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Call for Garda Inquiry into Deer Hunt Cruelty
26 January 2007

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has today made a formal complaint to the Garda Commissioner and called for a Garda investigation into alleged cruelty to a deer by the Ward Union hunt club contrary to the 1911 Protection of Animals Act on Tuesday, January 23rd last.

ICABS has also made a formal complaint to the Garda Commissioner to investigate an incident where a pack of hounds of the Ward Union hunt club were allegedly out of control and pursued a deer around the grounds of a school, contrary to the Control of Dogs Act on the same date.

The incident was highlighted on RTE's Joe Duffy's Liveline show on Wednesday, January 24th, when parents of children attending Kildalkey Primary School, Co. Meath, gave harrowing and vivid accounts of how a deer, pursued by a pack of dogs, entered the school grounds, prompting the Principal to initiate the school's "Critical incident Plan" for the first time ever. This included instructing teachers to keep children inside the school. "The school staff and parents immediately swung into action to ensure the safety of the children," she told Liveline listeners, detailing how the pack of hounds chased the deer around the school grounds a few times. "It was a terrifying experience for me as an adult and I can only imagine what it was like for the children," she said.

ICABS has also called on Minister Roche to stop licensing this hunt under the Wildlife Act. We have repeatedly asserted to the Minister that since the Ward Union hunt deer which are domestic animals, they are in breach of the 1911 Protection of Animals Act which states that it is an offence to terrorise or cause unnecessary suffering to an animal.


Please write to Minister Dick Roche and demand that he stop licensing the Ward Union Hunt.

Minister Dick Roche
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House
Dublin 1.

Tel: +353 (0)1-8882403
LoCall: 1890-202021
Fax: +353 (0)1-8788640.

Please appeal to Minister Mary Coughlan (she is responsible for animal welfare and the Protection of Animals Act) to intervene to end carted deer hunting.

Minister Mary Coughlan
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Deer being dragged along by several hunters
An exhausted and bleeding deer is dragged from a farm yard at the end of a Ward Union Hunt. (Photo: Philip Kiernan)

Video Presentation: Ward Union carted deer hunt

To witness what happens to the deer during a Ward Union hunt, please view our YouTube video presentation by clicking on the following link:
Blood Sports in Ireland - Carted deer hunting

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