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Countryside Alliance

The Countryside Alliance (CA) is a British organization claiming to promote the interests of people living in rural areas. It was formed was formed in 1998 from the British Field Sports Association, the Countryside Business Group and the Countryside Movement.

The CA campaigns strongly to defend the right to hunt, opposing government plans to outlaw fox hunting and other forms of hunting with hounds. It regards such laws as unnecessary and undesirable urban interference in rural affairs. Of course, not all rural people personally approve of fox-hunting.

Some critics of the CA say that it exists only as a pro-hunting group. The organization points out that only one of the three merged organizations had a pro-hunting agenda, and that the current campaign is a response to the government's "preoccupation with the issue".

Other campaigns try to preserve rural life in other ways, such as encouraging tourism (particularly important after the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease), encouraging consumption of local, seasonal food, and trying to keep rural Post Offices and pubs open.

The CA claims 100,000 members (October 2002), and also claims that 400,000 supporters participated in its September 22, 2002 "Liberty & Livelihood March" in London.

According to disclosures in the UK Data Protection Register[?], the CA carries out research on the backgrounds of those it considers to be its opponents.

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