September 2004 - hunting 23-30.9.04

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Midhurst & Petworth Observer 30.9.04 Hunt supporters join protest march - Around 100 supporters of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, based at Petworth Park, travelled to the pro-hunt rally at the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Tuesday. Hunt spokesman and joint master Nick Bamber said afterwards that he detected a more confident feeling among the demonstrators than at Parliament Square…. (story)

Telegraph 30.9.04 On the hunt for a confrontation - Labour grandee Sir Gerald Kaufman was angry after getting caught up in scuffles during a pro-hunting protest.... But did Kaufman really have to go anywhere near the ranks of the Countryside Alliance in the first place? "He could easily have got to where he was going another way, but he seemed to launch himself into the hunting protesters," reports Spy's observer. "He then pushed through them, saying F*** off repeatedly, around ten times in total."... Contacted yesterday, Sir Gerald offered the following explanation: "To get to the meeting I was going to, I had to cross the road at exactly the point where the protest was taking place. I can't remember whether I abused them. Anyway, so what if I did?" (story)

Guardian 30.9.04 Larcenous, racist scum - Gerald Kaufman - I saw on Teletext that I had been "jostled" by pro-hunt demonstrators during the Labour party conference in Brighton on Tuesday. Well, if that was being jostled, heaven help me if I undergo anything worse…. I was spotted by a pro-hunt demonstrator, a stout, middle-aged man dressed in checked tweeds. He rushed up to me and yelled: "You Jewish bigot!" He went on screaming this at me dozens of times; perhaps it was the only phrase he knew….. It caused me to wonder whether those of my Labour colleagues in the House of Lords, such as Lord Bragg, Lord Donoughue and Lady Mallalieu, who no doubt will be opposing the hunting bill in the upper chamber next month, have any idea that the simple rural yeomanry, whose right they defend to maintain their traditional country pursuit, contains so high a proportion of fascist-minded, racist, foul-mouthed, brutalised, larcenous scum…. (story)

Cornishman 30.9.04 PRO-HUNTERS PLAY FOX AND HOUND WITH MP - JAMES BLADON - Andrew George MP faced a day of confrontation on Tuesday, as he engaged in a series of verbal sparring matches with pro hunt activists in the villages around Penwith. With battlelines drawn, at times it seemed is was the MP who was being hunted in the countryside, as he was ambushed at almost every turn of his long arranged visit to the district by a pro-hunt rally protesting about his support of the bill to end fox hunting…. But the MP was in bullish mood as he defended his decision to support the parliamentary bill that would see an end to hunts such as the Cury and Western, which protesters claimed would leave many of them jobless and without a home…. Mrs Toman was defiant. "My husband is a whip for the Lambo beagles and I have hunted all my life and I will carry on - as will 99 per cent of hunters…. Ed Bailey, kennel huntsman for the Western Hunt, demanded of Mr George: "What am I supposed to do now? I am 55-years-old and I will lose my house, my job, the lot."… (story)

Kidderminster Chronicle 30.9.04 - Hunting dogs shot every year, claim - Thousands of hunting dogs are shot every year as there are no laws to protect them, a Kidderminster animal rights campaigner has claimed. Tony Peters, who works for Wyre Forest Animal Concern based in the town, said he estimates up to 10,000 dogs - half the number involved in hunting - are shot every year once they have passed their "usefulness"…. (story)

icSurrey 30.9.04 60 police hurt in pro-hunt protests - Sixty police officers were injured in this month's pro-hunting demonstrations in Parliament Square, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens has confirmed… The violence was in stark contrast to the previous major demonstrations by these groups which had been "exemplary", Sir John said. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 30.9.04 They've shot themselves in the foot - Peter Rhodes - Hunting has survived this long only because it has no real impact on Britain's urban majority. However, if hunting's fringe fanatics go ahead with their plans to stage endless demos, by the time their sport is finally banned, Joe Public will have had a bellyful of them. This week, some of them thought they could win hearts and minds by dumping a dead horse in Brighton… (story)

Leicester Mercury 30.9.04 'WE CAN'T POLICE A HUNTING BAN' BY NICK RENNIE - Police resources will be stretched to breaking point in Melton and Rutland when fox hunting is banned, a senior member of the force governing body has warned. Leicestershire Police Authority vice-chairman Byron Rhodes said the police had neither the money nor the manpower to enforce the law…. Rad Thomas, spokesman for the Quorn Hunt, said: "There are those who have the inclination to defy a hunting ban, but that is a matter for individuals to decide." (story)

Shropshire Star 30.9.04 MP says hunt protests shouldn't be violent - Hunt supporters have every right to be angry at and protest against the ban on hunting, but they must never resort to violence, a Mid Wales MP has warned following protests in Brighton. Lembit Opik, MP for Montgomeryshire and leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said he could understand the hunting community's frustration at the Government's decision to push through the legislation banning hunting with dogs…. (story)

Western Daily Press 30.9.04 WHY WEST IS HECKLERS' HEARTLAND - The West's royal triangle has once again emerged as a hotbed of hard-core pro-hunt supporters, with the plot to heckle Tony Blair being hatched in the shadows of Prince Charles's country estate. Yesterday, it emerged that leading lights of the Prince's favourite hunt, The Beaufort, were among those who interrupted the Prime Minister's keynote speech in Brighton…. SUSSEX police were yesterday refusing to identify two men arrested and released on bail after two rotting calves and a dead horse were left on a road near the conference centre. Ledbury Hunt spokesman Donald Haden, whose members were involved in the both recent protests in Parliament and the Labour Party Conference, attacked the stunt… (story)

Western Morning News 30.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTER SPAT AT POLICE - A builder who took part in the pro-hunting demonstration outside Parliament two weeks ago swore and spat at police who tried to move him out of the road, a court heard yesterday. Brett Parsons, 31, admitted threatening behaviour and obstructing the highway… (story)
Central Somerset Gazette 30.9.04 PRO-HUNTING SUPPORTER FINED AFTER DEMO FRACAS - Acentral Somerset builder who took part in pro-hunting demonstrations outside Parliament two weeks ago swore and spat at police who tried to remove him from the road, a court heard yesterday. Brett Parsons, aged 31, admitted threatening behaviour and obstructing the highway. He was ordered to carry out 75 hours unpaid community work and fined £75… (story)
BBC News Online 29.9.04 Hunt supporter 'spat at police' - A builder who joined a pro-hunting demonstration outside Parliament swore and spat at police who tried to move him on, a court heard. Brett Parsons admitted threatening behaviour and obstructing the highway and was ordered to carry out 75 hours' community work and fined £75…. (story)

Worcester Standard 30.9.04 MP rejects hunt threat - CITY MP Michael Foster is confident that the people of Worcester will let key areas such as health and education dictate who they vote for in the next General Election rather than the contentious issue of fox hunting.…. Bob Brierley, spokesman for the Worcestershire Hunt, said: "Hunting people are from all different political persuasions and I would imagine many of them would consider this type of action after the way they have been treated by Mr Foster…." (story)

Kent Messenger 30.9.04 Wittersham Area News - Jazz festival cash to help hunt workers - JAZZ on the Grass at Wittersham has become something of a summer tradition. Organised by Charles Wyatt with Ian and Lynne Anderson this year's event featured the renowned Jonathan 'JJ' Vinten plus Five and the Oxney Swing Jive… The event not only provides a wonderfully entertaining evening but also raises funds for the organisers' chosen causes, the Kent Air Ambulance, Wittersham Church and the Union of Country Sports Workers (UCSW). This year a cheque for £1,025 was presented to the UCSW at the Ashford Valley Foxhounds kennels…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 30.9.04 Hunters in noisy protest - MORE than 150 supporters of the Burbage-based Tedworth Hunt travelled to Brighton on Tuesday to protest outside the Labour Party conference. They travelled by coach and car and included the joint masters, Rodney Ellis, Mirabelle Helm and Major William Crosby-Dawson…. (story in archive)

Rhyl, Prestatyn & Abergele Journal 30.9.04 HUNT YOBS TERRORISE ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER BY CASSIE MOFFAT - AN ANIMAL rights activist has told of her terror at being threatened by pro-hunt thugs. League Against Cruel Sports campaigner Judi Hewitt´s nightmare began when she received a series of late night abusive phone calls at her home… Judi and her husband, Bob, who live in the area, immediately took the tapes to the police, who are now determined to catch the cruel culprits…. (story)

The Forester 30.9.04 HUNT MAN HELD AT CONFERENCE - One of the small group of hunt supporters who successfully infiltrated the Labour Party Conference was Ledbury Hunt stalwart Tom Leeke. Mr Leeke, who farms a few miles outside Corse, was arrested for breach of the peace after Tuesday's incident and later released…. (story)

Berwickshire News 30.9.04 ALLIANCE ABANDON HUNT APPEAL TO PRIVY COUNCIL - FOLLOWING the decision of the High Court in Edinburgh to dismiss the Scottish Countryside Alliance's (SCA) appeal against the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act, the SCA has decided not to take their appeal against the Act forward to the Privy Council…. (story)

Hereford Times 30.9.04 Dad's pride for hunt protester - RICHARD Leek has told the Hereford Times of the pride he felt seeing his son go undercover at the Labour Party Conference to hound Tony Blair over hunting. Tom Leek's face flashed around the world as pro-hunting protesters made a stand inside the conference hall during the Prime Minister's speech on Tuesday…. After he gaining an agriculture degree, he helps run the family farm and is a Whipper In with the Ledbury Hunt. He spent the summer in Bolivia… (story in archive)

Salford Advertiser 30.9.04 Sick beyond belief - PRO-HUNT campaigners have been blamed by the RSPCA for dumping the mutilated bodies of four young foxes outside their Eccles animal hospital… The grim discovery was made by RSPCA nurse Dave Massey. He said: "It was sickening. I saw the magazine and I new the bags would have foxes in them…. However, Tom Fell, the north west regional director of the Countryside Alliance and himself a lifelong member of a hunt said the foxes may have been killed by animal rights campaigners. "This does nothing for our campaign," said Mr Fell. "It is just as likely to have been done by someone wanting to discredit what we are trying to do…." (story)
Scotsman 22.9.04 Hunting supporters mutilate cubs in sick statement of defiance - FOUR mutilated dead fox cubs were dumped outside the RSPCA’s Manchester hospital along with a copy of the hunting magazine, Countryman’s Weekly, at the weekend…. (story)
BBC News Online 21.9.04 Dead foxes dumped outside RSPCA - Four dead foxes were dumped outside an RSPCA hospital - alongside a copy of a hunting magazine. Inspectors from the charity blamed disgruntled hunt supporters for leaving the young animals outside the hospital in Manchester…. (story)
Evening Standard 21.9.04 Dead fox cubs dumped at RSPCA hospital - Four mutilated dead fox cubs were dumped outside an RSPCA hospital along with a copy of a hunting magazine. The five-month-old cubs had bite marks all over their bodies after being savaged by hounds. One had been disembowelled. They were left on the doorstep of the RSPCA Manchester Animal Hospital along with a copy of the Countryman's Weekly…. (story)

Ormskirk Advertiser 30.9.04 Sad policies of indifferent Government - I WAS sad to see Peter Hain, that notorious demonstrator of yesteryear, arrested innumerable times by the police, should be an MP, let alone a Government Minister in my country. Most countries of the world would have deported him long ago for public nuisance… Rather than address the root causes of anger and frustration in the countryside that prompted recent demonstrations, he proposes limiting our civil liberties, which he himself in the past has seen fit to exploit beyond limit… CLLR WILLIAM CROPPER, Chairman West Lancs Conservative Association (letter)

Knutsford Guardian 30.9.04 Hunting has no place in today's society - I OBJECT very strongly to the arrogant views of Richard de Prez and all the other pro-hunt supporters (last week's Knutsford Guardian) Banning fox hunting is not in any way an attack on human rights…. J M ALLEN, Townfields, Knutsford (letter in archive)

Salisbury Journal 30.9.04 Litany of pro-hunt bad behaviour - WHEN pro-hunting demonstrators, who claim to be acting in the interests of democracy, disrupt the Hunting Bill debate in the House of Commons, threaten Alun Michael to the extent that he is advised officially to pull out of the celebration of the `right to roam'… can the `liberty and livelihoods' lobby expect sympathy from a mainly anti-hunting public? Appalling as these disturbances are, they are only typical of the hard core of live-animal hunting devotees… KATHERINE WATSON Address supplied
IN the Journal's report last week on the pro-hunting demonstrations outside the Houses of Parliament, Desmond Swayne MP said he was appalled at the sight of policemen laying into demonstrators with truncheons and showing no restraint. He also said it was something he associated more with the Soviet Union, not Britain. Which planet has Desmond been living on for the past 40 or so years?... The hunting Bill only affects a few thousand people and certainly the number of potential jobs lost is far smaller than the Countryside Alliance would have us believe…. BRIAN SHEMMINGS Downwood Close, Fordingbridge
AS long-time, middle-class country dwellers, we are appalled at how the focus of the fox-hunting debate has been shifted away from the cruelty to animals issue on to class struggle and employment. Minorities have rights, but surely the right to inflict pain on your wife, children, animals or servants died a long time ago?... A & S MORTIMER, Wiltshire (letters in archive)

Independent 30.9.04 Hunting people will be the new gypsies … There is no real consensus on what is right - opinions on hunting have divided people and families ever since it ceased to be essential for survival - there is no real evidence of a serious problem justifying this socially divisive legislation. ROGER N CARTWRIGHT, Carnforth, Lancashire
David Mitchell (letter, 23 September) asks why hunting is so uniquely cruel. Quite simply, it is the only activity where animals are deliberately set upon another animal in the name of "sport" that is still permitted in this country…. IAN MACKRELL, Horley, Surrey
What an impressive demonstration we were treated to by the pro-hunting lobby! Topless bathing, bunny girls, mooning and the vile dumping of animal carcasses in the middle of Brighton… ALISON STROAK, Glasgow
In response to Lowri Coulten (letter, 21 September), I'm afraid he won't rock the nation by hunting rabbits with dogs in 2006 because the Hunting Bill exempts both rabbits and rats from the new law… G E PURSER. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
The promise of lawbreaking by the hunters brings the prospect of real sport to the rural scene - Reynard, pursued by foxhounds and pink-coated toffs crying "Tally-Ho!" and being ridden down by alsatians and blue-coated coppers crying "Allo allo allo!" MIKE PILKINGTON, Newton Abbot, Devon (letters)

Barry Gem 30.9.04 Hunting: ‘the economic price to be paid’ - AFTER reading my friend, Rob Curtis’s letter in last week’s GEM on fox hunting, I felt I had to reply as I found his comments offensive. I made it my business to find out some of the facts. I spoke to one hunt employee who told me that he would face a triple whammy. Both he, and his wife, would lose their jobs, and would also be made homeless…. I realise, as a Labour Party member, that I am out of step with the vast majority of my colleagues, but I joined the Labour Party because I believe passionately in social justice…. When parties set out to destroy rural people’s livelihoods, and their way of life, then they must be prepared to accept the consequences. Remember the Poll Tax! Mike O’Leary, Barry (letter)
Penarth Times 23.9.04 Outrage - I REFER to the letter from councillor Curtis (Penarth Times, September 16) supporting the totalitarian regime we now have in this country. Not only is it endeavouring to ban a well-established sport against the will of the people, but when its inability to give adequate security to the Palace of Westminster was revealed, the Metropolitan Police were sent in… Mike Miggs, Address supplied (letter in archive)
Penarth Times 23.9.04 Humane - I totally agree with Vale of Glamorgan councillor Rob Curtis' about fox hunting… Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
Barry & District News 23.9.04 Civilised - I totally agree with Vale of Glamorgan councillor Rob Curtis about fox hunting…. Name and address supplied (letter in archive)
South Wales Echo 20.9.04 Joy of the hunt is lost on fox - I WOULD like to point out to Mrs Sue Daniel that fox hunting is not democratic - who asked the fox?... Derek Hanlin, Gelli Arael Road, Gilfach Goch, Porth (letter)
Penarth Times 16.9.04 Ignorance - IT WAS inevitable that the hunting of foxes and stags for fun was going to be banned - we just needed that last brave leap forward…. Rob Curtis, Labour Councillor, Vale of Glamorgan Council. (letter in archive)
Barry & District News 16.9.04 Ignorance - Rob Curtis, Labour Councillor, Merthyr Dyfan Road, Barry. (letter in archive)
Barry Gem 16.9.04 Looking forward to hunting’s passing Rob Curtis, Barry (letter)
South Wales Echo 15.9.04 Fox hunting ban is not democratic - I FEEL I must respond to Rob Curtis' letter of September 11. Is his view on fox hunting an educated one, has he actually spent time with any of the hunts in the South Wales area or is he just another councillor hoping to win votes for his failing Government?... Sue Daniel, Garfield Avenue, Litchard, Bridgend (letter)
South Wales Echo 11.9.04 We need that leap - IT was inevitable that the hunting of foxes and stags for fun was going to be banned - we just needed that last brave leap forward. The pro-hunting lobby are behaving like spoilt children who are having a last tantrum before their toy is taken away…. Rob Curtis, (Labour councillor) Merthyr Dyfan Road, Barry (letter)
Western Mail 11.9.04 Pro-hunt lobby acting like spoilt children - It was inevitable that the hunting of foxes and stags for fun was going to be banned; we just needed that last brave leap forward. The pro-hunting lobby are behaving like spoilt children who are having a last tantrum before you take their toy away… Cllr ROB CURTIS, Merthyr Dyfan Road, Barry
Employment myths - The proponents of blood sports often advance the argument of rural unemployment against their abolition. This is quite untrue, of course, as drag hunting still needs the same number of blacksmiths, farriers and veterinary surgeons … Nazi concentration camps also provided employment since guards and other staff were often recruited locally… Perhaps the German government should reintroduce them to help reduce that country's soaring unemployment figures… GARETH EVANS, Treforest, Pontypridd (story)

Aberdeen Press & Journal 30.9.04 Policing the protesters - SIR, - It was with dismay that I learned that hunt activists prevented MP Peter Hain from leaving his home…. I seem to remember that during the miners' strike, when vast numbers of men were trying to secure their livelihoods using similar methods to this pro-hunt group, the police found themselves able to use a variety of methods - not all of them peaceful - to stop democratic protest from taking place…. No class war in Britain? Don't make me laugh. Mrs A. Thomson, 43 Conglass Drive, Inverurie (letter)

Cornishman 30.9.04 GO 'HUNTING' BUT DO NOT KILL ANIMALS - Name and address supplied - I WAS amazed by the arrogant stance of Ben Sparrow (Who knows where a ban could lead, Letters, last week) who thinks that his own hobby of chasing small animals to exhaustion and then tearing them apart should be allowed to continue despite the fact that a democratically elected government has voted to ban it… (letter)

West Briton 30.9.04 NOT CONVINCED BY EITHER SIDE - The longer the debate on the subject of hunting with dogs, and with fox hunting in particular, the more entrenched in their views both sides of the debate become… Perhaps the extreme anti-hunt lobby could examine their motives for wanting this "sport" banned, as I am not convinced that it is as much to prevent cruelty to animals as it is a prejudice against the upper classes, and perhaps the hunt supporters could be a little more honest about the reason they want to continue. The reason people hunt with dogs is because they enjoy it…. Let's drop this "tradition" into the dustbin of history, along with wrecking, public hangings and the burning of witches. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

West Briton 30.9.04 PLEA TO RENOUNCE THESE ACTIONS - I write in plea to all the decent people of West Cornwall, and of all rural Britain, to beg them to renounce the actions of the Blair Government in the House of Commons, when a so-called free vote was given to MPs by Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Hunting Bill. The result was anything but democracy. Indeed, what I saw on television, was a shameful abuse, not only of democracy and the trust of the people, but a blatant attempt to replace it with autocracy…. TESS NASH, Venton Vean, Mawgan, Helston (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 30.9.04 NO MORE HUNT PICTURES - If I am subjected to a third photo of "Holderness Hunt at Roos" within a matter of days, I'll not buy the Mail again (after 30 years). I, like most intelligent people, detest hunting…. Mr KF Omond, Lairgate, Beverley (letter)

Plymouth Evening Herald 30.9.04 HUNTERS BEAR THE BLOOD OF HEROES - The article by Martin Freeman ('It's time for the whingers and moaners to shut up', September 22) reminds me of the ravings I used to read in the Big Issue… How ignorant or stupid is the person who has to describe those who hunt as 'toffs dressed up like 19th-century soldiers to chase an animal they cannot eat'? Surely such people have a right to dress as they see fit? Would he see Scots in tribal dress in the same light?... The Bill going through Parliament is nothing less than persecution of an ancient minority who harm no one and benefit many…. A NICOL, Porthleven, Cornwall (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 30.9.04 Missiles and more – what I saw at the hunting demo - Reading Roger Helmer MEP's letter about the hunting demo at Westminster, I was beginning to think I had seen a different demo until I realised he had been in Strasbourg at the time… I saw missiles being thrown at watching police officers…. I heard platform speakers threatening MPs with violence…. I saw protesters block the road at Westminster Bridge, holding up the taxi my disabled friend had booked to take her home. She waited almost three hours… For the purpose of this letter I make no judgements on the above. I simply state what I saw and what I heard . . . what I witnessed. Ron Johnson, Denmark Road, Northampton (letter)

North East Evening Gazette 30.9.04 Hunt outcry is the pits - So the hard-done-by fraternity that inhabit the countryside now consider themselves so high and mighty they propose to break what they call "an unjust law" when fox hunting is eventually banned?... Where were they when the steelworkers and miners were on strike fighting for their livelihood? I'll tell you where, tucked up in their little blue-rinse world which Thatcher made so cosy for them at our expense… PATRICK BRERETON, Teesside (letter)

Cumberland News & Star 30.9.04 Criminal activity won’t help your cause - I JUST cannot believe the extent to which hunt supporters have resorted to bad behaviour to get their message across: criminal damage to property, clashing with police, damage to an electric pylon, and defacing grass in front of Carlisle Castle…. JEAN SANDERS, Mill Street, Whitehaven
THE abysmal scenes in London during the recent countryside hunt protests brought back memories from the dark days of Communism in the East. In those days, as many will remember, questioning or discontent in any way was met with a severe crackdown by forces of the state…. DW WILSON, Etterby Lea Crescent, Stanwix
Elaine Milbourn and Mike Bird (Letters, September 25) both write from a position of laughable ignorance regarding fox hunting (but that is not unusual among “antis”). Hunting begins in the autumn when that year’s cubs are independent of their mothers, and it stops in late winter just as vixens become ready to mate…. Ruth Harland, Crofton (letters)

Northern Echo 30.9.04 HUNTING: THE hunting protestors who burst into the House of Commons may not have done their cause any favours but they sure enlightened the rest of us to the laughable lack of security that protects the paltry few of our esteemed MPs who actually turn up for debates…. From my experience, a farmer shooting a fox with a shotgun rarely equates to the farmer actually getting his hands on the fox. The fox is usually peppered at long range with an inadequate shot size, and runs away to die a long lingering death…. P Sakes, Chester-le-Street.
ON TV recently I saw two little girls, possibly six or seven years old, with a placard saying "We love hunting". It tells us nothing about these poor little innocents but, oh boy, it sure tells us a helluva lot about their parents. - Hugh Pender, Darlington. (letters in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 30.9.04 MP TOEING THE PARTY LINE - When I wrote my tongue-in-cheek letter about Dr Palmer and fox hunting, I didn't expect such a telling-off as the one I received from Margaret Ives (Letters, Sept 24)!... I am sorry if my comments upset Margaret Ives, but despite all the best efforts of the Labour Party, I am still at liberty to express my views as I see them. MAX BAILEY Laurel Crescent, Nuthall (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 30.9.04 HUNTING BAN: LET'S MOVE ON TO THE REAL ISSUES - Terry Bett, of Burton Joyce, asks (Post Sept 25), does anyone really trust Labour any more? I know that the polls show that a great many people in this country believe and support this Labour Government. She also asks if the next Labour Manifesto will be crammed with intentions to ban battery chickens and factory farming and all types of fishing. I sincerely hope it is not. The hunting ban was in the first manifesto of the Labour Party and a considerable number of young people joined the party because of it…. BRIAN BLYT Wilford Lane West Bridgford
Postcard images 'bias' - We get the distinct impression from letters which you print about the hunting with dogs Bill that your newspaper is biased in favour of the hunters… The issue is not about town versus country, it is about cruelty and destruction of our wildlife, and the majority of those who work and live in the countryside will want these terrible activities stopped…. BRIAN TORR Barnfield Wilford (letters)

Grimsby Telegraph 30.9.04 THINK ABOUT IRAQ … Threats from terrorists have increased since the Iraq war… I just hope when the MPs are drinking their Lincolnshire beer they stop wasting time on foxes and think about these young inexperienced service personnel who are hunted every day. Mrs J M Firth, Marsh Lane, Barton. (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 30.9.04 DOGGED BY VIEWS OF HUNTING FRATERNITY …Another letter says that she, yes, a woman, thinks it's wrong she will have to give up the pleasure of hounding a terrified animal to its death, to see it torn to pieces. I could weep. Name and address supplied (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 30.9.04 MP VOTED FOR A BAN ON COUNTRY JOBS - During the summer the Liberal Democrat MP for Torbay, Adrian Sanders, attended my son's school's prize-giving. Boldly he said no job is beyond anyone and if you strive you'll get it. Interestingly he voted for a ban on hunting with hounds recently. What he meant to say is no job is beyond attainment providing someone deems it fit not to ban it. ALAN FITTER, Higher Elsford, Bovey Tracey (letter)

Tamworth Herald 30.9.04 DEFENDING LAND FROM THE FOX HUNT HOUNDS - I Wish to respond to the the 'edited truth' in the letter submitted by Cllr Neil Fuller in the September 23 issue. He stated in his letter regarding fox hunting that he was 'a humane Englishman'. Whilst exercising my dog in the grounds of Amington Hall I was delighted to see a huntsman and hounds trotting towards a wood… Within seconds I saw this so-called 'humane Englishman' releasing two shots from a pistol type firearm at the nearby hounds. I certainly feel hounds in the right hands are a better control method for vermin, than firearms in the wrong hands. Don't you Cllr Neil Fuller? Mr McIntyre, Tamworth (via email)
Cllr Neil Fuller gave the following response: "Mr McIntyre adopts what might be called the scatter gun approach to political controversy, demeaning both the fox and my right to privacy by his prejudicial language…. Mr McIntyre clearly thinks a romantic sight. My 'pistol type firearm' is perfectly legal and is neither dangerous nor used by me in public places, and it was sufficient to deter the hounds that had invaded my garden…. (letters)

Western Mail 30.9.04 Mob rule should not win - even over poll tax - I totally agree with Paul Gray (September 27) that "mobs must not rule" and like him I was sickened by the violence in Parliament Square recently by a sizeable minority of pro-hunting supporters. But equally I am sure Paul would agree with me that the same condemnation would apply to the violence of some years ago by anti poll tax protesters… JOHN READMAN, Grange Gardens, Llantwit Major
They had a free vote - what about us? SIR - Paddy Rooney of the Country Land and Business Association is right to say our democracy is being infringed with this Hunting Bill (The Western Mail, September 18). It's not just the hunting, it's our way of life… JOHNNY BINKS, Nantgaredig, Carmarthen
Hain's protest prejudice has lost my Labour vote - SIR - I have nothing to do with the pro or anti-hunting lobby, but I find Peter Hain's comments on the protest at his home staggering beyond belief. Here is a man who stood admirably against apartheid fighting on a platform against prejudice, and is himself now acting prejudiced by putting "his own beliefs into law"…. I will not be voting Labour again, not because I support the Tories, but because I will not support prejudice. CYRIL DAVIES, Cimla Road, Neath.
Time for advocates of barbarity to reform SIR - H Williams's letter (September 22) offers an opinion on the cruelty of the fox, ignoring the fact that man is the cruellest of all the animal kingdom; perhaps we too should be chased to exhaustion and then torn to sheds…. DAVID LLOYD DAVIES, New Road, Llanmorlais (letters)

Exeter Express & Echo 30.9.04 NATURE WILL CONTROL FOX NUMBERS, NOT HUNTERS - Janet Barber, Do hunting people enjoy killing foxes for hobby? Points of view, September 25, appears to believe that hunting is necessary to keep foxes under control. Why? People can neither control the migration of birds nor the swarming of locust: nor can they control fox numbers… John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Argus 30.9.04 Letter: Real anarchists - With reference to the story "Inside an anarchists home" (The Argus, September 24), I wondered why the police had to carry out this raid…. On the same page was an article on the pro-hunters. This group has openly stated it will cause disruption and civil disobedience to fight the hunting bill. When will the police raid these anarchists' homes?... -Carol Dennington, Brighton (letter may be in archive)

Western Daily Press 30.9.04 FORCE THE BAN ON THESE RELICS - A few weeks ago a debate concerning hunting with dogs was held at the House of Commons. Like all past debates on hunting, the outcome of the most recent one was a huge vote for an outright ban on hunting with dogs…. As for hunts and their supporters, they will just be relics of the past. R Hughes Street Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.9.04 PRIORITY ACTION IN THE COUNTRY - The British public and the world's press have now seen how a section of the Countryside Alliance went to London deliberately prepared with smoke bombs, fireworks and gun cartridges, to throw at the police and cause violence. It did not just happen, it was planned…. Claire Egan Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.9.04 HUNTERS' ATTACKS SIMPLY DO NOT ADD UP - I find it difficult to understand how the pro-hunt lobby can refer to the Bill to abolish hunting with dogs as an attack on democracy. Maybe I am mistaken but I have always been under the impression that in a democracy the will of the majority prevailed…. Robert Readman Bournemouth Dorset (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.9.04 FOX KILLS ARE OFTEN INSTANT - Like many people in the countryside I feed foxes. I feed one every night and can watch it come within two yards of my window. Despite this, I support fox hunting. The fox is a lovely animal but it is also a killer…. D Menelaws Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 30.9.04 PM SEEMS TO BE LOSING HIS GRIP - It was both sad and potentially dangerous to see Tony Blair's lapse of memory during Question Time on the day of the hunting vote, when he forget Michael Howard's question on MRSA within seconds. In a frustrated attempt to regain his composure, he appealed to his own MPs and in desperation to the Tories to refresh his memory. Later in the day, after years of dithering, he decided not to vote… Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Morning News 30.9.04 Cynical charade - ALUN Michael should not be trusted. Two years ago, I, like many others, spent three days in London, staying in a poor hotel at considerable expense, to listen to three days of evidence at his Portcullis House hearings. After each speaker we were invited to submit our comments, and after the last one I added a personal note praising the Rural Affairs Minister's integrity and the way in which he had run the proceedings with good humour and great efficiency. How I misjudged him and how wrong I was… The Bill he presented to Parliament after his inquiry was precisely the same as was leaked to The Times newspaper six months before. Denys White, Taunton (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 30.9.04 IT WAS DISAPPOINTING - It was disappointing to note that our MP, David Heath, took the easy way out in the recent vote on hunting, and firmly sat on the fence. I find it difficult to accept that on such a contentious issue, anyone could be neutral…. Perhaps it's time that the hunting fraternity took a long hard look at what they do, and why they do it. Is it really so important to retain the freedom to hunt down and eviscerate a small mammal? Why are they so adamant that drag hunting would not be so enjoyable?... JANET TURNER, Eastwood Close, Frome (letter)

Frome & Somerset Standard 30.9.04 FACT: FOXES CAUSE COMPLETE CARNAGE - I have not heard a word about foxes at home when they destroy lambs, pigs, fowls and birds but not for their food. Please make sure the next time you speak about fox hunting you mention this fact. I have seen these half-dead animals: ugh!... I also, 28-and-a-half years ago, was riding a horse for my father in a point-to-point at the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Harriers… I had my first ride in 1971, followed by the next four seasons of riding point-to-point for a farmer of the Duke of Beaufort Hunt country…. Being without a ride in 1976 I was so grateful to receive a phone call from the Master of the Avon Vale Foxhounds requesting me to ride one of his horses in a point-to-point at Larkhill…. DIANA HOWSE, Penny's Piece, Frome (letter)

The Forester 30.9.04 IS BLAIR TRYING TO DISMANTLE COUNTRYSIDE? So the Government seem intent on using the tremendous force of the Parliament Act, facilitator of legislation in times of national crisis, to force through the Hunting Bill. Yet this Bill would not benefit one single person and also, ironically, sound the death knell for our fox population…. Mrs C. D. Keeling, Coleford (letter)

Leigh Journal 30.9.04 Fox hutning fury - SCENES showing loud and angry protesters at Westminster, fighting police who struggle to control them with their batons, as several pro hunters who broke through the barriers are hotly pursued by sword clad officials through the inner chamber of the House of Commons… Members of Parliament vote to outlaw fox hunting because it is cruel to foxes yet consistently support the laws on abortion. Foxes can run. Mary T Lavelle, Leigh (letter in archive)

St Helens Star 30.9.04 Government should leave well alone - FOXES are carnivores and some of their food is rabbits… Since the Animal Rights lobby chooses to protect only one animal, the fox, I must assume their campaign is against what they see as upper classes and has little to do with animals… MONA McNee, Whiston (letter in archive)

Whitehaven News 30.9.04 WHEN WAS COPELAND BALLOTED OVER A BAN ON FOX-HUNTING, DR JACK? - Dr Cunningham says there is strong support for a hunting ban in Copeland (“Accept ban, Dr Jack tells hunts”, The Whitehaven News, September 23). How has he come to this conclusion? He talks of democracy: did he ask his constituents’ views? Did he speak to us or hold a ballot? The answer is no…. I would ask all those who are interested in field sports to use their votes wisely when the election comes: the anti-hunt are anti-everything... and you could be next. E EVANS, Buckle Avenue, Cleator Moor
How does Jack Cunningham know the law would be popular on hunting in Copeland? He has refused to live in the area for 30 years or more… Patrick CAPSTICKWest View, Low Moresby
Hunting people find Jack Cunningham’s attitude hypocritical, to say the least. Our MP is a keen fisherman – and what is fishing other than “hunting”?... Name and address withheld
Jack Cunningham asks that people accept the will of Parliament on the hunt ban. This vote by the full Parliament of the UK was voted on by MPs who are protected from such a vote and a Parliament Act in their own constituencies in Northern Ireland and Scotland…. The formation of an English Parliament will give a truer reflection of the wishes of the people of England. Keith YOUNG, Member, Campaign English Parliament, Preston
(photo: hunters become the hunted: Alan O’Brien, kennel huntsman for the Cumberland Farmers Hunt, Welton, symbolising protests outside the Labour Party offices in Carlisle) (letters)

The Comet 30.9.04 To hunt or not to hunt? Your letters - Hunting - The Truth - Could you please answer two questions? First, why is it that you're not printing any letters from people (the majority) who are against the barbaric 'sport' of foxhunting? Secondly, now that we're ready to move into the 21st century by banning this primitive activity, why are you trying to cause a sympathy vote FOR hunting?... JOE HARTWELL, Poplar Close, Hitchin
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Comet has and will publish both views on this issue although your inaccurate assertion that we have a bias typifies the rabid extremes which this debate generates - on both sides.
Fox Hunting - Why all the fuss about fox hunting? The country has survived the abolition of cock fighting, dog fighting, bear baiting, public executions and other cruel 'sports' and it can survive this… BARBARA LEWIS, Fairview Road, Stevenage
I can't believe the government really expects the population of this country in particular the GENUINE country people to accept that 200,000 hounds/dogs will have to be put down or re-homed if hunting is banned. It is already a major problem re-homing the existing unwanted dog population… I see no reason why foxhunting should be singled out. The truth is that the government of this country has very little idea of what a diverse assortment of life styles exist; they try to put us all into one category to make running the country more manageable. Have a heart Tony. John Littlechild, Grovelands Ave, Hitchin
Hunting dead foxes? - With reference to the letter from Audrey Murphy which appeared in The Comet, where she suggests that hunting hounds only tear apart dead foxes. Does Ms Murphy think the fox is somehow 'put gently to sleep' before the dogs are let loose on it? I can only assume she refers to the 'single instantaneously fatal bite to the throat' myth… So, another myth from an increasingly desperate minority group who feel something fast approaching their heels; and that is the law banning hunting with hounds, a law which the vast majority of people in the UK have been waiting for, for many years. At last, we can begin to smell the sweet scent of a world without the barbaric ritual of fox hunting. PAUL WILLIAMS, Via e-mail (letters)

Banbury Guardian 30.9.04 TIME FOX HUNTERS GOT PROPER JOBS - IT JUST shows you how mindless and careless some people are for others’ property. I have a Ban Hunting sticker in my car and when I parked in Banbury last week, I returned to find that someone had written "Don’t" above the sticker. I was absolutely furious that someone had done this…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Northumberland Gazette 30.9.04 Now ban digging out a fox in its lair Re: Hunting Ban I WOULD have thought that the first step would be to ban the digging out of a fox that had gone to ground. Why? Some years ago a friend who hunted for years, stopped. Why? He had been waiting for the dig and had the time to look at the faces of fellow hunters as they waited. Apparently he didn’t like what he saw…. Miss D Elsey, Swarland. (letter)

Sussex Express 30.9.04 IT'S NOT A CLASS ISSUE - I am so glad I belong to the majority of decent people in this country who believe in democracy and can't wait for a ban on fox and stag hunting and hare coursing. It's beyond belief that people like Gerry Hart (Hartbeat, last week) regurgitate such vitriol in defence of bloodsports where cruelty is the 'sine qua non'…. Hella Gamper, Crowborough
I AM a country woman, not a hunt follower, but I found a recent Daily Telegraph by Lembit Opik, Lib Dem MP, the best thing I have seen or heard on the hunting issue. He argued that alternative methods of killing foxes cause more suffering…. Does it really matter if a pack of hounds tear the body of a fox - at least death was instantaneous. Would they rather the fox chewed its leg off to free itself from a trap, or died in agony from poison? Trish Hales, Ripe.
IN answer to Jeanette Pinwell (Express, September 24) hunting did take place during the war. Lord Burghley, the gold medal Olympic hurdler, had the East Sussex Hounds. He was in the Grenadier Guards and would hunt them himself whenever possible between duties, and the hunt carried on helping us farmers at lambing times and with fallen stock during those difficult days… Betty Wenham, Herstmonceux. (letters)

Western Gazette 30.9.04 THIS COUNTRYSIDE MYTH MUST BE PUT TO REST - I Read with increasing incredulity the letter from Alan Wiseman regarding the hunting vote in Parliament. He makes an incredible point in trying to equate Tony Blair and the Labour Government with Hitler and the Third Reich… Surely they can find other ways of enjoying a ride in the countryside without the need to chase an animal to exhaustion and then watch it be set on and torn to pieces by hounds… Martyn Spalding, Sandringham Road, Yeovil (letter)

Western Gazette 30.9.04 STEAMROLLER CLAIM IS CLEARLY ABSURD - The Hunting Bill was not "steamrollered" through Parliament as Alan Wiseman claims (Western Gazette, 23 September). It was the result of seven years of parliamentary activity, detailed Government inquiries, a clear manifesto pledge and over 50 years of campaigning for a ban against this barbaric and cruel activity… Peter Irvine, Blandford, full address supplied.(letter)

Western Gazette 30.9.04 WHERE HAS ALAN WISEMAN BEEN FOR PAST SEVEN YEARS? Alan Wiseman complains (Letters, 23 September) that the Hunting Bill was rushed through Parliament - where has he been for the past seven years? The Government has bent over backwards to accommodate the hunting fraternity. We have had endless parliamentary debates, the Burn's Report, public hearings, vote after vote by parliament overwhelmingly in favour of a ban on hunting with dogs… Helen Weeks, West Coker Hill, West Coker (letter)

Western Gazette 30.9.04 TEARS ARE FOR BESLAN - The next time you read a judge has passed sentence with the words "you behaved like an animal" or some pro-hunter when defending his "sport" of fox-hunting says "vermin have to be controlled," pause for thought. Now reflect on an A-Z of "humanity" starting with Auschwitz , follow it with Beslan stop at H for Hiroshima, finish after many other examples at World Trade Centre and then never ever, ever, allow yourself to compare humans to animals in derogatory terms… Alan Cooper, address supplied (letter)

Evesham Journal 30.9.04 Why does the rule of law not apply here? LAST week I watched the 10 o'clock news as a persuasive "Pillar of the community" extolled the virtues of lawbreaking to an apparently enthusiastic crowd of Pro-hunt supporters. It seems that when you are seeking the liberty and freedom to slaughter deer, hares and foxes on the keen teeth of harrowing hounds, as a recreational pastime, then democracy and the rule of law don't apply…. M T PARKER, Main Street, Sedgeberrow (letter in archive)

Evesham Journal 30.9.04 Taking steps toward a humane society - IN my childhood in rural East Anglia before the war I recall the hunt being disliked by many country people. The tenant farmers objected to the damage it could do to their crops, for which they were not always adequately compensated…. For me the ban, when implemented, will represent a step towards a more humane treatment of wild animals. JOHN SPENCER, Hawthorn Cottage, Blockley (letter in archive)

Evesham Journal 30.9.04 No longer relevant to the 21st Century - The hunting ban will go ahead, and so it should. The hunting fraternity will continue to protest about it, citing "livelihoods and beloved hounds and horses" but hunting foxes in this manner is no longer in keeping with the way society regards animals in the 21st Century…. Mrs E. Heavens, Stratford-upon-Avon (letter in archive)

North Devon Journal 30.9.04 THE HUNTERS ARE NOW THE PREY - As the day of the hunting ban draws near, the hunters have become the hunted and, as is obvious, they are not happy. They are desperately twisting and turning to escape the snapping jaws of 178 pairs of members of parliament…. They will simply have to find another way to fill their leisure hours. Not too difficult, surely? CHRIS TURNER, Braunton.
IT appears to me, as it must do to many others, that several members of the pro-hunting lobby only support democracy when it suits their own purposes…. NAME and ADDRESS SUPPLIED
DESPITE all the recent prejudice reporting regarding the Hunting Bill, I was very pleased to see the hunters acted true to form. They showed the public what many of them are really like - thugs and bullies…. MRS STREET, Okehampton.
IN reply to Mr Muxworthy's letter (Journal September 23). He writes that this Government is a dictatorship. How does he arrive at this? Our elected members of parliament have voted nine times since 1995 to ban hunting, each time overwhelmingly. This is called democracy…. NAME and ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 30.9.04 Ban not `rammed through' - In response to Mr Seed's letter regarding the potential ban on fox hunting (Gazette, September 16), I'd like to make the following points… Labour MPs were given a free vote, and therefore were not representing the views of the party, but of their electorate…. Stephen Foxcroft, Devizes Constituency, Labour Party (letter in archive)


Bradford Telegraph & Argus 29.9.04 Hunters in ballot threat to Leslie - MP Chris Leslie faces a battle at the next General Election after it emerged Shipley is on a hit-list of seats being targeted by pro-hunt campaigners. Huntsmen and women are being urged to support candidates - mainly Tories - who will repeal a hunting ban…. (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 29.9.04 COUNTY HUNT SUPPORTERS JOIN PROTEST IN BRIGHTON - Hundreds of hunt supporters from Leicestershire joined a massive demonstration on a day of protests at the Labour Party conference… More than 300 hunt supporters from Leicestershire - including the Quorn, Fernie and Belvoir hunts - joined 10,000 others in the march to the Brighton centre. Phillipa Mayo, of Rutland's Cottesmore Hunt, was among the protestors…. (story)

Yorkshire Post 29.9.04 FINE WORDS YET AGAIN - Blair polished but predictable - YESTERDAY should have been Tony Blair's finest hour. Still ahead in the opinion polls after seven years as Prime Minister, he stands on the brink of leading Labour to an unprecedented third term in office… Outside, the anger of pro-hunt protesters suggested that it was not merely the Labour Party that was at war with itself over Mr Blair's deeds but that the entire nation had been split into urban and rural factions and was now baying abuse at one another…. (story)

Eastern Daily Press 29.9.04 Bellingham stands by hunt row secretary - Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham is standing his ground on the issue of the Commons hunt invasion after flying back into the country from holiday. Mr Bellingham flew out to Greece shortly after admitting he knew his secretary Eleanor Harris had met the hunt protest ringleader Otis Ferry two days before the massive security breach at the House of Commons. He had previously denied knowing anything about the meeting, and his U-turn sparked concern in political quarters…. Mr Bellingham refused to be drawn on Tory leader Michael Howard's refusal to state that the front bench economics spokesman retained his confidence. But he did say: "If Michael Howard did not have confidence in me I would not be on his front bench."… (story)

Guardian 29.9.04 A thousand dogs get their day - Muted violence as hunt supporters parade their packs - Steven Morris - The first hunting horn sounded shortly before 11am but was drowned out by a determined Palestinian campaigner and his loudhailer. Three hours later, as Tony Blair prepared to address the Labour party conference, 8,000 hunt supporters, many accompanied by dogs, made themselves heard…. But though there was no repeat of the ugly clash at Westminster earlier this month, there was a violent edge. At the height of the protest hunting supporters hurled eggs and fireworks at the police holding them back from the Brighton Centre, and a group scuffled with the Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, who supports a hunting ban… Nearby hunts, such as the Surrey Union, sent packs of foxhounds and three "couples" - six dogs - from the Wealden mink hunt in Sussex also turned up, with lurchers from Essex, terriers from Kent, beagles from Hampshire, spaniels from Hertfordshire - in all around 1,000 dogs…. (story)

Guardian 29.9.04 Protesters breach Blair's defences - Sarah Hall, political correspondent - A known activist with a prison sentence for protesting against Tony Blair's policies disrupted the most crucial conference speech of the prime minister's leadership yesterday - despite a massive security operation. Hector Christie, 42, an Old Etonian anti-war protester, was allowed into the conference hall, where he was able to stand up and accuse Mr Blair of having blood on his hands… Mr Blair shrugged off the outburst - but around 20 minutes later there was a second commotion as about six hunting supporters stood up, began shouting and set off rape alarms on the balcony overlooking the main floor. (story)

Guardian 29.9.04 Diary - Marina Hyde - Meanwhile, the hunting debate remains the most elevating exchange of views in British politics… animal carcasses in Brighton city centre. And on the other, conference organisers banned the League Against Cruel Sports from selling their fox glove puppets… (story)

Independent 29.9.04 Dead animals dumped as hunt protesters gather By David Stringer and Amanda Brown, PA News - The rotting carcasses of a dead horse and two dead calves were dumped close to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton today as thousands of pro-hunting supporters gathered to march on the conference centre…. Although the Countryside Alliance has said it wants a peaceful protest, Mr Hart warned that demonstrators had been angered by remarks made by Mr Prescott - including comments about the family of singer Bryan Ferry who son was among pro-hunt protesters who broke in to the Commons chamber…. (story)

Telegraph 29.9.04 Pro-hunt protesters disrupt conference By Charles Clover - Demonstrators campaigning against a ban on hunting brought loud protests to the hall where Tony Blair was delivering his keynote speech at the Labour party conference and to the streets outside yesterday.... Earlier, the carcass of a horse was dumped near the railway station and the carcasses of two calves on a footpath near a fountain. Two men thought to be members of the Real Countryside Alliance were arrested. Eight other protesters, thought to include animal rights activists, were arrested during the demonstration.... About 20 minutes into Mr Blair's speech the half dozen pro-hunting demonstrators got up and Mr Blair, who appeared unfazed, urged any other protesters to get it over with as they were removed by police. The protesters included George Wade, kennel master with the Beaufort hunt, Emma Wade, daughter of Ian Farquhar, joint master, Philip Hall, a farmer, and Harry Meade, son of the Olympic horseman, Richard Meade.... Tom Leek, of the Ledbury hunt, said he had only joined the party two days ago... The march, that started off from Madeira Drive, where there was a gathering of working dogs, was led by members of the Banwen hunt, set up by miners in 1964 with the gift of hounds from the Duke of Beaufort.... (story)

Telegraph 29.9.04 'They think they can get their way by bullying tactics' By Andrew Gimson - Labour Party members inside the conference centre were completely dismissive of the pro-hunting demonstrators outside and showed no inclination to listen to any of the arguments against a hunting ban. David Candler from Worcester said of the demonstrators: "They're the last refuge of medieval culture that the more enlightened section of the community are trying to dispel...." Dorothy Macedo, from Finchley and Golders Green in north London, said of the demonstrators: "I think they represent the last hurrah of the ruling-class elements...." (story)

Times 29.9.04 Protesters breach ring of steel - THE Labour Party faced embarrassing questions about its security yesterday after Tony Blair’s speech was twice interrupted by hecklers who infiltrated the ring of steel around the conference. Soon after he began speaking, he was halted by a man protesting from a balcony over the Iraq war, who was then bundled out. The Prime Minister was again forced to halt during one of his more passionate sections, when a small group of hunting supporters demonstrated from elsewhere in the balcony against the Hunting Bill…. (story)

Times 29.9.04 Pro-hunt activists arrested over rotting carcass protest BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - PRO-HUNTING activists registered their protest in one of the most pungent ways imaginable yesterday when they dumped the rotting bodies of four animals close to the Labour Party conference…. The animals were found with Countryside Alliance banners nearby, but the alliance later condemned the stunt… At one stage Gerald Kaufman, the prominent anti-hunting Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, was jostled as he walked among the protesters…. But Jenny Yeo, from the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt, said that it was of the MP’s own making. “He was up for it. He was winding people up in the road, I saw him lash out at one man,” she said…. (story)

Times 29.9.04 Whips keep record of attacks and threats to MPs BY TOM BALDWIN - THE Labour leadership is compiling a dossier of attacks against its MPs, as well as harassment and threats, made by pro-hunting extremists. Hilary Armstrong, the Chief Whip, said that she was examining a series of recent incidents to see if a consistent pattern was emerging or whether certain MPs were being targeted. Her comments came after Gerald Kaufman, a leading anti-hunting MP, said that he had been asaulted and subjected to racial abuse by the “baying mob” outside the Labour Party conference in Brighton…. (story)

Mirror 29.9.04 BLAIR IGNORES PROTESTS AND CALLS FOR UNITY By Steve Purcell - Tony Blair today overcame hecklers within and mass protests outside the Labour Party conference hall to proclaim that Labour were on the brink of an historic third term of office. Inside the hall, the Prime Minister's opening words of his keynote speech were drowned out by Labour's own anti-war protestors. Outside, thousands of pro-hunting protestors dropped the rotting carcasses of dead animals on the streets of Brighton and clashed with hunt saboteurs as riot police were called in.... (story)

Argus 29.9.04 How did they get to Blair? - An investigation was under way among senior Labour Party officials today after protesters breached security to barrack Tony Blair from the floor of the party conference hall…. The two interruptions to Mr Blairís speech yesterday were amplified by a huge clash of pro and anti-hunting demonstrators who surrounded the venue. Riot police dodged eggs, fireworks and smoke-bombs as they struggled to keep the two factions apart…. (story in archive)

Argus 29.9.04 Pro-hunters take fight to Brighton by Sam Thomson - The countryside came to the coast yesterday as more than 8,000 hunt campaigners took to the streets baying for Tony Blair's blood…. Heather Tate, an anti-hunting protester, tried to grab a placard from one of the demonstrators. She was frogmarched away and cried "let go of me" as she tried to squirm free…. Gary Hills, 33, from the Labour Animal Welfare Society, said: "The demonstration is ludicrous. They do not understand the political process or the feeling of the public." (story in archive)

Argus 29.9.04 Two questioned over carcass protest - Two men who dumped the rotting carcasses of four farm animals in Brighton city centre before yesterday's pro-hunting rally were last night being questioned by police…. (story in archive)

Yorkshire Post 29.9.04 'BLOOD ON HANDS' PROTEST IN CONFERENCE HALL AS PRIME MINISTER ADMITS TAKING COUNTRY TO WAR ON FALSE INTELLIGENCE - Simon McGee Political Editor … Mr Blair was heckled twice as he delivered his speech, by anti-war and pro-hunt protesters, while up to 10,000 hunt supporters converged on the streets of the seaside town. Eggs were thrown at the conference venue, the rotting carcasses of a horse and two calves were dumped nearby and riot police had to intervene in a clash between groups of pro-hunting campaigners and hunt saboteurs…. (story)

Western Mail 29.9.04 Animal bodies dumped in hunt-row clashes Catrin Pascoe, The Western Mail - Political Editor Kirsty Buchanan reports from the Labour Party Conference in Brighton - HUNT campaigners have been strongly criticised for yesterday's protests at the Labour Party Conference after dumping rotting animals on the streets, clashing with police and each other and hurling abuse at Tony Blair… But Tom Leek, of Ledbury, Herefordshire, who interrupted the Prime Minister's speech in protest over the "rushing through" of the Hunting Bill, defended the campaign…. The march began shortly after 1pm with campaigners from Banwen Miners Hunt at its head…. (story)

Western Mail 29.9.04 All friends together as Blair shrugs off protests - FORGET Straw and Mugabe. The embrace they were all talking about in Brighton was the one between the Downing Street neighbours… There was also the anti-war brigade and the pro-hunt lobby to contend with. After being interrupted twice, Mr Blair almost struck a pub-fight pose offering to take them all on. At once…. (story)

Daily Record 29.9.04 LABOUR IN BRIGHTON: PRO-HUNT YOBS D DUMP ROTTING CARCASSES By Pippa Crerar - POSH yobs laid siege to the Labour party conference yesterday in a pro-hunting protest. Two of them dumped the rotting carcasses of a horse and two calves close to the conference centre. Other yelled slogans and waved banners, blew hunting horns and set off fireworks....

Western Morning News 29.9.04 PROTESTS SPOIL BLAIR'S BIG DAY - Tony Blair’s attempt to wrest the political agenda back on to his own terms was derailed last night after his keynote speech to the Labour Party conference was interrupted by protests over Government policies on Iraq and foxhunting… (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 WHEN THE COUNTRY CAME TO TOWN - Almost 10,000 hunt supporters met in Brighton yesterday to make their opposition to the hunting Bill clear. Mark Daniel joined the men, women and dogs from every walk of rural life… We emerge in overcast Brighton to find Devonian Rory Knight-Bruce being frisked by police. The police presence far outweighs the travellers on the station. They'd picked Rory out from the other side of the ticket barrier. They knew a toff when they saw one, and they knew from their Daily Mirrors that toffs are dangerous…. Baroness Mallalieu calls above the cacophony: "She's right. This toff business is so far fetched that apparently someone from the League Against Cruel Sports has said that the miners who hunt aren't miners at all, just toffs dressed up as miners!" I find the Banwen miners to test the truth of this. "Oh that's me alright," says Dave Foxley from the Welsh hunt. "My da spent 47 years at the coal face and sent me to Eton, I suppose...." (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 ANIMAL CARCASSES DUMPED IN THE STREETS - Animal carcasses were dumped in the streets of Brighton yesterday in a bizarre protest against the Government's hunting ban…. the message was not well received by local residents, many of whom were horrified by the protest…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 DELEGATES UNMOVED BY RURAL PROTESTERS 'They are the representatives of a very small, narrow-minded group of people who cannot cope with change' - If the hunt protesters outside the Labour Party conference yesterday had hoped to win hearts and minds inside they would have been sorely disappointed by the reaction from delegates…. Ms Lucas admitted she was enjoying the sight of her political enemies raging impotently outside. "It's filling me with joy," she said…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 UNITED BEFORE A 'COMMON ENEMY' - There was a crisp morning breeze as hunt supporters gathered in a service station car park near Exeter… Nick White, from the South Devon Hunt, said: "This Prime Minister should think about the sections of society he is alienating. This is not just about hunting, it's about the countryside…." On board the packed coach, George Hardy, vice chairman of the Dartmoor Hunt, said he had been forced to turn away a dozen people because of a high demand for places despite the 7am start…." Greg Johnson, chairman and joint acting master of the Modbury Harriers, said: "This is a political issue being used by Blair as a sop to placate a few vocal Labour back benchers."… It was still pitch black when around 60 members of the Torrington Farmers Hunt gathered in a pub car park to wait for their transport to Brighton…. (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 BLAIR'S DIVIDED BRITAIN ON SHOW - After the violent scenes in Parliament Square two weeks ago as MPs debated the Bill to ban hunting, and the rising tensions in recent days as protesters sought to make their feelings known to ministers, yesterday's Countryside Alliance demonstration outside the Labour Party Conference had all the makings of a powder keg about to blow. Yet, with one or two relatively minor exceptions, the 10,000-strong pro-hunt lobby which gathered in Brighton behaved with creditable restraint… the rich mixture of hunt supporters outside the hall, plus the dissenting voices raised against him inside the conference centre, only served to illustrate the large and widening gap between the Britain Mr Blair apparently recognises and the one that really exists…. One Midlands delegate told the Western Morning News: "If we'd have had miners storming Parliament they would have been hung, drawn and quartered. These people seem to think that laws only apply to the likes of us. Well they're about to find out it's not like that any more." Even more tellingly, she admitted she was enjoying the sight of her political enemies raging impotently against the ban. "It's filling me with joy," she said. That's the language of division and of dispute; precisely the things that now characterise Mr Blair's premiership and New Labour's rule. (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 DEAD CALVES, RAPE ALARMS AND SECURITY BREACHES - London Editor Jason Groves reports on a surreal day when Tony Blair's conference speech was knocked off course by protests - Yesterday we got a brief glimpse into the weird world that Tony Blair now inhabits - and what a strange place it is…. Things got off to a surreal start in mid-morning when a misguided local hunt supporter began dumping animal carcasses around the streets of Brighton in a bizarre, Damien Hirst-style protest against Mr Blair's decision to press ahead with a hunting ban. First it was a horse, speared with a placard, then a cow and two calves - where would the phantom strike next?... (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 POLICE RIOT GEAR WAS 'PROVOCATIVE' - Westcountry protesters entering Brighton yesterday were met by police in full riot gear - a situation which many felt was "completely unnecessary"… Diana Scott, joint master of the Devon and Somerset Stag Hounds, said: "When I drive through Brighton - an English seaside town - and see police waving large guns at people, it's provocative. it says something very sad about this country of ours when the Government sees fit to use guns as threats against its own electorate… George Hardy, vice chairman of Dartmoor Hunt, said: "The police presence is totally over the top … George Lyon-Smith, master of the Mid Devon Hunt, said: "The police were very heavy handed with us at Westminster and they want to do exactly the same here…" (story)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 THE LAST STRAW? - The sight of rotting animal carcasses on the streets near the Labour Party conference last night triggered anger on both sides of the hunting debate. The stunt in Brighton was immediately condemned by Labour MP David Winnick, one of the most vocal supporters of the ban. He described the act as "absolutely disgusting"…. (story)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 WEST PACK FIGHT BLAIR ON THE BEACHES - Hunt supporters dumped rotting animal carcasses in the streets, heckled Tony Blair, hurled eggs and attacked an MP yesterday as they took their battle to the streets of Brighton. The actions of a small minority marred a mainly peaceful rally as the Prime Minister gave his keynote speech at the Labour conference…. Senior Labour MP Gerald Kaufman, one of the leaders of those calling for a hunting ban, was jostled by the protesters. He was left shaken and white-faced after being hauled out of the protesters' march on the sea front and later accused some of his opponents of anti-Semitism…. (story)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 HOWARD'S WAY TO BUILD HIS BRITAIN - The hands of Michael Howard grew further apart as he stretched back on the deeply comfy, hotel sofa…. Yesterday however, as the Labour Conference went into full throttle in Brighton, with hunting protesters shouting in the streets and Tony Blair and Gordon Brown apparently struggling to patch over their differences, Mr Howard was stalking the West with all guns blazing…. "I am against the ban," he said emphatically. "I have always voted against it, even on the backbenches. But what makes me so angry, when the country faces so many challenges, the Government priority is to have the House of Commons spend so much time debating such an issue. These are not the priorities of the British people at the moment."… (story)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 29.9.04 Hunt heads south for a new quarry - SOUTH Swindon has been put on a hit-list of seats being targeted by foxhunters at the next General Election. Huntsmen and women are being urged support to candidates mainly Tories who will repeal a hunting ban…. Julia Drown, the current MP for South Swindon, supported the ban. Although she is not standing at the next election, another Labour candidate will and the party chiefs are desperate to retain the seat… (story in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 29.9.04 Fresh tactics in the great hunting controversy - Fresh tactics in the great hunting controversy… The master of the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire had called for demonstration by the Countryside Alliance at the conference to be peaceful… (story in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 29.9.04 CHAOS DESCENDS DURING HUNT PROTEST - Hunt protesters from Lincolnshire today said they were proud to have been involved in demonstrations which brought chaos to the Labour Party conference…. Among them was James Green, joint master of the Burton Hunt, who vowed to fight against Government plans to ban hunting with dogs and said: "The law's an ass."… Bill Bishop, the joint-master of the Belvoir Hunt, which extends from Lincolnshire through Leicestershire to Nottinghamshire, said: "We rural residents are fed up with urban politicians telling us country people what to do… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 29.9.04 ENJOY COUNTRYSIDE DAY AT MARKET RASEN RACES - Racegoers at Market Rasen can enjoy a taste of countryside pursuits on Sunday as the racecourse celebrates Countryside Day. There will be terrier racing, hound parades, displays by the Pony Club, coursing and falconry displays and information provided by the Lincolnshire Young Farmers Club and the Countryside Alliance…. "This is our sixth Countryside Day and this year the Burton Hunt will parade with a Pony Club field. It promises to be a good day out, with plenty of variety including seven races, bassett hound and beagle parades and as the last race on the card, an amateur charity race."… (story)

Scotsman 29.9.04 Inquiry launched into how protesters breached security - JAMES KIRKUP - AN INVESTIGATION was under way last night into how protesters campaigning about hunting and the war in Iraq managed to disrupt Tony Blair’s keynote speech in Brighton, despite a massive security operation. The Prime Minister’s aides were furious at the protests, which they feared would make him look unpopular ahead of the forthcoming election…. One man gave his name as Tom Leek, of the Ledbury hunt, and said he had joined the party two days ago…. (story)

Scotsman 29.9.04 Time to ban the ban to protect all our freedoms - KATIE GRANT - WHEN I was small, my sisters and I used to list the things we would like to ban: tepid porridge; lace-up shoes; homework; velvet dresses; cod-liver-oil pills. You know the kind of thing…. In short, when we find something we don’t like or something that inconveniences us, banning is often our solution of choice…. Today we see a perfect illustration. After the successful outlawing of hunting with hounds, a pointless and silly ban which has seen more healthy foxes killed in Scotland than ever before, thus rather defeating the banners’ claims to want to save foxy lives, a group called Animal Aid now wants governments at Westminster and Holyrood to ban shooting. It will begin by pushing for a ban on pheasant shooting, but will doubtless see its way eventually to calling for a ban on shooting any bird. If you shoot it, it’ll try to stop you…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 29.9.04 ANGER AT CONFERENCE HUNTING DEBATE - "Why won't Mr Blair listen to us?" Those were the impassioned words of Devon huntswoman Sylvia Hawgill as she joined 10,000 others to march on the Labour Party Conference in Brighton…. "I just get so mad because Tony Blair will not listen. It's fair enough if he doesn't understand, but why doesn't he listen to help him understand?" Ms Hawgill, from the East Devon Hunt, said…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 29.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS TAKE THEIR FIGHT TO CONFERENCE - We fight and we will carry on fighting." Those were the words of Henry Berkeley, Master of the Berkeley Hunt, who joined 10,000 pro-hunt protesters who clamoured outside the Labour Party Conference in Brighton yesterday…. Inside the centre the Prime Minister's keynote speech was interrupted by protesters - including a Countryside Alliance member from Ledbury - who claimed he had only joined the Labour Party two days before…Also in the march were sixty members from the Cotswold Hunt including supporter Bob Cooper, from Cheltenham, who held aloft a green and yellow banner, with 'Cotswold Hunt' written in huge print. He also threatened to defy a future ban… Mike Hibberd, a member of the Beaufort Hunt, said: "The way they've gone about it - dictating to us what we can and can't do - is a disgrace…." (story)

Gloucester Citizen 29.9.04 BEHAVIOUR PUTS HUNTING LOBBY OUTSIDE SOCIETY - The countryside movement once again took its fight to preserve the right to hunt with dogs straight to the Government yesterday. The scenes in Brighton are becoming all too familiar now. Angry faces, cheap publicity stunts - usually involving semi-clad country girls - and an apparent disregard for the law of the land are the order of the day…. In The Citizen today Stroud's Labour MP David Drew tells of his fears for his personal safety over the hunting issue. This is not acceptable. Anyone who knows David Drew knows that he is an accessible MP who cares passionately about his constituents…. (story)

Gloucester Citizen 29.9.04 'I FEAR FOR SAFETY OF MY FAMILY' - An Anti-hunting Gloucestershire MP has appeared on a "hit-list" of 50 MPs being targeted by hunt supporters at the next election. David Drew's Stroud constituency appears on a list of 50 drawn up by hunt supporters who are attempting to oust MPs at the next General Election. The list also includes the Forest of Dean which is currently held by Mr Drew's Labour colleague, the stridently anti-hunting Diana Organ…. While Mr Drew has no problems with a political targeting exercise, he is concerned the tactics of the pro-hunting brigade are becoming increasingly violent…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 29.9.04 LOCAL HUNTS DEMONSTRATE AGAINST BLAIR - Hundreds of hunt supporters from Leicestershire joined a massive demonstration on a day of protests at the Labour Party conference… More than 300 hunt supporters from Leicestershire - including the Quorn, Fernie and Belvoir hunt - joined 10,000 others in the march to the Brighton centre…. (story)

Shropshire Star 29.9.04 Hunters lay siege to Blair - Thousands of hunt supporters this afternoon took their fight to save their sport straight to the Prime Minister by laying siege to the Labour Party conference…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 29.9.04 County pro-hunt lobby join demo in Brighton - DEMONSTRATORS from Cambridgeshire were among thousands protesting against government plans to ban fox hunting outside the Labour Party conference in Brighton…. Protester Sacha Wheatley, joint master of the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chase, said: "I hope the Government will now see the ridiculousness of banning hunting and we will keep protesting until they do because it is an unfair and unjust law."… (story)

East Grinstead Courier 29.9.04 Fox-hunting: Lust for blood or sport? - In last week's Observer huntmaster Graeme Worsley extended an invitation to both residents and MPs to join the Felbridge-based Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt and make an informed decision about fox-hunting. Reporter Maheesha Kottegoda took him up on his offer and took a look at both sides of the debate… About 35 eager dogs were released under huntsman Mark Bycroft, while riders and people on foot surrounded woods clapping and cracking whips to trap foxes inside…. (story)

Gloucestershire Echo 29.9.04 I DON'T REGRET HECKLING BLAIR - Gloucestershire hunt supporter Tom Leeke says he has no regrets about heckling Prime Minister Tony Blair. The 31-year-old farmer shouted at the PM during his keynote speech - the second time Mr Blair was disturbed yesterday…. Tom's father Richard Leeke, who lives in Long- don, didn't know what his son had planned until he saw events unfolding on TV. Mr Leeke said: "I'm absolutely fully supportive of what he's done. I'm proud of him. I'm proud of the whole of the Ledbury Hunt…. (story)

South Wales Evening Post 29.9.04 PRO-HUNT PROTEST DISRUPTS SPEECH - CAROLINE WHEELER, PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT - Huntsmen from South West Wales led a mass march on the Labour Party conference just minutes before Tony Blair made his keynote speech. It was part of a major protest by pro-hunt supporters during which the bodies of dead animals were dumped in the street… Representatives from the Banwen Miners' Hunt made the 500-mile, round-trip to Brighton for their protest in an attempt to get the Prime Minister to change his mind over the fox hunting ban…. Robert Cheek, aged 45, from Swansea, joint Hunt Master for the South Wales Hunt, led a procession of more than 10,000 people as they plunged the annual Labour Party Conference into chaos… Mr Cheek denied that representatives from the Banwen Miners had cut off the Neath MP's water supply… "Peter Hain even said to us that he hadn't realised there were any working class members of a hunt in his constituency. Well what does the name Banwen Miners mean to you? Could it possibly suggest we are all former miners?..." (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 29.9.04 RURAL CAMPAIGNERS PLEDGE TO FIGHT BACK - "WE rural residents are fed up with urban politicians telling us country people what to do. Now we will fight." Those were the impassioned words of Bill Bishop, the joint-master of the Belvoir Hunt, which extends from Lincolnshire through Leicestershire to Nottinghamshire, as he joined 10,000 others to march on the Labour Party Conference in Brighton… (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.9.04 WE WILL FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS, SAY PROTESTERS - PETER CRAIG - Pro-hunt protesters from the Grimsby area joined campaigners outside The Labour Party Conference in Brighton yesterday…. Master of The South Wold Hunt, Nick Ashcroft (40), of Belchford, near Louth, said his members had respected the appeal from Countryside Alliance campaigners which called for a peaceful demonstration… Joint Master of the East Lincolnshire Hare Hounds Richard Furness (31), of Market Stainton, near Louth, said: "We shall not stop until we get what we want. Otherwise, we are going to have to put the hounds down." Joint secretary of The Brocklesby Hunt Karen Pickering said the demo was attended by predominantly southern hunts, though a few from the Grimsby area attended…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 29.9.04 BLAIR REMAINS UNFAZED - Amid tight security, Mr Blair started to speak inside the conference centre at 2.30pm. Yet, even there, he could not escape the baying mob of countryside protesters. Within minutes, a pro-hunting protester stood up and heckled Mr Blair, slow hand-clapping and shouting as he spoke. Ten Minutes later, another group of demonstrators stood up and shouted at the Prime Minister while he smiled back at them…. (story)

Derby Evening Telegraph 29.9.04 HUNTERS LIE IN WAIT FOR BLAIR AND LAB MPS - I am prepared to break the law for what I believe in. Those were the impassioned words of Derbyshire woman Kay Chapman in Brighton yesterday, as she joined 10,000 others to march on the Labour Party conference…. Ms Chapman, who participates in the High Peak and Staffordshire Moorlands hunts, said she had joined "40,000 others" in signing a pledge to defy a ban and risk imprisonment by carrying on hunting after a ban comes into force, now scheduled for July 2006… (story)

Stroud News & Journal 29.9.04 MP is hunters' new quarry by Sam Bond - HUNT supporters have a new quarry in their sights - Stroud MP David Drew. Pro-hunt pressure groups are urging their backers to kick out the MP who supported the ban and Mr Drew is now on their official hit list of 50 rural parliamentarians…. (story in archive)

Caerphilly Campaign 29.9.04 Caerphilly huntsman 'devastated' by ban by Liz Ashton - Avid huntsman PC Mike Williams from Caerphilly, pictured left, is devastated over the imminent fox hunting ban, but is not prepared to sacrifice his career in order to pursue his hobby…. He was part of the Pentyrch hunt, before joining with Caerphilly… (story in archive)
South Wales Guardian 22.9.04 Caerphilly huntsman 'devastated' by ban by Liz Ashton - Avid huntsman PC Mike Williams from Caerphilly, pictured left, is devastated over the imminent fox hunting ban, but is not prepared to sacrifice his career in order to pursue his hobby…. He was part of the Pentyrch hunt, before joining with Caerphilly… (story in archive)
Western Mail 19.9.04 PC's dilemma over hunt ban - WELSH Pc Mike Williams, 50, is one of the country's first police officers to publicly declare himself a fan of fox hunting. The father-of-two and grandad-of-three, from Caerphilly, has been in the force for 25 years and started hunting with hounds 12 years ago. In the week which has seen anti-hunt protesters storm the House of Commons and violent clashes between demonstrators and the police, Pc Williams tells LYDIA WHITFIELD of his personal dilemma at the decision by Parliament to ban hunting... (story)

Milton Keynes News 29.9.04 Hunt supporters target MP White - CITY MP Brian White is one of 50 anti-hunt politicians that fox hunt supporters want ousted at the next general election. Support will be offered to candidates - mainly Conservatives - who would overturn a ban and introduce licensed hunting…. The Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hunt, which covers 175 square miles, is the biggest hunt to pass through south Milton Keynes. Three other hunts - Grafton, Pytchley and Oakley - also pass through the north of the city. (story)

Carmarthenshire Journal 29.9.04 FARMERS DECLARE WAR ON ARMY - Farmers in north Carmarthenshire are threatening to stop the army from using their land for military training in protest over the hunting ban. The Army's Cambrian Patrol is planning to stage a major exercise in the Llyn Brianne, Tregaron, and Teifi Pools, area at the end of October…. (story)
Western Mail 23.9.04 Army may taste farmers' revenge - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - FARMERS in Wales are threatening to tell the Army "Get off our land" in protest over the proposed ban on hunting… "We have had numerous telephone calls from angry farmers who are all threatening to stop the Army from using their land in retaliation for the hunting ban," said Farmers' Union of Wales president Gareth Vaughan…. (story)
Daily Post 23.9.04 Hunt farmers in Army ban threat By Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - PRO-hunting Welsh farmers are threatening to ban soldiers from training on private land, and the Army has admitted it will have to relocate a major exercise next month if the threat is carried out. Chairman of the Federation of Welsh Packs, Ken Jones, said he will stop soldiers coming on to his land in protest at the ban on hunting with dogs. The Farmers Union of Wales says scores of its members are likely to join the protest…. Mr Jones, 55, who farms 800 acres at Bwlchau, near Llanwrtyd Wells, is also the master of Irfon and Tywi Hunt… (story)
BBC News Online 22.9.04 Hunts force Army into retreat - A major Army exercise in Wales will be relocated if farmers carry out a threat to ban soldiers from training on private land. Chairman of the Federation of Welsh Packs, Ken Jones, said he will prevent his fields being used by troops, in protest at the ban on hunting with dogs…. Held over nine days at the end of October, soldiers use land in and around the Cambrian Mountains from Tregaron to Llantwryd Wells. David Webb, a spokesman for the Army in Wales, said: "We acknowledge and appreciate the support we've received from farmers over many years. We very much hope that they will kindly give us permission to continue to use the land for Cambrian Patrol…." Mr Jones, 55, from Bwlchau Farm, near Llanwrtyd Wells, farms 800 acres with his wife, son and two daughters. he is also the master of Irfon and Tywi Hunt…. Dai Owen, 60, the master of the Gogerddan Hunt on the west side of the Cambrian Mountains, near Tregaron, said he will not allow the exercise to be carried out over his a 4,000-acre hill farm at Tynddul either…. (story)
Telegraph 22.9.04 Farmers to ban Army in hunt protest By Richard Savill - The Farmers' Union of Wales said yesterday that many of its members would withdraw permission for the Army to train on their land in protest at the proposed ban on hunting with dogs…. (story)
Sunday Times 19.9.04 Hunt lobby plans to bar army from land - JONATHON CARR-BROWN AND GARETH WALSH - SOME of Britain’s richest landowners are planning to bar the army from using their land in revenge for the government’s decision to push a ban on foxhunting through parliament….
The Prince of Wales and his two sons will not stop hunting until a ban becomes law, Clarence House has confirmed. Palace officials do not disclose details of private conversations within the royal family, but in a rare departure from protocol, Paddy Harverson, communications secretary to Prince Charles, said: “It is untrue to say that the Queen advised or told or in any way communicated with the Prince of Wales to say he should stop hunting.” (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 29.9.04 Ryedale hunt's seaside protest by Victoria Young - PASSIONATE supporters of hunting with dogs in North Yorkshire have vowed to continue their protests against a ban following a raucous demonstration at the Labour Party's annual conference in Brighton…. Edward Duke, former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and one of the founders of the Real CA, travelled with 25 members of Ryedale's Middleton Hunt to join the 8,000-strong rally…. (story in archive)

Wrexham/Bangor & Holyhead Mail 29.9.04 Hunting debate by Sarah Marion Jones, North Wales Weekly Newspapers series - VIOLENT clashes with police and an invasion of the House of Commons' debating chamber marked the recent vote to ban fox hunting…. (story)

Southern Daily Echo 29.9.04 Fox-hunting strategy could see battle for Gidley seat - ROMSEY MP Sandra Gidley faces a battle at the next General Election after it emerged Romsey is on a hit-list of seats being targeted by fox-hunters. Huntsmen and women are being urged to support candidates - mainly Tories - who will repeal a hunting ban…. (story in archive)

Country Life 29.9.04 Brighton March a 'Success' - Yesterday's march was a resounding success, with rural people from all walks of life there to rally against a 'prejudiced' ban that many believe has little to do with animal welfare. By Jeremy Lott Even the Labour backbenchers at the conference could not have missed the large banner at the front of the march saying 'Banwen Miners Hunt'… (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 A HEALTHY SOCIETY IS ONE THAT LISTENS - IT IS the relationship between personal rights and responsibility and the public good that is at the heart of the Bill to ban hunting with dogs. Often it seems that the place of criminal law is to be a vehicle of moral condemnation: the job of the law is to make people good. But is that really the case? The late Bishop John Robinson once famously wrote: "The primary function of law in society is not to prohibit but to protect; not to enforce morals but to safeguard persons; their privacies and their freedoms; and where there is no need for protection it should not intervene… When it comes to the Bill about hunting, it is an acknowledged fact that Christians are divided over the ethical stance to be taken over this issue. But apart from the substantive issue there is also the issue of the appropriateness of using the criminal law in these circumstances… This is an edited extract from the Bishop's September Diocesan Synod presidential address. (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 RURAL SERVICES SURVEY 'BURIED' BY GOVERNMENT - ANDY GREENWOOD - The Government has been accused of trying to "bury" the bad news of a recently-published rural survey amid the fury of the Hunting Bill protests. The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) in the South West said the "Survey of Rural Customers' Satisfaction Survey" showed that the Government was failing to live up to its promise of rural proofing policy and delivery… (story)

Western Morning News 29.9.04 WMN IS NAMED RURAL NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR - The Western Morning News has been voted Britain's best rural newspaper. It was yesterday named Rural Newspaper of the Year at the National Farmers' Union's Countryside Awards for Excellence…. Mrs Pollard said last night: "I am thrilled to hear that my favourite newspaper has won. I nominated the Western Morning News because it is not afraid to address rural concerns, such as post offices, farming issues, hunting and local transport and gives a balanced view of both sides of the argument…." (story)

Western Mail 29.9.04 Assembly's top Tory backs his halal row spokesman - TORY Assembly leader Nick Bourne said yesterday he had full confidence in education spokesman David Davies. His comments came after Mr Davies criticised Muslim MPs for opposing hunting while supporting the halal method of preparing meat…. Mr Griffiths said later, "David Davies' attempts to bully minorities in this country are disgraceful… To compare halal and fox hunting is an insult not only to Muslims but to all sensible citizens in our country and he should know that this offensive bullying will not work…." (story)
Western Mail 25.9.04 Storm as Welsh Tory blasts Muslim MPs - Daniel Davies, The Western Mail - A LEADING Welsh Tory was branded Islamophobic last night after claiming Muslims should support fox hunting because halal meat is also threatened by animal rights. David Davies, AM for Monmouth, asked Muslim MPs who voted for a hunting ban to change their stance, because government advisers have also called halal slaughter cruel…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 29.9.04 Trust the farmers From Ron Weaver, Albemarle Road, St Ives - YOUR correspondent Ivan Westley (Letters, September 22) has no need to be ashamed of our farmers. If he has lived in a rural area for 65 years then he should know the practice of pulling up hedges was introduced during the last war to increase arable land, as a result of an appeal to farmers by the government to increase crop production in aid of the war effort…. Concerning farmers breaking the anti-hunting law, everyone is entitled to their view, and may I ask Ivan Westley how he would feel if his livelihood was threatened, and what action he would adopt? (letter)

Boston Standard 30.9.04 The killing of wildlife is necessary sometimes - LABOUR wants to ban fox-hunting – wow! What a major priority… Don’t you think it’s about time we looked at what others are doing to our pets and wildlife rather than just fox-hunting. Name and address supplied
Don’t criminalise hunting - THIS Government’s priorities are completely out of sync with what the public wants. There was no public majority in favour of a war in Iraq so we went to war…. Mr M. Head, Address supplied (letters)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 30.9.04 Carry on hunting - SIR - I had no fixed opinion for or against fox hunting, but after seeing those policemen hitting people lying on the floor with long truncheons, some of whom were not even demonstrating, then I am on the side of the hunters…. Carry on hunting, folks, and good luck. N Brown, Peterborough Place, Undercliffe. (letter in archive)

Times 29.9.04 Victims of rifles - Within the last few weeks, in countryside shooting incidents, a 13-year-old boy in Devon has been killed, a child in West Yorkshire is in a critical condition and a man in Buckinghamshire has been badly wounded… If hunting is banned, deer will have to be culled in this way, poaching (with rifles) will increase significantly as will the lamping of foxes. Controlling wildlife with high-velocity weapons in our countryside, no matter how well co-ordinated, is sheer lunacy. P. D. KING-FRETTS, 67 Brook Meadow, South Molton, North Devon EX36 4BN. (letter)

Telegraph 29.9.04 Dogs outfoxed - Craig Brown is almost there in his suggestion that foxes be trained to hunt rats, but not quite… Once hunting with dogs is banned, it will be impossible to domesticate the redundant hounds… Mick Humphreys, Taunton, Somerset (letter)
Telegraph 28.9.04 I smell a rat … If rats can be trained to sniff out human beings under rubble, surely they can also be trained to hunt foxes? As I understand it, the law coming into force in two years' time will ban hunting with dogs. It makes no mention of hunting with other animals. This gives the Countryside Alliance two years to look around for another set of animals to do the job…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 29.9.04 FOX-HUNTING DECISION MADE DEMOCRATICALLY - I stand in awe and wonder at the logic of your pro-hunt correspondents. Blackadder's Baldrick once said: "If I own the bullet with my name on it I can never be shot by it." Likewise we are told that if they tear a fox to shreds it can never be shot or snared or gassed or worse…. Our prisons are full of minority groups who feel their wants and desires exceed the rights of their victims. Let us hope the hunting fraternity don't join them…. G R Holwill, Stoke Hill Crescent Exeter (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 DEMOCRACY RULES Tory MP Tony Baldry described the hunt protest in the Commons as follows: "In a parliamentary democracy you have to win your case by force of argument and not by rather stupid stunts of this kind." I tend to agree with him. When the vote is overwhelmingly against hunting, we have to accept it or democracy is dead. James Alton Bridport Dorset (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 DISTORTING FACTS ON SHAMEFUL ACT - I wonder what your erstwhile correspondent, Nick Weston, thinks of the violent and disgusting behaviour of his fellow huntsmen outside and inside the Houses of Parliament. Last year I wrote about another bout of violence outside Parliament by the hunt lobby. Mr Weston wrote a scathing letter, inferring that not only was I an ignorant urbanite, but I was also guilty of gross distortion of the facts… Jean Turner Pl ympton Devon (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 SAFEGUARD LIBERTY - I wonder whether the time has come for the House of Commons to be consigned to the history books? Is it not time for our elected representatives to be housed in a structure impenetrable to those who seek to destroy our way of life…. Mr G F Harper Weston-super-Mare Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 LAST THROW OF A DOOMED CAUSE - As a former stag hunt saboteur of over 25 years, I, too, was in Parliament Square on September 15, though obviously not for the same reasons nor, it would seem, at the same rally as your correspondent Mrs Bleaken…. From where I was standing these peaceful day trippers to the big city appeared to be pelting the police with smoke bombs, shotgun cartridges, rook scarers, bottles and coins, while trying to pull down the barriers in an attempt to storm Parliament…. Ian Pedler Paulton Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 WE FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM TO HUNT - The Government put forward its draconian Hunting Bill on the anniversaries of both the Battle of Britain and Arnhem. All these gallant men were killed fighting for freedom and many of them (I know since I had many friends who were casualties) were ardent hunt suppor ters. Mr Hain has effectively given up wrecking cricket matches, thus spoiling thousands of people's enjoyment, and now decrees that hunting people should have our sport and whole way of life destroyed…. A E S Nuttall Shepton Mallet Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 CONTROL THIS CRUELTY So Mr Stratton thinks setting dogs on to a fox is no more cruel than other methods of control. What then would he class as animal cruelty?... Mr W Aldom Bridport Dorset (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 LAZY MPS DIDN'T HEAR BAN DEBATE - I cannot believe that the Prime Minister is going to use the Parliament Act against my family, friends and my fellow Brits to force through a law which he doesn't believe in. He didn't vote… These boys who got into the House of Commons were a real eyeopener. They showed that even when such a very important debate should have been going on, many lazy MPs were elsewhere…. Fran Evans Taunton Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 THIS IS THE NATURAL WAY TO KILL FOXES - I am a law-abiding housewife who follows the hunt. I am not a cruel person, in fact, I am extremely soppy. I love animals and I have plenty of my own, which I care for deeply. I feel the Government has got this hunting issue wrong and totally out of proportion and that Mr Blair is being railroaded by his backbenchers…. M Dumas Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 29.9.04 ALLIANCE DEMO HAS BACKFIRED - In response to your article on September 22, I say it is Simon Hart who is threatening and tyrannical. His intimidating pledge, in the name of the Countryside Alliance, to hunt the Rural Affairs Minister across the land is shameful and appalling…. Mary Ratcliffe Old Town Swindon (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 29.9.04 PREJUDICED BAN NOT ACCEPTABLE - Mp Gillian Merron boasted of her involvement in the passing of the anti-foxhunting Bill (September 17). If she believes the vote will "settle the issue once and for all" she is totally self-delusional… DAVID McLEISH, Lincoln (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 29.9.04 CONTROVERSY THAT CAN BE MUZZLED - Hunt deal still posible (September 23)? So it should be! Is hunting cruel? d Yes, of course it is, but this can be abated: Ban the "stopping of earths" before a meet; all hounds should hunt muzzled: foxes going to earth should, after hounds have left the vicinity, be dug out and humanely destroyed…. DAVID A. ASHLEY HALL Correen Close, Lincoln. (letter)

Lincolnshire Echo 29.9.04 TARGETED BY CLASS HATRED - The police reaction to the legitimate right to protest against the hunting Bill was nothing more than the suppression and oppression of aggrieved people marching to defend their way of life, their homes and jobs, and in defence of liberty…. Richard Bristow, Lincoln. (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 29.9.04 DRAG HUNTS COULD BE THE WAY FORWARD - Gill Rivers says she came to live in the country, and she now understands country folk and the reason why they go out with the express desire to kill wild animals with dogs (Your View, Sept 22). I have lived in the country all my life, and cannot understand that people want to go off and kill… I would love to see the hunters on their feet and being chased to their death by a pack of animals…. JUNE RICHARDS, Southfield Avenue, Paignton (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 29.9.04 COUNTRY 'MISLED' OVER WAR WITH IRAQ - Surely the debate over Dr David Pedrick-Friend's letters on the Labour government and the ensuing debate is more like Blair-baiting than Blair-bashing (Dave Cathy, September 9)…. The latest scam to distract people away from the Iraq fiasco is the ban on hunting by dogs, a decision based on class rather than benefits for the fox… WALT MEADOWS, Blackburn, Lancashire >(letter)

Western Mail 29.9.04 Foxes: fact and fiction - SIR - Here we go again (Letters, September 23), a Labour politician (even at local level) putting a spin on the facts relating to hunting with hounds…. When submitting oral evidence to Lord Burns and his inquiry committee on the very real threat to our farriery business that a ban would mean, I sat with the secretary of the Master of Drag Hounds Association as well as listening to all he had to say. I read the submission theymade to the panel stating, categorically that drag hunting is not and never will be an alternative to foxhunting…. MAIR HUGHES, Alfred Street, Gilfach Goch, Porth (letter)

Leicester Mercury 29.9.04 WRONG PRIORITIES - At a time when there have been yet more suicide bombings and beheading of hostages in Iraq, I am disturbed Parliament and this Government appear more concerned about hunting than Iraq…. Mrs Sarah Manning Melton Mowbray. (letter)

Shropshire Star 29.9.04 Countryside is not one huge theme park - I am glad to hear that Mr P Ashworth (September 21) is pleased with David Wright's performance, as an MP who sticks to his word is a rarity these days… I find it hard to believe that this MP was elected purely on the basis of his opposition to hunting with hounds. It is hoped that he has other uses to justify his status. When Tony Blair came to power he promised to govern for "one nation" claiming to desire a "tolerant society". This has come to be translated as meaning: "we intend to give the countryside a good kicking, to make sure the yokels know where they stand."… B Lewis, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 29.9.04 Hunts best for the fox - P Taffs (letters September 23) seems to have overlooked the fact that foxes are not domestic pets but wild pests… A Allen, Whitchurch (letter)

Yorkshire Post 29.9.04 Safety first From: A Ramsay, Ashcombe Drive, Radcliffe. GIVEN that 40,000 or more people are killed or seriously injured on our roads every year, I was extremely disturbed to hear a pro-hunt supporter hint (on camera for BBC news) that speed cameras might be targeted in further protests. What a sick and cowardly way to fight for their rights….
From: Mick Snowden, Manor Farm Bungalow, Amotherby, Malton. IS it me? The world and her husband think this "misgovernment" are legislating to ban "foxhunting". Should this be so, my daughter, myself and our friends will become outlaws, as we twice a day take our "pack" of "hounds" walking in the fields and they hunt, mainly rabbits and hare…
From: JW Buckley, Throstle Cottage, Aketon, Pontefract. THE last time the hunting issue was in Parliament everyone was told by Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister, that the matter would be decided on the evidence. Now, ignoring that completely, and contrary to the evidence, the same Alun Michael introduces the Hunting Bill….
From: G Hall, Weardley, Harewood. WHAT a hypocritical lot at Westminster. We can whiplash a horse to the winning post, train and pressurise a greyhound to win a race, lure a fish to bite a barbed hook, confine rabbits and canaries to unnatural living in boxes and cages so why all the hoo-ha about cruelty to foxes? (letters)

Belfast Telegraph 29.9.04 A more humane society in the offing - Eric Waugh (Belfast Telegraph, September 22) is confused in his objections to the Hunting Bill. The public's objection to the abuse of animals is the reason for the Bill's existence… DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (story)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 29.9.04 EQUAL SOCIETY NOT REACHED - In relation to Robin Brown's letter, I must say of course I agree with some of the things he mentioned in his letter. However, to say we have reached an equal society is beyond me. Labour has, in no doubt, brought the unemployment rate down… We cannot forget hunting with dogs was finally banned by Parliament… Joseph Dylong, Revesby Avenue, Scunthorpe. (letter)

Bath Chronicle 29.9.04 NO SENTIMENTALITY ABOUT THE HOUNDS - In response to MJ Bailey (Letters, September 22), hundreds of healthy but older hounds are regularly disposed of by hunts when they become surplus to requirements…. ANNE SAVAGE, Ivy Walk, Midsomer Norton (letter)

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 29.9.04 Killing gives them pleasure - PUT aside that the hunt sees nothing wrong in killing foxes by hounding them to death over an hour or hours. What I find unacceptable is that it gives the hunt pleasure. D PRATT (Mr), Plantation Street, Accrington (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 29.9.04 MP'S VIEWS WORRY ME - Like your Lavender Grove correspondent, (Letters, September 24), I can commend Dr Nick Palmer for his industry as a local MP and for the time he gives to keeping in touch with his constituents…. where I part company with Dr Palmer is in his support for the invasion of Iraq, which to date has had the predictable outcome of more than 11,000 dead, and which has been declared unlawful by the United Nations. I contrast this with the time and energy he devotes to criminalising those of our own countrymen and women who want to hunt. JOHN BELL Ireton Grove Attenborough (letter)

North Devon Gazette & Advertiser 29.9.04 Ban is only start of problem - SIR – It seems the adversaries in the hunting debate are overstating their case. I do not believe the large numbers of those arriving on Exmoor have come to follow the hounds and those that ride to hounds are horse lovers above all else… most would still keep their horses, and farriers would still have work. To my mind, the hunting of foxes and the un-regulated gun users would present a more serious problem as illsutrated by the recent tragedy of a young boy killed while out ‘lamping’ at night… Arthur Watts, South Molton (letter may be in archive)

(Bath Chronicle website) 29.9.04 HUNTING BAN PLAYS POLITICS WITH COUNTRY - Anyone can see that the sudden announcement of the recent vote in Parliament on the proposed hunting ban is cynical timing. It seeks to drive a wedge between town and country to satisfy Tony Blair's long since disheartened supporters, a matter of months before a General Election…. Cllr DUNCAN HAMES, Parliamentary Spokesman, Westbury Liberal Democrats (letter)

Cambrian News 29.9.04 Where next with fox control? - I note with interest the comment made by animal welfare campaigners in your article on the hunting debate and the letter from the Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports. I suggest that before they get too carried away with their success, they should read the Burns Inquiry which was a thorough and lengthy exercise undertaken with the participation of all concerned parties…. It is sad to think that after such a thorough inquiry and a good deal of tax payers’ money spent that these findings should be ignored by animal welfare campaigners, who due to their blind opposition to hunting will cause the fox considerably more pain and prolonged suffering than they ever intended…. Owen Williams, Pantamlwg, Trefenter. (letter)

Northwich Chronicle 29.9.04 Ending the hunt will destroy a way of life THE end of hunting with hounds will be the first step in destroying the English countryside way of life…. The loss of the controlled and highly regulated hunt will lead to more unorganised 'lampers' who were in the news recently for shooting a young boy while out trapping foxes by the use of powerful lights…. NAME and ADDRESS SUPPLIED, (letter in archive)

Northwich Chronicle 29.9.04 What is more cruel? I SHOULD like to know whether those who wish to ban fox hunting favour snaring, poisoning or shooting, which I understand are the alternative ways of controlling the fox population… T PARKER (letter in archive)

Bromsgrove & Droitwich Spa Advertiser 29.9.04 Foxes are not fluffy animals - Dear Editor - First, may I make it quite clear that I have never hunted foxes or followed the hunt. I do not fully believe all of either sides' argument but take the view that the fox is a pest and if someone wants to chase round on horse or foot with dogs, they obviously enjoy what they are doing, to kill the pest, then let them - do not further legislate against yet another country activity…. Roy Smith, Bromsgrove. (letter in archive)


Times 28.9.04 Timesonline Conference Log - "Those scum pushed her over!" BY JENNY BOOTH, TIMES ONLINE, IN BRIGHTON - It was over in a trice, but the woman with red dreadlocks wearing green combat trousers was left sprawling on the pavement. It happened just behind me as I headed back along the seafront towards the conference zone. Angry faces contorted around us. "Those scum pushed her over!" one man yelled, pointing at the column of hunt protesters. It seemed unlikely as the demo was passing by on the far side of a line of police vans and officers in riot helmets. But the word went round that some of the "pro-hunting lot" had rushed over and kicked the woman to the ground. Instantly, men started jumping up and down, flicking V-signs and giving the protesters the finger…. Debbie Lewis, a legal secretary from Brighton, told me that she didn't think the hunt people should be allowed to protest on the city streets. "It's not a national issue, it only affects pockets of countryside elsewhere," she reasoned. "This is a cosmopolitan city, and its disrupting life here. You try getting to work."… (story)

Manchester Evening News 28.9.04 Double demo as PM is booed into silence - Ian Craig - TONY Blair faced a furious double attack at the Labour conference this afternoon. He was shouted down by a protester who said he had blood on his hands over Iraq and he faced the rage of pro-hunting demonstrators…. (story)

Manchester Evening News 28.9.04 Hunt carcass protest - THE rotting carcasses of a horse, a cow and two dead calves were dumped near the Labour Party Conference in Brighton today as thousands of pro-hunting supporters gathered to march on the conference centre…. (story)

Argus 28.9.04 Dead animals dumped in hunt protest by Huw Borland - Protesters plunged a stake through a horse's heart before dumping its carcass outside Brighton Station today. Around its neck was a placard reading: "There will be more of this if you ban hunting."… (story in archive)

Shropshire Star 28.9.04 Hunters lay siege to Blair - Thousands of hunt supporters this afternoon took their fight to save their sport straight to the Prime Minister by laying siege to the Labour Party conference. Up to 8,000 campaigners marched on the Brighton conference in a noisy - but peaceful -- show of strength… (story)

Reuters 28.9.04 Hunt protesters hit Brighton By Katherine Baldwin - BRIGHTON (Reuters) - Pro-hunt demonstrators have dumped animal carcasses and women have gone topless amid noisy protests outside the Labour Party conference. Blowing horns and waving signs that read: "Fight Prejudice, Fight the Ban" and "Fox-Off Blair," about 8,000 demonstrators against plans to outlaw fox-hunting marched along the Brighton seafront, flanked by hundreds of police in riot gear…. (story)

BBC News Online 28.9.04 The dogs are let out By Ollie Stone-Lee - They promised they would hound Labour and on Tuesday the pro-hunt lobby set the dogs on the party's conference in Brighton. Terriers, retrievers, lurchers, greyhounds and packs of hounds turned the promenade outside Brighton pier into one huge dog-walking area…. Dave Reece, from Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdrey Hunt, said: "Having the dogs here shows what is at stake…. Big Brother's Kitten was ushered away by police when she turned up in fox ears with a fake bloody knife and a "hunt the rich" banner… (story)

BBC News Online 28.9.04 Hunt supporter interrupts Blair - A hunt supporter from Herefordshire has been ejected from the Labour Party conference in Brighton after heckling Prime Minister Tony Blair. Tom Leek claimed he was a member of the Countryside Alliance and said he was protesting at the "rushing through" of the anti-hunting Bill…. (story)

BBC News Online 28.9.04 Pro-hunt demo at Labour gathering - Thousands of demonstrators have staged a protest outside the Labour Party conference in Brighton in protest at government plans to ban fox-hunting. The demonstration, led by the Countryside Alliance, came just before Tony Blair's keynote speech. The group said it was lively but peaceful…. (story)

Times 28.9.04 Labour Conference 2004 - Pro-hunters dump dead animals in conference protest BY JENNY BOOTH, TIMES ONLINE, IN BRIGHTON - Pro-foxhunting protesters today dumped a dead horse, a dead cow and two rotting calves in the streets of Brighton just hours before Tony Blair was due to make his keynote address to the Labour Party conference…. Countryside Alliance banners were found beside the bodies of the calves, but the group later said it had no connection with the incident. A spokeswoman said: "We have been informed of what has happened, but we do not believe this has any connection to our organisation. We cannot explain why our banners were left at the scene."… (story)

Times 28.9.04 Labour Conference 2004 - Blair apologises for false Iraq WMD intelligence BY PHILIPPE NAUGHTON, TIMES ONLINE … Outside the Brighton Centre, thousands of foxhunting protesters staged a noisy protest against the proposed ban on hunting with hounds. Some lobbed eggs against the building over a ring of hundreds of riot police…. A few minutes later, he was interrupted again by a group of about six smartly-dressed delegates who turned out to be members of the pro-foxhunting Countryside Alliance. One of them, Tom Leek from Ledbury, Herefordshire, told reporters afterwards that he had only joined the Labour Party two days ago…. >(story)

Telegraph 28.9.04 Dead animals dumped outside Labour conference - Two men have been arrested after three dead animals were dumped near the Labour Party conference in Brighton. The carcasses of two calves were left in the centre of the town and a dead horse was left near the railway station, less than half an hour before pro-hunting campaigners were due to begin a rally.... (story)

Scotsman 28.9.04 Freddy the Fox in Manufacturing Jobs Demo By Alan Jones, Industrial Correspondent, PA News - Union leaders campaigning for manufacturing jobs pulled a cunning stunt today when they paraded an activist in front of pro-hunt demonstrators – dressed as a fox. The GMB said it wanted to highlight the loss of 800,000 manufacturing jobs since Labour came to power in 1997…. (story)

BBC News Online 28.9.04 Pro-hunt demo at Labour gathering - Thousands of demonstrators are set to converge on the Labour Party conference in Brighton to protest at government plans to ban fox-hunting…. A stand set up by Countryside Alliance in the centre's exhibition area was vandalised at the weekend… (story)

BBC News Online 28.9.04 Hunt supporters head to Brighton - Hunt supporters from the South West will be joining other campaigners in Brighton for a demonstration during the Labour Party conference…. (story)

Evening Standard 28.9.04 Huntsmen sure to make a point By Paul Palmer, Evening Standard - So, it's up with the dawn to make Brighton rock. Ian Shakespear is a working man, no bones about that. Mild-mannered and straight-talking, he doesn't appear as your kind of saboteur-inthemaking, but he might be today…. It's just light and Ian 29, opens the doors of the Surrey Union Hunt Kennels. The 80 or so hounds cascade out. Normally Ian - the kennels manager - would be preparing them to hunt foxes. But like his colleagues elsewhere around the country, up to 25,000 expected to arrive in Brighton today, this morning they are after a different prey: Tony Blair… (story)

Scotsman 28.9.04 'It was a wonderful life' - SUSAN MANSFIELD - JOHN MORTIMER’S reputation precedes him. Creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, writer, playwright, barrister, bon viveur, raconteur and wit…. "If you hadn’t been here today I would have had to go and riot in Parliament Square [against the proposed ban on hunting]. My wife [second wife, also called Penny] is there right now, rioting… Once we were invited to a party and Tony and Cherie were there. He said to Penny, ‘Everything will be all right, you know, about hunting’. He tells everyone what he thinks they want to hear. This government can face killing thousands of people in Iraq, but killing a fox they get terribly excited about. Crazy."…. (story)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 28.9.04 Hunt supporters vow election battle- COUNTY MPs are to face campaigning opposition from hunt supporters in the run- up to the next General Election. A list of 50 constituencies has been drawn up in an attempt to oust anti-hunt MPs, including Kettering's Phil Sawford and Wellingborough's Paul Stinchcombe…. (story)

Telegraph 28.9.04 Feud 'could cost us the election' ...Peter Hain, the Leader of the Commons, acknowledged the growing strength of protests aimed at ministers, when he joked about being blockaded in his home on Saturday by pro-hunting demonstrators, delaying his departure for the conference. "Forget the foxes; what about a ban on hunting Cabinet ministers?" he said. (story)

Guardian 28.9.04 Hunt is on for Tonytown's perpetrator of obscenity against hunting - Kevin Maguire - Police are investigating Tonytown's first non-political crime of the week. Distinctly un-PC graffiti was daubed on the Countryside Alliance stand in Tony Blair's hotel. Large capital letters declared: "The Countryside Alliance are total cunts". Fox-friendly stickers of the Labour Animal Welfare Society were also plastered across idyllic rural scenes…. (story)

icScotland 28.9.04 Hunt supporters' conference protest - Thousands of demonstrators are expected to gather in Brighton at the Labour Party Conference to protest at Government plans to ban fox hunting. The demonstration, led by the Countryside Alliance, coincides with the Prime Minister Tony Blair's keynote speech to the annual conference at the Brighton Centre…. (story)

Western Mail 28.9.04 Hunt supporters draw up election 'hit-list' - HUNT supporters have targeted key seats in the next General Election to try and get anti-fox hunting MPs ousted. A hit list of 50 constituencies has been drawn up across Britain - including seven in Wales - where they will attempt to unseat anti-hunt MPs at the next General Election…. (story)

Western Mail 28.9.04 Protester defends targeting of Peter Hain's Neath home - Catrin Pascoe, The Western Mail - THE campaign head of the Countryside Alliance in Wales yesterday defended the decision to target Welsh Secretary Peter Hain at his home in Neath. Adrian Simpson conceded that Mr Hain and his wife Elizabeth may have felt "concerned" when they woke at the weekend to find their house surrounded by more than 100 pro-hunt supporters…. He was speaking ahead of a protest by pro-hunt supporters in Brighton, which is unlikely to include many from Wales but the Banwen Miners Hunt are expected to take part to counter criticism of hunters as "toffs"…. (story)

Western Mail 28.9.04 'Landowners should choose their own pest-control methods' - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - ALL of us involved in country pursuits are now well aware that the Hunting Bill, which will ban hunting with dogs, was passed by the House of Commons on September 15 and has now progressed to the House of Lords…. BASC's remit is to promote and defend shooting sports on behalf of its members. To that end we have worked hard to ensure that the Bill does not have a major effect on shooting sports…. While BASC continues to oppose this Bill, we will continue to work with Government, including Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, on issues pertaining to shooting. To refuse to do so would be a dereliction of our duty to protect and promote shooting sports. (story)

Western Mail 28.9.04 CALL FOR WALES TO HUNT ON ALONE - Steve Dube, The Western Mail - A CAMPAIGN has been launched to get Wales to go it alone over hunting with hounds. The Country Land and Business Association in Wales is calling on the Welsh Assembly to press for the power to make its own decision, if Westminster continues to pursue a complete ban.... (story)

Worcester Evening News 28.9.04 Country sport backers place faith in church - HUNTERS in Worcestershire are hitting the internet - to join a new religion aimed at protecting country sports. Vic Gardener, co-founder of the Free Church of Country Sports, said scores of the county's residents had signed up to support the group…. (story in archive)

Leicester Mercury 28.9.04 PRO-HUNTERS TARGET CONFERENCE BY PETER SQUIRES AND KATHRYN EDWARDS - Pro-hunt campaigners from Leicestershire were today travelling to Brighton to challenge Tony Blair over the ban on fox hunting. Supporters of the Belvoir, Cottesmore and Quorn hunts plan to disrupt business during the Labour Party conference…. (story)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS TAKE STRUGGLE TO THE SEASIDE - Hundreds of Westcountry hunt supporters will descend on the Labour Party conference today to continue the fight for the future of the traditional sport as the battle against the hunt ban reaches Brighton…. Rita Morris, secretary of the Tetcott Hunt in Cornwall, said the protest was "about showing we are normal people unhappy about being stopped from doing what we love"…. However, Michael Moore, from the East Devon Hunt said supporters would fight "tooth and nail" to oppose a ban… David Du Plessis, secretary of the East Cornwall Hunt, said: "There is a prejudice towards hunting that has to be countered, and these demonstrations offer a sensible way to do that."… (story)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 HUNTERS' LAST-DITCH GAMBLE A LONG SHOT - Today thousands of hunt supporters are expected to descend on Brighton to demonstrate outside the Labour Party conference. Labour, however, is in no mood to listen to what Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has contemptuously dubbed the "braying mob"… Eternal optimists may cling fondly to the belief that it is not all over until the fat lady sings, but the stark reality is that all that is left is the final desperate pantomime of protests falling upon deaf ears…. I admit I am no lawyer. And I admit I did initially think a plausible case was possible based on the European Convention of Human Rights. But having re-read the relevant texts I am no longer so convinced… The parliamentary committee was advised that there was no breach of Article 14 because such discrimination would not be based on any status or characteristic of the hunters. That advice strikes me as arguable - but at the end of the day, you would be gambling, as ever, on the opinion of the judges. And that's what the legal challenge would be - a last-ditch gamble. As such, the chances of success are minimal. (story)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 PRESCOTT REVEALS HUNT BAN TRUTH - You've got to hand it to John Prescott. While the rest of the Government prefers to wash its hands of the Bill to ban hunting, blaming it all on those nasty backbenchers, the Deputy Prime Minister has no qualms about sticking the boot into the "toffs" he believes are now getting their comeuppance… There will be plenty who are cheering New Labour to the rafters for allowing a hunt ban to be introduced and will be delighted with Mr Prescott's bullish bragging about it. But there will be an equal number dismayed that an already inflammatory situation has been made worse by a few ill-chosen words. At least now, however, the countryside knows where it stands. Mr Prescott could not have made it more plain that, for the Government, this was a politically-motivated policy. (story)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 BECKETT SNUBS FARMERS - AGAIN - Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett was accused of "treating the countryside with contempt" last night after she failed even to mention the crisis afflicting the Westcountry dairy industry in her set-piece speech to the Labour Party conference. In a speech that focused mainly on the problems of the global environment Mrs Beckett found time to defend the Government's controversial ban on hunting with dogs, but did not address any of the problems besetting the farming industry - let alone offer solutions…. (story)

Western Daily Press 28.9.04 RSPCA HITS AT DOGS OF WAR - Bloodsport supporters from the West will unleash their dogs of war on the Government today - as animal welfare groups fear for the animals' safety. Hundreds of hounds will descend on the Labour Party conference in Brighton as the Countryside Alliance brings its anger to the south coast. As the protest grows ever more bitter, John Rolls, the RSPCA Director of Animal Welfare said: "We are aghast that the Countryside Alliance is now using its members' hounds as political pawns and, in doing so, putting their welfare at risk amid a crowd of angry people…. (story)

Torquay Herald Express 28.9.04 SOUTH DEVON PROTESTORS TO JOIN BRIGHTON DEMONSTRATION - South Devon pro-hunt protestors were expected to be among thousands of people due to protest outside the Labour Party Conference today…. South Devon Hunt secretary Jane Dracup believed there was still hope that their members could change the government plans. She said: "We've got quite a few people going up but I'm not sure exactly how many…. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 28.9.04 Let's have a sense of priorities - Peter Rhodes - A writer to The Spectator says the Government's anti-hunt Bill reflects "a vacuousness of sensitivity to the love and livelihood of law-abiding Middle England." You have to smile. Of all the whoppers associated with hunting, the biggest is that the hunts are law-abiding. They trespass on motorways and railways, kill innocent farm animals and domestic pets… (story)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 DEMONSTRATOR MAKES COMPLAINT OVER TREATMENT BY POLICE - A hunt supporter has made an official complaint over his detention and treatment by police during a stormy protest in Exeter. Five people were arrested after scuffles with police as Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael left a hotel in the city last Wednesday following a picket outside by around 400 pro-hunting protesters. Demonstrator Mike Robins, 41, was not arrested, but was detained for around half an hour on Queen Street. He claims that during that time his mobile phone was damaged and he was patronised and insulted by the officers…. (story)
Mid Devon Gazette 28.9.04 ARRESTS MADE AT PRO-HUNT DEMO - Stormy scenes at a pro-hunting demonstration in Exeter on Wednesday led to two people from the Mid Devon area being arrested by police. About 400 people had gathered outside the Thistle Hotel in Queen Street while Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael was attending the National Parks Association conference…. Susan Allibone's husband Anthony is huntsman for the Dulverton Farmers' Hunt, a pack of foxhounds kennelled at East Anstey. She was one of many people from the area who travelled to Exeter to join the demonstration, but said while the protest was 'bubbly', it was mostly peaceful and the police had done a good job of controlling the situation…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 27.9.04 HUNT PROTEST MAN HITS OUT AT CITY POLICE - A hunting supporter has made an official complaint over his detention and treatment by police during last week's stormy protest in Exeter… Demonstrator Mike Robins was not arrested by police but was detained for around half an hour on Queen Street. He claims he was grabbed for no reason outside Exeter Central station by two of the 60 officers present. During his detention he also alleges that his mobile phone was damaged and he was patronised and insulted by the two officers… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 24.9.04 BLOOD LUST - Hunt supporters were unrepentant today after an ugly mob turned a peaceful protest in Exeter into a shocking display of street violence. But their actions have been condemned by city MP Ben Bradshaw who said there could be no justification for such behaviour…. Veteran hunter Loraine Kelly, from the Silverton Foxhounds, added: "If any minister comes down here we will come out and do things like this… East Devon Hunt member Monique Pike from Sidbury said: "We have got to show the depth of our feeling now in the hunting and farming community. I am prepared to go on hunting if a ban comes in."… (story)
Northern Echo 23.9.04 Minister faces fury of hunters - HUNT supporters clashed with the Government's Rural Affairs Minister as he left a conference last night. A group protesting at the Hunting Bill attacked Alun Michael's car as he left a meeting with the Association of National Parks in Exeter, Devon…. (story in archive)
Western Daily Press 23.9.04 CORNERED BY THE PACK - For a moment, it looked like a scene from the Poll Tax Riots - a furious mob storming through the barricades and scuffling with police in the streets. Pro-hunt supporters said they would continue to hound the Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael and yesterday their protests descended into a brief street fight as the hunters finally came face to face with their quarry in the West… (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 23.9.04 - MINISTER'S VIEW - Hunting has always provoked strong opinions and fierce argument from both sides of the debate. Last week's overwhelming vote by MPs to ban the activity and the subsequent demonstrations by hunt supporters has shown that opinion remains deeply divided…. ALUN MICHAEL MP MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS (story)
Yorkshire Post 23.9.04 MINISTER'S HUNTING FARCE GOVERNMENT SET TO REGRET BAN DELAY - A ROUTINE visit by the Rural Affairs Minister to a community in the heart of the English countryside would, under normal circumstances, barely warrant any attention. However, as a result of the Government's botched handling of the hunting ban which resulted in the animosity witnessed a week ago at Parliament, the very fact that Alun Michael left his Whitehall bunker to meet the Countryside Alliance in the South West became an event itself…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.04 RURAL OUTRAGE - The fury of hunt supporters finally caught up with Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael as he left a Westcountry conference last night…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.04 EGGS FLY AS MINISTER FLEES HUNTING PROTEST - They sought him here, they sought him there..... and yesterday they found Alun Michael in his lair, brought out the pack and, after a long wait, flushed him from cover, reports Martin Hesp… Gilmore Lewis, who is in his 31st season as huntsman with the Dart Vale and South Pool Harriers, growled: "We want him to know that they'll never be able to do it. They'll never be able to police it and we'll just carry on hunting anyway."… Dr Anne Mildmay-White, who works at Derriford Hospital and is a member of the Dartmoor Foxhounds, said: "I'm here because I am a doctor and often I have to take a brush and clean my own waiting room. Why is the Government going to all this trouble to ban hunting when there are far more important things to be addressed - like finding cleaners for hospitals."… (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS PELT MINISTER'S CAR - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael had to run the gauntlet of 400 angry hunt supporters last night after he attended a Westcountry conference…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.04 MICHAEL CALLS FOR PROTESTS TO BE PEACEFUL AND REASONABLE - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael said he would not accept mass protests against the Government's anti-hunting Bill becoming a "licence for violence". Speaking during his visit to a conference in Exeter yesterday, Mr Michael said he had felt a "degree of intimidation" by the protests organised by pro-hunt protesters since the Bill was steered through Parliament…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.04 MINISTERS HAVE TO TAKE THE FLAK - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael's carefully stage-managed "meeting" with pro-hunt supporters in the Westcountry yesterday hardly constituted a normal exchange of views between a politician and those over whom he exercises power. But these are not normal times for the Government or for that section of the rural population it has antagonised with the Bill to ban hunting… clearly concerned that his continued non-appearance at rural events was earning him a less than flattering reputation for bottling out, Mr Michael came to Exeter yesterday - although very much on his terms. In the event, he had a noisy and angry demonstration to contend with as he was driven away. The well-behaved, though forthright, members of the Countryside Alliance who met him were able to make their points, but the massed ranks of the hunt supporters kept out of the meeting could only direct their angry comments at his fast-disappearing car…. That, however, is the price of taking controversial decisions which alienate a substantial minority. Mr Michael and his boss, Tony Blair, are just going to have to live with it. (story)
Daily Telegraph 23.9.04 Minister dodges a shower of eggs - Angry hunt supporters pelted Alun Michael, the rural affairs minister, with eggs last night as he left a conference in Devon.... (story)
Independent 23.9.04 Hounded, a Rural Affairs minister goes to ground to avoid baying of pro-hunt pack By Terri Judd - The members of the hunt waited patiently for their prey yesterday. But government ministers like Alun Michael, it seems, can be even more elusive than the wiliest of foxes. Mr Michael, the Rural Affairs minister, whose steps have been dogged by protesters since MPs voted to ban hunting last Wednesday, managed to elude the chase on several occasions. In the morning, he outfoxed them by not taking his customary train when he headed down to Exeter to speak at the National Parks conference. In the end, they caught him in his car as he left last night. Pelting his car with eggs, the furious 300-strong crowd surged towards the 60 police officers and steel barricades keeping them back…. (story)
Times 23.9.04 Minister gives hunt protesters an early defeat BY SIMON DE BRUXELLES - HUNTERS know you must be up early to catch your quarry. But Alun Michael, the Rural Affairs Minister who has been warned to stay away from the countryside because of the ban on hunting, out-foxed his pursuers yesterday. Mr Michael, who has been criticised for dodging pro-hunt protesters by cancelling visits to Dorset, Lancashire and the Peak District in the past few days, arrived early to address the annual conference of the Association of National Park Authorities at an Exeter hotel. He was due to speak at 4pm but arrived just after 2pm — to jeers from the half-dozen protesters early enough to spot him. By 3.30pm around 200 protesters were blowing hunting horns and waving placards from behind barriers opposite the hotel where they had been penned by police…. (story)
Scotsman 23.9.04 Pro-hunt crowd attacks minister's car - RUSSELL JACKSON - FIVE people were arrested after pro-hunting protesters attacked the car carrying the rural affairs minister, Alun Michael, as he left a meeting last night. As the minister’s car left a conference in Exeter, Devon, it was pelted with eggs by the 300-strong crowd gathered across the road. Protesters threw themselves in front of the car and dozens of others broke through police lines and barricades…. (story)
BBC News Online 22.9.04 Minister meets hunting protesters - Pro-hunt campaigners have met the minister who cancelled two official events in two days because of protests. Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael pressed ahead with plans to speak at the Association of National Park Authorities in Exeter on Wednesday…. Countryside Alliance South West director Alison Hawes led the five-strong delegation to meet Mr Michael. At a joint news conference after the meeting, she said: "We came here to day because the minister made many promises to country people that he would base any future legislation on principle and evidence. "Mr Michael has broken his promises to country people and we wanted to hear why... I'm afraid today we still did not hear any satisfactory answers."… (story)
Horse & Hound 22.9.04 Alun Michael finds excuses as he runs scared - Alun Michael found himself accused of misrepresentation today, after running scared from the rural population for much of the last week. This afternoon, he was due to face his demons in Exeter… (story)
BBC News Online 22.9.04 Minister to meet hunt protesters - Pro-hunting campaigners are expected to meet the minister who has cancelled two official events in two days because of their protests. Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael is pressing ahead with plans to speak at the Association of National Park Authorities in Exeter on Wednesday…. (story)
BBC News Online 22.9.04 Hunt supporters to meet minister - The minister for rural affairs is to meet pro-hunt campaigners during a visit to Devon on Wednesday. Alun Michael, is officailly in Exeter to address the Association of National Park Authorities' annual conference…. (story)
Exeter Express & Echo 22.9.04 HUNT PROTEST PRESSURE ON ALUN MICHAEL - Hundreds of pro-hunt supporters were set to stage a protest in Exeter today at an event being attended by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael. The protesters were planning to demonstrate outside a conference in the city being attended by the minister - who steered the Hunting Bill banning the sport through Parliament…. Devon and Cornwall police were not taking any chances and were preparing to draft in extra officers to oversee the visit if necessary…. (story)

Bournemouth Daily Echo 28.9.04 The class (war) of 2004 by Kevin Nash - IT was one of those laugh-out-loud moments, all the more memorable because I was stuck in a traffic jam on the M25 at the time, which is not usually the sort of situation that puts me in a good mood. I was listening to Jonathan Ross's Saturday morning radio show, and Wossy (as he's known in the biz) was nattering on in his tongue-in-cheek way about the fox hunting debate when he suggested that instead of tearing exhausted little ginger animals to bits, maybe the prey ought to be paedophiles instead, "and we could get people from council estates to run 'em down"…. Neither side in the newly-declared class war has a monopoly on prejudice. Yet strangely, those who don't like fox hunting because they simply don't like posh people, often quite like looking round aristocratic estates. So (while we are laying on the irony) maybe hunting could become another one of the attractions attached to a day out at some toff's stately pile - and if the climax featured a man in mucky raincoat being torn limb from limb by a pack of baying hounds, well, that should help save Great Aunt Lucinda's old Gainsborough from the tax man, shouldn't it? (story in archive)

Shropshire Star 28.9.04 Farmer shoots dead hounds during hunt - Two hounds were shot dead by a farmer in north Shropshire after they wandered onto his land during a hunt gathering, it has been revealed. The incident happened yesterday. Around six riders with around a dozen followers in cars were out cubbing with the North Shropshire Hunt when the man with the gun struck…. (story)

York Evening Press 28.9.04 Here it is again - READER A Ogilvy fails to understand the parallel drawn between the miners and the hunts… after Mrs Thatcher chose to take on the miners, and secondary picketing was made illegal, the strikers became criminals in defence of their, and their families', livelihoods. When hunting with dogs is made illegal, the hunts have pledged to carry on regardless. So when police are sent in to arrest the law-breakers, no doubt violence will erupt. Then those involved will no doubt be classed as violent criminals…. Paul Gledhill, Acomb Wood Close, Woodthorpe, York. (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 28.9.04 Is it in the blood? - HOW predictable that A Ogilvy, a true blue Conservative if ever there was one, says miners fighting for their living behaved illegally compared to people who cannot swap to drag hunting… N Hillen, Wains Road, Dringhouses, York (letter in archive)

York Evening Press 28.9.04 Have a hunt ballot - THERE are many issues to consider when voting at a general election. Hunting is way down the list, so heaven help us if this issue decides who governs us…. Other animal welfare issues are far more important. For example, welfare costs more but the consumer generally buys on price and often the labels are so misleading that it is difficult to tell where food comes from… F Henley, Green Farm, Seaton Ross, York. (letter in archive)

Independent 28.9.04 Hunting down foxhunters, Labour infighting and others - We have the know-how to hunt down the foxhunters - Sir: Your two hunting apologist correspondents (27 September) have both ignored the existence of anti-hunt monitors who go out and film hunt activity in order to collect evidence to support their calls for a ban on the sport. I have, with others, monitored fox-hunts for nine seasons…. Another highly significant factor in enforcing a ban will be the general public. They will be more than willing to report to the police the signs of quarry-hunting which they know so well - hounds running all over the roads, invading gardens and paddocks, killing pets, careering over railway lines… PENNY LITTLE Hunt Monitor, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA), Great Haseley, Oxfordshire (letter)

Mid Devon Gazette 28.9.04 HANGERS-ON AND HUNT PROBLEMS - Oh joy, the hunting season is upon us again. Please read on, I have no problem with hunting. It is the followers and anti-hunt followers I have a problem with. Stopping anywhere they feel, blocking the roads, damaging hedges and dropping litter. I live in the country and this happens most weeks…. Ian Butt, Landrake Bungalow, Chevithorne.
Frustration over ban on hunting - I AM sure you have received letters about employment, minority rights and freedom of choice. Surely the moment has come to consider the fox, the healthy dog fox and the cunning little vixen. It seems Government inquiries are being ignored…. Caroline Llewellyn, Stuckeridge House, Oakford. (letters)

Worcester Evening News 28.9.04 Not just the old and lame that die - WELL, it's that time of year again when the hunt, in all its glory, begins hunting and killing our wildlife for sport. Only at this time of year it is young fox cubs they hunt…. DEANA JONES, Belbroughton (letter in archive)

Yorkshire Post 28.9.04 Fox hunting is for the rich From: Pat Taylor, Frances Street, Scunthorpe. It is a myth that fox hunting is very popular in the countryside. The point is people at the top of fox hunting are invariably the richest people in the village. I refer to "Master of Foxhunting" and his mates….
From: Mrs L Seels, Chapel Hill Farm, Clayton, Doncaster. Shame on the Yorkshire Post for the headline "Huntsman killed boy thinking he was a fox". The gentleman in question was not a huntsman and the report didn't state that the gentleman thought the boy was a fox….
From: Judy Webster, Seagrave Drive, Gleadless, Sheffield. The fox-hunting ban will go through, the same way as the ban on bear-baiting and cock-fighting, public hanging and flogging… (letters)

South Wales Evening Post 28.9.04 HYSTERIA IN HUNT PROTEST - As we know, 100 years ago Oscar Wilde described fox-hunting as "the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible'', and today all decent and right-thinking people believe that hunting is wrong and must be abolished…. recently a Post correspondent called for mandatory four-year sentences for those in breach of any future ban (Democracy challenged, Postbox, September 18). So that's true democracy is it? Really, some of the hysteria, pomposity and vindictive rage coming from the rabid anti-hunt camp can only damage the cause. The note of hypocritical self-righteousness of this letter is quite nauseating…. In the spirit of Oscar Wilde, anti-hunt fanatics are a new breed - "the unspeakable in pursuit of the unedifying''. Patricia Cowling, Redcliffe, Caswell Bay, Swansea (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 28.9.04 DEMOCRACY MUST WIN - The letter on fox hunting by Joan Lloyd-Davies (Postbox, September 21) is long on rhetoric but short on reason. Yes, the fox may have a cruel streak, yet man is the cruellest and most destructive of all the animal kingdom… It is time for the silent majority to take precedence over the vociferous minority. Democracy must not fail us. David Lloyd Davies (no relation) New Road, Llanmorlais, Gower (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 28.9.04 DO HUNTERS THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW? - A Photograph in the Mail (September 16) showed the Holderness Hunt with about 30 dogs all loose on what appears to be a main road…. Is this why these people say they will disobey the anti-hunting Bill - because they think the law does not apply to them? E Poyser, Wimbledon Close, Hull. (letter)

York Evening Press 28.9.04 Blood sports - In all the outcry about foxhunting jobs being lost, hounds put to sleep etc no on has mentioned the barbaric ritual of blooding children…. Mrs D Johnson, Morley
Are those MPs who supported the Blair/Brown illegal war costing countless thousands of lives on all sides the same MPs who voted to ban foxhunting? If so, will these political pygmies resign if Blair and Brown are indicted for war crimes? R emmison, Pontefract (letters)

Western Daily Press 28.9.04 POLICE FENCED OFF A ROUTE TO CREATE DEMO CONFRONTATION - My husband (70) and I (61) were in Parliament Square to support hunting. We arrived on a bus about midday. The bus had brought us along the Thames Embankment before driving around Parliament Square and depositing us on Millbank. The agreement was to pick us up from there at 5pm…. It was very difficult to make our way back against the tide of people, so I can well understand that hunt supporters against the barriers would have eventually been crushed against them, which seems to have invited the police to use their batons to repel them…. It seems to us that the police fenced off the route hunt supporters would use for departure and just waited for the crush to create the confrontation…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.9.04 BAN DOES NOT EXTEND TO RATS - In answer to D Hulin, who asks if the ban on hunting with dogs includes ratting, the Hunting Bill exempts both rabbits and rats from the new law, presumably on the basis that their reaction to dogs does not provide "good sport"…. Gill Purser Cheltenham Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.9.04 RESISTING THIS INTIMIDATION - I hope you are not correct in stating that Mr Blair is planning to do an about turn on banning hunting. Mr Blair has consistently told us, along with Mr Bush, that we must stand up to terrorists before they destroy our way of life. The Countryside Alliance (incidentally, most of them live in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea) are trying to intimidate and terrorise Government Ministers, just as they do our wildlife…. Rosemary Davies Address supplied (letter)

Western Daily Press 28.9.04 FAIR COVERAGE OF KEY DEBATE - Well done for your coverage of the hunting issue. It's the first time I have seen a mainstream newspaper write a fair report from a hunt sab's point of view…. Name and address supplied (letter)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 Coursing forgotten - HAS the hunting with dogs debate been hijacked by the foxhunting element? Rarely are the deer or hare coursing arguments aired. Can anyone seriously justify killing hares for sport, or chasing deer to the point of exhaustion before dispatching them with a bullet… John F Barker, Altarnun, Cornwall
Declaration of war - DESPITE all our peaceful protests, the Government has now declared war on all those who follow the sport of hunting. They will in doing so wipe out centuries of tradition and a way of life for many law-abiding country people…. Jonathan Sumption, Chairman Taunton Vale Foxhounds, Somerset (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 HUNT BATTLE LEAVES COUNTRY FAR BEHIND - Having spent almost as many of the 50 years of my life living in town as in country, and being neither for nor against fox-hunting, I have no particular axe to grind on this issue. My reactions to the current activity, however, are twofold. On the one hand, I am saddened by the appalling waste of time and energy on both sides which could be put to so much better use… On the other hand, I am depressed by the fact that a not insignificant minority of normally law-abiding people who until now had almost blind faith in the democratic process, find themselves so disenfranchised that they turn to violence and lawbreaking and profess preparedness to defy the authority of Parliament even to the extent of going to jail as a consequence… John Coventry, Bodmin (letter)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 TRADITIONAL WAY OF LIFE DESERVES TO SURVIVE - Christine Chandler, Chulmleigh Devon (letter)
Telegraph 27.9.04 Refreshing courtesy I was among those who travelled to Parliament Square from Devon with a local hunt to register my protest about the Bill to ban hunting with hounds. My resolve was strengthened when I got chatting to a 15-year-old boy whose life has been dominated by hunting and country life…. At the end of the day I wished him good night. "Good night, Mrs Chandler," he replied. His courtesy was refreshing. From: Christine Chandler, Chulmleigh, Devon (letter)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 WAS THIS THE LAST THROW OF THE DICE? - The Countryside Alliance's demonstration in Parliament Square last week, when a very small percentage of the 10,000 present tried to break through police lines, was itself a pale shadow of the 400,000 who demonstrated against a hunting ban almost two years ago. One has the feeling that faced with opinion poll results overwhelmingly supporting a ban, and the determination of a clear majority in the House of Commons to see one enacted, this was the last throw of the dice for a minority that doesn't attract much sympathy or understanding in the country at large…. Martin S Bell, Port Isaac, Cornwall
Way of life under threat - BY their likely abuse of the Parliament Act to impose a ban on hunting with hounds, the Government has demonstrated the depth of its contempt for the constitution of this country, for human rights as well as for the principles of conservation and animal welfare… Stanley Johnson, Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Teignbridge (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 DIVERSION IS NOT ABLE TO DISGUISE REAL FAILINGS - Across our parties many support the ban on fox hunting and many would oppose the ban However what is profoundly disturbing us is the Government's current political priorities…. The Government insults the people of this country if it believes it can easily divert attention away from its failings. Coun Steve Radford, Liverpool
Compare suffering - JUST how genuine are the Labour MPs who inveigh against fox hunting on the grounds of cruelty?... I am a natural-born hunter-gatherer and enjoy field sports. But at least I am honest as regards the merits and demerits of the pursuit in which I indulge. Sir John Rawlins, Newton Abbot (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 RURAL ISSUE IS BEING SET BACK YEARS - The pro-hunt lobby must surely accept the vacuous nature of their argument that either jobs or freedom of choice is reason to keep their strange "pursuits"…. Nik Morgan-Heap, Exeter
Thugs seal debate - I HAVE tried to keep a balanced view on the hunting debate, seeing some merit on both sides. However, the arrogant behaviour and threats of the hunting lobby have pushed me firmly to the anti-hunting side…. John Ball, Falmouth (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 MINK MUST BE CONTROLLED TOO - Peter Hain says that the delay in introducing the ban on hunting will enable 20,000 foxhounds to be rehomed or humanely destroyed. As it is virtually impossible to domesticate a foxhound, the majority will have to be destroyed…. C J A Cope, Kings Nympton
Camera catches police in action - CAREFUL examination of a picture captioned "Police tend to a wounded protester" (WMN, September 16) reveals that "tending" is the last thing the police are doing!... Mrs S Clayton, Tavistock
THE picture captioned "Police tend to wounded protester" shows nothing of the kind. A moment`s study reveals two police officers using their extending batons to subdue a clearly helpless protestor lying on the ground…. Geoffrey Pitts, Highampton, Devon
Far from humane method - BY coincidence the letter from B Dymock complaining of the disturbance caused by night-time shooting appeared in the same edition (WMN, September 13) as the report of the sad death of a schoolboy near Totnes during a "lamping" outing to shoot foxes at night. This method of fox control is promoted to a gullible public by the anti-hunting faction as a humane alternative to hunting with hounds…. Jonathan Ward-Hayne, Modbury (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 DEMOCRACY IS FAST BECOMING A FARCE - I was delighted to see the double page headline "Ignorant, urban, uncaring, dictatorial government" (WMN, September 20) of your caring newspaper which gives contributors and readers the freedom to express their views on matters of the day. I agree with every word as it shares my opinion of our present Government…. L A Parry, Falmouth
COLIN Richey (WMN, September 17) feels that the hunt ban should not be a Government priority. I hope he read the editorial about hunting, on the same day, under the headline "Is Blair driving us to civil war?"…. John Phelps, Exeter
Fuelling divide - I NEVER thought I would see the day when our police turned into thugs, as they did at the demonstration outside Parliament… T J Hooper, Hatherleigh (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 BAN WILL AFFECT LIVELIHOODS AND ECONOMY - Foxes are vermin. When they break into a chicken run they just do not kill to eat, they kill the lot. I have more concern over stopping fox hunting because of killing foxhounds, getting rid of fine horses, a devastating number of workers losing their living and the effect on our local economy… R Martin, Plymouth (letter)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 SECURITY CHANGES GIVE VICTORY TO HOOLIGANS - Two voices of sanity have been heard in all the hysteria about security in the House of Commons, those of Robin Cook and the Bishop of Oxford. If hooligans such as Fathers4Justice and the pro-hunt lobby are going to be allowed to influence our security procedures, then heaven help us…. Eileen Noakes, Totnes
Arrogance sways the argument - LET those who hunt, hunt. Let those who disagree, disagree. That was my attitude in the past. But after meeting members of the hunt while driving over Exmoor, my views have changed. They completely blocked the road and we were unable to get through… Henry Oxenham, Flemington, North Devon (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 SUPPRESSION WILL THROW UP ANOTHER OLIVER CROMWELL - I was brought up in a town but have in-laws who are dairy farmers in North Devon and believe I have a good understanding of the difficulties facing rural communities. I also believe when people and communities face desperate times they resort to desperate measures and that was borne out with events in the House of Commons and Parliament Square… Jason Muxworthy, Woking (letter)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 LIFE AT SHARP END OF REAL PEOPLE'S ISSUES - As a doctor working in the NHS, the wife of a serving naval officer and the daughter of elderly parents beset by anxieties over pensions, I am frankly amazed at the priorities of this Government…. Dr Sara Markham, Tavistock
Shotgun is cruel option - THE area where we live is overun with foxes…. When hounds get to the fox, it is dead instantly. It the anti-hunting brigade who are being cruel to the foxes. Hamish Monro, Crediton (letter)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 CONTROL WILL GO UNDERGROUND - Having watched the TV news I was amazed that the Government could pass a vote to ban hunting when the Commons appeared to be half-full and the Prime Minister didn't even vote… Mrs A Hills, lverton
Apathy suggests insignificance - IF the Prime Minister is apathetic enough on the issue of banning foxhunting not to cast his vote, how is it that this Bill is so important that the Parliament Act will be enforced to pass it? Sue Holdsworth, Newton Abbot
Refute urban interference - WITH the re-introduction of the Hunting Bill imminent, it is not an option for hunt supporters to sit idly by and await developments. They must forcibly make their objections known and reiterate that they will not accept uninformed interference… W T Sweet, Mawgan (letters)

Western Morning News 28.9.04 A cunning plan - ONCE again Baldrick Blair baffles common sense with a cunning plan! Ban hunting - who cares if anyone is offended? Back Bush and bomb Baghdad, Basra, Belgrade and any other place and offend half the world - couldn't care less!... Richard Brown, Holsworthy, West Devon (letters)

Leicester Mercury 28.9.04 ABHORRENT TO A CIVILISED SOCIETY - Ian Eperon's views (Postbag, September 20) on the ban on fox-hunting and democracy in Parliament are plausible, but nonetheless flawed. He argues that the Commons should not ban fox-hunting as it does not harm anyone's interests. However, one can equally well argue that badger-baiting, cock-fighting and dog-fighting do not harm anyone's interests…. Nigel Wollen, Leicester. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 28.9.04 FIND OUT HOW FOX MUST FEEL - With reference to the current debate about fox-hunting, I believe that I have the answer to the problem, one that would satisfy both the anti and the pro-hunting factions. All the people in favour of fox-hunting should register their names with the local huntmaster. On the day of the hunt, while the stirrup cup is passed around, the name of the "lucky" person is drawn out of the hat. The winner is given half an hour's start, then they could experience the thrill the fox must undoubtedly feel of the chase first hand. At the end of the chase, they would know just what the fox feels when it is thrown to the pack of hounds…. M J Spencer, Eyres Monsell. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 28.9.04 RIGHT TO FIGHT FOR LIVELIHOOD - Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the pro-hunt protest in Parliament Square on September 15. While I would not normally condone violence, I can understand and sympathise with those who felt the need to resort to such measures…. J Minshull, Witherley (letter)

Shropshire Star 28.9.04 Pro-hunt arhuments are simply not right - So Sam Beaver (Leebotwood) believes the hunt pumps approximately £250 million into the rural economy. The exaggeration is unbelievable…. V Duncalfe, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 28.9.04 Hunters kill more than just the foxes - Thank you Rev James Thompson for your letter on September 20 regarding hunting - a fine letter which I totally agree with. When I was young I was a groom in racing and hunting stables and on four occasions I went to the hunt… I am delighted that hunting with dogs has been banned…. Mrs J Jones, Telford (letter)

Shropshire Star 28.9.04 Behaviour made the police feel ashamed - Forging documents and and disrupting the House of Commons is the type of behaviour you would expect from big city yobs who are the worse for drink after a night on the town. You do not expect this kind of behaviour from country dwellers, especially the elite of the Countryside Alliance…. The Countryside Alliance have been ambushed by the pro-hunting brigade…. Ray Williams, Shifnal (letter)

Shropshire Star 28.9.04 Stop ritual slaughter - Now that the Labour Party, which included both Mr Wright and Mr Bradley, has voted to ban the barbaric sport of fox hunting (their words) I think it's time we moved on to an even more barbaric animal rights issue. That is the practice of killing animals by cutting their throats and leaving them to die…. Selwyn John Knowles, Woodside, Telford (letter)

The Sentinel 28.9.04 THINK AGAIN ON ANIMAL CRUELTY - Could I address a number of issues raised by recent correspondents to The Sentinel? Team chasing is not an alternative to hunting. To take part in this sport, you need to be young, fit and slightly mad. The vast majority of people who hunt could no more team chase than compete in the Grand National…. Hunting is a natural form of predation. A pack of hounds will never catch a young, strong fox…. With great respect to the North Staffordshire Hunt, if I wanted to raise my profile and gain access to the glitterati, I wouldn't start there…. PHILIP MOORE Trentham Park (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 28.9.04 NOT A CIVIL LIBERTY TO COMMIT CRUELTY - It's simply not done, at least, not in the best circles. I mean, one doesn't disrupt Parliament when it's sitting to debate whether a 'country pursuit' is cruel or a matter of civil liberty - what if we all did it?... There can be no civil liberty to be cruel. That is why Adrian Sanders and 355 other MPs, despite being intimidated by the hunting brigade in full cry, voted to end hunting with dogs, and hopefully, it will be confined to the dustbin of history where it belongs! LEN SHORT St James Road Torquay (letter)

Northern Echo 28.9.04 HUNTING: JL THOMPSON'S rather silly letter (HAS, Sept 22) proved my suspicions that the vast majority of the anti-hunting protestors are more to do with petty envy than conviction…. Harry Mead's heart-tugging poem no doubt appeals to the sentimental, but a fox in a hen hut is certainly not sentimental about its killings…. Shelagh Harnby, Stockton-on-Tees. (letter in archive)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.9.04 WRONG TO THINK OF RURAL AS SEPARATE FROM URBAN Ben Bradshaw, just like the rest of Tony Blair's cronies, inadvertently shows his true colours in his quest to justify every measure imposed upon us by the Westminster Band of Brothers… He now attempts to enrol Exeter itself as an ally against those spoilt country folk. Apparently, we keep their sub-post offices, their schools and their social services operational and they even expect roads and police at 'our' expense… If the police had brutalised an ethnic gathering as they did the Countryside Alliance, the whole force would have been on the carpet by now. In actual fact, they would have surrounded it and protected it. As a socialist at heart and a lukewarm supporter of the right to hunt, Mr Bradshaw, I could no more support you in an election nor the Labour Party's current coterie of yes-men and party propagandists who prosper at the taxpayers' expense, far more than any working man who lives outside a city and thereby earns your contempt…. R A Higgs, Rydon Lane, Countess Wear, Exeter (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.9.04 DON'T LET SMALL MINORITY DICTATE TO GOVERNMENT - I watched with pride the veterans of Arnhem dropping in their parachutes to the spot where they had to face waiting German SS troops 60 years ago. Compare them with the louts protesting against the hunting ban at Westminster and Exeter. It makes one despair…. Where do all these demonstrators come from when only a small group of people are seen at the hunt start - the rest farmers driving around in their cars hoping to be in at the kill… Name and address withheld on request (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.9.04 BRIGHTON COULD PROVE TO BE TONY BLAIR'S NEMESIS - The Labour Party conference at Brighton could prove to be Tony Blair's nemesis. As much as he wants to try to forget the problems in Iraq and talk about domestic issues, delegates will make sure that Iraq comes back to haunt him. He also has to contend with the Countryside Alliance lobbying him over the hunting ban and the in-fighting between him and the Chancellor Gordon Brown… Colin Richey, Lazenby Road, Tiverton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.9.04 SECURE ACCOMMODATION CAN KEEP FOXES AT BAY - I have to reply to D J W Headon's letter, Points of view, September 23, who obviously knows nothing whatsoever about the fox. It is no more vicious than any other wild animal. He talks about the death of chickens. Had they been put in secure pens or houses, the fox could not get in…. Bill Harvey, Sidbury (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.9.04 I WAS ASHAMED TO SEE VIOLENCE OF HUNT PEOPLE - I never thought I would wish to apologise for being a country dweller, but after the two appalling exhibitions by country folk in London and Exeter, I am ashamed. I shall never forget the elderly woman in the crowd at Exeter, whose face was contorted with such hatred and rage, or the children who surely should have been at school, mouthing off at the police… It is high time the hunt fraternity came to its senses. Democracy has beaten them and they must be made to accept that. They have had seven years to stop breeding and training their hounds…. Lena Holgate, Newton Abbot (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.9.04 NO ONE SHOULD CONDONE ANTICS OF VIOLENT MOBS - There are probably many people in this country who have no strong views either for or against hunting and who think our MPs should be debating other topics. They may be right, but surely every right-thinking person in the land will deplore the actions of the loutish mobs, who have recently demonstrated both in London and Exeter… P Webber, Crediton, Lane, Crediton (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 28.9.04 THE PROPAGANDA WHICH SLURS OUR COUNTRY DWELLERS - I Am sure that many will find the letter from David McLeish ("Blair caved in to the backbench socialists", September 24) insulting to the vast majority of those strongly opposed to hunting with dogs. I do not "harbour extreme socialist ideology" and it would be ridiculous to apply this description to MPs like Ann Widdecombe and the late Alan Clark, who have shared strongly my feelings on this subject…. DR K. E. JONES Wragby Road, Sudbrooke.
I am not a hunt follower as I think that it is a very inefficient way of destroying vermin but as countryman born and bred I would defend the right of traditional country pursuits…. Having seen how many MPs were actually in the chamber debating the subject I wonder how many of the MPs who voted against hunting has actually discussed the matter seriously…. J. KEAY Rochester Drive, Lincoln
Are the four wheel drive "samplers" and the pro-hunt rabble one and the same, opting for a terroristic campaign as a precursor to "civil disobedience" in an attempt to intimidate farmers into supporting them by faking up a scenario where the latter are led to believe that animal shooting "townies" will be the "norm" if fox hunting is banned?... MICHAEL R. KEMSHALL Wragby Road, Lincoln.
It was quite ironic to see some of the pro-hunt supporters bleating on television when they had been hit by the police for being unruly… CRAIG THORNTON, Welton
First they came for the smokers and I did not speak out - because I was not a smoker. Then they came for the hunters and I did not speak out - because I was not a hunter…. Anglers, football fans and motorcyclists are all in the minority. What will you let them ban next? HOWARD KIRBY Isleworth, Middlesex.
Ban fox hunting? No, ban fox hunters. Then you have banned the lot. See, good. It was a daft game anyway…. J. MULRENNAN, Lincoln.
To stop hunting will ruin a British way of life in the countryside… MRS M. L. THIMBLEBY Cabourne Avenue, Lincoln. (letter)

News Shopper 28.9.04 Let’s stop barbaric practice - I would like to reply to the opening sentence of Rachel Bradman's opinion piece (News Shopper, September 15). Does she know how many farm animals are legally slaughtered every day using ritual methods practised by certain religious minorities?... When I hear passionate pleas on behalf of, and see action taken to enforce the humane slaughter of, all animals, whose lives are entirely devoted to feeding us, I will listen with more sympathy to the anti-hunting people… Mr Altie Bacon, Knoll Road, Bexley (letter)


Mirror 27.9.04 BLAIR DIDN'T WANT HUNT BAN By Rosa Prince Political Correspondent - TONY Blair yesterday admitted he did not back the controversial fox hunting ban voted through by MPs. The Prime Minister said he had favoured a scheme for tribunals to grant hunts licences.... (story)

BBC News Online 27.9.04 On the trail of Alun Michael - The protesters' banners and the shouting said it all: Alun Michael, the minister hunted by the hunters was about to arrive. But hang on, these were not the red tunics or green waxed jackets of the countryside lobby. Instead, they were the blue and white strips of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club… Pro-hunt protests have caused Mr Michael to cancel two recent events on police advice about public safety and his car was pelted with eggs outside a public meeting in Exeter…. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation reception instead applauded the minister as he underlined Labour's pledge to support fishing and shooting. He was thanked for his work over issues such as protecting fish from cormorants, although the lobby stressed it "passionately disagrees" with his position on hunting…. (story)

Telegraph 27.9.04 Ex-miners will lead pro-hunt protest - Pro-hunting former miners will seek to embarrass Tony Blair tomorrow by leading a demonstration on the day of his address to the Labour conference. The Countryside Alliance has chosen the Banwen Miners' Hunt, from south Wales, to head its procession because it wants to challenge the idea that hunting is just an upper-class activity.... (story)

Times 27.9.04 Foxhunters prepare for election cull of MPs who back a ban BY VALERIE ELLIOTT, COUNTRYSIDE EDITOR - HUNT supporters have drawn up a priority list of 50 constituencies in an attempt to oust anti-hunt MPs at the next general election. Huntsmen and women are to be urged to offer support to candidates — mainly Conservatives — who will repeal any hunting ban and fight to introduce licensed hunting. … The choice of seats is certain to provoke Labour Party accusations that hunt supporters are acting as a wing of the Conservative Party. The Countryside Alliance has no formal involvement in this strategy and has made clear that it cannot involve itself directly in election campaigns…. (story)

Guardian 27.9.04 Cherie gives fox campaigner the brush-off as puppets and plugs are banned - Kevin Maguire - Cherie Blair outran a fox yesterday, fleeing up a flight of stairs to escape a furry glove puppet on the hand of an animal rights campaigner. The League Against Cruel Sports hoped to present Reynard to the first lady as a present for Leo but, with blood sports enthusiasts vowing to lay siege to Brighton tomorrow, Mrs B was anxious to avoid cuddling up to a fox in front of the TV cameras…. (story)

Guardian 27.9.04 Assault on 'cuddly' Lib Dem image ahead of Hartlepool byelection … Tony Blair yesterday warned pro-hunters against breaking the law and praised Alun Michael's efforts to find the kind of compromise the prime minister himself had backed…. Mr Blair said he would not use the Parliament Act to enforce the will of the Commons unless no further compromise could be found… (story)

Western Mail 27.9.04 Angry Rhodri warns 'bullies' - BESIEGED Welsh MPs have warned pro-hunt "bully boys" they will not be bowed by their campaign of intimidation. Speaking at the Labour Party Conference yesterday, First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Secretary Peter Hain issued a defiant message to pro-hunt demonstrators a day after Mr Hain's Neath home came under siege from 100 demonstrators… (story)

Western Mail 27.9.04 Hain's turn to feel the pain of protests - FIRST victim then villain, Peter Hain's start to the Labour Party Conference could not have been worse. The Welsh Secretary and Commons Leader had a rude awakening at the weekend when he became the latest target of pro-hunt supporters…. (story)
BBC News Online 26.9.04 Hain at party conference after demo - Leader of the Commons Peter Hain MP is attending the first day of the Labour Party conference following a demonstration by hunt supporters outside his home…. Protesters, who cut off the water supply to Mr Hain's house, initially refused to talk to the MP but later changed their minds and four of them talked to him on his driveway…. (story)
Sunday Telegraph 26.9.04 Hain apologises after calling Iraq 'fringe issue' By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor - Peter Hain was sharply rebuked by the Prime Minister's officials yesterday for describing Iraq as a "fringe issue". The Leader of the Commons was forced to retract comments described tersely by Downing Street as a "slip of the tongue". Mr Hain, who spent the day besieged in his home as hunt supporters demonstrated outside, played down the significance of events in Iraq as he attempted to project an upbeat message for the Labour Party conference beginning Brighton today.... John O'Shea, a retired shop steward from Merthyr who described himself as "Labour through and through", said he got up at 4am to join the demonstration, which began at dawn.... (story)
Scotland on Sunday 26.9.04 Fox hunting supporters lay siege to Hain's home - NICHOLAS CHRISTIAN - FOX hunt ban protesters surrounded a Cabinet minister’s house for more than nine hours yesterday. More than 100 supporters of hunting surrounded Welsh Secretary Peter Hain’s cottage near Neath, South Wales, from 6am, with the aim of preventing him travelling to Labour’s annual conference in Brighton. They agreed to disperse only after Hain had sat down with a group of demonstrators at a picnic table in his driveway to discuss their grievances. Hain said the protesters had cut off his water supply and frightened his wife, but insisted the demonstration had not disrupted his schedule…. (story)
Wales on Sunday 26.9.04 Hounded Hain keeps his cool - Leah Oatway, Wales on Sunday - WELSH Secretary Peter Hain was under siege for eight hours yesterday when pro-hunting campaigners trapped him inside his house. The demonstrators barricaded the Government minister's Neath home in a bid to stop him travelling to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton…. (story)
Western Mail 25.9.04 Pro-hunt group block Hain's home - PRO-HUNT demonstrators today barricaded a government minister's home in a bid to prevent him from travelling to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. More than 100 protesters gathered outside Welsh Secretary Peter Hain's cottage in Resolven near Neath in South Wales as he prepared to join Prime Minister Tony Blair and other ministers, MPs and Labour members…. He added that he had recently met with the master of the Banwen Miners Hunt. "It was a very constructive meeting and he said he was satisfied and promised that people would not protest outside my home. If people from outside the constituency have decided to ignore this then that is a matter for them."… (story)
BBC News Online 25.9.04 Hunt supporters step up protests - Hunting supporters have stepped up protests ahead of the Labour Party conference by staging a demo at the home of Commons leader Peter Hain. More than 150 people blocked the lane leading to Mr Hain's house near Neath, in south Wales for several hours. They initially said they wanted to stop him travelling to the Labour conference in Brighton but dispersed at 1400 BST after talks on his driveway… John O'Shea, a retired factory worker from Merthyr, who got up at 0400 GMT on Saturday to join other demonstrators, said it was the working-class who hunted, not just "a gentleman in a red coat"… (story)
BBC News Online 25.9.04 Pro-hunt demo ends at Hain's home - Pro-hunt demonstrators have ended a protest at the south Wales home of the Leader of the House of Commons Peter Hain…(story)
BBC News Online 25.9.04 Pro-hunt demo at Hain's home - Pro-hunt demonstrators are outside the south Wales home of the Leader of the House of Commons Peter Hain in protest at plans to outlaw hunting with hounds…. Mr Hain confirmed that he was inside the house and had offered to meet protesters but that this offer had been declined…. Mr Hain added that he had recently met with the master of the local hunt in his constituency, Banwen Miners Hunt. "It was a very constructive meeting and he said he was satisfied and promised that people would not protest outside my home," said Mr Hain…. Darren Hughes of the Countryside Alliance who is among the protestors said: "We want Mr Hain to stick to his promise and bring legislation based on evidence before the House of Commons… (story)

Western Mail 27.9.04 Conference diary - ONE senior Welsh MP has suggested that politicians might want to get their own back on the hunt protesters at the Labour Party Conference. After pro-hunt supporters turned their attention on Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, the loyal MP said, "The Countryside Alliance have a stall over there, we should go and picket that to see how they like it."… (story)

Western Morning News 27.9.04 NO COMPROMISE ON HUNT BAN, SAYS BLAIR - JASON GROVES LONDON EDITOR - Tony Blair was last night accused of trying to "wash his hands" of the hunting row after he ruled out any compromise over a ban… Speaking as the Labour Party conference got under way in Brighton, the Prime Minister said he had not voted for the Government's controversial Hunting Bill earlier this month because he preferred the "compromise" solution devised by the Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael last year. But hunt supporters last night warned that they would continue to hold Mr Blair responsible if the Government pushes through a ban later this year. … (story)

Western Morning News 27.9.04 TONY'S TROUBLES MAY JUST HELP HIM IN THE END - As the Labour Party conference begins, London Editor Jason Groves looks at what the week holds for Tony Blair… On foxhunting, too, Mr Blair faces a superficially difficult time….But, paradoxically, both issues could help the Prime Minister. The sight of thousands of angry hunting supporters outside can only assist Mr Blair in winning over many on the left who feel he is simply not one of them. Politics is always easier when the "enemy" can be identified… (story)

Western Daily Press 27.9.04 PRESCOTT: MY WAR AGAINST HUNTERS - Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott last night declared class war on hunt supporters. He attacked them as a "braying mob" and dismissed tomorrow's expected protest at the Labour Party Conference as a chance to "give the foxes another day off "…. (story)
Western Daily Press 27.9.04 PRESCOTT SAVAGES BRAYING HUNTERS - Pugnacious John Prescott declared class war on hunt supporters yesterday - the day after they besieged a Cabinet colleague at his home The Deputy Prime Minister attacked the "contorted faces" of the "braying mob" expected at Labour's Brighton conference tomorrow for Tony Blair's keynote speech…. (story)
Lincolnshire Echo 27.9.04 PARTY TO 'GOVERN FOR A GENERATION' …. Hunt protests - HUNTING: John Prescott hit out at the "braying mob" of pro-hunt protesters due to demonstrate outside the conference today…. (story)
Daily Post 27.9.04 At least it gives foxes a day off By Robert Merrick, Daily Post - JOHN Prescott branded pro-hunt protesters a "braying mob" after demonstrators besieged Welsh secretary Peter Hain in his home. The deputy prime minister also attacked the "contorted faces" of prohunters, in a barnstorming speech to open the Labour Party conference… (story)

Gloucester Citizen 27.9.04 COUNTY VOTE AGAINST BAN ON FOX HUNTING - People in Gloucestershire believe the ban on fox hunting is wrong, a new survey has shown. And a county campaigner who stormed the House of Commons says he is going to continue his protest at this week's Labour Party Conference in Brighton. David Redvers, from Hartpury, says he will be causing chaos during the conference in Brighton and will be among 10,000 Countryside Alliance protestors descending on the seaside town…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 27.9.04 PRO-HUNTING CAMPAIGNERS PUT THEIR FAITH IN RELIGION By Pam McClounie - PRO-HUNT supporters in Cumbria are signing up to a new religion to protect country sports in an attempt to stem the Government’s plans to ban fox hunting. The Free Church of Country Sports claims up to 700 people a day are signing up after the hunting bill passed through the House of Commons…. Anne Wybergh of Cumberland Farmers’ Foxhounds says she knows some Cumbrians who have signed up to the ‘religion’ since the Hunting Ban was passed by the House of Commons last week…. (story)
Western Mail 25.9.04 Campaign turns to religion - PEOPLE have been signing up in their droves to a religion aimed at protecting country sports in another attempt to stem the Government's plans to ban fox-hunting. Between 400 and 700 people a day have joined the Free Church of Country Sports since the Hunting Bill was passed by the House of Commons last week, according to its website… (story)
BBC News Online 24.9.04 Members flock to hunting 'church' - A group planning to fight a hunting ban under race discrimination laws says its membership has surged since MPs voted through a ban last week. The Free Church of Country Sports says 400 to 700 people a day have signed up, bringing official membership to 6,058…. (story)

Cumberland News & Star 27.9.04 DEMAND TO HAND HUNTING ACTIVISTS OVER TO POLICE - By Mark Preskett - CARLISLE MP Eric Martlew believes Cumbria’s hunting community are sheltering the activists who daubed graffiti on grass outside Carlisle Castle…. He said: “These people are just common criminals who should be brought before the courts. People in the hunting fraternity know who these people are and are sheltering them. They should give their names to the police…." (story)
Cumberland News & Star 25.9.04 HUNT GRAFFITI PROTEST By Mark Preskett - MILITANT pro-hunt activists have daubed graffiti on grass outside Carlisle Castle. The two-metre high lettering which reads ‘RCA No Ban’ has been scorched onto turf in front of the castle using weed-killer. A second piece of graffiti – painted onto a roadside sign in Dalston – reads ‘No Hunting Ban Eric’, believed to be a reference to Carlisle MP Eric Martlew who backs a foxhunting ban…. (story)

Cambridge Evening News 27.9.04 Good bill hunting? From Neil Barber, West End, Whittlesford - IT'S bad enough that people should write to you comparing Tony Blair with Hitler over a hunting ban, without you deciding to publish the letter… Democracy working, sure. (letter)

Times 27.9.04 Dealing with hunt protest aftermath - Sir, I share Mr William Crawford’s concerns (letter, September 23) over images of members of the Metropolitan Police lashing out at protesters with their batons, some from behind barriers. I served in the Met from 1975 until 1984 and was on duty at the Grunwick demonstrations, the Notting Hill Carnival and the Brixton and Southall riots…. The recent scenes outside Parliament suggested that command and control had broken down into absolute panic. Officers appeared untrained and unprofessional…. DAVID TUCKER, PO Box 92, Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7FX.
As I told the media after the pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square, if there is evidence of overreaction by police officers then it will be investigated and any necessary action taken…. JOHN STEVENS, Commissioner, Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard, Broadway, SW1H 0BG. (letters)

Yorkshire Post 27.9.04 John Chilton, Grange Avenue, Spofforth, near Harrogate. I thought that Chris Berry's article published on September 17 was witty and incisive. However, I think that he was mistaken when he stated that the rural constituencies "are not going to vote for his party, whatever happens"…. Success in any constituency comes from intensive leafleting and canvassing, combined with meticulous recording, telling and shepherding of potential voters. If the Tory Party confirms that it will repeal the fox hunting ban if it comes to power, it should persuade the Countryside Alliance members to become activists at that time…
From: Norma Bartle, Woodlands Grove, Cottingley, Bingley. Thank you Bill Carmichael: if only the Government were able to see the fox-hunting debate so clearly. It seems to be a red herring of the most scarlet hue…. (letters)

Bolton Evening News 27.9.04 Hain's protesting won't wash with us - AFTER the recent incursion into the House of Commons by five T-shirted hunt protesters, it was inevitable that Peter Hain would appear in the media suitably indignant. Those of a certain age will remember Mr Hain in his youth, running around in his T-shirt digging up pitches at various sporting venues protesting about this, that and t'other… Michael Ford, Moss Lane, Bolton (letter in archive)

Nottingham Evening Post 27.9.04 MP COMMENTS ON A LOT MORE THAN JUST HUNTING - Mr Bailey (September 15) writes that as a Post reader he only sees anything from me about hunting. This is odd, as I've recently had comments published in the newspaper and its Beeston supplement on ChildLine, community service officers, dentists, the tram, Stapleford health centre, crime and anti-social behaviour, specialist schools, adult literacy programmes, fair trade, Midland Mainline trains, pensions, religious prejudice and ritual slaughter… I agree with Mr Bailey that it's far from the only important issue, but neither human nor animal suffering should ever be completely ignored…. NICK PALMER MP House of Commons London
Not the Dr Palmer I know - I was saddened by the comments made regarding Dr Nick Palmer implying he has shown little interest in his constituents' wishes. I have always found Dr Palmer to be a very considerate and hard-working MP…. , Dr Palmer campaigned for election clearly supporting the Labour Party, and cited Animal Welfare and Hunting as a key personal belief. I do not believe he should be criticised for sticking to his guns… R. J. HARPER The Strand Attenborough (letters)

Grimsby Telegraph 27.9.04 HUNTERS SHOULD KNOW BETTER .. The adult fox, stag and hare hunters are old enough to think themselves out of their largely inherited hunting habits (nothing ever lasts.) Almost all Conservative MPs favour fox hunting; while almost all Labour MPs are against it…. Max Nottingham, St Faith's Street, Lincoln. (letter)

The Sentinel 27.9.04 THE WORST MAY BE ABOUT TO HAPPEN - The letter from Paul Gregory (The Sentinel, September 22) refers to the Parliament Act being the vehicle by which the Government has obtained the passing of the anti-fox hunting Bill. What many people may be unaware of is exactly what the Parliament Act is all about. Put simply it represents the end of democracy in this country…. here is a further Bill currently being considered by the lower chamber which, if it comes into law, will enable the Government, and not just Labour but any government, to take away every last vestige of democracy. I refer to the Civil Contingencies Bill… . The Bill enables the government of the day to declare a state of emergency for literally anything that upsets it. This includes a disruption of the rail network, a breakdown in the supply of electricity, gas or water, disruption in the health service, a bank strike, the list goes on and on… Our current rulers are not giving satisfactory service, and the current opposition is frightening, so perhaps a new broom is needed, why not give UKIP a chance, they could do no worse. GEOFF MASSEY Stoke-on-Trent (letter)

The Sentinel 27.9.04 HUNTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN HALTED IN 1997 In response to GJ Kelly's letter (The Sentinel, September 21), Labour could have stopped fox hunting ages ago by backing a Private Members' Bill in November 1997. Instead, Labour has wasted parliamentary time by continually stalling on a ban on fox hunting every time MPs vote overwhelmingly for one (around half a dozen times). MARK RICHARDS Newcastle (letter)

Shropshire Star 27.9.04 Why don't Red Coats go to work at Butlins? - Having lived in the country in Shropshire for many years I have always tried my best to care for the wildlife I am lucky enough to spend my time with…. Looking at the pictures of people in London defending the rights of country people, I wondered which planet they came from. I was invaded one afternoon some months ago by a pack of hounds and those very same people. No respect for my garden or bit of land, no permission, no apology…. Sandra Dowsing, Melverley (letter)

Shropshire Star 27.9.04 Hunting is a way of life not a hobby - As a mother of two young children and a member of one of the oldest hunting families in Britain, I can fully understand the anger and frustration that drove Otis Ferry and his comrades to take such drastic action. To us hunting is not a hobby, it is a total way of life…. In 2002 407,791 people marched through London in support of hunting but still this Government hasn't listened. They should not underestimate the power of minorities - I and many others will do anything to save hunting. Jane Miles, Shrewsbury (letter)

Worcester Evening News 27.9.04 One rule for Labour, another for the rest - BEING a Conservative with a small c as well as a large one, I have never favoured direct action…. However, hunt supporters have many examples to prompt, if not to justify, taking direct action. CND, trade unions, environmentalists, animal rights activists and hunt saboteurs have a long track record. Many of them are Labour supporters, or like Peter Hain, even government ministers.So it is a bit rich of them to complain now…. FRANCIS LANKESTER, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Mail 27.9.04 Mobs must not rule - I am vehemently anti-hunting, purely on the grounds of its cruelty, and not because of an allegiance to some mythical class war, but I will always defend the pro-hunt lobby's right to peaceful demonstration. I was therefore sickened by the violence in Parliament Square last Wednesday and the attempt, on the same day, by a gang of thugs to disrupt the Parliamentary process… It is crucial to the defence of our hard-won rights to freedom of speech and democracy that mob rule must not be allowed to prevail. PAUL GRAY, Little Dock Street, Cogan, Vale of Glamorgan (letter)

Torquay Herald Express 27.9.04 HUNTING NOT MAIN ANIMAL RIGHTS ISSUE - Regarding the letter 'Ritual animal slaughter' (September 21). Someone has at last voiced my thoughts and now I feel compelled to add my two penneth! J F Saunders has hit the nail on the head. The fox can escape if he is fit enough, and that is what mother nature decrees - survival of the fittest… Shouldn't the people of this country and the Government get their priorities right? K BALSOM, Kingskerswell Road, Newton Abbot (letter)

Northern Echo 27.9.04 FOXHUNTING: I MUST correct N Smith (HAS, Sept 20) as he is clearly mis-informed about hunting's class structure…. At a guess, maybe 75 per cent of the protestors that day were working class, the very people Mr Smith accuses the "hunters" of trying to suppress. The protest was not solely about foxhunting, but about the banning of hunting with dogs, including legitimate pest control with terriers and lurchers…. Pat Blewitt, Darlington.
I AM sick of all the fuss this Government and the animal rights people have caused. The biggest percentage of them are townspeople who have no education of the glorious countryside we live in…. H Smith, Darlington.
HEAR All Sides (Sept 16 and 20) posed the question: "Was the invasion of the Commons by pro-hunt campaigners justified?"… A majority of the population who were educated during that period are now demonstrating against one section of the populace forcing its views on another minority. It is the case of the superior versus the inferior…. Thomas Conlon, Spennymoor
IT isn't absolutely necessary to end a hunt with the tearing apart of a fox…. Change with the times as the rest of the world has had to, and instead of whining on about "losing a way of life" seek a progressive way of maintaining it. - Paul Dobson, Bishop Auckland.
WHY can't the hunting fraternity carry out their sport as drag hunting? This would mean all jobs, hounds and horses would be preserved, plus an extra job of trail laying…. J McDonell, Darlington.
ANIMAL rights activists are now breaking the law if they gather in groups to intimidate scientists. So how come pro hunters can gather, get away with trying to blackmail Tony Blair into letting them continue with their sport… R Laycock, Shildon. (letters in archive)

Scunthorpe Telegraph 27.9.04 DON'T FORGET A BATTERY, OFFICERS - Along with a lot of other people, I was appalled to see the relish with which British police officers in Parliament Square were using their truncheons on the heads and faces of people who were only exercising their democratic right to protest against the actions of this increasingly dictatorial Government… Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby. (letter)


BBC News Online 26.9.04 Prescott attacks pro-hunt 'mob' - John Prescott has branded pro-hunt protesters a "braying mob" and denied that the countryside is a no-go area for the Labour Party…. The Hull MP was opening the debate on Labour's sustainable communities policy paper…. And in a swipe at Otis Ferry, one of the protesters who invaded the commons, he said: "Today is Bryan Ferry's birthday - many happy returns and give my love to Otis and Foxy Music."… (story)

BBC News Online 26.9.04 Blair: I'm not the wobbling sort - Tony Blair has vowed not to buckle in the face of protests over Iraq and hunting at Labour's conference and denied claims he considered quitting…. Hunt vote - As well as anti-war protests, thousands of hunting campaigners are set to march in Brighton on Tuesday to demonstrate against the planned hunting ban. They began their demonstrations by barricading Leader of the House of Commons Peter Hain into his south Wales home on Saturday. Asked why he had not voted on the issue in Parliament this month, Mr Blair said: "There was a compromise proposal last year and that was the one I backed." …. (story)

Observer 26.9.04 We got away with it, say hunt leaders - Antony Barnett and Mark Townsend - The leaders of Britain's fox hunts have boasted that they 'got away with it' after the demonstration outside parliament which ended in violent clashes with the police, a leaked memo reveals. Despite publicly condemning the ugly scenes, a confidential memo sent from Stephen Lambert, chairman of the Council for Hunting Associations (CHA), reveals senior figures in the hunting world gloried in the publicity surrounding the 15 September protests. They described the storming of the Commons as an 'epic'…. (story)

Observer 26.9.04 Beware the bobble hat - Badly dressed ramblers on route marches are spoiling the countryside - Richard Ingrams - Supporters foxhunting ask us to appreciate the traditional picture of the hunt in full cry. But there seems to be an almost equal number of people who see red, both literally and otherwise. I cannot myself get very worked up either way. If only I could feel a similar kind of indifference towards the rambling fraternity, who were out in force last weekend following the implementation of the government's new right to roam policy…. here is nothing in the least romantic about the parties of ramblers that I see regularly in my neck of the woods, all of them uniformly dressed in anoraks and bobble hats, some with Ordnance Survey maps hung round their necks in little canvas containers…. welcome to Mr Blair's new-look New Labour countryside. Out go the men in red coats. In come the men in bobble hats. I can't think of it as an improvement. (story)

Observer 26.9.04 Five days by the seaside - Conference flashpoints - Hunting - What's the problem? The threat of blood on tweed again, as pro-hunt protesters descend en masse to demonstrate against a ban on blood sports…. (story)

Independent on Sunday 26.9.04 Open season for master of hunt protesters - Investigation: The increasingly militant action against MPs is being orchestrated from the top of the Countryside Alliance By Severin Carrell - The Labour-supporting head of the Countryside Alliance sanctioned secret plans to target government ministers, which led to yesterday's blockade of Peter Hain's home in Wales, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. John Jackson, 69, the alliance's chairman and a member of the Fabian Society, confirmed the targeting of ministers and MPs had his "complete blessing". The alliance began drawing up the plans more than a year ago…. Mr Jackson denied that the CA has sanctioned attacks on MPs' home and offices. However, ministers claim the alliance's stance will backfire, hardening the resolve of Labour MPs and alienating ordinary voters. "It won't help the fox-hunters' cause, the backlash is beginning," said one. (story)

Sunday Telegraph 26.9.04 I'm so glad I chose not to be English By Kevin Myers - Do you people in England - and I don't mean Britain - realise what an unpleasant-sounding bunch you now are?... it's not merely what I read and hear about England, but the actual tone in which it is expressed, that tells me what an awful, self-hating country it has become. The tone takes many forms. There was an extraordinarily obnoxious opinion-piece by one Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times last weekend, in which he exulted in an undergraduate gloat at the defeat of the "toffs" in the hunting Bill.... No such bilious caricatures would be tolerated about any minority group of non-English origin in an English newspaper: so why is it acceptable to talk so offensively about the English rural community - and this, God help us, from an "assistant editor" of The Spectator?... (story)

Sunday Telegraph 26.9.04 The hunt ban is all about class - so bring out Kevin and Vinny By Melissa Kite - The manor houses of Warwickshire and Gloucestershire are beginning to take on the febrile atmosphere of 17th century England during the Gunpowder Plot. Aristocratic families, furious at being treated like criminals, are plotting the downfall of Tony Blair. Doomed though their efforts might be, there is no doubting the depth of grievance they feel at the Government's attempt to crush a peaceful minority - not the recusant Catholics, but the huntsmen and women to whom the freedom to chase across country on horseback might as well be a religion.... the last thing that needs to happen is for this issue to become a straight fight between Mr Blair and the aristocracy. The tweed brigade will not win this.... We must hear from the lads who follow the hunt on quad bikes and the thousands who hunt on foot. People such as Tariq Ramzan, who competed in the Waterloo Cup this year. There are many Muslims in the north of England who are members of terrier clubs.... The Banwen Miners' fox hunt, who protested outside Peter Hain's home yesterday, will also lead the demonstration at the Labour conference this week.... (story)

Sunday Herald 26.9.04 Blood On Their Lands - Fox-hunting isn’t a big deal but the class issues that the posh pro-hunting lobby have stirred up are - Ian Bell - REPORTS, none of them yet dignified with a denial, tell us that the Prince of Wales intends to carry on hunting and killing foxes this winter, no matter what MPs have to say…. Charles is a dedicated fox-killer, like all his tribe, and has taken care to ensure that his sons acquire the obnoxious habit…. A majority of MPs, duly elected, want hunting stopped. This might (though I’m sceptical) cause a degree of rural unemployment in the English shires, albeit unemployment that could be averted if the fox-killing funsters could get their heads and stirrups around the idea of drag-hunting…. The problem for the hunt lobby, and for all that they claim to represent, is clear enough. On the one hand they want urbanites to leave them alone, to allow them to go on regulating their own, forelock-tugging affairs as they have always done. On the other hand, when it suits, they want their “way of life” subsidised to the hilt… (story)

Sunday Herald 26.9.04 Tory Rude Boy - Peter Ross had great expectations of Boris Johnson – editor of The Spectator, novelist and a bright young MP touted as a pretender to the Conservative throne, who has a reputation as being an utterly charming buffoon. But did he live up to it?... After a bit, Johnson gives a speech. It is vintage BJ; he makes a big thing of being muddled but is actually pretty coherent, he uses terms both obscure (“recrudescence”) and invented (“left-wingery”), and espouses traditional Conservative values, broadly that fox-hunting is good and tax is bad…. “I think very often socialists are endlessly disappointed by the fallibility of man, and want to perfect our species and iron out kinks,” he says. For instance, they dislike the fact that someone can enjoy hunting. They have a revulsion against that state of mind. There’s something very intolerant about left-wingers, generally. You should glory in the imperfections of man. It’s a mistake to try to sandpaper off every flaw.”… (story)

Irish Independent 26.9.04 Anti-hunting lobby seeks UK saboteurs - HELEN BRUCE - IRISH hunt saboteurs have invited their English counterparts to travel here to fight for a ban on fox-hunting in Ireland, the Sunday Independent can reveal…. The popular Hunt Chase at the RDS Dublin Horse Show has this week lost its sponsorship by Swatch, for which the Irish Council against Blood Sports claimed the credit…. If the HSA does visit, it will not only be fox-hunters who appear on their most wanted list. A special section on its website is devoted to sabotaging angling. It said anglers were an easier target as they were less "inherently violent"….. (story)

Sunday Mirror 26.9.04 KIDS' CHARITY PRIZE ..GO HUNTING FOXES By David Hudson BRITAIN'S biggest children's charity has sparked a storm after a fox hunting weekend was auctioned off at a fundraising bash. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children made £8,000 when the jaunt, which was donated by Otis Ferry, was sold. Mr Ferry, who led the raid on Parliament by hunt supporters two weeks ago, offered the prize of two days with the South Shropshire Hunt... (story)

People 26.9.04 COPS TELL CHARLES: STOP FOX HUNTING - It will cost £250k to protect him By Dean Rousewell - POLICE have begged stubborn Prince Charles to give up foxhunting immediately - because of the estimated £250,000 cost of protecting him from attack. They fear if he and Camilla Parker Bowles keep hunting in defiance of the Commons vote for a ban it will be almost impossible to guarantee their safety... (story)

Sunday Times 26.9.04 Letters to the Editor: Barbarism or good rural husbandry? - MINETTE MARRIN (Mud, blood and the joy of chasing foxes on a horse, Comment, last week) wants us to share in her nostalgic memories of her first blood, at the age of nine…. have ridden and owned horses from the age of nine, been an active member of both pony and riding clubs, ridden with the Staff College and Sandhurst Draghounds… I have friends who are farmers and friends who own and ride horses and by no means do they all support fox and stag hunting. Like me they consider it barbaric and cruel. Sue Lovett, East Cottingwith, York
CRUEL: Until people like Rod Liddle (Snobbery, cruelty and the inhumanity of the hunt, Comment, last week) focus on the far greater cruelty to animals, such as the ritual slaughter of animals in the preparation of Halal meat, then their views on foxhunting can only be viewed as hypocritical…. David Masey, Billingshurst, West Sussex
TOFFS: I have rarely read such an ill-informed, peevish article. If, as Liddle believes, the countryside is inhabited by undesirable toffs and dim peasants, isn’t it lucky that this countryside, which we have shaped over the centuries, is so attractive that millions of urban dwellers want to roam and enjoy it. Nick Nichols, Llandysul, Ceredigion
HUMANE: As a marksman and Forestry Commission licensed pest controller, I must say Liddle is wrong. The increased use of firearms to control foxes will lead to greater risks to the public and to other livestock and lead to a great many wounded foxes, which will die a painful death — something that does not happen when hunted by hounds… Roger Giles, Weston, Northamptonshire
CLASS WAR: Liddle has suggested that it was not merely proper but laudable to pass legislation based on the “visceral loathing” in which one part of the community hold another. What if the law had been concerned with coarse fishing… Oliver Sparrow, London SW6
TAXING: It is one thing to use my taxes to support struggling farmers to produce food and maintain the countryside. It is quite another to subsidise a private playground for activities both cruel and unnecessary. The government must withhold all subsidies and tax breaks from those farmers and landowners who take part in hunting. Bob Delamare, Cranleigh, Surrey
KOSHER: As a Pony Club veteran, I appreciated the majority of Marrin’s argument in favour of foxhunting. As a Jew however, I was horrified by her comment about the “distasteful ritual slaughter of millions of animals according to Jewish and Islamic law”. Kosher and Halal slaughters are carried out by slitting the animal’s throat as quickly as possible…. Samara Ginsberg, Harrow, Middlesex
HYPOCRISY: My wife and I are animal rights advocates who do not eat meat. We send letters of protest to organisations who mistreat animals…. Our letters are not only ineffective but will be seen as hypocritical while hunting with dogs continues Gerry Balcombe, York
NATURAL: Thank you for Marrin’s article. It would’ve been easier to keep her head down below the parapet. It is said every wild animal is entitled to a “natural” death. What on earth does this mean to a fox or any carnivore? If it becomes too old or too sick to hunt for itself, it starves to death. Tony Pascoe, Bristol
So Marrin thinks that quite a lot of toffs are tall, good looking, clever and slim. What about Prince Charles?... Steve Daly, Cardiff
CLONES: What an unspeakably ghastly world Liddle’s nirvana of “unrestrained class war” would be with no one left in the country but millions of Rod Liddles… Geoffrey Fielding, Guildford, Surrey (letters)

Scotland on Sunday 26.9.04 Pro-hunt lobby outfoxing Blair - ONCE again Gerald Warner has mounted his hobby-horse and is riding into the fox hunting debate using arguments Basil Brush on acid would know to be nonsense. He predicts that "civil war is coming..." Correct me if I am wrong, but did he not pronounce something similar prior to the ban on fox hunting in Scotland? Back in the real world, it will be interesting to see if police forces in England use the same powers they have been given to control animal rights demonstrators against the pro-hunt lobby…. John Robins, Animal Concern (letter)

Sunday Telegraph 26.9.04 A fair hearing - Your references to my opposition to the hunting Bill were perceptive and accurate (News, Sept 19). However, in one respect you were wrong. My Parliamentary Labour Party colleagues may not have agreed with me, but I had a fair hearing and there was no sign of animosity or unpleasantness. Barry Sheerman MP, (Lab, Huddersfield), London SW1 (letter)

Sunday Telegraph 26.9.04 Cat hunting - As I can no longer hunt with dogs, can I hunt with cats?... Jonathan Midgley, Newbury, Berkshire (letter)

Sunday Telegraph 26.9.04 The alien mink - As Lembit Opik pointed out (Comment, Sept 19), rabbits and rats are exempt from the proposed hunting ban; however no mention was made of mink. Presumably MPs are as ignorant of the 23 mink hunts in England and Wales as they are of the countryside in general…. (Mrs) Karin Proudfoot, Longfield, Kent (letter)

Observer 26.9.04 Divisions and democracy - If we 'city dwellers' (Comment, last week) fail to understand the countryside, it may be because so many country people have tried to keep us out of it…. Rightly or wrongly there seems to be a majority against hunting with hounds. That being so, then as David Aaronovitch says, the decision taken in Parliament is democracy working…. Terence Letch Burnley, Lancashire
David Aaronovitch and Matthew Fort seem to be confused about the hunting debate. My family has spent some 120 years trying to make a living farming in a damp but beautiful North Yorkshire. For at least half that time we were urged to produce as much food as possible as cheaply as possible…. We feel marginalised, threatened and powerless. Feeding the nation, caring for the environment and being the guardians of an amazing rural heritage should be a noble thing. Anthony Bradley, Settle, North Yorks
For Matthew Fort to argue that foxhunting shouldn't be banned because it is less harmful than the ways we keep animals to be bred for food is frankly daft. Jeremy Denton, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
I am 13 and was offended by Mark Townsend's piece ('Why the Ledbury set went to war', News, last week). My family and I moved to Ledbury when I was a baby, and we have found it to be friendly… Olivia Hennessy, Ledbury (letters)

People 26.9.04 TALLY NO! EAMONN'S WRONG ON FOX HUNTS - I USUALLY find Eamonn witty and fun but his piece on fox hunting was sheer rubbish. He says he's not qualified to speak on the issue so why try? The facts are most people want to end the cruelty... Martin Reagan, Wetherby, W Yorks
I AGREE with Eamonn. The whole idea of horsemen dressed in red jackets chasing a fox with a pack of hounds is vaguely ridiculous. But if they want to do it then why stop them?... Colin Aspden via email
EAMONN has missed the point. The problem is that fox hunters regard ripping to bits a wild animal as SPORT.... Kevin Wilson, Cottingley, Leeds (letters)

Bedfordshire on Sunday 27.9.04 Hunting row rages on - Steve Lowe is far too experienced and talented a journalist to have written that miserable article on hunting. It is, quite frankly, beneath him. The Countryside Alliance and members of the hunt are by no means all Tories and 'toffs'. They cover people from all walks of life…. Nicky Attenborough Conservative group leader, Bedford Borough Council and borough councillor for Kempston East
Steve Lowe's essay on class warfare titled 'Hunting Tories have a good sulk' was predictable, mischievous and wrong. Hunting supporters are drawn from all political backgrounds, income levels and social 'classes'. What drives them has driven minorities throughout British history - the fight for individual freedom in the face of overbearing authority… Paul Ivey, George Street, Maulden
I would like to make a few points in reply to Steve Lowe's piece about hunting. People who are pro-hunting or oppose banning hunts come from all parties - many supporters of Labour and the Lib Dems are involved… Celia Hanbury, Conservative borough councillor for Turvey
In Steve Lowe's column last week he wrote: 'There is a small element of rural reactionary Tories who have always thought the laws of the land were for other people'. Correct me if I am wrong, but when did the Hunt Saboteurs Association have any regard for the law? We all know that over the years both they and factions linked to them have been responsible for acts of arson, breaking into hunt premises and releasing hounds onto the highways… M Wilsher, Wellington Street, Bedford
Shame on you pro-hunt supporters. It just goes to show the type of people you are - no respect for anyone or anything…. Trudie Abbott, Millwright Way, Flitwick (letters)

Luton on Sunday 27.9.04 Hunt for truths - MADAM - Has everyone missed the point about the fox hunting ban?... Fox hunting is not humane. It is a cruel, outdated tradition, just as it was once a tradition to put small children up chimneys to clean them…. This time of year is known as fox cubbing season when the new hounds are introduced into the pack by hunting mothers and cubs to death… If, at the end of the day, there is no kill then the terrier men, who all travel around the countryside on their quad bikes (so much for the concern for the environment), will be brought in. Their bikes are equipped with boxes on the front to enable them to carry either dead or alive foxes which have often been bred by the hunt because of fox shortages in the area… If a hound is reluctant to attack, it is usually smeared with the fox's blood to encourage its instincts. If that fails then it will be taken back to the kennels and culled for meat for the rest of the pack…. Name and address supplied
The Parliamentary Bill to abolish fox hunting which provoked the violent confrontation at Westminister was very little to do with animal welfare but everything to do with political dogma…. are we to assume that all anti-fox hunting campaigners and other humanitarian groups are vegetarians? If not, they should visit an abattoir to see how their neatly packaged pork chops and burgers begin their journey to the supermarket or McDonalds; or do they think the pigs die laughing? Derek Godfrey, Tarnside Close, Dunstable (letters)

Wales on Sunday 27.9.04 Get on your bikes - ONE of the main thrusts of the protesters' arguments in Parliament Square concerning banning fox hunting was that it was for them 'a way of life' and that they would still carry on doing it irrespective of whether it was made illegal. Do these people, then, also think that other acts which are illegal can have the laws governing them broken too?... Michael Turner, Pontypool, Gwen
THERE are a number of misleading arguments being put forward by the powerful fox hunting and stag hunting lobby. They include: - 'Banning these sports would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs'. Fact: Not one job needs to be lost because all the hunts need to do is change over to drag hunting…. Once this barbaric sport is banned future generations will find it hard to understand what all the fuss was about. Rob Curtis, Barry (letters)


Leicester Mercury 25.9.04 JUST OVER HALF OF VOTERS OPPOSE HUNTING BAN A narrow majority of readers voting in our on-line poll say they are opposed to a Government ban on fox hunting. The week-long website vote closed yesterday after prompting more than 550 responses. The poll on the Leicester Mercury internet site thisisleicestershire revealed 52 per cent of voters were against the ban, while 48 per cent of those who took part welcomed plans to press ahead with the legislation…. Yesterday, police said they were called to a private Labour Party meeting after pro-hunt demonstrators stormed the gathering. Officers estimated 100 campaigners assembled at the venue in Kidderminster to protest against the proposed hunting legislation, before a small number managed to force their way into the building and stop the 20-strong meeting of Labour activists…. (story)

Coventry Evening Telegraph 25.9.04 Hunt clash 'not with police' By Duncan Gibbons - Fox hunters in the county today ruled out making a formal complaint over their treat-ment by police during a pro-hunt rally in London. Four members of the Warwickshire Hunt were hurt when officers drew their batons at a 15,000-strong demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament last Wednesday…. Antony Spencer, 31, joint master of the hunt, said officials had considered contacting the Police Complaints Authority but their stance had now changed… our argument is not with the police, it's with the government. Eighty per cent of the police were very good and very understanding. It was only a small element who went over the top and got heavy-handed."… (story)
Coventry Evening Telegraph 24.9.04 Hunt fury at police action - Warwickshire Hunt officials are considering lodging a formal complaint over their treatment by police when last week’s pro-hunt protest in London turned sour. Several members of the Kineton-based hunt were left bruised and bloodied after getting caught up in rioting as MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs last Wednesday… (story)

Spectator 25.9.04 What was so amazing about the invasion of the Commons? Nothing - Matthew Parris - What guff people do talk. To read the hysterical press which greeted last week’s pitch-invasion in the Palace of Westminster you would have thought the unguarded nature of the Commons Chamber was news to anybody… For Pete’s sake, traumatised editorialisers, have you never visited the Commons?... (story)

Spectator 25.9.04 DIARY - Jemima Lewis - The imminent ban on fox-hunting saddens me mainly for reasons of nostalgia. I am far too much of a sissy ever to have hunted: I would fall off my horse as soon as it moved, and cry if the poor little fox got caught. But I am romantic enough to love the Olde Englishness of the hunt: the Surteesian image of pink-coated squires racing across a pastoral landscape… (story)

Spectator 25.9.04 HIGH LIFE - Day of shame - Taki - When Tony Blair went to lunch at Cetinale, Tony Lambton’s grand Tuscan villa, this summer, at least five good friends of mine were present. The subject of the ban on hunting obviously came up. Blair was honest about it. ‘I don’t care that much one way or another, it’s the party that does...’ A month later in London things ain’t what they used to be. People who would never dream of breaking the law had their heads broken by cops, who looked to me eager to hurt everyone, including women and oldies. Why the sudden zeal? It’s as if the cops, who have been cooped up in their stations all these years playing computer games while the muggers have taken over the towns, have suddenly found an enemy whom the race board will not complain about…. (story)

Telegraph 25.9.04 'I'd be happy to die for my cause' - Otis Ferry, the 21-year-old master of foxhounds who broke into the debating chamber last week, hates Londoners, chews his nails and would prefer to live in the eighteenth century. Alice Thomson meets him… Patricia, South Shropshire’s club secretary, was enjoying a picnic in Parliament Square when she heard that Otis had broken in.... (story)

Telegraph 25.9.04 PM to launch domestic policies at conference - Tony Blair is hoping to use the Labour Party conference in Brighton to launch a set of policies on domestic issues which he hopes will dominate the general election campaign expected next spring. The annual conference is in danger of being overshadowed by rows over the Iraq War and the proposed ban on fox-hunting.... (story)

Independent 25.9.04 Revealed: pro-hunt campaign of hate - By Terry Kirby Chief Reporter - Militant pro-hunt groups are targeting Labour MPs and government ministers in a growing campaign of abuse, threats and intimidation over the decision to ban hunting. An investigation by The Independent has established that there have been at least a dozen such incidents over the past fortnight, both before and after last week's violent clashes outside the House of Commons. And yesterday, hunting supporters warned MPs of more "direct confrontations" in coming weeks as the Bill returns to the House of Lords…. (story)

Western Mail 25.9.04 Rein inhunt protests,Alliancewarned - LEADERS of the struggle to save fox hunting were yesterdaywarned by a Government minister to rein in their more extreme supporters. Rural affairs minister Alun Michael, right, who is shepherding the Hunting Bill through Parliament, urged the Countryside Alliance to tone down their language and take responsibility for the behaviour of their supporters…. (story)
Western Morning News 25.9.04 YOU CAN'T STIFLE HUNTING DEBATE - The Countryside Alliance last night rejected a demand by Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael for the hunting debate to be confined to Parliament and not be discussed on the streets or in the media. Infuriated leaders of the 100,000 strong Alliance instead promised Mr Michael that they will converge on the Labour Party conference at Brighton in their thousands on Tuesday to engage him in public debate…. (story)
Daily Mail 24.9.04 Minister: Rein in the hunt protestors - Leaders of the struggle to save fox-hunting were today warned by a Government minister to rein in their more extreme supporters. Rural affairs minister Alun Michael, who is shepherding the Hunting Bill through Parliament, urged the Countryside Alliance to tone down their language and take responsibility for the behaviour of their supporters…. "The only place for this debate is in Parliament, not on the streets or in the media…." (story)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 WE WILL TARGET BLAIR IN BRIGHTON, WARNS COMMONS INVADER - A West hunt supporter who gate-crashed the House of Commons, promised the Prime Minister yesterday there would be more chaos at Labour's Party Conference. Stud owner David Redvers was part of a gang of pro-hunt activists who stormed Parliament last week as MPs prepared to vote on a hunting ban. Yesterday, Mr Redvers, from Hartpury, Gloucestershire, pledged more of the same disruptive behaviour at the conference which gets under way in Brighton tomorrow….(story)

South Wales Evening Post 25.9.04 WHAT PRICE LIFE, LYDIA? - So 12-year-old Lydia Morgan has refused to stop hunting… There is no place for hunting in today's society and I can assure Lydia that I for one am not one of the people who "feel the same way"…. Pippa Carvell, Ael-y-Bryn Road, Fforestfach, Swansea (letter)

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 25.9.04 Barbaric pastime - Mike Priestley and Phil Boase (T&A September 18) carry on the idea that fox hunting is all about pest control. If that is so, why the pre-hunt speeches and drinks, the fancy dress and bizarre rituals? Cynthia Trasi, Kirkgate, Shipley. (letter in archive)

The Sentinel 25.9.04 TIMES CHANGE - Most foxhunters are people who have high moral standards and take part in church, village and country affairs, sit on local magistrates' benches and on school and hospital governing or management committees and are generally concerned about the wellbeing of others. These are not my words, but those of the Duke of Beaufort. After recent weeks, all I can say is how times change…. Neil Seaton Marston Bank Rocester (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 25.9.04 Man the barricades From Mike and Ingrid Michalak - Swaffham Road, Burwell - AFTER reading that a member of the hunting fraternity predicts some sort of civil war in the countryside following a ban, might we make this plea? We both have our scythes and bill hooks sharpened and would be grateful for any information as to where the good citizens of Cambridge plan to muster…. (letter)

Times 25.9.04 Dealing with the hunt protesters - think it entirely appropiate that Peter Hain should be dealing with the consequences of the invasion of the Chamber (report, September 22) for few MPs can have more experience of civil disobedience than he has…. Those who invaded the Commons to publicise what they see as a just cause were merely emulating the young Peter Hain of 35 years ago… GERRY HANSON, Potters Lodge, 74a Slough Road, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire SL0 0DY
Mr John Tingey (letter, September 17) notes that the poll tax provoked civil disobedience that led to the fall of Margaret Thatcher… then, as now, the Prime Minister was faced by an anarchic, self-centred mob. Yours faithfully, COLIN MOULE, 6 Bourne Road, Chesterton, Cambridge CB4 1UF.
Will parliamentary whips have to change their name? ANDREW CURRIE, 52 Cumberland Street, SW1V 4LZ (letters)

Telegraph 25.9.04 Averting the politics of class war - The Labour MP who told Lembit Opik that the hunting Bill was "about the miners" (News, Sept 16) knows nothing of the history of field sports in the South Wales valleys. The Bwllfa Hunt, for example, was established for the miners in 1920… who saw to it that the hounds were in the vicinity of one of their collieries around 2.30pm when the morning shift was coming up and the afternoon shift was going in…. I have never hunted in my life, but I shall be proud to welcome the Glamorgan hunt to Caercady in February; not least to uphold my family's traditional aversion to the politics of class war. Rhidian Llewellyn, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan (letter)

Independent 25.9.05 Hunting folk in town - I have lived and worked in the countryside all my life. I am delighted that the Countryside Alliance and pro-hunt brigade have taken their deplorable behaviour to town. Perhaps now you urban folk will understand the true meaning of anti-social behaviour and how it works in the countryside…. J SMITH, Saltburn, North Yorkshire
The eight men who broke into the House of Commons and disrupted proceedings on the most outrageous and unjust piece of legislation ever to curse Britain are heroes…. VENETIA APPELBE, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
… Until now I have not hunted with hounds. However, this morning I have sent off my subscription to the local hunt and am trying to cope with what lies ahead…. PETER URQUHART , Warminster, Wiltshire (letters)

Western Mail 25.9.04 Government has guts to take on hunting fraternity - In response to the emotionally-charged attack on the Labour Party by Frank Marsh (letters, September 17)… to this Government's credit, they have had the guts to take on the hunting fraternity…. GERALD CROCKER Ynys-hir, Coed-y-cwm, Pontypridd
Health, education and pensions are more important - 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 aspects of education at sixes and sevens, what does our Government decide to do? Waste its time getting hunting banned…. DR FELIX AUBEL Llety Aeron, Aberaeron (letters)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 HYPOCRISY OF THE HUNTERS - How hypocritical of Mr M J Smith to justify hunting by saying a shot and wounded fox would die in agony and her cubs starve to death. What about the hunted fox that is ripped to pieces and doesn't return to the lair anyway?... Mr R Gerrish, Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 ARROGANT BULLIES WILL BE BANNED - I am delighted that, yet again, the anti-hunting with dogs bill has been voted in, but there is no room for complacency. The animal killers are still there, thirsting for blood. We need a proper wildlife protection law equipped with big teeth…. A Richardson, Warminster, Wiltshire (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 FACTORY FARMING IS CRUEL LIFE SENTENCE - I was delighted that there is to be a ban on hunting with dogs. But I find it very hard to understand that so many other animal welfare issues are not taken into account. You reported recently that the RSPCA is soon to launch a campaign on the intensive rearing of chickens who spend their lives on a space no larger than a piece of A4 and in semi-darkness. Just how cruel is that?... June Coates, Stratton-St-Margaret, Swindon. (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 PROTESTERS HAVE SHOWN WHO THUGS ARE - After years of accusing animal rights activists of being thugs and hooligans, members of the blood sport fraternity are now showing their true colours… P Richardson, Cirencester, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 LABOUR IGNORING WORKERS' RIGHTS - I have hunted all my life, like many others, loving and rejoicing in an activity that is so much more than just a sport. I am appalled at the Government's ban. In the space of a few hours on September 15, the Government did more to promote social division than Ivan the Terrible on a bad hair day…. Fiona Cameron, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 PLEASURE OR PAIN - I do not understand why the Government seems more concerned about wild animals being killed "in the pursuit of pleasure" than about the hundreds of thousands of aborted fetuses… Jacqueline E Fisher, Address supplied >(letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 TURNER MUST GET INTO THE COUNTRY - The breathtaking bigotry about fox hunting from Western Daily Press columnist John Turner leaves me wondering if he has ever really come to terms with his roots. Here we have an extremely articulate radio presenter and broad- caster who continually pontificates on the merits or otherwise of hunting and fox control with horses and hounds, but seems continually unable to separate these things from his apparent desire to continue to fight some archaic class war…. Andrew Banks, Bristol (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 THE INVADERS - We have seen the true face of the pro-hunting thugs - invading our cradle of democracy, the floor of the House of Commons and assaulting our brave policemen and women in Parliament Square…. P Dorney, Bristol (letter)

Yorkshire Post 25.9.04 From: Mark Swales, Kirkham Road, Whitby. REGARDING the letter from Phyllis Capstick, (September 15), she says it is rubbish that a fox is chased for hours. I had the misfortune of witnessing a hunt one day…. don't any of you ever dare tell me this barbaric "sport" is not cruel. You should be ashamed of yourselves
From: John Grice, The Close, Durkar, Wakefield. Surely the hunting vote should be called the ignorance and bigotry debate based on knowledge and common sense…. Why did the Government spend many thousands of pounds on the Burns Report only to ignore its findings?...
From: Jim Ross, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear. Since the Abortion Bill came into effect, about a million babies have been destroyed. Imagine the outcry if they were foxes. So ban hunting – but don't ban angling, Tony. Working lads fish – and look at the Labour voters you would lose….
From: J P Lister, Smithfield Close, Ripon. No doubt the Prime Minister and his cohorts will rejoice at the result of the vote on the hunting ban. Despite this hollow victory it is obviously an example of class warfare by the Labour Party…
From: Alan Carcas, Cornmill Lane, Liversedge. Perhaps the most nauseating thing about last week's demonstrations in Parliament Square and the House of Commons was the parade of Labour MPs complaining about "thugs and hooligans".
From: K Cox, Ancholme Gardens, Brigg, Lincolnshire. Presumably those vocal protesters against fox hunting are all vegetarians. Otherwise, how do they reconcile their charges of cruelty over the killing of a few free foxes with the raising in captivity and mass slaughter of countless numbers of chickens, lambs, pigs and cattle solely for human consumption? (letters)

York Evening Press 25.9.04 Come on, Hugh - OUR MP Hugh Bayley has apparently voted to ban fox hunting. Whatever is that, he asks? But Hugh does whatever Blair says Hugh must do - the perfect yes man…. Peter Gibson, Deepdale, Woodthorpe, York. (letter in archive)

Cumberland News & Star 25.9.04 MEAT-EATING HYPOCRITES - I AM not a vegetarian, but I know many who are… People eat meat out of tradition and for enjoyment – not for nutrition. Long may this choice continue in a free society. I accept the cruelty argument against hunting but only from vegetarians who do not eat meat for moral grounds, and not because it is trendy…. C. MARSHALL, Kirkbride
ILLY Saffill asks the anti-hunting groups if it is cruel to leave cubs to starve to death underground after the vixen has been shot or snared. Of course, it is cruel but it is just as cruel for cubs to be left to starve when a lactating vixen is killed by the hounds…. ELAINE M. MILBOURN, Torpenhow, Wigton
I DON’T hunt with hounds, but it is wrong to ban hunting…. M. JOYCE, Aglionby
OLUMNIST Jane Loughran wrote a stirring piece in defence of hunting (News & Star, September 22), but has she heard of drag hunting?... MIKE BIRD Maryport
… The fox debate is about class warfare and prejudice. CAROL SMITH, North Street Fletchertown
WHY don’t politicians stop wasting their time with fox hunting and get on with “proper” government?... JOHN WARMINGHAM, Wetheral (letters)


Leamington Spa Courier 29.9.04 The bloody hunt debate - A Warwickshire fox hunter injured in last week's pro-hunting demonstrations in London has spoken about his ordeal. Anthony Warmington, 26, of Butlers Marston was caught up in rioting and struck by a police baton as he demonstrated in Parliament Square with members of the Warwickshire Hunt…. Mr Warmington has accompanied hunts as a foot follower as a hobby for 15 years. He denies the sport is cruel or the preserve of a privileged elite…. (story)
Banbury Guardian 23.9.04 PRO-HUNTING PROTESTER BLOODIED BUT UNBOWED A HUNTSMAN from Kineton was among protesters injured in clashes with police in London last week. Farm labourer Anthony Warmington, 26, needed five staple stitches in a head wound after being clubbed by an officer's baton in Parliament Square while protesting against a proposed ban on hunting with dogs…. Dianne McDougall, from the Warwickshire Hunt, backed Mr Warmington and the protests…. Robert Vallance, secretary of the Bicester Hunt, backed the invasion…. The Heythrop, Warwickshire and Bicester with Whaddon Chase hunts have all said their members will head to the south coast this weekend aiming to disrupt proceedings and force the Government to change its mind over a ban on hunting…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.9.04 ALLIANCE: WE CAN'T GUARANTEE PEACE - Pro-hunt campaigners have admitted they cannot guarantee all their protests will be peaceful following this week's near-riot in Exeter….. The Countryside Alliance, which organised the 400-strong protest, says all its demonstrations are intended to be peaceful but "feelings are running high"…. (story)

BBC News Online 24.9.04 Hunting supporters storm meeting Labour Party members attending a closed meeting were targeted by pro-hunt demonstrators who stormed the building…. There were angry scenes in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, on Thursday when demonstrators surrounded Agriculture Minister Lord Whitty after he made a speech to dairy farmers. (story)
Worcester Evening News 24.9.04 Hunting mob storms meeting - MORE than 150 pro fox-hunting protesters gatecrashed a Labour party meeting last night to barrack Labour MP Mike Foster - but he was elsewhere…. Protest organiser Peter Swann, of the Albrighton Woodland Kennels, near Kidderminster, said: "For some unknown reason, a barman opened the fire exit and about 30 of us went and sat in the meeting before we were asked to leave."… (story in archive)
Wolverhampton Express & Star 24.9.04 Pro-hunt protesters lay siege to meeting By Pete Carroll and Rebecca Jones - Angry scenes broke out when some 200 pro-hunting campaigners stormed a closed meeting of Labour party members in Kidderminster… The protesters had been seeking to confront Worcester MP Mike Foster who has been a leading light in the campaign to ban fox hunting. Mr Foster had been due to address members of the Wyre Forest Labour Party general management committee but was not able to attend… Among the protesters was the Peter Swann, Master of the Albrighton Woodland Hunt, who said the protest had been intended to be peaceful and he was not aware that anyone had been injured… (story)
Birmingham Post/Mail 24.9.04 Hunt protestors storm meeting - Labour Party members attending a closed meeting were targeted by pro-hunt demonstrators who stormed their gathering, police said today. Around 100 campaigners assembled at the venue in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, to protest against hunting legislation…. (story)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 24.9.04 Our noble right to say what's wrong By Nigel Hastilow - Peter Hain - born in Kenya, educated in South Africa, elected in Wales, Leader of the House of Commons in Westminster - has never dug up a cricket pitch. He says he didn't so we have to believe him…. But someone did and that someone was an activist in the anti-apartheid movement led by Peter Hain when he was a Young Liberal in the early 1970s. So we shouldn't take too seriously this man's blatherings about defending democracy from the disreputable and disgraceful depredations of a few protesters…. In Mrs Thatcher's day, people like Peter Hain called it "an elected dictatorship" and went on about how Hitler's Nazi party came to power by winning an election. They don't go on about that so much these days… just because a bunch of lefty Labour MPs wants to ban something, it doesn't mean that is the last word on the subject. Especially in a democracy. The people of this country have defied the will of Parliament many times in the past and been proved right. There's no reason why they should stop now. (story)
Post & Times 24.9.04 HUNT PROTEST HITS MEETING - LESLIE JACKSON - Police were on standby as more than 100 countryside campaigners packed a parish council meeting on Monday night. The meeting was originally set up for local MP Charlotte Atkins to speak to Ipstones parish councillors, but campaigners from Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and the Peak District turned up to protest after MPs voted last Wednesday to ban hunting with dogs…. Police were on standby as more than 100 countryside campaigners packed a parish council meeting on Monday night. The meeting was originally set up for local MP Charlotte Atkins to speak to Ipstones parish councillors, but campaigners from Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and the Peak District turned up to protest after MPs voted last Wednesday to ban hunting with dogs…. (story)

Newark Advertiser 24.9.04 MP challenged to hunt debate By SHARON HODKIN - Newark's pro-hunting MP, Mr Patrick Mercer, has been challenged to a public debate over the issue by his expected challenger in the next General Election. Labour's prospective Parliamentary candidate for Newark, Mr Jason Reece, has written to Mr Mercer inviting him to a debate on foxhunting and hare coursing…. On Saturday, Mrs Mercer attended a Grove and Rufford Hunt autumn meet at Eakring to show her support…. The secretary of the South Notts Hunt, Miss Anne Jepson, said: "Whenever there is a demonstration we can get to we will be there, and we are carrying on hunting as normal."… (story probably on website for only a week)

Grantham Journal 24.9.04 BELVOIR HUNT JOINS LONDON PROTEST - Fox hunters from the Vale of Belvoir were in London last week to protest against the ban on hunting with hounds which they say is an act of spite… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 24.9.04 HUNT DEAL STILL 'POSSIBLE' - Rural affairs minister Alun Michael refused to rule out a compromise on legislation to ban hunting as protesters, including those in Lincolnshire, vowed to continue their fight…. (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 24.9.04 HUNT BAN OPINION IN REVERSE - Public opinion is hardening against the Government's controversial plans to ban fox hunting, an online poll has revealed. The survey, carried out by the Echo's sister company Northcliffe Electronic Publishing across its network of regional 'this is ...' websites, revealed a narrow majority against outlawing the sport…. (story)
Torquay Herald Express 23.9.04 OPINION MOVES AGAINST HUNTING BAN IN NATIONAL POLL - Public opinion is hardening against the Government's controversial plans to ban fox-hunting, an online poll has revealed. The survey, carried out by Northcliffe Electronic Publishing across its network of regional this is websites, revealed a narrow majority against outlawing the sport. An initial snapshot of the poll, which has been running on the sites for the past week, showed 52.8pc in favour of the ban compared to 47.2pc against. But the final tally as the poll closed today produced an almost exact reversal of those figures, with the "no's" winning out by a margin of 52.73pc to 47.27pc…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen 16.9.04 HUNTING BAN POLL SHOWS NARROW YES VOTE - Public opinion remains deeply divided over the Government's controversial plans to outlaw fox-hunting, an online poll has found. The survey, being carried out by Northcliffe Electronic Publishing across the this is network of sites, revealed only a slim majority in favour of the proposed ban….. (story)

Weymouth Echo 24.9.04 POLICE ACT OVER HUNT CLASH FEAR by Martin Lea - POLICE are desperate to avoid a clash between supporters and activists when the foxhunting season starts in Dorset…. Dorset Police assis- tant chief constable Adrian Whiting said: "We hold meetings with interested parties each year at the beginning of the hunting season…" Neal Buckoke, who leads the small but active Dorset Anti-Bloodsports group, said he attended a meeting at force headquarters, Winfrith…. Both Rory Innes, joint-master of the South Dorset Hunt, and Portman master Andrew Cook said they had no specific issues to discuss with the police… (story in archive)

Dunstable Gazette 24.9.04 ABSENT MP: I WOULD HAVE VOTED AGAINST A BAN - Selous misses hunting vote, but defends position - MP Andrew Selous defended his absence from the Commons vote to ban fox hunting – by saying he had been on a working trip preparing a radical report to reform the child support agency. The South West Beds MP said he would have voted against the ban if he had been present, arguing that other forms of controlling foxes were more cruel than hunting with hounds…. (story)

Gloucestershire Gazette 24.9.04 Hunt lobby blamed for MP's office attack - A LUMP of concrete was hurled through the window of Stroud Labour MP David Drew's office within hours of the Commons vote to ban fox hunting…. (story in archive)
Stroud News & Journal 22.9.04 Thugs attack MP's offices after hunt vote by Sam Bond - A LUMP of concrete was hurled through the window of Stroud Labour MP David Drew's office within hours of the House of Commons vote to ban fox hunting on Wednesday night… (story in archive)

Western Mail 24.9.04 Echoes of the miners' struggle as strangers again march on London - Elaine Morgan, The Western Mail - JUST for a moment, to people living in what used to be Britain's coal-fields, last week's fox-hunting protest felt like the mirror image of the miners' strike…. There was a familiar anti-London flavour about it too. Strange people in green wellies appeared in Westminster, just as hunger-strikers in flat caps had done many years ago, complaining that the nation includes millions of people whose existence gets ignored because they live in faraway places like Merthyr Tydfil - or, in this case, St Mary Mead…. Tony doesn't hate the hunters the way Maggie hated the miners. He keeps signalling to them by delays and abstentions, and his choice of words, that he's only allowing this to happen because his hands are tied… (story)

Oxford Mail 24.9.04 Protester back hunting again - Hunt member Robert Thame has been fox hunting since he was among five men who invaded the House of Commons during the debate to ban the blood sport. Mr Thame, 34, belongs to Bicester Hunt with Whaddon Chase, and was out with the hunt last weekend (Sept 18 and 19) at Wormleighton, near Banbury…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 24.9.04 DON'T IGNORE OUR HUNTING ECONOMY - First pelted with eggs and mobbed on the streets in the West, under-fire countryside Minister Alun Michael was yesterday feeling the wrath of one of the region's rural authorities over the hunting Bill. West Somerset District Council has penned a scathing letter to the Minister for Rural Affairs, accusing him of turning his back on its residents by making no plans to deal with the economic blow the Bill would bring to the area…. (story)

Daily Record 24.9.04 ROY : ANGLERS COULD BE NEXT - Roy Stokes - LOTS of people are asking where were the people at the rest o against a ban on fox hunting when the miners were fighting the pit closures.As a country boy of hildre stock, can say I opposed both... people kill things for fun too. How long before we hear demands for a ban on , or fishing? And if not, why not? it's exactly the same.... (story)

Hexham Courant 24.9.04 DUKE WON’T BLOCK ACCESS By WILL GREEN - THE Duke of Northumberland has denied claims that he intends to block access to the Otterburn ranges through his land if the Hunting Bill is passed. According to reports in the national press, the Duke – who owns land near the MoD ranges in the Northumberland National Park – is poised to restrict army access if fox hunting is banned. However, this week the Duke’s spokesman said that there was “no truth” in the reports… (story)

Hexham Courant 24.9.04 HUNT BAN MAY BLIGHT LOCAL BUSINESSES By WILL GREEN - EQUESTRIAN suppliers are keeping a close eye on the Government’s plans to ban hunting, which they claim could have a negative impact on local horse-related businesses…. In 2000, all hunts were asked to make submissions to the Government’s Committee of Inquiry into Hunting and as part of its evidence the Otterburn-based Border Hunt highlighted the case of Scots Gap agricultural and equestrian supplier Robson and Cowan…. Susan and Chris Peart, who run Peart Arenas at Hareshaw, near Bellingham, believe a hunting ban would have more of a personal than business impact. They both ride in the Border and Percy Hunts and their company, founded in 2001, specialises in the planning and construction of all-weather equestrian riding surfaces…. (story)

Cumberland News 24.9.04 ‘HUNTING BAN WILL DESTROY LOCAL SHOWS’ - WORDS: Ross BrewsterPICTURES: STAN PARTLETON - OFFICIALS at one of Cumbria’s most popular country shows, Borrowdale Shepherds’ Meet and Show, were justified in their decision to go ahead with Sunday’s event despite the shocking weather in England’s wettest valley. But it drew a warning from local hunt secretary Bob Fell, who said that the future of such events would be in jeopardy if a Government ban on hunting with dogs is upheld. Mr Fell, who is secretary of the Blencathra Foxhounds, said: “Dogs are an important part of Borrowdale Show, but who is going to keep hounds and terriers if the Government gets its way?...?" (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 24.9.04 Law may be an ass ... by The Editor - ALL is not lost. The Bill to ban hunting with hounds may have been pushed through Parliament but there is a long way to go before the Bill becomes law. The hunting community still has the time and the resources to make implementation of this plainly daft legislation impossible…. (story in archive)

Ledbury Reporter 24.9.04, Malvern Gazette 24.9.04 Unrepentant huntsman says fight will continue - GAINING entry to the House of Commons debating chamber and finding himself front page news came as a bit of a surprise to the Ledbury huntsman launched into celebrity last week. John Holliday was one of eight whose protest in support of hunting last Wednesday caught the attention of a nation and will be written into the history books…. (story in archive)

Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 24.9.04 Hunt supporters set to continue protests over ban - HUNT supporters in Somerset have voweed to continue hunting, despite a ban on the blood on the blood sport being given Government approval last week…. (story in archive)

Somerset County Gazette 24.9.04 Hunt ban: bail us out plea - WEST Somerset's councillors have sent a strongly worded appeal to the Government asking for help with the economic and social impact of banning on hunting with dogs. While the council takes a neutral view on hunting, councillors last week agreed to write to rural affairs minister, Alun Michael, voicing their "extreme concern" that the Government was banning hunting "without making any provision for maintaining the economic and social well-being of affected areas"…. (story in archive)

West Cumberland Times & Star 24.9.04 Hunt ban would end Cumbrian way of life - RICHARD Bland went on his first fox hunt at the age of five when some might say he was not old enough to know better. Now at 65, his livelihood and home is under threat because of what he sees as Government ministers in London interfering with country ways they know nothing about…. He has been the huntsman for the Melbreak Hunt for 30 years and took over from his father-in-law, the late Harry Hardisty…. (story)

West Cumberland Times & Star 24.9.04 Hunting ban could end local shows - OFFICIALS at Borrowdale Shepherds’ Meet and Show were finally justified in their decision to go ahead with Sunday’s event despite the shocking weather in England’s wettest valley. But it drew a warning from local hunt secretary Bob Fell that the future of such events could be in jeopardy in the years to come if a govenrment ban on hunting with dogs is upheld. Mr Fell, who is secretary of the Blencathra Foxhounds, said: “Dogs are an important part of Borrowdale Show but who is going to keep hounds and terriers if the government gets its way?... (story)

Cheshire Chronicle 24.9.04 Hunt ban is a threat to jobs - SOUTH Cheshire MP Stephen O'Brien has slammed the Government for 'steamrolling' a foxhunting ban through the House of Commons last week…. (story in archive)

Wandsworth Borough News 24.9.04 Our MPs vote against hunts - Two of Wandsworth's three MPs voted for the ban on fox hunting in last Wednesday's controversial House of Commons vote. Martin Linton, MP for Battersea, and his Labour colleague for Tooting, Tom Cox, both cast their votes to outlaw the blood sport following the unprecedented scenes of protest inside and outside the Palace of Westminster…. (story)

Ipswich/Anglia Advertiser 24.9.04 Blizzard backs ban - BOB BLIZZARD was one of the majority of MPs who last week voted to ban hunting with dogs…. Third generation huntsman Nick Badger from local hunt the Waveney Harriers said: "I have to think positively, but at the end of the day being a huntsman is my job and livelihood…." (story)

Beverley Guardian 24.9.04 Hunt supporters prepared to go to jail - BISHOP Burton farmer Sue Ellerington has never broken the law in her life, but Sue (50), who travelled to London to join this week's protests against a ban on hunting, says she is prepared to go to jail if the ban is introduced…. (story)

Darlington & Stockton Times 24.9.04 Potential hunt ban raises temperature on both sides of debate - DEFIANCE is on the cards if fox hunting is banned by law, say hunt supporters across North Yorkshire and the North-East…. Angie Vaux, N-E regional chairman of the Countryside Alliance and former joint master of the Zetland Hunt, said she had not hunted for three seasons but would consider starting again to defy a ban…. Keith Balbach, joint master of the Hurworth Hunt, based at West Rounton, near Northallerton, was concerned that a repeat of violence witnessed at last week's protest in London would damage the cause… Keith Balbach, joint master of the Hurworth Hunt, based at West Rounton, near Northallerton, was concerned that a repeat of violence witnessed at last week's protest in London would damage the cause… (story in archive)

Basingstoke Gazette 24.9.04 Sounding off over bid to ban hunting with hounds - -I was one of a number of people who went up to London last week to demonstrate in Parliament Square against the proceedings on the Hunting Bill in the House of Commons… Up until now, the Countryside Alliance's strategy has been focused on bringing pressure to bear on legislators to prevent a ban on hunting reaching the statute book. Phenomenally successful as that has been, a turning point has been reached and a shift in emphasis is called for. While continuing to drive home its message to the public, it must start to dig in for the long haul. That means preparing to sustain hunting as and when it becomes illegal…. For my part, come what may, I will continue to hold lawn meets for the Hampshire Hunt and to allow them to hunt on my land, as I have done for more years than I can remember. -Earl of Portsmouth (pictured), Farleigh Wallop.
-I feel the Government has used the Hunting Bill for political manoeuvring for the last seven years. The present Bill is no exception. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with animal welfare, as the fox will still be controlled by alternative methods…. -J Crosbie Dawson, Northington Farm, Overton.
copy of a recent letter to Tony Blair: I hope you will be interested in my views on hunting, as an office worker who has no involvement with hunting of any type…. I agree with fox hunting. My decision was made from reading various pieces and speaking to people on both sides… Never before have I felt so strongly about a political party. Labour will never get my vote. -Claire Spencer, Water Ridges, Oakley.
Sir.-Last week, we were given the rare opportunity to witness the nearest thing to a real fox hunt. In Parliament Square, were all the characters that one sees chasing foxes around the countryside during the hunting season…. How unedifying it was when these "country sportsmen" were then seen to be whingeing and whining that the "quarry" had the audacity to fight back… -John Dunn, Wykeham Drive, Basingstoke.
Sir.-As a young man I was impressed by a quotation from Oscar Wilde: "The unspeakable in full pursuit of the inedible" (A Woman of No Importance - 1893). I don't think I have changed my mind about hunting since coming across this 40 years ago…. If the protesters become law-breakers, I hope the police will treat them the same as they do the organisers of, for example, cock fighting. -Joe Robertson, Downsland Road, Basingstoke.
I have gone off the police. I have always respected them, but I was in Parliament Square last week, surrounded by the massed ranks of this country's finest. I was not at all happy about the way they waved their batons at anyone who even looked at them funny. They seemed to be there to make trouble; we were there to make a peaceful protest… -Sue Doughty, Malvern Close, Woodley. (letters in archive)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 BOYCOTT HUNTING FARMS - I Am not prejudiced on the matter of hunting with dogs, it is not only the matter of fox hunting (where one can arguably agree with the "vermin" element of farmers support for the no ban) but hunting and killing for fun by dogs of hares and stags… Fiona Cameron (The Citizen, September 18) one can only wonder why she should hunt with dogs as I cannot possibly see what detrimental affect foxes can possibly have on selling jewellery. She rides with the Cotswold Vale Farmers hunt, so one would assume that these farmers breed animals for consumption, if she is so concerned about their welfare then perhaps she can persuade her soul mates not to transport their animals and not to carry out battery hen production… TONY SHORTT (Labour) Stroud District Councillor (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE LOSER - You ask if a ban on hunting would be an end to cruelty. The answer is categorically "no" and the application of a moment's logical thought will prove that… JEREMY CHAMBERLAYNE, Maisemore (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 WE'RE TALKING OF THE LIVELIHOOD OF HUNT WORKERS - I Am writing in support of hunting. I think it shameful and disgusting for some to be able to throw people's livelihoods and way of life - not just a job, a way of life - away forever…. T. E. PENSOM, Longhope (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 IS THIS HOW TO START CLASS WAR? Britain is behaving like a bull caught in netting these days. Relentlessly persecuting the very class who did erstwhile sit with their hearing horns and their monocles gleaming under the chandelier of the House of Lords, as their forefathers had done for 800 years. And now, not content with denying the aristocracy their duty to disinterested public service, the Government is trying to deny them their traditional source of recreation too (Letters, September 21)…. GEOFFREY TAYLOR, Moorfield Road, Brockworth (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 NO KILLING WOULD BOOST SUPPORT - The law to ban hunting should have been enforced years ago. If the hunting fraternity were to drag hunt no one need loose the jobs, no dogs put down, no horses shot and no loss of tied homes through this ban. In fact, the hunt would gain supporters… MRS P. A. EVERETT Woodford (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 BABY FOX BECAME A PET - My husband and I think it is very cruel to hunt foxes. They were sent on this earth for some reason.. . MRS M. COURT, Oakridge Lynch, Nr Stroud (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 HUNTERS - THE 'UNSPEAKABLE' - I Believe Oscar Wilde once described fox hunters as "the unspeakable chasing the uneatable". Cruel it is. I fail to see how a fox being torn to pieces shows profound respect for the fox as recently quoted. It makes me nervous… JACQUELINE YEOMANS, via e-mail (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 IT'S NOTHING TO DO WITH ANIMALS - The Government seems intent on using the tremendous force of the Parliament Act - for use in times of national crisis - to force through the Hunting Bill! Yet this bill would not benefit one person and also, ironically, sound the death toll for our fox population… MRS C. D. KEELING, Staunton (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 RISK OF MANGE BEING SPREAD - I Have followed hunting for 50 years and have never seen a tired wild fox caught. It survives by wit and cunning…. If hunting is banned, it is easy to spread mange. Like myxomatosis, it's a long, slow death. Turning hunter into fox haters will be worse for the wild fox. G. MARTIN, Saul (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 IS ENGLAND OUR COUNTRY STILL? My daughter went with friends to the pro-hunting alliance meeting in London…. she said it had been horrendous, the police were very heavy-handed, batoning people on their heads at random, men were trying to protect their wives and children, but it was impossible. Is this our England any more? JOAN TILY Regent Street , Stonehouse (letter)

Gloucester Citizen 24.9.04 REPELLED BY THIS CRUDE PLEASURE I See the pro-hunting fraternity is still putting huge energies into protesting their innocence. They ought to have better things to do…. MARGARET ONIANS, via e-mail (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.9.04 FOX HUNTING ENSURES BALANCE IN COUNTRYSIDE - I am sure that you have received thousands of letters about employment, minority rights and freedom of choice. Surely the moment has come to consider the fox - the healthy dog fox and the cunning little vixen. It seems that the results of the Burns enquiries are being ignored…. Caroline Llewellyn, Oakford, near Tiverton (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 GROSS INJUSTICE - It seems to me that the proposed ban on hunting is a political manoeuvre rather than anything about animal welfare... Dr Charles Levinson London (letter)

Western Daily Press 25.9.04 HUNTERS IGNORED BY GOVERNMENT - I was shocked by your reporting of the Countryside Alliance demonstration in London. I believe it was undemocratic measures by Mr Blair and his Government that caused this demonstration in the first place.... Peggy Taylor Chippenham Wiltshire (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 25.9.04 MEN HUNTED FOR SURVIVAL - Who cares about the poverty induced by the decline of the fishing industry in Hull? Not the red-coated, horn-blowing mob seen brawling and shouting outside the Houses of Parliament…. Mrs JA Westoby, Sunbeam Road, Hull. (letter)

Wells Journal 24.9.04 … Blair does not care if foxes are hunted or not. He didn't even vote himself because he knew there was enough support without him taking sides… Foxes are nasty, vicious creatures that need to be culled. So if this bill goes through they will be gassed, poisoned or shot and die a very painful death… Dave Binning, Hannah More Close, Cheddar (letter)

Wells Journal 24.9.04 TENS OF THOUSANDS SPENT ON NEEDLESS DEMONSTRATION - Although the government was right to ban hunting with dogs it must realise the true nature of the opposition and brace itself for the consequences. The people involved in blood sports (and please let us dispense with that pretty euphemism "country pursuits") are a race apart. The most vicious, obsessed, coldhearted, callous - one might say almost psychopathic - individuals, with virtually unlimited money to defend their vile cause, they have been a running sore on the lovely face of the countryside for centuries…. Name and address supplied, Glastonbury (letter)

Malvern Gazette 24.9.04 Protesters acting like spoilt children - CONCERNING your report about members of the Ledbury Hunt being connected with the invasion of parliament, I am a local teacher and my wife is a nurse. In all our 30 years of employment in rural areas, neither of us has come across a colleague who is even remotely connected with hunting… PETER ADAMS, Wyche Road, Malvern (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 24.9.04 Just say `no' - SO, Donald Haden (Malvern Gazette & Ledbury Reporter, September 17) compares the disgraceful behaviour of hunt protestors to the Normandy landings. My late father took part in these landings some 60 years ago. He always felt he was defending England and democracy. The invasion of Parliament was an affront to all who still believe in a democratic society…. Peter Atkins, Priory View, Worcester Road, Malvern. (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 24.9.04 Lost my vote! THE sooner we get rid of hunting with dogs the better… DORA ASHWORTH, The Homend, Ledbury (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 24.9.04 They don't understand - MUCH as I dislike violence, this issue is very different from other issues where protesters are opposed to legislation. This is a case of a law which must be overturned…. DENIS C NIGHTINGALE-Smith (ex-townie, ex-anti-foxhunt), Hanley Swan. (letter in archive)

Malvern Gazette 24.9.04 Don't forget us - Reading the front page report `Huntsman storms Commons' (Ledbury Reporter, September 17), I fully agree with our MP Bill Wiggin that "the incident was a mistake which has taken all the headlines and does not help the cause"…. my concern is that the Trade Justice Rally, long-planned for Sunday in Brighton by the Trade Justice Campaign, may at best `lose all the headlines' and at worst get caught up with violence, no matter how minor an element this is of the hunting campaign…. Jean Warren, Floyds Lane Wellington Heath. (letter in archive)

Hexham Courant 24.9.04 NOT POINTLESS - I READ the article on fox hunting in the (Courant, September 10) and felt that I would like to comment on Mr Kelly’s views. Firstly, I should say that I ride but do not hunt and therefore have no vested interest although I do not believe hunting should be banned. Mr Kelly states that hunting is “an irrelevant aspect to me in the lives of most people.” I’m not quite sure what he means by that but, if it is so irrelevant, why does he feel compelled to make judgements? I think stamp collecting is an irrelevant aspect to me in the lives of most people but I do not want to ban it… PAUL DENNIS, Catton. (letter)

Hexham Courant 24.9.04 APPALLING - I AM sure that many of your readers were, like me, appalled to read the Countryside Alliance’s local organiser defending the disgraceful behaviour of the yobs who fought with the police and surged against police lines at the fox hunting demo in London…. COUN. NEIL BRADBURY, Prudhoe (letter)

Hexham Courant 24.9.04 TRUE LIGHT - I’M RATHER pleased that last week’s pro-hunting demo in London turned out the way it did, because at last the hunting lobby have been shown in their true light…. HAZEL DEAN, Errington Hill Head, Corbridge (letter)

Hexham Courant 24.9.04 IRRATIONAL USE - THE Government has finally moved to ban hunting. It’s done so in the knowledge that its actions will have to be backed up by the irrational use of the Parliament Act. Its reasons for using this constitutional device have little to do with improving animal welfare and more with grabbing votes in wobbly seats…. JEREMY BLACKBURN, Dilston Haugh, Corbridge (letter)

Hexham Courant 24.9.04 WISH OF MAJORITY SHOULD PREVAIL - IT SADDENS me to see people, some of them friends, adopting devious means to explain their pastime. Don’t cobble together two sets of percentage figures to make it appear that most people are in favour of hunting. Please don’t roll out that old story that thousands of horses and hounds will have to be slaughtered if hunting stops. As you know, once hounds are past hunting usefulness, they are slaughtered anyway… There is no point in trying to bully your way past the democratic process. The wishes of the majority must prevail. Name and address supplied (letter)

Worcester Evening News 24.9.04 Double standards? SO, MP Michael Foster has got his anti-hunting Bill through the Commons. It must have been dreadful for him, thinking of the suffering of the poor little foxes…. his favourite pastime was fishing. Double standards, or what? O J BARTON, Worcester. (letter in archive)

Western Morning News 24.9.04 AN ABUSE OF PARLIAMENT- Our country today is under threat. Sometimes we seem to be our own worst enemy. An outstanding and highly topical example is the bigoted, petty, and vindictive attempt by the Labour government to ban hunting. They have been aided and abetted in this by the Liberal Democats, including the current Lib-Dem MP for Teignbridge, Mr Richard Younger-Ross, who seems to have to voted on all sides of this question…. Stanley Johnson Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Teignbridge (letter)

Western Morning News 24.9.04 Police brutality? JASON Groves, London Editor, may be wrong to report allegations of police brutality during the protests against the Hunting Bill outside Parliament on September 15. Police baton charges were probably the most humane method of control… John Phelps, Exeter
Hunting ban fiasco - SOME years ago as part of my training course I took a subject called governmental systems. As part of this course it was explained that the Parliament Act could only apply to Government Bills appertaining to finance… Thus, if this is correct, the Parliament Act cannot apply to the hunting with dogs Bill and if rejected by the upper house the Bill will fail. Dave Parker, Lanner (letter)

Telegraph 24.9.04 Not seeking Churchill's shadow - Boris Johnson is kind to recommend me as the "Churchill" for the Countryside Alliance… The issue here is the right to resist an unjust law (Opinion, Sept 18). It should not be a question of who forms the Government. From: Charles Moore, London E14 (letter)

Telegraph 24.9.04 Double standards - When miners or trade unionists fighting for their futures behaved as some of the pro-foxhunting protesters did, pages of print appeared in The Daily Telegraph condemning them.Yet pro-foxhunting protesters (News, Sept 23) are made to seem like heroes…. Sonia Ayres, Harpenden, Herts (letter)

Telegraph 24.9.04 Islington out in force - Alice Thomson wrote (Opinion, Sept 17) that the only social group not represented at the pro-hunting rally in Parliament Square was the Islington lawyers. Unfortunately for Tony Blair, even we were out in force… Jeremy Brier, London N1 (letter)

Independent 24.9.04 Hunt furore, Hostage-taking in Iraq and others - Hunt furore is about humans' pleasure, not foxes' rights - In all the yah-boo of the fox hunting furore, I think we have forgotten why a ban on hunting is inescapable. I don't think it is anything to do with class war. It's not even much to do with animal rights. It's much more basic than that. It's about outlawing something that most people in this country find repugnant: killing for pleasure… STEPHEN HOUNSHAM, London N5
Samuel Johnson observed that the Puritans disapproved of bear-baiting not because of the harm done to the bear but because of the pleasure given to the onlookers. Everyone acknowledges both the need to control the fox population and the inevitable suffering caused to foxes in the process. What the zealots object to is that the unpleasant necessity of killing foxes be turned into an enjoyable and sociable event… ALEX WELBY, Crowthorne, Berkshire (letters)

Daily Record 24.9.04 SELFISH LOT - I WOULD like to ask those people who are demonstrating against a ban on foxhunting where they were when the miners were fighting for their jobs?... A. Douglas, Livingston (letter)

Yorkshire Post 24.9.04 Fox hunting and effective measures of control From: Philip Caldwell, Lyndon Lodge, Taylor Lane, Barwick-In-Elmet. We approach yet another deadline for restricting hunting. Though I have strong views on the subject, I would defend the right of others to express theirs. I don't hunt and never have. I grew up in the countryside and on much of the land I am familiar with, I would argue that a competent rifleman is a more humane means of fox control. But in many areas the hounds (often without the horse) are the most effective means. There is little argument that foxes need control and the hunted fox is never injured, the outcome is either death or freedom, so why is there so much negative feeling against the hunt?... (letter)

Western Mail 24.9.04 No case for hunting ban - My wife and I fully support the view expressed by Paddy Rooney ("Contempt for rural life smacks of Cromwell", September 18.)… While we have no interest in hunting we recognise it is a way of life for country folk…. As Alun Michael said in the House of Commons: let people make their views known in the ballot box at the next election. It is time for a change of representation in the Vale of Glamorgan. LEN TAYLOR, Middlegate Walk, Cowbridge (letter)
Western Mail 18.9.04 Contempt for rural life smacks of Cromwell - The Commons' bid to ban hunting is stirring up a hive of controversy. The Government has betrayed the countryside and democracy, argues Paddy Rooney, of the CLA, the Country Land and Business Association… Respect, it is rightly said, cannot be assumed; it must be earned. What is true for people is true for the law. Bad law - it is an ancient principle - undermines respect for all law. The same applies to the legislature, to Parliament itself. Parliament has due procedures directed to inspiring respect for its actions; if these are abused, respect for the institution is undermined…. The incursion of hunting supporters into the House of Commons has been likened to the futile attempt by Charles I to remove some members he disliked. The Government's behaviour more closely resembles that of Cromwell, who marched contemptuously into the House, had the Mace, the symbol of Parliamentary authority, removed - "That bauble, take it away" - and embarked on dictatorship. (story)

Newark Advertiser 24.9.04 Voting clash - It has been noted that I did not vote in last week's Hunting Bill. This was because I was out of the country on a trip organised over 18 months ago. Had I been in Westminster, my vote would have, as always, reflected my unflinching support for both hunting and the right of all individuals to follow their pursuits as they choose. - PATRICK MERCER, MP for Newark, House of Commons, London.
Cruel words - This Government is so hypocritical. It says we must ban foxhunting because it's cruel. What is the difference between culling foxes and animals being tortured to death in a laboratory?... SUE WHITTAKER, Speakers Cottage, Ossington.
Law of the land - I note that foxhunters intend to try to continue hunting when the ban becomes law, thereby demonstrating that they consider breaking the law to be acceptable… I wonder if we impartial observers will see as many hunters convicted in the future as we saw anti-hunt protesters convicted in the past. - KEITH KEMP, Beacon Heights, Newark.
Criminal act … It seems ridiculous to criminalise parents who provide a pony for their children to attend hunt meetings. I was disappointed at police beatings of those who voiced their concern at recent demonstrations…. ROY PECK, South Muskham (Full address supplied).
Demo antics - Congratulations to the members of the blood sports fraternity who made such a mockery of their cause by their actions outside the Houses of Parliament last week and to those who actually stormed the building… ANTI, Balderton (Name and address supplied).
Political theory - A Parliamentary decision to ban foxhunting is not designed to improve animal welfare. There is a clandestine political agenda behind the bill. Since the 1950s elements within the Civil Service and the Labour movement have systematically dismantled our English heritage…. NIGEL STARBUCK, Carnarvon Close, Bingham.
Low priority - I am appalled that no thought is given to the views of the country about foxhunting. How can Tony Blair think it is so important to take so much time discussing this?... DAVE BARTLETT, Timothy Road, Laxton.
Bone thrown - The Government is going to invoke the Parliament Act to force a Hunting Bill on to the statute books. In doing so it will ignore evidence produced by its own research, the majority view of the voting public, and the dignified pleas of a cross-section of ordinary, law abiding folk…. J. MORGAN-SMITH, Langford (Full address supplied).
Rural fears - Foxhunting is not all that popular in the countryside. The leading foxhunters are usually among the richer people in the area…. PAT TAYLOR, High Street, Leadenham
Welcome move - At last hunting with dogs is closer to being illegal. Unnecessary cruelty to animals is intolerable in a civilised society… BAN SUPPORTER, Newark (Name and address supplied). (letters may only be on website for a week)

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 24.9.04 Attacks by police on protesters a disgrace - I was horrified by the scenes of brutality in Parliament Square. This was not a rampaging mob of leftwing anarchists throwing chairs through McDonalds' windows or vandalising historical statues. It was a group of peaceful country folk desperately concerned about their very future. The attacks by the police on largely peaceful protesters against a hunting ban were a disgrace both to the police themselves and to the British tradition of peaceful protest… Roger Helmer MEP, East Midlands (letter)

York Evening Press 24.9.04 Hunters are not illegal pickets - A READER tries to draw a parallel between the picket line bullies of the miners' strike and modern day hunts (Letters, September 20). This is absurd because hunting is not an illegal activity and is the regular pastime of many law-abiding citizens. The striking miners were often deliberately engaged in violent, criminal activities…. A Ogilvy, East Parade, Heworth, York. (letter in archive)

Manchester Evening News 24.9.04 THE pro-hunting people - THE pro-hunting people always insist that it is not a toffs’ sport, but now it has been revealed that the Countryside Alliance is financed by no less than six dukes…. Animal Lover, Sale (letter)

Northern Echo 24.9.04 FOXHUNTING: IN RESPONSE to three letters (HAS, Sept 22), Hilary Armstrong, the MP for North West Durham, abstained from the Commons vote on foxhunting, as did a majority of Northern Labour MPs. I was there for the vote. I hunt, shoot and fish but I also work in shipping and earn less than £10,000 a year…. The pro-hunt supporters outside the Commons did not attack the police. The police attacked the crowds: have you ever seen a granny being smashed in the face with a truncheon just because she walked passed a policeman? It's not a nice sight… Christine Bell, Consett.
ON numerous occasions I hear the pro-hunting lobby remind us that Lord Burns, in his report, recommended a scheme of regulation for hunting (true). They then claim that the Government rejected this and took no further action (untrue)… D Gascoyne, Darlington.
REGARDING MPs missing the hunting debates in the Commons, I'm sure I saw the very entertaining Tory MP Boris Johnson on the Richard and Judy television show on the same day and time as the debate. Like many of his fellow MPs, Boris would make a half-decent stand-up comedian. But an MP? Surely not…. J Camsell, East Stanley.
THE letter (HAS, Sept 20) about how would a dog feel if a fox was chasing it was very childish. As a former farm-hand, I have seen foxes destroy new-born lambs and hens and chickens…. B Alderson, Crook
WHAT will happen to all the dogs from the hunt? And people who say just rich people do it, should take a look around as loads of working class people go foxhunting… D Atkinson, South Hetton.
GT Riley says (HAS, Sept 20): "No decent, law-abiding person in their right mind can have one shred of support for these arrogant, self-opinionated people." He might well be describing this Government…. M Kilvington, Richmond (letters in archive)

Swindon Evening Advertiser 24.9.04 Hypocritical ban - THE House of Commons has voted to ban fox hunting with hounds. Let no one assume this action was taken in the interests of animal suffering. The number of foxes killed in this way is infinitesimal in comparison to the vast number of sheep slaughtered by a vicious method to produce halal meat… G R BRAY, Swindon (letter in archive)

Scotsman 24.9.04 Sadistic pleasures - With reference to last week’s pro-hunt demonstrations, let’s not lose sight of what they were demonstrating against. They were protesting against losing the sadistic pleasures of terrifying animals by chasing them with a pack of hounds; and then seeing them torn to pieces…. JOHN G GREER-SPENCER, Touch Wards, Dunfermline
John Thorpe (Letters, 17 September) deplores the behaviour of pro-hunt supporters… he should consider that whether or not future legislation reflects the views of most English people, as in other issues which do not affect Scotland, it will have been voted on by Scottish MPs, a democratic affront which is at least as "preposterous" as the activities of English foxhunters…. GREGOR LAING, Milestone Road, Knebworth, Hertfordshire < target=main href="">(letters)

Argus 24.9.04 Letter: The only thing missing was the hunting horn Hunting supporter Stephen Mockford says he went to London to stage a peaceful protest but ended up with blood pouring down his face from police batons (The Argus, September 17). Did he really think the protest would be peaceful? I can't believe he is that naïve… Mr Mockford says hunting is a sport and part of his soul. I certainly do not consider hunting a sport because in sport the two sides are evenly matched - need I say more? -G Wheatcroft, Hove (letter in archive)

Argus 24.9.04 Letter: If you don't believe in democracy, chief, quit - Thank you for publishing a photograph of our invisible Chief Constable. I have never known what he looked like. I understand he has applied to be the next chief of the Metropolitan Police. What will he do? Send letters to people asking them not to protest or will he enjoy the sight of his men hitting protesters over the head with truncheons?... We have a Prime Minister who lied to take us to war while at home we see the Government persecuting a minority for political ends…. -Brian Coomber, Shoreham (letter in archive)

Shropshire Star 24.9.04 Hunts still the best way to get rid of foxes - I have been a reader of the Shropshire Star for many years and especially enjoy the letters page. I have lived in the countryside all my life, 76 years and have read all the pros and cons concerning foxes and fox hunting. … I have many times spoken to gamekeepers and farmers - most being expert shots - and they tell me no matter how careful they are they are not always certain to kill outright…. P Gould, Stafford (letter)

Shropshire Star 24.9.04 Disappointed by letters on pro-hunting rally - Being only twelve I have never found the need before to write into the Shropshire Star. Now I feel I cannot neglect my feelings towards hunting any longer… I was unable to attend the protest march but my mother represented me… I am disappointed some people do not accept the thousands of hard working normal citizens that assembled in Parliament Square to fight for their beliefs…. I am fully committed and want the best for the countryside its people and its animals. All of them. Jessie Hinds, Annscroft, Shrewsbury (letter)

Shropshire Star 24.9.04 Hunting lobby need not worry - The pro-hunting faction should not be downhearted. One of two things will happen now: 1. It will be found to be an unenforceable law and die a natural death. 2. Our continental friends who hunt and kill everything will call for the EU Commissioner for the Destruction of Continental Wildlife to remind Britain who is in charge over here!... Bob Wydell, Oswestry (letter)

Shropshire Star 24.9.04 Attitudes the relic of past times - I am writing to you as a grand-daughter of a Shropshire born man who would have had strong opinions on the pro-hunting campaign of present… Never once in his life did he hunt foxes. Working class people didn't and would have been appalled by action of the sort by Otis Ferry, who I believe is joint master of the hunt in South Shropshire - a man, I believe, not born or bred in Ludlow… Kathleen Mckay, Lancashire (letter)


Cambridge Times 23.9.04 Brakespeare takes a lighthearted look at Fenland life - THE debate over fox hunting has, arguably, sparked more heat than light -- an issue which Brakespeare observes strictly from the sidelines. Mind you, he was intrigued by MP Malcolm Moss' spirited assault on the Government over its intransigence on the issue. "This whole debacle has more to do with saving Mr Blair's political skin than the welfare of animals," trumpets the North-East Cambridgeshire MP…. (story)

Horncastle News 23.9.04 WE WILL NEVER STOP HUNTING - THE South Wold Hunt will launch a countryside rebellion over a ban on foxhunting - and its master is prepared to go to jail. Master Nick Ashcroft, 40, vowed to lead a backlash after MPs voted to ban the sport… (story)
Louth Leader 22.9.04 WE WILL NEVER STOP HUNTING - THE South Wold Hunt will launch a countryside rebellion over a ban on foxhunting - and its master is prepared to go to jail. Master Nick Ashcroft, 40, vowed to lead a backlash after MPs voted to ban the sport…. (story)

North Devon Journal 23.9.04 WHY SO MUCH EFFORT? - I've never seen anything like it - and I hoped I never would. As a corner of the Hunting Bill protest in Parliament Square descended into disorder police lashed out with batons and blood poured from protesters' heads. Now I'm taking no stance on the hunting argument, but this was a black day. Our TV screens showed pictures from the heart of the melee as protesters - many not there to cause violence - were thrust against the barriers to meet a barrage of blows from baton wielding policemen intent on keeping a space between them and the crowd…. I have every sympathy with the officers faced with a huge crowd, bombarded with missiles thrown by troublemakers and under orders to keep people confined. But pictures I saw of yellow-coated policemen beating the public with apparently little regard for the injuries inflicted horrified me…. (story)

North Devon Journal 23.9.04 VIOLENCE CONDEMNED - The scenes outside Parliament demonstrate hunting is based on "a culture of violence and aggression masquerading as sport" according to the head of a top anti-hunting organisation. The League Against Cruel Sports' chief executive Douglas Batchelor thanked supporters and MPs for their "persistent and hard work" in obtaining a vote in the House of Commons to ban hunting with dogs… (story)

OpenDemocracy 23.9.04 A plea for the wild - James Barrington - A former leading official with Britain’s League Against Cruel Sports describes how he came to change his mind about banning hunting with dogs…. When my predecessor at the league abandoned our campaign and even joined “the other side”, I assumed that he just took pleasure in being perverse. In fact, four previous Lacs directors have now said publicly that a ban on hunting would be wrong – not the most comfortable fact for a pressure group dedicated to the abolition of hunting… Hunting is the perfect vehicle for a package of prejudices that sees its proponents as rich, dim upper-class Conservatives. Yet when you visit a hunt you discover that the majority of the followers – who gather behind the hunting pack on horseback, on bicycle, in cars, or on foot – do not fit the stereotype… (story)

Rutland Times 23.9.04 Hounds 'doomed' if hunt ban goes ahead - Ninety hounds of the Cottesmore Hunt could be doomed if Parliament approves a ban on foxhunting by 2006. But the Cottesmore remains upbeat, with work continuing on new kennels between Ashwell and Whissendine…. Oliver Harding, second whipper-in with the Belvoir Hunt, said: 'The League Against Cruel Sports may say hounds which are no longer required for hunting can be domesticated but I can assure you that they can not. They are pack animals and hunting is in their blood. If this ban is pushed through they will quite simply have to be put down.”… (story)

Buxton Advertiser 23.9.04 MINISTER'S RIGHT TO ROAM IS CANCELLED - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael pulled out of a planned visit to the Goyt Valley at the weekend because of fears of demonstrations by pro- hunt campaigners…. (story)

Buxton Advertiser 23.9.04 HUNT BAN MEETS WELCOME AND ANGER IN HIGH PEAK - A Parliamentary vote to ban hunting with dogs and hare coursing has been welcomed by High Peak MP Tom Levitt… But James Bates, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, said as well as huntsmen, the ban would have an economical effect on jobs and businesses such as vets, farms, feed and clothing suppliers…. (story)

Ipswich/Anglia Advertiser 23.9.04 MP thanks voters for ban support - YARMOUTH'S Tony Wright was one of the majority of MPs who last week voted to ban hunting with dogs…. Third generation huntsman Nick Badger from local hunt the Waveney Harriers said: "I have to think positively, but at the end of the day being a huntsman is my job…" (story)

Mid Devon Gazette 23.9.04 COUNCIL URGED TO OPPOSE HUNT BAN - Mid Devon District Council should come out against a ban on hunting, says resources committee chairman, Cllr David Pugsley. Cllr Pugsley, who represents Cullompton Outer, is leader of the council… (story)

Daily Telegraph 23.9.04 Remember what happened to Scargill By Boris Johnson …The other night I was ranting before an audience of about 200, about the monstrous illiberalism of the ban. There was much applause and hear-hearing, as I flayed Blair for his cowardice…. As I spoke, a cry was taken up from table to table. "Otis!" they called. "Give us Otis!" Across England there are thousands of people yearning for someone to marshal them in rebellion. They need a Spartacus, a Wat Tyler, a Joan of Arc…. Go back to that miners' strike, and the Scargillian revolt. Remember how people began with some feelings of sympathy for the rebels…. But suburban Britain was never likely to indulge Scargill for long, and as soon as police were pictured with blood running down from under their helmets, the mood began to turn…. That is why the coming leader of the countryside revolt must ponder his tactics hard. If they fail, it is a defeat by association for everything they stand for - shooting included. It may be possible to win, but the worst thing would be to pick a fight and lose. (story)

Daily Telegraph 23.9.04 We'll bring down Blair, vows hunt protester Lucy Ferry By Oliver Poole - She may appear an unlikely revolutionary but as Lucy Ferry stood outside court in an ornate pearl necklace after being sentenced for her role in last week's hunting protest her aim was no less than to "bring this Government down"…. (story)
Western Morning News 23.9.04 ROCK STAR'S EX-WIFE VOWS TO DEFY HUNT BAN - The ex-wife of rock star Bryan Ferry yesterday vowed to "bring down the Government" as she appeared in court over her role in the pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square last week…. (story)
Times 23.9.04 Lucy Ferry vows to disobey court ruling BY LEWIS SMITH - LUCY FERRY, the former wife of the singer Bryan Ferry, was given a conditional discharge yesterday for causing an obstruction outside Parliament but vowed to continue protests against the Bill to outlaw foxhunting…. (story)
Independent 23.9.04 Ferry vows to unseat the Government over ban By Nick Allen - The former wife of the rock star Bryan Ferry vowed to "bring down the Government" when she appeared in court yesterday over her role in the pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square last week. Lucy Ferry, 45, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully obstructing the highway during a 10-minute hearing at Bow Street magistrates' court, London. Jackie Coward, 18, the girlfriend of Mrs Ferry's son Otis, pleaded guilty to the same charge…
Guardian 23.9.04 Hunt lobby can topple Blair, says Lucy Ferry - Campaigners threaten to disrupt labour conference - Steven Morris - Judges are usually met with an awkward, foot-shifting silence when, having heard the case against a miscreant, they inquire whether the wrong-doer has anything to say for him or herself. But given her day in court yesterday, Lucy Ferry, the former wife of pop star Bryan Ferry, launched a withering attack on the government…. (story)
Scotsman 23.9.04 Brian Ferry's former wife admits misdemeanor at hunting protest - LUCY Ferry, the former wife of singer Bryan Ferry, admitted in a London court yesterday that she obstructed the highway at last week’s pro-hunting protest at Westminster…(story)
Vogue 23.9.04 FERRY BAD PARKING - LUCY FERRY is no stranger to publicity: the former model and the ex-wife of rock star Bryan Ferry has regularly appeared in Vogue's list of the world's most stylish women. This week, however, it is her vehement stand against the Government's proposal to ban fox hunting that is making her front-page news once again…. (story)
BBC News Online 22.9.04 Pro-hunters 'will topple Blair' - The ex-wife of Bryan Ferry has vowed to bring down the government, as she admitted her part in last week's pro-hunting demonstration. Lucy Ferry took part in the demo in Parliament Square last Wednesday. She was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London after admitting obstructing the traffic…. Jackie Coward, 18, girlfriend of Mrs Ferry's son Otis, pleaded guilty to the same charge and also received a conditional discharge and was order to pay court costs…. (story)
Edinburgh Evening News 22.9.04 Ferry's ex-wife in court - THE ex-wife of pop star Bryan Ferry was today given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £40 for causing a blockade at the pro-hunt demonstrations… (story)

Guardian 23.9.04 What will happen if foxhunting is banned? - Ian Sample - So few scientific studies have looked at the question, that the only safe bet is that more rural howls will be met with more urban cheers as the two sides continue to oppose each other, as they did last week. What a ban would do for fox numbers is uncertain. While some pro-hunting groups say populations would explode if not kept in check by hunting, others argue that that might not be the case…. A hunting ban could also change how the countryside looks. Some 23,000 hectares of woodland in England and Wales are managed by foxhunts, roughly double that found in nature reserves. Without an incentive to maintain the woodlands, which provide cover for foxes, those areas of woodland may become less well conserved. (story)

Scotsman 23.9.04 Rural activism on the increase - VIC ROBERTSON - RURAL activist David Handley, leader of the Farmers for Action group, has promised the government a "rough ride" on a variety of rural issues in the coming weeks…. "We have had enough," Handley - a South Wales dairy farmer who lists hunting and shooting among his interests - told delegates to the Stoneleigh, conference (story)

Western Mail 23.9.04 Huntsman warns of 'countryside cowboys' - Catrin Pascoe, The Western Mail - A HUNTSMAN from Wales has warned a ban on hunting with hounds could fuel an increase in "countryside cowboys" shooting foxes and other animals instead. David Jones warned otters, hares and sheep were already being killed by "unscrupulous shooters" and the cruel practice would increase if lamping became the preferred way to deal with pest foxes…. Mr Jones, of the David Davies Foxhounds hunt in Montgomeryshire, warned it would attract people who cared little for animal welfare…. But Christopher Graffius, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, stormed out of the fringe meeting, accusing huntsmen of turning on fellow sportsmen…. (story)

Derbyshire Times 23.9.04 HUNT CAMPAIGNERS VOW TO BATTLE ON - Pro-hunt campaigners in Derbyshire fear the Government's bid to ban fox-hunting will lead to enormous job and business losses and throw wildlife patterns into disarray… Steve Clark, Barlow Hunt joint master, said professional huntsmen, kennelmen, grooms, blacksmiths and businesses could be forced out of work and a ban may force farmers to battle a fox population explosion…. (story)

Cornish Guardian 23.9.04 POLICE WERE 'HEAVY-HANDED' - Hunt supporters from Cornwall who attended the protest rally in London last week have condemned the violence at Westminster, but believe heavy-handed policing may have contributed. Anita Webber of St Austell, who has attended numerous rallies over the years, felt the police had a different agenda last Wednesday. A member of the East Cornwall Hunt, Mrs Webber was in Parliament Square during the clashes… (story)
Cornish Guardian 23.9.04 SUPPORTERS HOME TIRED BUT UNHURT - Around 150 North Cornwall Hunt supporters were among those to witness bloody clashes with police outside Parliament during last week's demonstration against a ban on their sport. And Jed Watson, master of the St Breward-based hunt, stressed that the group had gone to London to protest peacefully - with everyone returning to Cornwall "tired but unscathed"…. (story)
Cornish Guardian 23.9.04 SOME USE OF DOGS STILL ALLOWED - Many people believe the Hunting Bill will ban all hunting with dogs - but that is wrong. The legislation contains a number of exemptions designed to allow gamekeepers to continue to operate…. The hunting of rats and rabbits will continue to be permitted, providing the consent of the landowner has been obtained… (story)

Northumberland Gazette 23.9.04 FEARS FOR FUTURE OF RURAL ECONOMY - LOCAL huntsmen are warning that a ban on fox hunting would spell disaster for the rural economy… Ian McKie, master of the College Valley and North Northumberland Hunt, said: "I think the whole issue of the Government's ban is totally misguided…. Martin Claxton, huntsman of the Percy Hunt, said: "We'll just have to wait and see what happens. There is another 40 days before it comes out of the House of Lords so no one can judge it."… (story)

Worcester Standard 23.9.04 MPs condemn fox protesters - THE COUNTY'S MPs have formed a united front in condemnation of the fox-hunting supporters who stormed the House of Commons chamber during the Hunting Bill debate… (story)

Lincolnshire Echo 23.9.04 I THINK MOST OF US AGREE THE YARNS THE SPIN DOCTORS WEAVE OUT AND EXPECT US TO BELIEVE ARE PRICELESS - BETTE VICKERS IN A TWIST … Just think about the money spent on banning hunting. I rode for many years but I have never hunted nor had the desire to do so. But the millions wasted on putting the Bill through Parliament would have been better spent on the National Health Service which has been abused by both patients and government…. What will come next? How about horse racing, dog racing even human racing? Boxing looks an almost certainty. Let's go the whole hog…. (story)

Stafford & Stone Chronicle 23.9.04 Fox hunters say: We will not be stopped - The Master of the North Staffordshire Hunt says she is prepared to break the law to continue fox hunting even if a ban is imposed by Parliament. Ann Hartley has signed a declaration with her members to continue hunting despite the threat of a ban…. (story)
Stafford & Stone Chronicle 23.9.04 An 'archaic and bloody ritual' - Fox-hunting is a 'grotesque and cruel activity' that serves no purpose in the Staffordshire countryside, according to the director of a national animal welfare group. Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) statistics revealed only one per cent of young lambs were killed by foxes, but as many as 15 per cent died due to exposure and disease…. (story)

Royston Crow 23.9.04 Fearing for the future. IN light of the ban on fox hunting, the Crow went to the Puckeridge Hunt to see how the new law will effect them… (story)
Royston Crow 23.9.04 MP Heald to shape security shake-up - MP Oliver Heald led the debate for the Opposition in the House of Commons last Wednesday – and witnessed its invasion by hunt demonstrators. He will now be involved in the security review which dominated the domestic news agenda last week… (story)

Kidderminster Shuttle 23.9.04 Peter vows to defy hunt ban - A KIDDERMINSTER huntmaster has pledged to defy the Government's ban on hunting, attacking the controversial bill as "a big mistake". Peter Swann, of the Albrighton Woodland Hunt, said the ban on hunting with dogs was "unenforceable" and that he was prepared to face the consequences of refusing to give up the sport… (story in archive)

Halesowen Chronicle 23.9.04 Hunt ban fear for hounds - A hunt master fears the ban on fox hunting could see a pack of 60 dogs destroyed. Peter Swann, whose Albrighton Woodland Hunt is famous for its traditional Boxing Day meeting at Hagley Hall, slammed the new law, effective from 2006, saying RSPCA claims working dogs could be re-homed as pets were 'ridiculous'…. (story)

Whitehaven News 23.9.04 ACCEPT BAN, DR JACK TELLS HUNTS - MP JACK Cunningham has told local huntsmen to accept a fox hunting ban “with good grace” — and claimed the law would be popular in Copeland…. Edmund Porter, 61, master of the Eskdale and Ennerdale Foxhounds, said he and his colleagues have yet to decide whether to defy the ban, expected to come into force by July 2006… (story)

Western Morning News 23.9.04 LACK OF CARE FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE - When Tony Blair was elected on a tidal wave of popular support in 1997, many in the countryside shared in the optimism that he would introduce a new style of Government… But if he had wanted to rub rural voters up the wrong way then he could hardly have improved upon his appointment of Jack Cunningham as his first Agriculture Minister… Defra's other ministers, who all voted for a hunting ban, enjoy a mixed relationship with farmers and country dwellers…. (story)

Western Daily Press 23.9.04 WHY THE HUNTERS ARE SCARED OF US - Earlier this week, the Western Daily Press journalists reported on the experience of hunting from the viewpoint of the so-called 'saboteurs' in Wiltshire. The Countryside Alliance claimed yesterday that there was a sinister, occasionally violent, side to the 'sabs'. Today Nathan Brown, from the Hunt Saboteurs Association, strikes back… The Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt has been consistently targeted because a hunt saboteur came very close to death when he was driven over by a hunt supporter in a 4x4 at a cub-hunting meet four years ago. He survived, but with life-changing injuries that left him unable to work…. (story)

Tamworth Herald 23.9.04 ATHERSTONE HUNT - IS IT THE END? - CAROLINE BEAMISH - Crowds of supporters of the historic Atherstone Hunt joined the angry demonstration in London last week as MPs voted to outlaw hunting with dogs…. (story)
Tamworth Herald 23.9.04 MPS VOTE TO BAN HUNTS WITH DOGS - A Ban on hunting with dogs is long overdue, Tamworth MP Brian Jenkins said this week after the controversial House of Commons vote on Wednesday… North Warwickshire MP Mike O'Brien also voted for a ban on hunting, despite his constituency's long association with the historic Atherstone Hunt…. (story)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.9.04 TOWN HAD STRONG LINKS TO HUNTING - The paper's first proprietor, George Doughty, despite his portliness, also rode with the Brocklesby. And the wife of his partner in business, Harriett Kate Hagerup, hunted with the Brocklesby for years…. (story)

Kentish Gazette 23.9.04 Couple join hunt protest - A FAMILY who claim they will lose their livelihood and home if fox hunting is banned joined supporters in last week's London protest. Veronica Blakeney, whose husband Richard is a professional huntsman and helps run the East Kent Hunt's meetings, said: "I did not think there would be that many people protesting because of the short notice. But we could hear the cheering as we walked down Whitehall and it was an amazing sound…." (story)

Kingston Guardian 23.9.04 MPs back bid to ban ‘cruel’ fox hunting - Kingston's two MPs Edward Davey and Dr Jenny Tonge were among the 339 MPs who voted to ban hunting with dogs in the controversial vote…. (story)

Belfast Telegraph 23.9.04 Farmers action group to fight hunting ban - Farmers for Action Northern Ireland, the rural pressure group, has thrown its weight behind Countryside Alliance in their fight against the Government's ban on fox hunting…. (story)

Evesham Journal 23.9.04 MP's anger at his police treatment - VALE MP Peter Luff condemned the actions of police for his treatment on the day the Hunting Bill came before the Commons. The mid-Worcestershire MP gave a short speech in Parliament Square to pro-hunt supporters, but said the police's attitude was "unhelpful" when he tried to get back inside the Commons on Wednesday, September 15. He said they tried to stop members of Parliament from getting back into the building which could have stopped them from voting… (story in archive)

Western Gazette 23.9.04 HUNT SUPPORTERS VOW TO CARRY ON FIGHT TO PRESERVE THEIR SPORT - Hunt supporters and farming leaders in Somerset say they will carry on the fight to preserve their sport after the Government voted to abolish hunting with hounds last week. But their opponents say it is the end of the road for them after MPs voted by 339 votes to 115 to ban hunting with hounds… Among the walking wounded was David Lewis, aged 34, master of the Seavington Hunt…. Richard Standing, aged 36, huntmaster to the Mendip Vale Hunt, vowed to carry on after any ban… (story)
Western Gazette 23.9.04 LOCAL MP DEFENDS HIS HUNT VOTE ABSTENTION - A Spokesman for MP David Heath has fiercely defended the parliamentarian's decision to abstain from last week's hunting vote. Mr Heath, in common with almost 150 other MPs, did not vote on whether hunting with hounds should be banned…. Rupert Nuttal, joint master of the Blackmore and Sparkford hunt, has accused the Government of "vindictive sectarianism," but said he would not criticise the Lib-Dem MP…. (story)
Western Gazette 23.9.04 MAYOR SPEAKS OUT IN FAVOUR OF HUNT BAN - A Hunt saboteur turned Dorchester civic leader has spoken out in support of the House of Commons' ruling to ban hunting within the next two years. Tim Harries, Mayor of Dorchester, said the decision signals an end to the "last vestiges of the feudal system" and a new beginning for people who live and work in the countryside. Cllr Harries said he was an active member of the Dorchester campaign for the Relief of Wildlife group throughout the 1970s - an anti-hunting group which deployed sabotage tactics and still believed that the practice of hunting animals for sport was an unethical one…. (story)

Cornishman 23.9.04 PRO-HUNT SUPPORTERS IN LONDON FOR PROTEST - STEVE FLETCHER - Pro-hunt supporters from Penwith and members of the Countryside Alliance joined thousands of protesters in London last week for the demonstration outside Parliament which ended in a violent clash with police…. Mr Mitchell met up with local supporters, including Julie Floyd and Julie Rogers of the Four Burrow Hunt, both of whom had travelled up from Cornwall especially to protest against the Government's Bill to ban hunting with dogs…. Ben Sparrow, Master of the Western Hunt, who has attended previous pro-hunt rallies in London, was unable to attend last week's event…. (story)

Sutton Guardian 23.9.04 MPs back hunting ban By Steve Wrelton - MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban hunting last week following a debate which was overshadowed by angry protesters both inside and outside the House of Commons. But the MPs in Sutton, Epsom and Ewell, Reigate and Banstead and Mole Valley, reflected a diverse range of views on the controversial issue…. (story)

Rugby Advertiser 23.9.04 Hunt protest turns into shocking bloodbath - A RUGBY huntsman has spoken of his horror at seeing demonstrations against the government's hunting ban turn into a bloodbath outside parliament. Countryside Alliance member Peter Towers, who hunts with Atherstone and Warwickshire, often with three generations of his family, was among those protesting against the ban last Wednesday… (story)

East Grinstead Courier 23.9.04 ANGER AT BID TO OUTLAW HUNTING BY KAREN STYAN - An East Grinstead resident has slammed the government's decision to outlaw fox hunting…. Irene Francis who lives in the High Street believes that hunting foxes is a more humane way of killing the creature than the alternatives… (story)

Tavistock Times 23.9.04 Hunters to defy new law - DEFIANT hunt supporters in West Devon say they will flout any new law banning hunting with dogs, following last week?s majority vote in the Commons… Guy Morlock, master of Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt, said last week?s demonstration was mainly peaceful ? but he predicted far more heated events if the Government insisted on forcing the bill through…. Michael Bickell, chairman of Lamerton Foxhounds, said last week?s demonstration was ?moving and peaceful?... (story)

The Comet 23.9.04 MPs oppose ban on hunting - THE Government's controversial bill to ban hunting with dogs was opposed by the majority of local MPs…. Hitchin man Reg Norgan from Graveley was among the protestors in Parliament Square. "It was certainly an eye opener," said Mr Norgan, 66, owner of Hitchin Snooker Club. e rides with the Puckeridge and Cambridgeshire and Enfield Chase hunt groups. (story)

Cotswold Journal 23.9.04 Pro-hunters hurt at march - COTSWOLD protesters injured at the hunting demonstration outside Parliament claim the police response was over the top…. Gary Edwards, a former Royal Marine who is now a full-time terrier man at the Heythrop Kennels, said he fell foul of police batons after trying to protect a group of women…. Anthony Spencer, a joint master with the Warwickshire Hunt, said he lost count of the times he was hit… (story in archive)

The Forester 23.9.04 THIS IS JUST THE START, MR BLAIR! - One of the hunting activists who stormed the House of Commons has threatened to bring chaos to the Labour Party Conference. Hartpury stud owner David Redvers warned Prime Minister Tony Blair to expect major disruption in Brighton this weekend…. (story)
The Forester 23.9.04 HISTORY OF HUNTING BAN PROPOSALS (story)

Central Somerset Gazette 23.9.04 PRO-HUNT ARREST - A central Somerset farm labourer is due in court next week charged with threatening behaviour during prohunting demonstrations in London. Brett Parsons, aged 31, from Sticklynch, was arrested as hundreds of people protested against the government's plans to ban fox hunting… (story)

(Central Somerset Gazette site) 23.9.04 HATRED OF HUNTING - A few days ago a publicity-seeking non-entity attracted media attention by gaining access to Buck House in order to further some meaningless cause or other…. If I hated those who hunted before, I really loath them now, after having been brought face to face with the snarling faces of the police-hating neanderthals who choose to support anarchy rather than accept the concept of democracy. (story)

(Central Somerset Gazette site) 23.9.04 PASSIONS ROUSED - The Debate on the cruelty or otherwise of hunting with dogs arouses passions on both sides that almost no other subject seems to inspire…. As the violent scenes outside of Parliament, the unprecedented invasion of the Commons by five protesters and the threatened campaign of mass civil disobedience have shown, hunt supporters are willing to go a long way to protect their livelihood, jobs and way of life. Even if that means spending time in jail. (story)

(Central Somerset Gazette site) 23.9.04 BAN WILL RUIN RURAL ECONOMY - At The core of the pro-hunting argument is a belief that the bill to ban hunting with dogs will do nothing for animal welfare and will cause irreparable damage to an already fragile rural economy. Clare Pinsent, secretary of the South and West Wiltshire Hunt, said: "Fox hunting is about liberty, livelihood and a way of country life…." (story)

(Central Somerset Gazette site) 23.9.04 MEN IN TIGHTS DID ALL THEY COULD DO - If The misguided young men that invaded the Commons last week been al-Qaeda, there would have been a big bang and lots of by-elections. In these troubled times it beggars belief that security in Britain's top terrorist target could be so slack. But I was sickened to find government ministers on the box within hours, laying into the "me in tights" of the Sergeant at Arms department…. (story)

(Central Somerset Gazette site) 23.9.04 HUNTING IS 'CRUELTY WITHOUT PURPOSE' - For Many people in the West Country, fox hunting is an unquestioned tradition which has been part of the local scene for centuries. But for Will Angeloro, a native New Yorker who now lives and works in Frome, it is a surreal and pointless practice that serves no real purpose…. >(story)

Warminster & Westbury Standard 23.9.04 DO YOU AGREE WITH THE VOTE TO BAN HUNTING WITH HOUNDS? - vox pop (story)

Somerset Standard 23.9.04 DO YOU AGREE WITH THE VOTE TO BAN HUNTING WITH HOUNDS? - vox pop (story)

Weston & Worle News 23.9.04 COTTER BACKS COMMONS BAN ON FOX HUNTING - Weston MP Brian Cotter has welcomed the decision to ban hunting with hounds, having voted in favour of a ban during last Wednesday's vote by MPs… (story)

Somerset Standard 23.9.04 FENCE GIFT FOR MP WHO REFUSED TO VOTE - A local politician this week gave Frome's MP an early Christmas present in the wake of the government's decision to ban hunting with dogs. Clive Allen (Con), who will stand against David Heath (Lib Dem) at the next general election, delivered a fence to the MP's office in Catherine Hill on Tuesday…. (story)

Western Telegraph 23.9.04 Hunt Bill: local man hurt in Parliament demo and MP receives hate mail - A SOUTH Pembrokeshire Hunt member may take civil action against the Metropolitan Police, after he needed 12 stitches to a wound in his head when the pro-hunting demonstration in Parliament Square, London, on Wednesday turned violent. Richard Goldsworthy (pictured) was one of nearly 100 hunt supporters from Pembrokeshire who travelled to London to urge MPs to vote against the Hunting with Dogs Bill…. Among those also caught up in the confrontation was the South Pembrokeshire Hunt's kennel huntsman, Simon Jones…. (story in archive)

Llanelli Star 23.9.04 TIME FOR TEA AS COMMONS SEES PROTEST - HAZEL LUCAS - Llanelli Mp Denzil Davies nipped out of the House of Commons for a cup of tea - and returned to find the chamber had been stormed by protesters…. (story)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 23.9.04 Hunt Bill is stamping all over democracy - North Wiltshire MP James Gray was in the Commons chamber on Wednesday, when five pro-hunting campaigners breached security. He condemned the fighting with police, but said the hunters had a viable argument…. (story in archive)

North Devon Journa 23.9.04 INJURED BY BLOW IN HUNT CLASHES - Geoffrey brown is recovering from a head wound which required six stitches in the London clashes between police and pro-hunt protesters. Mr Brown, of West Anstey, hunts with the Devon and Somerset Staghounds and watched the chaos unfold before his eyes at last week's demonstration…. Torrington Farmers' Foxhounds master Ken Ford, who lives near Alverdiscott, went with 50 other hunt members…. (story)

Melton Times 23.9.04 HUNTING BAN 1 - MEMBERS of Melton's hunt community witnessed first hand the melee that ensued last week in Westminster during a pro-hunt demonstration. Representatives of the Quorn, Belvoir and Cottes-more hunts were in the crowd as pro-hunt protesters clashed with police…. (story)
Melton Times 23.9.04 HUNTING BAN 2 - WHEN Melton councillor Elaine Holmes went to Parliament to see the hunting debate last Wednesday she had no idea what she was letting herself in for. She travelled to London with the Belvoir Hunt and found herself witness to the invasion by protesters, talking to injured demonstrators and testing patchy Commons security…. (story)

Denbighshire Free Press 23.9.04 LOCAL HUNT SUPPORTERS VOW TO DEFY BAN - ‘I will keep hunting. They can arrest me and lock me up but I will still hunt’ - Flint and Denbigh Huntsman Jeremy Reed - VALE of Clwyd pro-hunt campaigners have condemned police action at a mass demonstration against banning hunting with dogs at Parliament Square last week… (story)

Staffordshire Newsletter 23.9.04 Hunters are still welcome, says earl By Gail Atkinson - A STAFFORDSHIRE landowner says he will not ban foxhunters from his land in spite of the Government’s "stupid" anti-hunting bill. The Earl of Harrowby, who owns the Sandon estate which hosts the North Staffs Hunt six times a year, said although he didn’t like hunting, he didn’t like dictatorships.... (story)

Cornwall Packet 23.9.04 Hunt faces gun terror Hunt faces gun terror - MEMBERS of the Four-Burrow hunt were left in fear for their lives after a man who opposed the sport fired a shotgun over their heads twice - terrifying men, women and children. Ian Bruce Panton, 50, of Carne Poldrouse, Black Rock, Praze, Camborne, pleaded guilty to intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour when he appeared at Truro magistrates' court last week…. (story in archive)

Western Daily Press 23.9.04 WEST HUNTERS INVADE MACCA'S DEER HAVEN - Police were last night investigating claims that hunters blockaded Sir Paul McCartney's Exmoor animal sanctuary while they killed a deer. The warden of the 80-acre woodland near Dulverton in Somerset said he had been prevented from getting on to the land by men with guns and dogs and 4x4s across the tracks into the refuge…. Master of Tiverton Staghounds John Lucas last night said he was unaware of the allegations and stressed the hunters involved were not from the Tiverton organization… The Western Daily Press last night was unsuccessful in its attempts to contact the Master of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds (story)

Hereford Journal 23.9.04 I'll lose it all, says huntsman By DEBORAH COLLINS - “I stand to lose everything if this bill goes through, my job, my house, my lifestyle – you don’t get much more dramatic than that.” That is the claim of the Herefordshire huntsman who burst into the House of Commons last week to protest against the ban on fox hunting. John Holliday, a member of the Ledbury Hunt, was one of eight men arrested after they stormed the Commons chamber in a “pitifully easy” attempt to protest against the ban… (story)

Surrey Mirror 23.9.04 Our constitution is being threatened - THE Government's argument that it has the right to do whatever it wants because it is democratically elected is constitutionally incorrect. Under our constitution the Government, through Parliament, has the right to do anything which is not an abuse of the power lent to it as representatives of the people. The ban on foxhunting is a clearly an abuse of power and a gratuitous act of tyranny against hundreds of thousands of our people…. Peter Lindsay UK Independence Party, Reigate branch (letter)

Surrey Mirror 23.9.04 Perhaps foxhounds should hunt pets - THE recent legislative changes as to what is acceptable practice in the countryside seems to have brought a certain derision from some of those few people, who "own" (or work on) what is by far the greater proportion of our land. Some land "owners" are preventing the Ministry of Defence from exercising on their land in retaliation. Such un-patriotic thinking from prominent Countryside Alliance (CA) members shows arrogant contempt some of these people have for our nation…. Nick Wells, Firtree Walk, Reigate (letter)

Nottingham Evening Post 23.9.04 No respect for the police - Tony Blair is using the police, and will continue to use them, to put down demonstrations against his Bill to ban hunting with dogs…. Much of that respect and consent has been lost and is probably the main reason why the country is in its present state of lawlessness…. ROBERT F. PATTISON Gateford Close Bramcote (letter)

Somerset Guardian 23.9.04 PARLIAMENT HAS A DUTY TO BAN HUNTING - Now we finally have an end in sight to the practise of hunting with hounds, I cannot believe certain sections of the media have yet again jumped on the "lack of civil liberties and democracy" bandwagon. Would they claim a convicted dog- or cat-torturer's civil liberties are being infringed by putting them in prison? I don't think so… RYAN STOTT, Withies Park, Midsomer Norton (letter)

Somerset Guardian 23.9.04 FOX FEED TAKES THE BISCUIT - I thought our local MP Dan Norris was at least of average intelligence. Seeing him on television feeding dog biscuits to a tame fox has changed my opinion…. JOHN HIGGINS, New Road, High Littleton (letter)

Somerset Guardian 23.9.04 GROUP SHOWS TRUE COLOURS - So the Countryside Alliance thought they'd treat the police the way they treat anyone who protests against their foul activity. Their complete disregard for the democratic process is now evident and people are lining up to assure the rest of us they want no part of it…. ALUN PERSON, Green Street,Ston Easton (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 23.9.04 A cruel practice From Melanie Dennis, Bridgacre, Cambridge - I WAS shocked and disturbed by the scenes of the pro-hunting supporters protesting at Parliament Square shown on ITV and Channel 4 news. I am bewildered and distressed by the massive determination and violent fervour of these people to continue the viciously cruel practice of hunting animals with dogs…. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 23.9.04 Hunting tradition - From Rowland H Crane, Victoria Park, Cambridge - I AM appalled at what happened in the House of Commons on September 15. It seems to be the end of democracy in this country as we know it. I can't understand the mentality of the members of Parliament who voted to ban hunting with dogs and also saying that if the House of Lords opposes the ban, they will overrule the House of Lords with the Parliament Bill to bring the ban into force…. (letter)

Cambridge Evening News 23.9.04 How few listened - From Councillor Keith Walters - The Gardens, Sawtry - THE most impressive thing about the protest inside the House of Commons was that it exposed how few of our elected representatives listened to the debate before casting their votes…. And yet, when the division bell sounded, something like 600 turned up and voted. Could one ask the basis upon which they voted? Was it preconceived ideas or instructions from above? (letter)

Times 23.9.04 Police versus the hunting protesters The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir John Stevens, should by now have had the opportunity to examine the television footage and press photographs of the pro-hunting protests in Parliament Square last Wednesday… Certain officers seem clearly to be guilty of the offences of assault, wounding and causing grievous bodily harm. We have a right to expect that the Commissioner will ensure that, where appropriate, criminal proceedings are commenced against the police officers responsible without delay. Yours faithfully, WILLIAM CRAWFORD, Dalgonar, Dunscore, Dumfriesshire DG2 0SS. (letter)

Times 23.9.04 Drag hunting - I believe there are many advantages to drag hunting. The route can be arranged so as to accommodate less competent riders on less highly trained and less expensive horses, therefore widening access to the sport…. NEVILLE PEEL, 5 Church Brow, Mottram-in-Longdendale, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 6JJ. (letter)

Oxford Mail 23.9.04 Hunting is the only method - There is an old saying, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This applies to many in the anti-hunting set, who show complete ignorance of the subject…. no fox is ever wounded and gets away. It is either dead or gets away unscathed…. Allan Busby, Abingdon Road, Marcham (letter in archive)

Lincolnshire Echo 23.9.04 HUNTERS HAVE TO LEARN TO CHANGE - I Remember as a child the awful sick feeling I felt when I first understood the meaning of fox hunting. It is the same feeling I get when I hear of anything to do with whale harpooning or the dog meat markets and the illegal trade in ivory - only hunting still happens in this country… GILLIAN PEPPER Boultham, Lincoln.
I fully agree with MP Gillian Merron's vote against fox hunting. People have said hunting is a country pursuit; so it might be but we have moved on…. MRS JANE HAYES Newark Road, Lincoln. (letters)

Wolverhampton Express & Star 23.9.04 Hunt yobs deserved it - What a load of yobs, those fox hunting demonstrators are. They deserved all they got…. The miners weren't shown any sympathy when they were fighting for their livelihoods…. M Cooper, Wolverhampton Road, Sedgley. (letter)

Bath Chronicle 23.9.04 IF WE WANT CRUEL SPORTS, WHY NOT COCKFIGHTING? - Having read the letter from Mrs Sarah Phillips printed in last Friday's edition of your excellent newspaper, I feel that certain facts regarding the hunting with dogs debate should be stated. Our elected Government is simply carrying out a measure that was in its manifesto and is supported by a majority in this country…. DAVID GRIFFITHS, Pen-y-Dre, Rhiwbina, Cardiff (letter)

Northern Echo 23.9.04 HUNTING - NORMAN Smith (HAS, Sept 20) is, I feel, a victim of yet more Labour spin. The demonstrators who outsmarted House of Commons security last week were not mostly upper class…. So Mr Smith, condemn many things about last week, by all means. The behaviour of some of the police was appalling and unnecessarily brutal…. Tony Blair has decided to force this unpopular measure through to the Statute Book, but demonstrated his lack of moral courage by failing to attend the House of Commons, even for the vote. - Derek Thornton, Crook (letter in archive)

South Wales Evening Post 23.9.04 IT'S GOOD RIDDANCE . . . It's enough to make a cat laugh - those great animal lovers, the huntspeople, trying to pull at our heart strings by telling us they'll have to put down large numbers of hounds when hunting stops (Post, September 17). What they don't tell us is that they regularly put down large numbers of hounds anyway - just as soon as their hunting days are over…. Howard Moss, Trafalgar Place, Brynmill, Swansea (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 23.9.04 HUNTING COMMENTS WAY OFF THE MARK - I Would like to reply to the article "Jobs not at risk" (Mail, September 17) by countryside reporter David Taylor. The report features top rural adviser Lord Haskins, who states that job losses as a result of the ban on fox hunting has been overstated…. I am a field sportsman of 60 years who enjoys what the countryside has to offer and I'm working to keep it that way for countryside lovers who will follow me in later years. Arthur Leek, Fernhill Road, Priory Road, Hull (letter)

Western Mail 23.9.04 Loss of freedom … How sad it is that the former Wales First Minister and Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Michael MP, chose not to get out and ramble on the hills… It strikes me that as he tries to take away people's freedom and liberty, perhaps he is now starting to learn the hard way what it actually feels like to have one's liberty and freedom taken away. You reap what you sow! DENISE JACOBS, Heol Llanishen Fach, Rhiwbina, Cardiff.
Barbaric sport - There are a number of misleading arguments being put forward by the powerful fox hunting and stag hunting lobby, which I find I must respond to, they include: 1. Banning these blood sports would lead to the loss of thousands of rural jobs. Fact: Not one job needs to be lost because all the hunts need to do is change over to drag hunting…. ROB CURTIS, Labour Councillor, Merthyr Dyfan Road, Barry. (letters)

Scotsman 23.9.04 Rascals I hope your cartoon of fox-hunting rascals (18 September) was intended to condemn them… William Speirs INNERLEITHEN (letter)

The Sentinel 23.9.04 FOX HUNTING MUST DIE - In James Eyre-Walker's article of September 16 he asks why the Government is bothering with the ban on fox hunting. It may have something to do with the fact that the majority of people think this is a gut-wrenchingly despicable pastime…. NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED (letter)

The Sentinel 23.9.04 CREDIBILITY TAKES A DIVE ON PRO-HUNT ISSUE - When John Abberley (September 17) insinuated that the mild chastisement meted out to the pro-hunt yuppies on September 15, was more severe than the mounted police and dog handlers attacks on the mining demonstrators of 1984, his credibility takes another dive… Was there ever any doubt that this archaic and abominable pastime of the rural Jessies and Janes would be outlawed?... BG JONES Alsager (letter)

The Sentinel 23.9.04 Condemn this vile pastime - Being always wary of those letter writers who begin by saying "I don't hunt, but . . ." usually means that they either support-the hunting of animals or wish not to take a stand either way…. P Taffs, Telford (letter)

Western Morning News 23.9.04 Regional decision? BY all accounts, a clear majority of Westcountry MPs voted last Wednesday against the imposition of a hunting ban. If the official proposals for regional government had already come to fruition, would the South West have been permitted to reach its own decision of the matter… Richard Giles, Exmouth (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.9.04 SOCIETY DRAGGED DOWN BY COMMON CONSENT - The BBC is to be congratulated for allowing the coverage showing the size and sentiment of the country folk who assembled in Parliament Square during the hunting debate… The Government relished the destruction of the House of Lords, the one chamber which represented the intellectual elite of England, where any subject in debate would receive balanced opinions from a number of experienced brains from among their lordships…. Ian Macdonald Glastonbury Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.9.04 TIME TO STOP TORTURING FOX - A massive majority of British people has long wanted to see an end to foxes being ripped to death by hounds… R J Keirle Jr Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.9.04 DEMOCRACY IS ALL ABOUT THIS - Having read the comments you printed by "high profile" supporters of hunting, I despair of some members of the human race. Those comments are beyond contempt…. T Bennett Bridgwater Somerset (letter)

Western Daily Press 23.9.04 THE MINORITY V MAJORITY - In your Opinion comment of September 16 you end by saying "that our democracy is still in safe hands, as the vote went as predicted". The reason that so many felt angry and frustrated in Parliament Square is that they believe that in the hands of the present Government parliamentary democracy is neither democratic nor in safe hands…. John Rawlins Bishops Caundle Sherborne Dorset (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 23.9.04 FOXES BEING FORCED INTO TOWNS TO LOOK FOR FOOD - I have never ridden to hunt in my life but there is no doubt in my mind that the Government is making a huge mistake in banning fox hunting…. I have never ridden to hunt in my life but there is no doubt in my mind that the Government is making a huge mistake in banning fox hunting…. D J W Headon, Pennsylvania Road, Exeter (letter)

Grimsby Telegraph 23.9.04 A DISTORTED VIEW ON HUNTING …Does Mr Coppin not realise that this act is the first step towards a total ban on fox hunting, rather than, as he suggests, "about the class hatred of Labour backbenchers for Tory toffs and the landed gentry"? Hunting as a sport is a cruel, inhumane and morally unjustifiable activity… Lewis Horder, Dunbar Avenue, New Waltham. (letter)

POWA letter
Worcester Evening News 23.9.04 Spin and confusion over hunting issue - IN her letter of Wednesday, September 15, Judy Gilbert of Protect Our Wild Animals maintains hunting is unaccountable. This, she claims, is because POWA is prevented from gathering video evidence in the hunting field. This is in complete contradiction to the POWA website where we are told they have film of numerous hunting incidences… Considering all the spin and confusion is it any wonder POWA no longer appear not to have any monitors locally but are forced to rely on Judy Gilbert of London to write letters for them. JON BURGESS, Malvern. (letter in archive)
Worcester Evening News 15.9.04 We should be allowed to film awful reality - JUDY GILBERT, POWA. (letter in archive)
North East Evening Gazette 13.9.04 Hidden hunting - JUDY GILBERT Hunt Monitor, Protect Our Wild Animals, London (letter)
Somerset Standard 9.9.04 LET MONITORS WATCH HUNTS - JUDY GILBERT, Hunt monitor, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) (letter)
Somerset Guardian 9.9.04 LET MONITORS WATCH HUNTS - JUDY GILBERT, Hunt monitor, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) (letter)
Warminster & Westbury Standard 9.9.04 LET MONITORS WATCH HUNTS - JUDY GILBERT, Hunt monitor, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) (letter
South Wales Evening Post 8.9.04 A CHALLENGE TO THE HUNT - Judy Gilbert, POWA, Tormount Road, Plumstead, London. (letter)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph 7.9.04 Hunters still hiding the truth JUDY GILBERT, Hunt Monitor, Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA), London. (letter in archive)
Western Daily Press 6.9.04 AUTUMN DEATH SENTENCE ON CUBS - Under a cloak of secrecy 8,000 fox cubs will suffer a savage death this autumn - ripped apart by hounds training for the new hunting season…. Over the next few months we will be monitoring this secretive practice known euphemistically as 'autumn hunting' but we are currently powerless to prevent it… We urge readers to write to Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street, London, asking him to keep his promise to reintroduce the Hunting Bill this September. Judy Gilbert POWA Hunt Monitor Buckinghamshire (letter)
People 29.8.04 DON'T LET 8,000 CUBS DIE - New plea to ban fox hunt horror By Alice Haine - EIGHT thousand fox cubs will suffer an agonising and savage death this autumn - being ripped apart by hounds training for the new hunting season…. Today The People asks you to help save the cubs by urging the Government to act on its promise to outlaw fox-hunting . Judy Gilbert, of the League Against Cruel Sports, told The People: "It's horrific…" (story)

Herts Advertiser 23.9.04 Odd priorities - I was not surprised to see that our St Albans MP Kerry Pollard chose to vote last week to ban fox hunting - after all he has always been against fox hunting. While I welcome the fact that he took the trouble to vote, it seems to aptly sum up his priorities… MR G. BROWN, Antonine Gate, St Albans (letter)

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 23.9.04 Last barbaric practice should be allowed to die - THERE seems to be a curious ignorance afflicting those who fight against the democratic rights of the majority of people who elect representatives to Parliament. The fox hunting lobby seem to believe that they are fighting for `human rights' but actually abusing them with a misnomer. Humans have no `rights' to killing anything…. P SMITH, Chippenham (letter in archive)

Ormskirk Advertiser 23.9.04 We're foxed - THE news of late has been full of the banning of fox hunting with hounds. There are over 300 hunts over the country, so I read, but not many - or any - in this area…. ALAN and MYRA PRESCOTT, Cross Pitt Lane, Rainford (letter)

Ormskirk Advertiser 23.9.04 Vote thanks - THE League Against Cruel Sports would like to thank its many supporters and MPs of all parties for all their hard work in obtaining a vote in the House of Commons to ban hunting with dogs… DOUGLAS BATCHELOR Chief Executive League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Horncastle News 23.9.04 Thanks for support in helping to ban this barbaric bloodsport DOUGLAS BATCHELOR Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (story)
Chester Chronicle 23.9.04 Ban after 80 years of protesting by Kevin Hughes, Chester Chronicle Newspapers - THE League Against Cruel Sports would like to thank its many supporters and MPs of all parties for all their hard work in obtaining a vote in the House of Commons to ban hunting with dogs on September 15…. DOUGLAS BATCHELOR, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)
Penarth Times 23.9.04 Victory Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports. (letter in archive)
Barry & District News 23.9.04 Vote thanks Douglas Batchelor Chief Executive League Against Cruel Sports (letter in archive)

Warminster & Westbury Standard 23.9.04 & Somerset Standard 23.9.04 FOXES ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE - Once again the fox hunting ban is upon us and the affair gets more bizarre daily - now we are told the way to make our opinions known is "through the ballet box". Are we then to ask our candidate whether he is for or against a ban and vote accordingly? What about the NHS, education, pensions, the war in Iraq?... I wouldn't hunt myself, but a ban on hunting wouldn't save the life of one fox - they would be shot, trapped or poisoned, which can all be cruel (and not always only to the fox)…. BETTE ANDERSON, Ash Walk, Warminster (letter)

East Grinstead Courier 23.9.04 CHEERS FOR THE HOUSE INTRUDERS - So, our PM has decided to stir up a hornets?? nest by appeasing his back benchers and paying back the animal rights lobby for the donation they made to the Labour Party in 1997… More cheers for the House of Commons hunt intruders. J Stanley Clarke, Plaw Hatch Lane, Sharpthorne (letter)

Ilkley Gazette 23.9.04 Hunting cruel - Mrs Ann Cryer must be feeling a touch miffed. She is in danger of being knocked off her alleged perch of seeming `to be knowledgable on every topic which surfaces' by arch know-all Victor Bean… Regarding his latest outpouring objecting to the ban on foxhunting, the bottom line is that foxhunting is cruel and distressing, and it is impossible to understand how anyone can find pleasure in chasing an animal to its death to be ferociously torn to pieces by hounds, or support those who do…. AUDREY HARGREAVES, 6 North Street, Addingham. (letter in archive)

West Briton 23.9.04 'MORE SNOBS AT THE GOLF CLUB THAN AT THE HUNT' - "IS it cos, I'se Posh"? was the Ali G message on a banner at the pro hunting demonstration in Westminster last week. That said it all… For the first time moderate speakers made it clear that if a ban is brought in it will be ignored, and if there are prosecutions barristers are already lined up, including one who has a history of defending black Africans against the former bullying white government of South Africa…. It is not too late to avoid falling over this cliff but the government is now so near the edge that I fear that it may not be able to scramble back. JOHN JASPER, Gew, Kea, Truro (letter)

West Briton 23.9.04 WEBSITE DOES NOT OFFER DEFENCE - After hearing the good news that the government has voted to ban hunting I looked at the website of the Countryside Alliance. I was not surprised to find that while they "defend this important and beneficial aspect of rural life", they make no attempt to defend the actual act of fox hunting with hounds…. IAN BOWDEN, 21 St Clements Close, Truro (letter)

Cornishman 23.9.04 WHO KNOWS WHERE A BAN COULD LEAD? B r W Sparrow, Trevelloe, Paul Re Hunting with Dogs - YOU report last week that our MP is of the view that the House of Lords has no right to frustrate the democratic will of the House of Commons… f a ban on hunting is successful, in the future any minority will be at the mercy of a majority of MPs who, due to spite or prejudice, happen to dislike them or whatever activity they may partake in…. (letter)

Berwickshire News 23.9.04 - Such an unjust law will merely unite law abiding countryside - Jeremy Whaley, Reedy Loch, Duns (letter)
Shropshire Star 22.9.04 Invasion a lesson for MPs - When Otis Ferry led his pack into the House of Commons my first instinct was to say they were foolish and would not help our cause. However, seeing the reaction of furious politicians of all parties, I have now come to appreciate that no action that we take in future will be more appropriate…. Perhaps now these pompous, overpaid, over-privileged people will begin to know what it is like to have one's way of life interfered with…. Jeremy Whaley, Berwickshire (letter)

Western Gazette 23.9.04 THE HUNTING DEBATE - With the Hunting Bill having been rushed through Parliament, the Government believes it has finally crushed the will of the countryside. History will prove otherwise of course but, in the meantime, the battle is far from over - it is merely stepping up a gear… Alan Wiseman, Wayside, Plush, near Dorchester.
NOWHERE in his copious articles for the local press did I note any reference from David Laws MP to the fact that he would vote to ban hunting. It may have also come as a surprise to the many thousands of his countryside electors!... Richard English, Broadmead Lane, Norton-sub-Hamdon.
I THINK the true colours of the hunting people were shown by the thuggish behaviour that went on when they arrogantly tried to storm the House of Commons and the violent clashes with police…. Chris Hull, Coles Lane, Yetminster. (letters)