ANGLERS in East Lancashire are to be targeted by hunt saboteurs in a bid to get the sport banned.

The move, by the North West Hunt Saboteurs Association, comes days after MPs voted to ban hunting following years of pressure from animal activists.

Saboteurs, who believe they can build on last week's success and get more common 'bloodsports' banned, plan to make anglers' lives as difficult as possible in a bid to put them off fishing.

But today, Dawn Preston, from the association, revealed that their tactics would be far less confrontational than those used against fox hunters - they are to use the power of speech!

She said: "Fishing, and indeed shooting, are both included in our remit against all bloodsports. We remain totally opposed to all forms of bloodsport, legal or not. We often sabotage shooting, and fishing is sabotaged easily as well.

"We will simply be walking up to fishermen and chatting to them until they get fed up, or we will sitting by the bank of the lake or river with our legs in the water so we can scare all the fish away."

The saboteurs' announcement came as no surprise to the master of Holcombe Hunt, Arnold Greenhalgh, who has been subjected to a campaign of hate by the anti-hunting lobby.

The association has placed his personal details, including his home phone number and address, on the internet as part of its opposition to fox hunting. And they protested outside his home in 1996 after presenting him with the body of a fox they claim was killed on the hunt.

Mr Greenhalgh said: "They will simply move on to something else, and they have made no secret that it will be fishing and angling. They have systematically whipped up a storm of controversy about fox hunting, much of which is not true, and they will do the same to fishermen.

"While it is their right to have an opinion in our democracy, you have to ask where they are going to stop. This isn't the end, far from it. They will continue to target other people who taking part in pastimes for as long as they can."

A member of one East Lancashire fishing organisation, who asked for neither his name nor that of his organisation to be mentioned, said: "What people need to remember is that many rivers or lakes are stocked especially for fishermen. The fish wouldn't be there otherwise."