Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Question 574 - Answered on 23rd March, 2004
Joe Higgins: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the legal basis upon which his Department issues licences to the Ward Union Stag Hunt to hunt deer farmed and raised in captivity when the 1911 Protection of Animals Act prohibits the hunting of tame or domestic animals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 23rd March, 2004.
Ref No: 8905/04
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): The Attorney General's advice was sought by the then Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands regarding the application of section 26 of the Wildlife Act 1976 to the hunting of deer by stag hounds. This advice was furnished in February 1999 and confirmed the longstanding interpretation of the above section, i.e. that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government may grant to the Master or other person in charge of a pack of stag hounds a licence authorising the hunting of deer by that pack during such period or periods as is or are specified in the licence. Licence applications from the Ward Union Hunt Club continue to be determined on their merits in accordance with this legal advice.