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Westmeath Senators criticised for defending hunters and coursers
17 February 2010

Westmeath Senators, Camillus Glynn and Nicki McFadden have been criticised by ICABS for defending those involved in blood sports. Spokesperson Aideen Yourell said the pair had a "total blind spot" about the suffering caused to animals.

Read more about this in the article below from the Westmeath Topic.

Local Senators criticised over Oireachtas statements
Westmeath Topic, 11 February 2010

Local members of the Seanad, Senators Camillus Glynn, Mullingar (Fianna Fail) and Senator Nicki McFadden, Athlone (Fine Gael) were strongly criticised this week by Aideen Yourell, spokesperson of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, for having expressed support and "eulogising" those involved in foxhunting and hare coursing.

The ICABS response was to comments made by the Senators during a Senate debate on proposed Puppy Farm legislation last week, with Ms Yourell accusing them of displaying stunning "double standards" and having a "total blind spot" about the "barbaric activities" of those involved in fox hunting and hare coursing.

Ms Yourell said that the proposed Puppy Farm Legislation to regulate dog breeding establishments, in order to stamp out bad conditions and practices in puppy farming, was introduced by Minister for the Environment John Gormley. She said foxhunters will be affected by the legislation provisions in terms of animal welfare standards, microchipping, etc but will be exempt from paying registration fees for breeding dogs. "At the outset, Mr Gormley was adamant that they would be liable for fees but it now seems he has caved in to pressure from the hunters," Ms Yourell said.

She said Sen Glynn had commented on horrific reports about puppy farms where dogs were kept in unspeakable conditions, saying he did not know "how a human being could treat dogs in such a manner" but had gone on to support foxhunters, stating they ran "a fine show, and if it were otherwise I would say so and not apologise to anyone for so doing".

Ms Yourell said that defending hunters also was Sen Nicki McFadden, who had said "I am familiar with the South Westmeath hunt. There is no question but they are the kindest people to those dogs."

Ms Yourell took issue with what she termed the stunning "double standards" of the Senators as regards animal welfare. Sen Glynn had some years ago been given a gruesome video of a fox, dug up after a hunt and thrown before the pack and torn to pieces, and he could not be unaware of the cruelty of foxhunting.

She claimed that foxhounds who had outlived their usefulness were "mercilessly" disposed of and said that Sen Glynn had also praised hare coursers, saying they "ran a tight ship".

"Surely he cannot defend this barbaric activity when hares are snatched from the wild in nets, kept captive in compounds and terrorised into running for their lives before greyhounds," she said. "It is cruel and barbaric by the most basic animal welfare standards."

The hunting groups were up in arms and clamouring for exemptions from the provisions of the dog breeding legislation, supported by Senators Glynn and McFadden, Ms Yourell said.

"If they are running 'fine shows' and 'tight ships', what have they to fear from this proposed legislation?" she asked.

Fox Hunting Gallery - Image 10
A hunter swings a fox in the air. The creature was brutally attacked and killed by a pack of foxhounds. According to Senator Glynn, those involved in foxhunting run "a fine show".

Express your opposition to blood sports to Senators Camillus Glynn and Nicki McFadden and ask them to stop defending those involved in animal cruelty.


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