Protest at Green Party conference today
7 March 2009
Representatives from The Irish Council Against Blood Sports and Badgerwatch are holding a peaceful protest today (Saturday, March 7th) from 2pm to 4pm outside the Green Party Conference at White's Hotel, in Wexford town. The protest will highlight our opposition to the granting of licences by Green Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to net hares from the wild for coursing, the hunting of tame deer by the Ward Union, and the cruel snaring of thousands of badgers.
We are appalled that after two years with the Greens in government and John Gormley as Minister for the Environment, hare coursing and the hounding of tame deer continues to be licensed, while the scandalous snaring of thousands of badgers continues unabated by the Department of Agriculture (with a licence from Minister Gormley).
As regards hare coursing, it is particularly appalling that a licence was granted to net hares from the wild last September for use as live lures at coursing meetings, given that Minister Gormley himself issued a report in May 2008 on the Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland, which rated the conservation status of the Irish hare as 'POOR', with reasons given as loss of habitat, increased urbanisation and hunting. And as an added bonus to the coursers, Minister Gormley granted them an extension of their cruelty season into March.
Meanwhile, in stark contrast, in Northern Ireland, recognising that the hare population is under threat, Minister for Environment, Sammy Wilson, renewed the now five year hunting suspension in that jurisdiction.
In the case of the Ward Union hunt, this is an ongoing scandal in that tame deer are being hounded and terrorised, which is in contravention of the Protection of Animals Act. This is borne out by Professors William Binchy and Clive Symmons of Trinity School of Law in a legal opinion, published in 2008, which concludes that the Ward Union hunt is "illegal" under the 1911 Protection of Animals Act, and that it shouldn't be licensed under the 1976 Wildlife Act.
Irish Council Against Blood Sports spokesperson, Aideen Yourell, stated: "It's time for Minister John Gormley to live up to his Green credentials and put an end to the licensing of these barbaric bloodsports and the cruel snaring of thousands of badgers. He should stand up to Taoiseach Brian Cowen and those in Fianna Fail who are terrified of losing the votes of the minority involved in blood sports activities which shame and disgraces this so-called civilised country."
ACTION ALERT - SAMPLE LETTER
Please urge the six Green Party TDs to stand firm on their pledge to protect Irish animals from the terrible cruelty of blood sports.
Videos: Cruelty licensed by Minister Gormley
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