Westmeath Cllr: Hunts can cause more damage than an entire parish
03 June 2015
A Westmeath County Councillor has highlighted the damage caused by foxhunters and said that hunts need to be controlled.
Fine Gael Cllr, Frank McDermott, was speaking at a council discussion about proposals to restrict dogs and horses from local lakeshores and curb anti-social behaviour.
According to a 4th June report in the Westmeath Topic newspaper, Cllr McDermott "said that hunt meetings 'with dozens of foxhounds and horses' can cause more damage in a few minutes than an entire parish would cause in a year and he suggested they be controlled under new bye-laws".
This is not the first time that the issue of hunt damage has been raised at a Westmeath Council meeting. Earlier this year, councillors discussed damage to a newly laid path for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Westmeath Topic reported that the path was left torn up after mounted members of the Westmeath Foxhounds ploughed through it during a hunt. Local walkers and cyclists were dismayed to witness the destruction the hunt left in its wake. "More than half of the newly laid surface was torn up and not easily cycled on, and walkers found that grit was going into their shoes," the paper outlined, quoting a cyclist as saying: "The council will have to roll this stretch of the pathway again, because of what happened."
In a letter to the council, ICABS stated: "We urge you to prosecute the hunt responsible for the damage caused, prohibit them from using this path in the future and seek the full cost of repairing the damage done. This path is an important and valued new amenity for locals and tourists and it must be protected from incursions by hunts."
Contact Westmeath County Council to express your support for a ban on hunters and hunt horses/hounds at lakeshores. Urge the council to prosecute hunts which cause damage to public property.
Westmeath County Council
Mount Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Tel: (044) 933 2000
Email from: http://www.westmeathcoco.ie/Contact%20Us/ContactUs.aspx
Tweet to: @westmeathcoco
Tweet to @westmeathcoco
Thank Cllr McDermott for highlighting the issue of hunt damage.
Cllr Frank McDermott
Tel: 086 602 3868
Sign our "Ban Blood Sports in Ireland" petition
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. 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
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
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Contact the Taoiseach and Tanaiste. Ask them to show compassion for foxes and hares and ban hunting and coursing.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street,
An Tanaiste, Joan Burton
Office of the Tanaiste
80 St. Stephen’s Green,
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail)
Tel: 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)
Fax: 01 408 2400
Email Enda Kenny and Joan Burton: firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
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
PREVIOUSLY: Westmeath Council urged to prosecute hunt
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on Westmeath County Council to prosecute foxhunters who damaged a canal pathway for pedestrians and cyclists.
The newly laid path was left torn up after foxhunters ploughed through it last weekend. Running alongside a scenic stretch of the Royal Canal near Ballynacargy, the path was developed as an amenity for locals and tourists. But after mounted members of a foxhunt galloped over it, the surface lay churned up, pockmarked with hoofprints and littered with horse droppings.
The Westmeath Topic newspaper has identified the hunt as the Westmeath Foxhounds and reported that the damage was discussed at a Municipal District Council meeting in Mullingar. At that meeting, Cllr John Penrose was told by the Director of Services that the matter is being followed up.
The paper reported that local walkers and cyclists were dismayed to witness the destruction the hunt left in its wake. "More than half of the newly laid surface was torn up and not easily cycled on, and walkers found that grit was going into their shoes," it outlined, quoting a cyclist as saying: "The council will have to roll this stretch of the pathway again, because of what happened."
In a letter to Westmeath County Council, ICABS stated: "We urge you to prosecute the hunt responsible for the damage caused, prohibit them from using this path in the future and seek the full cost of repairing the damage done. This path is an important and valued new amenity for locals and tourists and it must be protected from incursions by hunts."
Not only do hunters damage the surface (negatively impacting pedestrians and cyclists), the sudden appearance of hunters on horseback and a pack of hounds proves intimidating to members of the public using the path - particularly those with children or out walking dogs. There have been incidents around Ireland involving hunt hounds brutally attacking and killing pets. Fears have also been expressed in the past for the safety of children in the vicinity of packs of dogs trained to kill.
Urging the council to make this and all of its properties off-limits to hunters, we pointed out that this route presents a wonderful experience for wildlife watchers with numerous birds and animals waiting to be seen.
"The presence of a hunt, synonymous with the destruction of wildlife, is offensive and upsetting to those who value our wildlife heritage," we added.
Videos: Irish hunting cruelty
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