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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Pro-hunt rally at court
police at pro-hunt protest
Police were on hand at the pro-hunt protest
Pro-hunt campaigners say widespread civil disobedience will follow if a proposed hunting bill is passed by Parliament.

A group of about 75 protesters opposed to the bill held a rally outside a magistrate's court in Nottingham on Tuesday.

Representatives from four main East Midlands fox hunts presented letters of protest to officials at the magistrate's court.

A protest spokesman said thousands of people will be forced to break the law if the current hunting bill is passed.

Future ban

"We are handing in letters expressing our opposition to this law," protest leader Michael Hemphrey said.

Many campaigners have already signed up to the Hunting Declaration, a document signalling their intention to defy any future ban on the sport.

The declaration will be officially launched on 1 November.

Members from 25 hunts from across the East Midlands are planning to meet on that date at Melton Mowbray Airfield to support hunting.

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