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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 February, 2005, 18:36 GMT
Region's hunts facing first test
Fox killed legally
A fox is killed legally at the Durham Hunt after being flushed out
Thousands of hunt supporters turned out in force at more than 20 meetings across the North East and Cumbria.

Up to 200 people followed master Jim Cox through the village of Threlkeld at the Blencathra hunt in Cumbria.

At the South Durham hunt near Wynyard a fox was killed legally after being flushed out by two hounds and shot.

The mood was defiant, but most vowed to stay within the law in the hope that the ban will eventually be overturned in the courts.

'Overturn law'

At the Tynedale hunt in Matfen, Northumberland, 1,000 supporters filled the village green to encourage 120 riders out exercising their hounds.

Richard Dodd, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, joined the hunt.

He said: "We had a very big turn-out and although enjoyable, the mood was one of defiance.

"This ban was brought in, not because of evidence over cruelty to foxes, but out of spite.

"We will not let them get away with it and will find a way around the law until it is overturned."

Hundreds of supporters also turned out at the Zetland Hunt in Aldborough St John, near Darlington.

Chairman of the hunt, John Snaith, said: "Life in the country is just not the same.

"All we can do is keep the hounds and horses going and hope it all comes back."

Anti-hunt group urges vigilance
18 Feb 05 |  Politics
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