ICABS is urging Fine Gael to modernise its animal welfare policies after a spokesperson stated that the party “supports country sports” and will “oppose any move by Government to deny groups the right to continue to pursue these activities”.
In a letter of complaint to Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, ICABS strongly criticised the party’s stance on animal cruelty activities. The stance was outlined in a statement this week from FG Agriculture spokesperson Michael Creed TD, who said:
- “Fine Gael supports country sports which are carried out humanely, properly supervised and monitored and that do not involve any undue risk to animal welfare. If these criteria can be satisfied Fine Gael does not oppose properly licensed country sports activities.”
- “Fine Gael will oppose any move by Government to deny groups who have conducted their activities as per their licences, the right to continue to pursue these activities in the future. We believe that imposing a ban on these licensed activities would be a retrograde step both in terms of animal welfare and economically.
- He also shamelessly defends cruel blood sports on monetary grounds, saying that “it would be irresponsible to discount the importance of rural pursuits to the economy as a whole.”
In our correspondence to Enda Kenny (and Olivia Mitchell TD who said Mr Creed’s statement reflected her own views), ICABS stated: “We wish to convey to you our extreme disappointment and disbelief that a modern party like Fine Gael is continuing to side with the merciless minority who take pleasure in abusing animals and subjecting them to the most horrendous cruelty. For the majority who want coursing, foxhunting and carted deer hunting outlawed, it is highly offensive for Deputy Creed to suggest that the activities he euphemistically refers to as ‘country sports’ could in any way be ‘carried out humanely…and not involve any undue risk to animal welfare’.”
We stressed that Deputy Creed is “clearly wrong in his assertion that if an activity is licensed, it must not be cruel”, highlighting that in coursing and carted deer hunting (both licensed), animals are subjected to terrible suffering.
“The stance, presented by Deputy Creed, reflects very poorly on Fine Gael,” we added. “We hope that your party can work on modernising its animal welfare policies and bringing them in line with the overwhelming view in Ireland that animal cruelty is wrong and should be urgently legislated against.”
Please send this letter to Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny, TD
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Tel: 00353 (0)1 618 3105
Fax: 00353 (0)1 618 4502