During a court case in Macroom District Court this week, in which a farmer successfully sued the Macroom Foxhounds Club for injury to a bull, Judge James McNulty went bizarrely over the top in eulogising the foxhunters saying: “They (the foxhunters) have an enviable record of volunteering in their chosen sport. It is clear that their participation in their sport is to be cherised, respected and protected if necessary, but they must practise having regard to the rights of others.”
Clearly, Judge McNulty was not including the hunted fox when he mentioned “the rights of others”. He also said that the members of the hunt were “good and decent people who gave truthful evidence as to what they recall from that day” and that he respected their integrity. Despite his high regard for the foxhunters and their “truthful evidence”, Judge McNulty ruled in favour of the farmer and awarded him €4,000
These remarks by Judge McNulty from the bench are outrageous, given the barbarity of foxhunting. Foxhunting involves taking out packs of hounds to pursue a fox around the countryside in order to catch him and rip him to shreds. If the fox goes to ground, the hunters use terriers to attack and corner the animal before digging him out. Both fox and terrier suffer horrendous injuries.
How a judge can see fit to laud and exalt this type of animal cruelty and those who engage in it is utterly disgraceful in this day and age.
Fox hunting has been outlawed in Great Britain since 2005, because of the inherent cruelty, and a ban here in Ireland is long overdue.
Foxhunters are a pest in the countryside and many farmers are heartily sick of them riding roughshod over their lands, vandalising their boundaries and causing stress and injury to their livestock. It’s way past time that our legislators moved to ban this horrific cruelty for the sake of the fox and the persecuted farmers.
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For a report on the court case in question, see