POLICE AND hunt protesters engaged in a tense stand-off for a couple of hours outside the Labour Party conference in Brighton.

At midday Tuesday (Sept 28) up to 10,000 hunt enthusiasts descended on the seaside town from as far afield as Cornwall to protest about the planned ban on hunting with dogs.

But although the gathering was largely peaceful, some protesters began to let off fireworks and the police responded forcefully and swiftly by deploying about 150 officers in riot gear.

Organisers attempted to defuse the situation by calling an end to the protest and asking people to move on.

But about 1000 hard-core protesters refused to move and called for Prime Minister Tony Blair to come out of the conference to address their concerns.

A stand-off began with riot police standing shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the crowd.

The tense atmosphere was fuelled further by the arrival of another 30 police vans, ready to remove the demonstrators.

In total, five people were arrested.

In separate incidents pro-hunt campaigners dumped dead animals on Brighton‘s roads.

A dead horse, a cow and two calves have been removed.