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Banned: the hunting of red deer and curlews
22 October 2012

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports welcomes the announcement today of bans on the hunting of Kerry Red Deer and the shooting of curlews. The bans have been introduced by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan.

"Kerry Red Deer are a unique feature of our heritage," Minister Deenihan outlined in a statement. "I have, therefore, decided that, in order to conserve the special lineage of red deer in Kerry, to prohibit the hunting of these unique species."

A ban on the shooting of stags was already in place but this latest ban on the killing of hinds means the species may not now be hunted.

The Minister also announced his intention to review the Open Season Order for other deer species. "The last substantial change to the Open Season for deer species was in 2005 so I believe it is timely that a review is now undertaken," he said. "I would ask that various interest groups partake in this consultation process as it is important that I have the views of a wide range of interests which will assist my Department in considering if changes are needed to the Order."

Minister Deenihan has also announced a ban on the shooting of curlews, a move to try and save the species from extinction here.

"A number of surveys and studies in the past year have estimated a rather dramatic reduction in the total number of breeding pairs of curlew in the country," Minister Deenihan said. "These estimates indicate a decrease ranging from 60% to 96%."

In July, Deenihan indicated that he may ban the shooting of hares: "I said to the coursing community that I was thinking of removing the reference to hares from the Bill because very few people shot them," he stated during a Dail debate on the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012.

The primary motivation behind a possible ban on the shooting of hares is believed not to be to save hares from being shot to death but rather to help make it easier for coursers to find hares for their bloodsport. Earlier this year, pro-coursing Deenihan pledged to coursers: "Whatever I can do for coursing while I am in this job, I will certainly do it."


Email Jimmy Deenihan and welcome his bans on the hunting of Kerry Red Deer and Curlew. Encourage him to introduce a ban on the shooting of hares, foxes and other species. Express your support for a full ban on coursing and hunting.

Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

CC: An Taoiseach -
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802
Fax: +353 (0)1 661 1201

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