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ICABS responds to Paul Carberry deer claim
02 October 2007

Jockey Paul Carberry has claimed in a letter to the Sunday Independent that the deer terrorised by the Ward Union hunt are "wild deer". In a response forwarded to both the Independent and Minister John Gormley, ICABS has dispelled the claim and called for the hunt to be banned. A copy of our letter appears below

ICABS letter to Sunday Independent and Minister John Gormley

In his open letter to Minister John Gormley (Sunday Independent, September 16), jockey Paul Carberry claims that the deer terrorised by the Ward Union are "wild".

They are no more wild than the horses he rides. Bred in captivity since the 1800s, the deer are confined to a wired enclosure, fed by hunt members and transported around in livestock trailers. There is no doubt whatsoever that they are domesticated and therefore protected from unnecessary suffering under current legislation.

The hunt is trying to present their animals as "wild" because they realise that the Wildlife Act, through which they have applied for a hunting licence, deals exclusively with wildlife. Most would strongly dispute the hunt's interpretation of wildness.

Among these are a senior official from the National Parks and Wildlife Service. "I believe the Ward Union Club hunt deer that are not wild animals," he stated in a memo obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports under the Freedom of Information Act.

A Department of Agriculture veterinary inspector echoed this. In a damning 1997 report (suppressed by the government for seven years), Kieran Kane says: "As the red deer herd kept by the Ward Union Hunt has been maintained in captivity for something in the region of 150 years and is augmented regularly by stock from captive herds farmed solely for venison production, it is hard to see how they avoid falling into the category of domestic animal."

The Wildlife Act makes it clear that wild animals are those which "primarily live independent of human husbandry". This definition dispels the Ward Union's wild claims and means that they are ineligible for a licence. Minister Gormley's ending of their despicable blood sport will be widely welcomed by all those who hate to see any animal (fox, hare or deer) being cruelly chased by hounds.

View a video

Hare coursing Carted deer hunting Foxhunting
To witness the appalling cruelty of hare coursing, carted deer hunting and foxhunting, please click on the links above. For more presentations exposing blood sports in Ireland, visit our Youtube page at


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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