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Hen party hunters had “beaming smiles” as foxes ran for their lives
24 April 2019

Members of a visiting hen party from the UK with “beaming smiles” on their faces were among those at a shameful hunt in Westmeath during which a fox was chased for more than 40 minutes by a pack of 29 dogs.

According to a report in the Irish Field (8 February 2019), “It was a case of the hens following the foxes at this [Westmeath Foxhounds] meet, as a large hen party from the Belvoir and the Exmoor Hounds in the UK, celebrated the impending marriage of Ursula Moore to Jonathan Bryars.”

The hunt took place across Westmeath countryside described as “well foxed”, with followers “both adults and children that know and appreciate old-style foxhunting”.

Several foxes were terrorised during the hunt, the report outlined.

The pack of hounds first found two foxes in a field of kale before “settling on one” and pursuing him. Another fox was chased and “marked” in a bog “after a nice crisp run of over 40 minutes”.

In hunting terminology, “marked” refers to the pack of hounds catching up with the fox and baying loudly at the entrance to an earth or drain where the cowering creature is trying to find refuge. Surrounded by the hunters and hounds, this is a desperate situation for the fox. It often means death - foxes are flushed out with terriers or dug out by hunt terriermen before being killed.

Another fox was chased towards the Streamstown Road where he “ran parallel to the road with the pack screaming not far behind”.

Later, hounds pressed a fox “over real old turf country with trappy stone walls and old fashioned drain country”. The sickening report adds that “this customer [the fox] decided to run through it swinging left-handed and they marked him to ground in a rock pile near the Ballinagore road”.

The members of the hen party were said to have had “beaming smiles” on their faces as their horses “had carried them safely across country”.

How obscene that in 2019, Irish wildlife has to suffer such appalling persecution. A ban on foxhunting and all bloodsports is long overdue in Ireland. Please respond to the action alert below and demand a ban.


Sign our "Ban Blood Sports in Ireland" petition

Demand an immediate ban on hunting with hounds in Ireland. Contact the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) now.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @leovaradkar
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Tanaiste Simon Coveney TD
Iveagh House, 80 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 408 2000
Tweet to: @simoncoveney

Contact the Minister for Agriculture and demand the removal of an exemption for foxhunting from the Animal Health and Welfare Act. Section 12 of the Act, which deals with “Prohibition on animal cruelty” states: “Nothing in this section applies in relation to anything which occurs in the ordinary course of...lawfully hunting an animal, unless the animal is released in an injured, mutilated or exhausted condition”

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
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Tweet to: @creedcnw

Please contact all your local politicians and ask them to push for a ban on foxhunting. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses

VIDEOS: Ireland's foxhunting cruelty

Keep hunters off your land

If you are a landowner, make your land off-limits to hunters. Find out more about how to do this on our Farmers/Landowners Page.

Encourage all land-owning friends and family members in the countryside to show compassion and make their land a haven for wildlife. If hunters are denied access to land, the resident wildlife will be spared the suffering of foxhunting.

If trespass occurs, contact the Gardai. Obtain photo/video evidence whenever possible.

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