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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 11:55 GMT
Bishop's plea for hunt staff jobs
A bishop has asked the government for reassurances about workers who risk losing their jobs over the hunting ban.

Bishop of Hereford Anthony Priddis has written to Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael saying kennel staff could lose their homes because of the legislation.

Some 15 hunts operate within the boundaries of his diocese, which covers Herefordshire and parts of Powys, Worcestershire and south Shropshire.

The bishop warned some people employed by hunts may to leave the area.

Bishop Anthony stressed he was not looking to reopen the debate about the merits of hunting with hounds, but wanted to establish what provision the government has made for those affected.

"Severe disruption"

Those involved with hunting were steeped in rural life and could find the transition to an urban environment very difficult, he said.

He said: "The likelihood is that they will have to leave the area entirely, causing severe disruption to their families.

"I know that emphasising the qualities associated with a 'rural' way of life was one of the arguments posited against the ban being imposed, but it is a reality for these people."

The churchman has asked Mr Michael whether any assessment has been made of the numbers involved and whether any plans are in place to find them either other work or alternative and affordable accommodation.

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19 Nov 04 |  Politics
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27 Jun 04 |  Hereford/Worcs

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