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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 February, 2005, 09:30 GMT
Police praise peaceful protests
Young hunt supporter
Thousands of hunt supporters turned out
Police have praised hunt supporters and people in a Leicestershire town after a demonstration passed off peacefully on Saturday.

About 700 mounted hunt supporters and an estimated crowd of 2,800 gathered in Melton Mowbray's town centre.

Members of four hunts joined together to protest against the new ban on hunting with dogs.

Supt Maddy Parnell said he was grateful to demonstrators for adopting a "responsible attitude".

Lawful demonstration

The Quorn, Belvoir, Cottesmore and Oakley Foot Beagle hunts staged the protest in Melton Mowbray before setting off on separate hunts.

Supt Parnell said: "Our priority today was to protect the safety of the hunt supporters, members of the public and our own officers while facilitating a peaceful and lawful demonstration.

"We are grateful to the demonstrators for adopting such a responsible attitude and also to the people of Melton.

"We did our best to minimise disruption, but some traffic congestion was inevitable and local residents have been very understanding."



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