New documentary about hunter turned campaigner
08 February 2008
A new documentary from Griffith College profiles Tom Hardiman, a former foxhunter who turned his back on the cruelty and went on to become one of Ireland's most dedicated anti-hunt campaigners. This short film tells of how Tom protests outside the Dail every week to urge politicians to ban the blood sport.
Directed by Ana Maqueda-Lopez, "Calling the Hounds" is a motivating presentation about a man haunted by what he witnessed at hunts but determined to see the cruelty outlawed.
Interviewed during the film, Tom recalls the moment he knew he had to give up hunting.
"I decided to stop hunting in 1999," he says. "I was at a hunt down in Knockbrack, the far side of Athenry - they were hunting in a Coillte forestry. They hunted a fox to ground. I was watching. They dug the clay away from over the fox and let the hounds in on top of him. They pulled him up and tore him to pieces. I was really disgusted when i saw it."
But how did a man of compassion end up involved in hunting?
Tom explains it as follows: "We used to live across from where the hunt is situated. I had a liking for horses and it goes on from there. You get in to the hunt and you don't really see the cruel side of it. You are all excited when you're going through the countryside and you're jumping walls and you think this is great. You're not thinking of the cruelty that's taking place."
Now with over 117 Dail protests completed, Tom is as committed as ever to seeing a ban on the barbarity.
"I'm going to keep protesting until they change the law," he states in the documentary. "I'm not going to give up. No way."
Calling the Hounds
ACTION ALERT 1
Urge the Minister for Agriculture to amend the Protection of Animals Act so that foxes and all wild creatures are protected from unnecessary cruelty.
Minister Mary Coughlan
Dear Minister Coughlan,
I am writing to implore you to act to ban foxhunting in Ireland.
Minister, foxhunting is cruel from beginning to end. The foxes suffer great stress and damage to internal organs during the gruelling cross-county chases. When they try to escape underground, terriers are sent after them to viciously attack them and drag them out into the open. The squealing, injured and terrified foxes are then mercilessly killed by a hunt terriermen. Other foxes will die a despicable death as they try to evade capture - they are violently knocked off their feet by the pack of hounds and eviscerated.
Minister, I appeal to your sense of compassion to urgently intervene to save the fox from this barbarism. No living creature deserves the fate of foxes in foxhunting. The fox is one of Ireland's favourite wild creatures and is beneficial to farming interests by keeping down the numbers of mice, rats and rabbits which form part of its natural diet.
Please ban foxhunting now.
Thank you. I look forward to your response.
ACTION ALERT 2
Appeal to all Irish politicians
Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace foxhunting with the humane alternative - drag hunting.
Drag hunting sees the hounds chasing an artificial lure instead of a live animal. This form of "hunting" is already practised successfully by a few groups in Ireland. In a modern and civilised country like Ireland, there should be no place for foxhunting, particularly when a transition to drag hunting would be simple.
We desperately need your help to convince the government that it is time to ban foxhunting. Please write to all of your local politicians and ask them to express their opposition to this blood sport.
If possible, get your friends, family and workmates to contact them too. We need as much help with this campaign as possible.
Write to your TD at:
Write to your Senator at:
For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website.
ACTION ALERT 3
Contact Coillte and demand an end to foxhunting on its property.
Sample Letter (If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)
Mr. David Gunning
Dear Mr Gunning,
As an Irish citizen, and thereby a shareholder in Coillte, I am writing to demand an end to foxhunting on Coillte property.
I understand that Coillte currently issues permits to a number of foxhunts to carry out blood sport activities in forests. Considering the appalling cruelty of foxhunting and the fact that a majority of Irish people want it outlawed, the time has come for Coillte to do the decent thing and make all of its property off limits to foxhunting groups.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive reply.
Video: The cruelty of foxhunting
Video: Coillte! Keep hunts out of our forests!
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Video: Drag Hunting - The humane alternative
Photos: Fox hunting cruelty
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More information about blood sports
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follow this link to find out how to become a campaign supporter. Thank you.
Make a donation to ICABS
Please consider making a small donation to ICABS. For more details, please click on the button below or follow this link to find out how to become a campaign supporter. Thank you.