The Department of Social Protection is disgracefully refusing to withdraw a foxhunting internship.
The Department’s JobBridge scheme is currently offering an internship for a “whipper-in” with the Waterford Hunt. During foxhunting activities, a whipper-in assists the huntsman with the pack of hounds released to chase, catch and tear a fox apart.
Responding to an appeal in which we highlighted the obscene cruelty of foxhunting in Ireland, a Department of Social Protection spokesperson defended JobBridge as enabling jobseekers to “improve their employment prospects by providing them with the opportunity to develop skills”.
In a letter to ICABS today, the Department’s Moyra Carey said: “There are a range of occupations that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another. The Department does not act as an arbiter in these cases, but does, of course, make every effort to ensure that all internships comply with the Terms and Conditions of the scheme and all relevant legislation.”
“The Department does not comment on individual host organisations or internships,” she added. “The purpose of the JobBridge scheme is to assist unemployed people to improve their employment prospects by providing them with the opportunity to develop skills and gain some experience in a working environment – in essence to break the cycle of ‘no experience, no work; no work, no experience’. The scheme is entirely voluntary and is dependent on host organisations providing opportunities that jobseekers feel will enhance their ability to secure a job. The range of potential internships is wide to reflect the diverse skills-base and interests of jobseekers.”
Many citizens will be astounded and appalled that their hard-earned tax euros are going to fund foxhunting, which involves hounding a fox for hours across countryside. If the fox is caught overground, it is torn apart by the pack, and if it does manage to go to earth, terriermen will dig it out, using terriers to fight the fox underground, resulting in horrific injuries to both dog and fox.
It is outrageous that the Department of Social Protection is subsidising animal cruelty. We are calling on the acting Minister for Social Welfare, Joan Burton, to intervene to have Waterford Foxhounds excluded from the JobBridge scheme. By approving the Waterford Foxhounds for the scheme, Social Protection are in effect condoning and promoting the barbaric bloodsport of foxhunting, and encouraging an unemployed person to become immersed in animal cruelty.
According to the description on the JobBridge website: “The intern will gain practical experience in all aspects of venery, hound management, horse management, country preservation and preparation and veterinary care. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following hound management, whipping in, etiquette. On completion the intern will have attained skills in whipping in and will be positioned well to take up a position in hunt service as a whipper in and continue their training to take up the role of a professional huntsman…Skills Requirements: Appititude [sic] to learn, a passion for hounds and strong horseman skills.”
Please sign and share our petition
Department of Social Protection – Stop offering foxhunting internships
Tell Joan Burton and the Department of Social Protection to immediately exclude animal cruelty groups from its JobBridge scheme.
Email “JobBridge – Stop offering foxhunting internship” to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Moyra.Carey@welfare.ie
Phone Joan Burton’s office: 01-6184006 (Dail)