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Member of hunt fined 3,000 Euro after hounds worry livestock
16 October 2013

A member of Grallagh Harriers Hunt in Galway has been fined 3,000 Euro and ordered to pay 450 Euro expenses after incidents involving hounds worrying livestock.

The Connaught Tribune has reported that the fines were imposed on "the owner of a pack of hunting dogs which were found to have worried livestock on a farm near Kilrickle on two separate dates".

David Burke of Aille Cross, Grallagh, Loughrea (who set up the Grallagh Harriers Hunt in 2007) denied being the owner of a dog which worried livestock and permitting a dog to be in a place while not under effectual control, but Judge Geoffrey Browne said that he was satisfied the dogs belonged to Burke and described the situation as "very serious".

At Loughrea Court, a Doon farmer outlined how he saw up to 15 dogs hunting on his lands in October last year and that he spoke to Burke who told him he would keep an eye out for a bull and cows that had gone missing from the lands. He said he saw two men in hunting gear calling the dogs.

"[The farmer] went on to state how the fox hunt had come through his farm on January 9th when the dogs wouldn't even get out of a shed where he was scanning cows," the Tribune report continued. "The dogs had worried his sheep and when David Burke phoned the following day, he told him that he was finished talking to him."

When put to him that the defendant would say that the dogs and the hunt were under effectual control at all times, the farmer said this was "blatantly untrue" as there was no escape for his sheep when the dogs came in after a fox into a slatted house.

A neighbour told the court that he saw fox hounds coming on to land and that the farmer's sheep were "very bothered". He said there was no one in charge of the dogs.

He went on to describe how the hunted fox had come in to his yard and hid for an hour.

Defendant Burke claimed he couldn't say who owned the hounds and that they could have belonged to anyone else but Supt Enda Walshe, prosecuting, submitted that the dogs were not under control and that it was stretching credulity to argue that there was another pack of hounds in the area. Judge Browne said he was satisfied that the dogs belonged to Burke.


In 2008, ICABS reported that a fox had to endure a gruelling 80 minute chase during a Grallagh Harriers hunt. According to an Irish Field report: "as soon as [the huntsman] cast his pack in Pump Bog, they found a fox and were away for what was to be a run of one hour and twenty minutes." The report stated that the hunt terrier was among the dogs chasing the unfortunate fox.


Make your land off-limits to hunters. Find out how on our Farmers Page.

Please join us in appealing to the Minister for Agriculture to give wild animals the same protection that is given to domestic animals. Demand the removal of an exemption for foxhunting from Ireland's Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for foxes and hares and ban hunting and coursing.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048

An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Iveagh House,
80 St. Stephen's Green,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail)
Tel: 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)
Fax: 01 408 2400
Email Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore:,

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.

Please contact all your local politicians and ask them to express their opposition to this blood sport. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too.

Write to your TD at:
Dail Eireann, 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.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses

How to keep hunters off your land

In advance of the hunt season, send a warning-off letter by registered post to all hunt masters in your area. You may also wish to put a notice in your local newspaper to highlight that your land is strictly off-limits. These are both optional - hunters have no right to enter lands without permission and it is unacceptable for them to claim that they didn't know that your lands are private and preserved.

Immediately contact the Gardai if members or followers of the hunt trespass on your land. Under the Control ofDogs Act, dogs must be kept "under effectual control" so if hunt hounds come on to property where they do not have permission to be, the Gardai should be notified. Try and take photos or video footage as evidence. Contact the Gardai also if there is a breach of Section 44 of the Wildlife Act. This makes it an offence for any person who is not the owner or occupier of land to carry onto that land, without permission, any firearm, net, orother weapon, instrument or device capable of being used for hunting a wild bird or a wild animal.

If trespass occurs, ascertain the name of the hunt and the person in charge. Have the damage independently assessed and contact your solicitor with a view to seeking compensation. Avoid accepting an informal apology from the hunt or "off the record" payment as this is unlikely to stop further trespass

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