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Last Updated: Friday, 10 September, 2004, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Hunt protest outside Blair's home
A pro-hunt protester is watched by an armed policeman at Trimdon Colliery
Police said there were no public order problems
More than 150 pro-hunt campaigners gathered outside Prime Minister Tony Blair's County Durham constituency home on Friday.

The protesters are opposed to a ban on hunting with dogs.

Commons leader Peter Hain said a vote will take place on Wednesday, but the ban could be deferred for two years.

The protesters gathered outside the house in Trimdon Colliery. Durham Police said one man was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace.

Mr Blair met with a number of the protesters before leaving in a motorcade for a series of constituency engagements.

Demonstrators held up banners and blew hunting horns.

'Noisy protest'

James Bates, from the Countryside Alliance in Durham, said: "We are basically here to say one thing, that we are not going away.

"He can try to bring in a ban but we are not going to go away.

"What we are very upset about is that the government always said that they would be bringing in any legislation based on principle and evidence.

"To that end they had three different scientific inquiries into hunting with dogs.

"And each of those three came back saying that hunting with dogs was the least cruel and most efficient way of controlling the fox population."

A Durham Police spokesman said that although the protest was noisy , it was peaceful for the most part.

He said: "There is a permanent police presence at the house and we are just sending extra officers."




SEE ALSO:
Hunting ban to be debated by MPs
09 Sep 04  |  Politics
Hunt debate 'threatens key bills'
05 Sep 04  |  Politics


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