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ICABS congratulates UK Government on Hunting Bill
15 September 2004

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports warmly congratulates the UK Government on their courageous stand in finally consigning to history the cruel and abusive activities of hare coursing and fox and deer hunting with dogs.

We say well done to the many UK animal welfare groups and individuals who never gave up and campaigned tirelessly over decades to bring an end to horrendous suffering inflicted on animals for the "sport" and entertainment of a heartless minority.

We now call on the Irish government to follow the lead of the British and Scottish authorities, and ban these cruel activities which, ironically we inherited from Britain in the first place. No doubt our government will insist that these activities need not be banned and say that regulation, licensing and monitoring are in place - but none of these measures alleviate the terror and suffering for the animals. They are merely cosmetic exercises.

The only way to end such cruelty and abuse is an outright ban. ICABS will be stepping up its campaign in the wake of this historic move in Britain for an end to hunting with dogs in Ireland.

Now that the British hunters will be deprived of their cruel sport, they will turn their sights to Irish hunting grounds, thus putting further pressure on our beleaguered wildlife. We hope that Ireland does not now become the cruelty tourism destination of the future.

Aideen Yourell

UK hare
The passing of the Hunting Bill by British MPs means that hare coursing will be banned in the UK in February 2005. Hunting with hounds, meanwhile, will be banned by the end of July 2006. (Photo: LACS)

Statement from League Against Cruel Sports

On Wednesday 15th September 2004, the House of Commons passed the Hunting Bill with an overwhelming majority of 339-155. This should be the last time MPs will have to vote on hunting! They also passed the "suggestion" that asks the House of Lords to agree a delay in the implementation of the ban on hunting with dogs until July 31 2006 (though hare coursing would still be banned in mid-February 2005). While we see no need for such a lengthy lead-in period, after many years of campaigning, we are extremely pleased that we can finally see an end to this barbaric activity.

The Bill and the suggestion will now be passed to the House of Lords in October. We expect them to reject the Bill, and they will also decide on the suggested delay.

The Parliament Act can then be used to ensure that the will of the elected House of Commons prevails.

The Hunting Bill should receive Royal Assent in November this year and will come into effect on the 1st August 2006. Therefore, the final legal day of hunting will be July 31st 2006. Under the terms of the Bill, the hare coursing ban should come into effect in February 2005.

While we are not quite there, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters for their support over the years.

We are also extremely grateful to the many MPs who have supported the campaign. Their support was absolutely vital.

ICABS Urgent Action Item

Please write to the Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern. Tell him that a majority of Irish people are opposed to hare coursing and hunting with dogs. Demand the immediate introduction of legislation to make these blood sports activities illegal.

An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern
Government Buildings
Merrion Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-619 4020.
LoCall: 1890-227 227.
Fax: +353 (0)1-678 9791

Please also write to all of your local Dail, Seanad and European Parliament representatives. Contact details are available on the respective websites.

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