more than 8,000 countryside rights protesters on the south coast on Tuesday… (story)

Stirling Observer 1.10.04 YOU’RE OUT OF TOUCH! - BANNING fox hunting in England and Wales appears to have sparked the countdown to the hunt for election votes in Stirling. The Tory Westminster candidate for Stirling, Stephen Kerr, has launched a scathing attack on sitting Labour MP Anne McGuire for voting in favour of the ban…. Mr Kerr said: “What a pity that Mrs McGuire is so craven in her divisive class-based prejudices. What on earth does this issue have to do with her in the first place?... And how ironic is it that Mrs McGuire is silent on issues that directly affect her constituents — such as the escalating fuel taxes, or the state of Stirling’s roads, or the future of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to name but a few — but she happily toes the party line with her Labour cronies to impose top-up tuition fees, foundation hospitals and hunt bans on English voters…." (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 1.10.04 HUNT CLASH - MP FEARS FOR SAFETY - An Anti-hunting Gloucestershire MP is worried about the safety of his staff and family. The MP has appeared on a list of 50 MPs being targeted by hunt protesters at the next election. David Drew's Stroud constituency appears on a list of 50 drawn up by hunt supporters who are attempting to oust MPs at the next General Election…. (story)

Weymouth Echo 1.10.04 We'll hunt you down! by Emily Pykett - SOUTH Dorset MP Jim Knight has been targeted by hunt supporters who are taking their protests to the ballot box. The Working Hound Defence Campaign (WHDC) is recruiting volunteers to crusade against sitting MPs in marginal seats who have thrown their weight behind the Government's proposed hunting ban…. Joint Master of the South Dorset Hunt, Major Reg Hanbury, also sits on the Dorset Countryside Alliance Committee and confirmed there was support for the VoteHunting scheme…. (story in archive)

York Evening Press 1.10.04 Hunts to target homes of local MPs - PRO-HUNT campaigners are to take their protests directly to the party offices - and even homes - of anti-hunt MPs in York and North Yorkshire… Edward Duke, former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and spokesman for the Real CA, said Mr Bayley would be a priority target, claiming the MP was typical "old Labour," and would like to "put one over the upper classes." He claimed Mr Bayley had been invited to visit hunts so he could make an informed decision on the Hunting Bill, but refused…. (story in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 1.10.04 BLAIR AFTER BRIGHTON - WAYNE Casey, 35, secretary of Carlisle Taxi Association, thinks Tony Blair has been less than honest about his motives for war with Iraq…. On the subject of a hunting ban, Mr Casey thinks the fox has the upper hand. “We have anti-hunt people, who are mainly city-dwelling animal rights activists who visit the countryside on a weekend in their 4x4s, wearing nasty knitted pullovers. And we have the ‘Toodle pip, chin chin’ brigade. If a fox is really that cunning it should easily escape both sets of idiots.”… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 1.10.04 Student Lewis Powell, 21, is in his final year of a three-year business degree course at the University of Central Lancashire in Carlisle… I don’t think it will cause a ‘civil war’ between town and country. We live in a democracy which means people have the right to demonstrate for what they believe in and the pro-hunt protestors are voicing their concerns… (story)

Ledbury Reporter 1.10.04 Dad proud of heckler - The father of a Ledbury Hunt member who heckled the Prime Minister during his Labour Party Conference speech has spoken of his pride in his son's actions. Tom Leeke's protest follows the high-profile invasion of the floor of the House of Commons involving other Ledbury Hunt members…. (story in archive)

Wiltshire Times 1.10.04 Hunt ban may cost taxpayer - A FARMER from Warminster has thrown himself into the middle of the hunting debate by claiming the taxpayer will lose out if the sport is banned. Josh Stratton, of East Farm, in Codford, argues huntsmen clear up fallen stock (animals which have died on farmland) and this could cost the taxpayer dear when the ban comes into force. (story in archive)

Romsey Advertiser 1.10.04 Romsey seat on hunt hit list - Romsey MP Sandra Gidley could face a concerted effort by hunt supporters to unseat her at the next general election. Campaigners plan to target the Romsey constituency as part of a bid to unseat anti-hunting MPs in marginal seats across England and Wales…. (story in archive)

Isle of Wight County Press 1.10.04 HUNTSMAN ADMITS DEAD ANIMAL PROTEST By Gavin Foster - IW HUNT employee Stuart Trousdale has admitted helping to dump four animal carcasses in Brighton city centre in protest at the Government-backed ban on foxhunting. Mr Trousdale, 33, one of two men arrested following the protest to coincide with the Labour Party conference, has been bailed to report back to Sussex police later this month…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 'Better to hunt than use drugs' by Emily Thwaite A WOTTON-UNDER-EDGE student took the day off college on Tuesday to join the pro-hunting protest in Brighton. Amy Bell, 19, who attends Hartpury College, Gloucester, was joined by Polly Whittaker, 15, from Thornbury… The Master of the Berkeley Hunt, Henry Berkeley, said: "I am a hundred per cent behind the rights of these young people…. (story in archive)

Malvern Gazette 1.10.04 Dad praises son for heckling PM - The father of a Ledbury Hunt member who heckled the Prime Minister during his Labour Party Conference speech has spoken of his pride in his son's actions. Tom Leeke's protest follows the high-profile invasion of the floor of the House of Commons involving other Ledbury Hunt members…. (story in archive)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 1.10.04 'We can deal with hunt ban' By Duncan Gibbons - The top police officer in Warwickshire has dismissed claims that a ban on foxhunting with dogs would be impossible to enforce…. ohn Burbeck, Chief Constable of Warwickshire, said the force was easily adaptable and could uphold a ban…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 1.10.04 Conservative MEP Roger Helmer states the Labour Government briefed the police to take a tough line with pro-hunt protesters in Parliament Square (September 25). Wasn't this what his own Tory party did during the Miners' Strike?... MR M. WILMAN Birchwood, Lincoln.
In his attack on me (September 28), Dr K. E. Jones implied that I plagiarised my letter by lifting "propaganda statements of the so-called Countryside Alliance". The words are my own and I stand by them. Dr Jones would have us believe that foxes are not "vermin", but are "one of our major mammal species". Both notions are nonsense, but not as bizarre as his claim that Labour backbenchers voted to outlaw foxhunting for "humanitarian" reasons. Foxes are not human. Nor are they a major mammal species. They are vermin. And you don't need to own a horse to know that…. DAVID McLEISH Michaelgate, Lincoln. (letters)

South Wales Echo 1.10.04 Straight to the point - NOW that Parliament has dealt with cruelty to foxes, what about the fish in our lakes, ponds and rivers? A Weston Evans, Heol Wen, Rhiwbina, Cardiff (letter)

Independent 1.10.04 After deer-hunting Sir: Almost all the discussion about a ban on hunting with hounds has centred on fox-hunting. In large parts of the South-west, red deer are numerous and stag-hunting is as important as fox-hunting. I am no supporter of stag-hunting, but I am concerned about the alternatives. The Government appears to have given no thought to what will happen to red deer in areas such as Exmoor and the Quantocks if hunting ceases… FRANCIS KIRKHAM, Crediton, Devon (letter)

Times 1.10.04 Hunting traumas - You report that the Countryside Alliance stand at the Labour conference, though in an area restricted to accredited delegates, was vandalised and daubed with obscenities on Sunday night (People, September 28). Two weeks ago overbearing policing was employed against largely peaceful protesters in Parliament Square. These events appear closer in spirit to behaviour prevalent in the Europe of the 1930s than to a 21st-century democracy…. JAMES INGMIRE, 409 Hawkins House, Dolphin Square, SW1V 3NU.
Mr David Wilson (letter, September 23) says the hunting protesters, as a minority, should accept the decision of Parliament… Under the medieval body politic our constitution did not depend on majority voting but on the powers or liberties of the land, and where they happened to conflict the monarch was the arbitrator to protect minority interests. Now, farmers as a minority interest are virtually bankrupt, and the elimination of foxhunting is to follow. Yours faithfully, SUDELEY, 25 Melcombe Court, Dorset Square, NW1 6EP. (letters)

Western Mail 1.10.04 Why delay hunting ban? - Hear! Hear! I fully agree with Rob Curtis's views (September 23) regarding this barbaric "sport"…. SUSAN WALTON, Bryn Yr Ysgol, Caerphilly
If fox hunting is being banned because MPs such as Tony Banks, Gerald Kaufman and our illustrious Welsh Secretary Peter Hain state it is cruel to animals, why have they so readily agreed to delay the ban for 18 months. Use it to save their well moisturised and tanned skins for the next election… Although, I have fully supported people's freedom to hunt the fox I draw the line at dead animals being dumped in cities and towns… Mrs A PHILLIPS, Danygraig Cottages, Pontyclun (letters)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Who will do this job if the hunts are banned? Can the three reporters who wrote your front page article explain to readers on Tuesday evening why they think hunt supporters left carcasses on the streets of Brighton? Perhaps they could follow up with an article about the livestock industry and how fallen stock is currently disposed of?... All of you who drink milk, buy cheap, imported beef or wear leather shoes, spare a thought for the people who clear up the blood and guts in the countryside. Spare a thought for those who still have their feet and hands in the soil and don't shy away or turn a blind eye when an animal has to be put down and dispatched… (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Courageous decision Congratulations to The Argus for having the courage to publish the front page picture of the barbaric scene created in Brighton by the pro-hunt mob… -Mrs C Newham, Saltdean (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Letter: Hang them - I am a little confused. Pro-fox-hunters call for democracy but I thought "democracy" meant a Government representing the views of all the people regardless of class, not just a small percentage of upper class yobs…. Let's pray for a return to the old-fashioned values. Hanging would be a good start. -Dee Inward (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Shock tactic … The picture on your front page was beyond horrendous - I have never cried about a headline before but this just was beyond belief. How dare you put such a scene like this on open view to all, including probably children?... -Sara Luff, Steyning (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Not necessary - I am writing because of the despicable picture you put in your newspaper on Tuesday of the dead, upside down horse…. Bethan Price, aged eight -Brighton (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: I can imagine … I was horrified when my eight-year-old daughter pulled the paper out of the letterbox and came to me in tears on Tuesday. She had read your front page and was very upset about the photograph you printed…. -Rachael Seager, Brighton (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Rot in hell - So, the morons who ride with hounds think that dumping carcasses in Brighton will advance their cause? I would like to chase them over the Downs on a quadbike until they drop with exhaustion and then I would like to horse whip them within an inch of their miserable, over-inflated, egotistical lives. -Rod Ackers, Portslade(letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Who did it? David Winnick (Lab, Walsall North) says the daft dead animals stunt "will simply put even more people off supporting hunting with dogs". Perhaps that is the idea - to discredit the Countryside Alliance and other pro-hunting supporters…. -Dr MG Barley, Hove (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: No compassion - What a vile and disgusting way to put forward a protest against the proposed hunting ban. The hunting fraternity show their lack of compassion towards animals in general, never mind their quarry…. -Robin Durant, Withdean, Brighton (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: An affront - With tight security around the city, how were the pro-hunt protesters able to lay corpses of dead animals outside Brighton station? These people should be arrested and brought to justice. How were these animals killed and by whom?... -Judy Way, Southwick (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Not cruel - I gave first-hand evidence based on my own experience to the Burns Committee set up by this Government on hunting foxes. The committee decided fox hunting was not cruel as so many foxes were injured on our roads and the hounds and huntsmen prevented them from further suffering… -Glyn Hazzard, Ringmer (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Well behaved - I attended the protest and found 99 per cent of people, although bitterly angry with the shabby politics behind this banning bill, behaved impeccably. Is it any surprise that after years of peaceful protest a few individuals' blood boils? -Guy Frazier, Albourne (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: Referendum - I am sick of the hypocrisy about fox hunting, brought to the fore again outside the Brighton Centre this week. I have no opinion either way myself. However, Tony Blair and his government should act as they frequently say, as a reforming government and have a referendum on fox hunting… A referendum would also have saved a lot of parliamentary time and allowed the commons to properly debate the Civil Contingencies Bill. Most of the public know nothing of it but it has already been passed by the Commons. Its undebated part two allows the Goverment extraordinary powers whereby we could be brought under police/military rule, property could be confiscated without compensation and previous Acts of Parliament could be nullified. -Dr JA Chamberlain-Webber, Rottingdean (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Letter: When I excercised my right to protest I was arrested - Tony Blair, during his conference speech, smugly informed a war protester he was lucky to live in a society where the right to protest exists. He didn't say what can happen if you exercise this right… I was arrested, as shown on page 3 of The Argus on Wednesday on the same day for destroying a placard handed to me by a hunt supporter… You will then be given a fixed penalty notice of £80 to pay within 21 days and if you choose to challenge it in court, "You will have it doubled", the kindly duty sergeant informed me…. I am a teacher and cannot afford to have a record of this kind. I therefore have to pay the fine despite denying the charge laid against me…. -Heather Tait, Lewes (letter in archive)

Argus 1.10.04 Editor's response: Several readers have written to protest at our use of a picture on the front page of the evening edition on Tuesday of a horse carcass dumped in Brighton by pro-hunt supporters. Let me say at the outset we did not intend to offend anyone and I am sorry to those we did, especially readers with children and indeed younger readers themselves. However, the dumping of the horse's and several calves' bodies was local and national news which The Argus had a duty to report… (story in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.10.04 TOO MANY IN THE HUNTING DEBATE ARE ILL-INFORMED - Those who have debated the hunting issue in these pages over the years must despair of some of those now arriving late in the day to spout their ill-informed and emotive two pennyworth… Very few foxes are disposed of in 30 seconds flat as he claims. Those killed 'on top' must first be chased to a state of exhaustion before hounds can overtake them - the length of this chase can vary but good 'sport' is provided by the longer chases which demonstrate the skill of the huntsman to keep hounds on the line of their fox… Dr John Pamment, Clyst Heath, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.10.04 SMOKERS HAVE A CHOICE THAT FOXES DON'T ENJOY … Smokers have a choice but deer and foxes do not. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.10.04 THIS LATEST DEBATE HAS BEEN TOO EMOTIONAL - I write as a 70-year-old townie, who was born and brought up in the country in the north of England. I have never hunted, fished or shot birds, or any animal… What I am is a passionate supporter of the British and English way of life, with all its traditions, complexities and contradictions… One thing is for sure, not one of those MPs, who voted to ban what they do not understand and demonstrated their ignorance of country life, will be digging into their pockets to support the people thrown out of work. Neither will they be losing much sleep over it, I regret to say. Mr G Ward (letter)

Yorkshire Post 1.10.04 FOX FACTS - From: Mrs J Hall, Hall Farm, Tarn Lane, Leeds. William Thompson (Letters, September 15) states that foxes do not break in. I can tell you from my experience that they do….
From: J Toulson Clarke, Oak Tree House, Egton Bridge, Whitby. With the Hunting Bill before Parliament, I recalled the childhood excitement of hunting rats with a terrier… now in my eighties and long past the challenges of stone walls and thick hedges, I think I have found a bit of flat country I might hunt from a tricycle. So I'm wondering whether I could form a scratch pack to be kennelled near Westminster…. By law, foxes may only die slowly by being snared, poisoned, shot, wounded or trapped in the future, but we can make sure that the hate-filled MPs who have condemned them to such an end are worried ceaselessly by those who care for rural traditions.
From: Mr and Mrs LC Sigsworth, West Moor House, Raskelf, York. We write to express our vehement opposition to the ban on hunting with dogs….
From: RC Dales, Church View, Brompton, Northallerton. Misconceptions do not seem to be confined to urban politicians interfering with country life. No fewer than three of your correspondents on September 20 were barking up the wrong trees… Angling is not cruel. Apart from knowledge from personal observation, there is ample scientific knowledge that the structure of a fish does not enable it to suffer pain when hooked…. I was surprised that only 59 per cent favoured a continuation of hunting foxes with dogs: of all my contacts, only one was "anti". The biggest misconception of all is to attribute human emotions to wild creatures (letters)

Western Morning News 1.10.04 HUNT PROTESTS DON'T WARRANT RIOT POLICE - David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, has just been on television this morning setting out his plans for new policing policies throughout the country. His words were "reducing fear and reducing the level of crime". Can he explain the fear that I and the five other 50-plus ladies with me in Brighton on Tuesday, felt at the sight of hundreds of riot clad policemen, shoulder to shoulder along our entire route?.... Who was looking after the streets of London, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire then?... The police are only doing their job - the question is on whose instructions, and why in riot gear? Liz Wheller, Okehampton
Abuse of power - I AM totally opposed to the abuse of the democratic process. The Prime Minister has distanced himself from the Hunting Bill and slipped it through the House days before the recess. This was in return for left-wing support on foundation hospitals and top-up fees at university…. N A Maxwell-Lawford, Buckerell, Honiton
Angry home front - SO ALUN Michael MP, purportedly a Minister of the Crown, feels unsafe taking a country walk in the Peak District and bottles out of showing how proud he is of the right to roam law he promulgated…. This should indicate to the Prime Minister that fighting wars abroad may be easier than dealing with an angry rural population at home. Jonathan Ward-Hayne, Modbury South Devon (letters)

Western Daily Press 1.10.04 LET'S LEAVE FOX TO ITS INSTINCTS - T E Mattocks appears to lump country people together as all having one view. Vast areas of countryside exist in Britain where there are no hunts. Can it be assumed that it is teeming with packs of foxes waiting to savage anything that crosses their path? Do hares cause havoc in the countryside?... Blood sports are just that: a sport to spill blood. Susanne Morgan Long Ashton Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 1.10.04 BARBARIC KILLING MUST BE STOPPED - I look forward to my daily read, and in particular the Your Say pages, hunting with hounds being the hot topic. Pro or anti, I am surprised at the insults levied at the hunting people. To suggest that all those who ride with the hounds are barbaric, uncivilised, not responsible or respectable people, etc, is of course ridiculous…. On this topic, I cannot understand why the Government has not levied the same bitter and ignorant attack, in the name of preventing cruelty to animals, on the ethnic minority of this country who kill hundreds of animals each week in the most barbaric way, in the name of culture or religion…. A G Giblin Stonehouse Gloucestershire (letter)

Shropshire Star 1.10.04 Brutality of police on demo day - After reading Ray William's letter about the hunting demonstration in London, I had to write to let you know the truth…. Yes the police were heavy-handed even with innocent bystanders, and there were only plastic bottles thrown and no smoke bombs…. I know what happened in London, I was in the front line taking photographs. And I was threatened with a police baton and told to stop taking photographs but I carried on and took some excellent photographs of police brutality for a magazine (don't forget Mr Williams cameras do not lie). David Evans, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 1.10.04 Only class prejudice - There's a familiar theme running through many of the letters in your paper on anti-hunting. It's the misconception that hunt supporters are all wealthy, privileged and somehow responsible for the mines being closed. It's a fair bet that some lads now battling to save jobs connected with hunting weren't even born then…. All this talk about "toffs galloping about" only shows that class prejudice is the real reason for this Bill. G R Wheeler, Shrewsbury (letter)

Leicester Mercury 1.10.04 FORGET FOXES, CRACK DOWN ON CRIMINALS - After reading Postbag over the past several weeks, I can't believe the number of people who would back a Government that thinks a fox-hunting ban is more important than sorting out our pathetic country run by do-gooders…. Mrs Freeman, Barlestone. (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 1.10.04 HUNTING JUST FOR ENTERTAINMENT - As Dave and Gill Purser have pointed out, it's becoming more and more obvious that hunting with dogs is an activity solely for entertainment purposes. It is a "sport", there is no reasonable explanation for it other than that it provides an exhilarating "pulse-quickening" day out for the willing participants…. Do they really care a toss about the employees who look after the horses and the dogs, or are they just worried about facing a life without the thrill of chasing a fox across the countryside with their upper class, and vastly out-of-tune colleagues? STEVE HARRADINE, via e-mail (letter)

The Sentinel 1.10.04 IMPORTANT ISSUES - I write with regards to your story last week when countryside campaigners descended on a parish council meeting where Charlotte Atkins was speaking. I have no political views whatsoever and I feel that fox hunting is cruel, but let us put things in perspective. We are now faced with our doctors off call from 6pm until 8am and all over the weekend. If you live in the northern part of the Moorlands and you need a doctor between these hours I understand you will be covered by an out of hours practice in Chesterfield…. So what do we do about it? We make a law banning fox hunting which will cost the country millions of pounds. The police wage bill will go through the roof with overtime needed to deal with these disputes. Police will have to be taken off the front line of crime fighting to attend the hunts, which will probably continue. MPs like Charlotte Atkins will have police at meetings wasting valuable resources. This money should be spent on the health service and keeping our schools open and policing our streets… DISILLUSIONED WITH POLITICS Name and address supplied (letter)

The Sentinel 1.10.04 IT'S WRONG TO BAN THE NF MARCH - Re: the banned National Front march. I find it disconcerting that our elected politicians are all rallied against this happening…. I think hunting with hounds with a view to ripping an animal to pieces is barbaric and should be banned, but I would not deny those who have a contrary view to march to argue their case… G WEBB Dresden (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 1.10.04 GET ON WITH YOUR FARMING … Instead of protesting about banning fox hunting, why don't the Countryside Alliance concentrate on making their livestock healthy and just get on with their farming rather than disrupting parliament by throwing eggs, and having silly girls dressed up as bunnies to little effect…. S COOPER Torquay (letter)

Scotsman 1.10.04 Far from totalitarianism - Gillian Bowditch (Opinion, 28 September) should not be allowed to get away with her claim that the policies the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, has put forward could pave the way for a repeat of the totalitarianism of 60 years ago…. Our present watered-down Labour policies hardly have the power to upset many freedoms, in spite of the hunt lobby. To suggest a comparison with the 1930s is ill-founded and irresponsible. JOHN FLEMING, Friarsbrae, Linlithgow, West Lothian (letter)

Bath Chronicle 1.10.04 PAUL CD ANGERS PRO-HUNT LOBBY - …. A friend of mine lives near the Quantocks. He was selling a Paul McCartney CD at a car boot sale in his village and noticed he was getting some strange looks. He was told to remove the CD from his stall because "That McCartney's not welcome round these parts." For those who don't know, Sir Paul owns bits of land in areas where fox hunting and stag hunting are practised, which he maintains as an oasis for those creatures. He's not popular in parts of Somerset and Devon. This is the mentality of some of the folk who want to preserve hunting. I don't think Dan Norris needs to be too concerned. CHRIS STILLMAN, Wellow Tyning, Peasedown St John (letter)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 1.10.04 The party's over for me - I have decided to leave the Labour Party, which I do with a heavy heart. I can no longer support this great party while it is led by Tony Blair…. The debate on fox hunting was the last straw for me, especially when there are 1001 more important things to discuss in this disunited nation of ours…. want a leader who understands the principles and history of the Labour Party, rather than just its reforming element. Ian Payne, Harrington Walk, Lichfield. (letter)

Chester Chronicle 1.10.04 THE Burns Report on 'Hunting with dogs' of a few years ago told us that between 6,000 and 8,000 people are directly and indirectly employed in this foxhunting business. The same report also told us that hunting with dogs killed between 21,000 and 23,000 foxes a year. Simple mathematics tells us, therefore, that each person employed for a wage in this business is, effectively, responsible for the dispatch of just three foxes each year…. If the fox was the pest that we are led to believe it is, farmers would not rely on such an inefficient method of getting rid of it…. PETER BARNARD Orchard Cottage Dodleston Lane Pulford Chester
WHAT depresses me most about hunting with dogs is that so-called sportsmen (and women) get pleasure from the hounding of foxes, stags and hares to death. This is barbarous and belongs to a bygone age… DAVID CHALLEN Cliveden Road Chester
SO tip-toe Tony has finally made it and we have at last a hunting ban. It is to be hoped it will be enforced with all the vigour that was employed during the miners' strike and at the very least similar resources will be employed…. ALEX WOODS Great Barrow Chester (letter)

Bucks Free Press 1.10.04 Alternatives could be worse for foxes - SUPPORTERS of a ban on hunting are entitled to point to the majority of MPs and, possibly, still of the public, who believe that this step should now be taken. But how validly grounded are their beliefs? Are they based on objection to those who hunt (which would seem an unsatisfactory footing for legislation) or on the issue of perceived cruelty to the fox?... Does all this add up to a case, of the sort of strength it ought to be, to justify preventing, by law, people's freedom to engage, if they wish, in an activity which has been part of rural life and, in many cases, livelihood for centuries? In my view, the answer has to be "No"." Michael Wilson Sprigs Holly Lane Radnage (letter)

Bucks Free Press 1.10.04 They could divert fares to charities - I READ that pro-hunt people were due to protest outside the Labour Party conference… I suggest the protestors would be better off staying away, saving fares to the conference and sending the money to the RSPCA or Oxfam. Name and address supplied (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 1.10.04 I KILLED A FOX WITH MY CAR - As a person who has never been associated with any hunt, I wholeheartedly support the hunters. Howard Moss is totally off his trolley. These so-called do-gooders, antis, non-meat-eaters, (who wear the finest leather shoes) think they are always right…. Once a fox epidemic has been announced by the Government, who will pay for the poison to reduce the fox population? Yes, you've got it, the good old tax payer. Robert Vaughan, Linden Avenue, West Cross, Swansea (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 1.10.04 FRIGHTENED FOX … She said "It was very frightening" when the protest became violent. Can these people imagine how frightened the fox is when it is being chased by all these people, horses, and dogs… Mrs E Drury (address supplied) (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 1.10.04 … He states: "The Government is quite prepared for a fox to die in agony hours or days after being shot." If Mr Coppin would care to turn to page 83 (para 5.8) of the Burns report, he will read that a survey made in our region revealed that of foxes culled, 15 per cent were killed by the foxhounds and 62 per cent were killed by shooting with a rifle or shotgun…. There are Conservative MPs that are anti-hunting and Labour MP's who are pro-hunting. There are miners in Yorkshire that are pro-hunting, not many Tories there. Remember the miners' strike and landed gentry in both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire that are anti-hunting. Mr D J Hope, Briar Lane, Healing. (letter)

Hexham Courant 1.10.04 AWAIT RESULT - THE writer of the lead letter (Courant, September 24) condemns killing creatures for fun, and champions the wishes of the majority. Vegetarians are living proof that man can exist without eating meat. However, most people choose to include it as a part of their diet because they, and I am included, enjoy it. Therefore it is reasonable to argue that many animals die daily for human pleasure. That is the wish of the majority. There is, I concede, a difference between animals raised for slaughter and a hunted fox: the latter has a chance of escape…. ED ROBINSON, Address supplied (letter)

Hexham Courant 1.10.04 FOXHUNTING IS CRUEL SPORT - AFTER reading the numerous letters, which were pro-hunting, (Courant, September 24) I felt very dismayed! I felt I must now put pen to paper, and challenge this pro-hunting “cult”!... Fox hunting is the cruellest of sports and how can you so-called country folks, be so sadistic, and cruel, in taking pleasure in the slaughtering, and killing of an innocent fox…. MRS PAT BRIGHT, Highfield, Prudhoe (letter)

Preston Citizen 1.10.04 How can we stop bear bating? THANK you for publishing the letter from Douglas Bachelor, chief executive of the League against Cruel Sports (Citizen letters September 23). It can only be to the good of humanity and to foxes when fox hunting ceases…. Can the League against Cruel Sports do anything to stop the hideously cruel sport of bear bating with dogs in Pakistan? We were horrified to see this on television news a week or two ago…. Jane Ryding Smyth, Franklands, Longton (letter in archive)

Surrey Advertiser 1.10.04 A lot of thought went into my vote on hunting - I am sorry that Keith Chesterton is “horrified” by my voting against a foxhunting ban (Surrey Advertiser Letters, September 24). I weighed up a great number of factors before voting the way I did, along with several other Lib Dem MPs as well as Conservative and Labour members… Many other rural equestrian activities (such as Riding For The Disabled) indirectly benefit from hunting, as economies of scale produce affordable saddles, tack and stable facilities. These very praiseworthy rural activities would be jeopardised if hunting were banned…. In short, much as I agree with Labour’s Keith Chesterton in condemning wilful cruelty in any form, I cannot agree that a foxhunting ban achieves this end…. SUE DOUGHTY MP, Shalford. (letter)

Wiltshire Times 1.10.04 Let animals roam free - I WOULD like to reply to the letter from Richard L Nicholson who wrote in to the paper about fox hunting. He's a joke like the rest of pro-hunting barbaric followers of letting a pack of hounds rip an animal apart (which they call sport)…. P REYNOLDS, Trowbridge. (letter in archive)

Barnsley Chronicle 1.10.04 Hypocrisy of show classes - MAGGIE SMITH, Darton Lane, Mapplewell - MR PL Read (Chronicle, September 24) states that the committee of Penistone Agricultural Society have informed all local hunts that they will not be invited to future shows. Are we to assume that if the local hunts are not welcome at a local agricultural show then the committee are in favour of a ban on hunting and its subsequent effects on the rural economy?... (letter may only be on website for a week)
Barnsley Chronicle 1.10.04 ‘Hunters love to see foxes on the land’ - Mr I D Richardson, Higham, Barnsley - Further to Graham Cowley’s letter (September 17) I too was at the Penistone Show, and the Master of the Hounds was correct in what he had to say in that if there is a ban of hunting with hounds the hounds will have to be shot. This is the sad truth. All the Master of the Hounds was trying to do was make people aware of the facts… (letter may only be on website for a week)
Barnsley Chronicle 24.9.04 Penistone show must go on - P L Read, Old Mill Lane, Thurgoland - MAY I, as secretary of Penistone Agricultural Society, and in reply to Mr Cowley’s lettr, (Chronicle, September 17) state that the show committee were as concerned as he about the language used by the commentator with the hounds… . As a result I have informed the Masters of local hunts that they will not be invited to future shows. We will also attempt to set up procedures whereby such interruptions do not occur in future… (letter may only be on website for a week)

Barnsley Chronicle 1.10.04 One rule for the rich...? MR S D LINDLEY, Woodmoor Street, Carlton - I WONDER what would have happened 20 years ago if seven coal miners from Woolley colliery had stormed parliament while Mrs Thatcher was in the chamber. Would they received a ticking off like the hooray Henrys? I think not. (letter may only be on website for a week)

Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 Happy to be in majority - Following the letter, Hunting ban voted for by hypocrites in the Gazette September 17), I would like to point out to R J Berkeley that those MPs were voting on the wishes of the majority of the people in the British Isles. Not just Labour MPs but also Conservative and Liberal Democrat members voted for a ban…. The majority of the country people such as myself and most of my friends do not, repeat, do not support hunting as Mr Berkeley would like people to believe. S R Grimes, Oakfield Way, Sharpness (letter in archive)
Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 What is real reason for debate? Re letter (Gazette, September 17) from R J Berkeley about the ban on fox hunting, I would just like to say, yes, I agree politicians are hypocrites but that's about all we agree on and as nearly every political party that has been in power since governments were formed were hypocrites then there is no surprise there… So, is the debate about the loss of people's livelihoods or whether the fox will overrun the countryside, or is a class thing. I'm sure someone will have the answer. W Smith, Jubilee Lane, Wotton-under-Edge (letter in archive)
Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 Banning fox hunting? Labour is just chasing an election victory - With reference to the letter from Mr R J Berkeley in the September 17 issue, the Labour Party has been promising to abolish hunting for many years and on the strength of this promise has received millions of pounds at succeeding General Elections from anti-hunting organizations… I do not think the government is any more concerned over the fate of foxes than it appears to be over the slaughter of people now happening daily in Iraq… Lionel G Ayliffe, The Hollies, Dursley (letter in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 28.9.04 DIVERSIFY AFTER HUNT BAN - With regard to the letter from R. J. Berkeley, Berkeley Castle, headlined "Hypocrisy of Hunt Ban" (The Citizen, September 21), who is being a hypocrite? A large ancestral home, acres of land, one's own hunt,… The banning of the hunt would not stop Mr Berkeley and his friends from still enjoying themselves, riding over his land or the land of his numerous friends in agreement with him… JOHN YOST, Elm Road, Stroud (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 MAJORITY FIND THIS 'SPORT' SICKENING - The, presumably privileged occupant of Berkeley Castle accuses MPs of hypocrisy and seeks to justify his claim by citing abortion, foot-and-mouth disease and the war in Iraq (The Citizen, September 21). The tenuous connection between these three issues and the despicable activity of hunting with dogs is difficult to see… KEITH WALDON, Abbeydale. (letter)
Gloucestershire Gazette 24.9.04 Banning fox hunting? Labour is just chasing an election victory - With reference to the letter from Mr R J Berkeley in the September 17 issue, the Labour Party has been promising to abolish hunting for many years and on the strength of this promise has received millions of pounds at succeeding General Elections from anti-hunting organisations…. I do not think the government is any more concerned over the fate of foxes than it appears to be over the slaughter of people now happening daily in Iraq. It is all a matter of political expediency: anything that will help to win the forthcoming General Election! Lionel G Ayliffe, The Hollies, Dursley (letter in archive)
Gloucestershire Gazette 24.9.04 What is real reason for debate? - Re letter (Gazette, September 17) from R J Berkeley about the ban on fox hunting, I would just like to say, yes, I agree politicians are hypocrites but that's about all we agree on and as nearly every political party that has been in power since governments were formed were hypocrites then there is no surprise there…. The government makes lots of decisions that are supposed to be for the good of the country and turn out to be wrong. So why should we get worked up about them banning hunting with dogs…. W Smith, Jubilee Lane, Wotton-under-Edge (letter in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 21.9.04 MPS HYPOCRITICAL OVER HUNTING - R J Berkeley, Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire. (letter)
Gloucester Citizen 21.9.04 HYPOCRISY OF HUNT BAN - R. J. BERKELEY, Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.9.04 THESE ANTI-HUNTING MPS ARE HYPOCRITES - In my opinion many of the MPs who have voted to ban hunting with dogs are hypocrites. Take three examples: - Every year in this country around 200,000 human babies are aborted. Many of these are aborted on demand and for no good medical reason. How many of those MPs who wish to ban hunting have ever raised their voice in defence of those poor defenceless human souls?... During the recent foot-and-mouth outbreaks 10million farm stock were slaughtered. Many were killed unnecessarily because of the Government's gross mishandling of the disease… Mr Blair took us to war against a sovereign state, Iraq. MPs who supported him knew that thousands of innocent Iraqis and coalition troops would be killed or wounded. How many of those MPs who have rushed to the defence of the fox demanded a full public inquiry into the political reasons for the war? Precious few, I suspect…. R J Berkeley, Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire (letter)
Gloucestershire Gazette 17.9.04 Hunting ban voted for by hypocrites - R J Berkeley, Berkeley Castle, Berkeley (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 Let nature decide the kill - so allow hunting - Like many people in the countryside, I feed the fox every night and can watch it within two yards of my window. Despite this, I support fox hunting. The fox is a lovely animal but it is also a killer… Dreena Menelaws, Byron Road, Dursley (letter in archive)
Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 GO TO HUNT AND SEE WHAT SOCIAL INCLUSION MEANS - Like many people in the countryside, I feed the fox every night and can watch it within two yards of my window. Despite this, I support fox hunting. The fox is a lovely animal but it is also killer…. To know what "social inclusion" really means, go to a meet of fox hounds, where you will see among rich and poor, men and women, children and animals, an inimitable, unforced togetherness. It would be sad if misunderstanding and prejudice were to spoil it. DREENA MENELAWS Dursley (letter)

Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 Imagine being a fox - I feel I must express my feelings for the poor fox in the recent debate. I wish the people that are in favour of fox-hunting would find themselves in the same position as the fox and imagine themselves being chased by a mad pack of dogs, knowing when they get them they will be ripped apart and finding the heart pounding to bursting point as they run as fast as they can, scared for their very life, like a murderer after you…. A humane human, Name and address supplied (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 Hunt ban will bring misery - The countryside which the general public so loves was, and is, shaped by the great landlords, the farmers, and their helpers to feed the nation and to enjoy all country sports, thus providing habitats for all forms of wildlife… M T Smith, Oldlands Farm, Berkeley (letter in archive)

Gloucestershire Gazette 1.10.04 Our democracy is not entirely safe - Was I the only reader who noticed the synergy between the letters in last week's Gazette from the pro-hunting lobby and the letter from Martin Whiteside, the Green Party's Parliamentary candidate?... The hunting ban is the first step on the way to a totalitarian state and, without being alarmist, could ultimately end in the death of our democracy…. T N Scott, Ham (letter in archive)

Wells Journal 1.10.04 UNPLEASANT SPECTACLE - Montaigne, who may be the first western author to express distaste of the hunt, wrote in 1580 an essay "Of Cruelty"…. And as it commonly happens that the stag, feeling himself out of breath and strength, having no other remedy left, throws himself back and surrenders to those who are pursuing him, asking for our mercy by tears…. Joanna Matthew Address supplied (letter)

Wells Journal 1.10.04 HUNTING IS UNACCEPTABLE - Last week your agricultural correspondent James Stephen tried to put forward a balanced argument about the pros and cons of fox hunting but, as with all hunt supporters, failed to deal with the one issue, often repeated, which affects the judgment of many people. Killing, maiming or hurting animals in the pursuit of "sport" and pleasure is uncivilised and should be unacceptable in a modern civilised society… Gerald Hamilton Westbrook Road Evercreech (letter)

Wells Journal 1.10.04 RESPECT FOR OPINIONS AND ACTIONS In his letter (September 23) Mr Smith writes "This is what democracy is all about; it is about the will of the majority of the population." Not at all. Yes, 50 per cent plus one is the bottom line in a democracy but the very survival of democracy depends on the ability of the people to have respect for the opinions and actions of others with whom we disagree, maybe even profoundly disagree. Without that democracy degenerates into the tyranny of the majority…. The current upset has nothing to do with the welfare of foxes, for the Burns Report dispensed with that myth; it is about the determination of one group to impose their will, standards, and ethics on another group which does not share the same with them…. Stephen Baker Crickham Wedmore (letter)

West Cumberland Times & Star 1.10.04 FULL marks to the huntsman of the Melbreak Hunt, for trying out his tear jerking routine on the public (Times & Star, September 24). Maybe Mr Bland could explain just what he does with young hounds that don’t reach the required standard of aggression towards the fox… ELAINE M MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton (letter)

Malvern Gazette 1.10.04 We will fight - What is wrong with drag hunting, which still involves the thrill of the chase, keeps the pack of hounds useful and supplies all the needs of the country set?... The non-hunting majority of us will not put up with civil disobedience, especially if it beings to impede on our own freedoms. Angela Smith, St James's Road, West Malvern (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 1.10.04 Hatred of toffs - The anti-hunting letters featured in last week's Malvern Gazette were written by those with little or no idea of hunting. They also displayed an obsession with forcing personal prejudice on to others…. Give me a couple of days Mr Adams and I will introduce you to a doctor, nurse, anaesthetists, physiotherapist, vet, dentist, teacher and a farrier who follow or support our local North Ledbury Hunt… Jon Burgess (building worker), Worcester Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 1.10.04 Out-dated way - AS a former huntsman from the Devon area, I wonder if I might comment on your article about John Holliday concerning hunting (Malvern Gazette, September 24). It is not a working class sport. Most people couldn't afford to keep their own horse or even pay the livery stable fees…. Whilst I still ride as often as I can, I now oppose the so-called sport of fox hunting. It isn't a case of the Government not listening to country folk or attacking their way of life, it is simply a barbaric and out dated way of controlling foxes… ANTHONY HOLTER, Graham Road, Malvern (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 1.10.04 Class debate is a smokescreen - I was surprised and dismayed to see that you had given over a whole page to an interview with huntsman John Holliday. Had this protest been carried out by animal rights protesters would they have been granted the same space? I doubt it…. Lisa Bonomini, Beacon Road, Malvern (letter in archive)

Newark Advertiser 1.10.04 Country sport - I struggle to come to terms with the hypocrisy that is raised over the foxhunting debate. Mr Kemp (Law Of The Land, News Views, September 24) hopes that when the law to ban foxhunting is finally passed all the pro-hunting lobby will obey it. However, he is quite happy, no doubt, for the antis to continue breaking the law and disturbing the legal right of individuals to hunt until that time comes… PETER MASON, Talbot House, Newark.
Hunt invite - In response to the letter from Anti of Balderton (Demo Antics, News Views, September 24) may I suggest that he or she attends a local meet and follows the hunt, by car or on foot, to see what really happens? For the past 40 years or so I have been a follower, on horseback or on foot, of the local hunts and in all that time I have never seen a fox 'chased down and torn to pieces in front of a cheering crowd.' - MAVIS ARNOLD, Long Bennington (Full address supplied) (letters may only be on website for a week)