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Sligo TD asked to consider hunting cruelty
19 March 2008

A TD who described hunting as an "integral part of the rural lifestyle" has been told by ICABS about the terrible animal cruelty involved in the activity. Sligo Fine Gael TD, John Perry, has said that he will keep our comments in mind for the future.

In a statement delivered at a pro-hunt meeting in January, Deputy Perry stated:

  • Outdoor leisure and recreational activities such as hunting, shooting and fishing are factors that are a fundamental and integral part of the rural lifestyle.

  • In times of rapid economic development and urbanisation, the development of the global village and an international mass media, there is a need for positive policies to protect the best of our rural culture and traditions.

  • I will maintain my pressure on this Government to have our rich rural heritage recognised, and indeed protected by legislation, rather than being threatened by it.

hunt cruelty
A foxhunt terrier bites into the scalp of a fox after the terrified creature was dug out of the ground. Seventy per cent of Irish people view foxhunting as cruel and would disagree with the claim that it's an "integral part of the rural lifestyle"

Appealing for Deputy Perry to reconsider his stance, ICABS outlined how hunting is very much a minority activity and is in no way integral to the rural lifestyle. We pointed out that foxhunting is viewed by 68 per cent of Irish people as cruel, with 64 per cent wanting it banned.

"During foxhunts, foxes are disturbed from their habitat, chased for anything up to three or more hours (during which they suffer not only fear and stress but a physical breakdown of muscles and damage to internal organs) and eventually knocked off their feet and eviscerated by a pack of hounds," we stated. "If they manage to find refuge along the way, hunters use shovels and terriers to force the cowering creatures back out into the open where they are killed. There is no justification for such cruelty to wildlife."

Challenging to a claim by Deputy Perry that hunts have "an excellent record in...looking after the welfare of their hounds", ICABS highlighted how hunts destroy hounds that are no longer considered fit for hunting. "These would not be old, unhealthy hounds but hounds that are simply not considered by hunters to be satisfactory as regards speed or ability to follow scent."

Responding, Deputy Perry stressed that he continues to "feel strongly about animal welfare and conservation of our wildlife". "I note your comments and will keep them in mind for the future," he added.

john perry td
Sligo TD, John Perry views hunting as an "integral part of the rural lifestyle" but also feels strongly about animal welfare.


Join us in appealing to Deputy Perry to give his support to a total ban on hunting. Point out that foxes, hares, deer and mink suffer greatly while being chased by a pack of hounds. If you are from the Sligo constituency, please point this out in your correspondence.

John Perry, TD
Constituency Head Office:
Westward Town Centre
Bridge St

Tel: 1890 337889 ext 3765 or 016183765 (Dail Eireann)
Fax: 01 6184610

hunt cruelty
An injured fox squeals out in agony after being bitten by a foxhunt terrier. A majority of Ireland want this appalling animal cruelty outlawed.


Please make a special appeal to Trevor Sargent TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture where new animal welfare legislation is currently being drafted. ICABS welcomed a statement from Minister Sargent last year in which he assured us that the new legislation will "ensure that the welfare of animals is properly protected". Please appeal to him to prioritise fox protection in the new act.

Trevor Sargent TD
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture
Tel: 01-6183465 (Dail)
Fax: 01-8900361

Dear Minister Sargent,

As one of the two thirds majority of Irish people who want foxhunting banned, I appeal to you to please ensure that foxes are afforded full protection from hunting groups in the new animal welfare legislation being drafted. Please do everything in your power to finally bring foxhunting to an end and protect foxes from this horrendous abuse.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,



Urge the Minister for Agriculture to protect foxes and all wild creatures from unnecessary cruelty.

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

Dear Minister Coughlan,

I appeal to your sense of compassion to urgently intervene to save foxes from the barbarism of foxhunting. This blood sport is an abhorrent assault on our wildlife heritage and a complete ban is long overdue. Please ensure that Ireland's new animal welfare legislation includes protection for foxes.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,



Please urgently appeal to your local politicians

Please join us in telling all of Ireland's TDs 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.

Please stand up for the foxes so cruelly abused by hunting groups - write to all of your local politicians and ask them to act to secure a ban on foxhunting. 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:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website -


Contact Ireland's forestry board, 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
Chief Executive Officer
Coillte, The Irish Forestry Board
Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow

Tel: 01-201 1111
Fax: 01-201 1199

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.

Yours sincerely,


Video: Ban Foxhunting in Ireland
(Duration: 57 seconds)

Videos: Drag Hunting - The humane alternative

Photos: Fox hunting cruelty

Please click on the pictures to view them in full-size.

More information about blood sports

Foxhunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition
Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition
Carted deer hunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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