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Withhold hunt licence: Labour Party leader
16 October 2007

The leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, has called on the Environment Minister to withhold a licence from the Ward Union carted deer hunt. Deputy Gilmore reminded the Green Party Minister that "the stags hunted...are farmed domesticated deer."

Please see below for Deputy Gilmore's question along with the reply from Minister Gormley.

Parliamentary Question and Answers

Question 1093 - Answered on 26th September, 2007

Eamon Gilmore: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, in view of the fact that the stags hunted by a hunt (details supplied) in County Meath are farmed domesticated deer, and therefore not wild, he will withhold the issuing of a licence in 2007 under the Wildlife Act 1976 permitting stag hunting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ref No: 19828/07. Written Reply.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Gormley): Section 26(1) of the Wildlife Act 1976 provides that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government may grant to the master or other person in charge of a pack of stag hounds, a licence authorising the hunting of deer by that pack, during such period or periods as is or are specified in the licence. I sought and obtained advice from the Attorney General as to the view that this section might not apply to domesticated deer. The Attorney General has confirmed that Section 26 provides for the licensing of hunting for deer by stag hounds irrespective of whether the deer are wild or captive-bred.

I am awaiting further information in relation to a licence application for the coming season and will be making a decision on the matter in the coming weeks.

More Parliamentary Questions

Photos: carted deer hunting cruelty

One of the Ward Union hunt's "deer handlers" prevents an exhausted and injured deer from escaping by grabbing hold of its mouth and ear. Another handler attempts to hide the head injury by holding his hand over it. This photo was taken at the end of a Ward Union hunt in County Meath.

Ward Union hunt members push the injured and panting deer back towards the deer cart at the end of a hunt.

Ward Union "deer handlers" wrestle the deer head-first into the ground at the end of a hunt. Animals are at great risk during this merciless move and at least one has been choked to death. Please help us to stop the Ward Union hunt by responding to our action alert below.

Video: Carted deer hunting cruelty

Carted deer hunting


Please contact Environment Minister, John Gormley, and appeal to him to stop carted deer hunt cruelty by firmly refusing a licence to the Ward Union.

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 appeal to you to please refuse a licence to the Ward Union hunt. Having been slammed by animal welfare groups, farmers, landowners, motorists, parents, householders and even hunters, the Ward Union must be one of the most widely condemned hunts in the world.

Refusing the Ward Union a licence will be welcomed by a huge cross-section of people across Ireland and the world.

Thank you, Minister. I look forward to your positive response on this issue.

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 carted deer hunting

Carted deer hunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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