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Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

THE Royal Mail has saved an animal rights group from bankruptcy after hunt supporters cost it £500,000 by bombarding its Freepost address with junk mail and heavy parcels. ...

A round-robin e-mail was sent to hunters urging them to abuse the system by sending Christmas cards, empty envelopes and bulky packages.

Within a fortnight, van loads of bricks, telephone directories, heavy books, abusive letters and animal excrement were sent to the league’s offices in South London. One hunter posted a dead squirrel. ...

Now the Royal Mail has agreed that the league should pay only for those items of mail sent before it alerted the postal service to the problem and cancelled the Freepost address.

This means that the league’s bill will be about £2,000, not the estimated £500,000, which would have almost certainly bankrupted the group.

Wanda Wyporska, spokeswoman for the league, which was set up in 1924 to stop violence against animals, said that half the sacks of mail were from the West Country. Some senders, she said, had used company franking machines. “We are delighted to say that the hunters’ attempt to bankrupt the league has failed spectacularly. They have wasted the time and resources of the police and the Royal Mail through their petty and spiteful campaign. Next time the price of a letter goes up, you have the hunters to thank.”

Police said that they were investigating whether the culprits could be charged with theft, fraud or sending malicious post. Just forwarding the e-mail could lead to criminal proceedings. A spokesman for Royal Mail added: “There is no point sending any more mail, it will be returned or destroyed.”

So why should ordinary users of the Royal Mail subsidise a cockup by the LACS marketing department? Do you think the Royal Mail would have done the same for the Countryside Alliance, who have had more sense than set up a Feepost address, or Nestle, Monsanto or any other fashionable villain?


"Just forwarding the e-mail could lead to criminal proceedings."

Not a surprise in a country where wearing a coat can lead to a police raid, stating an opinion will cause a police investigation and threatening villains will get your guns confiscated.


Thank you for brightening up my day. My colleagues and I have just been sitting here wetting ourselves over the dead squirrel. I wonder how he managed to get it through the hole in the post box ...

Well, if you can get a live hamster in the post .......

(see under Pranks, Students, Not appreciated by PC Brigade and Social Workers)

Bugger! And my sister had had the children in her class for ten-year olds practising their handwriting by printing off ten envelopes each....
Would the Royal Mail do the same for the RDS? http://www.rds-online.org.uk/ Methinks not.
Animal rights nutters have become the acceptable face of terrorism....

Something fishy about the quote attributed to Wanda Wyporska "had used company franking machines" !!!!

Surely the way the freepost set up works there is no need to stamp, frank or in any way affix any sort of postage to the item. You just quote the freepost number.

Methinks someone is in need of a refresher course at the spin academy

Damn. All our hard work and the Royal Mail take the heat. Grrr...

Nothing dodgy about my quote at all. Hunters and shooters are stupid enough to frank a freepost address. One highly intelligent individual even sent it by recorded delivery.

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