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What's wrong with hunting? ICABS replies to Mary O'Rourke's Dail question
15 July 2010

During a Dail debate on the Wildlife Amendment Bill, Westmeath TD Mary O'Rourke asked "What could possibly be wrong with hunting?" ICABS has today written to Deputy O'Rourke to remind her how hunting is cruel from beginning to end - from the moment foxes are chased out of their habitats to the point when they are knocked off their feet and disembowelled.

In our letter to the Fianna Fail TD, we highlighted that a majority in Ireland (in both rural and urban areas) are compassionate, decent people who abhor cruelty to animals. We pointed out exactly what's wrong with hunting:

"Subjecting a frightened fox to the ordeal of being chased for hours by a pack of hounds is wrong. Digging foxes out of the ground and sending vicious terriers after them when they try to find shelter is wrong. Also wrong is pursuing foxes to exhaustion and relishing the sight of the depleted, terrorised animals being knocked off their feet and bitten and disembowelled."

Deputy O'Rourke voted in favour of the passed Wildlife Amendment Bill to ban staghunting but she declared in the Dail that she would "not entertain...any further inroads into rural pursuits".

ICABS has asked her to recognise the cruelty of all hunting and in the next session of Dail Eireann to push for bans on foxhunting, hare hunting, hare coursing and mink hunting.

Dail statement from Mary O'Rourke, TD
(Fianna Fail, Longford-Westmeath)
Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage, 29 June 2010

"We have all been receiving e-mails from RISE, or Rural Ireland Says Enough. I am here today because I come from a part of Ireland which fishes, hunts and shoots. I came with a mandate from there and they want me to say today that they understand if we signed up to a document, but that they will not entertain - nor will I nor will Fianna Fail - any further inroads into rural pursuits...

We will not entertain it and we will not have it. I want to know exactly what could possibly be wrong with fishing, hunting or with the gun clubs whose members have approached me.

They go about their normal pursuits as well...the Minister will have to give a guarantee on the floor of the House that this Bill and the Bill to be taken next week - which he inherited from the former Minister, Deputy Dick Roche - will be the end of his ramblings in rural Ireland."


Please join us in urging Deputy O'Rourke to support efforts to ban the cruel blood sports of foxhunting, hare coursing, hare hunting and mink hunting. Thank her for voting in favour of the staghunt ban.

Mary O'Rourke, TD
Tel: 01-618 3860 or 090 -64-72313
Mobile 087-2802806

Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture

Please join us in appealing to the Minister for Agriculture to give wild animals the same protection that is given to domestic animals. Tell the Minister that since all animals are capable of suffering, all animals should be protected from cruelty. Urge the Minister to amend the Protection of Animals Act so that foxes and all wild creatures are protected from unnecessary cruelty.

Minister Brendan Smith
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Email: [with a copy to An Taoiseach]
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Appeal to the Environment Minister

Please also contact the Minister with responsibility for the Wildlife Act. Urge him to amend the Wildlife Act so that foxes are given full protection from the cruelty of hunting with hounds.

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 888 2403.
Fax: 01 878 8640.

Appeal to all Irish politicians

Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace foxhunting with the humane alternative - drag hunting.

Drag hunting sees the hounds chasing an artificial lure instead of a live animal. This form of "hunting" is already practised successfully by a few groups in Ireland. In a modern and civilised country like Ireland, there should be no place for foxhunting, particularly when a transition to drag hunting would be simple.

We desperately need your help to convince the government that it is time to ban foxhunting. Please write to all of your local politicians and ask them to express their opposition to this blood sport.

If possible, get your friends, family and workmates to contact them too. We need as much help with this campaign as possible.

Write to your TD at:
Dáil Éireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website.

More ICABS Videos

Leaflet: The Facts About Fox Hunting

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