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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 November, 2004, 17:58 GMT
Welsh hunts join protests
Llangeinor Hunt members
Llangeinor Hunt was out in force near Bridgend
Pro-hunt campaigners in Wales have held peaceful protests against a ban on fox-hunting to mark the start of the hunt season across the UK.

Demonstrations took place on Saturday in Bridgend in south Wales and in St Asaph, in Denbighshire.

The meetings were the first since the UK Government voted to ban hunting with dogs earlier this year.

The pro-hunting group, the Countryside Alliance, has renewed its commitment to challenge any new law banning hunting.

If they switch to drag-hunting or eventing, they can be making real money. No-one needs to lose jobs.
Suzanne Campbell, League Against Cruel Sports

Around 10 meets were arranged in Wales and England for Saturday. In Wales, these included the Flint and Denbigh Hunt Cefn in St Asaph, the Llangeinor Hunt in Heol y Cyw, Bridgend.

Police said they passed without incident.

Darren Hughes of the Countryside Alliance, attended the Heol y Cyw event and said protesters were concerned that livelihoods would be destroyed by a hunting ban.

"There are people like blacksmiths, feed merchants, local farmers who sell hay to people who keep horses," he said.

"But more importantly, what the government is asking the police to do is to make sure we kill foxes by prescribed methods.

"I think that if you speak to anybody in Wales, they would prefer the police to be doing their proper job - protecting them from crime."

Suzanne Campbell, of the League Against Cruel Sports, said those whose livings depended on hunting should be looking to diversify and find other employment.

"It's now time for democracy to be done," she said.

"I would say to the hunters, 'See the writing on the wall and call it a day. Look at and look at the other economic possibilities that are out there'.

"If they switch to drag-hunting or eventing, they can be making real money. No-one needs to lose jobs."

In September, MPs voted to ban hunting with dogs in England and Wales amid mass demonstrations and the debate in the House of Commons being interrupted by protesters.

The Bill's third reading was passed by 339 votes to 155.

However, last month, the House of Lords voted for licensed hunts instead of a full ban.

The Commons could use the Parliament Act to force a full ban onto the statute books.

The issue is due to return to the House of Commons in mid-November.

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16 Sep 04  |  Politics


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