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Green TD's astounding suggestion to deerhunt: hunt foxes or hares instead
23 December 2009

ICABS has expressed disbelief at Green Party deputy leader, Mary White's suggestion that when carted deer hunting is banned next year, the Ward Union hunt could instead switch to hunting foxes or hares. In an interview published in the Irish Field, the Carlow TD also assured hunters that "we have no intention of banning fox hunting or hare coursing either now or anytime in the future."

In a letter to the Green Party, ICABS express shock and disbelief at the statements made by Deputy White.

In the December 19th edition of the hunting publication she:

  • Suggested that when the Ward Union are stopped in 2010, they could instead "switch to drag hunting, FOX OR HARE HUNTING".

  • Said the Green Party has a "hands-off" policy towards shooting, fox hunting and hare coursing and that there will be no efforts to ban them.

  • Admitted that she used to shoot animals herself and claimed that "the Greens are in favour of shooting birds, like pheasants, for food"

  • Stressed that the Green Party are not against "field sports" such as shooting.

  • Highlighted the Green Party's determination to ban carted deer hunting but added that they have "no such intentions towards fox hunting, traditional field sports and hare coursing either now or anytime in the future."

  • Reassured hunters that "there is nothing in the Programme for Government on that, nor will there be." "None of the other rural sports will be touched," she added. "That's the message I clearly want to get out to hunting people."

In our correspondence with the Green Party, ICABS remarked that it was astounding that a Green TD would suggest that anyone partake in fox or hare hunting, two of Ireland's most cruel and appalling activities.

We reminded them that hunting sees foxes and hares desperately running for their lives and when they are too exhausted to continue running, they are knocked off their feet, bitten, ripped apart and disembowelled by packs of dogs.

We pointed out that Deputy White's statement that the Green Party has a "hands-off" policy towards hunting and coursing is "the complete opposite to the message the Green Party conveyed in its pre-election manifesto that it would end blood sports when in Government."

"This attempt to comfort and reassure those involved in torturing and killing our wildlife also gratingly conflicts with the fundamental anti-cruelty ethos of the Green Party and its stated commitment to improve animal welfare in Ireland," we added.


Please join us in urging the Green Party to urgently clarify its position and instead of conveying messages to hunters, to get a message out to the majority of the electorate who abhor cruelty. Ask them to confirm that they remain opposed to all blood sports, including foxhunting and hare coursing, and that they will act vigorously to get them banned while in government. Email "Green Party - please work to ban all blood sports" to

The Green Party
The Green Party/Comhaontas Glas
16/17 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)1 6790012
Fax: +353 (0)1 6797168

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Response from Mary White, TD

My comment to the [Irish Field] newspaper was that the party has "no intention of trying to ban either hare or fox hunting, either now or in the future." This was said purely within the context of the Programme for Government. The previous quote was immediately followed by: "There is nothing in the Programme for Government on that, nor will there be. It simply isn't there." The question I had been asked was whether a ban on stag hunting would lead to the beginning of the end of hunting in Ireland. As a negotiator for the revised Programme for Government I know the contents of it, and its implications. Furthermore, the negotiating team and I did secure a commitment to ban stag hunting, fur farming and badger culling. I hope this clarifies my comments. Mary White, TD

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