Rural protesters are set to gather in London’s Hyde Park on Monday 16 December to demonstrate their feelings at the government’s proposal to outlaw competition coursing and deer hunting.

The rally, which begins at 2.30pm in Hyde Park forms part of a whole day of protest to mark the Second Reading in Parliament of the government’s new Hunting Bill.

The rally will be an opportunity for countryside campaigners from across the countryto show solidarity with those specific hunting communities under threat of aban.

Large contingents are expected both from the West Country, wherecommunities in Devon and Somerset are threatened by a deer hunting ban, andfrom the coursing strongholds of the North and East, but other hunting andrural communities are expected to join in.

Every hunting association has cancelled meets on Monday as a show of support and to encourage as many people as possible to make the trip to London.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Richard Burge said: “Monday will seethe start of a campaign to bring home forcibly to Parliament the depth ofrural concern and frustration over the Bill, whose current unfairness andinconsistency have caused widespread suspicion that it is a ‘divide andrule’ tactic. Politicians shouldunderstand that the rural community willview an unwarranted attack on one form of hunting as an attack on the rightsof all.”