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Greens have chance to finally ban bloodsports

I HOPE the Greens push hard in the Programme for Government negotiations for the abolition of both hare coursing and carted stag hunting.

In one bloodsport, the gentle hare — a creature that threatens nobody and that graces our natural environment — is snatched from our countryside, held in captivity, and then set up as live bait to be terrorised for human amusement.

Many hares are mauled, forcibly struck, or tossed into the air like playthings despite the muzzling of greyhounds and the brittle-boned creatures have to be killed (“dispatched”) as a result.

In the other “pastime”, a semi-domesticated stag is released from a trailer and chased for miles by mounted riders with hounds until it drops from exhaustion, in many instances bleeding from head to foot from scratches and wounds inflicted by brambles and barbed wire encountered along the route of the hunt, quivering with fear, and foaming at the mouth.

Before the election that resulted in the formation of the present coalition, the Greens pledged that they would, when in government, seek the abolition of these cruel practices.

That commitment reflects the party’s long-standing official policy on humane treatment of animals.

With Fianna Fáil terrified of an early election, if not as fearful as a hounded stag or hare, the Greens have a wonderful opportunity now to honour that pledge and secure a ban on live animal baiting in Ireland.

John Fitzgerald

Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports

Lower Coyne Street

Callan

Co Kilkenny

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