Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Question 264 - Answered on 14th December, 2010
Maureen O'Sullivan, TD: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, in view of the position taken by National Parks and Wildlife Service to ban the hunting and shooting of wild birds because of the severe weather, if he will consider a similar ban on the hunting of mammals such as fox, hare, deer and so on.
Written Answer. Ref No: 47299/10
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr John Gormley):
Due to the recent severe weather conditions I decided to introduce a temporary closure of the hunting season for wild birds for the period from 8 December, 2010. This temporary closure ends tonight (14 December).
I have no powers to control the hunting of foxes as they are not a protected species under the Wildlife Acts. I did not consider it necessary to ban the hunting of deer or hares or other animals protected under the Wildlife Acts. I am aware that some of the hunting bodies brought in voluntary hunting bans for deer for their members and I appreciate their efforts in this regard. In relation to hares I understand that a number of coursing meetings were postponed during the recent severe weather.
My Department will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding the hunting of wild game on a daily basis as long as the threat of very cold weather persists.