The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is appealing to Westmeath Family Resource Centre, Cara Phort, to reject donations from foxhunters.
A photograph published in the Westmeath Examiner shows a Cara Phort representative accepting a cheque for €395.45 from members of Westmeath foxhunt. According to the photo caption, “Cara Phort is grateful to Westmeath Foxhounds for this donation.”
The money was raised at a foxhunt at the end of February. A notice posted on the hunt’s Facebook page stated: “Tomorrow’s closing meet at Ballymore gives our members one last shot to put their mark on Westmeath turf and make a final bid for the Westmeath Hunt Slippery Saddle Trophy, kindly sponsored by Genesis Pewter Mullingar. This year’s chosen charity is the Cara Phort Family Resource Centre.”
Cara Phort is one of a network of family resource centres “delivering universal services to families in disadvantaged areas across the country” and working to “combat disadvantage and improve the functioning of the family unit”. Last year, it was allocated €84,910 in funds by the state’s Child and Family Agency.
We are urging Cara Phort to show compassion and disassociate from foxhunters. We are bringing to its attention some of the documented instances of Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty (see below). We are also highlighting a disturbing Westmeath foxhunt video – https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204014817312242 – in which a hunter can be heard calling his horse a c*** while another can be seen whipping her horse 5 times in quick succession (see 03:00 minute mark).
Please join us in appealing to Cara Phort to show compassion for Irish wildlife and reject donations from foxhunters.
Cara Phort Family Resource Centre
Tel: (044) 937 3060
Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty
A 2011 Farmers’ Journal hunting report told of how sixteen mounted followers of the Westmeath hunt, along with 29 hounds, found a fox that was caught and “chopped.” Later on, another fox was “overhauled before he managed to put any distance between himself and them.” Both “chopped” and “overhauled,” in hunting terminology, mean that the fox was caught by the hounds and brutally killed.
In 2007, there was a probe into allegations that a rope was tied to the leg of a fox and that it was pulled out of a burrow and fed alive to the dogs – See Irish Independent report – http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/top-hunt-probed-in-cruelty-claim-26333741.html
A 2008 Irish Field report revealed that the Westmeath Hunt’s hounds chased a fox into the freezing water of the Royal canal and along its banks – the fox and the pack swam across the canal and continued along the banks to the Mullingar/Ballynacargy Road…the fox, with four and a half couple (9 hounds) in pursuit, then swam the canal again before retracing their steps back to Newman’s Bog.” Following complaints, Waterways Ireland moved to contact the hunt and tell them to keep away from the Royal Canal.
The Irish Field of December 1991 documented the obscene ritual of cutting off the tails and tongues of foxes – “Terriers were some time in coming as car followers were the wrong side of the wind for hearing. A quick dig followed and two foxes were dispatched. Eamon had a brush for Clarissa and a fox’s tongue which he intends pickling in vinegar to cure warts and draw thorns.” (Westmeath Foxhounds, Hunt Report)