During a recent Dail debate on the Horse Racing Bill 2015, Lucinda Creighton TD suggested that hunting be developed as an Irish tourism product. So it would appear that the Renua leader wants foxhunting with hounds and hare hunting to be promoted as a tourist activity.
When we contacted her to express disgust and shock at her Dail statement, her flippant reply was: “it already is but there’s definitely room for further promotion. Would be a huge boost for neglected rural economy”.
It is appalling that a TD would stand up in the Dail in this day and age and promote such blatant cruelty to animals. She can’t be unaware of the barbarism involved in these activities – foxes chased for miles till they are exhausted and caught and torn apart by a pack of hounds. And when they do find refuge underground, terriers are sent in, and the so-called terriermen with spades, dig out the terrified creature, while the terriers attack, resulting in horrific injuries to both fox and terrier (see attached photos).
If Lucinda Creighton has engaged in foxhunting herself, has she ever witnessed a fox torn to shreds by the pack or dug out of its earth? Or has she been protected from such sights, as many hunt followers are, being kept well away from the “business” end of this thoroughly barbaric and evil activity.
And there is another victim of hunting wild animals with dogs – the farmers who routinely have their land invaded by these arrogant hunters who think nothing of riding roughshod, without permission, across their lands, destroying boundaries and terrifying farm animals in their wake.
Lucinda would do well to consider the horrific cruelty meted out to wild animals during hunting, plus the impact it has on farmers who do not want these people invading their lands, evidenced by the numbers of “no hunting” notices posted by landowners in provincial papers up and down the country.
Promoting foxhunting as a tourism product would surely damage Ireland’s international image – particularly in a modern tourism market where respect for the environment, wildlife and nature ranks highly among potential visitors. Sadly, Ireland still permits these barbaric activities while the UK has outlawed them.
We are calling on Lucinda Creighton and Renua to adopt animal welfare policies that support a long overdue ban on foxhunting, hare coursing and all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs.