An internship for a “kennel groom” is gone from the JobBridge website after the Irish Council Against Blood Sports told the Department of Social Protection that the kennel in question is a foxhunt kennel.
The listing for the 9-month taxpayer-funded position stated: “The intern will gain practical experience in feeding horses and hounds, cleaning out stalls where those animals live and exercising and grooming both horses and hounds. The intern will receive formal/informal training in general kennel and stable management. On completion the intern will have attained skills in the area of animal care, which will involve learning about the dietary requirements and daily exercise regimes of both horses and hounds. The intern will also learn basic communication skills working with others as member of a team and basic skills in how a kennel can be run efficiently and cost effectively.”
“This kennel is the Tipperary Foxhounds kennel in Fethard,” ICABS pointed out in an email sent to both JobBridge and Social Protection Minister, Leo Varadkar. “The JobBridge-subsidised ‘kennel groom’ will play an integral role in preparing horses and hounds for outings involving the terrorisation and killing of defenceless foxes. We urge you to act today to withdraw this foxhunt-related internship.”
Given the appalling animal cruelty involved in foxhunting (foxes are chased to exhaution and ripped apart when caught), it is entirely unacceptable for the Department of Social Protection to be facilitating such groups in filling positions which are integral to the functioning of a hunt.
A majority of Irish people are opposed to foxhunting and want it made illegal (as it already is in England, Scotland and Wales), we told Minister Varadkar.
In response to the ICABS appeal, a JobBridge representative replied to say that “the Department does not comment on individual host organisations or internships” and that 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.”
“There are a range of occupations that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another,” the statement added. “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.”
In March, an internship with the Waterford Foxhounds appeared on the JobBridge website. According to that listing, “the intern will receive formal/informal training in the following hound management, whipping in, etiquette and 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.”
Although the listing was removed following complaints, ICABS learned that this did not mean the position had been scrapped. We were told by the Department that “while the advert has been taken down, the company can still fill the internship vacancy provided they continue to meet the Terms & Conditions of the scheme.”
A petition calling on the Department to stop offering foxhunt internships has so far been signed by over 4,000 people.
Tell Minister Leo Varadkar and the Department of Social Protection to immediately exclude animal cruelty groups from its JobBridge scheme.
Email “JobBridge – Stop offering foxhunting internship” to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone Minister Leo Varadkar: (01) 704 3000
Leave a comment on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/leovaradkar
Tweet to @campaignforleo
Please sign and share the petition
Department of Social Protection – Stop offering foxhunting internships