Anti-hunting rally falls foul of animal welfare organisations

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More than 3,500 protesters gathered in London for an anti-hunting rally yesterday amid anger over a call by the three top animal welfare groups for people to stay away, writes Rory O'Carroll.

The rally in Hyde Park failed to attract a tenth of the support of last month's country sports pro-hunting rally. The protest, timed to coincide with the start of the deer-hunting season, aimed to put pressure on the Government to allow time for an anti-hunting Bill going through the Commons. But march organisers, a fringe group of the National Anti Hunt Campaign, were criticised by the RSPCA, League Against Cruel Sports and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which said the protest was unnecessary.