Hunt protest anger

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

The rally in Hyde Park followed by a march to Trafalgar Square 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 and sponsored by Labour MP Michael Foster. 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 confrontational.

Demonstration organiser Niel Hansen said the three other groups were partly to blame for the relatively low attendance. "It is for the RSPCA and the League Against Cruel Sports to answer for themselves."