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Ban digging out and terrierwork: appeal to Agriculture Minister
29 April 2009

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has renewed its call on the Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith, to outlaw the horrendous practices of digging out and terrierwork. We have also written to all TDs and Senators, urging them to back a ban on these activities under the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

Brought to their attention is a new slideshow video of photos from Ireland which show foxes and dogs with horrendous injuries. (Please scroll down to watch video).

Although similar to illegal badger baiting, fox baiting remains legal in this country. It is carried out by what can only be described as thugs and sadists who dig animals out with spades and take pleasure in seeing their dogs inflicting the most savage injuries on them.

Digging out and terrierwork is also an integral part of foxhunting in Ireland. The foxhunters' so-called code of conduct states that "only one terrier at a time may be used to locate the fox except in rocks, stacks of bales or stick piles, etc...Digging shall only be conducted by a small number of experienced people and assistants appointed by the Master or his nominee." It also highlights their desire to keep this appalling act away from the public eye, stressing that "reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure that digging out will not become a public spectacle."

Badger baiting, dog fighting and cock fighting are already illegal in Ireland. The next step must be for the heinous practice of fox digging and baiting to be outlawed.

Video: Digging Out and Terrierwork Cruelty in Ireland


Minister Brendan Smith
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
CC: (Taoiseach, Brian Cowen), (Minister's Secretary) and; (Trevor Sargent, TD, Minister of State at the Dept of Agriculture)
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Dear Minister Smith,

I support the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' call on you to ensure that digging out and terrier work are among the activities outlawed under the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill. These horrendous acts of cruelty are carried out by sadistic individuals and also by merciless foxhunting groups. There is absolutely no excuse for this shameful animal abuse.

I urge you to ensure that the new Bill makes it an offence to dig out any animal, an offence to send terriers or other dogs below ground to catch or attack animals under any circumstances and an offence to use a pack of hounds to harass, attack, injure and/or kill any animal.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,


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