Archive for April, 2010

The Fox Tour: Arundel & South Downs

Yesterday, on day six of the Fox Tour, the team headed for the Arundel & South Down constituency in Sussex. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful towns in England, set in some of the most stunning countryside in the country.

We tracked down all four candidates – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP – and had good discussions with them all, as you can see on the film.

We do, of course, disagree with Mr Herbert’s position. But we respect him for taking the time to talk to us, far more than some other pro-hunting candidates have managed, and we hope his openness will be replicated by other pro-hunting candidates.

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Image of the Day – 158

Here, two dead beagles from the Stowe Hunt. They were both killed in a collision with a Land Rover back in the 1980s.

Don’t allow hunters to tell you that they care about animal welfare. If they did, genuinely, then such incidents as these would simply not be allowed to happen.

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Traveller’s Tales: For whom the bull bellows

An interesting take on the current state of the bullfighting industry, from the South African newspaper, The Times.

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Fox Tour: Stroud

After a very long day in west Wales on Thursday, we headed back into England on Friday and to Stroud in Gloucestershire.

Stroud gave the Fox Tour the warm welcome it had become accustomed to elsewhere. Whilst we couldn’t find the Liberal Democrat candidate (and he didn’t answer our calls), we did speak to the Green, UKIP and Labour candidates. Sadly the Conservative candidate was as elusive as his colleagues in Corby and Westmorland & Lonsdale.

We’re heading to our next constituency now – and it’s going to be another long day. The film from today will be online tomorrow morning.

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Image of the Day – 157

From 1992, another injured hound, this time belonging to the Cheshire Forest Foxhounds, is loaded into the back of a Land Rover, it’s fate unknown. But don’t forget how the hunters tell us how much they care about animal welfare…

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Animal welfare manifesto commitments welcomed

The League said it was “greatly encouraged” by commitments in the Labour Party’s “Green Manifesto”, published earlier today.

The Manifesto pledges to maintain the ban on hunting with dogs, ban the use of cages for game birds, and a review of all wildlife crime legislation.

A spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports – which has this week taken launched a ‘Fox Tour’ taking a six foot fox on a tour of hunting constituencies – said it was “greatly encouraged” to see such strong commitments to animal welfare. “We just don’t understand why some politicians want to bring back hunting with dogs when over 75% of the public support the ban,” he said. “There have been over 130 convictions under the Hunting Act and there are two cases progressing through the courts now. Today’s commitment in the Labour manifesto is very welcome.”

The League’s campaign has won the celebrity backing of actors including Gemma Atkinson and Tony Robinson.

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The Fox Tour hits the spot

The hunters’ deep annoyance at the Fox Tour is tangible.

It was through tightly gritted teeth that Simon Hart smiled at the camera as we attempted to talk to him about hunting as he arrived at an RSPB event at Trinity College in Carmarthen. In fact, so annoyed was he that he’d been confronted like that, that he left the event later that evening through a back entrance, sending a decoy car out front to try and fool us (they did; we got as far as the car park exit before realising what they were up to). But then Hart’s flunkies at the Countryside Alliance tweeted on Friday that we had been “following the wrong car round [sic] Carmarthen last night”. The spin must be making them dizzy.

In Thursday’s film, from the Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire constituency in Wales, we included a clip in which a member of the Fox Tour team gives his mobile number in a message to a candidate we were trying to speak to. This was calculated, to see if the hunters would start to call – and that’s exactly what they did. We’ve got them all recorded and we’ll video blog them later this week.

Not all the pro-hunters are disliking the films, though. On Saturday, the Conservative candidate for Corby – whom we tried to track down on Monday – tweeted that “our entire office has watched it. It’s fantastic” before going on to say that it was the “funniest video ever”.

The films have had thousands of views on our website and blog, and we have a further eight constituencies to visit. Friday’s film, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, will be online tomorrow morning. And it’s clear that the Fox Tour is having a real impact and generating the kind of coverage of the hunting issue that we need.

It’s certainly not the ‘period of silence’ the blood junkies claimed to be hoping for!

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