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Ban this despicable blood sport
20 September 2007

Bleeding deer at the end of Ward Union hunt

Please join our urgent appeal to Green Party Environment Minister, John Gormley, to refuse a licence to the Ward Union carted deer hunt. The Minister is currently considering a licence application from the hunt for another season of despicable blood sport abuse.

Before responding to the Action Alerts below, please view our video presentation which exposes what happens to the Ward Union deer - from the moment they are released from the cart to the end of the hunt when they are bitten by dogs and tackled to the ground.

Video: The cruelty of carted deer hunting

About the Ward Union

Dozens of men and women on horseback, a pack of 40 howling hounds and one defenceless deer. That's the Ward Union hunt's revolting recipe for "sport".

For over 150 years, this widely condemned group have been getting their kicks from abusing animals. Deer, with their antlers cut off, are driven from the hunt's private deer park in a livestock cart and set up as quarry. According to Department of Agriculture records, some deer are aware of the terror that lays ahead, with one observed showing "body tremors, excessive salivation and panting".

The disorientated animal gets a ten minute head start into the countryside of Meath or North County Dublin before finding the heartless Ward Union cavalry and their hounds closing in from behind.

The creature frantically tries to stay ahead but being in unfamiliar territory, the route is hazardous. Its tongue hangs out and sweat sprays from its body as it crashes through hedges, over walls, across busy public roads and even down village streets. It's a gruelling ordeal which can last for up to three hours and result in cuts, bruises, bites, lameness and exhaustion.

Veterinary documents, obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports under the Freedom of Information Act, have also exposed some of the inevitable fatalities. There was a deer which died of fractured ribs, two deer which died from ruptured aortic aneurisms, a deer which drowned in a quarry and a deer which dropped dead after desperately trying to escape over an 8ft wall.

When the unfortunate animal becomes so depleted that it can run no more, hunt members move in to tackle it to the ground. On at least one occasion this merciless move has led to a deer being "accidentally choked" to death. Dragged along to the hunt cart and returned to the deer park, the deer used will await a future hunt outing when they will again have to endure this appalling abuse.

For far too long, the Ward Union have been flouting the Protection of Animals Act which clearly makes it is an offence to terrorise or cause unnecessary suffering. Their cowardly hunt may have been acceptable in the 1800s but there's no place for it in a modern Ireland where the vast majority of people abhor animal cruelty. All of us eagerly await Minister John Gormley's historic decision to banish this blood sport back into the past where it belongs. (Philip Kiernan, ICABS)


Please contact Environment Minister, John Gormley, and appeal to him to stand firm against the Ward Union and refuse a licence for their abuse of deer.

Sample Letter
(Please compose your own personal letter if possible. If you do not have time to do this, please send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 888 2403.
Fax: 01 878 8640.

Dear Minister Gormley,

I am writing to implore you to stand firm against the Ward Union and refuse a licence for another season of despicable deer abuse.

In its pre-election manifesto, the Green Party pledged to ban blood sports when in government. Please take the opportunity to fulfil this promise and end the suffering of these deer.

Thank you very much, Minister. I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,



Please contact your local TD and Senator and ask them to make an appeal to Minister Gormley on your behalf.

For the names of your TDs, please click on your county on the Irish Government website

Contact your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337889 (1890 DEPUTY).

For a list of Senators, please visit the Irish Government website

Contact your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623 (1890 SEANAD).

More information about blood sports

Carted deer hunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

Foxhunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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