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ICABS responds to Kevin Myers' pro-hunt article
26 January 2010

ICABS has responded to an Irish Independent article by Kevin Myers in which he suggested that the Ward Union's terrorisation of deer is "natural". In a letter to the editor published at the weekend, we highlighted the suffering and death caused to deer by the hunt.

Please see below for the full text of the letter.

Unnatural deaths of hunt's victims
Irish Independent - January 23 2010

Kevin Myers says that whenever a stag is killed by the Ward Union Hunt, it is "shot by a hunt marksman, after being cornered by hounds" (Irish Independent, January 14).

This may be the horrendous fate of some of the hunt's deer, but Mr Myers misses several situations in which others have met their deaths.

Most recently, a hunted Ward-Union deer collided with a car, smashed into its windscreen, broke a leg and was put down due to its injuries.

Victims also include a deer that died of 'dry drowning' after falling into a quarry; a deer choked to death in a wood; a deer that died from fractured ribs and a deer that succumbed to a ruptured aneurysm, which, a Department of Agriculture report concluded, was caused by "the physiological stress of hunting".

Another exhausted Ward Union deer was cornered in a cottage garden after a 90-minute hunt. As hunters closed in to grab the animal, it tried but failed to escape over a nine-foot-high wall.

An official report described how, after then being captured, it "dropped dead" from a ruptured aorta.

Few will be convinced by Mr Myers's suggestion that it is natural to subject deer to such cruelty. The ban on the Ward Union can't come soon enough.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Exhausted and injured: An unfortunate deer at the end of a Ward Union hunt.

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