“I have no plans to ban fox hunting” – Shameful statement from Agriculture Minister Michael Creed

25 Oct
Minister creed claims foxes terrorised are not subject to suffering
“I have no plans to ban fox hunting” – A shameful statement from Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed who has outrageously claimed that existing legislation “requires persons to ensure that animals being hunted are not subject to unnecessary suffering”.
 
Foxhunting is a bloodsport banned in all our neighbouring jurisdictions because it is fundamentally CRUEL – foxes are disturbed from their habitats, chased across the countryside by packs of hounds until exhaustion slows them down and allows the dogs to catch them, knock them off their feet, bite into their flesh, disembowel them and rip them apart.
 
How appalling that the Minister with responsibility for animal welfare considers it appropriate to defend this barbarity.
 
Minister Creed was responding to a Dail question from Dublin Central politician, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, who asked him “if exemptions will be removed for blood sports from the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, in view of the suffering and death caused to hares and foxes during coursing and foxhunting activities”.
 
The exemptions, included in the Animal Health and Welfare Act by then Agriculture Minister, and now Tanaiste, Simon Coveney (who has admitted to participating in foxhunting himself) allow foxhunters and coursers to carry out their animal cruelty without fear of prosecution, fines or prison.
 
Minister Creed went on to refer to a worthless voluntary foxhunting “code of conduct” which in no way lessens the terror and suffering inflicted on persecuted foxes. The Minister maintained to Deputy O’Sullivan that the Code “advocates the humane disposal of a fox when captured”.
 
There is nothing humane in being ripped apart by a pack of hounds while hunters holler and triumphantly blow horns. It is a despicable way to treat any sentient creature and to Ireland’s shame that it continues to be legal.
 
We thank Maureen O’Sullivan TD for again raising this issue and appeal to all to contact the government to demand that it shows compassion for our beleaguered wildlife and join other civilised countries in finally banning foxhunting and hare coursing.
 
 
 
DAIL QUESTION AND ANSWER
11 October 2018
 
QUESTION
 
Maureen O’Sullivan TD (Independent, Dublin Central): To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if exemptions will be removed for blood sports from the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, in view of the suffering and death caused to hares and foxes during coursing and foxhunting activities.
 
REPLY
 
Minister Michael Creed (Fine Gael, Cork North West): As the deputy will be aware detailed debate was held around the issue of hunting during the passage of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 and the Dail voted overwhelmingly to allow the continuation on fox hunting in accordance with an appropriate Code of Conduct.
 
The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requires persons to ensure that animals being hunted are not subject to unnecessary suffering and specifically prohibits the hunting of animals which have been released in an injured, mutilated or exhausted condition.
 
Section 25 of the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013 also allows for the establishment of codes of practice and for the adoption of codes published by other persons for the purposes of providing practical guidance relating to any aspect of the Act, including fox hunting. Voluntary codes of practice have been established by The Hunting Association of Ireland which detail the conduct to be adhered to in respect of the hunting of foxes and the treatment of the animal during the hunt. The Code prohibits the hunting of foxes where the animal is injured and advocates the humane disposal of a fox when captured. The code also takes into account local concerns and the concerns of the landowner(s) on whose land hunting takes place.
 
While I have no plans to ban fox hunting, officials of my Department met with the Hunting Association to review their existing Code and consider whether it needs updating.
 
I am fully committed to promoting good practices that respect the welfare of all animals and my Department devotes considerable resources to protecting animal welfare and in dealing with breaches of animal welfare legislation. Under the Act, on summary conviction, a person can receive a fine of up to €10,000 and, on indictment, €250,000 and/or imprisonment up to 5 years. There are fixed penalty payments for lesser offences. The Act provides the framework within which the welfare of animals can be safeguarded and I am hopeful that the substantial and significantly increased levels of penalties for offences of animal cruelty provided for under the Act will act as a deterrent to animal welfare abuses.
 
ACTION ALERTS
 
Contact Taoiseach/Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and demand a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing.
 
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
 
Please sign and share our petition – Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now
 
Contact the Agriculture Minister now and demand that the exemptions for foxhunting and hare coursing are removed from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.
 
Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to: @creedcnw
 
Appeal to all Irish politicians
 
Please join us in telling the politicians that it is now time to ban foxhunting and hare coursing. Contact all your local TDs and urge them to push for a ban on this blood sport. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem
 
Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.
 
Keep hunters off your land
 
If you are a landowner, make your land off-limits to hunters. Find out more about how to do this on our Farmers/Landowners Page – http://www.banbloodsports.com/farmers.htm Encourage all land-owning friends and family members in the countryside to show compassion and make their land a haven for wildlife.
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