September 2004 - hunting 1-15.9.04

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Northampton Chronicle & Echo 15.9.04 Police prevent smelly protest over hunting - POLICE were stationed outside the homes of two of Northamptonshire's MPs to prevent pro-foxhunting campaigners from dumping tonnes of horse dung on the politicians' doorsteps. The campaigners had intended to put a 10-tonne lorry load of stinking manure on Phil Sawford and Phil Hope's driveways before today's vote in the House of Commons, which is expected to call for hunting to be outlawed. But the intended protest was foiled after police vehicles patrolled the area… One pro-hunting campaigner, who wore a mask to disguise his identity, said: "I don't think even Batman could have got in there tonight. It's very disappointing because we had wanted to make a serious point. But the police won't be outside their doors every night."… (story)

Manchester Evening News 15.9.04 Protesters invade Commons chamber - PROTESTERS forced the House of Commons to be suspended today after storming into the chamber as MPs prepared to vote on a total ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 15.9.04 Hunt supporters storm House of Commons - PRO-HUNTING protesters stormed into the chamber of the House of Commons as MPs prepared to vote on a total ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Manchester Evening News 15.9.04 Pro-hunt supporters plan noisy key vote protest - THOUSANDS of pro-hunting demonstrators will descend on Parliament today as MPs vote on a controversial Bill which could finally see fox-hunting and hare-coursing banned in England and Wales…. (story)

Horse & Hound 15.9.04 Hunting protest brings 20,000 to London - Holly Kirkwood - Up to 20,000 protestors travelled to Parliament Square today to mark their unwillingness to stand for a ban on hunting, while five protestors broke into the Chamber itself - Huntsmen, farmers, gamekeepers, supporters, firemen, teachers and nurses were among the 20,000 people who travelled to London today to make known their feelings on the Hunting Bill…. (story)

Westmorland Messenger 15.9.04 Decision day for hunting - MPs will today (Wednesday) be asked to vote on the Hunting with Dogs Bill, which will decide once and for all the future of the area's fell packs… (story)

NewsWales 15.9.04 Fox hunting should be a matter for the Assembly, demands Plaid - Responding to today's Commons vote in favour of a total ban on hunting, Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd MP said: "Plaid Cymru believes the issue of hunting should be one for the National Assembly of Wales to decide. Wales is topographically, economically, socially and culturally distinct from England. It is breathtakingly arrogant of this government to refuse to allow Wales to decide on whether it wants to ban fox hunting…." (story)

Guardian 15.9.04 Yesterday in parliament … Foxhunting - Tories accused ministers of using "draconian" methods to force through a ban on foxhunting. The government is due to take all stages of the bill on Wednesday - even though it does not plan to implement the ban for two years… (story)

Times 15.9.04 Next year will be last hunt season BY PHILIP WEBSTER AND VALERIE ELLIOTT - LABOUR MPs will deliver a final blow to the supporters of foxhunting today by cutting the time that they will be allowed to adjust before their activities are outlawed. Despite the mass protest expected in London today, Tony Blair bowed to the wishes of many of his MPs and ministers by agreeing to shorten the two-year period that he granted only last week for the ban to be implemented. Facing the growing threat of a new rebellion, he decided to bring forward the day when hunting is finally banned from November 2006 to July 2006 so that it is implemented before a new hunting season begins…. The Greater London Authority wrote to the Countryside Alliance saying that no permission had been given for a protest in Parliament Square. But the Metropolitan Police has made clear to the Countryside Alliance that it will not seek to prevent people from protesting outside the Palace of Westminster during the hunting debate…. (story)
Times 15.9.04 Hunt ban protesters to descend on capital BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - AT least 10,000 hunt supporters are to gather in Parliament Square today in a last stand to show their anger at the Government’s plans to ban their sport…. Last night it emerged that the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and the Greater London Authority (GLA) were attempting to stop the rally. A letter was sent to the alliance from the GLA pointing out that such a gathering was unauthorised and that no permission had been given to hold a protest in Parliament Square. The alliance responded that there was no chance of stopping the protesters as they had no control over them and in any case police had made no objections to the protests…. The alliance is buoyant after new legal advice from experts that use of the Parliament Act will be unlawful…. (story)

Telegraph 15.9.04 Ministers and Labour rebels in Hunting Bill deal By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent - Ministers have agreed a compromise with anti-hunting Labour MPs in order to avoid possible defeat in today's make-or-break vote in the Commons. They will accept a proposal for hunting to be banned at the end of July 2006, instead of at the end of November 2006 as Tony Blair originally wanted.... Some MPs demanded a one-year delay. But yesterday Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, indicated that he would accept 20 months.... (story)

Independent 15.9.04 Ban on fox hunting will come into force earlier than planned By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor - Tony Blair is preparing for a showdown on fox hunting today by turning the knife on thousands of pro-hunting protesters threatening to bring Parliament Square to a standstill. Despite personal misgivings about a ban, Mr Blair gave his backing to an 11th-hour amendment to the Bill on fox hunting which brings forward the date when fox hunting will be banned to 31 July 2006, six months earlier than planned… Michael Martin, the Speaker, will announce today that the Parliament Act is being applied to the Bill to force it through the House of Lords. Simon Hughes, president-elect of the Liberal Democrats, will oppose its use. "You really cannot say it is disgraceful for the unelected House to block it when the House of Lords is Tony Blair's creation," he said. "Ten years ago I was completely opposed to fox hunting but I have changed my mind. I support the middle-way option."… (story)

Guardian 15.9.04 Protest planned as MPs vote on hunting ban - Press Association - Thousands of pro-hunting demonstrators are descending on Parliament as MPs vote on a controversial Bill which could see foxhunting banned in England and Wales…. (story)
Guardian 15.9.04 Hunting ban likely in July 2006 - Nicholas Watt, political correspondent - Hunting with dogs is on course to be banned by the end of July 2006 after Tony Blair bowed to Labour backbench pressure and agreed to curtail a two-year delay which had been proposed by Downing Street…. (story)
Guardian 15.9.04 Going for the kill - Leader - There are two ways of looking at today's efforts to drive the hunting bill through the Commons in a single sitting. The first sees today's votes as the historic culmination of a bitter battle, lasting more than seven years, in which supporters of hunting have finally run out of tactics with which to frustrate the clear will of MPs for a ban on the hateful practice of hunting… The second sees tonight's votes in a wholly different light. Where the bill's supporters see only the chance to end a barbaric cruelty, its opponents see a majoritarian, largely urban, onslaught against a minority rural activity which they insist is useful, enjoyable and vernacular… Most people, we suspect, sympathise with aspects of both positions and would be content to see some sort of compromise. Hunting's essential cruelty is impossible to dispute. But so is the importance of a minority's freedom to pursue its traditions as far as possible…. This second- or third-rank issue has been too near the top of the political agenda for too long. If MPs can finally settle it tonight, then at least the political stage will at last be cleared for more important business (story)

BBC News Online 15.9.04 Hunt supporters travel to fight ban - Hundreds of supporters of fox hunting from Wales are heading to London to protest as MPs vote on a ban…. Mair Hughes, a member of the Llangeinor Hunt, in south Wales, said around 100 people from the hunt would be in London to protest…. Richard Tiller, a representative of the League Against Cruel Sports in west Wales, told the BBC Wales news website: "I think that with fox hunting banned, the countryside will be a happier, friendlier, more welcoming place…" (story)

Western Mail 15.9.04 Hunt supporters urged to take part in demonstration - Kirsty Buchanan, The Western Mail - THOUSANDS of hunt supporters were being urged to stage a peaceful demonstration outside Westminster today as MPs vote on a hunting ban… Dai Jones, master of the Carmarthenshire Hunt since 2001, said the length of delay was immaterial, warning the effect on the countryside would be catastrophic, and vowed to carry on in defiance of the law… (story)
Western Mail 15.9.04 Labour's hunting history - Duncan Higgitt, The Western Mail (story)

Yorkshire Post 15.9.04 HUNT GROUPS SET FOR RALLY AS MPS VOTE - Simon McGee - LABOUR backbenchers have struck a deal with the Government to bring forward the ban on hunting with dogs by six months, to July 2006, as tens of thousands of pro-hunt protesters prepare to converge on London today…. Yorkshire hunts were last night "furious" at the plans, and vowed to keep on fighting the Bill – and hunting if it should become law…. Steven Newlove, of Thorpe Hill Farm, Whixley, and a member of the York and Ainsty North Hunt said 120 people from his hunt alone would be travelling to London today…. Last week, the Government said it saw "no justification or need" for thousands of workers whose livelihoods are at threat to receive any form of compensation… (story)

ITV 15.9.04 MPs to vote on future of fox hunting - MPs are preparing to vote on a controversial Bill which could finally see fox-hunting and hare-coursing banned in England and Wales… (story)

Sky 15.9.04 MPS VOTE ON HUNTING BAN - Thousands of pro-hunting protesters are expected to descend on London today as MPs move to finally ban fox-hunting…. (story)

Yahoo! 15.9.04 MPs to vote on hunting bill - LONDON (Reuters) - MPs are expected to vote for a ban on fox hunting today, to the fury of the centuries-old pursuit's supporters…. (story)

Reuters 15.9.04 MPs set to vote on hunting bill - MPs are expected to vote for a ban on fox hunting today, to the fury of the centuries-old pursuit's supporters… (story)

Evening Standard 15.9.04 Hunt protesters invade Commons - Pro-hunting protesters stormed into the chamber of the House of Commons as MPs prepared to vote on a total ban on hunting with dogs… (story)
Evening Standard 15.9.04 MPs vote for ban on fox hunting - MPs have voted overwhelmingly to ban fox-hunting and hare-coursing… (story)

Sun 15.9.04 Five men storm Commons By SUN ONLINE REPORTER FIVE pro-hunt campaigners today stormed the House Of Commons chamber during the crucial Hunting Bill debate…. (story)
Sun 15.9.04 Fox hunt protesters riot By SUN ONLINE REPORTER PRO-HUNT campaigners were today involved in ugly clashes with police in Parliament Square…. (story)

Kent FM 15.9.04 MPs to vote on hunting ban THE face of the English and Welsh countryside could change forever when MPs vote for a ban on fox-hunting later today…. (story)

Newcastle Journal 15.9.04 'As bad as the foot-and-mouth crisis' Claire Yeaman is a 35-year-old dispensing optician and practice manager from Gosforth, Newcastle - a young urban professional who challenges the stereotype image of the huntswoman…. I joined the Morpeth hunt pony club at the age of six, so it was a natural progression to hunt…. While the financial issue may be one area of concern for many, for kennel owner Sharon Spencer-Mullins, raising puppies for the pack is a labour of love that will undoubtedly be lost if a ban is enforced… From his workshop in Tynedale, saddler John Duddy fits tack and harness to horses covering at least four hunts…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 15.9.04 HUNTING FACES THE MOMENT OF TRUTH - Thousands of pro-hunting demonstrators will descend on Parliament today as MPs vote on a controversial Bill that could finally see fox-hunting and hare-coursing banned in England and Wales…. (story)

Shropshire Star 15.9.04 Rural army makes its stand - TOBY NEAL REPORTS FROM THE PROTEST IN LONDON - An army of protesters from Shropshire and mid Wales were in London today to add their voices to a massive protest against the Government's plan to ban hunting…. The noisy protest turned rowdy this afternoon with the mother of South Shropshire Hunt master Otis Ferry - the son of Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry - reportedly arrested by police and several vehicles impounded. One young member of the South Shropshire Hunt, Gemma Richards, delivered her message to Tony Blair by stripping down to her bra as she proudly waved a banner to the huge crowd… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.9.04 HUNDREDS JOIN HUNTING DEMO - Hundreds of South West foxhunting supporters were expected to descend on London today as MPs vote on a controversial Bill to ban the sport… Courtney Lucas, a member of the Tiverton Staghounds, said: "I don't think that anyone going up to London will sway any politicians… Michael Moore, of the East Devon Hunt, added: "I don't think our presence will make any difference to the backbenchers as they are so prejudiced but I think it will possibly make them realise that we are not lying down and taking it and the fight will go on and on… (story)

Western Daily Press 15.9.04 D-DAY FOR THE HUNT AFTER SECRET DEAL STRUCK - Hunting will be banned on July 31, 2006 under a secret deal hammered out at Westminster yesterday. The news will anger thousands of hunt supporters who will converge on Parliament for a mass demonstration today - including many from the West…. (story)

Western Daily Press 15.9.04 HUNTERS MARCH ON WESTMINSTER - Thousands of supporters of hunting will today head from the Westcountry to London to fight for the future of their traditional sport. Advanced rail ticket sales are up by 100 per cent on some of the seven services running between Plymouth and the capital… (story)
Western Daily Press 15.9.04 HUNT CAMPAIGN TAKES TO LONDON - Hunt supporters will make a mass exodus from the Westcountry to London today, to confront the Government over its plans to ban hunting… (story)

Worcester Evening News 15.9.04 Foster: He's going in for the kill - A SHOWDOWN between Worcestershire MPs Mike Foster and Peter Luff was expected today as the Hunting Bill comes before the Commons…. (story in archive)

Birmingham Post/Mail 15.9.04 Next year's hunt will be last By Jonathan Walker - Anti-hunt MPs have forced the Government to promise that next year's fox hunting season will be the last, as last-minute wranglings continued over plans to impose a ban… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 15.9.04 PRO-HUNT GROUP WRECK PYLON By Natalie Wilson - PRO-HUNTING campaigners have sawn through the leg of an electricity pylon just outside Carlisle. Extremist activist group the Real Countryside Alliance is believed to have caused the damage to the pylon near Grinsdale, north west of Carlisle… (story)
Cumberland News & Star 15.9.04 MPS SAY 'YES' TO HUNT BAN By Kat Ferguson ... Peter Wybergh, huntmaster of the Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds, was at the march while his wife, Anne, stayed at home with their children…. (story)

The Sentinel 15.9.04 HUNT BAN DEMOS PLANNED - GRAHAM PHOENIX - Foxhunting supporters have promised local and national demonstrations against the Government's impending ban on the sport. Members of the exclusive Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt claim backing from a majority of Uttoxeter area farmers and other landowners… (story)

Leicester Mercury 15.9.04 'WE'LL STEP UP PROTESTS' Pro-fox hunting campaigners have warned they will be stepping up their protests in a bid to stop a ban coming into force… Belvoir Hunt chairman Tor Owen said: "In the past we have been very careful not to alienate the public…." Representatives of the county's other hunts - Cottesmore, Fernie and Quorn - will also be at today's protest, which is expected to attract thousands of people nationwide….(story)

Argus 15.9.04 Pro-hunt slogan burnt into landmark hillside by Tom Pugh - Hunt supporters burned the words No Ban into grassland beside the famous Long Man of Wilmington…. In a move designed to stoke up support for their campaign, the group sought permission from landowners before making their stand…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 15.9.04 SCOTS MPS URGED TO BOYCOTT HUNTING BILL VOTE - IAIN RAMAGE - Scottish MPs have been urged to boycott tonight's Westminster vote on fox hunting…. (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 15.9.04 'Time wasting' at Westminster - SIR, - Here we go again, more disappointment from Westminster. This week, it is time wasting regarding hunting. Are there not far more important issues that concern the majority rather penalising the minority?... Martin Sisley, The Prop House, North Ythsie, Tarves. (letter)

Redditch Advertiser/Alcester Chronicle 15.9.04 An idea with a sting in it I NOTE with interest the Government's latest plan to ban fox hunting. It seems to me that an alternative should be sought…. My second thought was to replace the hunting of foxes by a similar hunt aimed at catching wasps. This seems to be an ideal solution. Wasps are far easier to catch and, as far as I know, a fox never stung anyone. Howard Bellaby Badger Brook Lane Astwood Bank (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Post 15.9.04 WHY HUNTERS ARE RIGHT AND THE FOX IS WRONG From: Phyllis Capstick, Old School House, Hellifield, Skipton. REGARDING the letter from Robert Pickard (Yorkshire Post, September 11), where is he coming from in comparing fox-hunting, being a service to the countryside, with barbaric acts against people…. He talks about a fox being chased for hours to be ripped apart, which is absolute rubbish. Obviously, he has never watched a hunt. I have watched quite a lot, and never witnessed anything that he describes….
From: Coun Frank R McManus, Locksley House, Longfield Road, Todmorden. OF course I follow the "party line" on hunting as John Grice claimed (Letters, August 31), for it is to allow Parliament to determine the matter by free vote as pledged in 1997 and 2001…
From: Roger M Dobson, Ash Street, Crosshills. I AM neither fully in favour nor fully against hunting with dogs as a sport, but I have been a lover of the countryside and its many traditions all my life. The Prime Minister must have suicidal tendencies towards his political career if he intends pushing an anti-hunting law through Parliament…
From: Karen Robinson, Silsden. NOW we know. The hunting community is now having to wage war on terrorism. This may seem ridiculous, but the dictionary definition of terrorism is along the lines of "government by fear or the attempt to gain one's political aims by fear"….
From: Peter H Jesty, Warwick Lodge, Towton, Tadcaster. SO there is to be another attempt to create a law forbidding the hunting of foxes with hounds – why?... Actually, there seems to be little point in trying to have a logical discussion with those MPs who wish to impose their will on the rest of us with all the temporary power that they wield….
From: William B Thompson, Park House Green, Harrogate. PHYLLIS Capstick (Letters, September 11), complains that foxes are vicious and violent killers, which must be controlled. Apparently her father lost some chickens to a fox. Did he not think of keeping a sound henhouse with a closed door?...
From: B Robinson, Midland Terrace, Hellifield, near Skipton. TONY Blair is always on about fighting terrorists. Does he ever stop to think what creates terrorists? It is the type of action he is taking over the hunting Bill
From: WH Doe, St Albans Road, Arnold, Nottingham. WHY has no one in the hunting fraternity spoken out and claimed that the forthcoming ban on hunting is in breach of the hunt's human rights and their right to roam, both so beloved by Labour's politically-correct supporters?... (letters)

Sun 15.9.04 MPs want fox hunt ban as UK goes to the dogs - MPs are due to have a free vote on a bill to ban fox hunting today. If they do vote for a ban the Government will force the new law through the House of Lords… Many readers were angry and said it was undemocratic….
I FIND it hard to understand why the Government is spending time on banning hunting with hounds when our country is in such a mess… CHRISTINA MACKENZIE, Newmarket, Suffolk
IT is hard to believe that with all the problems currently facing this country the Government is using up valuable parliamentary time to push through a law to ban hunting…. PATRICK CURRY, Billingshurst, West Sussex
FOX hunting is part of the glue that binds rural communities together…. JOHN ROYDEN, West Brompton, SW London
WHY does the Government waste so much time on hunting?... EDWARD CHURCH, Selling, Kent
WHAT will be the long-term implications of the Government’s proposal to ban fox hunting? Shooting and fishing will be next. How about horse racing?... SIMON ASHWORTH, Bunbury, Cheshire
I PRESUME that hunting is to be sacrificed purely to satisfy internal Labour Party politics…. CHRIS PROCTER, Bishop Monkton, North Yorkshire
HAS a bigger sledgehammer ever been used to crack a smaller nut than to use the Parliament Act, facilitator of legislation in times of national crisis, to bludgeon the hunting bill through the House of Lords?... PHILIPPA MAYO, Tilton on the Hill, Leics
THE Government is trying once again to impose a ban on hunting. Over 50,000 hunting people have signed a declaration that they will continue to hunt foxes even if there is a ban… THOMAS GLOVER, Bedale, North Yorkshire (letters)

Northern Echo 15.9.04 FOXHUNTING - HOW would the foxhunt supporters feel if 50 foxes chased one of their hounds until it was exhausted and then ripped it to bits?... N Olding, Darlington (letter in archive)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 15.9.04 Killing for fun? SIR - I see that the new legislation to stop hare coursing becomes law this month. What a blessing! Both hares and dogs are now protected…. Derek Wright, Westbury Street, Bradford. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 15.9.04 Hunt ban a bad law - There are any number of more important issues that the Government should have addressed rather than imposing a ban on hunting… Robert Jenkins, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 15.9.04 Hunting is simply uncivilized - It would be remiss of me not to reply to G Morris's letter (Star Letters, August 27) assuming that I was another "townie" who knew nothing of the countryside…. ln this day and age there must be better ways of controlling the fox population than for people to dress up in costume, ride horses and gallop around with a pack of dogs, chasing one animal so that it can be killed in some ritualistic fashion. Anthony Foxe, Hermitage View Cottage, Bridgnorth (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.9.04 CONTEMPT FOR THE RIGHTS AND INTERESTS OF A RURAL MINORITY - The Hunting Bill which the Government intends to rush through its House of Commons stages in one day today shows Mr Tony Blair's and Mr Alun Michael's contempt for the rights and interests of a sizeable rural minority…. Simon Logie Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 15.9.04 STAG-HUNTING IS SICKENING - I am delighted the League Against Cruel Sports achieved an out-of-court settlement from the Tiverton staghounds which violated the Morebath Deer Sanctuary and admitted trespass in order to chase/dispatch a protected stag, with the carcass immediately removed and incinerated… Mike Mason Address supplied (letter)

Western Morning News 15.9.04 READERS HAVE THEIR SAY ON HUNT BAN - The Prime Minister has recently stated that the most important thing to be asked before any policy decision is "does it, in practical terms, advance and improve the lives of Britain's hard-working families?" A ban on hunting cannot possibly, by any stretch of the imagination or distortion of language, be made to pass that test… Jonathan Ward-Hayne, Modbury
Who are the real victims? I AM writing this letter with regards to the rather disturbing news of the imminent ban on fox hunting. I personally have never attended a hunt and so have never seen what goes on. I feel that it's an age-old tradition that should not be stopped…. Jennifer Spanner, Charminster, Dorset Minority persecution - WHAT is wrong with our Government? In pursuing a hunting ban they are persecuting a law abiding minority of people, whilst attempting to bring in a Bill that will not make an iota of difference to the welfare of wildlife… Charlotte Wear, Bridgwater
Devious actions - MAY I bring to the attention of your readers the fact that a Bill which would make illegal many of our present rights to demonstrate and so on is due to be put before the House of Lords on Wednesday…. Patrick J Ellis, Chulmleigh (letters)

Western Morning News 15.9.04 TOWNIES UNDERSTAND RURAL LIFE TOO - I'm a "townie" of 50 years, so it would help if Peter Hall, your farming editor (Hunting ban will be a rural disaster, WMN September 10) did not insult me if he wants my support… If hunting with hounds is banned, in part it will be due to the hunting world's refusal to take urban people seriously. Hunting presents itself as a charitable and humane "chicken-protection society". It is not and never was - so why should "townies" believe anything else they say? Theo Hopkins, Lifton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 15.9.04 DON'T DEMONISE FOXES TO JUSTIFY CHASING THEM - In order to justify fox hunting, hunters have always demonised the fox…. After the new hunting law is passed, they will soon get used to the change and, after a while, people will wonder what the fuss was all about…. Mr N R Scagell, Scott Avenue, Exeter (letter)

The Sentinel 15.9.04 HUNT BAN AT LAST - So our national Government is now set at last to ban fox-hunting with dogs, but, what took them so long when the vast majority of their country and MPs of their own party have been demanding this for years?... Not Foxed Bramshall (Name and address supplied) (letter)

The Sentinel 15.9.04 HUNTERS COULD SAVE HOUNDS While, like most of the nation, I welcome the Government plans to at last ban foxhunting, I do feel a tinge of sadness for all those beautiful creatures, the foxhounds, which face having to be destroyed if the ban is implemented, according to hunt leaders…. Saddened Uttoxeter (Name and address supplied) (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 15.9.04 WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE HOUNDS IF HUNTING WITH DOGS IS BANNED? I WOULD like to respond to Gus Proud’s letter about foxhunting (News & Star, September 7). He says that all people that hunt, or are concerned by the threat of a ban, are “country gents”. I am a 22-year-old woman who has no other reason for hunting other than a love of riding. If I’m perfectly honest, I would prefer to be able to enjoy such amazing riding without the aim of killing a fox. However, I am aware of the implications of a ban on hunting…. Unfortunately, because of a few badly run hunts that were publicised several years back, it is all too easy for the public to see people that hunt as blood-thirsty, brutal toffs who have no regard for living creatures, instead of the normal, working-class, friendly bunch that the majority of us are. R ATKINS, Brampton
…. We must retain foxhunting despite the preaching from the class warfare agenda. And it will not end there – more bans will follow this one if it goes through. T GLENNEN, Morton, Carlisle
I DO not wish to see a ban on hunting in this country. It will make people who are ordinary law-abiding citizens into criminals… Mrs Kerr, Westward, Wigton
TONY Blair has used foxhunting as a stalling device so that important votes have been postponed even more…. Mrs D Morgan, Whitehaven
I AM a fervent believer that hunting should be banned and as soon as possible. There is no point waiting for another two years…. Vince Crisp, Shap (letters)

Bristol Evening Post 15.9.04 GOVERNMENT MUST LOOK AT ISSUES Astonishing as it is, the Government has pressed ahead with its Hunting Bill. The UK has many pressing problems: the NHS is overstretched, crime rates are soaring and our public transport system is beyond a joke…. Antony Brassey, by e-mail (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 15.9.04 THE VOTE IS OUR BEST WEAPON It Is remarkable that Labour Parliamentary candidate Ross Hendry feels able to heckle Adam Price for the use of an obscure piece of legislation to attack Tony Blair. I wonder how he will explain to Carmarthenshire farmers - and all those whose living depends on country sports - why his party is dragging the Parliament Act out of mothballs to force New Labour's ban on hunting onto the statute books… Suzy Davies, Conservative Party, Parliamentary Candidate, P O Box 16, Llandeilo (letter)


Northampton Chronicle & Echo 14.9.04 Fox v Hounds - Anti-Hunting Argument - THE CRUEL nature of foxhunting, as well as the sporting enjoyment gained by hunt members, has triggered much support for an outright ban…. For Clive Richardson, who has been an active hunt saboteur in Northamptonshire for 22 years, this is a momentous and long-awaited week for his cause….
Pro-Hunting Argument - A DETERMINED group of at least 100 foxhunters will be riding out across the south Northamptonshire countryside four times this week, knowing that this new season could be one of their last…. Mr Richmond-Watson, who has been a Grafton hunt master for seven years, said: "The Government has allowed the prejudice and bigotry to cynically manipulate the argument…. Northamptonshire has three well-established fox hunts – the 250-year-old Grafton Hunt, the Pytchley Hunt which is based in Brixworth, and the 150-year-old Woodland Pytchley in Brigstock… (story)

Cumberland News & Star 14.9.04 MP BRANDS LABOUR ‘NEW DICTATORS’ PENRITH and the Border MP David Maclean has attacked the Government’s attempt to ban hunting as an assault on all liberties and freedoms…. (story)

Guardian 14.9.04 Yesterday in parliament … Foxhunting - Tories accused ministers of using "draconian" methods to force through a ban on foxhunting. The government is due to take all stages of the bill on Wednesday - even though it does not plan to implement the ban for two years… (story)

Shropshire Star 14.9.04 Huge beacon spells out views on hunt ban - Shropshire hunt protesters lit a huge beacon clearly spelling out their anger at Government plans to rush a hunting bill through Parliament. More than 30 members of hunts from across the county joined forces near the Wrekin last night to vent their anger… William Warner, joint master of the North Shropshire Hunt, said it took two hours to set up yesterday's beacon… (story)
Western Morning News 14.9.04 PASSION BURNS IN HUNT BATTLE - Hunt supporters last night staged this dramatic protest against the Government's plan to ban their sport. Flames lit up the evening sky on a Devon hillside as protesters made their feelings clear with a giant bonfire. They poured petrol over a large sign made of straw bales and set light to it, creating a visual protest that could be seen from as far as Exeter, 12 miles away…. Rita Morris is secretary of the Tetcott Hunt, which hunts around Bude in north east Cornwall and across the border into Devon, whose members will be in London tomorrow. She said the tragic death of a 13-year-old boy, apparently shot by accident during an expedition to shoot foxes at a farm near Harberton in South Devon at the weekend, highlighted the problems of using shooting to control fox numbers. David du Plessis, secretary of East Cornwall Hunt, said that about 50 members of his hunt were expected to board the train for London tomorrow to take part in the Parliament Square protest…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 14.9.04 PRO-HUNTING LOBBY SAYS IT WITH FIRES - Pro-hunt campaigners hoped to have made their mark on the Devon landscape last night with burning bales of straw. Members of the Silverton Hunt and the Countryside Alliance set up a 20-metre display of letters formed out of straw, spelling out the words "No Ban" and set it alight just after 6.30pm at a farmer's field near Raddon Cross on the outskirts of Exeter… (story)
Western Daily Press 14.9.04 BLAZING ANGER - Pro-hunt campaigners last night staged a fiery protest. Not long after campaigners had protested outside Tony Blair's constituency home, and disrupted his wife Cherie's 50th party celebrations at Chequers, members of the Countryside Alliance poured petrol over a large sign made of straw and set light to it…. (story)
Northern Echo 14.9.04 Pro-hunting demonstrators light up the sky with 'no ban' message - PROTESTORS last night lit up the sky to show their opposition to Government proposals for a fox hunting ban. As part of the Countryside Alliance's campaign to keep fox hunting in rural England, regional members of the group created huge beacons of fire spelling out the words No Ban… Another fire was organised in Kirkby Overblow near Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The protest was attended by local supporters and members of the Zetland hunt… (story in archive)
BBC News Online 14.9.04 Hill fire sign backs fox hunting - Fox hunting supporters lit a sign spelling the words "No Ban" on a Harrogate hillside to protest against planned changes in the law. Members of the Countryside Alliance set fire to straw bales on the hill near Kirkby Overblow on Monday to highlight their opposition to a ban… (story)
BBC News Online 14.9.04 Hunt supporters light protest beacon - More than 200 hunt supporters gathered on Hackpen Hill near Broad Hinton on Monday night to watch a protest beacon being lit. The blazing straw letters spelled the words NO BAN, expressing the anger of the the pro-hunt lobby to the government's attempt to axe the blood sport…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 14.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS BLAZE OUT 'NO BAN' DEFIANCE - Brian Dooks - A BLAZING message spelling out "No Ban" lit up the sky over North Yorkshire last night – reinforcing opposition to the Government's proposal to end hunting with dogs. The Countryside Alliance set fire to 65ft-long letters on a hillside at Kirkby Overblow, near Harrogate, two days before the House of Commons was due to debate the controversial Bill…. Organiser Richard Dodd, North-East regional director for the alliance, said: "We will be doing more publicity stunts and God help any Cabinet Minister that comes to the countryside."… (story)
Western Mail 14.9.04 hunt battle resumes - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - A CHAIN of bonfires were lit across England and Wales last night to mark the opening of a new round of conflict over hunting with hounds. In Wales a bonfire spelling out the words No Ban in flames was lit on a hillside overlooking Llangeinor, Bridgend, and other beacons were lit by hunt supporters across the country. And the Countryside Alliance revealed that 20 coachloads of supporters, and others travelling by train and car, will head for London from Wales tomorrow… The Farmers' Union of Wales yesterday confirmed its opposition to a ban… (story)
Shropshire Star 13.9.04 No ban beacon will be lit by protesters BY LAURA TAYLOR - A huge beacon spelling out the words "No Ban" will be lit near the Wrekin tonight to protest against the new hunting bill which is set to be rushed through Parliament…. (story)
BBC News Online 13.9.04 Hunt supporters light beacon - Hunt supporters near Winchester set light a beacon on Monday night in protest at Government plans to ban the practice… (story)

Racing Post 14.9.04 Now Flat jockeys mount protest over proposed ban by David Carr - JOCKEYS at Thirsk on Tuesday emulated their jumps counterparts by joining forces with the stewards before the fourth race to mount a protest over the proposed fox-hunting ban…. Clerk of the course Christopher Tetley was also among those who demonstrated. “I am a strong supporter of hunting and I am delighted the jockeys here organised this demonstration on their own initiative,” he said. “I am only too happy to support them.” (story in archive)

BBC News Online 14.9.04 Hunt groups ready for major demo - Pro-hunting groups are preparing for a major rally of Parliament as MPs debate a bill to ban fox-hunting…. The Countryside Alliance hopes as many as 10,000 pro-hunt supporters will attend its rally in Parliament Square… (story)

Western Morning News 14.9.04 EXPLAINING THE HUNTING BILL - The Hunting Bill is commonly thought to ban all hunting with dogs, but it contains a number of exemptions designed to allow gamekeepers to continue to operate. The Bill, which will be debated by MPs tomorrow, "makes it an offence for a person to hunt a wild mammal with a dog"…. Anyone breaking the new law will face a fine of up to £5,000 and could also face the confiscation of dogs, horses and other equipment. But the Bill does contain a number of exceptions. The hunting of rats and rabbits will continue to permitted, providing the consent of the landowner has been obtained…. A maximum of two dogs may be used for flushing out - far fewer than used by a typical hunt - and the fox or other animal must be shot "as soon as possible" after breaking cover, to limit the length of any chase to the bare minimum… (story)

Telegraph 14.9.04 Each to his own, except in Britain By Mark Steyn - With rumours of mushroom clouds over North Korea and genocide in Sudan, it's good to know the Government has identified the real threat in the world today. As The Telegraph reported: "Chief constables intend to site CCTV cameras on hedgerows, fences and trees along known hunting routes to enable them to photograph hunt members who break the law after hunting with hounds is outlawed…. Maybe they can all be powered by wind turbines. But, if they can't and they have to snake the electric cable down every tree trunk in simulated wood-effect vinyl casing, it will still "send the right message" - which is that the monumentally useless British constabulary is happy to invent an entirely new criminal class if it reduces the already minimal time they have to spend dealing with the real criminal class.... The inability of Conservatives to defend hunting sums up the problems of British conservatism.... As long as British conservatism recoils from individual liberty and clings to Joanna Trollope Big-House social order, it will be unable to offer a viable modern defence of that which it wishes to conserve. (story)

Guardian 14.9.04 Class war on the hoof - Foxhunting is a remnant of feudal society - and that is why we have to ban it - George Monbiot - There is one thing on which both sides agree: hunting is not a class issue. The hunters claim that it's no longer the preserve of the aristocracy. Labour MPs insist that their determination to ban it has nothing to do with the social order: it's about animals. Both sides are wrong. This is class war…. Not everyone who hunts today is a member of the aristocracy - far from it. But this is the way in which you aspire to become one…. As an animal welfare issue, foxhunting comes in at about number 155. It probably ranks below the last of the great working-class bloodsports, coarse fishing…. But as a class issue, it ranks behind private schooling at number two. This isn't about animal welfare. It's about human welfare. By taking on the hunt, our MPs are taking on those who ran the country for 800 years, and still run the countryside today. This class war began with the Norman conquest. It still needs to be fought. (story)

Lynn News 14.9.04 'BAN ON HUNTING COULD CAUSE 70 DOGS TO DIE' - HUNDREDS of people from West Norfolk are set to attend a rally in London during a crucial vote on the future of hunting. Campaigners will be demonstrating tomorrow as MPs determine the fate of hare coursing and fox hunting. A ban could force hunters to exterminate 70 hounds at the West Norfolk Fox Hounds near Swaffham – and result in the loss of jobs…. However, West Norfolk Animal Rights chairman, Peter Richards, said: "It is ridiculous to claim we are somehow responsible for the death of the animals…." (story)

Hull Daily Mail 14.9.04 HUNTSMEN PROTEST AGAINST OUTLAWING FOX HUNTING AS BILL GOES TO PARLIAMENT - Hunting with dogs could be outlawed by Parliament tomorrow. Countryside reporter David Taylor looks at the impact a ban would have on East Yorkshire's historic fox hunt - Professional huntsman Robert Howarth stands among his faithful pack of hounds amid fears they may have to be put to death. His beloved hounds at the Holderness Hunt are bred purely to hunt foxes and will have to be put down if he can no longer pursue them across East Yorkshire farmland…. Mr Howarth and his staff also care for two other packs at the Etton kennels - the Hunsley Beacon Beagles and the East Lincolnshire Bassett Hounds…. (story)
Hull Daily Mail 14.9.04 END IS FINALLY IN SIGHT FOR ANTI-HUNT CAMPAIGNERS - Anti-hunt campaigners have faced a long battle in their bid to get hunting with dogs banned in Britain. For 80 years, the League Against Cruel Sports has fought to expose fox hunting as cruel and to get it outlawed… (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 14.9.04 A nation governed by the intolerant - Nigel Hastilow - We used to pride ourselves on the fact that this was a free country. It isn't any more. These days we are ruled by the New Puritans. They may not believe in God and they don't particularly care for religious fundamentalism, but they are actually as intolerant, self-righteous and humourless as the Taliban…. The BBC smoking survey is one small example of the New Puritan desire to impose its will on other people. Another is the latest move to ban fox hunting…. Having supposedly made the House of Lords more democratic - ie, having kicked out as many Tories as he possibly could - Tony Blair now finds his reformed Upper House is trying to flex its new muscles…. So if the Lords throw out legislation, the Prime Minister has only himself to blame and it's a bit hypocritical, to say the least, for him to invoke the Parliament Act as a way of imposing his will…. And he knows the New Puritans won't be content with a hunting ban - they are already campaigning to ban shooting and after that it'll be fishing, the most popular participation sport in the country… (story)

Burton Mail 14.9.04 I'll step down over hunting says JP by DAVID POWLES - A MAGISTRATE and hunt enthusiast from East Staffordshire says he will consider breaking the law should MPs vote to ban hunting…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 14.9.04 JOIN A FIGHT FOR FREEDOM - THE real battle over hunting is not in the House of Commons, where we have won the argument, but out in the country, for the hearts and minds of everyone who loves freedom. Tony Blair and his MPs will use their huge majority to impose their prejudices on Parliament, but the issue has moved beyond hunting…. The last time the Parliament Act was used to force through a law was to deal with Nazi war criminals. Now the new dictators of New Labour are going to use Parliament to turn hundreds of thousands of decent people into class-war criminals…. It is an abuse. It is rotten. It is corrupt. But it is typical of this government and they must be stopped…. (story)

Chester Evening Leader 14.9.04 ANTI-HUNT PROTEST TARGETS MEETING - ANTI-hunt protesters demonstrated outside the Roodee last night in a bid to disrupt a Countryside Alliance meeting. About 30 people from animal rights groups based as far afield as the Wirral and Liverpool gathered in Chester city centre with loudspeakers and a banner…. Lucinda Pullen, founder of the now defunct Chester Animal Rights group, said: “We just wanted to show our support for the ban and we would like to see it introduced as soon as possible…" (story)

North West Evening Mail 14.9.04 LAKES FOX HUNT GROUPS TAKE PROTEST TO LONDON - FOXHUNTING supporters from across Furness will be travelling to London tomorrow. They will join thousands of others in a protest demonstration outside parliament when the government brings back the bill to ban hunting…. North Lonsdale Hunt spokeswoman Alison Bolt, of Leece, near Ulverston said: “Not only hunting enthusiasts but also many people who have no particular interest in hunting are incensed at the government's intention to use the Parliament Act to get their own way on what they have admitted is not an important piece of legislation…." (story)

Times 14.9.04 Hunting Bill threat to 'basic rights' - Sir, Tom Baldwin (Comment, September 8; letters, September 10 and 13) writes: In any democracy there are certainly issues on which the rights of a minority need to be defended against the majority, but it is just plain silly to suggest that (hunting) is one of them. However, this is not just about an issue, but about a principle — the principle of individual liberty which is universal and indivisible…. ANDREW PHILLIPS, House of Lords.
From Mrs E. E. Witts Sir, If it is correct, as you state (leading article, September 9), that “The Parliament Act was designed for measures of high national importance and unquestioned urgency”, what are the grounds upon which the Government intends to invoke it to enable the Hunting with Dogs Bill to be enacted?... ELIZABETH E. WITTS, 16 Parkside Avenue, Wimbledon, SW19 5ES. (letters)

Yorkshire Post 14.9.04 BLOOD BOILS OVER PLANNED BAN ON HUNTING - From: Eric Beechey, Yorkshire representative, League Against Cruel Sports, Eastfield Lane,Kellington, Goole. I WAS absolutely appalled when I read Rev Toddy Hoare's "Nature's call of the wild" article in the Yorkshire Post (September 7). For a man of the cloth, his words and sentiments beggar belief and I just wonder how he can match his participation in a barbaric sport such as fox hunting with those of his Christian principles…
From: Garry Corbett, Mount Vale, York. TONY Blair has done it again, brought back anti-hunting legislation to keep his backbenchers quiet during the conference season. Forget about Iraq, the NHS, transport, education or domestic violence, it is the cute, cuddly foxes that get him support…
From: Brian Wilkinson, Burdale Close, Norton, Malton. The amount of time, energy and money spent on the efforts so far to ban hunting must beggar belief and all for what? In no small part to gratify a section of the community which has neither knowledge of hunting nor care for wildlife but whose principal reason is class warfare and a belief that all who hunt are "toffs"….
From: Roy Bedford, Manor Rise, Walton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. FOXES need to be controlled. That is a fact. But the issue that concerns me, and most of my friends, is that fox hunting is a blood sport….
From: John Greenaway, Station Road, Featherstone, West Yorkshire. I am aghast at the fatuous statements made by Judy Gilbert of Buckinghamshire (August 21) and by those of Marjorie Crofts (August 26) regarding foxes and hunts. The fox is not a cuddlesome pet. It can snap the necks of 100 hens within seven minutes…
From: Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby. Recent correspondents have criticised anti-hunters for living miles away from where fox hunting takes place. But is this the least bit relevant?...
From: Phyllis Capstick, Hellifield, Skipton, North Yorkshire. WHAT does Mr Blair suggest we do with all the hounds and horses, not to mention the people involved with hunting the vermin fox? Shoot them all I suppose.
From: Stuart Nelson, Church Farm, Hilston, Aldbrough, Hull. BY bowing to the unwarranted demands of the bloodthirsty backbenchers in bringing back the Hunting Bill, the Prime Minister cannot be trusted again
From: Aled Jones, Mount Crescent, Bridlington, East Yorkshire. JW Buckley does not go far enough when he says that the laws of nature are all about their being hunters and the hunted (Letters, September 1)… (letters)

Lincolnshire Echo 14.9.04 I WOULD WELCOME ARREST OF HUNTERS WHO DEFY THE LAW - I Write in response to the article on the proposed and imminent ban on hunting foxes with hounds. Firstly I am not surprised at the contrived and spurious claims by both Adrian Whitehead and John Green. The latter is proud to proclaim that he will "break the law and be accountable for it" should fox hunting be banned. This type of comment typifies the behaviour and attitudes of those who perpetrate this sickening species specific cruelty against a much maligned animal…. RACHEL ASTILL-DUNSEITH Lincoln.
Adrian Whitehead states that "rushing the Bill through had more to do with a political agenda than animal welfare". It isn't that way at all. When first elected, Labour promised to ban the barbaric hunting of foxes with dogs and in a democracy this has more to do with the will of the majority of people…. WALLY CROFT Birchwood Estate, Lincoln
Your Echo comment (September 9) says: "The Government had previously pledged a ban would not become law until there was irrefutable evidence that it would benefit foxes or deer." Surely it would benefit them insofar as they would still be alive? G. MARTIN Lincoln. (letters)

Western Daily Press 14.9.04 THIS BILL IS NOT A PRIORITY - I was amazed by the announcement of the Government's intention to press ahead with its Hunting Bill. We have enough problems in this country and many more important matters that need attention…. Martin Scott Quenington Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.9.04 NEW LAW WILL HARM MANY - So which Bill promising to improve the life of every man, woman and child in this country will be ditched to make Parliamentary time for the hunting legislation? Pensions? Education? Immigration? It has been shown by the Government's own inquiries that a hunting ban will not save the life of a single fox…. J Barkwith Horton Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 14.9.04 MANY HUNTED DEER PREGNANT - Terence Sims states that "pregnant deer are never hunted". This prompts me to ask: how does he know? Has he got X-ray eyes? Hind-hunting starts at the beginning of November when many hinds will have been impregnated during the rut. At that stage, the embryo will be very small and will not indicate a pregnancy… Doreen Cronin West Quantoxhead Somerset (letter)

Leicester Mercury 14.9.04 A BAN WOULD BE BAD FOR COUNTY - Tomorrow, MPs will vote on a Bill to ban hunting with dogs. Hunting is part of our national heritage and has made Leicestershire famous… . We cannot afford to ban something simply because we do not like it. A ban will have a detrimental effect on Leicestershire. Ian Kilgour, Thurcaston. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 14.9.04 A WAKE-UP WARNING - While there are major issues facing our country regarding health, education, crime and immigration, the Government is considering using the Parliament Act to force through the Hunting Bill…. The Government claims other country sports are safe, but they have almost destroyed the sport of shooting through legislation… We are all aware that the Government has repeatedly stated angling is safe, but let's look at the facts. An American animal-rights organisation called PETA has reportedly made a donation of £1 million to the Labour Party. This organisation has for many years attempted to get angling banned in America. It has failed, so it has switched its attention to Britain… Wake up all field-sports enthusiasts. If you feel our beloved sports are safe from outside interference, you are not looking at what is really happening. Alan Smith, Leicestershire Angling Federation. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 14.9.04 HUNTS WARNED OF BAN, SO WHY BREED MORE DOGS? - Reporter John Fletcher, Echo, September 11, tells us that the ban on hunting could lead to the destruction of 200,000 hounds. There are in the region of 300 registered hunts in this country, each with about 60 to 70 hounds in their packs, giving a total of approximately 20,000 hounds. Mr Fletcher appears to have added a nought to his figure in error…. The hunts have had at least seven years' warning of the impending ban yet, I understand, little or no effort has been made to restrict the number of hounds bred or number of foxes bred by hunts in artificial earths…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 14.9.04 REDUNDANT HOUNDS CAN BE REHOMED OR RETRAINED - As expected, hunters are now using emotional blackmail, saying they will be "forced to put down hounds if hunting is made illegal". Hunts already kill their hounds at an early age if they prove to be poor hunters… Yvonne Nicola, Address withheld on request (story)

Western Morning News 14.9.04 AT 78, I SHALL AGAIN JOIN HUNT MARCH - So New Labour are really going to go all the way and ban all hunting with dogs and no doubt there will be another march to London by the Countryside Alliance, with predictable results of no change by this uncaring and biased government that we have wished on ourselves… At the age of 78, I shall no doubt be marching to London for the third time despite two knees that are not now as good as they used to be and a shortness of breath resulting from a heart valve replacement some years ago… It will not affect the rich who will remove their horses to Ireland, where their legislators are not so stupid, and continue to hunt there. Only the less well-off country people, the majority, will be affected… Major John Montague, Alphington Exeter (letter)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 14.9.04 REAL PROBLEMS FOR COUNTRYSIDE - The Government has honoured its manifesto commitment to allow Parliament the opportunity to deal with the issue of hunting with dogs by stating its intention to reintroduce the Hunting with Dogs Bill in this Parliamentary session…. Violence and intimidation associated with illegal coursing events is a real and pressing problem in many areas of the countryside today… Dogs used for hunting are normally shot when they are no longer needed, but the extra time for implementation will mean there is even less reason for any suffering to be caused to them because of the ban…. Drag-hunting offers alternative activity in a variety of leisure and sporting activities. Hugh Playfoot, Leslie Court, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Racing Post 14.9.04 Greyhounds: Opinion: No delay to a ban on coursing with anti-hunting Bill - CHARLES BLANNING - COURSING may be banned by February. That is the stark reality facing the country's oldest field sport. On Wednesday a Bill to ban all hunting with hounds will be introduced into the House Of Commons, and will be forced through all its stages in one day. The three 'readings', and 'committee' and 'report' stages, which normally take weeks of Parliamentary discussion, will be rushed through with indecent haste in a single session…. David Midwood, chairman of the Waterloo Cup Committee, was in bullish mood earlier last week, promising that the coursing Classic would take place whatever happens. The meeting is scheduled for February 22-23-24, but if these days fall outside the ban limit, he will seek earlier dates… When the Bill is enacted, lawyers acting for the hunting and coursing interest will immediately challenge the legality of the 1949 amendment. The courts may well have the last say in whether coursing survives. story in archive)


Whitby Gazette 13.9.04 HUNTS PREPARE FOR A BATTLE TO BEAT THE BAN - LOCAL hunts have labelled the Government's plans to ram home a bill to ban hunting with dogs by November 2006 as "absolutely disastrous". Glaisdale Hunt committee member Dennis Harland said he was not surprised that the Government was trying to push the bill through…. (story)

Horse & Hound 13.9.04 Police prepare to enforce Hunting Bill - Isobel Walsh - With the imminent reintroduction of the Hunting Bill to Parliament, police forces throughout the country are grappling with the issue of how a hunting ban could possibly be enforced… The answer, officials have decided, is closed circuit television. Police will spy on what they consider to be 'main hunting routes' in rural areas using CCTV. The suggestion has however, sparked ridicule from some directions. "If CCTV doesn't stop crime in urban areas where they have a camera every fifty yards, it is farcical to imagine that it would have any effect in the countryside," said a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance…. (story)

Worcester Evening News 13.9.04 Determined voice behind poster face - SEEING your own photograph in print is always a daunting experience, but having it plastered across billboards several feet high must be a heart stopper, writes MIKE PRYCE… For Sarah Bell, a 25-year-old nurse who rides with the Worcestershire Hunt, is being promoted as the new face of hunting…. (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 13.9.04 Where beagles dare - THE countryside came to town in Worcester last weekend, when sporting dogs from across the county took part in a promotion of the rural way of life. Gun dogs, foxhounds and beagles were joined by ferreters and farmers in the city's Angel Place as part of a national Countryside Alliance campaign to bring the countryside and country sports to a wider public… (story in archive)

Worcester Evening News 13.9.04 The sun shone on a great show - THE recent thunderstorms and torrential downpours must have caused some anxiety for member of the Tenbury Agricultural Society as they prepared for their annual Show. But it was a perfect summer day with unbroken sunshine and enough breeze to bring some relief from the heat…. The highlight for the children was the invitation to run to the centre of the Ring and mix with the Wyre Forest Beagles and the Ludlow and Clifton Foxhounds, always guaranteed to bring a spontaneous response from the youngsters… (story in archive)

Western Mail 13.9.04 Mass protest to converge on Parliament for vote on ban - HUNT supporters look set to stage another major demonstration outside Parliament on Wednesday, after the Government confirmed that MPs will vote then on whether to ban fox-hunting…. (story)

Western Mail 13.9.04 Hunt makes quarry of MP - THE Prime Minister and a Welsh Labour MP were both targeted by pro-hunt campaigners yesterday in protests outside their homes. Tony Blair and Nick Ainger, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, were targeted ahead of this week's vote for a ban on fox hunting. Mr Ainger, who is the whip for the Hunting Bill, was disturbed by the sound of hunting horns in the street outside his terraced house in Pembroke Dock just after 7am yesterday. Meanwhile Mr Blair took time out from his wife's 50th birthday party to hold "cordial" talks with about 150 pro-hunt campaigners who staged a protest outside Chequers…. Two hunt leaders were allowed inside Chequers to meet Mr Blair face to face. Emma Pearce, a master from the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, said afterwards, "He understood our point of view and we discussed the different sides, the position he was in and the position we were in."… (story)

Newcastle Journal 13.9.04 Foxhunters warn of mass protests By Liz Hands, The Journal - Countryside campaigners yesterday warned Tony Blair that any hopes of avoiding trouble in the run-up to a General Election by delaying a hunting ban for two years would not pay off…. Pam Pattinson, a member of the Haydon Hunt, based at Haydon Bridge in the Tyne Valley, was one of around 100 protesters who picketed Tony Blair's home in Trimdon Colliery, County Durham on Friday…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 13.9.04 DEFY THIS BAN! - Hundreds of hunt supporters in Devon are preparing to mount last-ditch protests against attempts to railroad a ban through Parliament this week. Tonight, blood sports backers are planning to light up a hillside outside Exeter with the message 'No Ban' spelled out in flame… Around 700 hunt supporters from across Devon and the region gathered in the exhibition hall at Westpoint on Saturday evening at a rally organised by the Countryside Alliance…. John Lucas, joint master of Tiverton Staghounds, said: "Emotions are running very high and I have a terrible feeling that there will be a revolt…" Michael Bickell, chairman of the Lamerton Hunt in West Devon, said: "If the ban is brought in immediately, there will be uproar."… (story)

Western Daily Press 13.9.04 TALLY HO! THE HUNTS MARCH ON PARLIAMENT - An army of country-sport supporters from the West will descend on Westminster on Wednesday as Ministers vote on a hunting ban, it was revealed yesterday…. Today, a string of beacons, spelling out "No Ban", will be lit across England and Wales at dusk…. Jo Aldridge, a member of the Beaufort Hunt, in Gloucestershire, said the protest was "impromptu and spontaneous". She continued: "Everybody I speak to says 'See you there'…. Meanwhile, the Cotswold Hunt said they had arranged four coaches, and more than 80 people had already confirmed their attendance… South Dorset Hunt and West Somerset Vale hunt also confirmed their attendance at the rally which will start at 12pm in Parliament Square, outside the House of Commons…. (story)

Western Morning News 13.9.04 TROOPS RALLIED FOR HUNT PROTEST - More than 2,000 hunting supporters attended a Westcountry rally on Saturday night, in a battle cry to prepare for a massive lobby of Parliament to object to the return of the controversial Hunting Bill…. Speaking at the rally, Alliance president Baroness Ann Mallalieu said theBill would hit the Westcountry economy particularly hard…. Almost every hunt in the region is sending a coach…. (story)

Telegraph 13.9.04 Cherie celebrates her 50th and a lucrative US book tour By Jane Mulkerrins - Cherie Blair celebrated her 50th birthday at the weekend with an informal party at Chequers.... Some of those invited were initially diverted to a Tesco car park in nearby Princes Risborough as 500 pro-hunting protesters blocked the entrance to Chequers.... (story)

Southern Daily Echo 13.9.04 Killing of fox cub sparks anger - A ROW has erupted in the New Forest after a fox cub was killed during a hunt. The killing has been condemned by the New Forest Animal Protection Group, which claims the hounds were encouraged to tear at the cub's body "in what appears to have been a frenzy whipped up by the hunters with guttural cries"…. But New Forest Hounds spokesman Graham Ferris said the killing of foxes was a legitimate activity. "Hounds, like any other dogs, are praised loudly and enthusiastically when they have done the job they have been bred for," he said… (story in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 13.9.04 HELP END BLOODTHIRSTY HUNT - Your article 'Countryside campaigners gather in city' quotes the Countryside to Town organiser stating that 'Lincolnshire hunts are open, accountable.' I wonder then, did James Barclay promote the practice of cub hunting while in Cornhill?... J. GILBERT Beacons Bottom, Buckinghamshire. (letter)

Telegraph 13.9.04 The hunt is accountable - So many of those who would ban hunting have no concept of what the other methods of controlling foxes imply in terms of probable suffering. As a veterinary surgeon, I have put down a fox caught by its hind leg in a snare: it had been struggling for a long time, and was only found by accident by a client walking his dog. One of my veterinary colleagues has witnessed the death of his dalmation, which had ingested strychnine... Alistair Hamilton, Bwlch Gwyn, Carmarthen (letter)

Times 13.9.04 Hunting and eating - Sir, I believe only vegetarians have a genuine case against hunting with hounds (letter, September 8). Far more cruelty to animals is inflicted in producing the chicken nugget or pork sausage than is caused by hunting…. CAROLINE CLAYDEN, Old School, Holcombe, Bath BA3 5EW.
Mr David Walker (letter, September 4) compares foxhunting with hunting wild boar with hounds, and says “nothing has changed”. When was the last time the foxhunter ate his quarry? Yours faithfully, JOE WESTERMAN, 27 Claymore Street, Manchester M18 8SQ. (letters)

Times 13.9.04 Following the hunt - The Government seems eager to force through a ban on foxhunting. Is the issue being given too much importance?
I APPLAUD Mick Hume’s comments on the Government’s “fine sense of priorities” in according the foxhunting issue an absurdly inflated status (Comment, September 6). As one brought up in a working-class home I have no axe to grind, but am simply puzzled by the whole surreal business… Anne Crew,Wigton, Cumbria
Morally justified - IT IS a shame after all the research and debate on this subject that the argument for a ban, as per Tom Baldwin (Comment, September 8), should still revolve around the view that hunting is the preserve of “wax-jacketed ranks . . . driving round in 4x4s” (Comment, September 8). This ignores the broad participation in hunting by people in the countryside and the loss of jobs and income a ban will entail in hard-pressed rural communities… Aidan Clegg,Cobham, Surrey
The big issue - GIVEN the current world situation and the rather obvious threat that exists to this country from Islamic terrorists, I find it totally baffling that this Government should waste a second’s time on an archaic and rather pointless activity such as foxhunting… Robert Daines
Unnecessary delay - I WELCOME the ban on hunting, but see no good reason for a delay of two years. For me, apart from the end of a disgusting form of cruelty, it will mean no more hunt trespass in my garden by the Cattistock Foxhunt… Helen Weeks, West Coker, Somerset
Country benefits - FOXHUNTING has no links with dog-fighting whatsoever. This is an irresponsible article to print in your otherwise excellent newspaper… Benjamin Elson, London SW11
Cat cruelty - HAVING worked in the industry and taken my daughter hunting over a period of 40 years, I have never seen anything to equal the horror of a domesticated cat torturing and terrorising a bird before killing it… Tony Forge (letters)

Western Daily Press 13.9.04 WE SHOULD FOCUS ON THE REAL ISSUES - With a disastrous war on its hands, failing to deliver on the issues of health, care of the elderly, education, crime, transport, immigration, terrorism and so on, we read that Mr Blair and his government are about to devote more time and energy on yet another attempt to ban hunting… John Rushton Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 13.9.04 NOTHING I CAN DO TO STOP CUB HUNT - Thank you for publishing Judy Gilbert's letter on cub-hunting. One Thursday this month, mounted hunters from the Cattistock Foxhunt will encircle a small wood close to my house. In this copse are a family of foxes…. Cub-hunting is a vile and secret activity where hounds are taught to hunt foxes who cannot escape…. Helen Weeks West Coker Somerset (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 13.9.04 HUNT BAN SHOULD NOT BE A PRIORITY FOR OUR LEADERS - What is wrong with our Government? In pursuing a hunting ban they are persecuting a law abiding minority of people, whilst attempting to bring in a Bill which will not make an iota of difference to the welfare of wildlife…. Charlotte Wear, Bridgwater, Somerset (letter)

Bolton Evening News 13.9.04 Don't delay over hunt ban - THE Government has finally announced the long awaited return of the Hunting Bill to the House of Commons!... However, there has been speculation of a delay in implementation of the Bill. The League Against Cruel Sports strongly opposes such a delay as completely unnecessary. Please, Bolton MPs - be present in the House of Commons to vote for a total hunt ban and to oppose any delay in the implementation of a ban…. A Cartmell, Bolton (letter in archive)

IF hunting was banned, the impact on Cumbria would be devastating… People talk about hunting being cruel to foxes but the alternative methods of pest control are much more cruel…. Tom Fell North West England regional director Countryside Alliance
CUMBRIA without the hunts will be a step forward into the civilised world…. A ban is a ban and it should come into effect within three months. Elaine Milbourn, Anti-hunt campaigner
THE Labour Government have now promised in two manifestos to ban hunting and have voted on at least three occasions with a massive majority in favour of banning hunting. I believe the vast majority of people in the UK and Carlisle want hunting banned and I am pleased we are now going to get on with it…. ERIC MARTLEW, MP FOR CARLISLE (letters)


Racing Post 11.9.04 Jockeys and stewards protest against hunting ban by Andrew King - JOCKEYS at Stratford teamed up with the stewards on Sunday in a protest over the proposed ban of fox hunting before the third race on the card… All the jockeys returned to applause and cheers from racegoers and the race was only delayed by three minutes as a result…. (story in archive)

Sunday Times 12.9.04 Pony club puts bite on Cherie’s big party - NICHOLAS HELLEN, SOCIAL AFFAIRS EDITOR - MILITANT pony club members and their pro-hunting parents delayed the start of Cherie Blair’s 50th birthday party last night after blockading Chequers in defiance of the government’s plans to ban foxhunting. Police tried to keep the narrow roads surrounding the prime minister’s Buckinghamshire retreat clear as 500 protesters besieged the estate with tractors, trailers, horseboxes and four-wheel drive vehicles. As police became concerned at the size of the protest, black-tied guests attempting to reach the party found themselves diverted to the car park of a Tesco supermarket in Princes Risborough…. Among those caught up in the protest were the band booked for the evening when a teenage pony club member lay across a Chequers’ entrance blocking their van. A 16-year-old protester said: “They told us that they were being paid £30,000 to play at this party and we were ruining it.”… And eventually the prime minister defused the protest by inviting two huntmistresses, Emma Pearce from the Vale of Aylesbury hunt and Polly Portwin from the Bicester, into Chequers for a fireside chat…. (story)
Independent on Sunday 12.9.04 Cherie's party in disarray as hunt Bill protesters block roads to Chequers - Extraordinary scenes as demonstrators halt even the band and then ringleaders are invited in for talks with PM By Francis Elliott and Andy McSmith - The glittering party thrown last night by Cherie Blair to celebrate her 50th birthday was thrown into disarray by pro-hunting campaigners who blocked the roads around Chequers, the Prime Minister's country residence, for several hours…. (story)
BBC News Online 11.9.04 Hunt protest outside Cherie party - Pro-hunt campaigners have staged a demonstration outside Cherie Blair's 50th birthday party at the prime minister's country house at Chequers… Emma Pearce, a master from the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt, said she and Polly Portwin from the Bicester Hunt had a "cordial" meeting with the PM…. One anonymous demonstrator posed in front of the gates wearing only a Tony Blair mask and carrying a pro-hunting placard…. Philip Hague, a huntsman of the Vale of Aylesbury, Garth and South Berks Hunt, believes other unofficial demonstrations are likely to follow… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 12.9.04 Cameras in the trees will spy on hunts By Melissa Kite and Daniel Foggo - Police are planning to use spy cameras in the countryside to enforce a ban on fox hunting. Chief constables intend to site CCTV cameras on hedgerows, fences and trees along known hunting routes to enable them to photograph hunt members who break the law after hunting with hounds is outlawed. The controversial measure was agreed at a secret meeting between David Blunkett and the chief constables of England and Wales after the hunting ban was announced last week.... The MoD has long been reliant on the unpaid co-operation of farmers in allowing the Armed Forces to use their land for large-scale manoeuvres. Ken Jones, the master of the Irfon and Towy Hunt and the chairman of the Federation of Welsh Packs, said that dozens of farmers in mid-Wales would no longer give the MoD permission for troop exercises.... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 12.9.04 The death of the hunt will be Blair's memorial By Max Hastings - In the days when he was a Tory MP, George Walden observed that he was personally indifferent about the survival of fox hunting, but that any society capable of tying its legislature in knots to secure the sport's abolition had got its priorities perverted. Well, now we know that this Government is indeed willing to tie the legislature in knots, and has got its priorities perverted. A host of Labour MPs who would not look up from the trough to attend a debate on child cruelty, defence, anti-terrorist measures, rail safety, wind farms or the Day of Judgment will crowd the Chamber to abolish fox hunters.... The countryside has lost the political and economic power which it possessed for centuries. This reflects the march of history. What does not, however, is this sorry attempt by the representatives of the urban and suburban majority to impose upon the rural minority the values of the pavements and concrete citadels. It is a new tyranny, and a profoundly unnatural one. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 12.9.04 Let the hare go free, but not the fox By Nigel Farndale - On Thursday the Countryside Alliance erected a protest banner in Parliament Square showing pictures of a nurse and a miner in hunting gear. Above them were: "Hunt ban - pure prejudice."… Tony Blair says that the fox-hunting ban won't take effect until after the next election. Hare coursing, on the other hand, will be banned in three months. When I heard this I thought: good thing, too. And I imagine a lot of the fox-hunting fraternity think the same…. Yet, if I am honest, part of the distaste I feel for hare coursing is to do with class prejudice. Hare coursing is a pikey sport: it is about as socially ugly as wife-beating, racism and woodchip wallpaper… Yet if the libertarian argument is to be applied consistently, it should extend to this nasty little sport as well. Most fox hunters, I feel sure, would be loath to admit that. The muddy waters of prejudice, it seems, flow both ways (story)

Sunday Telegraph 12.9.04 My dilemma: to give up hunting or the police By Melissa Kite. Deputy Political Editor - He may not fit the anti-hunt lobby's stereotype of a Hooray Henry on the back of an expensive horse but Mike Williams, a police constable, is proud to declare himself a hunting man. Pc Williams, the first serving police officer publicly to admit his devotion to fox hunting, told yesterday of his personal dilemma as a government-imposed ban on hunting with hounds loomed closer.... (story)

Independent on Sunday 12.9.04 Minister must placate MPs as fox-hunting ban is delayed By Andy McSmith, Political Editor - Alun Michael, the Countryside minister, will face an angry meeting of Labour MPs in the Commons tomorrow to try to persuade them to accept Tony Blair's plan to let fox-hunting continue for two more years…. Tony Banks, the former sports minister who has led the campaign for a ban, said that he hoped to negotiate with ministers over the weekend to produce a proposal acceptable to most Labour MPs… (story)

Sunday Times 12.9.04 Anti-hunt MPs muster in fight for faster ban - RICHARD WOODS - LABOUR backbenchers are pressing the government to introduce a ban on foxhunting within a year or less. Anti-hunting MPs, led by Tony Banks, are trying to force ministers, who have suggested a two-year delay, to change their plans…. More than 500 pro-hunt protesters amassed at the gates of Chequers, where Cherie Blair was celebrating her 50th birthday last night…. David Blunkett, the home secretary, is reported to have agreed with chief constables that CCTV will be used along hunting routes to help police the ban, if it goes ahead…. (story)

Sunday Times 12.9.04 Focus: I'll give you 'right to roam' - A ban on foxhunting will finally be put before MPs this week. And next Sunday townies win the right to roam. Richard Woods and Jonathan Leake on the battle for the countryside (round three)… Next Sunday Alun Michael, the UK’s rural affairs minister, will celebrate the start of the “right to roam”. He will take strolls in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire and in the Goyt Valley in the Peak District… Michael’s march will mark the start of a Labour-inspired war on the countryside. With a general election expected within the year, Labour could do with a bit of “them and us” to get its rank-and-file supporters fired up. Its spin doctors know there is nothing like a bit of “bumpkin baiting”. Firing the first shot in this pre-election confrontation last week, ministers announced (once again) that they are poised to ban foxhunting…. Zac Goldsmith, a member of the rural elite and editor of The Ecologist magazine, summed it up. He is dismayed that Labour, far from tackling pressing issues over intensive farming, is pursuing “something as marginal” as foxhunting. “The British countryside has probably never faced a threat on the scale we’re seeing now,” he said. “New Labour’s rural policies look more like a jihad every day.”…. (story)

Scotland on Sunday 12.9.04 The slaughter of the fittest - MAGNUS LINKLATER - IT SEEMS almost incredible that in the midst of what may prove to be the most critical period of Tony Blair’s administration, he should be resurrecting the issue of hunting with dogs. Does he not have enough on his plate already? Iraq, defence, health, education, the future of Gordon Brown and the winning of an election? … Two years ago, hunting was abolished in Scotland by means of a Bill which most rural experts described variously as confused, damaging, badly drafted and wrong-headed. The parliamentary committee which scrutinised it decided that it was, in essence, unworkable and recommended that it should be thrown out. MSPs, however, voting firmly with their prejudices, shoved it through, dubious clauses and all…. So what has it achieved? Those who may naively have supposed that the Protection of Mammals Act (Scotland) would protect mammals, and in particular the fox, are in for a rude shock. In fact, the form of hunting which is now sanctioned by law has resulted in almost twice as many foxes being dispatched by hunts as were before…. Maybe, just maybe, Blair might think about these things before he sends his saboteurs into the undergrowth to wreck a traditional way of life - and kill more foxes. (story)

Sunday Times 12.9.04 Let’s vote on hunt - YOU published three letters last week in support of a ban on foxhunting, but none in support of the farmers. Foxhunting was started by farmers whose livestock were killed by foxes. James Greig Bakewell, Derbyshire
REFERENDUM: Central government’s record of dealing with countryside issues is abysmal and it should not be getting involved with moral issues… why not hold referenda in counties where hunting has traditionally taken place?... Christopher Shann, Leominster, Herefordshire
SEEING RED: If a private member’s bill is introduced banning fishing… can we count on MPs Jackie Ballard and Dr Nick Palmer to support it, or doesn’t a green waxed jacket engender as much compassion for God’s creatures as a red one? Stephen Leathley, Lagos, Portugal (letters)

Telegraph 12.9.04 Dragging on - Attractive though the idea seems, the aims of the hunting antis are not, as Quentin Letts so wittily remarks in his piece about the proposed ban, to "trash the toffs"… Not a single protester in the land objects to the obvious alternative of drag-hunting, to which some hunts have already turned…. Frank Gardner, Wallington, Surrey (letter)


Telegraph 11.9.04 Pro-hunt campaigners besiege Blair at home By Nigel Bunyan - The Prime Minister was run to ground yesterday as more than 100 pro-hunting protesters besieged his home… The Prime Minister eventually agreed to see a five-strong delegation from the protesters, who included Otis Ferry, son of Bryan Ferry, the singer. Sam Butler, who led the delegation, said: "Mr Blair said he was under a lot of political pressure from MPs to ban the sport."... (story)
Guardian 11.9.04 Pro-hunt group invited in for chat with PM - Peter Hetherington - Rather than brave the wrath of jeering pro-hunt protesters outside his County Durham constituency home, Tony Blair invited their leaders inside for a chat yesterday - and blamed backbench pressure for the forthcoming ban on hunting with dogs…. Wearing flat caps and waxed jackets, they waved banners - "Are foxes more important than people?" and "Get real MPs" - as Sam Butler, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Mark Shotton, master of the South Durham hunt, and three other leading pro-hunt activists went inside to meet the prime minister. "He listened, which is not the same thing as doing anything about it, but he said there was nothing he could do about preventing next week's bill before the House of Commons," Mr Butler said afterwards… (story)
Western Morning News 11.9.04 FLAT CAPS AND WAX JACKET PROTEST - Around 100 hunt protesters picketed the constituency home of Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday. The pro-hunt campaigners, who are opposing Government plans to outlaw hunting with dogs, gathered outside Mr Blair's home in Trimdon Colliery, Co Durham…. (story)
Western Daily Press 11.9.04 HUNT HITS BLAIR AT HOME - Angry hunt supporters yesterday turned their sights on Tony Blair as part of six days of protest designed to save their sport. Dozens of campaigners gathered outside the Prime Minister's home in his County Durham constituency to make their feelings heard…. (story)
Western Daily Press 11.9.04 HUNT HOUNDS BLAIR AT HIS NORTHERN LAIR - Hunt supporters yesterday made Tony Blair their quarry as they kicked off six days of protest at the imminent ban. More than 100 protesters gathered outside the Prime Minister's constituency home in County Durham, chanting slogans, waving placards and blowing hunting horns…. (story)
Yorkshire Post 11.9.04 BLAIR GETS A VISIT FROM HUNT LOBBY - James Reed - HUNT supporters protesting outside Tony Blair's constituency home yesterday vowed they will continue hunting even if it means breaking the law. Hundreds of pro-hunt campaigners from across the country, including Yorkshire, joined an early-morning protest in Trimdon, County Durham, waving banners and shouting slogans at anyone who entered or left the Prime Minister's home…. Charlie Gundry, master of the Middleton Hunt, said his own livelihood and that of seven other hunt employees was in danger…. Liz Lorrimar, of Thirsk, a supporter of the York and Ainsty Hunt, said: "I think there will be social unrest in the countryside. There are people here willing to break the law…. (story)
Northern Echo 11.9.04 Blair is besieged by hunt backers by Andrew White - THE Prime Minister's North-East home was besieged by hundreds of hunt supporters, who staged a noisy protest outside his home yesterday… About 300 people, some of them with dogs and horns, took part in the protest outside Mr Blair's home, Myrobella House, in Trimdon, County Durham. Among them was Otis Ferry, son of pop legend Bryan Ferry, a former whipper-in with a hunt and an outspoken supporter of country pursuits… Peter Lister, chairman of the Coquetdale and Border Coarsing Club, from Two Law, County Durham, said: "I'm here because this is a total infringement of my civil liberties…." (story in archive)
Times of Malta 11.9.04 Hunting supporters take protest to Blair's home - Alistair MacDonald, Reuters - Supporters of fox-hunting demonstrated outside Prime Minister Tony Blair's northern home yesterday in what they say is the first in a series of protests against a looming ban on the centuries-old pursuit…. (story)
BBC News Online 10.9.04 Hunt protest outside Blair's home - More than 150 pro-hunt campaigners gathered outside Prime Minister Tony Blair's County Durham constituency home on Friday… The protesters gathered outside the house in Trimdon Colliery. Durham Police said one man was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace…. James Bates, from the Countryside Alliance in Durham, said: "We are basically here to say one thing, that we are not going away… (story)
North East Evening Gazette 10.9.04 Hunt campaigners picket PM's home - Around 100 hunt protesters picketed the constituency home of Prime Minister Tony Blair today. The pro-hunt campaigners, who are opposing Government plans to outlaw hunting with dogs, gathered outside Mr Blair's home in Trimdon Colliery, Co Durham…. They held up pro-hunting banners and blew hunting horns frequently… (story)
Reuters 10.9.04 Hunting supporters protest at Blair's home - Supporters of fox-hunting have demonstrated outside Prime Minister Tony Blair's home in County Durham in what they say is the first in a series of protests against a looming ban on the centuries-old pursuit. Blowing horns and waving banners, the protestors arrived as Blair prepared to meet his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern at the house in Trimdon ahead of talks on the Northern Ireland peace process. A police spokesman said one man had been arrested on Friday for breaching the peace in an otherwise peaceful 100-strong demonstration…. (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 11.9.04 Hunters step up protests - HUNT campaigners were set to stage their second protest in 24 hours in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s constituency today… Members of the South Durham Hunt were set to be on Trimdon Village green in full hunting regalia, accompanied by horses and hounds. Yesterday morning more than 100 pro-hunters gathered outside Mr Blair’s home in Trimdon Colliery (story)
BBC News Online 11.9.04 Hunt protest in Blair's village - Pro-hunt campaigners have mounted another protest close to Prime Minister Tony Blair's County Durham home. Members of the South Durham Hunt gathered on Trimdon Village green in full hunting regalia, accompanied by horses and hounds. They were planning to protest as Mr Blair carried out a Saturday surgery for his constituents…. (story)

BBC News Online 11.9.04 East: A foxy business - Deborah McGurran, Editor, Politics Show East - It finally looks like the last hurrah for fox hunting, even though any new law will not be enforced for a couple of years…. Tim Taylor is a huntsman for the Woodland Pytchley Hunt in Northamptonshire. He has kept a video diary for 2003/04 of how he earns a livelihood following the hounds… (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 11.9.04 Riding into battle - MORE than 100 members of a county hunt have vowed to defy the law and even go to prison if foxhunting is outlawed… David Reynolds, Master of the Woodland Pytchley Hunt, based at Brigstock, says he and about 100 other hunt members have signed a declaration that they will carry on hunting regardless…. Mr Taylor, in his mid-30s, is huntsman for the Woodland Pytchley Hunt and has been involved with hunting since he left school… CLIVE Richardson has fought against foxhunting for the past 20 years, but it is only recently that he started to believe it would ever be banned…. Mr Richardson is spokesman for the East Northamptonshire Hunt Saboteurs group…. (story)

Times 11.9.04 'I'm so angry that I can see myself being pushed into serious protest' BY DAVID LISTER - DURING his long career as a police officer, Ray Jenkins did not imagine that he would one day consider breaking the law…. Mr Jenkins, who moved to Devon after retiring in 1998, is one of dozens of supporters of the Tetcott Hunt in north Devon who have vowed to defy any law banning hunting with hounds…. (story)
Times 11.9.04 Survival of the slowest and weakest BY MAGNUS LINKLATER - IT HAS brought bitterness and joy, but a law banning traditional fox-hunting in Scotland has had at least one undisputed effect: it has turned Darwinian law on its head. Almost twice as many foxes have been killed than before the legislation was introduced in 2002. By ruling that foxes must be shot rather than hunted to death, the strongest animals, which in the past usually escaped, are now being killed…. Philip Fergus, of the Fife Hunt, said that this method was efficient for killing foxes, but the wrong ones. “The first fox to be flushed out is usually a good, fit animal, the one who used generally to escape the hounds in the old days. The ones that are left behind are the older more infirm animals,” he said (story)
Times 11.9.04 'This does nothing for the fox – in fact we are killing more' BY MAGNUS LINKLATER -THE abolition of foxhunting in Scotland has had some unexpected results. Two years after the Protection of Wild Mammals Act brought to an end 200 years of traditional hunting, nine out of ten Scottish hunts are still in action… Only the 150-year-old Dumfriesshire Hunt has been disbanded, and even its pack of hounds is being reformed…. A legal challenge to the Act, on the grounds it infringed hunt supporters’ human rights under the European Convention, failed this year when it was dismissed at the Court of Session… Trevor Adams, who runs the Buccleuch Hunt, was one of those who brought the action. “We have had an age-old tradition taken away from us,” he said…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 11.9.04 MP WELCOMES NEW BID TO BAN HUNTING - The decision to allow MPs to vote next Wednesday on a Bill to outlaw hunting has been welcomed by Wansdyke MP Dan Norris…. The Labour MP, who recently visited the Secret World animal sanctuary in Somerset, which looks after foxes and other injured animals said: "How anyone can stand by and watch these beautiful creatures torn to pieces is beyond me…" (story)

Western Morning News 11.9.04 WE'LL FIGHT TO THE BITTER END - Hunt supporters from across the Westcountry will gather tonight to plan a massive demonstration outside Parliament as it debates a bid to ban their sport next week. Tonight's meeting at the Devon County showground has been organised by the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance to brief members on the situation and to "rally the troops" ahead of next week's protest against the return of the controversial Hunting Bill…. Admiral Sir James Eberle has been master of the Dartmouth-based Britannia Beagles for 46 years, and is a member of the board of the Countryside Alliance. He backed Countryside Alliance chairman John Jackson's prediction that the countryside would "erupt with fury" if the Government ignored concerns over a hunting ban… Michael Moore, of the East Devon Hunt, said: "Although work commitments may mean not everyone who would like to will be able to make it, I think it will be surprising how many are present…." Michael Bickell, chairman of the Lamerton Hunt, on the Devon and Cornwall border, said up 100 members and supporters were hoping to travel up to London next Wednesday… (story)
Western Morning News 11.9.04 PARLIAMENT ACT FACES HIGH COURT CHALLENGE - The 1949 Parliament Act could face a High Court challenge as early as next week if ministers indicate they are determined to use it to force a hunting ban on to the statute books, the Countryside Alliance has warned…. (story)
Western Morning News 11.9.04 PRO-BAN MPS WANT THIS SEASON TO BE THE LAST - Anti-hunting MPs have warned that they want to make this winter's hunting season the last - threatening Government plans to try to "draw the sting" from the hunting ban by delaying the measure for two years…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.9.04 SUPPORTERS 'SET TO DEFY' HUNTING BAN - Huntsmen from Devon are threatening to defy a ban on their countryside pursuit after claiming that hundreds of hounds face a death sentence… They are among scores of people expected to attend a meeting called by the Countryside Alliance and attended by its president Baroness Ann Mallalieu at Westpoint, near Exeter, tonight…. John Lucas, joint master of Tiverton Staghounds, which has 70 animals, said huntsmen were already in revolt and were prepared to defy the law… Michael Moore, joint master of the East Devon Hunt, which has more than 80 hounds, said: "Potentially, there are a huge number of hounds which would have to be put down…" Liz Tancock, master of Axe Vale Hunt, said their 50 hounds would have to be destroyed if they folded…. Patricia Bromal, master of Silverton Foxhounds, said: We would have to put our 70-odd dogs down if our hunt is banned.'' Diana Scott of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds said: "We are absolutely livid…." (story)

Shropshire Star 11.9.04 Hundreds to protest over hunting bill - Hundreds of hunt supporters from across Shropshire are set to gather together next week to protest against the new new hunting bill which is set to be rushed through Parliament. A beacon is to be lit at the bottom of the Wrekin on Monday night as part of a nationwide protest which will see bonfires springing up across the English countryside… Meanwhile, David Jones, huntsman for the past 31 years of the David Davies Hunt, based in Llandinam, said today he had been inundated with phone calls from people determined to join the march on Westminster…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 11.9.04 'WHY MUST WE WAIT OVER HUNTING BAN?' - Anti-hunt campaigners say the ban on fox hunting that looks set to be rushed through Parliament on Wednesday will be a hollow victory…. The Cotswold Support Group for the Abolition of Hunting is furious that the two year suspension has been suggested…. Jill Purser, one of the group's leading members, said she was disgusted that the Government was considering the wait… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 11.9.04 Tory MP accuses Labour of Parliamentary contempt - A ROW has broken out between North Wiltshire MP James Gray and the Government over the proposed hunting ban. Conservative Mr Gray, a vigorous supporter of hunting, has accused New Labour of treating Parliament with contempt…. (story in archive)

Bolton Evening News 11.9.04 MP wants immediate hunting with dogs ban - BAN hunting with dogs now -- that is the message from Brian Iddon as the House of Commons was set for a new debate on the controversial sport. The Bolton South-east MP is unhappy at a clause in the Hunting Bill meaning it would not be implemented for two years to allow people in the industry to scale down their activities… (story in archive)

Guardian 11.9.04 Hunt for the fox's sake - Peter Scott, the founder of Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust, stated in 1949 that hunting benefited the fox by fostering its instinct for evasion… Scott told my father that he opposed aspects of fox hunting (artificial earth creation, cub hunting and terrier work), and that hunted foxes should be killed only in the open; but for the sake of its health as a species, he believed hunting otherwise benefited the fox. The government's bill would do the opposite. Charles Drury, For Wildness' Sake
Hunting almost eradicated the indigenous fox in Britain, and from the early 19th century foxes were imported from Spain, Holland and Russia… It is the descendants of these immigrants that roam the country in such numbers. Colin Burke, Manchester (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 11.9.04 GOVERNMENT HAS WASTED ENOUGH TIME ON HUNTING - Procrastination is the thief of time. I agree with Colin Richey, Points of view, September 8. Far too much time has been wasted on the Hunting Bill but we really must lance this boil. The alternative is to allow this barbaric sport to continue indefinitely…. G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 11.9.04 MOVE TOWARDS CIVILISATION HAS GOT TO BE A PRIORITY - I do not believe that "there are far greater issues than fox hunting that need sorting out", as Colin Richey believes, Points of view, September 8. Any steps that the human race can make towards civilisation in the 21st century are surely a priority. Name and address withheld on request (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 8.9.04 DITCH HUNT BAN PLANS AND FOCUS ON MAJOR CONCERNS - Here we go again! We must be coming up to a general election. With all the terrorism going on, worldwide and at home, an inadequate NHS and education at sixes and sevens, what does our Government decide to do? Waste its time getting hunting banned! That really is earth shattering…. Colin Richey, Lazenby Road, Tiverton (letter)

Yorkshire Post 11.9.04 Fox hunting an inefficient means of control From: Angus Smith, Tranby Lane, Anlaby, Hull. It always appears to me to be a contrived argument that a posse of quaintly-clad people reinforced by a horde of dogs is an effective way of killing a single animal not much larger than an average dog… On the other hand, the anti-hunting lobby, supported by the animal rights brigade, Left-wing activists, and genuine do-gooders backed by those looking for a fight, are only too pleased at confrontation. I wonder how many who shed tears over the hunting of a fox subscribe to the killing of thousands of unborn, innocent children every year?
From: Robert Pickard, Wakefield. SO the Reve Toddy Hoare (Yorkshire Post, September 7), is a man of God, but enjoys inflicting pain on living creatures…. Mr Hoare is a disgrace….
From: Phyllis Capstick, Old School House, Hellifield, Skipton. For anyone who thinks foxes do no harm, this is just one example that I witnessed at first hand…. One night a fox got into our hen pen, it killed every one of those hens leaving them all lying there with their heads off…
From: Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby. Recent correspondents have criticised anti-hunters for living miles away from where fox hunting takes place. But is this the least bit relevant?... (letters)

Bolton Evening News 11.9.04 Bring in hunting ban now - I VIEWED with dismay the recent decision by the Government to set out a timetable for a vote on hunting… It is about time the Government stopped pussy-footing around, and implemented a ban now, and stopped pandering to these people… Alan Johnson, Bolton Green Party, Church Avenue, Daubhill (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 11.9.04 SO the Hunting Bill has again this week been delayed and the vote to ban hunting put back until next week… However, hopefully after all the delaying tactics by the toffs in the Commons and those old fobs in the Lords the ban might at last be achieved… Surely the easiest way for the police to stop them breaking the law would be to fine the landowners who allow them to hunt on their land, and I mean a hefty fine, and if all these brave types band together to pay the fines, then jail the landowners…. GUS PROUD, Skinburness Village, Silloth (story)

Western Daily Press 11.9.04 PLEASE, NO MORE GREYHOUND RACING AT THE NEW STADIUM - I was saddened to read the article in the business section of the Western Daily Press in which Clarke Osborne, chief executive of Gaming International, outlined his company's plans for a new combined greyhound and football stadium in Bristol. As someone involved with animal welfare, I was pleased when the old greyhound track in Eastville closed down…. I urge animal lovers to write to their Member of Parliament and their local councillor to ask them not to support plans for a new greyhound track in Bristol…. Gina Harris, Roseberry Park, Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 11.9.04 TERRORISTS? NOT THIS LOT - It's easy to spot the terrorists because they have the word "terrorist" written on their foreheads (We Infiltrate Animal Terror Camp, September 6)…. If this article is an example of what the press does with its freedom, then tyranny clearly doesn't always have a foreign accent. Reporter Sasha Stone spent two whole days with the "militants" and the most violent phrase she could produce was - "jump on his face!"… Viva! campaigns against farmed animal abuse peacefully, legally, democratically and often successfully, has nothing to do with this annual gathering and did not attend the event. But this over-hyping has an effect on those of us sickened by the overwhelming scale of animal abuse in this country and trying to do something about it… Tony Wardle, Associate Director Editor, Viva!Life (letter)

Burnham Times 11.9.04 BIRD-BRAINED - In reply to a stupid letter in the issue of August 28 regarding pigeons from a Mr D Brayley of Bodmin. Pigeons do not attract rats. I'm sick and tired of these small-minded people who always assume this…. B Scollioni Clarissa Cottage Berrow (letter)


Evening Standard 10.9.04 Deal on hunt ban By Joe Murphy, Evening Standard Political Editor - The final ban on foxhunting will be delayed for up to two more years, the Evening Standard can reveal today. Ministers have decided to postpone the abolition because they fear mass protests by hunts facing closure during the general election campaign… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 10.9.04 PLAN TO BAN FOX HUNTING FLIES IN THE FACE OF COUNTRY LIFE - Tony Blair has finally bitten the bullet. He's going to ban hunting - or at least he's going to try. Never mind that the countryside will be up in arms, that the police have told him a ban would be hugely expensive and difficult to enforce, that several of his ministers have serious doubts about the idea. But at least, it's good news for foxes, isn't it? Actually, no it isn't…. A ban would be an affront to civil liberties, and to centuries of British tradition. It would be a slap in the face for the countryside, and a headache for the police. It would damage rural communities, the landscape, the environment, wildlife and bio-diversity. And above all, it would be a disaster for foxes. (story)

Telegraph 10.9.04 Blair's hunt ban delay faces Commons challenge By Andrew Sparrow and Charles Clover - Tony Blair's plan to ban hunting after a two-year delay faces opposition in Parliament and the courts, it emerged last night. Labour MPs plan to rebel against Mr Blair next week and vote for hunting to be banned after a year. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Countryside Alliance, John Jackson, described the Government's plan as "corrupt politics" and said the use of the Parliament Act 1949 to force the measure through the Lords would be "tested vigorously in the courts at the earliest opportunity".... (story)
Telegraph 10.9.04 Sketch … It is harder to think of a charitable reason for those Labour MPs to ban foxhunting. They are the authentic descendants of the Puritans who hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators. Peter Hain came to the Commons in his capacity as Leader of the House to outline the extraordinarily abbreviated timetable the Government has set, after seven years in office, for banning hunting…. (story)

Times 10.9.04 Foxhunting ban under threat from backbench Labour MPs BY GREG HURST AND VALERIE ELLIOTT - LABOUR MPs threatened to throw Tony Blair’s plans to outlaw foxhunting into further confusion yesterday by demanding the right to oppose the two-year delay in enacting the ban… Ministers had prided themselves on the assumption that the surprise tactic would challenge the Lords, most of whose members oppose a ban, to support the motion for a two-year delay or condemn hunting with hounds to a ban within three months…. Dennis Skinner, Labour MP for Bolsover, added: “Let’s get on with it, deal with the matter because at the end of the day we made a promise and now we must keep it.”… (story)
Times 10.9.04 Parliamentary Sketch - Old new boy hounded but not outfoxed BY ANN TRENEMAN … The baying of the hounds of Westminster began during the routine business questions. Confusingly, the first howl came just after the Leader of the House, Peter Hain, had explained why hunting with dogs must be banned. Mr Hain said it was all about cruelty to foxes and read a statement that was so long that he apologised for it in advance. Basically, and I summarise because to give his statement in full would be cruelty to readers, the ban will be rushed through the Commons in one day. It will then be raced over to the Lords, presumably by someone in very tight shorts and carrying a baton. If the Lords refuse to rush it through they will be crushed to smithereens. That is the way democracy works, Mr Hain said…. (story)

Scotsman 10.9.04 Hunt protest - HUNT supporters look set to stage a major demonstration outside Parliament next Wednesday after the Government confirmed that MPs will vote then on whether to ban fox-hunting in England and Wales. (story)

East Anglian Daily Times 10.9.04 Hunt supporters vow to flout ban BY JONATHAN BARNES - PRO-HUNT supporters in East Anglia have vowed to defy a ban on hunting with dogs if the Government forces through new legislation. Hunts across the region warned of "enormous unrest" in the countryside as a date was announced for MPs to vote on the future of the field sport…. Liz Mort, eastern region director of the Countryside Alliance, said: "It would be a very unjust law and it would be our duty to break it in order to draw attention to how unjust it is…." James Buckle, master of the Essex and Suffolk Foxhounds, said: "There are a lot of people who are very, very passionate about their hunting and won't just accept this ridiculous legislation that is being forced upon them…" David Nunn, joint master of Easton Harriers, said: "I am very disappointed the Government is resorting to these measures but they haven't got the Bill through yet…." Roger Clark, joint master of the East Anglian Bloodhounds, said: "It's criminal that, with one stroke of a politician's pen, they can wipe out 250 years of history. I cannot believe how high this is on the Government's agenda." Robin Vestey, joint master of Thurlow Foxhounds, accused the Government of "pure prejudice and bully boy tactics" over the bid to ban hunting…. But Lawrie Payne, regional spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports, warned anti-hunt campaigners would be lobbying the police to make sure the law is obeyed if a ban is imposed…. (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 10.9.04 FIGHTING FOR THE FOXES... A Bill to ban fox-hunting will be rushed through all its Commons stages in just one day, next week, it was announced yesterday. On Wednesday, the Evening Telegraph looked at the possible impact of a hunting ban on rural life, as seen by those who support the practice. Today, Lynwen Davison speaks to people who would rejoice if a ban becomes law - the anti-hunting lobby. It's a myth that a ban on hunting will destroy the rural economy," said Roger Swain, of Derby Hunt Saboteurs, "a myth that perpetuates cruelty… Roger, who has been in Derby Hunt Sabs for seven years, was responding to our feature on Wednesday, in which people employed in and around the High Peak Hunt were worried that their livelihood will disappear when a ban comes into force…. "I was brought up in the countryside in North Yorkshire and my first impression of the local hunt - the Bedale Hunt - was a negative one…." "Cruelty-free hunting is possible. I have made an offer to the Meynell and High Peak Hunts. If they convert to drag hunting I will drag the scent for them."… Chris Williamson, leader of the Labour group for Derby City Council, was once chair of the national Hunt Saboteurs Association and is still a member of the League Against Cruel Sports… (story)

Hexham Courant 10.9.04 HUNTING BAN THREATENS JOBS By WILL GREEN - SEVERAL hundred local jobs, as well as a centuries old Tynedale tradition, are under threat this week, after the Government announced plans for an imminent fox hunting ban…. Joint master of the Tynedale hunt Frank Houghton-Brown said: “Country people are historically law abiding. This was shown by the Countryside Alliance march in London where there was no law breaking at all. But 60,000 people have signed up to the principle that they would break the law if hunting was banned. Even police chiefs have said that it is unenforceable…." The Border Hunt’s Michael Hedley commented: “This is a huge disappointment, and it is the people whose jobs rely on the hunt who will suffer, along with their families…" (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 10.9.04 MPs split over hunting ban - DORSET MPs have reacted strongly to an announcement that there is to be a free vote on whether to ban fox hunting… Annette Brooke, Liberal Democrat MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, said: "I shall be voting to ban fox hunting because I think that it is a practice that is outdated for the 21st century…." Bournemouth East MP David Atkinson is one of a minority of Conservative MPs to support the ban. But Sir John Butterfill, Tory MP for Bournemouth West, said he would vote to keep hunting…. (story in archive)

Chester Chronicle 10.9.04 Passions run high over fox hunt ban By David Holmes, Chester Chronicle - BOTH sides of the hunting debate in Cheshire have reacted passionately to news the government will push on with a ban on fox-hunting…. Jeremy Weston, chairman of the Cheshire Forest Hunt, who lives in Delamere, says the fight isn't over yet, with many demonstrations ahead…. Greg Metcalfe, of the North West League Against Cruel Sports, said: 'I think it's very positive news…." (story)

Isle of Wight County Press 10.9.04 ANTI-HUNT GROUPS WELCOME BAN MOVE By Gavin Foster - ANIMAL welfare organisations have welcomed new moves that look set to outlaw hunting with dogs…. A spokesman for the anti-hunt group Island Action welcomed the prospect of a ban, saying it would consign hunting with dogs to history along with cock-fighting and bear-baiting…. Ken Rivers, chairman of the IW branch of the RSPCA, also welcomed the news. But he hoped steps would be taken to safeguard foxes against landowners seeking to cull them inhumanely with shotguns…. No one at the IW Hunt was available for comment. (story)

Leicester Mercury 10.9.04 GAME OVER FOR FOX-HUNTERS? BY KATHRYN EDWARDS - Hundreds of Leicestershire's hunt supporters are expected to descend on Parliament next week to fight the proposed ban on fox-hunting…. Belvoir Hunt chairman Tor Owen said supporters had already filled three coaches in less than 24 hours after the Government's announcement…. Joe Cowen is joint master of the Fernie Hunt, based near Great Bowden, Market Harborough. He said: "We're very disappointed the Government's having yet another go at passing this highly unpopular legislation."… (story)

Western Morning News 10.9.04 HUNTING BILL TO GO THROUGH IN A DAY - Labour MPs sent up a huge cheer yesterday as the Commons Leader Peter Hain confirmed that the controversial Bill to ban hunting with dogs would be pushed through in a single day next week…. Sir Patrick Cormack said Mr Hain had demonstrated an "ignorance of rural affairs and intolerance of the legitimate activities of minorities"…. Plans are gathering pace for a huge, and potentially explosive, demonstration in Westminster next Wednesday when the Bill is debated… Dartmoor publican Lindsay Barrow told the Western Morning News that he would be closing the Carpenter's Arms, near Haytor, next Wednesday so that he and his wife Sharon could attend the demonstration, in a show of sympathy with local hunts… (story)
Western Morning News 10.9.04 A FEW HOURS THAT WILL BRING TO AN END A SEVEN-YEAR SAGA - In what has been described ominously as one long day next week, MPs will attempt to iron out in a matter of hours what they have been unable to get a grip on for seven years…. Yesterday I encountered James Gray, the aristocratic Tory rural affairs spokesman who is not averse to a spot of fox hunting on Salisbury Plain…. For many Tory MPs from these areas, this is an issue about tradition and freedom to choose… Lib Dem MPs in rural areas have something of a dilemma. While next Wednesday's vote is a free one, Lib Dems are always twitchy about voting the same way as Conservatives…. (story)
Western Morning News 10.9.04 HUNTING BAN WILL BE A RURAL DISASTER - As someone who has, at least legally, lived a blameless life - without so much as a parking ticket - I am thoroughly relishing the prospect of being arrested for doing what I have spent the last 40 winters doing - namely, going foxhunting… (story)

Western Daily Press 10.9.04 BLAIR FOXED AS HUNT BILL IS SHOT BY BOTH SIDES - Hunt supporters were last night planning a massive protest at Parliament next Wednesday, to coincide with an extended day's debate on bringing in a ban…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 10.9.04 Huntsmen's rally will be just the start - Hunters from across East Anglia are preparing to attend a mass rally in London, as MPs get set to vote on the future of hunting… Ian Higgs, hunstman at the West Norfolk Fox Hounds, said any ban meant 60 hounds would be put down and four people would lose their jobs… Peter Richards of the West Norfolk Animal Rights, welcomed the news – with reservations… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 10.9.04 HUNTING: BLOODY FIGHT LIES AHEAD by Victoria Young - GRASSROOTS supporters of hunting with dogs in North Yorkshire have warned that the Government will face a ferocious fight if the sport is banned… Stephen Hamilton Rawlings, secretary of the Saltersgate Farmers' Hunt, said: "We're not going to take this lying down…" Gilda Brader, joint secretary of the Middleton Hunt, said: "I wonder if the Government is aware of the anger it has created amongst ordinary country people…" (story in archive)

The News, Portsmouth 10.9.04 Hunt Bill splits local MPs - MEMBERS of Parliament across our communities are split over next week's controversial vote to ban hunting with hounds… In Portsmouth Lib Dem Mike Hancock and Labour's Syd Rapson have both said they support a ban. Mark Oaten, the Lib Dem MP for Winchester, traditionally a staunchly pro-hunting area, said he would vote against the bill…. The Tory MP for Fareham, Mark Hoban, also questioned the bill. Tory MP for Gosport Peter Viggers is also against a ban. (story)

Chippenham News 10.9.04 CHIPPENHAM NEWS EXCLUSIVE: HUNTSMEN have vowed to become outlaws if legislation to ban fox hunting is passed next week…. Yesterday morning the Beaufort Hunt, which covers wide swathes of north Wiltshire around Chippenham, Calne and Corsham, went ahead as normal. Hunt master Ian Farquhar said: "I think this ban is absolutely crazy…" (story in archive)

Malvern Gazette 10.9.04 Hunt plans last stand over ban - AT least three coachloads will leave Ledbury on Wednesday to protest outside Parliament before a debate which could spell the end of hunting with dogs…. The Ledbury Hunt has set-up a hotline for supporters to book a place on coaches to go to London to demonstrate. By yesterday (Thursday) it had already filled three coaches… (story in archive)
Ledbury Reporter 10.9.04 Hunt makes last stand (story in archive)

Westmorland Gazette 10.9.04 Hunting Bill talk of County Show - THERE was fighting talk from embattled fox hunters at the Westmorland County Show yesterday (Thursday) as they threatened civil disobedience in the face of hurried legislation to ban hunting, report Jennie Dennett and Lisa Frascarelli. Outspoken celebrity chef and countryside campaigner Clarissa Dickson Wright warned of civil war in a rabble-rousing speech that pressed the hunting fraternity to ignore "Blair and his weasels"… Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Collins said he would be voting against the Bill as he did last time, adding that the Conservatives would introduce a Government Bill to reverse the ban…. (story)

Online Casino News 10.9.04 Fox Hunting Ban Could Delay Gambling Bill - Management consultant and special advisor to the gaming industry, The Gambling Consultancy, has voiced concern of the possible delay to the passage of the Gambling Bill by current legislation to force a ban on fox hunting through the House of Commons. Steve Donoughue of the Gambling Consultancy says this is a highly sensitive time for gambling legislation… Donoghue is anxious that the commotion surrounding the Fox Hunting Bill could completely knock it off the agenda… (story)

Bucks Free Press 10.9.04 Show set to be big draw - CATTLE and sheep, handsome horses and military motorcycle teams are just some of the attractions at next week's Thame and Oxfordshire County Show… Popular family favourites at the show also include the Band of the Hussars and Light Dragoons and the Parade of the Hounds…. (story)

Times 10.9.04 Role of marchers over hunting ban - Tom Baldwin (Comment, September 8) attempts to blame a ban on foxhunting on the Countryside Alliance and its members, especially those who marched in London two years ago. As Tony Blair is the Prime Minister, it is hardly surprising that members of the hunting fraternity, seeing their jobs and indeed their whole way of life threatened, should attack him as the author of their misfortune… MARY BRILL, High Hall Cottage, 1 Castlegate, Kirkbymoorside, York YO62 6BH.
Tom Baldwin may be right to suggest that the countryside shot itself in the foot on September 22, 2002… After all, subsequently nearly twice as many marchers begged Blair not to invade Iraq. He didn’t take any notice of them either. Yours faithfully, ANGUS DUNN, Dower House, Oxon Hoath, Nr Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9SS.
Tom Baldwin carefully does not mention the fact that just two months after the “Liberty and Livelihood” march in September 2002 the Government introduced a Bill to license fox-hunting, not ban it… SIMON HART, Chief Executive, Countryside Alliance, 367 Kennington Road, SE11 4PT. (letters)
Times 8.9.04 Folly of stirring Mr Blair will hound the pro-hunt marchers - TOM BALDWIN - REMEMBER the Liberty & Livelihood march in London a couple of years ago? Of course you do. Some of you were probably among the 408,000 people who went on it and, if that’s the case, have I got bad news for you… The truth — and I’ve had this confirmed to me by a number of senior Labour figures — is that your march was the moment when the Government decided it had to ban hunting. Yes, that’s right, it’s your fault. Let me explain. The march through London was interpreted by ministers as more of a challenge to their authority, than a protest or a plea. If those demonstrating had been saying the Government “should not” or “must not” ban hunting, it might have been different…. the legislation will be passed and implemented. Supporters of fox-hunting may then reflect on what has been arguably the most counter-productive protest since the miners’ strike. (story)

Telegraph 10.9.04 They promised! … Labour continually stalls a ban on hunting every time MPs vote overwhelmingly for a total ban (three times now). It is time to vote out this devious and callous pro-hunt party. From: Paul Smith, Newcastle, Staffs (letter)

Telegraph 10.9.04 Fun murdering - I think I would more respect those I fundamentally disagree with on hunting if they were honest and admitted that they simply enjoyed killing rather than continuing with their spurious, ridiculous and insulting arguments of humanitarian intentions in "dispatching" animals… Richard Faulkner, Kempshott, Hants (letter)

Telegraph 10.9.04 Locke says revolt - If a total hunting ban is forced into law by the use of the Parliament Acts, there are those who will say that the law must be obeyed even if it is arbitrary and discriminatory. That was not the view of John Locke, who argued for the right of revolution whenever a government abdicated its responsibility… Dr Christopher Maycock, Crediton, Devon (letter)

Telegraph 10.9.04 Blow against democracy - If Tony Blair's plan for the hunting Bill comes to fruition it will be a blow against democracy…. John Sims, Dulverton, Somerset (letter)

Telegraph 10.9.04 Some outdated class war - I attended the Liberty and Livelihood march in London two years ago and, as I came into Trafalgar Square, I saw a placard that said: "Where were you during the miners strike?'' I found this particularly galling: all my male ancestors going back 200 years or more have been mineworkers…. M. Singleton, Cannock, Staffs (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 10.9.04 HUNTING ISSUE IS LESSER OF ALL EVILS - Labour is rushing the ban on fox hunting through because it was in the manifesto…. I voted twice for Bob Laxton, but spending time on fox hunting will do nothing to keep my vote. The Prime Minister should be trying to solve other problems - like this pensions mess for starters. Anthony Lewis. Ashbourne Road, Derby. (letter)

Darlington & Stockton Times 10.9.04 See for yourself - I find it pitiful that so many advocates of a ban on hunting rely on so-called evidence of others to promote their causes.V L Lonsdale (D&S, Sept 3) is a case in point. Living in the heart of a splendid hunting country (the Bedale), V L Lonsdale uses tales from a distant hunt country in an attempt to denigrate the whole sport… CHRISTOPHER CURTIS, Field House, Carthorpe, Bedale.
Following recent correspondence, I feel I must mention that the League against Cruel Sports has a deer sanctuary in Somerset of some 250 acres. A recent survey showed that, of the 350 deer therein in a 12-month period, 107 had died of starvation and appalling neglect… DAVID CRUMMACK, Sinnington, York. (letters in archive)

Liverpool Daily Post 10.9.04 Coursers hell-bent on final Waterloo By Deborah James Daily Post Staff - ORGANISERS of the doomed Waterloo Cup last night said they are determined to hold one last event - even if plans to make hare coursing illegal are approved next week…. Last night a defiant Charles Blanning, secretary of the national coursing club spoke on behalf of David Midwood, chair of the Waterloo Cup Committee, who is abroad on holiday. He said: "I spoke to David this morning and that determination is categorical. The 2005 event will happen…" (story)


Horse & Hound 9.9.04 "Slippery" Government to delay hunting ban - Isobel Walsh - The Hunting Bill is to return to the Commons next week, but with an ammendment that would offer hunts a two-year period in which to wind up their activities… Alun Michael explained yesterday that a delay to the implementation of a ban would allow hunts two years respite to wind down their activities… However, many consider that the reason for the two-year delay is in order to reduce or even avert any pro-hunting action during the run-up to the election…. (story)

Western Mail 9.9.04 Opik warns of violence triggered by hunting ban Kirsty Buchanan, The Western Mail - VIOLENCE and civil unrest will take hold in the countryside if the Government forces through a ban on hunting with hounds, a Welsh MP has warned…. Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Lembit Opik, co-chairman of the Middle Way Group, warned Labour would have more to worry about than lost votes if the Hunting Bill became law. He warned that young men would resort to violence if "the only way of life they know" is criminalised while others would risk imprisonment or heavy fines to defy the ban…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 9.9.04 HUNTING BID'S FLAWED TIMING - COMMENT - Blair's cowardice over ban vote - NO DOUBT Tony Blair awoke today with a feeling of smug satisfaction after paving the way, seven years after to coming power, for Labour MPs to finally railroad through Parliament the laws that will finally make hunting with dogs illegal…. It was also noticeable that the Prime Minister lacked the guts or conviction yesterday to come clean with rural voters and explain, personally, the reasoning behind this perverse and untimely course of action…. If the Government remained in closer touch with the electorate, they would also understand that there are other far more pressing matters that they have yet to adequately address since returning to Westminster from their extended recess: namely, the fallout from the hideous terrorist attack in Russia and mounting concerns over pensions after Cabinet minister Andrew Smith's sudden resignation. The fact that these issues are still outstanding makes the timing of the Hunting Bill all the more unjustifiable…. (story)

Daily Post 9.9.04 Hunters' blood up By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - THOUSANDS of countryside people are planning to rally before Parliament on Wednesday next week as MPs vote on a total ban on foxhunting with dogs. Among the protesters will be several coachloads of angry hunt supporters from North Wales, the Countryside Alliance said last night… (story)

Scotsman 9.9.04 Pro-Hunt Lobby Set for Vote Day Demo By John Deane and Andrew Woodcock, PA News Political Staff - Hunt supporters look set to stage a major demonstration outside Parliament next Wednesday after the Government confirmed that MPs will vote then on whether to ban fox-hunting…. The Countryside Alliance said today’s announcement of next Wednesday’s vote would “signal an outright assault on everyone who believes in freedom and tolerance”…. (story)

BBC News Online 9.9.04 Hunting ban to be debated by MPs - Commons leader Peter Hain has confirmed a vote on banning fox hunting will take place next Wednesday but said it may be not be outlawed for two years…. Conservative environment spokesman Tim Yeo said that his party was determined to reverse any hunting ban. "If Labour railroad through a bill to ban hunting using the Parliament Act, we will introduce a Government Bill to reverse Labour's ban," Mr Yeo said…. (story)
BBC News Online 9.9.04 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)
BBC News Online 9.9.04 Q&A: Hunting Bill - BBC News Online explains what may happen to moves to ban hunting with dogs. (story)

Guardian 9.9.04 Supporters warn of violence - Peter Hetherington - When the 50 riders of the Bicester hunt take to the fields and woodland of Oxfordshire today for their third outing of the week, they will share a steely resolve to carry on bagging foxes whatever the circumstances, according to Patrick Martin…. Next Thursday, when the leader of the Commons, Peter Hain, is due to announce legislation, the Countryside Alliance, which brought hundreds of thousands to London for peaceful rallies, is planning a mass protest outside Westminster…. (story)
Guardian 9.9.04 Blair gambles on ban delay - Michael White, Patrick Wintour and Sarah Hall - Tony Blair last night sanctioned a major gamble on Labour's promised ban on hunting when the government announced that the long-blocked legislation will be pushed through the Lords and Commons this winter - but implementation will be delayed until safely after the general election. It means that Mr Blair and his election strategists have decided that Tory peers will find it harder to block the bill if they get two years respite to wind down their hunts, and that the chances of packs of dogs being shot - and dumped on politicians' doorsteps - during the election campaign will be reduced…. (story)
Guardian 9.9.04 Legal rule helps hounds survive - Gerard Seenan - Scotland's ban on fox hunting came into force more than two years ago - but on Saturday mornings it is still possible to see hunters riding to hounds in fields and lanes across the country…. Despite disputes over how the ban is framed, it has undoubtedly drastically changed hunting north of the border. Most hunts say their numbers have fallen. Though only one has folded, most confess they are having difficulty surviving… (story)

Telegraph 9.9.04 Fox hunting will be illegal in two years, says minister By Charles Clover, Environment Editor - Hare coursing is likely to be banned by the end of February and deer, mink, hare and fox hunting by the end of November 2006 as a result of a Bill the Government is to reintroduce next Wednesday. Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, said a coursing ban would be in force before the next Waterloo Cup, the leading coursing event of the calendar. The hunt ban would allow only one further full season of hunting... (story)
Telegraph 9.9.04 Howard goes on the attack with some style ... The depth of feeling within the Labour Party was conveyed a few minutes later by David Winnick (Walsall North), who trembled with anger as he demanded a ban on hunting with dogs. "Is it not totally unacceptable that the House of Lords should have some kind of permanent veto?" he asked. "Hunting with dogs is a barbaric practice and it should have been abolished years ago." Mr Blair gave a short answer: "I have said before that we will find a way of resolving this issue and we will."... (story)

Independent 9.9.04 Labour MPs furious over two-year delay on hunting ban By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor - Anti-hunting Labour MPs said last night they were furious with Tony Blair for delaying the implementation of a bill to ban fox-hunting for two years. A Government bill to ban all hunting with dogs will be rushed through all its stages next Wednesday and forced through the Lords with the Parliament Act. It could reach the statute book by November… (story)

Times 9.9.04 Foxhunting given two years' grace before ban BY GREG HURST, TOM BALDWIN AND PETER CARDWELL - TONY BLAIR ordered a surprise delay of two years yesterday for the planned ban on hunting with dogs to become law to mitigate any backlash from rural England until after a general election. Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister, confirmed that the Government will bring back the Hunting Bill next Wednesday and ask the Commons to approve all of its stages in a single day….

Times 9.9.04 Passing the buck - Another procedural device in the pointless hunting saga - The concluding days of this session of Parliament will present a strange spectacle to the nation. The Government is avowedly intent on using the rarely invoked 1949 Parliament Act to force on to the statute book, against the will of the House of Lords, a Bill so low in its declared order of priorities that it was not in last year’s Queen’s Speech. It will do so despite the risk of a conflict with the Upper House that could lead to truly serious legislation failing to become law… The hunting ban, which excludes neither shooting nor fishing, has come to have far more to do with class prejudice than with the welfare of animals. Should the law be judged, as it may, to be an abridgement of human rights, a wise Government would grasp, in silent gratitude, the nettle of defeat (story)

Dorking Advertiser 9.9.04 Fears that hunt ban will 'devastate rural lifestyle' By Alex Wright - MEMBERS of Mole Valley's farming community voiced their concerns about the Government's proposed ban on hunting at a meeting in Ockley this week. Farmers and officials from the Countryside Alliance and National Farmers' Union (NFU) debated the possible return of the Hunting Bill at the Surrey Union Hunt's open day at its hunt kennels at Boswells Farm, Oakwood Hill, on Monday. Dignitaries, including Sue Doughty, MP for Guildford, and a number of local councillors, were given a tour of the facilities and met members such as farriers, saddlers, vets and feed merchants to discuss the implications of the bill…. (story)

Shropshire Star 9.9.04 Hunting ban law leaps hurdle - The Government confirmed today that it will be two years before new laws banning hunting foxes with dogs will be brought into force. But hare-coursing will be outlawed within three months of a new Hunting Bill completing all its parliamentary stages and becoming law…. But Kim Downing, a member of the North Shropshire hunt, which hunts in the Shrewsbury area, today said the law would cause a tremendous loss of jobs in the county and that people in Shropshire would continue to hunt regardless… (story)

Eastern Daily Press 9.9.04 Free vote for MPs on hunting ban - SHAUN LOWTHORPE - Pro-hunting groups in East Anglia last night threatened to unleash massive protests to see off plans to ban hunting with dogs after the Government revived proposals to rush a new law through Parliament… Liz Mort, eastern regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said the organisation would try to block a ban by arguing it breached human rights rules and the Parliament Act could not be invoked in this case…. John Baddeley, a Norfolk farmer and a committee member of the more hardline Countryside Action Network, who organised road go-slows in earlier protests, warned opposition would intensify far beyond earlier campaigns…. Roger Lyles, joint master of the West Norfolk Hunt, said he would join a pro-hunt demonstration at Parliament Square on Wednesday…. John Ibbott, joint master of Waveney Harriers, said he would disregard a ban…. (story)

Scotsman 9.9.04 Fox-hunting ban rushed to vote after one day debate - JAMES KIRKUP - GOVERNMENT ministers yesterday announced they will give MPs the chance to vote to outlaw fox-hunting in England and Wales, but offered the pro-hunt lobby the concession of a two-year delay on any ban…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 9.9.04 HUNTS FURY AS MINISTERS VOW TO BAN SPORT IN TWO YEARS - Simon McGee, Political Editor, and David Garner - HUNTING with dogs will be outlawed by November 2006 after the Government confirmed last night that it would ram home a Bill to ban the sport… Hunts across Yorkshire reacted furiously, vowing to fight the "disgusting" plan…. But the master of York and Ainsty (South) Hunt, Nick Procter, was unimpressed by the Government's intentions…. Charles Gundry, master of the Middleton Hunt, said: "We know we're not doing anything wrong – it's a tradition people in the countryside adore…" (story)
Yorkshire Post 9.9.04 HUNTING BID'S FLAWED TIMING - COMMENT - Blair's cowardice over ban vote - NO DOUBT Tony Blair awoke today with a feeling of smug satisfaction after paving the way, seven years after to coming power, for Labour MPs to finally railroad through Parliament the laws that will finally make hunting with dogs illegal… If the Government remained in closer touch with the electorate, they would also understand that there are other far more pressing matters that they have yet to adequately address since returning to Westminster from their extended recess: namely, the fallout from the hideous terrorist attack in Russia and mounting concerns over pensions after Cabinet minister Andrew Smith's sudden resignation… (story)

Tamworth Herald 9.9.04 A-HUNTING WE WILL GO - DEFYING A BAN - CAROLINE BEAMISH - Defiant members of the Atherstone Hunt have pledged to break the law and continue to hunt even if a complete ban on the sport comes into force. The strong reaction came from hunt supporters in North Warwickshire this week after claims from ministers that a complete ban could be rushed through Parliament in weeks… Maxstoke hunt supporter Penny Tyacke, a former joint-master of the Atherstone Hunt, vowed followers in the area 'will not go down without a fight'…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 9.9.04 END OF FOX HUNTING ON THE HORIZON - Ministers bowed to pressure from their backbenches last night and signalled the beginning of the end of fox hunting. The announcement that a vote on hunting with dogs would take place next week was made by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, although hunting would not be banned for two years after legislation is passed…. Laurence Robertson, Tory MP for Tewkesbury, said: "I represent a largely rural constituency and believe that a ban on hunting would be bad for the countryside and the people who live in it. I have always voted against a ban on hunting and will do so again." (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 9.9.04 BILL TO BAN FOX HUNTING BACK IN COMMONS - The Government is to re-introduced a Bill to ban hunting of foxes with hounds and hare coursing. Leader of the House Peter Hain was today expected to announce that the Bill will be debated next Wednesday, with a vote the same day. However, even if it gets the go-ahead, it will not become law for two years…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 9.9.04 LINCOLNSHIRE ECHO - COMMENT - It is a fact that the majority of voters in this country are suspicious of our politicians and their motives. And is it any wonder when they behave as our Prime Minister did last night in apparently unveiling a new plan to finally force through a total ban on fox hunting? Ministers will now use an obscure piece of Parliamentary procedure - designed for times of emergency, if not national crisis - to squash public debate and enforce their class prejudices…. Their brass neck is breath- taking. Particularly as the Government had previously pledged that a ban would not become law until there was irrefutable evidence that it would definitely benefit foxes or deer. Most impartial observers agree that this has not, as yet, been done… (story)

Newcastle Journal 9.9.04 MPs to vote on fox hunting ban By Andrew Woodcock, The Journal - The bitter battle over fox hunting was re-ignited last night as the Government moved to rush a ban through Parliament - but even if it gets the go-ahead it will not become law for two years. Supporters of hunting called the move a vicious, prejudiced attack on families across the country and the Tories vowed to reverse it if they come to power…. (story)

Western Morning News 9.9.04 MINISTER CONFIRMS HUNT BAN GO-AHEAD - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael last night confirmed that the Government is to press ahead with a hunting ban next week - in a move that is certain to bring confrontation with Westcountry hunt supporters…. Jackie Alway, a groom with the Cury Hunt on the Lizard peninsula, said: "We have all signed pledges that we will continue anyway even if a ban comes in… (story)
Western Morning News 9.9.04 'IT'S LIKE TRYING TO GET RID OF FOOTBALL' - The prospect of legislation to ban hunting being forced through Parliament next week prompted outrage in Westcountry hunting circles yesterday. The Dulverton west Foxhounds were holding one of their first meets of the season yesterday at West Ashford near Barnstaple. Senior joint master Nick Viney said: "We will fight it tooth and nail…." Diana Scott, one of the joint masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said that any attempt by the Government to pass a Hunting Bill in one day would spark outrage… Graham Higgins, master of the East Cornwall hunt, said: "We shall be going to London next week. We have just had a meeting about it and we shall be sending out notification to everyone." Jackie Alway, a groom with the Cury Hunt on the Lizard peninsula, said: "We have all signed pledges that we will continue anyway even if a ban comes in." Ben Sparrow, the master of the Western Hunt in North Cornwall, said: "If the Bill is passed there will be a considerable legal challenge." (story)
Western Morning News 9.9.04 DID BLAIR REALLY WANT ALL THIS? - Today, as Leader of the House Peter Hain unveils next week's Parliamentary business, the fate of hunting with dogs in Britain will almost certainly be sealed… So is that the end of this long and torturous story for Tony Blair, the man who has consistently promised to "resolve this issue this Parliament"? Highly unlikely. Already the hunting supporters are plotting a major demonstration in London next Wednesday. And it's almost certain a legal challenge to the Bill will be launched, perhaps using European human rights legislation. Then there is the Labour conference to picket plus the strong possibility of a defiant refusal to obey the ban when it comes into force. The trouble has barely begun…. That calls into question Mr Blair's judgment and underlines once more his lack of understanding of important rural issues. There was always going to be a massive backlash against a ban on hunting…. For the Prime Minister, using the Parliament Act to force through such controversial legislation has constitutional implications… (story)

Western Daily Press 9.9.04 IT'S TALLY-HO FOR JUST TWO MORE YEARS - Hunting with dogs will be banned within two years under a compromise plan unveiled by Ministers last night, triggering fears of protests across the West. Rural affairs Minister Alun Michael revealed that hare coursing will be outlawed just three months after legislation passes through Parliament…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 9.9.04 HUNT BAN TO FACE BATTLE BY BEN STEWARD AND DAVID MACAULAY - Pro-hunters have called an emergency meeting in Exeter this weekend after ministers last night signalled the beginning of the end for fox hunting. Members of the Countryside Alliance and their supporters will gather at Westpoint, where the crowd will listen to an impromptu address by Baroness Mallalieu QC, the organisation's president… The Conservative MP for East Devon, Hugo Swire, who occasionally rides with the Mid Devon Foxhounds, vowed to go hunting as soon as possible. He said: "It is a cynical move by the Government to try and get this Bill through before the General Election." Michael Moore, master of the East Devon Hunt said it was a "very sad day for the British countryside"…. (story

Nottingham Evening Post 9.9.04 TIPPING'S JOY AT HUNT BAN - A Notts MP is celebrating after the Government announced long-awaited legislation to ban hunting with dogs. Paddy Tipping, the chairman of the powerful Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, has long campaigned for a ban on fox-hunting and other blood sports…. (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 9.9.04 HUNTING BILL BACK ON COURSE - The Government has re-introduced a Bill to ban hunting of foxes with hounds and hare-coursing…. Edward Garnier, the Conservative MP for Harborough in Leicestershire, whose area contains one of the largest hunting communities in the East Midlands, reacted with fury. "This Prime Minister no longer leads a Government," he said, "but a bag of weasels dangling from a snake belt."… (story)

Evening Standard 9.9.04 Hunting bill to be rushed through - A Bill to ban fox-hunting will be rushed through all its Commons stages in just one day, next Wednesday, Leader of the House Peter Hain announced today…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 9.9.04 Commons to give MPs vote on hunting ban by Ian Drury - GOVERNMENT ministers were today hammering the final nails into the coffin of fox-hunting in Hampshire. Leader of the Commons Peter Hain was set to announce when next week MPs will be handed a free vote on banning hunting with hounds… At least four hunts in Hampshire - the Hampshire Hunt in Alresford, Hursley Hambledon Hunt in Droxford, New Forest Hunt in Minstead, and the Vine and Craven Hunt in Hennington, near Tadley - will be banned. Desmond Swayne, Tory MP for New Forest West, said the Bill was "a dog's breakfast"…. (story in archive)

North Devon Journal 9.9.04 MANIFESTO FOCUS OF SHOW VISIT - It was a far cry from his usual working day in the City but it is hoped a day out at a rural North Devon show helped inspire a politician's view of the future. David Cameron, the Conservative Party's head of policy co-ordination, went along to the Exmoor Foxhounds Horse Show at Blackmoor Gate with prospective candidate Orlando Fraser to do some manifesto brainstorming… (story)

Southern Daily Echo 9.9.04 Revving up for 2004 show by Hannah Field - ROMSEY Show 2004 has arrived. In just two days' time the spectacular agricultural show will take over the Broadlands estate…. Main ring attractions include the Medina Marching Band, displays of hounds and the grand parade of prize-winning cattle, followed by a procession of heavy horses…. (story in archive)

Banbury Guardian 9.9.04 HUNT LAW MOVE IS STUPIDITY - NEXT week the proposed ban on hunting with dogs issue is to be raised again by the government. How can they spend time on utter trivia in comparison to the real problems of the world at this time…. Mrs Christine Smith, Steane Park, Brackley (letter)

Telegraph 9.9.04 Hunting with hounds is humane - How I agree with Lembit Opik (Opinion, Sept 7). Over 45 years, I have snared foxes and seen their suffering first-hand. I used to poison foxes, and witnessed the pain they suffered. Never again do I want to see a fox curled up, dying in a patch of nettles, panting in agony… I do not need a bunch of hate-filled, bigoted Labour MPs to tell me what is best for the fox. Hunting with hounds is by far the most humane way to dispatch a fox. Danny Keaney, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks (letter)
Telegraph 8.9.04 Hunting of the smirk - Lembit Opik pleads for his fellow MPs to consider the facts about hunting with dogs before casting their votes (Opinion, Sept 7). Should they do so, it will probably be a first for many…. Malcolm Balderstone, Tunbridge Wells, Kent (letter)
Telegraph 7.9.04 A ban on hunting with dogs won't save the life of a single fox By Lembit Opik - The Government will be announcing forthcoming parliamentary business very shortly. And what could be more important for Parliament to discuss than a Hunting Bill… Forget schools, health and international terrorism. MPs want to ban hunting with dogs… Personally, I don't hunt. I don't own a horse or a red riding jacket, and I don't like jodhpurs. However, as a libertarian, and someone committed to evidence-based decision-making, I firmly believe there must be a very good reason to ban anything. When it comes to hunting with dogs, I oppose a ban because I haven't heard a single sensible reason why a ban on hunting, infringing the freedom of thousands of people, should be imposed.... Unless one can genuinely justify a ban on the basis of evidence, voting for it is a victory for allowing feelings to overrule facts. In my book, that's illiberal, it's not democratic and it's no way to make just law (story)

The Sentinel 9.9.04 BLAIR STALLS ON HUNTING BAN - New Labour's pre-1997 election pledge was a free vote on hunting. New Labour stalls a ban on hunting every time MPs vote overwhelmingly for a total ban (three times now). It is time to vote out this pro-hunt party. MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Lancaster Citizen 9.9.04 Hunt comments just not true - THE remarks made about POWA by Tom Fell of the Countryside Alliance (Letters, August 26) must be refuted. Contrary to his statement, no POWA monitor has ever been accused, tried or convicted of harassing members of any hunt in the Midlands or anywhere else…. John Bryant, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA). (letter)
Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 26.8.04 Hunt monitors a disgrace - I WOULD like to reply to the letter from Judy Gilbert of POWA headed Hunting is far from accountable' published in the Citizen) last week. I am not surprised she says that hunts make it difficult for POWA. Hunt monitors are unlikely to be welcomed by farmers on to their land because one of her so-called monitors was fined £650 and had his driving licence endorsed for harassing members of a hunt in the Midlands…. Tom Fell, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Western Gazette 19.8.04 DECIDE FOR YOURSELF OVER HUNTING ISSUE - Will Templer, Countryside Alliance, Regional director, Wessex. (letter)
Surrey-Hants Star 19.8.04 ‘Join the hunt and learn the truth!' - Peter Setterfield. Regional Director Countryside Alliance, West Sussex. (letter)
Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 19.8.04 Hunting is far from accountable - Judy Gilbert, POWA hunt monitor, Bucks. (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 18.8.04 Our challenge to hunt bosses - TOM Fell of the Countryside Alliance claims that 'Hunting is fully open and accountable' and invites us along to National Newcomers Week to reach our own conclusions (LET, August 12). As a Hunt Monitor working with Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA), I can tell your readers that hunters and their supporters make it as difficult as possible for us to film the awful reality of hunting…. If hunting is to be open and accountable, I challenge the CA to let hunt monitors attend any hunt and allow us to inspect and film the corpses of foxes… JUDY GILBERT, POWA Hunt Monitor, Buckinghamshire. (letter in archive)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 18.8.04 Fox hunting is cruel - TOM Fell of Countryside Alliance invites the public to witness hunts (LET, August 13) and says animal rights people misinform people about hunting…. Of over 3,000 newcomers who join in, I doubt many return to attend and participate in another hunt, realising the cruelty involved. SHEILA BRENNAN (Mrs), Bombay Street, Blackburn. (letter in archive)
Yorkshire Post 14.8.04 Invitation - From: John Haigh, Yorkshire regional director, Countryside Alliance, Thirsk (letter)
Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen 12.8.04 Judge for yourself - Tom Fell, North West director, Countryside Alliance (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 12.8.04 Come and see for yourselves -ANIMAL rights organisations are circulating "round robin" letters which deliberately aim to misinform the public about hunting. The simplest way of establishing the truth is to come along on National Newcomers Week which takes place October 9-16 (or any other time). Hunting is fully open and accountable and hunt organisers would be delighted to allow you to reach your own conclusions…. TOM FELL, North West Regional Director, Countryside Alliance. Tel 015395 33520 (letter in archive)

Western Gazette 9.9.04 WHAT HAPPENS IF HUNTING GOES - With regard to Mr Sheehan's letter ("Why wait to learn truth", Western Gazette, 26 August), more foxes in the hunting field are indeed killed below ground than above. In the proposed Hunting Bill the Government have specifically exempted the use of terriers for fox control by gamekeepers… The death of a cub in the hunting field may be violent, but it is swift and certain. Wounding or prolonged physical suffering does not occur, whilst no fox can reason that it might be caught and killed…. When the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Foxhounds gave up hunting because of lack of territory, it was not long before a rifle bullet struck a night working tractor, whilst we have had the recent case of a naturalist being struck in the chest in Buckinghamshire… If hunting goes this type of incident will unavoidably become more prevalent. Robert Tucker, Master of Hounds, Gladstone Close, Littlemoor. (letter)
Western Gazette 26.8.04 WHY WAIT TO LEARN TRUTH? - It is "establish the truth week" (9-16 October) for newcomers to bloodsports, thanks to delighted organizers… . See the old and new in ritual killing, eg quad bikes ferrying gallant terriermen and women from dig out to dig out when the fox has taken refuge underground…. "Early to bed, Early to rise, See the young fox cub, See how it dies." Kevin Sheehan, Osmington Mills, full address supplied. (letter)

Shropshire Star 9.9.04 Deal with hunting in positive manner - Yet another letter writer telling us that parliament has other issues to concentrate the minds of our MPs, and points up five issues that have had and continue to have parliamentary time. So what's new? Admittedly, compared to the banning of fox hunting, the subjects R M Gee listed (September 4), are important but that is not to say the Hunting with Dogs Bill is unimportant…. The PM is fearful of losing hunters' votes, as may be, but he'll gain many more from most sensible thinking people. P Taffs, Lawley Village, Telford (letter)
Shropshire Star 9.9.04 End fox hunting debate - R M Gee is right to say that there are issues more important than fox hunting. Let us end this long drawn out opposition to the Government's bill against hunting with dogs. Allan Tucker, Oswestry (letter)

Manchester Evening News 9.9.04 Hare coursing ban in months - Ian Craig - HARE coursing, popular in some parts of the north west, could be banned within three months. A new attempt by MPs to outlaw fox hunting with dogs, probably next week, will also end the practice of hare coursing…. (story)

Liverpool Daily Post 9.9.04 Cup meets its Waterloo as Hunting Bill runs course By Robert Merrick, Daily Post - THE Waterloo Cup will never take place again as the Government vowed last night to rush through a ban on hare coursing by next February. Rural Affairs minister Alun Michael said the long-delayed Hunting Bill - to be debated by MPs next Wednesday - would come into force in time to stop the staging of the UK's largest hare coursing event…. (story)


The Comet 8.9.04 Country comes to town - THE COUNTRYSIDE came to town last week in the shape of beagles, lurchers and ferrets. The Countryside Alliance set up a stall in Stevenage town centre to promote country sports and the rural way of life. Representatives, both human and furry, from South Herts and Trinity Foot Beagles, Puckeridge Foxhounds and the Aldenham Harriers met with shoppers last Wednesday… (story)

BBC News Online 8.9.04 Two year delay for hunting ban - A new effort to ban fox hunting will come before MPs in days - but even if it gets the go ahead it will not become law for two years, ministers will say. The delay is certain to be seen as an attempt by ministers to avoid a hunt ban becoming a general election issue…. (story)

Times 8.9.04 Hunting ban 'is imminent' BY PHILIP WEBSTER - THE Government is about to give approval for foxhunting to be banned, Tony Blair hinted yesterday. He appeared to confirm speculation among MPs that the Bill blocked during the last session will be reintroduced within days when he said that ministers were fulfilling a promise to allow the issue to be resolved during the current Parliament… (story)
Times 8.9.04 Party politics of pension issues takes centre stage BY ANNE ASHWORTH - HOW often do you think about pensions? Rather more than you would like is probably the answer…. All parties wish to convince us that they have the solution to our pension woes, but finding this miracle cure proved too much for Andrew Smith, who this week resigned as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. His departure coincided with rumours that the Pensions Bill, his attempt to restore public confidence in retirement saving, could be sacrificed for a vote on a ban on foxhunting…. (story)

Guardian 8.9.04 Blair vows to go ahead with hunting bill - Michael White and Patrick Wintour - A ban on foxhunting will be decided by parliament before the expected election next spring, Tony Blair said yesterday. Ministers privately confirmed that the showdown between the Lords and Commons would start next Wednesday when the bill will be rushed through the Commons in one day…. The Countryside Alliance said thousands of protesters were planning to rally before parliament next Wednesday. The group's chief executive, Simon Hart, said: "It's not a matter of the Alliance organising a protest - I've taken calls all day from people saying 'We're coming next Wednesday, where can we park our bus?'." (story)
Guardian 8.9.04 The two faces of Tony give nothing away - Simon Hoggart - Tony Blair was back from his holidays and, like most of us, looking the worse for wear as a result…. He has cut down his facial expressions to two. He gave them both a workout yesterday at a press conference in Downing Street to mark the new political year… he was asked why he was so keen to ban foxhunting when the government is relaxing licensing laws and making sure that gambling is available more or less everywhere, 24/7. (I paraphrase, but not much.) "Actually, that's not what we're doing... hours the same as Europe... trying to make sense of an outdated legal framework..." (story)
Guardian 8.9.04 'It is an abuse of parliament' - roundup of coverage from yesterday's papers (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 8.9.04 Fox-hunting could be banned within weeks by Ian Drury - MINISTERS may be set to rush through controversial laws which would ban fox-hunting in North Yorkshire within weeks… Gilda Brader, of Thixendale, joint secretary of the Ryedale-based Middleton Hunt, said: "The Labour Government is already losing support - to ban hunting would cause tremendous rebellion…. (story in archive)

Derby Evening Telegraph 8.9.04 FOX HUNTING IS NOT JUST A SPORT, IT'S OUR LIVELIHOOD TOO - The Government is widely expected to push through a complete ban on fox hunting next week. But those who ride with the High Peak Hunt in Derbyshire refuse to accept that their sport could be banned. And for those whose livelihood depends upon the hunt, a ban would mean far more than a lost pastime. Robin Johnson reports on the wide-reaching consequences of a ban…. (story)

Pioneer 8.9.04 ANTI-HUNT PROTESTORS GET BACKING MP STORY BY JAMES BAILEY - ANTI-hunt protestors have met Conwy MP Betty Williams in a bid to get her continued support for their campaign. She met local members of the League Against Cruel Sports, plus leading North Wales anti-hunt protestors Mike Bird and Judi Hewitt in Llandudno… (story)

Western Morning News 8.9.04 HUNT BAN WILL BE LAW NEXT YEAR - A hunt ban could be in force as early as next February after the Government decided to push through a Bill to outlaw the pursuit. Thousands of Westcountry hunt supporters will be rallied for a mass protest in London next Wednesday, after Westminster sources last night confirmed that Tony Blair has agreed to bring back the controversial Hunting Bill a week today…. (story)

Western Daily Press 8.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS PLAN PROTEST - Thousands of protesters are planning to rally before Parliament on Wednesday next week, amid expectations MPs will be asked to vote on a total ban on fox-hunting with dogs that day, the Countryside Alliance said last night. Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said reports that Prime Minister Tony Blair planned to push a Hunting Bill through the Commons in a single day had sparked "anger and disgust" across the country…. (story)
Western Daily Press 8.9.04 BAN IS PM'S PERIL - The Prime Minister's already scarred reputation will take a further pounding if - as is widely believed - he is going ahead with a ban on foxhunting merely to placate some troublesome Cabinet colleagues and to avoid a big row at the forthcoming Labour conference. Because, whatever view you take about the hunting issue, the fall-out from a ban could have serious implications for Labour at the next General Election - and Blair, who probably doesn't care tuppence whether hunting is outlawed or not, is fearfully aware of that… We hear that the Leader of the Commons, perma-tanned Peter Hain, and the Government Chief Whip, Hilary Armstrong, have been threatening to resign unless the anti-hunting legislation is put through. Well, I doubt whether the nation would shed any tears or even notice (especially in the case of Ms Armstrong) if they petulantly decided to quit their jobs…. Yes, we know this was a General Election pledge in 1997, renewed in 2001, but it won't be the first such pledge to be dishonoured. And, my goodness, nor will it be the last. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 8.9.04 MP urges action over hunting ban - CAMBRIDGE MP Anne Campbell wants the Government to overrule the House of Lords to ensure that peers cannot hold up a ban on hunting any longer…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 8.9.04 HUNTERS LOBBY TOWNSFOLK - The countryside came to town as rural campaigners set up stall in Guildhall Square, Carmarthen. Supporters from across Carmarthenshire arrived to promote country sports and the rural way of life. Representatives from the Carmarthenshire Hunt were present along with their dogs…. (story)

Western Morning News 8.9.04 FINANCIAL SUCCESS OF FEDERATION COUNTRY FAIR - Stithians Showground was the setting for the Game and Country Fair organised by Cornwall Young Farmers… Attractions included a dog show, ferret racing, the parade of the Cury Hunt, a craft marquee and donkey derby…. (story)

Western Daily Press 8.9.04 URBAN PRIORITIES OUT OF STEP HERE - Isn't everyone fed up with this Government?... If only they would give up on their obsession to ban hunting and concentrate on important issues such as hospitals, transport and crime that affect so many of us living in the countryside. Patricia Richards Sherston Malmesbury Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.9.04 TELLING BOTH SIDES OF HUNTING STORY - Having followed the hunting issue for some time, I have found the WDP give the pro and anti a fair hearing… Recently, at a local county fair, the huntsman said how well the hounds got on with children, some could become pets or farm dogs. People could still enjoy riding, just not have the kill at the end of it…. P Dean Stroud Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 8.9.04 TIME FOR ACTION, NOT MORE DEBATE - I well understand how Mary Tapping finds herself between a rock and a hard place, but to state that the hunting debate now needs a measured and considered appraisal of the facts, reads to me as just another pro-hunting campaigning statement. How much longer would Mary suggest we debate hunting in the letters page of the Western Daily Press?... Diana Page Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Morning News 8.9.04 Well behaved - IT comes as no surprise to the rest of us that your correspondent who said he had spent many years following hunts throughout the country in their quest to find evidence of trespass and disobedient hounds, as for 99 per cent of that time, hounds, hunt staff and followers would have behaved impeccably. W T Sweet, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

York Evening Press 8.9.04 Fox hunting is just not a worthy issue - THE politics of this country have sunk to a sorry state. We have a war that most Brits did not want causing loss of life of our own troops and the Iraqi civilians; a national health service sinking to the standards of a Third World country… While all this is going on what does our parliament want? Push through a law to ban fox hunting…. TJ Ryder, Priory Gardens, Dringhouses, York. (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 8.9.04 Quotes in anti-hunt letter are outdated - The latest anti-hunting letter from V Duncalfe (Shropshire Star, August 31, 2004) describes nothing associated with modern day hunting. Choosing to quote from the book Brother to the Ox by novelist Fred Kitchen was a poor attempt to bolster the anti-hunting argument. This book may be a wonderful read, but if honesty prevails it does refer to events of almost a century ago which have no relevance today…. Jon Burgess, Worcester (letter)

Glasgow Evening Times 8.9.04 We need fresh ideas - PERHAPS now that our MSPs have finally taken up residence in the new Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood they could start to deal with the real problems this country faces. I'm not talking about land reform, fox hunting, sex education or any other single issue hobby horses but the real issues of poverty, crime, drug abuse, education and unemployment…. PAT McKEEVOR Garrowhill (letter)

Fermanagh Herald 8.9.04 Saving the Irish Hare - I would like to inform you that the Dungannon Coursing Club, backed by the Countryside Al liance has launched a court case against the Environment Minister, Angela Smith MP, because of her decision to protect the Irish hare. This will take place shortly. We, at the Against Animal Cruelty organisation, strongly support her decision and are campaigning for the year long protection which is currently in place, to be extended to permanent protection. This will safeguard the Irish hare from coursing… Vivienne Rhodes, Against Animal Cruelty, 88 Kilgad Road, Kells, Ballymena (letter may be in archive)


Western Mail 7.9.04 Hunting Bill will be vigorously opposed - Kirsty Buchanan, The Western Mail - HUNT supporters are dusting off plans for a "winter of discontent" as Ministers prepare to force through a ban ahead of the General Election…. Adrian Simpson, campaign director of the Countryside Alliance in Wales, said he did not believe a ban was imminent but warned that in practice any ban would be very difficult to enforce…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 7.9.04 'PERSONALLY I WOULD BREAK THE LAW IF THEY FORCE A BAN ON FOX HUNTING THROUGH' - Hunting supporters have reacted angrily to speculation that the sport could be banned by next year… Adrian Whitehead, a farmer and member of the Blankney Hunt, said he thought rushing the bill through had more to do with a political agenda than animal welfare…. John Green of the Burton Fox Hunt said: "Personally I would break the law and be held accountable for it if the legislation went through because of the Parliament Act." James Barclay, of the South Wolds Hunt, said such a move might cause a storm of protest. "More than 400,000 people marched in London last time and we will do so again - when will they get the message?" he said…. Campaigner Jean Battersby has demonstrated against hunting all over the country and agrees that the cruelty must stop…. (story)

BBC News Online 7.9.04 Key points: Blair grilled Here are the key points from Tony Blair's September news conference: … Hunting - Mr Blair refused to confirm rumours that a hunting bill would be introduced into Parliament and he insisted that Lords reform would not be connected to how peers reacted to any bid to ban foxhunting…. (story)

Argus 7.9.04 MPs warn Blair over hunting - The Government has been warned there will be "hell to pay" if it fails to deliver on its promise to ban hunting within the next fortnight. Brighton's anti-hunting MPs Des Turner and David Lepper say the Government must face down opposition to a ban on the sport to retain the support of Labour backbenchers… (story)

Times 7.9.04 Labour to sacrifice Bills for hunt ban BY GREG HURST, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT - MINISTERS are threatening to sacrifice up to three significant pieces of legislation if the Conservatives in the Lords stand in the way of a final push to ban foxhunting. Government sources said yesterday that the Pensions Bill, Children Bill or Civil Contingencies Bill could fail to become law before the end of the session if Tories insist on more time to debate a ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Times 7.9.04 Don't ditch Bill for foxes, minister warned BY PATRICK HOSKING, INVESTMENT EDITOR … Unions, politicians and pension experts reacted furiously to reports that the replacement for Andrew Smith, who resigned last night, might sacrifice the Pensions Bill to make time for a vote on foxhunting. Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, Liberal Democrat pensions spokesman, said: “What a cockeyed sense of priorities the Government must have to think that banning hunting is more important than sorting out the pensions crisis. The Government must put solving the pensions crisis first.”… (story)
Personnel Today 7.9.04 Fox-hunting vote could sideline Pensions Bill - The replacement for Andrew Smith, who has resigned as pensions minister today, could sideline the Pensions Bill to make time for a vote on a fox-hunting bill in Parliament, according to The Times…. (story)

Times 7.9.04 Is fox hunting a human right or just wrong? BY JON ROBINS - Emotions at the ready . . . there are some surprising last-minute arguments against the Hunting Bill - WHAT have human rights got to do with the campaign to oppose a ban on killing foxes? To those who have not been following the never-ending debate it might seem a surprise, at the very least, that the pro-hunt lobby is invoking civil liberties to defeat a legislative ban on a blood sport… To undermine any such actions, the International Fund commissioned Rabinder Singh, QC, and Mathew Purchase, of Matrix Chambers, to test the legislation’s compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. The barristers found that the proposed legislation would be compliant — even without a compensation scheme…. Anti-hunt campaigners take heart from May’s failure by the Countryside Alliance, the Fife and Jedforest Hunts and Master of Foxhounds Association to overturn the ban on hunting foxes with hounds in Scotland…. Lissack takes issue with the Matrix contention that those employed on hunts do not have a “legitimate expectation” of continuing their jobs. He is supported by the views of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. “I would have thought that these were views that any government — whatever its own views might be — would have to take very seriously,” he adds…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 7.9.04 BLAIR ON RUN OVER HUNTING PM CORNERED BY RESIGNATION THREATS - AT the heart of Tony Blair's General Election manifesto of 1997 was a clear commitment to ban foxhunting. … Yet, seven years after the landslide victory, the issue remains at the forefront of the political agenda; and one that Mr Blair has continually remained on the run from like a fox being pursued across the countryside…. The countryside is facing one of its gravest crises after this summer's record rains wiped out many cereal crops, leaving many farmers facing financial ruin. … The contrast between the Ministerial silence on this issue, and the endless political posturing over hunting, is immense. It smacks of a Government out of touch with rural life which is demonstrated by the fact that not one member of the Cabinet represents a predominantly rural constituency… He only has himself to blame for the invidious position that he now finds himself cornered in. (story)

Hartlepool Mail 7.9.04 FOX HUNTING FIGHT TAKEN TO BLAIR'S DOORSTEP - THE battle to end fox hunting for good has been taken to Tony Blair's doorstep. Campigners from the League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare delivered thousands of postcards to the Prime Minister's Sedgefield constituency office in Trimdon…. HAND OVER: Corinne Evans hands over the petitions watched by members of the Countryside Alliance (story)

Birmingham Post & Mail 7.9.04 MPs urge Blair to scrap hunt ban plans By Jonathan Walker - Tony Blair has been urged to scrap plans for a ban on hunting in a last-minute plea from a Midland MP and peer. The Prime Minister was told that an outright ban would increase animal suffering, in a letter from MP Peter Luff (Con Mid Worcestershire) and Baroness Golding, former Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire…. Mr Luff and Baroness Golding, along with Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire), are joint chairmen of the All Party Parliamentary Middle Way Group, which argues hunting should be restricted but not banned…. (story)
Worcester Evening News 7.9.04 Luff bid to block hunt Bill - A WORCESTERSHIRE MP has made a last-ditch bid to block legislation to outlaw hunting a week before the Bill is expected to be voted through the House of Commons. Peter Luff has written to the Prime Minister urging him not to put the Hunting Bill because he believes it will lead to increased animal suffering… (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 7.9.04 HUNT LOBBY GOES ON PROTEST RALLY STANDBY - Hunt supporters were last night dusting off contingency plans for a "winter of discontent" package of protests, amid growing speculation that Tony Blair will press ahead with a hunting ban in the next few days. Supporters have already drawn up detailed plans for mass demonstrations in London, huge rallies in the Westcountry and a "big impact" protest at this month's Labour Party conference in Brighton… Diana Scott, joint-master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, said the hunting community on Exmoor and other parts of the Westcountry would be at the forefront of any protest movement… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 7.9.04 MINISTERS URGED TO PUSH ON HUNT BAN - Ministers have been urged to listen to their MPs and press ahead with a ban on fox hunting, amid increasing speculation that legislation will be forced through Parliament within two weeks. Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to offer up the ban to buy off disaffected Labour MPs in the run-up to the party conference and a likely General Election next spring. And after years of false starts, the Speaker is predicted to use the Parliament Act to bypass an unwilling House of Lords…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 7.9.04 MOVES AFOOT ON HUNT BAN BID - Ministers were last night urged to listen to their MPs and press ahead with a ban on fox hunting, amid increasing speculation that legislation will be forced through Parliament within two weeks. Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to offer up the ban to buy off disaffected Labour MPs in the run-up to the party conference and a likely General Election next spring…. (story)

Bath Chronicle 7.9.04 HUNTING VOTE - Ministers were last night urged to press ahead with a ban on fox hunting, amid increasing speculation that legislation will be forced through Parliament within two weeks… (story)

Bucks Free Press 7.9.04 Apart from foxes - what about humans? WE read that an innocent member of the public is seriously wounded by an expanding bullet fired from a high velocity rifle during fox "lamping" operations and is lucky to have escaped with his life. Lamping is the Government's 'preferred method' of fox control. The one which, we are assured involves the least adverse welfare consequences for the fox and which they confidently expect to take up the slack in the event of a ban on hunting with hounds…. 'Hunting for Tolerance' (HFT) is a campaign group dedicated to disseminating factual information about hunting with hounds and countering the misunderstanding, misinformation, prejudice and intolerance to which hunting is persistently subjected…. Peter Presland Secretary Hunting for Tolerance Frederick Street Birmingham (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 7.9.04 Why the focus on trivialities? - ONCE again there is conjecture on the return to Parliament of a Hunting Bill. What is this ridiculous obsession with hunting? Do back-bench politicians not have anything better to worry about?... L BOWMAN (via email) (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Post 7.9.04 Wrong outcome From: S Franks, Montreal Avenue, Chapel Allerton, Leeds. THE irony is that those who oppose fox hunting are, by their very actions, showing themselves to be no friends of the fox. If they get their way and hunting is abolished, it would be open season on this versatile and opportunistic feeder… Hunting kills selectively, giving the strongest and sharpest individuals the best chance of surviving and breeding. As a result, fox populations in hunting country are viable and healthy. With hunting banned, the only foxes left are likely to be mangy urban ones…. (letter)

Derby Evening Telegraph 7.9.04 PANDERING TO TERRORISTS - I Was heartened to read your Comment on the Newchurch guinea pig farm (August 30) - "the sickening story of the lengths to which so-called animals rights campaigners will go to try to inflict their moral standards on everybody else". Spot on!... In seeking to outlaw hunting, the Government is pandering to the very same people that the Home Secretary has accurately described as "internal terrorists". Peter Presland. (letter)


Telegraph 6.9.04 Blair to force through Bill to ban hunting By Benedict Brogan, Political Correspondent - Tony Blair will make hunting the "nuclear issue" of the next election by using it to embarrass the Tories and push through fundamental reform of the Lords, it was disclosed yesterday. Whitehall sources confirmed that he is expected to use Thursday's Cabinet meeting to set out his plan for forcing legislation to ban the sport through Parliament by the end of October.... (story)

Guardian 6.9.04 Foxhunting bill to be forced into law - Patrick Wintour - Labour's seven years of vacillating over a ban on foxhunting will finally end this week when the government announces on Thursday that the Parliament Act will be used to force the measure on to the statute book by mid-October… But Lord Strathclyde, the Conservative leader in the Lords, warned that the bill's reintroduction would require at least six days' scrutiny spread over a number of weeks… (story)

Ananova 6.9.04 Hunting ban 'within weeks' - The Government is to force through a ban on hunting within weeks, it has been claimed. Anti-hunt MPs say they have been given "very clear assurances" from ministers that a bill to outlaw foxhunting would be put to MPs in the next two weeks…. (story)

Times 6.9.04 The vacuous and irrelevant hunting debate sums up British politics - MICK HUME - WHO COULD give a fox about hunting with hounds now? The slightly strange hunting fraternity care, obviously, but their minority sport does not affect the rest of society any more than golf does. The anti-hunting zealots care too, but then they live in a world of their own where, in the words of one Oxford academic, hunting foxes is the moral equivalent of torturing children (go tell it to the Russians, professor)… So why do our politicians insist on treating fox hunting with the sort of gravitas normally reserved for a constitutional crisis or war?... The issue itself may be irrelevant. But the debate is very revealing… It is ironic that an impassioned row over a blood sport should so vividly illustrate the bloodless, passionless character of new Labour… (story)

Daily Mail 6.9.04 Foxhunting ban 'imminent' - The Government is to force through a ban on hunting within weeks, it has been claimed. Anti-hunt MPs say they have been given "very clear assurances" from ministers that a bill to outlaw foxhunting would be put to MPs in the next two weeks… (story)

icScotland 6.9.04 Hunting ban 'within weeks' - The Government is to force through a ban on hunting within weeks, it has been claimed. Anti-hunt MPs say they have been given "very clear assurances" from ministers that a bill to outlaw foxhunting would be put to MPs in the next two weeks…. (story)

Scotsman 6.9.04 Blair to campaign on hunting - FRASER NELSON - TONY Blair has reluctantly agreed to force through a fox-hunting ban for England and Wales as a political tool to use during the next general election. After seven years of prevarication, the Prime Minister is expected to endorse legislation that would ban hunting with hounds - but take effect only in the next parliament… Contrary to weekend reports, his hand has not been forced by threats of resignations from the Cabinet. Most ministers see the issue as meat to throw at the back-benches…. (story)

Western Morning News 6.9.04 LABOUR DETERMINED TO RESURRECT HUNTING BILL - Intense speculation surrounds the Government's next move in its bid to ban hunting with hounds, an announcement on which is anticipated in the next three days…. (story)

Western Daily Press 6.9.04 ANTI-HUNT BILL IS RESURRECTED - Anti-hunt MPs have been given assurances that hunting will be banned by the Government this year, campaigners claimed last night…. West League Against Cruel Sports spokesman Mike Hobday said he was "very confident" hunting would be on the agenda, but admitted that after the promises of previous years he was "not taking anything for granted"…. Meanwhile, the man leading the opposition to a hunting ban, North Wiltshire Tory MP James Gray, said the Prime Minister would be "daft" to focus on hunting in the first week of Parliament - with the war still raging in Iraq and in the aftermath of the Russian terror outrage…." (story)

Edinburgh Evening News 6.9.04 Blair targets fox-hunting for poll plans - TONY BLAIR is set to put plans to ban fox hunting in England and Wales at the centre of his re-election plans…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 6.9.04 'Hunting ban could come on Thursday' - AN ANNOUNCEMENT of a ban on fox-hunting could be made as soon as Thursday. New Forest MP Desmond Swayne believes Tony Blair will outline his plans to ban the sport following a government Cabinet meeting…. The New Forest Hounds (NFH) warned that fewer people would keep horses, resulting in loss of trade for businesses that supplied riders with tack and other equipment… (story in archive)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 6.9.04 Ex-hunt master warns of 'war' - The former master of the Atherstone Hunt has predicted a "war" if Government plans to force through a ban on hunting within weeks go ahead. Richard Tyacke, who retired as master of the hunt at the end of last year, said there would be a lot of "very angry" people if foxhunting is outlawed… (story)

Newcastle Journal 6.9.04 Unrest warning to Blair on hunting By Robert Brooks, The Journal - Tony Blair will face a winter of discontent and civil disobedience if he attempts to rush anti-foxhunting legislation through Parliament, hunt leaders in Northumberland warned last night…. "I would hope Tony Blair will have the sense to keep this off the forthcoming political agenda," said Michael Jeans, secretary of the Morpeth Hunt. If he doesn't, it will mean more unrest in the countryside and severe disruption from civil disobedience…" Frank Houghton-Brown, Master of the Tynedale Hunt, said: "If Mr Blair goes ahead with this plan, it will be going against public opinion…" (story)

Cumberland News & Star 6.9.04 REBELLION FEAR AS FOX HUNT BAN LOOMS By Nick Griffiths - THE threat of mass civil disobedience hangs over Cumbria after pro-hunt supporters reacted angrily to reports that a ban on fox hunting would soon be law.Cumbria hunt supporters say thousands of people would flout a ban and carry on hunting in the county…. (story) 6.9.04 Fox hunting - Ministers are being warned they could lose key pieces of legislation if they try to force a fox hunting bill through the House of Lords… Stakeholder Response: Countryside Alliance… Stakeholder Response: International Fund for Animal Welfare… (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 6.9.04 The hunt will go on despite saboteurs - HUNT followers in Northamptonshire were today remaining defiant in the face of threats from animal rights activists on the eve of the new hunt season to double their protests. The Grafton Hunt's first outing in Northamptonshire will be held at Farthingstone Heath tomorrow… A spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, which until recently was based in Northamptonshire, said: "The Northamptonshire hunt saboteurs will definitely be out once a week if not twice…" (story)

Southampton Daily Echo 6.9.04 Alresford Agricultural Show by Sarah Jones - ONE of Hampshire's most traditional agricultural shows featured country fun for all the family on Saturday. The popular Alresford Agricultural Show made its annual return to Tichborne Park with a vast array of exhibitions and displays. Heavy horses, a lurchers and ferrets demonstration, and the ever-popular parade of hounds and beagles, delighted the crowds basking in the glorious September sunshine… (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 6.9.04 NOW YOU HAVE TURNED BULLY - I have just read your editorial demanding the resignation of Mr Hart, chief executive of The Countryside Alliance…. The CA has a right to protest when inaccurate and inflammatory letters are written about countryside issues. Indeed it would be failing its membership if it did not do so. I fail to see how this can be described as bully-boy tactics…. A reputable paper should acknowledge both legal sides of the argument and should not use its considerable power to try to bully a chief executive out of his position. J Lushington Ilminster Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 24.8.04 COUNTRY ALLIANCE STARTS ANOTHER ATTACK ON DAILY PRESS - Mr Tim Bonner, Head of Media Relations for the Countryside Alliance, launched yet another attack on the Comment columns of the Western Daily Press yesterday…. now the Media Relations Chief, who claims he is speaking for all the hunting people of the South West on behalf of his Chief Executive Mr Simon Hart, has launched a new stinging, 12-page-long complaint to the Commission… (story)
Guardian 23.8.04 Cracks in the code - Roy Greenslade - Shooting off their mouths - Has the Countryside Alliance taken leave of its senses? It has made a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the Bristol-based Western Daily Press which, on the evidence I have seen, appears wholly unjustified…. A sense of proportion, not to mention a sense of humour, would pay greater dividends, and a public relations chief, such as Bonner, should know better than to back Manners into a corner…. As a supporter of hunting myself, which I mention only to ensure that they do not accuse me of bias, I think they are doing their own cause a disservice with this trivial action. (story)
Western Daily Press 21.8.04 POOR ON TRUTH - As a member of the hunting community, we all feel persecuted by the press… The majority of letters you print are poor on truth and fact from misguided members of the public. Peter Thorner, Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 20.8.04 COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE TAKES ACTION AGAINST THE DAILY PRESS ON HUNTING - Mr Tim Bonner, head of media relations for the Countryside Alliance, has formally complained to the Press Complaints Commission about a letter from a reader published in the Western Daily Press against hunting… (story)
Western Daily Press 18.8.04 POWER OF PRESS - Your reaction to Mr Hart's recent correspondence is an example of the power of the press. You pontificate about the freedom of the press but this freedom cannot be won without responsibility… A clever and deceitful paper could manipulate readers' correspondence to promote a particular opinion…. Edward Smith Sherborne Dorset (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.8.04 VITRIOLIC REPLY NOT DESERVED - I do not think that in criticising the Western Daily Press for its letters coverage of the hunting issue, the Countryside Alliance should be pilloried. The complaints, according to your own reporting, were reasoned… The Press Complaints Commission exists to ensure accuracy, not censorship…. Readers should be able to make such complaints without the threat of vitriolic editorials or news coverage. D Jones Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.8.04 THIS PAPER IS THE REAL BULLY - In your Opinion column last week you accused Mr Hart of "bully-boy tactics". It seems to me that the real bully in this issue is the Western Daily Press. You can extol the virtues of the freedom of the press while actually employing the whole weight of the press to attack the Countryside Alliance…. I have been a lifetime reader of the Western Daily Press and would like assurance that there is no sinister underlying plot to your outburst. Lavinia Rawlins Sherborne Dorset (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.8.04 EVEN-HANDED - I would like to congratulate you on your editorial attacking Mr Hart of the Countryside Alliance, after he tried to intimidate you for publishing letters against blood sports… Rev B Jones Swindon Wiltshire (letter)
Western Daily Press 18.8.04 PREGNANT DEER ARE KILLED - CONTRARY TO HUNTER'S CLAIMS - I can understand why your correspondent Terence Sims panics at the thought that he supports an activity where pregnant deer are hunted by dogs, but that is really no excuse for being rude to the letter-writer who brought it to his attention…. pregnant deer do not have flashing warning lights to tell the hunts that they must not set their hounds on to them so, by the law of averages, pregnant deer can most definitely be hunted. Gill Purser Clapton-on-the-Hill Gloucestershire (letter)
BBC Radio 4 Farming Today 17.8.04 Hold the front page: a newspaper editor calls for the resignation of the Countryside Alliance's chief executive. It started as a behind the scenes spat, but now for the readers of a newspaper popular with thousands of farmers and countryside-dwellers it's front page news… But in recent months the pro-hunting pressure group, the Countryside Alliance, has made a series of complaints to the editor, claiming letters from readers opposed to hunting have been inaccurate or offensive and that a letter from the Alliance was unfairly edited…
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 DEEPLY SHOCKED BY YOUR RESPONSE - I was deeply shocked by your offensive response to Simon Hart's letter in your issue of August 10. Mr Hart's complaint was not that your correspondent expressed an anti-hunting opinion but that he falsely stated that staghounds were trained to attack and kill deer…. Sir Robin Dunn MC Minehead Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 RESIGN CALL AFFRONTS COUNTRYSIDE PEOPLE - I really do think that it is you who is out of order, not Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance. For hundreds of years, country people have been producing our food and living in and managing our countryside. During that time, all types of hunting, shooting and fishing, as well as all the equestrian pursuits, have become an integral part of the country way of life… The law-abiding silent majority, who want nothing more than to be left in peace to continue their lawful way of life, found on the countryside march that there were very large numbers of them… Your call for Mr Hart to resign is an affront to them all. Andrew Banks Park Street Bristol (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 FIGHTING FOR OUR PRINCIPLES - As someone who has always thought the Western Daily Press a paper that gives a fair picture of the facts, and both sides of an argument, I applaud the stance you have taken regarding Simon Hart and Tim Bonner… Mrs Christine Langridge Radstock Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 TIME TO END THIS SO-CALLED SPORT - Congratulations to the Western Daily Press for its editorial on August 10, telling us of the behaviour of Simon Hart and the Countryside Alliance. This, of course, is typical of this warped bunch of bully-boys… There were no skilled personnel at the stag hunt I sadly and accidently witnessed some years ago while staying in Minehead. It took three fumbled attempts to put the poor creature out of its misery. It had, I learned later, been hunted for more than three hours… J Turner Plympton Devon (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 HUNTS CAN'T GLOSS OVER THESE VIDEO NASTIES - The letter from Simon Hart claiming that hunting dogs do not maul their quarry during the kill prompted me to once again watch sordid video footage of animal abuse. Devon and Somerset staghounds drag down and maul a stag at March Bridge, Dulverton, April 3, 1999. New Forest buckhounds maul a stag November 30, 1996… Also, New Forest foxhounds savaged a female roe deer near Lynwood, February 5, 2000… J Hall Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 CAMCORDER CANNOT LIE ABOUT HUNTERS' SICKENING ACTIVITIES - It is no surprise to me that the Countryside Alliance threatens and uses bully-boy tactics to try to silence the free press. In his letter, Simon Hart insists "skilled personnel shoot deer at pointblank range during deer hunting and never pull down and maul deer." This is misleading, distorted and most definitely inaccurate…. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 TYPICAL OF OUR HUNTING CREW - As a former professional photo-journalist with 27 years' experience, how refreshing to find a newspaper that actually stands behind something it believes in. I applaud your Editor…. I used to shoot many years ago and was a member of The Wildfowlers Association of Great Britain. How this organisation has changed, to join forces with foxhunters and the like. Thank goodness I saw the light years ago…. Bob Hewitt Rhyl North Wales (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 STANDING UP FOR THE FACTS - While I agree that some of the claims made by readers on the anti-hunt side are sometimes inaccurate, what about the ludicrous claims by the Countryside Alliance that 59 per cent of people want to keep hunting?... Ivor Annetts Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 RIGHT TO RESIST THE BULLY-BOY TACTICS - It was great to see you spell it out to readers for all to see. Thank you so much for standing up to the bully-boy tactics of the hunting fraternity and for allowing your readers to express their views fairly. As a hunt monitor for Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) I have often been subjected to similar intimidation…. Judy Gilbert Hunt monitor Protect Our Wild Animals (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 UPPER CRUSTIES - I could hardly believe that Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and Tony Bonner, head of media relations, could consider their own opinions to be powerful enough to stop your newspaper from printing opinions that might differ from theirs… S Cramond Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 LAUDABLE TO FIGHT THIS INTIMIDATION - My heartfelt congratulations to you for vigorously opposing the intimidating remarks contained in the letter from Simon Hart…. D G Powell Taunton Somerset (letter)
Western Daily Press 17.8.04 SOUR GRAPES FROM ALLIANCE …These are desperate days for the Countryside Alliance. They are losing the argument about hunting and they don't like it one bit. Their "solution" seems to be to try to gag us all. Or maybe they would like to gas us all? Rosemary Davies Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 16.8.04 HUNT CLAIMS 'TOSH' - I was appalled by the pathetic and inept letter from your correspondent M J Haines…. It would take too many column inches to counter each of the letter's fallacious claims about hunting/farming, but I must contradict one of his inaccurate, rabble-rousing bits of tosh - pregnant deer are never hunted. Terence Sims Address supplied (letter)
Western Daily Press 13.8.04 CARPING COUNTRYSIDE OFFICIALS HAVE TO GO - Today, the Western Daily Press reluctantly reveals why it believes two of the top men at the Countryside Alliance must go. This newspaper has been in correspondence with the management of the Countryside Alliance over the contents of this paper's letters pages since April. Both Tim Bonner, head of the organisation's media department, and its chief executive, Simon Hart, accuse the paper of printing letters that contain what they believe are factual inaccuracies… Managing editor John McNeilly replied… "We may not agree with many of the views expressed on either side of the many issues on which our readers feel strongly," he wrote. "But it is a fundamental right of a society with a free press that we respect their right to air their views."… (story)
Torquay Herald Express 11.8.04 SUCH CRUELTY - In response to DWC's letter (August 4) regarding the cruelty case, the slaughtered deer and the ridiculous fine and/or sentence meted out to those responsible for this revolting crime…. My condolences to the deer's human family…. BARBARA JONES, Kents Road, Wellswood, Torquay (letter)
Western Daily Press 10.8.04 HUNT CRITIC MUST GET FACTS STRAIGHT - My colleague Tim Bonner has written to you previously about the content of some of the letters about hunting that you allow to be printed in your newspaper… A letter printed in your newspaper "Hooligans On Horses Take Note" made several claims that are inaccurate, misleading and distorted. I refer, in particular, to the first paragraph of the letter: "Why is it perfectly all right for hunts to train dogs to chase to exhaustion, drag down and maul pregnant deer to death?" Dogs used for hunting deer do not "drag down" or "maul pregnant deer to death."… The reputation of those involved in deer hunting has also been damaged and we believe that an apology should be published. Simon Hart Chief Executive Countryside Alliance
Editor's note: The writer of "Hooligans on Horses Take Note" is entitled to his opinion, the same as you, Mr Hart. The Daily Press is a forum for all views. No apology is necessary, or will be given. (letter)
Western Daily Press 5.8.04 HOOLIGANS ON HORSES TAKE NOTE - Sir - If it is cruel for sick teenagers to hack and butcher to death a pregnant deer, why is it perfectly all right for hunts to train dogs to chase to exhaustion, drag down and maul a pregnant deer to death? Are these people country hooligans on horseback?... Is the naked truth about the hunt ladies solely about them showing their naked flesh? To me it shows they have no heart, soul or compassion for wildlife if they are supporting the Countryside Alliance and their killing policies with the exposure of their bodies. M J Haines Cirencester Gloucestershire (letter)


BBC News Online 5.9.04 Hunt debate 'threatens key bills' Ministers are being warned they could lose key pieces of legislation if they try to force a fox hunting bill through the House of Lords… the Tory leader in the Lords has warned a debate could take six days. This would threaten progress of other legislation including the Children's Bill, Lord Strathclyde told the BBC… Labour's determination to pass legislation banning hunting in England, a promise made by Mr Blair when he came to office seven years ago, has been frustrated by the House of Lords which has voted against the move several times…. The Countryside Alliance said it did not believe a ban was imminent but that, if it was brought in, hunt supporters would ignore it…. (story) 5.9.04 Fox hunting ban "threatens key bills" says Strathclyde - The Government will lose key pieces of legislation if they try to force a hunting bill through the House of Lords, the Tory leader in the Lords has today warned. Lord Strathclyde said such a move would be at the expense of crucial legislation like the Pensions or Civil Contingencies Bill… Former Tory leader William Hague also weighed into the debate today, accusing Tony Blair of a cynical attempt to "buy-off" Labour backbenchers by throwing them a bone in the form of a ban on hunting…. (story)

Sunday Mirror 5.9.04 NEW PLEDGE ON FOX-HUNT BAN By Vincent Moss - MINISTERS will defy the threat of a legal challenge to rush through a law banning foxhunting within the next 10 weeks. They plan to use the ban as a vote-winner by warning that the Tories would try to overturn the legislation... But pro-hunting campaigners are set to use the Human Rights Act to challenge any ban. They will claim it breaches EU law by depriving people of their income related to fox-hunting.... (story)

Mail on Sunday (Press Association) 5.9.04 Hunting ban to come into force in weeks - The Government is to force through a ban on hunting within weeks, it was claimed today. Anti-hunt MPs say they have been given "very clear assurances" from ministers that a bill to outlaw foxhunting would be put to MPs in the next two weeks… (story)

Sunday Telegraph 5.9.04 Blair to delay hunt ban until after election By Melissa Kite - Tony Blair is to delay the implementation of a ban on hunting until after the general election in an attempt to avoid a confrontation with hunt supporters in the run up to polling day. The Government is expected to bring forward a Bill to outlaw hunting with hounds later this month and to invoke the Parliament Act to force the legislation through in the face of opposition from peers. The Prime Minister is, however, planning to insert legal clauses that would delay implementation until after the general election, which is expected in May or the autumn next year.... The Tory spokesman on hunting, James Gray, said: "If he does that, a million people would riot anyway from now until the general election. This would end up in the courts until the cows come home. I suspect what is really happening is that Tony Blair is fast giving up on the idea of a ban."... (story)
Sunday Telegraph 5.9.04 Mr Blair, at last, must decide the fate of hunting By Quentin Letts .... Mr Blair has demonstrated inconsistency on issues ranging from nuclear disarmament to the EU constitution referendum, electoral reform to freedom of information. Of all these the most noticeable, the one on which he has flipped and flopped like a trainee chef's ill-tossed omelette, has been the crazy, class-driven, visceral squabble about fox hunting... Even the late cartoonist Thelwell might have struggled to capture the way Mr Blair has turbo-charged for the horizon, like a girl astride a galloping pony, whenever he has been asked to deliver a final decision on hunting... Why fill the country's courts and prisons with all those respectable hunt supporters who as soon as hunting is banned will almost certainly break the new law with ostentatious merriment?... Just before lunch on Thursday, therefore, the Prime Minister must do something horrible: he must decide....

Sunday Times 5.9.04 Hunt ban bogged down - MICHAEL PORTILLO trots out the tired old jibe that a ban on hunting would be “a display of prejudice by that section of society that (Tony Blair) finds most distasteful, the old Labour party, against toffs in funny clothes on horses”… I merely don’t think that we should have a sport that depends on causing suffering to animals…. Dr Nick Palmer MP (Labour, Broxtowe)
CRUEL: Portillo seems ignorant of an overwhelming aversion by the majority of the public to the vile “sport” of hunting (80% believe hunting with dogs to be cruel — Mori)…. Jackie Ballard RSPCA Director General
CLASS WAR: Choosing to spend government time on hunting, steamrollering it through and using the Parliament Act to sweep aside any one who dares to offer opposing views is not only un-Blair-like, it is also an approach that will raise questions about the relevance of government which extends well beyond the issue of hunting… Simon Hart The Countryside Alliance
VOTE WINNER:… As to a ban only being promoted by “the old Labour party”, many are Conservatives, and like me, are voting elsewhere (after 38 years of Conservative activism) because of Blair’s promise. Sheila Clayton Southampton (letters)
Sunday Times 29.8.04 Comment: Michael Portillo: Foxy Blair goes hunting for a way out over Europe - What Tony Blair thinks up while lying on his holiday deck chair often leads to disaster. After spending time alone at Easter, to the despair of his political allies at home and on the Continent, he rushed out an announcement conceding a referendum on the European constitution. Now it seems — maybe following a good spaghetti al pesto, a couple of glasses of chianti and too much afternoon sun — that he has decided to abolish foxhunting and will rush through legislation in the next few weeks… Banning foxhunting is wholly contrary to Blair’s political philosophy…. The foxhunting bill will be the most egregious example of the state using the law to deride and harass a section of society since parliament passed the notorious section 28 prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality in schools… Blair’s gyrations on foxhunting will be merely a dress rehearsal for a still more dishonest performance to come, over his promised European referendum… (story)


Independent 4.9.04 Hunting Bill to face legal challenge By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent - The pro-hunting lobby is planning a legal challenge to scupper a government plan to ban hunting by February. Ministers will next week announce plans to bring back a Bill banning fox-hunting within the next fortnight…. But the Countryside Alliance is planning a dual challenge that it hopes will scupper the plans. Pro-hunting lawyers are to argue that plans to use the Parliament Act - a little-used device to push a Bill past the House of Lords if it blocks the will of MPs - are illegal. They are also expected to argue that a hunting Bill would breach human rights legislation…. (story)

North East Evening Gazette 4.9.04 Call to back bid for hunting ban - Campaigners hoping to get fox hunting banned were in County Durham this weekend. The League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare were planning to be inn Newton Aycliffe today and Sedgefield tomorrow urging people to sign a postcard supporting a hunting ban… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 4.9.04 LOVE OF HUNTING IS NOT DETERMINED BY POLITICS - Paul Joyce laughably concludes that the Honiton Show is a Conservative political rally because pro-hunting people were there, Points of view, August 7. Mr Joyce is clearly unaware that the father of socialism himself, Karl Marx, was a huntsman. When Marx studied in Manchester, he was, of course, a member of the genteel Cheshire Hunt… So, next time Mr Joyce goes to a country show and sees a huntsman, let him be reminded that he could be a socialist, just like Marx, or of any other political persuasion. Hunting is not party political. And, by the way, Mr Joyce, stop knocking a Honiton event that brings much publicity for the town and employment for people here. Chris Brown, Linhay Close, Honiton (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 13.8.04 HOUNDS AND HUNTSMEN WELCOMED BY CHILDREN - Having just read Paul Joyce's letter complaining about the Honiton Show, Points of view, August 7, I felt his allegations should not go unchallenged…. Living as he does in Honiton, it is somewhat surprising that he is apparently unaware that for several decades the West of England Hound Show has been held in an area of a field next to the main showfield. It is a long-standing and relevant part of Honiton Show, but for Mr Joyce to suggest that hunting 'dominated' the show is just mischief-making… As for keeping politics out of the show, I'm afraid it is because of people like Mr Joyce that hunting has become a political issue and nobody should apologise to him for standing up for a way of life which is threatened by ignorance and bigotry. Gary Burgess, Address withheld on request (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 7.8.04 TORIES AND PRO-HUNTING SET SPOILED DAY AT SHOW - I am writing to complain about this year's Honiton Show. It disgusted me utterly. I imagined, wrongly, that it would be a social event for all the family, appealing to all sections of the community. Unfortunately, it was dominated by the pro-hunt brigade with their own political agenda…. I am demanding the return of the £8 I paid to watch this Tory jamboree. Paul Joyce, Danes Close, Honiton (letter)
Western Morning News 6.8.04 SUNNY ONE-DAY SHOW IS BETTER THAN EVER - The Honiton Agricultural Show enjoyed ideal conditions for its 144th annual event. A record crowd was expected as thousands of visitors enjoyed the sunshine. Duncan Sandes reports…. The West of England Hound Show has long been an integral part of the Honiton Agricultural Show, and this year was no exception, as supporters were keen to show a fighting spirit in the face of continued threats by the Government to ban the sport…. Alistair Jackson, director of the masters of Foxhounds Association, said the show attracted not only "hound enthusiasts" but also those willing to support their campaign to keep the sport going… (story)

Times 4.9.04 Ban on hunting - Whence comes the view, as expressed, for example, by Mrs Catriona Cook (letter, August 28), that the passing of the Bill abolishing hunting will criminalise people?... The Bill abolishing hunting will not criminalise anyone; those who continue to hunt will simply be choosing, of their own free will, to criminalise themselves. Yours faithfully, MARTYN WILSON, 1 Handbury Road, Malvern Link, Worcestershire WR14 1NN.
Dr Anthony Field (letter, August 28) finds unacceptable “the celebration of death, as expressed with red coats, hunting horns and stirrup cups”…. Without the hunting horn and its vocabulary of calls, hounds could not be disciplined. As for “the celebration of death” of the fox, our Celtic and Anglo-Saxon ancestors who hunted the wild boar with hounds revered their quarry in life and in death. Nothing has changed since those days as far as the foxhunter is concerned. DAVID WALKER, 4 Walmer Meadow, Aldridge, West Midlands WS9 8QQ (letters)
Times 28.8.04 Ministers' principles and hunting ban … Today you report that Mr Blair has been told that senior ministers will resign if he reneges on promises that a Bill banning foxhunting will become law before the next election. Are these the same senior ministers who failed to resign over Iraq?... M. D. T. EVANS, Undermount, Cranbrook Road, Benenden, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4ET.
The hunting fraternity are their own worst enemies…. This whole matter makes a nonsense of Parliament by taking up valuable time which should be spent on much more important national matters. Yours truly, A. FIELD, 152 Cromwell Tower, Barbican, EC2Y 8DD.
…if the Bill is passed, the resulting criminalisation of a broad swath of people, such as judges, JPs, doctors, nurses, lorry drivers and others will seriously damage the smooth running of this country. Yours sincerely, CATRIONA COOK, Burgate Farm, Harwood Dale, Scarborough, Yorkshire YO13 0DS. (letters)

Yorkshire Post 4.9.04 Foxes do not need to be controlled From: Judy Gilbert, Protect Our Wild Animals hunt monitor, Beacons Bottom, Bucks. THE answer to John Grice's question (August 28) asking what I suggest as an alternative method of controlling foxes is simple: I don't, because the fox does not need controlling…. Mr Grice doesn't seem to believe that I am "abused" when I am out doing my job of hunt monitoring. I can assure him that I have many hours of filmed evidence of the intimidation, hunt cruelty, chaos and distress caused to villagers by hunts….
From: SE Farmer, Crook Tree Farm, Crook Tree Lane, Hatfield, Doncaster. YOUR most recent anti-hunting letters give the writers away as they struggle ever more wildly to justify a ban on hunting. We are now launching into the realms of fantasy, so we have "release pens" for foxes. Perhaps this lady has got her propaganda videos mixed up and confused foxes with pheasants?... (letters)
Yorkshire Post 31.8.04 PROBLEM OF CONTROLLING FOXES IF HUNTING IS BANNED From: John Grice, The Close, Durkar, Wakefield. I HAVE read your anti-hunting letters of the last few days and I have noticed one thing. Not one of the writers is suggesting an alternative method of controlling the fox population…. The person from Buckinghamshire says she is being frustrated in her efforts to find evidence to lay before Parliament. They already have that evidence. It was called the Burns Report and they have totally ignored that because it did not tell them what they wanted to hear… I know of one MP whose reason for banning hunting with hounds was to pay the Tories back for running down the coal industry, conveniently forgetting his own Government have been doing the same thing. Only a politician could believe that two wrongs make a right… (letter)
Yorkshire Post 30.8.04. From: William B Thompson, Park House Green, Harrogate. Concerning cub hunting, or autumn hunting as the hunters like to call it, in the words of a former hunt servant: "It is a barbaric, hideous business in which the victims are utterly inexperienced and still dependent on their mothers."…. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 28.8.04 Young hounds 'taught to kill foxes kept in holding pens' From: Mrs Marjorie Crofts, Hollin Lane, Crigglestone, Wakefield. Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt, plus the Countryside Alliance, were making an effort in Leeds recently to maintain a high profile – nothing to hide, they say. Well, if not, please tell the public about cubbing – this is the practice of training young hounds by letting them catch and kill juvenile foxes. The cubs are kept in holding pens until the young hounds are to be trained, and then between September and November, released for the young hounds to practise on – to the cubs' death….
An official of the Badsworth and Bramham Moor hunt writes: Foxhunting is the sport of hunting the fox in his wild and natural state, and there is absolutely no such activity as having foxes kept in "holding pens"…. Autumn hunting serves a number of purposes – to cull a reasonable number of foxes, and to disperse the concentrations, so leaving an even spread of foxes across the country…. (letters)

Western Daily Press 4.9.04 I'M HUNTING FOR THE REAL ISSUES - Andrew Davison, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire (letter)
Gloucestershire Gazette 3.9.04 Hunting Bill - diversion? Andrew Davison, Westonbirt (letter in archive)
Bristol Evening Post 3.9.04 GOVERNMENT WASTE TIME OVER HUNTING - Once again the national and some regional and local press are carrying news of the return to Parliament of a hunting bill. I feel that the Government uses the hunting bill as a diversion and can readily understand the need to divert us, including MPs, all from the increasingly depressing state of the nation…. What real people want to see is delivery on the issues that matter to everyone - health, education, crime, transport, defence, etc. Andrew Davison, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. (letter)

Western Daily Press 4.9.04 CUBS WAKE UP TO TERROR - Fox cubs wake at dawn to a world of terror. The cull of cubs is cruel and indiscriminate. Vixens have been known to sacrifice their lives for their young. Foxes have no chance of escape when surrounded by hunters on horses slapping their saddles with whips, and zealous supporters with yapping dogs have been seen stoning cubs to deter their getaway…. Miss E A Smith, Ashton, Bristol (letter)

Times 4.9.04 Anti-hunting Bill to pass this month - Ministers will announce on Tuesday that a complete ban on foxhunting in England and Wales will be forced through the Commons in a single day the following week. Tony Blair is understood to have agreed that the Hunting Bill must pass its Commons stages before the Labour Party conference…. (story)


Western Morning News 3.9.04 HUNTING BILL NEWS AWAITED - Opponents and supporters of hunting in the Westcountry are bracing themselves for an announcement on whether or not the Government will press ahead with a ban on the controversial country pursuit. Peter Hain, Leader of the House of Commons, is expected to give an indication next week about whether the Government will revive the controversial Hunting Bill in time for it to be forced through the House of Lords… (story)

Westmorland Gazette 3.9.04 Bill outlawing foxhunting back on - BATTLE lines are being drawn at the suggestion that a Bill to outlaw foxhunting will go before Parliament some time in September… (story)
Westmorland Gazette 3.9.04 Fox Hunting Bill: Back in the news...what are your views? BATTLE lines are being drawn at the suggestion that a Bill to outlaw foxhunting will go before Parliament some time in September. Are you for or against the Bill? What do you think about fox hunting? Put your comments at the end the story…. Wanda Wyporska, from the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "This is something we have been campaigning for for a long time…" Harold Taylor, an anti-fox hunting campaigner, is also hopeful the bill will be passed… Alison Bolt is a committee member of North Lonsdale Foxhounds. Her husband, Alan, is Master of the Hunt. She said that more than 50 per cent of the population thought hunting should continue, perhaps under licence, which the hunting fraternity would accept…. (story)

Buckingham Advertiser 3.9.04 ANIMAL MAGIC AT COUNTY SHOW - AS many as 25,000 visitors were expected at a sun-blessed Bucks County Show yesterday, Thursday, at Weedon Park near Aylesbury… PLEASED TO MEET YOU: Beagle dogs, from Old Berkley Beagles, were on show at Bucks County Show, yesterday, Thursday. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 3.9.04 Will the government see sense over ban? Nothing illustrates the double standards of today's politicians better than the issue of animal welfare…. If a ban on hunting is forced through Parliament, the government will find it has opened a can of worms, which will not go away in a hurry…. Let us hope that the government sees sense and devotes its time to governing the country, rather than attacking an instinctively law abiding minority, simply because it can. Bush and Blair attacked Iraq because they had the overwhelming military superiority to do it, but where has it got them?... Tim Sage, Kingscote (letter in archive)

Leicester Mercury 3.9.04 BACKING FOR HUNT BAN - A cross-party group of MPs have backed a new report from anti-hunt campaigners. It sets out a case for a ban on hunting with dogs… This is backed by an early day motion, signed by 257 MPs, requesting another vote on the Bill. Simon Green, Loughborough (letter)


Guardian 2.9.04 MPs are more worried about foxes than women - Jackie Ashley …Because of the media culture's lack of interest, politicians who do campaign on this, including those in the current government, are fighting to be noticed, and usually failing. MPs looking for headlines look elsewhere. The result is twisted priorities. Perhaps the most bizarre example this autumn is the suggestion that, to revive the loyalty and enthusiasm of Labour backbenchers, the government is finally to force through a ban on foxhunting…. I can't believe I am the only person who finds the whole business ludicrously and tediously irrelevant to the real issues actual Labour voters are struggling with. To me, the deaths of a couple of dozen women a year and the punching, arm-breaking and stabbing of scores of others is more important by far. MPs who kept banging on about that, and forced us to listen, would be doing a great deal more for progressive politics than those diving in to the foxhunting fray… (story

Kentish Gazette 2.9.04 Hunt visitors get close-up view - "HAVE you stroked a hound?" is not perhaps your typical Sunday greeting, but it's what visitors to the East Kent Hunt open day were being asked at the weekend…. (story)

Whitehaven News 2.9.04 FAIR DRAWS IN 5,000 VISITORS - BANK Holiday Monday saw all the action of Muncaster Country Fair and Dog Show, as well as the Muncaster Sheepdog Trials. The annual event was opened by local fell-running veteran, Jos Naylor, and attracted about 5,000 people. It included Black Combe Beagles classes, foxhound, terrier and lurcher classes, a gundog display and ferret show…. Muncaster Country Fair is organised on behalf of the Black Combe Beagles, in order to raise money for the upkeep of the hunt…. (story)

Western Morning News 2.9.04 MISSING THE MARKET FOR SUPERB WILD MEAT - As the stag-hunting season begins, a wildlife expert is calling for a system in which Exmoor's wild venison could be marketed properly for the first time. Martin Hesp has been talking to the National Trust's Nigel Hester… "It's extremely healthy meat with a very low fat content," said Mr Hester. "It's very adaptable - there's no end of recipes. And yet Exmoor venison fetches a very poor price. I think we need everyone to work together, however the deer is culled - whether it's hunted or shot. It's a valuable product, or should be, but it does need proper regulation."… There is no hunting on National Trust land. Since the trust controversially banned hunting with dogs on its properties, field-sports supporters have singled out the Holnicote Estate as a cause cel??bre. The estate used to form a prime part of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds country, and hunt members claim that the estate's previous owner left the land to the trust with the understanding that blood-sports should be allowed to continue… (story)

Argus 2.9.04 Hunt the foxes - Having just watched the bank holiday match between Brighton and Leicester, I was surprised to hear the visitors come out of the tunnel to the sound of hunting horns. As their nickname is "The Foxes", I would have thought this would have been the last thing they would want to hear. Mrs Paula Woolven, Telscombe Cliffs (letter)


Western Daily Press 1.9.04 HUNT PAYS OUT OVER SHOT STAG - A West hunt has paid anti-bloodsports campaigners £500 to avoid a costly court case over the shooting of a stag in a deer sanctuary, it emerged yesterday. The Tiverton Staghounds made the out-of-court settlement with the League Against Cruel Sports which owns the sanctuary at Morebath on Exmoor… (story)
Western Morning News 31.8.04 HUNTSMEN AGREE TO OUT-OF-COURT PAYMENT - The Tiverton Staghounds have paid £500 to the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) in an out-of-court settlement over the shooting of a stag in a sanctuary belonging to the league. The hunt and the LACS have been in dispute about the fate of the stag since the incident at the LACS sanctuary at Morebath near Bampton in October, 2002… Yesterday, Robin Venner, the chairman of the Tiverton Staghounds, said the stag had been shot because it was ill - a point contested by the LACS… He said the legal action being pursued by the LACS against the Tiverton Staghounds had gone on for a long time and the hunt could not afford to pursue the matter further…. However the LACS said that any symptoms of illness displayed by the stag would have been due to its pursuit by the Tiverton Staghounds…. (story)

Ashbourne News Telegraph 1.9.04 Sunshine show! NO MATTER what the weather beforehand, Ashbourne Show always seems to be dealt a trump card…. The main ring was in continual use, from the judging of the shires, private driving and trade turnouts to a visit from the Derbyshire, Notts and Staffordshire Beagles, the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt and the Four Shires Bloodhounds, all of which invited children into the ring to meet hounds…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 1.9.04 Nature's way From: JW Buckley, Aketon, Pontefract. HEATHER Holmes, (Letters August 20), responding to an earlier letter of mine, says that common sense alone tells her that hunting is cruel…. In the wild there are the hunters and the hunted. Nature might not be nice, but that is the way it is, and I am not so foolish as to try and alter nature (letter)
Yorkshire Post 30.8.04 Foxhunters are not the ogres their opponents make them out to be - From: Phyllis Capstick, Old School House, Hellifield, Skipton. People do not congregate with the intention of causing cruelty to any animal. A fox is either killed, usually almost instantly by one or two hounds, or it escapes scot free. A fox is a wily animal and is not "chased over long distances and then savaged by a pack of hounds". If Heather Holmes (Letters, August 20) had ever watched a hunt, as I have, it doesn't happen like that, but she and many others do not want to believe or even listen to the true facts…. (letter)
Yorkshire Post 26.8.04 RSPCA's sound of silence From: John Scarth, Sandybed, Scarborough. In her letter "Fighting all forms of cruelty to animals", (August 20), Heather Holmes describes the RSPCA as an organisation, which, quite frankly, I find hard to recognise as it now stands. During the foot-and-mouth epidemic, more than six million animals were slaughtered… Where were the RSPCA then? No mass media campaigns, no high-profile TV interviews, no united condemnation of the mass slaughter… If spin is now the core of its concern I suggest it changes its name to the Republic Society for Political Correctness and Animals. (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.9.04 HUNTMASTER SELECTIVE IN READING OF BURNS REPORT - I cannot let huntmaster Michael Moore get away with all of the well-rehearsed and nonsensical arguments on hunting, regurgitated once more, Family Life, Echo, August 23. He made reference to the Government (Burns) Report but its conclusions are quite different from those stated by Mr Moore. If he has ever read the report how did he miss paragraph 5.36 which states that "the overall contribution of traditional fox hunting, within the overall total of control techniques involving dogs, is almost certainly insignificant in terms of the management of the fox population as a whole"?... Ivor Annetts, Mid Devon Support Group, League Against Cruel Sports, Address withheld on request (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 1.9.04 PURPOSE OF CUBBING IS TO TRAIN YOUNG FOXHOUNDS - With reference to the article about huntmaster Michael Moore, Family Life, Echo, August 23, he states that the purpose of cubbing, which started on August 1, is to disperse the cubs. He must know full well that the cubs are driven off by the vixen, when they are self-sufficient and disperse themselves to their own new hunting grounds. The purpose of cubbing is to train young hounds to be savage on litters of fox cubs…. J Thomas, Dalwood, near Honiton (letter)