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ICABS responds to Carberry's hunt ban comments
13 January 2010

In a letter to the editor published in today's Irish Times, ICABS has responded to comments from pro-hunt jockey Paul Carberry. Spokesperson Aideen Yourell points out that when the Ward Union is banned this year, a transition to drag hunting would not only address Carberry’s concerns about employment and local business but also serious concerns about public safety, animal welfare and respect for landowners.

The letter appears directly below...

Irish Times - January 13, 2010

A chara, – Jockey Paul Carberry asserts that stag hunting is a “vital part” of his preparation for the Cheltenham Races (Home News, January 2nd), and in his recent open letter to Taoiseach Brian Cowen, he asks what will happen to the deer, the hounds and hunt employees when the hunt is banned.

If the Ward Union were to switch to drag hunting, all Paul Carberry’s concerns about employment and local business would be addressed. Additional concerns about public safety, animal welfare and respect for landowners would also be addressed.

Only recently, a terrified hunted deer jumped onto a public road and collided with a vehicle, resulting in its death. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

The route for a drag hunt is pre-ordained, so incidents of trespass, or incursion onto public roads or spaces are eliminated, while the hunt followers can still enjoy the thrill of the chase across country in a safe and responsible manner.

In fact, the Ward Union hunt uses a drag when training its young hounds, so switching to this humane method should pose no problems. And hunt master Michael Bailey showed he was open to drag hunting in 2004 when he told the late deputy Tony Gregory, who was out observing the deer hunt, “I’m not saying that’s [drag hunting] not a possibility”.

As for the future of the deer, perhaps the Ward Union would consider donating its pure-bred red deer herd to the nation. I’m sure the National Parks and Wildlife Service would find a place of sanctuary for them where they can live out their lives in peace, safe from human persecution. – Is mise,

AIDEEN YOURELL, Spokeswoman, Irish Council Against Blood Sports, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.


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