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Alexandra Mackenzie reports
"They travelled from around the country but they were united in their message"
 real 56k

Saturday, 17 February, 2001, 19:26 GMT
Hunt protesters dog Labour conference
Hunting demonstration
More than 100 protesters stood outside the SECC
More than 100 people have staged a protest outside the Labour Party conference in Glasgow against plans to ban hunting with dogs.

Gamekeepers, field sports supporters, rural workers and farmers turned out to lobby delegates at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

A representative of the Countryside Alliance met Scottish Secretary Helen Liddell, and warned that a ban would have devastating effects for the rural economy.

He said the government would lose many votes in the forthcoming general election if it did not do more to help rural communities.

Allan Murray
Allan Murray: "strength of feeling"
Allan Murray, Director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said that Mrs Liddell gave him a "very friendly" hearing.

"The number of people here shows the strength of feeling at the dangers facing our rural communities," he said.

Mr Murray said that a ban on hunting with dogs would devastate rural communities and make hundreds of people redundant.

Fuel prices

He also called on the government to take action on other issues like fuel prices to help people living in the countryside.

Around 150 banner-waving protesters turned out for the demonstration at the Labour Party conference.

Many said they planned to attend a demonstration in London next month being organised by The Countryside Alliance.

The rural pressure group said that more than 160,000 people had already registered to join the event.

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See also:

25 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Minister avoids 'hunting' march
22 Jan 01 | Fox hunting
How many livelihoods at stake?
04 Oct 00 | Conservatives
Countryside meets seaside
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