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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Pro-hunting protesters threaten further action
Protesters who blocked roads around the UK in support of fox hunting are threatening further action.

The Countryside Action Network (CAN) say they will stage "a number of protests over the next couple of months".

And spokeswoman Janet George has revealed the organisation is planning to cause a stir at next weekend's Labour Party rural conference.

"They will know we are there," she warned.


Hunting people are not natural protesters - but we are getting a taste for it

CAN

Ms George told BBC News Online: "Hunting people are sick of being used as a political football.

"Every time the government has a little bit of trouble with its backbenchers and wants a juicy bone to throw to them, out comes the threat to hunting.

"Labour only listens to the people who can cause it most grief and at the moment on this issue that is their backbenchers.

"So we have to send a message to them that we can cause at least as much trouble for them as their backbenchers - if not more."

Friday's action - during which slow moving vehicles were sent along sections of the M11 in Cambridgeshire, the M4 in South Wales and the A1M in South Yorkshire - was "just a taste" of things to come, Ms George warned.

But she conceded it was "regrettable that we have to inconvenience the public".

Major inconvenience

And Ms George revealed a planned go-slow around Birmingham had been abandoned after protesters decided the M42, M6 and M5 were too congested already.

"The motorways are already a disgrace and we did not want to add to the misery there," she explained.

The CAN protesters' action has been criticised by the Countryside Alliance, which also supports hunting with hounds.

Ms George responded by calling the Alliance "too polite".

Hunting people

"Politeness does not work with Labour," she added.

"We have done the talking and won all the arguments - there is no justification for a ban on hunting.

"But the government is not listening.

"And we are not going to roll over quietly while they destroy a way of life.

"Hunting people are not natural protesters - but we are getting a taste for it."

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05 Jul 02 | Scotland
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