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Foxes dug out and "brutally assaulted" in Wexford
4 April 2008

The Star newspaper has revealed that two foxes were dug out of their den and "brutally assaulted" in Fethard-on-Sea, Wexford. A local woman said that, prior to the grim discovery, she saw two men from a red car walking close the dens with four dogs. ICABS urges anyone with information to please contact the Gardai.

The Star (March 31, 2008) reported that the mangled remains of the unfortunate foxes were found by the woman while she was out walking.

"I went for a walk and this is what I came across - two foxes just on the ground a few metres away from their hole," she was quoted as saying. "They were absolutely brutally assaulted. It must have been a long, slow death"

Digging out and the use of terriers is one of the most cruel and heartless assaults on the fox species in Ireland. It is carried out not only by cold, heartless individuals who enjoy seeing animals suffer but also by thugs employed by registered foxhunts. They send terriers down into the fox earth to viciously maul and bite the defenceless fox. The fox will either die underground as a result of its injuries or will be dragged out into the open where it continues to be attacked. Shovels and spades are used by hunters to dig away the earth to give themselves a better view of the doomed fox trying to defend itself.

If you have any information that can help identify those responsible for the sickening cruelty in Fethard-on-Sea, please contact the Wexford Gardai now on Tel: 053-916 5200 (24 hours a day)

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has brought this latest assault on the fox species to the attention of the Department of Agriculture where new animal welfare legislation is currently being drafted. We have stressed the urgency of giving protection to foxes and setting higher penalties for those found guilty of animal cruelty. We have renewed our calls for an outright ban on digging out and the use so-called "terrierwork". Please spare a few minutes to help foxes by following our action alerts below. Thank you.

The foxes which suffered a vicious attack
Hellish scene from Wexford: ICABS has renewed its call for foxes to be protected from the digging out and terrierwork that sadly continues to be common in the Irish countryside. Photo: The Star newspaper

Fox den damaged
The dead foxes were found close to their den. The entrance to the den has been widened with a shovel or spade and there is evidence of further digging in the background. Photo: The Star newspaper


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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,



If you are a farmer/landowner, please make your land off-limits to local foxhunts. Post "No Hunting" signs on the boundaries of your property and place a notice in your local newspaper to make it clear that hunts are not welcome. For more details on why it's in your best interests to keep hunts out, please visit our Farmers Page

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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