The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is horrified to note that the Fine Gael manifesto, launched today, includes a promise to reverse the ban on stag hunting. Please join our urgent appeal to the party to scrap this pledge to bring back a blood sport.
The manifesto, in a section headed "Keeping Communities Vibrant/Rural
Activities", states that "Fine Gael will reverse the ban on stag
Download the Manifesto and turn to page 26/27 - Section 5.3
Elsewhere in the manifesto, Fine Gael say that they will "update existing animal welfare rules which are outdated and need to be reformed". If that is the case and they want to improve and update animal welfare, they are off to a bad start by threatening to repeal an act which has banned gratuitous cruelty to vulnerable animals, which for over 150 years were hounded by dogs for "sport".
Stag hunting was banned last June after a majority of TDs voted in favour of the Wildlife Amendment Bill which outlawed the cruel activity. The ban was widely welcomed.
Any attempt to reverse the hunt ban would be a callous and despicable move by Fine Gael if they attain power. We have no doubt that the majority of people in this country would find this utterly abhorrent.
Please scroll down now for our URGENT ACTION ALERT
URGENT ACTION ALERT
Send a message to Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, and make it clear to him that you do not want a reversal of the stag hunting ban.
Email letter to:
Tel: (094) 9025600 (Enda Kenny Constituency Office)
Dear Mr Kenny,
As one of the majority of Irish people who want all blood sports banned, I urge you to scrap this shameful pledge and instead commit to bringing all forms of cruelty to an end here.
Please stop defending hunting and modernise your party's animal welfare policies.
May I add that a political candidate's stance on animal cruelty is a major factor in my voting decision.
Thank you. I look forward to your reply.
Please contact your local Fine Gael election candidates and tell them that you oppose any attempt to reverse the staghunt ban
Contact all your local election candidates and tell them that their stance on animal cruelty issues is a major factor in your voting decision
Find out the views of election candidates on our Election 2011 campaign page
VIDEO: The cruelty Fine Gael wants to bring back
Fine Gael challenged on blood sports stance
ICABS is urging Fine Gael to modernise its animal welfare policies after a spokesperson stated that the party "supports country sports" and will "oppose any move by Government to deny groups the right to continue to pursue these activities".
In a letter of complaint to Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, ICABS strongly criticised the party's stance on animal cruelty activities. The stance was outlined in a statement this week from FG Agriculture spokesperson Michael Creed TD, who said:
"Fine Gael supports country sports which are carried out humanely, properly supervised and monitored and that do not involve any undue risk to animal welfare. If these criteria can be satisfied Fine Gael does not oppose properly licensed country sports activities." "Fine Gael will oppose any move by Government to deny groups who have conducted their activities as per their licences, the right to continue to pursue these activities in the future. We believe that imposing a ban on these licensed activities would be a retrograde step both in terms of animal welfare and economically. He also shamelessly defends cruel blood sports on monetary grounds, saying that "it would be irresponsible to discount the importance of rural pursuits to the economy as a whole." In our correspondence to Enda Kenny (and Olivia Mitchell TD who said Mr Creed's statement reflected her own views), ICABS stated: "We wish to convey to you our extreme disappointment and disbelief that a modern party like Fine Gael is continuing to side with the merciless minority who take pleasure in abusing animals and subjecting them to the most horrendous cruelty. For the majority who want coursing, foxhunting and carted deer hunting outlawed, it is highly offensive for Deputy Creed to suggest that the activities he euphemistically refers to as 'country sports' could in any way be 'carried out humanely...and not involve any undue risk to animal welfare'."
We stressed that Deputy Creed is "clearly wrong in his assertion that if an activity is licensed, it must not be cruel", highlighting that in coursing and carted deer hunting (both licensed), animals are subjected to terrible suffering.
"The stance, presented by Deputy Creed, reflects very poorly on Fine
Gael," we added. "We hope that your party can work on modernising its
animal welfare policies and bringing them in line with the
overwhelming view in Ireland that animal cruelty is wrong and should
be urgently legislated against."