May 2010

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(*)- added since last update


31.5.10

Leicester Mercury 31.5.10 'Barbaric sports' - In the Queen's speech, David Cameron stated that there were no plans to reverse the ban on fox-hunting and there will be a free vote on it only if MPs support a debate… Where does the concept of 50 dogs, 15 horses and 15 people in red coats all celebrating a good day's torture enter into the argument?... Anthony M Wallis, Stoneygate (letter)

Yorkshire Post 31.5.10 More countryside enthusiasts flock to this year's game fair By Robert Sutcliffe - THOUSANDS of countryside enthusiasts flocked to the Yorkshire Game Fair at Harewood House, near Leeds, yesterday as attendance figures were expected to beat last year's total of 20,000…. (story)

BBC News Online 31.5.10 Tension rises as badger cull looms in Pembrokeshire By Iolo ap Dafydd BBC Wales environment correspondent - Tensions are increasing in north Pembrokeshire as the Welsh Assembly Government's plans for a badger cull create anger and fear…. (story)

30.5.10

Wales on Sunday 30.5.10 I AM deeply disappointed that despite widespread public moral outrage, which prompted a Judicial Review into its legitimacy, the proposed badger “cull” of thousands of innocent and beautiful animals, is due to go ahead in Pembrokeshire… REBECCA PLANTONNanternis, New Quay, Ceredigion (letter)
Tivyside Advertiser 24.5.10 Senseless massacre - I am deeply disappointed and shocked that despite widespread public moral outrage, which prompted a Judicial Review into its legitimacy, the proposed badger ‘cull’ of thousand of innocent and beautiful animals, is due to go ahead in Pembrokeshire, any moment now…. Rebecca Planton, New Quay (letter)

29.5.10

Horse & Hound 29.5.10 Hunting supporters set up new Highlands drag hunt – Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor - Scottish hunting supporters, tired of eight-hour round trips to meets, have set up a new drag hunt in the Highlands. The Highland Drag hunt will hold its opening meeting in September and is currently advertising for a huntsman… (story)

Torquay Herald Express 29.5.10 New politics that will give people little benefit - THE new Liberal-Conservative coalition Government, partly created by old Liberal Democrats such as Adrian Sanders, talks a lot about 'new politics'. As a 'lefty', I have always been supportive of new politics and the Labour Party's delivery of a national minimum wage, a ban on hunting with hounds… DAVID PEDRICK-FRIEND, Torbay Labour Party (story)

28.5.10

Irish Independent 28.5.10 Wider dangers of animal cruelty - THE disturbing animal cruelty incident highlighted on RTE's 'Liveline' on Wednesday serves as another reminder of how some continue to regard setting dogs on other animals as "sport" and a source of enjoyment… Our politicians have made a start on getting rid of "respectable" animal cruelty by drawing up legislation to ban the practise of carted stag hunting… John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)

Irish Examiner 28.5.10 Opponents of ‘barbaric’ field sports smeared as animal rights fascists - SEÁN McGovern’s letter (May 22) defending Deputy Mattie McGrath’s comments on animal rights activists typifies the perception that both he and Mr McGrath like to create by labelling anyone who opposes hunting or highlights the plight of the animals as animal rights fascists. I’m sure I’m one of a significant number of people who find the concept of "legitimate field sports"… as a totally unacceptable and barbaric activity for any civilised society… Ger Brown Castleredmond Midleton Co Cork (letter)
Irish Examiner 28.5.10 Stupid humans not superior to other species - SEÁN McGovern (Letters, May 22) claims that because one animal rights activist resorts to terrorism, all are terrorists and he defends animal cruelty by abusing those who oppose it…. Humans who cannot empathise with the suffering of others cannot claim to be any better than the creatures they choose to torture, which ironically is the only way they justify themselves. Michael Job Glengarriff Co Cork (letter)
Irish Examiner 22.5.10 Animal rights activists are ‘bullies who can’t take their own medicine’ - I WAS greatly amused by Nuala Donlon’s letter (May 20) attacking Deputy Mattie McGrath for calling animal rights activists "nothing short of terrorists"…. best of all is Miss Donlon hiding behind "incitement to hatred" because of some supposed attacks on poor animal rights supporters in Ireland. Funnily enough when her co-member of the Association of Hunt saboteurs, Bernie Wright, claims in the national media that those who engage in legitimate fieldsports are no better than child abusers, this is not incitement to hatred… Seán McGovern, Parteen, Co Clare (letter)
Irish Examiner 20.5.10 TD’s ‘outlandish’ attack on animal campaigners - THE recent attempts by Deputy Mattie McGrath to discredit those of us who campaign for more progressive animal protection laws represent the latest ploy in an increasingly desperate campaign to deflect attention from the serious animal welfare issues which forthcoming legislation seeks to address…. Coming as it does from a man who supports the terrorising and killing of animals for fun, this outlandish accusation would be amusing if it wasn’t for the fact that in recent months a number of animal activists have been on the receiving end of a vicious internet and phone campaign of intimidation…. Nuala Donlon, Rooskey, Co Roscommon (letter)

Wiltshire Times 28.5.10 Helping animals - I would like to thank the people of Trowbridge for raising £56.53 during my street collection on May 8 in aid of Compassion In World Farming… Roger G Challoner Green, Church Lane, Wingfield (letter)

27.5.10

Salisbury Journal 27.5.10 Fears over possible hunting repeal By Karen Bate - AN animal rights campaigner has warned of the “atrocities” that will be inflicted on animals if the hunting ban is repealed. NEW Forest MP Desmond Swayne vowed to vote for a repeal of the hunting ban if the Tories won the election…. But Ken James, chairman of the New Forest Animal Protection League, has said that what people are forgetting is lifting the ban would allow the hunting of otters, hares and deer as well as foxes… Chairman of the New Forest Hounds Mike Squibb said that the election had been a "disappointment" in some ways. However, he added: "In the current circumstances we didn't really know what to expect but I can understand why they are going to do it that way."… (story)

Gloucester Citizen/Echo 27.5.10 Warning after wild boar savages rescue greyhound - A RESCUE greyhound had to be put down after being attacked by a wild boar in woodland near the Speech House. Cara was the second dog to be attacked within days and she was so badly injured vets could do nothing to save her… (story)

Daily Post 27.5.10 Welsh cull marred by embarrassing security breach claim by Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - BADGER lovers are calling for the west Wales cull to be suspended following an embarrassing breach in the security system used by contract surveyors. Ecological experts carrying out the survey for the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) have been issued with photo identity cards complete with individual serial numbers which can be used for authentification. Now those serial numbers are in the public domain after a WAG official was photographed carrying a document, containing the numbers, in a see-through plastic wallet… PATC spokesman Michael Ritchie said: “We don’t intend doing anything with the serial numbers but others might… (story)

Meat Trades Journal 27.5.10 Animal Aid attacks farmers - Animal activists have launched an attack on UK livestock farming claiming the industry presents a significant threat to human health. Animal Aid have published a booklet entitled "Is factory farming making you sick?" and supported the launch with secretly shot film footage collated over a three year period… (story)

Ilford Recorder 27.5.10 RSPCA clear Big Top over 'cruelty' claims - THE CIRCUS may have come to town but it's not all fun and games as Barkingside residents go to war with Big Top bosses over what they call the "barbaric" treatment of animals. Rob Blackmore of Forest Road, Barkingside, claims ponies and a donkey were left in the "blazing sun without a drop of water" from 8am to 3pm on Monday when temperatures were at a high… another Barkingside resident, who has asked not to be named, called the RSPCA claiming the animals had "no shade" and were " left tied up in the boiling heat." A spokesman for the RSPCA said the inspector who visited the site was satisfied the animals were "well" and the circus explained they were in the process of setting up stables… (story)

Tamworth Herald 27.5.10 Circus protest was pointless - IT WAS really nice to see Peter Jolly's Circus still travelling the country and giving so much pleasure to so many people…. I only really noticed it this time because it was on the fields next to Bonehill, but I was really amused to see a camel and a zebra grazing in the field there. This was all then spoilt by a group of people who had taken it upon themselves to demonstrate about the animals being used there. Have they not got a life?... Having spoken to one member of the group about their motivation, he asked me if I cared about the animals being abused… The answer to him is yes, I would be the first to complain if I thought there was anything cruel happening to any of the animals, but running around a ring a couple of times a day and being looked after the rest of the time doesn't constitute abuse… Geoff Stanley, via email. (letter)

26.5.10

ThisIsDevon 26.5.10 Vote on hunting ban repeal wins backing of MP - TIVERTON and Honiton's new MP has welcomed the prospect of a repeal of the law which bans hunting with dogs. Conservative Neil Parish is pleased that the new coalition had indicated a willingness to hold a Parliamentary vote on whether to repeal the Hunting Act, introduced by the Labour government…. Exeter MP and former Labour minister Ben Bradshaw has vowed to fight 'tooth and nail' against any move to scrap the ban… (story)

Stroud News & Journal 26.5.10 Stroud MP Neil Carmichael pledges to vote for fox hunt repeal By Crispin Northey - NEWLY elected Tory MP for Stroud Neil Carmichael has pledged to vote for a repeal of the fox hunting ban if the issue comes up again in Parliament…. (story)

Hereford Times 26.5.10 Hunting scene by Miranda Michels frozen in time in the Gladestry area By Philippa May - IF you’re in the Gladestry area and catch sight of a hunstman galloping across the Herefordshire countryside, take another look. What you thought was man and beast in motion may well be a sculpture by leading rural artist Miranda Michels. Her striking huntsman is the focal point of a new collection encompassing a range of rural sculptures, from inquisitive pheasants to lithe foxes…. Three years as joint master of the Radnor and West Herefordshire Hunt, and a lifelong obsession with wildlife and field sports, led Miranda to create the strikingly lifelike sculpture… (story)

Irish Times 26.5.10 Proposed ban on hunting criticised - MARY MINIHAN - OIREACHTAS ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE: FIANNA FÁIL TDs, including former ceann comhairle John O’Donoghue, criticised elements of the proposed legislation to ban stag hunting with packs of dogs at the Oireachtas environment committee meeting. A delegation from the Wild Deer Association of Ireland (WDAI) claimed senior Coillte and National Parks and Wildlife Service personnel shared their concerns about the implications of a subsection of the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010…. (story)

Irish Examiner 26.5.10 Deer stalking not affected by bill to ban stag hunting By Paul O’Brien Political Correspondent - THE Department of the Environment has confirmed that deer stalking will not be affected by a contentious bill to ban stag hunting…. The Wild Deer Association of Ireland claims that the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010, which is expected to become law by the summer, could have severe consequences for deer stalking… But a spokesman for Environment Minister John Gormley, who is bringing forward the bill, last night made clear that the legislation was not intended to impact on deer stalking… The sole purpose of the bill was to ban stag hunting, he said… In practice, the bill is targeting just a single group, the Ward Union Hunt based in Meath, as it is the only stag hunting organisation in the country…. (story)

Carmarthen Journal 26.5.10 MP must aid our wildlife - WHILE 16,649 people will, no doubt, be happy with the election of Simon Hart as our MP in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, however, I am sure that in the future there will be many stags, deer, foxes and hares extremely worried about his efforts to bring back blood sports…. Michael Sharratt, Whitland (letter)

Stroud Life 26.5.10 Praying for ban to stay - I HAVE read the letter from Thomas Lydon (Stroud Life, May 19) in which he asks our newly-elected MP Neil Carmichael what his views are on fox hunting. I believe I can answer this one... I can only pray that, because of the present composition of the House of Commons, the Conservative promise to push for the repeal of the ban will be dropped and our wildlife can breathe more easily… Julian Brown, Nailsworth (letter)

Oxford Mail 26.5.10 Keep hunting ban - OUR local MP and new Prime Minister David Cameron tells us that one of his priorities will be to repeal the hunting ban because “...it does not work and is difficult to enforce...”. does this mean that bear-baiting is next on the list to be restored? Gordon Clack, Witney Road, Ducklington (letter)

Oxford Mail 26.5.10 An Act of mayhem - HOW I wish that I could echo Gemma Siret’s hope that Prime Minister David Cameron will “continue to let sleeping dogs lie” with regard to the Hunting Act (Oxford Mail letters, May 24)…. The mayhem and distress that existed prior to the passing of the Act will all be re-visited and any notion that this is an advanced nation proudly leading the way for unity and compassion will be discarded dross. BEA BRADLEY, Cuxham Road, Watlington (letter)

BBC News Online 26.5.10 Study supports gamekeeping role on grouse moors - A conservation group has claimed the legal control of predators like foxes, crows and stoats can help grouse and other birds to thrive on Scots moors. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust research was carried out on land near Otterburn in Northumberland… Dr Kathy Fletcher of the trust said the study found that without predator control less than 20% of breeding birds were able to raise their young… (story)

Ryedale Gazette & Herald 26.5.10 Put an end to animal testing - Superdrug’s own brand products have now become BUAV- approved, along with Argos. This quality mark is awarded by the British Union for Abolition of Vivisection… All major political parties have pledged an end to animal testing of household products; but 2009 showed a shocking 14 per cent increase in animal experiments… Sarah Spence, Malton (letter)

Ilford Recorder 26.5.10 Cutting down on meat for good of planet - THIS week is National Vegetarian Week, which aims to raise awareness of vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle…. Cutting down on eating meat is not only good for animals and your health, but also good for the planet, too. MARK DAWES, Co-ordinator, Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party (letter)

Sheffield Star 26.5.10 Should pigeon plan have been stopped on animal rights grounds? - A TENANT'S plea for spikes to deter pigeons from his council property has been refused by housing officials - on animal rights grounds. Stephen Collins, who lives with his partner and two young children on Barrie Road, Southey, Sheffield, said he is fed up of the amount of droppings left by the birds… A Sheffield Homes spokeswoman said: "We no longer put up spikes because they are considered cruel."… (story)

25.5.10

Hereford Times 25.5.10 P G and S J Watts of Brilley thinks kennels scheme is potential nuisance - I WRITE regarding the proposed kennels at Brilley Wood. The main point of objection to the establishment of these kennels is the noise that will be caused by the 50 hounds that are expected to be housed there. The existing Golden Valley Hunt kennels are at Sheepcote Farm… and residents know very well the noise that emanates from these kennels… We would urge any landowners within the Golden Valley Hunt area to refuse permission for the hunt to cross their land in protest at the contempt that the hunt has shown for the quality of life of the residents of Brilley…. (letter)

Western Mail 25.5.10 Intimidation claim as badger cull nears by Steve Dube, Western Mail - WARNINGS of direct action by objectors to the proposed cull of badgers in northern Pembrokeshire have become a reality. Protesters were accused of intimidating officials and breaking the law when they tried to stop masked men from surveying land at Cilgwyn, Newport, last week….Dr Brian John, the geographer, environmentalist and writer who also lives at Cilgwyn, said the preparations for the cull were “turning into a combination of a farce and a tragedy” that had serious implications for civil rights… (story)
Western Mail 25.5.10 Western Mail farming comment by Steve Dube, Western Mail - NEWS of police being called to a stand-off over the planned badger cull in northern Pembrokeshire comes as no surprise…The animal rights lobby incorporates a lunatic fringe that sometimes seems prepared to stop at nothing in support of its “righteous” cause. That’s why Thomson Ecology refuses to confirm or deny its contract to survey the cull area – and why the men who do the work wear masks and balaclavas to hide their identities…. (story)

Belper News 25.5.10 Go meat free for vegetarian week - This week is National Vegetarian Week, which has been organised by the Vegetarian Society… our resident veggie, reporter Laura Hammond, reveals why she shuns meat as she finds out how local food outlets cater for the herbivores among us. My name is Laura Hammond and I am a vegetarian…. (story)

24.5.10

Exeter Express & Echo 24.5.10 Lib Dem supporters have been betrayed - THE reason the Hunting Act is a 'complete mess', according to Neil Parish, is because those who participate in these despicable sports are reluctant to obey the law and we can't expect the police to go chasing them around the countryside…. The hunting fraternity should respect the majority of people in this country who would like to see a permanent end to the killing of wild animals for fun. It is a minority pastime… D Goodenough, Name and address supplied (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 24.5.10 What to cull after badgers... your cat? - SO, as expected, this coalition has promised a return to the legalised slaughter of our wildlife. Not only are they going to allow a total cull of badgers in whole counties, like Devon, but they are desperate to bring back legalised hunting to enjoy in their free time… Mrs Y Street, Okehampton (letter)

GREYHOUND AWARENESS WEEK LETTER
Exeter Express & Echo 24.5.10 Week highlights greyhounds' plight - Helen Stevens, South Devon Greyhound Action, PO Box 129, Plymouth, Devon PL1 1RY (letter)
Bolton News 19.5.10 Greyhounds in need or our attention - John Ratcliffe Walkden Road Worsley (letter)
York Press 13.5.10 Give greyhounds the good life - MAY 22 to 30 is Greyhound Awareness Week. More than 12,000 greyhounds bred for the British racing industry are ‘put down’ every year after failing to make the grade as racers; or when their ‘careers’ on the tracks become redundant… Pauline A McSweeney, Wetherby Road, Rufforth, York. (letter)

FOX REWARD
BBC News Online 24.5.10 Dead fox in Clocaenog Forest had rope tied round leg - The RSPCA is investigating the discovery of a dead fox cub with rope tied round its back leg in Denbighshire…. A £1,000 reward, backed by Queen guitarist Brian May, has been offered to for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.. The fox was found by Judi Hewitt, of campaign group Wales Against Animal Cruelty. With the help of Brian May - who formed the Save Me group to promote decent treatment of animals - she is offering a £1,000 reward… (story)
Daily Post 20.5.10 Reward for information on horrific death of fox cub in Denbighshire by Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - WALES Against Animal Cruelty is offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the horrific death of a fox cub. The cub was found on the edge of the Hiraethog forest, Denbighshire, by WAAC founder Judi Hewitt, of Rhyl… WAAC has donated £250 toward the reward, and Brian May's SAVE ME anti-hunting campaign has offered a further £500 (story)
BBC News Online 20.5.10 Dead fox in Clocaenog Forest had rope tied round leg - The RSPCA is investigating the discovery of a dead fox cub with rope tied round its back leg in Denbighshire. The animal was found by two walkers in a remote area of Clocaenog Forest, near Ruthin. It had suffered a broken leg, and two loops in the rope indicated the fox may have been tied down…. (story)

Irish Examiner 24.5.10 Mink control ‘focused, temporary and local’ - IN response to Philip Kiernan’s letter (May 19) about the project that the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is running to control some mink and other predators, I would like to correct a number of errors…., The role of mink farms is historical and the few modern ones are irrelevant; the escapes happened 50 years ago and the species is now established in the wild. The genie is out of the bottle and can’t be put back. We can, however, protect some of our rare birds’ nests. Pat Warner Project Manager National Parks and Wildlife Service Custom House Dublin 1 (letter)

Scottish Herald 24.5.10 There are serious doubts over the conservation value of grey squirrel cull - I read with interest the recent article by Mark Smith (“Squirrels condemned to suffer cruellest of deaths”… In his response Simon Milne totally failed to address the crucial issue raised by Mark Smith – the terrible cruelty involved in trapping and killing lactating female squirrels and leaving the young to starve to death in their dreys… The SWT is a conservation group, not an animal protection group and supporters must make up their own minds if they want to fund an organisation which knowingly sponsors projects which cause great cruelty and suffering to Scottish wildlife. John F. Robins, Animal Concern Advice Line, P.O. Box 5178, Dumbarton
WITH regard to one so-called justification for the culling of grey squirrels, the route of transmission of squirrel-pox virus (SQPV) is unknown… Scottish Natural Heritage admits that it does not know the route of transmission…. , increased exploitation of red squirrels for tourism and the frequent intrusion by conservationists was always likely to lead to stress and loss of condition of the red squirrel resulting in an increased susceptibility to disease…. Angus Macmillan, Dunbartonshire (letters)
Scottish Herald 22.5.10 What message are we sending children when we bludgeon squirrels to death? - I fully echo the views expressed by your columnist Mark Smith (“Squirrels condemned to suffer cruellest of deaths”, The Herald, May 20) about the cruel and painful deaths being inflicted on our beloved grey squirrels, a native breed for at least 120 years, by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust…. For my part, having been a member of the Scottish Wildlife Trust for over 30 years, I shall now be cancelling my membership. Margaret Melville, Fife.
Mark Smith questions the need to control the grey squirrel population, but the hard fact is that if we do not control grey squirrels we will lose the red squirrel… Simon Milne , Chief Executive, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cramond House, 3 Kirk Cramond, Edinburgh (letters)

23.5.10

Kent on Sunday 23.5.10 Hunt supporters confident of overturning ban - Pro-hunt supporters are celebrating after David Cameron confirmed a free vote on the controversial subject would still go ahead under his new Government… Tim Bonner, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, said the Act has failed dramatically and a vote for repeal is essential…. Ross Williams, joint master of the East Kent Hunt, said there are too many problems with the ban…. Andrew Tyler, the director of Animal Aid, based in Tonbridge, said a survey by the League Against Cruel Sports showed there was not majority support for a repeal… (story)

Sunday Mirror 23.5.10 Vegetarian patient Dot, 87, fed meat by hospital By Sam Matthew - A hospital is under fire for feeding a life-long vegetarian patient meat as she lay helpless in bed. Despite her family's pleas, staff fed it to frail and confused Dorothy Leese, 87, for two weeks… Mrs Leese's daughter, Tina angrily hit out…Mrs Leese feels so strongly about animal rights she has never worn leather… (story)

22.5.10

Times 22.5.10 Grantham’s Conservatives remain to be convinced about coalition - Damian Whitworth - Les Stancer dances round the snooker table in the Grantham Conservative Club with an agility that belies his 85 years… The area is home to the Belvoir Hunt, which counts Lady Sarah McCorquodale, sister of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, among its masters. A repeal of the hunting ban, included in the Tory manifesto, is a totemic issue for many…. Graham Nicholl, a racehorse breeder and former active figure in the Campaign for Hunting, is pessimistic about a repeal…. (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 22.5.10 Pledge for early vote on hunt ban repeal shelved - THE Government's promise of a vote on a possible repeal of the hunting ban is set to be dropped from the Queen's Speech. In a sign that the policy — a key plank of the Conservative election pitch for rural votes — has been shelved, government sources admit that it is "no longer a priority"…. As a compromise, the coalition agreement this week pledged to allow MPs to vote on whether or not a substantive motion on repeal should be brought forward… (story)

from Plymouth Herald website 22.5.10 Greens condemn hunting decision - DEVON'S Green Party has condemned a decision by the new coalition government to hold a vote on the fox-hunting ban. Devon county councillor Paula Black, of the Green Party, said: "If this is the type of commitment we will have towards caring for our environment then it is a very sad day… (story)

from Bristol Evening Post website 22.5.10 Huntsman fined after quad bike incident - The West's most prominent hunt monitor has received £50 compensation from a hunter who ran into him on a quadbike. Kevin Hill… Mr Hill received a leg injury when a quad bike ridden by Stephen Browning hit him. Mr Browning was fined a total of £665, and given six penalty points on his licence (story)

Carlisle News & Star 22.5.10 Catching rabbits still legal - Comments in the article Increase in hare coursing (News & Star, May 19) may mislead people into thinking that hunting rabbits with dogs is illegal… The Hunting Act exempts rabbits and rats providing you have permission, so not all people with dogs in fields are breaking the law… ELWYN EVANS, Cleator Moor (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 22.5.10 Tactical voting probably wasn't such a good idea - D URING the recent election campaign in Bristol West, I lost count of the times electors told me they much preferred the Green's policies but had decided to vote Liberal Democrat to "keep out the Tories"… Stephen Williams is now propping up a… PM who wants to bring back fox hunting… Councillor Ricky Knight, Former Green Party candidate for Bristol West (letter)

21.5.10

Times 21.5.10 In the shires the Turnip Taleban are not happy - Mr Cameron is fine for the Cotswolds. But the new Tories are disconnected from the real countryside - Clive Aslet - Now that the confetti has been swept away from the No 10 rose garden, it is time to remember that, for one of the consenting partners, this marriage was preceded by a divorce. Along the way to Downing Street, David Cameron ditched the traditional wing of the Conservative Party; how many of its passive supporters in the countryside went with it?... Mr Cameron is sound on hunting, from the Alliance point of view; he is pledged to holding a free vote on the Hunting Act. Ironically, this must now be a commitment that many in the hunting world hope that he will quietly forget. The ban would probably not be overturned by this House of Commons, given that many of the Tory new bugs, such as Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, have declared themselves to be anti-hunt… (story)

Exeter Express & Echo 21.5.10 City MP will fight lifting of hunt ban - EXETER Labour MP Ben Bradshaw has vowed to fight "tooth and nail" against any move to ditch the fox hunting ban. But Tory MP for Tiverton and Honiton Neil Parish has backed a reversal of hunting legislation introduced by the Labour government, branding it a "bad law" and a "complete mess"… (story)

via Plymouth Herald website 21.5.10 It may be imperfect, but manifesto does offer hope - It was billed as being a breakthrough moment in domestic politics, another milestone along the way towards a different way of governing Britain. It is too early to lavish such plaudits on yesterday's Government announcements but there can be little doubt that we have witnessed the unveiling of some of the most radical and exciting legislative proposals for many years… Perhaps surprisingly, the Conservatives' pre-election pledge to provide a free vote on fox hunting survived the policy negotiations. Given that those in opposition are likely to balk at a repeal of the law, and given also that most of the Tories will back it, this vote – which matters so much to the countryside – will offer us a fascinating clue to the current temper of Lib Dem sentiment…. (story)

poss. Western Daily Press 21.5.10 Minister Paice issues vow on badger cull - A "scientifically led" cull of diseased badgers will be carried out by the new Government to end the destruction caused by bovine tuberculosis, Farms Minister Jim Paice vowed yesterday. Speaking during a tour of the Devon County Show, Mr Paice said the Conservative election undertaking would be pursued as quickly as possible… On other issues, Mr Paice said Tory commitments on the provision of affordable rural housing and on a free vote on hunting, would be honoured… (story)

DELAY TO HUNT BAN VOTE
ThisIsDevon 21.5.10 Coalition pledges hunt ban vote - The House of Commons is to vote on whether or not to reopen the debate over the future of foxhunting. The coalition agreement promises that a motion will be tabled to gauge the mood about the possible repeal of the Hunting Act… (story)
Western Daily Press 21.5.10 No date set for free vote on hunting ban - There will be a free vote in the Commons on whether to repeal the Hunting Act as revealed in the Western Daily Press yesterday – but the document does not say when it will be…. (story)
Horse & Hound 20.5.10 Cameron confirms MPs will get vote on repeal of the Hunting Act - Catherine Austen, H&H hunting editor - Prime minister David Cameron has confirmed that MPs will be given the chance to vote on a repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act. The coalition government's policy plan was released this morning, and it contained the statement: "We will bring forward a motion on a free vote enabling the House of Commons to express its view on the repeal of the Hunting Act"… (story)
Metro 20.5.10 Free vote to scrap hunting ban 'will go ahead' despite Lib Dem opposition - Cabinet ministers have agreed to hold a free vote on scrapping the hunting ban, despite fierce opposition from a number of Liberal Democrat MPs…. However, a move to scrap the hunting ban, a Conservative manifesto pledge, is likely to be delayed for up to a year as ministers do not wish to portray fox hunting as a priority during the economic downturn… (story)
BBC News Online 20.5.10 Cameron and Clegg set out 'radical' policy programme - David Cameron and Nick Clegg have unveiled the policy programme their coalition will follow to create the "radical" change they say the UK needs… Giving his reaction to the new government's programme, former Labour minister Hillary Benn predicted it would not be long before fundamental policy disagreements emerged between the Conservatives and Lib Dems…. "We will have the very strange spectacle of Lib Dem ministers able to stand up and oppose a policy on nuclear power… while Tory backbenchers will get a free vote on bringing back animal cruelty to the countryside, because they want to bring back hunting with dogs… (story)
Western Daily Press 20.5.10 Hunt ban 'to be put to vote' – but not yet - Hunt supporters said yesterday they do expect MPs to vote on whether to overturn the controversial ban – but not this year. The new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition will this morning publish its second programme for government… Countryside Alliance spokesman Tim Bonner said they were not expecting a vote on the issue this year, given the many other important issues facing the Government…. (story)
Gloucester Citizen/Echo 20.5.10 Vote on hunt ban - MPS in Gloucestershire are set to get a vote on whether to ditch the fox hunting ban. It follows reports that agreement had been reached among the coalition partners on holding a parliamentary vote to lift the ban on the controversial pursuit… (story)
Plymouth Herald website 20.5.10 Compromise expected on Tory pledge on hunting ban - Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman is expected to outline her policy priorities later today amid claims that a promised Commons vote to repeal the Hunting Act has been "kicked into the long grass"… "It is still very early days," South West regional director Alison Hawes said…. a spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports claimed the move for a preliminary vote would allow the Government to "park" the issue … (story)
North Devon Journal 20.5.10 Hunt ban repeal 'not high' on Government's agenda - PRIOR to the election David Cameron said he would offer a free vote in government time on a repeal of the Hunting Act. However, Nick Harvey, the Lib Dem MP for North Devon, did not think it was high on Mr Cameron's list of priorities at the moment… Steve Taylor, head of campaigns and communications for the League Against Cruel Sports, said the majority of Lib Dem MPs supported the hunt ban… Jill Grieve, press officer for the Countryside Alliance, said they trusted Mr Cameron to give a free vote on the issue but the timing had to be right… (story)
Telegraph 19.5.10 MPs to get vote on lifting Labour ban on foxhunting - MPs are to be given a vote on whether to scrap the controversial law banning foxhunting that was introduced by Labour, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. By Robert Winnett and Holly Watt - After negotiations with the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives have secured a pledge to introduce a parliamentary vote on abandoning the ban. David Cameron has personally called for the ban to be lifted but the Liberal Democrats have previously opposed the move… Mr Cameron has had to water down the pledge slightly after coalition talks. MPs will now be given the opportunity later this year to vote on a parliamentary motion on holding a free vote on the ban. The free vote will only take place if a majority of MPs back the motion….. (story)
Horse & Hound 19.5.10 Conservatives and Lib Dems strike deal for vote on hunting - Abigail Butcher, H&H head of news - The new coalition government is understood to be offering MPs a chance to vote on a parliamentary motion to offer a free vote on hunting. According to today's Daily Telegraph, the issue was discussed at length yesterday, due to opposition by the Liberal Democrats. But the motion is understood to form some of the final points of the coalition deal — which is likely to be published shortly…. (story)

Telegraph 21.5.10 A Government keen to repeal unworkable laws should start with the Hunting Act - A vote on repealing the Hunting Act (report, May 19) must be good news for no other reason than this law simply does not work. Four former directors of the League Against Cruel Sports, myself included, have said that the ban is wrong, as have hundreds of thousands of hunting people, including many veterinarians… James Barrington, London SW1 (letter)

Oxford Mail 21.5.10 Show respect for animals - I AGREE with R Benterman (Oxford Mail, May 13) that if we do not respect animal life we will not do so to humans either… Our new leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, are two young men who have come from similar backgrounds of immense privilege and wealth… Let them remember, too, our wild animals… and not exacerbate their suffering by bringing back the sadistic horrors of blood sports. GRAHAM BUTLER, Banbury Road, Bicester (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 21.5.10 Hunting Act in grave danger - PLEASE can I make everyone aware that there is a grave danger that hunting with dogs will return to Britain… Please join "Save-Me", (www.Save-Me.org.uk) for more information, it is a group of people who believe that every creature deserves a decent life and a decent death. D Harcom (letter)

Western Mail 21.5.10 Company silent on badger cull amid web warnings by Martin Shipton, Western Mail - A COMPANY named on a protest website as being involved in the controversial cull of badgers in Wales, has refused to say whether it has been contracted to do so. But Thomson Ecology confirmed it had been given a helpline number by the Assembly Government to pass on to callers…. Residents in one Pembrokeshire community have expressed alarm after masked men appeared as part of the preparations for the cull…. Some residents were unhappy about the masked men coming on to their land, and also objected in principle to the cull… There are also concerns for the safety of the contractors involved in carrying out the cull. A statement on the website of one group says: “The Coalition of Badger Action Groups (CBAG) is a committed group of individuals that are against any scapegoating and destruction of wildlife for the sake of greed and farmers’ vested interests. “We take non-violent direct action to the fields and farms of these killers!... (story)

Bolton News 21.5.10 Keep fighting animal tests - Little Lever Green Party is delighted high street giant Superdrug has become BUAV approved as an animal testing free cosmetics and toiletries retailer, under the BUAV’s internationally recognised Humane Cosmetic Standard… Alwynne Cartmell Darcy Lever and Little Lever Green Party Bolton (letter)

The Shields Gazette 21.5.10 Animal rights group pickets circus By Paul Clifford - ANIMAL rights protesters have hit out at a circus visiting the region. Bobby Roberts Super Circus, in Whitburn, has been accused of cruelty for the way it treats its animals… Members of North East group People Voices For Animals stood outside the entrance of the circus handing out flyers and asking people to boycott it…. (story)

20.5.10

North Devon Journal 20.5.10 A future Prime Minister hunting for rural votes - THIS North Devon Journal picture shows the new British Prime Minister enjoying a sunny day in North Devon before he was the leader of the Conservative Party. David Cameron, who was then the Tory head of policy co-ordination, went to the Exmoor Foxhounds horse show at Blackmoor Gate in Autumn 2004 with prospective parliamentary candidate Orlando Fraser… (story)

Irish Times 20.5.10 FF deputies meet critics of hunt ban - MARY MINIHAN and DEAGLÁN DE BRÉADÚN - A FIANNA FÁIL junior minister and 38 other members of the parliamentary party attended a meeting at Leinster House last night with a group opposed to the Green Party’s proposed ban on stag hunting and other animal welfare measures. Minister of State for Agriculture Seán Connick was one of the TDs present at the meeting with the pro-hunting group Rise, which was organised by the Lemass forum of the party… Mr Byrne said: “My biggest concern is for farmers in the constituency because of the fallen animal service provided. Most farmers support the hunt because of that service.” He said the meeting heard some 5,000 fallen animals were collected by the Ward Union Hunt every year…. (story)

Evesham Journal 20.5.10 Haunting notes of horn at huntsman’s funeral - THE haunting notes of a hunting horn echoed around the village church of St Edmund at Stoulton, near Pershore, yesterday as a packed congregation said goodbye to John Day, huntsman of the Croome and West Warwickshire Foxhounds for 20 years… Former Ledbury huntsman John Holliday, who has recently moved to the Belvoir in Leicestershire, blew the hunting horn at his funeral for the traditional hunting farewell. (story)

Western Gazette 20.5.10 Tributes pour in for prominent countrywoman - TRIBUTES have been paid to Selina Gibson Fleming, the prominent landowner, horsebreeder and countrywoman who lived on her inherited estate near Blandford until her death on March 28, aged 84. Described as a pillar of Dorset society, Mrs Gibson Fleming was a passionate advocate of the outdoors life and excelled at countryside pursuits such as riding, hunting and fishing… Born Selina Littlehales, she served with the Women's Land Army during the Second World War, after which she became a follower of the Portman Hounds and earned a reputation as a fearless horsewoman... (story)

Bath Chronicle 20.5.10 Voting Tory was bad for us and for the animals - I am writing to inform all of the people of B&NES how I feel about David Cameron becoming the Prime Minister. I may only be 10 but I have full understanding of the General Election and the fact that Conservatives have won the overall election is not a good one for a lot of us – and not least the animals. There is a campaign which has been in action over the past few months called "Save Me" founded by Brian May… You may have seen the posters, and they have told us that the Conservatives are planning to bring back hunting with dogs, fox and stag hunting, hare coursing and will kill thousands of badgers by culling… CYDNEY HIPPISLEY-DREW, aged 10 Weston Bath (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 20.5.10 Animal welfare - I AM very sorry that Andy King was not again elected as Rugby MP. He has been the only Rugby MP that has responded to my letters regarding animal suffering in a compassionate manner; including the voting in Parliament against animal cruelties eg: hunting with dogs (foxes and stags) and hare coursing… Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby. (letter)

Times 20.5.10 Minister blocks cull of badgers in bovine TB hotspots - Valerie Elliott - Plans for an emergency cull of badgers in hotspots of bovine TB are to be delayed while Caroline Spelman, the Rural Affairs Secretary, reviews the scientific evidence. Ministers will also await the outcome of a pilot cull in West Wales before embarking on such a policy in England…. It is also unclear what message this sends to the shires, especially as the Government has already kicked into the long grass a free vote for MPs to repeal the hunting ban. Giving people the freedom to hunt has become as totemic an issue for the Tory faithful as it was for the Labour Party to ban the bloodsport… Three men were arrested yesterday after officials were stopped from entering land to prepare for a badger cull in West Wales. A police spokeswoman said the men were later released and no action will be taken. (story)

Guardian 20.5.10 English badgers set for targeted culls - Coalition agreement likely to delight farmers but enrage animal welfare groups - James Meikle - Ministers are preparing to order targeted badger culls in England in a move that will delight farmers who believe it the prime factor in the spread of TB through their dairy herds – and enrage many animal welfare groups… (story)

Daily Post 20.5.10 Three arrested in badger cull incident by Andrew Forgrave, Daily Post - THREE people were arrested after officials were stopped from entering land to prepare for the west Wales badger cull. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is planning the cull in north Pembrokeshire as part of a campaign to eradicate bovine TB in cattle. A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said the three men were later released and no further action will be taken. A WAG spokesman said contractors surveying badger setts hid their faces with balaclavas because they were being filmed…. (story)

19.5.10

Irish Times 19.5.10 Animal rights legislation - Contrary to the statement made in your Editorial (“Animal rights legislation”, May 15th), the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009 is not included in the renegotiated Programme for Government. The programme includes only a commitment to end stag hunting…. The Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010 goes beyond an attempt to ban the Ward Union Staghounds. It proposes to limit deer stalkers to one dog….. LIAM CAHILL, RISE! Campaign, Ashbourne, Co Meath.
While I don’t question the paper of record’s environmental credentials, your Editorial (May 15th) surely takes recycling too far. In defending the Green Party’s Dog Breeding Establishments Bill, your Editorial naively accepts the superficial gloss placed on this legislation by its proponents and fails to subject it to the public scrutiny it so badly needs…. Those of us in hunting might be forgiven for taking a more sceptical view of the Green Party’s sudden concern for the welfare of our hounds…. As somebody who helps run hunt kennels – cleaning, feeding, walking and caring for hounds on a weekly basis – I can assure your readers hunting folk do everything to ensure our hounds are contented and properly looked after. We are not opposed to some form of sensible regulation, but it must be agreed in consultation rather than imposed by diktat…. PHILIP DONNELLY. Public Relations Officer, Irish Masters of Beagles Association, Oatfield Park, Clane, Co Kildare. (letters)

Irish Examiner 19.5.10 Shut down fur farms to control wild mink - DESPITE an earlier admission that it would be doomed to failure, the Department of the Environment’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is incredibly proceeding with a €1 million mink massacre. In the NPWS-commissioned Review of Mink Predation and Control report, it is clear that as long as Ireland’s shameful fur farms remain, attempting to control mink is a waste of time and money… Philip Kiernan Irish Council Against Blood Sports PO Box 88 Mullingar Co Westmeath (letter)

18.5.10

Exeter Express & Echo 18.5.10 Hunters want to go back to Stone Age – I HAVE written many letters to the Echo expressing my strong disapproval of the medieval sport of hunting deer and foxes, with hounds, for fun…. I describe hunting with dogs for sport as medieval and barbaric, but it appears to me that some are happy for us to revert to the Stone Age. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)

Western Mail 18.5.10 Badger Trust tries to take cull fight to Court of Appeal by Steve Dube, Western Mail - THE Badger Trust has applied to the High Court for permission to take its fight against the trial cull of badgers in north Pembrokeshire to the Court of Appeal… (story)

Lancashire Evening Post 18.5.10 Animal cruelty must be opposed - I am writing this letter to a man called Mike Davies of Lancashire who recently made a comment on the BBC website… addressed to Sir Paul McCartney who condemned animal cruelty in China…. Mr Davies commented: “We shouldn’t impose Western views on the ancient and unique Chinese culture.” What part of “unique culture” he imagines this to be, I cannot imagine… The reason they round up dogs and cats has nothing to do with any remote tradition but to make money from the fur trade, even though Europe and the USA have banned fur imports…. Anyone wanting info on how to campaign by letter against Chinese (and Korean) atrocities to dogs, cats and other animals, please contact me. Suzanne Thorpe… (letter)

17.5.10

Northern Echo 17.5.10 Hunt supporters can see no quick repeal of Act By Joe Willis - PRO-HUNTING campaigners in the region say they accept they are unlikely to see the ban on hunting with dogs lifted in the near future. Despite the Conservatives promising a free vote on a repeal of the Hunting Act, hunt supporters admitted yesterday that the new coalition Government had more important issues to tackle before foxhunting… Steve Clark, North-East and Yorkshire regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said… “Even a majority Conservative government would still have had the same problems and the same priorities, such as the economy.”… Ken Fox is joint master of the Hurworth Hunt, which is based in West Rounton, nearNorthallerton. He said: “The coalition has more pressing matters to work with… Douglas Batchelor, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said he wanted the Hunting Act to remain off the political agenda throughout the new parliament… (story)

Truro People 17.5.10 Views on the Lib-Con coalition: Ian Wright, Green Party By chris_wasey - Almost two weeks ago, the people of Truro elected Conservative candidate, Sarah Newton to be our new MP…. Ian Wright, Green party candidate who received almost 1000 votes, shares his thoughts...... Sarah Newton seems a pleasant woman…. she also said she did not hunt, and I hope she will be convinced by the electorate to vote against reintroducing hunting, if that is proposed… (story)

Derby Telegraph 17.5.10 I cast my vote for personal reasons - I VOTED for Chris Williamson for mainly personal reasons. We worked together in the same social services office in Derby many years ago. I was very impressed by his strong objection to blood sports in those days…. Saros Kavina, Derby (letter)

Scotsman 17.5.10 Outdoors: Deer stalking By Kenneth Stephen - It was the dramatist WS Gilbert who once remarked that: "Deer stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns."… Tightened gun laws and anti-hunt lobbies have done little to enhance the image, yet the number of people shooting and stalking on our hills and mountainsides is increasing. After being invited for a half-day taster session in stalking and shooting by the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG) I began to examine the possible reasons for the growing popularity of country sports… What became apparent is that this world, perceived to be antiquated, is moving on. Firstly, women are becoming more interested in shooting and among factors encouraging them onto the moorland is a growing awareness about eating local… . "Unless the animal has been contaminated in some way, nothing is wasted," says Kenny Willmitt of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)… (story)

Western Mail 17.5.10 Badger cull protest set for Cardiff Bay by Sally Williams, Western Mail - OPPONENTS of the Assembly Government’s badger cull in Wales are staging a protest in the capital today in a bid to stop the “green grass of Wales being stained with blood”. The midday protest in Cardiff Bay has been organised by Save The Badger outside the offices of Thomson Ecology, who they say are carrying out the badger cull on behalf of the Assembly Government. Save The Badger spokesman, John Evans said: “We were all shocked and appalled to hear of Thomson Ecology’s involvement in implementing the slaughter of thousands of badgers in Wales… (story)

Leicester Mercury 17.5.10 Remembering the animals that died in war - In recent years it has been very pleasing to witness the noticeable rise in popularity of animal welfare and pet blessing services… Each year, the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) takes an in-depth look at a specific area of animal welfare… Animal Welfare Sunday falls on Sunday, October 3, and the chosen theme this year is "Animals and War"… As in previous years, ASWA has produced service guide booklets which complement the chosen theme…. Linda J Bodicoat, ASWA, Leicestershire (letter)

The Sentinel 17.5.10 Thanks for donations - ANIMAL Aid would like to thank the people of Newcastle-Under-Lyme for their generosity in raising £143.07 at a street collection on the 24th of April… William Maxwell, Animal Aid Collection Co-ordinator (letter)

Bolton News 17.5.10 Sale boost for animal groups - THE Bolton Animal Group held a sale… and raised £644.50 which will be divided between Only Foals and Horses Sanctuary, Animal Aid, Tower Hills Stables and the MayflowerSanctuary… (story)

15.5.10

Telegraph 15.5.10 Relief but unease among Tory grassroots at new coalition - Joy and relief at finally being back in power was tempered with a palpable sense of unease among Tory activists this weekend. By Melissa Kite, Deputy Political Editor …Hunt supporters who poured into marginal seats to help get Tories elected are demanding urgent talks with the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman to clarify the position. Ms Spelman said last night she would set out her position on the issue in the next few days. The promise to make time for a government bill to reverse the ban was a key concession to traditionalists as they bought into the more difficult elements of the Cameron modernising regime… (story)

Gloucester Citizen/Echo 15.5.10 Pro hunters in Gloucestershire realistic about changes to the law - PRO-HUNTING groups in Gloucestershire will have to wait for any repeal of the ban under the coalition government…. Carole Adams, secretary of The Cotswold Hunt said: "We'll bide our time. We realise this isn't an important issue at the moment and we will have to wait and see what happens. The hunt has to be realistic about this right now." Jo Aldridge, spokeswoman for the Beaufort Hunt, which rides out at various locations across the county including Badminton and Heythrop, agreed…. (story)

Irish Times 15.5.10 Animal rights legislation - SOMETHING OF a phoney war is being waged by Fianna Fáil backbenchers against animal rights legislation promoted by the Green Party in Government… The Wildlife Amendment Bill is the more contentious of the two. It proposes to ban stag hunting with hounds, which is only conducted by the Co Meath-based Ward Union Hunt… (story)

Hull & East Riding Mail 15.5.10 Lucky escape for guinea pig as 12 of his pals are killed by fox at East Park - A GUINEA pig is recovering in an animal hospital after a hungry fox broke into an east Hull guinea pig pen and killed his 12 pals… The animal, which has been named Lucky by centre staff, is now in the hospital unit of the East Park Animal Education Centre…. (story)

Western Morning News 15.5.10 Rescued otters being killed after release back into wild - Rescued otters released back into already well-populated areas have suffered terrible deaths because of territorial fighting, a leading Westcountry expert has warned. Veterinary pathologist Vic Simpson, whose research work helped to ban the pesticides responsible for the species dramatic decline in the 1950s, has raised serious questions over otter release policies after examining a number of badly injured animals…. "I have had a few in here which have been released by the RSPCA. They were skin and bone, they had got terrible bite wounds and running sores. They had been put into someone's territory and had been badly beaten up… (story)

Irish Independent 15.5.10 Shut down ALF, not mink farms - MINK from farms are undoubtedly endangering our wildlife -- but are they in the wild because they escaped (as a recent article stated), or because idiots like those who belong to the Irish Animal Liberation Front (ALF) deliberately released them into the wild?... Perhaps, in the interests of protecting wildlife, it would be better to close down the militant animal-rights groups, rather than the mink farms. Brian Kelly, Athlone, co Westmeath (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 15.5.10 Meet the veggies - The Bristol Eco Veggie Fayre is the new name for the event that Tim Barford has been running for the past seven years. Suzanne Savill finds out why it's changing… Organiser Tim Barford insists that he really wants people whose idea of a proper meal involves meat to come to the event on the Harbourside later this month… (story)

14.5.10

Western Morning News 14.5.10 No date set yet for vote on repeal of hunt ban - The future of the hunting ban is hanging in the balance as supporters and opponents of the legislation await the outcome of the new government's coalition talks… Last night the League Against Cruel Sports released figures that it claimed showed any free vote – where MPs are not forced to toe a party line – would see the ban remain in place… Tim Bonner, spokesman for the Countryside Alliance, said: "We don't expect a Repeal Bill on the same sort of timetable there might have been with a Conservative majority government, but we are very confident that at some stage during the five-year parliament the manifesto commitment will be brought forward."… (story)

Western Morning News 14.5.10 Will Cameron take chance to drop free vote on hunts? - It was inevitable, once the new government was established, that special interest groups delighted or appalled by policy promises made during the campaign would want to know what they could.. It didn't take the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) long to raise the issue… In the end, however, LACS may not need to worry. Because the likelihood of David Cameron following up his pre-election pledge to give MPs a free vote on the issue must be in doubt … That is a shame. The Hunting Act has failed to settle the issue of hunting to anyone's real satisfaction. Any opportunity to examine again the legislation and re-draft it would benefit the rural communities most closely affected by this law…. (story)

Western Daily Press 14.5.10 Hunting hopes fade - Hunt supporters across the West are steeling themselves for five more years of the ban they hate, after it became clear a new government may not mean a repeal of the Hunting Act. Not only has the new Liberal-Conservative coalition quietly dropped any explicit mention of tackling the hunting ban, any free vote appears doomed to fail too…. Pro-hunt campaigners are now pinning their hopes on a Great Repeal Bill announced yesterday by the coalition government, which will undo New Labour legislation on a range of human rights issues…. The alliance's chairman and Labour MP Kate Hoey said it would continue the fight. She said: "If there is an opportunity to push for the repeal of the Hunting Act we will take it. But even if that is not possible in the short term, the election was still a huge step towards repeal… (story)

ThisIsDorset 14.5.10 Coalition government threatens chances of hunting ban law repeal - Hunt supporters across the West are steeling themselves for five more years of the ban they hate, after it became clear a new government may not mean a repeal of the Hunting Act… (story)

Western Morning News 14.5.10 Higher calling forces Hart to quit as chair - Simon Hart has stepped down as chief executive of the Countryside Alliance. The move follows Mr Hart's election last week as MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire… Alliance chairwoman Kate Hoey, herself an member or parliament, said: "Simon's contribution to the Countryside Alliance has been enormous… (story)
Horse & Hound 13.5.10 Simon Hart steps down as head of the Countryside Alliance - Abigail Butcher, H&H head of news - Simon Hart has stepped down as chief executive of the Countryside Alliance (CA). The move follows Simon's election last week as MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire…. (story)

Surrey Advertiser 14.5.10 Tributes to pub owner killed in farming accident By Guy Martin - TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular pub owner and farmer who tragically died in an accident involving a tractor and trailer on Sunday. Charles Gotto and his wife Linda had been credited for “working wonders” at the Parrot Inn in Forest Green, between Ockley and Ewhurst, and at the pub’s farm shop where they sold their own produce… Their work led to the Parrot being nominated as a regional finalist in the local food section of the Countryside Alliance Awards … (story)

Hucknall Dispatch 14.5.10 Fox cubs killed in 'poison attack' - TWO fox cubs have suffered agonising deaths after allegedly being poisoned in Hucknall. Members of the public took the tiny animals to Wendy Radford, of the Cedar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kirkby-in-Ashfield…. Wendy added: "It's terrible. People can deal with foxes in different ways. There are humane traps out there. There is no need to resort to poison or worse… (story)

South Wales Echo 14.5.10 Horse racing’s toll of deaths - BEHIND horse racing’s glamorous facade lies a catalogue of suffering and death. According to national campaign group, Animal Aid, more than 400 horses are raced to death every year…. The punishing Grand National is Britain’s longest horse race, covering a distance of four miles and 856 yards…. M Poar, John Street, Hirwaun, Aberdare (letter)

Bury Times 14.5.10 End brutal slaughter of animals - EACH spring I write to the Bury Times to give its readers the sad news that, yet again, the Canadian seal hunt is under way… Sara Lee Bury Old Road Whitefield (letter)
Bolton News 21.4.10 Please help stop Canada seal hunt - EACH spring I write to The Bolton News to give readers the sad news that yet again the Canadian seal hunt is underway, during which thousands of new born seals will be clubbed or shot for their fur… Please help if you can and put an end to this brutal hunt once and for all. Sara Lee Bury Old Road Manchester (letter)

Leicester Mercury 14.5.10 Animal circuses: Time to move on - I agree with Caroline Butterwick's views on animals in circuses (Mailbox, April 29)…. Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 11.5.10 Circus critics - In response to Martin Lacey's letter ("Critic wrong", Mailbox, May 4), I would like to show my support for Caroline Butterwick, whose letter "Call to boycott archaic circus" (Mailbox, April 29) was well researched, well argued and well said!... Fiona Galbraith, Captive Animals' Protection Society (letter)
Leicester Mercury 10.5.10 Circus better without animals - In answer to Mr Lacey, director if the Great British Circus (Mailbox, May 4), we would hope that all circuses are capable of meeting the welfare needs of animals, which I doubt… So for me the welfare of these animals, even if good, is irrelevant. As the saying goes, just because you can does not mean you should. Mrs J Stevens, Leicester. (letter)
Leicester Mercury 4.5.10 Critic wrong - It is sad that Caroline Butterwick suggests the animals at the Great British Circus suffer mentally and physically from travelling and performance (Mailbox, April 29). She is also wrong about confinement and tricks… The Radford Report, which was chaired by six academics and commissioned by Defra, concluded that: "Circuses are perfectly capable of meeting the welfare needs of animals in their care."… Martin Lacey, director, Great British Circus (letter)
Leicester Mercury 29.4.10 Call to boycott archaic circus - As the "Great" British Circus starts performing in Glen Parva, many will go along, unaware of the animal suffering they are supporting… I will be boycotting the circus and urge others to do the same until this archaic use of animals ends. Caroline Butterwick, 17, Lutterworth. (letter)

Derby Telegraph 14.5.10 Ban using animals for entertainment - WITH reference to L. Birch's letter… The use of animals for entertainment should be prohibited by law. J. Mathews, Collier Lane, Ockbrook. (letter)
Derby Telegraph 7.5.10 Avoid circus acts involving animals - I WAS pleased to read L. Birch's letter "Animals in circuses should be banned" (Telegraph, April 23)…. There is no educational value in seeing these once-proud animals reduced to performing tricks in an unnatural environment. Circuses teach a lack of respect for animals… Fiona Galbraith, Campaigns Assistant, Captive Animals' Protection Society, Manchester. (letter)
Derby Telegraph 7.5.10 There is nothing free range about it - IN reply to L. Birch's letter "Animals in circuses should be banned" (Telegraph, April 23) – all cruelty should be banned. I am sitting by my window watching yet another load of chickens going by in wire cages. What a miserable, boring life they have had, just to supply cheap meat and eggs…. J. Smalldon, Ednaston. (letter)
Derby Telegraph 23.4.10 Animals in circuses should be banned - RECENTLY, the Government held a public consultation on circuses and their use and abuse of wild animals, for so-called "entertainment"… I am now shocked and sickened that the "Great British Circus… will be in Stapleford during April… L. Birch, Buxton Road, Chaddesden. (letter)

13.5.10

Horse & Hound 13.5.10 New Defra minister welcomed by countryside and farming groups – Abigail Butcher, H&H head of news - Countryside and farming groups have welcomed the appointment of Conservative MP Caroline Spelman as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Mrs Spelman, 52, is the MP for Meriden in the West Midlands. Before becoming an MP in 1997, the new Defra minister spent 15 years working in the agricultural industry… Countryside Alliance director of campaigns Rob Gray said: "Caroline Spelman could not be better qualified to take on this demanding role…. (story)

Kent Online 13.5.10 Pro fox-hunting campaigners fear their cause will be set back by Ruth Banks - Pro fox-hunting campaigners in East Kent fear the new Tory/Lib Dem coalition could set back their campaign…. Nick Onslow, of the East Kent Hunt, told KentOnline pro hunting campaigners were happy to wait, as the government has bigger issues to tackle at the moment (story)

ThisIsCornwall 13.5.10 Powerful look at how hunting affects people - THIS startling new feature-length documentary highlights the issues surrounding hunting with hounds and how ordinary people are often adversely affected by it. The film was started by Nisa Ward, on a shoestring budget, after the tranquillity of her idyllic Cotswolds hamlet was twice shattered by invasions from out of control hounds chasing wild animals. She began by investigating similar incidents… (letter)

ThisIsSomerset 13.5.10 Hunting Act assurances welcome - Re: "I got a straight answer from a politician" – John Crole, Street. Yes, I too have been wanting a straight answer from Tessa Munt regarding her views on repealing the Hunting Act… I was pleased to note Tessa's answer to Mr Crole – that she would not vote to repeal the Hunting Act… Phyllis Flanders Austin Road Glastonbury (letter)

Hull Daily Mail 13.5.10 What is Government stance on cruelty? - THERE'S been a blitz of letters about animals lately in this paper… So, what does your MP and the new government think about the repeal of the hunting bill? What's their position on intensive farming? What's their position on animal experimentation?... We share the world with animals who are sentient beings that feel pain, sorrow or happiness just as we do. We have to respect them. Dr Haris Livas-Dawes, Westbourne Avenue, Hull (letter)

Irish Independent 13.5.10 Last mink farms should be closed - Pity the poor mink. Confined in tiny battery-style cages on Ireland's fur farms or hunted to death if they manage to escape because, as a non-native species, they endanger our wildlife… Mink farming is already illegal in Northern Ireland. It is best to now phase out the remaining five or so fur farms in the Republic… Mary-Anne Bartlett, Compassion in World Farming, Togher, Cork (letter)

12.5.10

Western Morning News 12.5.10 What political change will mean for agriculture - Anthony Gibson - My plan for this week's column – to write about what the new Government and its Defra Secretary of State might mean for farming in the Westcountry – has run into some fairly obvious difficulties…. So assuming that we have already, or shall be given shortly, a Tory-Lib Dem Government, what might the implications be for farming in this region?... The situation with that other animal welfare-related issue, the hunting ban, is much less clear cut. The Tories have promised a free vote. The Lib Dems have said they have other priorities. I think it would be surprising, to say the least, if the new Government were to risk being accused of wasting time and effort on such a divisive issue at a time of national crisis, even if there is a free-vote majority in the House of Commons for a lifting of the ban, which must be doubtful. So, the back burner for hunting, I'm afraid… (story)

Tavistock People 12.5.10 Should the fox hunting ban be lifted? By katef1 - One of the many effects that this Conservative – Lib Dem coalition may have on the South West is the potential lift on the fox hunting ban. David Cameron has been very outspoken about his views on the ban over the last couple of months and has confirmed that he plans to hold a free vote on decriminalising hunting with dogs. Nick Clegg, although apparently against fox hunting, has also stated that he will agree to holding the vote…. (story)

WORCESTER NEWS HUNTING CORRESPONDENCE
Worcester News 12.5.10 Act was a waste of time and money - Luke Gregg (Letters May 8) clearly wishes to distance himself from his previous attacks on hunting. His correspondence has contained unfounded allegations, muddled history and inaccurate figures…The results of the ban are a clearly discredited law, greatly reduced animal welfare and we should not forgot those politicians now on the lookout for work. Jon Burgess, Malvern EDITOR’S NOTE: This correspondence is now closed (letter)
Worcester News 12.5.10 Majority has ruled they want hunt ban - John Burgess seems to be on his old hobby horse again, repeating the same thing over and over again in the hope that someday someone will believe him…. MARION LARGE, Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 11.5.10 Is it moral to kill foxes for pleasure? – I must congratulate Mr Burgess on his single-minded tenacity to defend the indefensible. I gained my knowledge by following the local hunt around Feckenham as a child, not from the internet… I would appreciate an answer to the central question regarding the morality of killing for pleasure which is the one all hunt supporters carefully avoid by introducing spurious counter-arguments. Tim Palmer, Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 6.5.10 Hunting is kinder than steel traps - Tim Palmer (Letters, April 30) complains about the lengthy hunting debate in the Worcester News, then joins in. He claims to have fully experienced hunting then admits his knowledge is gained from the internet…. Hunting removes sick, injured and old foxes that face a slow, painful death, leaving an acceptable, healthy, well-dispersed population that is little problem to farming. Jon Burgess, Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 4.5.10 Policing is for the hunt saboteurs - From his latest letter (April 29) Luke Gregg is still confused over his objections to hunting, but accepts his knowledge of hunting is very limited…. He states that 6,000 hounds are killed per season. As there are only about 13,000 fox hounds, his figures are untenable… As for the cost of policing hunting being more than £1 million per season, well, Mr Gregg should send the bill to the the violent hunt saboteurs as they need the police to control them. Jon Burgess, Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 30.4.10 Why drag hunting debate on and on? - The fox hunting discussion drags on and on in your letters pages. Not helped, of course, by the Conservatives who have promised another vote to try to bolster up their core vote. Well, we’ve seen and heard all the arguments trotted out ad nauseam by hunting’s apologists over the years, each one increasingly ludicrous and unsustainable, but the one undeniable fact is that hunting has no moral justification in a civilised society…. Tim Palmer, Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 29.4.10 Think about real cost of fox hunting - – Jon Burgess (Letters, April 21) said I am obsessed with social class in fox hunting. No, I was just stating my frustration with the endless complaints that the ban wrecked their tradition… L Gregg, Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 23.4.10 Hunt hounds bred to be top athletes - Luke Gregg (Letters, April 14) raised two points on hunting with hounds which exposed his lack of knowledge and practical understanding of the subject… Mr Gregg claims the fox is not instantly killed by hounds. Carefully edited video clips can give this impression. The main reason is because hounds have been attacked with sticks, chemicals or kicked by hunt saboteurs. Secondly, Mr Gregg claimed foxhounds are deliberately bred to run slowly to prolong the chase… the breeding of hounds has been focused on them following scent at great speed across country… Jon Burgess, Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 21.4.10 Hunting is really a force for good - Luke Gregg (Letters, March 26) gave us a lengthy but muddled history of hunting intertwined with some class obsession… It is beyond doubt that hunting, like other country sports, is a force for good. Resent research by Belfast University concluded that in countryside conserved by coursing clubs the hare population was eighteen fold greater than in similar area… We either look after our countryside adhering to conservation based on scientific research. Or let vote-hungry politicians continue their corrosive agenda that will destroy centuries of work. Jon Burgess, Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 27.3.10 Who is biggest pest animal or human? - Thank you Jon Burgess for responding to my letter. Firstly, I would just like to ask how can I be stuck in the Edwardian era when all I want to do is move forward with the lost tradition know as fox hunting?... Luke Gregg, Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 18.3.10 Writers are stuck in the Edwardian era - – Luke Gregg (Letters March 5) offered a very muddled interpretation of everything about hunting…. This failed legislation has been heavily criticised by the judiciary, the Labour Government’s own inquiry into the running of Parliament and many Labour MPs who amazingly drafted the Act… Jon Burgess, Malvern (letter)
Worcester News 19.3.10 Secure chicken pen a bit better - In response to Roger Smith’s letter (Friday, March 5) “Both the fox and hound kill for sport” – may I say that Michael Foster introduced a Private Member’s Bill to ban hunting with dogs in 1997 which failed, but its principles were later passed into law by the Hunting Act in 2004. So, the law has been laid… Foxes don’t kill for sport, they kill for survival. If the fox has upset you, I suggest you secure your pen better. Luke Gregg, Worcester (letter)
Worcester News 5.3.10 Popular or not, fox hunting is illegal - There seems to be a lot of argument around the subject of fox hunting at the moment. Whether you support it or are against it shouldn’t matter. The hunting ban was enforced in 2004. It is the law and should be acknowledged. Why should the upper class feel that they are immune to it?... Luke Gregg, Worcester (letter)

Bristol Evening Post 12.5.10 Let's define courage - I AM an avid daily reader of your letters page. But I have never read such a fawning, groveling and stomach churning letter as written by Mrs Martin concerning the bravery of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall…. she stated Prince Charles's caring nature. Is that the same caring man who in his spare time pursues a hobby of hunting and shooting defenceless animals?... K Heath, Mangotsfield. (letter)

Oxford Mail 12.5.10 Welcome reply - I WOULD like to express my sincere thanks to Labour MP, Andrew Smith, for finding the time to reply to me regarding animal welfare… How refreshing to hear about someone caring about animals and wildlife, unlike our new Prime Minister…. R BENTERMAN Hunter Close Oxford (letter)

Berwickshire News 12.5.10 Waiting game for grouse shooting season By Kirsty Smyth - BORDERS gamekeepers are still playing the waiting game to find out whether grouse shooting will be frozen out of this summer's social calendar. In the midst of the worst winter weather in almost 30 years, Berwickshire grouse literally flew-the-nest, leaving the snow-covered Lammermuirs in search of food… But three months down the line the situation there is looking decidedly more cheery. "Things are looking a hell of a lot better, we had no grouse at all in January but a lot have come back," Mr Percival said… (story)

Western Morning News 12.5.10 It's a deal, a compromise but at last it's government - At last the waiting is over. Gordon Brown has left Downing Street… The Conservatives, for their part, have bent over backwards while in opposition to style themselves as supporters of rural England and of agriculture in particular. They must stick to their promises and follow through on the most important of those policies, including authorising a cull of diseased badgers as part of the battle against bovine TB. It is, after all, the least they can do to reward those voters in our region who backed them at the General Election…. (story)

Bristol Evening Post 12.5.10 Boycott of products - I WAS dismayed to hear that the Welsh Assembly is pushing ahead with slaughtering badgers in a misguided attempt to protect the dairy industry. Although I live outside of Wales, I have taken the decision to boycott all Welsh dairy products. If England decides to follow suit after the election and cull badgers, I will have to extend my boycott here… Felicity Richards, Fishponds (letter)

11.5.10

Sheffield Star 11.5.10 Dog owners unite to raise awareness of greyhounds plight – PICTURES - THEY might not be the stars of a famed children's story but 101 canines of a different kind came together to draw attention to a doggy plight… Tia Greyhound Rescue called for the owners of greyhounds and lurchers to take their pets to Cannon Hall near Barnsley and spread the word about the fate of the 13,000 dogs it says are found to be surplus to the racing industry's requirements each year…. (story)

Sheffield Star 11.5.10 Gain without the animal pain - On May 22, Sheffield people can take part in an alternative fundraising event for cancer research. Much of the money they give to medical research charities will be used to fund animal experiments… Proceeds from the Run for ALL Life, in Ecclesall Woods, go to the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, the leading charity funding exclusively non-animal techniques to replace animal experiments, benefiting humans and animals…. Dawn Biram, 17 (letter)

10.5.10

Exeter Express & Echo 10.5.10 Film shows another side of hunt debate - COLIN Richey covers a number of points in his recent letter on hunting with dogs, More important issues than hunting, April 24. Rather than respond to each one individually as has been done on countless previous occasions, I merely refer readers to the amazing activities of one woman. In November 2005 a tiny hamlet in the heart of the Cotswolds was overrun by snarling hounds. Nisa Ward was out with her elderly neighbour….. She travelled thousands of miles in her quest and has now produced a film, entitled A Minority Pastime, to expose the devastating human cost of hunting… Ivor Annetts, League Against Cruel Sports Tiverton(letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 1.5.10 Self preservation over animal welfare - I WOULD like to respond to Colin Richey's letter More important issues than hunting, Echo, April 24. Mr Richey, like the Tory candidates, thinks this issue should be swept under the carpet and forgotten. However, this is not a minor issue, but a major one… in the wild, animals kill other animals, tear them apart, to eat for food and for survival. The fox hunting society do this purely for fun and pleasure and nothing else…. Brian Sharpe, Ladysmith Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 1.5.10 Blood sports should remain history – FOR someone who is neither for or against hunting, Colin Richey is rather vehement in his letter…. Given that David Cameron has said many times that, should he gain power, he will repeal the act as soon as possible, surely if there are far more pressing matters why waste more time on an unimportant bill that had already previously taken 700 hours of parliamentary time to get into law mainly due to Conservatives trying to talk the bill out of time?.... Name and address supplied. (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 30.4.10 Police must take note of Hunting Act - COLIN RICHEY tells readers the Hunting Act takes up too much of the time of police officers who have too many real problems to contend with on a daily basis (More important issues than hunting, Letters, April 24.) My experience is that Devon and Cornwall Constabulary spends no time on preventing wild mammals being hunted for sport…. John Phelps, Argyll Road, Exeter (letter)
Exeter Express & Echo 24.4.10 More important issues than hunting - I HOPE that the repeal of the hunting act does not become a prominent issue in the run up to the general election. There are far more important matters for Joe and Jane Public to focus on — like the economy, immigration and an overburden of regulations and taxes which are strangling all of us… Colin Richey, Lazenby Road, Tiverton (letter)

Lancashire Telegraph 10.5.10 Hunters – yobs on horseback - WITH regards to the possible reintroudction of bloodsports, may I make one point about the people who not only take part but also those who support these pastimes. Is it not true that studies have proved that serial killers, paedophiles and such-like start by torturing and killing defenceless animals to satisfy their lusts?... DAVID WARD, Kingsley Close, Accrington (letter)

Northern Echo 10.5.10 "These poachers are stealing things and damaging the area with their 4x4 vehicles" - The perception of poachers being loveable rogues is being stretched to the limit in the North-East. Graeme Hetherington joined a team of officers as they try to track down the men leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. WITHIN minutes of coming on duty on Friday night, PC Steve Robinson receives a call reporting suspicious lights on the moors around Danby Beacon, on the North York Moors. Local gamekeepers patrolling the area spot poachers’ lamps and call for police back-up… (story)

Metro 10.5.10 Animal rights activists angry at research into mouse pain reaction - Animal rights campaigners have reacted with anger to new research which studies the reactions of mice when inflicted with pain…. ‘These mice were subjected to atrociously painful situations without any pain relief,’ said Dr Ned Buyukmihci, of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection… (story)

9.5.10

Wales on Sunday 9.5.10 THE proposed badger cull in Wales is to cost a staggering £10m… Will farmers ultimately bear the brunt of such an unpopular and expensive cull that is not properly backed up by scientific evidence?... S Hall, Llandysul (story)

8.5.10

Western Mail 8.5.10 ‘Hunting ban repeal can wait’ by Martin Shipton, Western Mail - SIMON HART, the new Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South, and chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said repealing the ban on hunting with dogs should not be an immediate priority if a Tory-led government is formed. Mr Hart, 45, said: “There are obviously more pressing matters that need to be attended to…. (story)

HUSKISSON "CONCILIATION" LETTER
Northern Echo 8.5.10 – Hunting - I ECHO S Winn’s comments about hunting (HAS, May 5). We do, indeed, need politicians with wisdom and compassion. Any modern and progressive government should be seeking to create a caring and compassionate society and should be strengthening laws to prevent anyone gaining pleasure and entertainment at the expense of another creature… Julia Bowles, Sedgefield, Co Durham (letter)
Durham Times 7.5.10 Hunting - MJ HUSKISSON Suffolk (letter)
South Wales Echo 6.5.10 On the hunt for some wisdom - UK voters prefer conciliation to strife… MJ Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service Suffolk (letter)
Northern Echo 5.5.10 Hunting - UK voters prefer conciliation to strife… S Winn, Address Supplied (letter)
Burton News 4.5.10 Hunting Act needs our assistance - UK voters prefer conciliation to strife. Hunting wildlife for recreation, with packs of hounds, was imposed here by French conquerors after 1066 and has always caused strife between pro and anti hunters…. Amendments to the Hunting Act to help our police keep hunting legal are needed. This would benefit most who hunt and all country dwellers. Repealing the Act, as the Conservatives plan, would be a disaster. M J Huskisson Address supplied (letter)

Yorkshire Post 7.5.10 No to Hunting Act repeal - From: Patricia Tricker, Bedale, North Yorkshire. HUNTING wildlife for recreation, with packs of hounds, was introduced by the ruling élite after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and has always caused strife between pro and anti-hunters. There has been violence and, tragically, even human deaths. The Hunting Act 2004 offered hope that this conflict could be ended…. (letter)

Leicester Mercury 8.5.10 Protest over animal tests - Animal rights activists opposing a proposed drug-testing laboratory held a demonstration outside the University of Leicester…. Activist Holly Grundy, 25, who organised the protest, said: "Cruelty will be inflicted on defenseless animals."…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 8.5.10 Animal testing dangerous, haphazard and inefficient - We can claim that the new lab will be used for medical research into serious illness ("Animal tests lab to be built in city", Mercury April 26), but if animals are used, I'm confident that it won't be…. Cris Iles, Vivisection Information Network, Camberley, Surrey, (letter)

7.5.10

ELECTION – SIMON HART
Times 7.5.10 Wales: Labour rebuffs three-pronged attack - David Sanderson - Labour rebuffed a three-pronged attack in its Welsh citadels and was on course to retain nearly two thirds of the country’s seats…. Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart, standing for the Tories, also overturned a Labour majority in Carmarthen West… (story)
BBC News Online 7.5.10 All change in Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire - The Conservatives have taken Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, bringing to an end Nick Ainger's 18 years as a Labour MP. Simon Hart's victory was the only big change in south west Wales… Roger Phillips, retired deputy editor of the Carmarthen Journal who has lived in the town most of his life, said he felt the campaign had largely past the town centre by. … "Simon Hart is a Pembrokeshire boy and ex-Countryside Alliance and that was always going to pull a lot of votes for him outside of the town…. (story)
Farmers Weekly 7.5.10 Election 2010: How farming politicians fared - Isabel Davies -…Simon Hart, who has for several years been chief executive of theCountryside Alliance, won the seat of Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South for theConservatives… (story)

ELECTION – KATE HOEY
London SE1 7.5.10 Kate Hoey wins Vauxhall - The result came as no surprise but activists had waited all night to hear confirmation at 8.30am that Kate Hoey had comfortably won the election in the Vauxhall constituency… Kate Hoey, who chairs the Countryside Alliance, was targeted in this election by the Animal Protection Party who waged a personal campaign against the pro-hunting MP but the party polled just 96 votes… (story)
Telegraph 29.4.10 The lies the animal rights lobby are telling about Kate Hoey By Harry Mount - I bumped into the Labour MP Kate Hoey yesterday, canvassing in her Vauxhall constituency, and had a very jolly chat with her… The animal rights lobby have been running a ferocious campaign against Hoey, because she’s the Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, and supports hunting. There are quite a lot of foxes in Vauxhall, but no foxhounds, and no pink coats, but that doesn’t matter to the animal rights lot… Hoey has always struck me as the ideal, independently-minded MP, prepared to vote against her party on principle…. She was even attacked by Speaker Martin for doing what he failed to do – criticising MPs for the expenses scandal; a real badge of honour. Needless to say, her own expenses record is flawless.With a majority of 9,977 over the Lib Dems, she should be OK. Still, though, worth spreading the word about how badly she’s been maligned. (story)

Oxford Mail 7.5.10 ELECTION: Conservative topples Lib Dem Harris By Reg Little - LIBERAL DEMOCRAT Evan Harris this morning lost his seat in Oxford West and Abingdon to Conservative Nicola Blackwood…. He also came under attack from animal activists, with Keith Mann standing against Dr Harris for the Animal Protection Party. Mr Mann, who spent seven years in prison for arson attacks on slaughterhouse lorries in the early nineties, said at today’s count, held at the Vale of White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre, that taking votes from Dr Harris had been his main intention…. (story)

Plymouth Herald 7.5.10 Hunting thanks - ALL of us here at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics want to thank the many people in Plymouth who got behind our in-store campaign against fox hunting… JESSICA LEE, Lush Cosmetics, London (letter)

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 7.5.10 Morally repugnant - A REPEAL of the Hunting Act is clearly back on the political agenda…. What is not mentioned is that any repeal of the Hunting Act 2004 would bring back hare hunting and hare coursing as fully legal activities…. douglas batchelorChief Executive, League Against Cruel Sports (letter)

Irish Independent 7.5.10 Greens doing best for wildlife - I cannot find merit in the criticism levelled at Environment Minister John Gormley's handling of wildlife issues by John Condren (Letters, May 6) and Aidan Finn (May 5)… Mr Finn believes that carted stag hunting is a "harmless and beneficial sport" and that the stag hunters "cherish and protect wildlife in a natural environment". Hounding any animal for miles across country until it falls down from exhaustion, injured, can hardly be described as "harmless" and cannot be said to benefit the stag….John Fitzgerald, Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports, Callan, Co Kilkenny (letter)
Irish Independent 6.5.10 Greens 'enemy' of countryside - I AGREE wholeheartedly with Aidan Finn's condemnation of John Gormley's ineptitude (Letters, May 5). Instead of proscribing a harmless and beneficial sport like stag-hunting, Mr Gormley should be instigating moves to cherish the dwindling wildlife population of the Irish nation…. Rural Ireland would be better off without such a minister. JOHN CONDREN, Fife, Scotland (letter)

Western Mail 7.5.10 Draconian cull - Amid argument about the lack of science behind the badger cull it would be easy to overlook the Welsh Assembly Government’s assumption of draconian powers and disregard for the rights of the individual in preparing to carry out their senseless plan. In no previous culls in the UK have those landowners and residents who do not want such slaughter been forced to allow it on their land… MICHAEL RITCHIE, Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire (letter) p>Nottingham Evening Post 7.5.10 Animal testing protest in Nottingham - NOTTINGHAM Animal Rights is to hold a protest in the city centre on Saturday. The group will be staging a peaceful protest outside Boots on Upper Parliament Street from 1pm…. (story)

6.5.10

Oxford Mail 6.5.10 End animal cruelty - I FEEL strongly, as does 75 per cent of the population, that fox, deer, hare coursing and hunting should be regarded as cruel history… PAMELA TREADWELL (Mrs), Dodgson Road, Cowley, Oxford (letter)

East Lothian Courier 6.5.10 Animal rights row by Alex Lawrie - AN animal rights group is urging the Scottish Government to act following an international airline's decision to halt the transportation of live dogs and cats to an East Lothian medical research laboratory. Scotland for Animals (SFA) is demanding Scottish ministers hold an independent inquiry into what it alleges is the "barbaric" treatment suffered by animals in the country's science labs…. John Patrick, a spokesperson for SFA, said: "The Airline Lufthansa has now pledged to end the transport of animals for research… (story)

5.5.10

Mirror 5.5.10 David Cameron to bring back barbaric fox hunts loved by a sick minority By Bob Roberts - David Cameron will bring back the hated hunting with hounds to satisfy the bloodlust of a few rich toffs, Labour warned last night… (story)

Ekklesia 5.5.10 Cameron challenged over animal welfare - A series of full-page adverts in today's national newspapers warn that a vote for David Cameron will risk the fox hunting ban being overturned. The £150,000 campaign has been launched by the UK animal welfare group PAL (Political Animal Lobby) and its founder, Welshman Brian Davies, in a last minute bid to sway floating voters and draw attention to Cameron’s pro-hunting stance…. (story)
PR Newswire 4.5.10 Ad Campaign Against a Return of Fox Hunting Targets Cameron - A series of full-page adverts is being taken out in national newspapers tomorrow warning that a vote for David Cameron will risk the fox hunting ban being overturned. The GBP150,000 campaign has been launched by the UK animal welfare group PAL (Political Animal Lobby) and its founder, Welshman Brian Davies, in a last minute bid to sway floating voters and draw attention to Cameron's pro-hunting stance… (story)

BRIAN MAY IN WALES
Western Morning News 5.5.10 Rock star warns of Tory 'animal bloodbath' - Rock star Brian May yesterday predicted that Britain's countryside will be "awash with the blood of innocent animals" if the Tories win the election…. (story)
South Wales Evening Post 5.5.10 Queen star's warning over Tory 'blood bath' - ROCK star Brian May has predicted that Britain's countryside will be "awash with the blood of innocent animals" if the Tories win the election… He toured parts of West Wales in the company of the local Labour campaign team and was mobbed by music fans wherever he went… (story)
BBC News Online 4.5.10 Queen guitarist's hunting fight - Rock star Brian May has visited Wales to try to move fox hunting up the general election agenda. The Queen guitarist, who campaigned in Pembrokeshire with Labour, claimed Conservatives were "pretending" foxhunting was not a big deal for them… (story)

Carlisle News & Star 5.5.10 Make hunting ban stronger by Stephen Blease - Like most city dwellers I’ve always been instinctively against fox hunting. But considering fox-hunters were so passionately opposed to the hunting ban I always imagined I wasn’t well enough informed about it. Then last week I saw a documentary which made up my mind. Called A Minority Pastime, it is about hunting and hunt saboteurs….. I’m not a vegetarian and I’m not against testing cancer drugs on monkeys. But killing foxes serves no purpose. And there is something chilling about people taking pleasure from it. I’m now convinced that the ban shouldn’t be reversed. It should be strengthened…. (story)

Nottingham Evening Post 5.5.10 Fox hunting message ahead of election - ANTI-ANIMAL cruelty groups are tonight hosting a film about fox-hunting. A Minority Pastime will be screened at the Sumac Centre, in Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, from 7pm. Dave Best, of Nottingham Animal Rights, said: "The film aims to remind the public why fox hunting was banned… (story) v

Huddersfield Daily Examiner 5.5.10 WHEN every vote counts it is astonishing that David Cameron flaunts his contempt for animal welfare…As hunting can thrive without the pursuit of live quarry why return to the cruel old days? Seeking ‘change’ is fine but change for the better is needed, not a return to past savagery. John Lee, Netherton (letter)

Argus 5.5.10 A return to hunting with hounds? The Tories have pledged a free vote in Parliament, if they win the election, to repeal the Hunting Act…. If this Act is repealed it will mean not only a return of fox hunting but also hare coursing and stag hunting. Before you place your vote it may be worth giving that a thought. Sue Baumgardt, Stoneham Road, Hove (letter)

South Wales Evening Post 5.5.10 Poets to badger Senedd - A PROTEST against the proposed cull of badgers takes place in verse today. Poets opposed to the Welsh Assembly Government plan to cull badgers in West Wales will read their work on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. The protest is organised by 81-year old animal rights campaigner June Holder, and perfor mance poet Mab Jones… (story)

4.5.10

Halesowen News 4.5.10 Fiesty fox hunts floating votes - STOURBRIDGE'S Labour team have been pulling out all the stops in the hunt for extra votes as polling day draws ever closer… Lynda Waltho, the incumbent MP, was joined by a foxy-looking supporter to highlight her pledge to ensure fox-hunting remains banned. The furry campaigner stopped off at the station to confront Conservative candidate Margot James about her party's proposal to hold a free vote in Parliament… Ms James, who has previously told the News she would “vote to restore the right to hunt foxes” said she has little left to say on the issue….“It would depend on how the legislation was formed as to how I would vote, and on the advice of animal welfare organisations. It’s something I would consider it on its merits.”… (story)

Bolton News 4.5.10 Keep hunting in mind when voting - I WISH to remind all animal lovers that, if elected, the Conservatives intend to revoke the Hunting Bill, which was passed in a free vote by all parties in 2004… To bring back hunting with dogs would be a retrograde step in a so-called civilised society… Albert Adamson St Helens Road Bolton (letter)

Western Mail 4.5.10 Hares at risk - Control of illegal hare coursing is important for farmers, landowners and the public. Before the Hunting Act it was hard to control because anyone seeing coursers had little idea whether it was legal (coursing with permission) or illegal (without permission)…. Now this significant progress against rural lawbreaking is threatened… This is “change” certainly, but change for the worse for everyone bar the tiny minority of country sports enthusiasts who like coursing hares and have no regard for the law. MJ HUSKISSON, Animal Welfare Information Service (letter)

Coventry Telegraph 4.5.10 Janet shoots herself in foot - ANIMAL rights extremists should be encouraged to get their facts straight before putting pen to paper. Janet Cummings claims she should like to see the Labour party ban game shooting, if elected. The Labour party has in fact had a commitment to support shooting since 1979… Debbie Collins, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Wrexham. (letter)
Coventry Telegraph 23.4.10 Please don’t bring back hunting ban - DURING the recent political debate I noticed no mention has been made by the Conservative Party that they are almost certainly planning to overturn the hunting ban if elected… The only place for blood sport should be in our history books so we should never witness the horrific suffering again. If elected I should like to see the Labour Party ban game shooting. Janet Cummings, Tower Road, Rugby. (letter)

BBC News Online 4.5.10 Mink 'threat' to Lochalsh and Wester Ross voles - Water voles in Lochalsh and Wester Ross are under threat from a non-native predator, Highland Council has warned. American mink prey on the small animals and have been blamed for almost wiping out ground-nesting birds on Sandaig and the Sound of Sleat on Skye… Started in 2001, the Hebridean Mink Project has entered its final year. So far 1,232 mink have been killed. (story)

South Wales Evening Post/Carmarthen Journal 4.5.10 A bit more to badger issue - I READ with great anticipation, Carl Stringer's article, "TB Vaccine fight after court ruling", Journal April 28. I was disappointed, however, as there was no mention of the availability of a licensed vaccine as an alternative to the cull… Phil Harris, Pembrokeshire against the Cull (letter)

3.5.10

Oxford Mail 3.5.10 Hounding out - Seeing David Cameron on the televised debates, and reading his manifesto, it is clear why he felt at home among the infamously elitist Bullingdon Club while at Oxford University. There is plenty in his words and actions to terrify caring, compassionate people who seek to make our world better for all… Mr Cameron is flawed in all these areas and with his enthusiasm for bloodsports is clearly far better suited to being a Master of Hounds. MJ Huskisson, Animal Welfare Information Service (letter)

Lancashire Telegraph 3.5.10 A happy return - Regarding bloodsports and reports that the Conservatives would bring hunting back, good for them! I would encourage all supporters of hunting to vote for David Cameron on May 6. E Knowles, Accrington (letter)
Lancashire Telegraph 3.5.10 Keep hunting ban in place - How well I agree with Stuart Hartley’s letter (April 27).The Conservatives have made no secret of their plans to hold a ballot to overturn the ‘hunting ban’ as, let’s face it, these cruel sports are enjoyed by vast numbers of this political party… I would urge anyone who is concerned in animal welfare to think carefully at the ballot box – this ban must stay in place in a modern and peace-loving society… Loretta Davies (letter)
Lancashire Telegraph 3.5.10 Send the hunters to Afghanistan - I REFER to a letter (LT, April 21), where the Conservatives’ election manifesto wants a free vote in Parliament with a view to bringing back fox-hunting, hare-coursing etc….Another idea would be to send them to Afghanistan to help our troops fight terrorists who would bite back – or would cowardice take over and desertion take place to save their own skins? A R JAMES, Livingstone Street, Brierfield (letter)
Lancashire Telegraph 27.4.10 Ban blood sports forever - David Cameron has pledged that should the “modern” Conservatives win power he will make blood sports legal once again. Hunting live animals with dogs for pleasure and sport, including hare coursing, stag hunting and fox hunting, was a barbaric and sadistic practice and an embarrassment to all peaceful, animal loving people… Stuart Hartley Robert Street, Oswaldtwistle (letter)

Leicester Mercury 3.5.10 Animals and party policies - Anthony M Wallis expressed dismay at the Tory Party's attitude to the Hunting Act. ("A real vote-loser", Mailbox, April 14). PAD (Protecting Animals in Democracy) is an initiative set up by Uncaged… . Since the 2005 election PAD has measured MPs' records on animal protection by looking at whether they signed animal-friendly Early Day Motions (EDMs)… Elizabeth Allison, Aylestone (letter)

South Wales Echo 3.5.10 Vote Tory and the fox gets it - ALONG with 20,000 other people, I have signed up to Brian May’s Facebook SAVE-ME campaign which highlights that a future Conservative government would repeal the hard-won Labour victory of a ban on hunting with dogs…. A poll conducted by the League Against Cruel Sports shows that, of 360 prospective Labour candidates interviewed, just one said they would get rid of the ban against fox-hunting with dogs, and that was Kate Hoey…. I would urge anyone who cares about animal welfare to consider the record of the Labour and Conservative parties on fox-hunting before going to vote on May 6. Lorraine Barrett, Labour and Co-operative Assembly Member for Cardiff South & Penarth (letter)

Western Morning News 3.5.10 Otters eating too many fish, says Labour campaigner - Calls for otters to be removed from the wild to allow rivers to replenish themselves with fish were yesterday branded as "nonsense" by a leading Westcountry expert. Martin Salter, former Labour MP for Reading West and an angling campaigner, said the "apex predators" were in danger of decimating fish stocks in British rivers and damaging commercial fisheries… Mr Salter, who is standing down as an MP at the General Election, has also called for greater numbers of cormorants – another predator for coarse fish – to be shot…. Vic Simpson, a Truro-based veterinary pathologist and a recognised authority on otters, said suggestions that otters should be moved was "nonsense"…. (story)
possibly Western Daily Press 3.5.10 Call to evict the otter to help bolster fish stocks - Otters should be removed from their habitats in West rivers to allow fish stocks to replenish, say Government environment chiefs. Martin Salter MP, the Government's angling spokesman, said the "apex predators" were in danger of decimating fish stocks in British rivers, while also damaging commercial fisheries in their hunt for food. Local conservationists, who have carefully been rebuilding the otter populations around the region for years, have reacted with anger…. Vic Simpson, a veterinary pathologist and a recognised authority on otters, said suggestions that otters should be moved was "nonsense"…. (story)

Leicester Mercury 3.5.10 Animal rights campaigners protest outside circus - Animal rights campaigners held a protest outside a circus to complain about its use of animals in shows. The group of about 20 people stood on Leicester Road in Glen Parva yesterday evening outside the Great British Circus…. (story)

Birmingham Post 3.5.10 Streetly circus boycott by animal charity by William Oliphant, Birmingham Mail - AN animal rights group has urged people to boycott a Midland circus featuring llamas, camels, zebras, horses, a bull, dogs and a fox. The Captive Animals’ Protection Society has criticised Peter Jolly’s Circus, currently showing in Streetly… (story)

2.5.10

Independent on Sunday 2.5.10 - Mark Richards, Newcastle, Staffordshire (letter)
The Sentinel 26.4.10 I fear Tories will bring in a badger cull - The Labour Party has improved animal welfare. It banned fox hunting, hare coursing and stag hunting, fur farming, driftnet fishing, the testing of cosmetics, toiletries, alcohol and tobacco on animals and the seal fur trade across the EU. It decided against a badger cull in England and is currently banning battery cages for pheasants…. MARK RICHARDS, Newcastle (letter)

Hampshire Chronicle 2.5.10 Stronger cruelty-free charter adopted in Winchester By Andrew Napier - ANIMAL rights campaigners have persuadedWinchester civic chiefs to beef up a new policy on a cruelty-free charter. The full council narrowly agreed to specifically ban its own caterers from using battery farmed eggs, foie gras, and to only use high-welfare rose veal. The vote by 26 to 24, with cross-party support, followed a petition by Catherine Gregory, of Winchester Animal Concern, who pointed out that battery farming was cruel as was the force-feeding of ducks or geese to produce foie gras… Cllr Kelsie Learney, Liberal Democrat leader, said the council should set a good example as it did promoting fairtrade goods… Marjorie Pooley, of WAC, said: “We are delighted…. (story)
Hampshire Chronicle 9.4.10 Animal campaign backed by councillors - A SEVEN-point plan to improve the welfare of animals will come before the next meeting ofWinchester City Council. Cabinet members backed it when they met on Wednesday, April 7 after Animal Aid lobbied the authority last year. The pressure group wanted it to support a nine-point plan, but council chiefs have decided that some of it is not workable…. (story)

1.5.10

Independent 1.5.10 We are in the worst economic crisis for a generation, and are promised the most savage of public spending cuts. It will need all the skills of the next government to solve the current problems. So what we need is one that will prioritise these matters by spending time on ... er ... bringing back fox-hunting… Chris Burrell, Welwyn garden City, Hertfordshire (letter)

Exeter Express & Echo 1.5.10 Tories' policies will be grossly unfair - THE televised leadership debates have thrown people into a state of excitement about who may be the next prime minister…. after years of accusing Labour of wasting parliamentary time on banning hunting, the Conservatives have pledged to waste a whole lot more by trying to bring it back should they be elected… Rob Harding, (Full address supplied) (letter)

BUAV ELECTION LETTER
Bristol Evening Post 1.5.10 Elect to stop animal experiments - Josephine Davies, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), London N7 8NN. (letter)
Ilkley Gazette 29.4.10 BUAV questionnaire to help voters make informed decision - Josephine Davies, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) (letter)
Nottingham Post 26.4.10 Give us views on vivisection - THERE is strong public concern surrounding animal experimentation. In 2008 … We have contacted all candidates in Gedling and so far, one candidate has responded … JOSEPHINE DAVIES British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) Crane Grove, London (letter)
Newcastle Evening Chronicle 26.4.10 Views sought over animals - THERE is strong public concern surrounding animal experimentation…. As the general election draws closer it is important for voters to know their candidates’ views on the issues that matter to them. The BUAV has offered all candidates from the main parties the opportunity to complete a questionnaire on animal experimentation… We have contacted all candidates in Newcastle and so far one candidate has responded. We believe that voters have the right to know the views of all their candidates…. JOSEPHINE DAVIES, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) (letter)