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CATHEDRAL SEES THE LIGHT ON BLOODSPORTS
Posted 4 August 1999
St Edmundsbury Cathedral has decided not to accept any money raised by auctioning off lots of hunting, shooting, and fishing for its new millennium tower following protests led by Animal Aid supporters.
Last Wednesday a group of protesters, including one dressed as 'Jesus' carrying a six foot cross strewn with 'dead' animals, demonstrated outside the Cathedral entrance, urging the church to follow the biblical commandment Thou Shalt Not Kill.
Animal Aid, Britain's largest animal rights group, had condemned the Mixed Bag of Millennium Sport auction as barbaric and un-Christian. Supporters were outraged that 51 of the 77 lots on offer involved killing foxes, deer and birds for pleasure. One of the shooting prizes was donated by the Duke of Edinburgh, while another was directed at children. A fox hunting prize was hastily withdrawn last week as a result of the controversy.
Andrew Tyler, Director of Animal Aid, said:
This is marvellous news. It shows that the Reverend Atwell was a man of his word when he said that he would take seriously our concerns and reflect on them. He is to be congratulated for this decision. We would have preferred him to take a public position against bloodsports and are disappointed that he continues to uphold the right of people to kill animals for fun, but we recognise the enormous pressure the hunting and shooting brigade have put on him. That brigade will not be pleased by his decision, but their barbaric activities are supported by a diminishing minority in the country as well as in the town.'