TDs join colourful “No More Dig-Outs for Animal Cruelty” demo outside Dail
animal rights |
Dé hAoine Deireadh Fómhair 19, 2012 11:23 by Campaign to Protect Ireland's Wildlife from Cruelty
Animal protection groups held a peaceful demo outside Dail Eireann yesterday (October 18th) The aim was to highlight the government’s shameful plan to exempt hare coursing and fox hunting from the Animal Health and Welfare Act, and to remind Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney of his pledge to act against the horrific practise of “digging out” foxes that escape underground during a hunt.
Anti hare coursing/fox hunting demo, with Deputies Clare and Maureen O' Sullivan present
Dail Deputies Clare Daly (ULA) and Maureen O’ Sullivan (Independent) and Patrick Nulty (Labour) joined the demo to show support for Ireland’s persecuted wildlife.
The demo featured a colourful novelty element: A man attired in full hunting regalia (red jacket, jodhpurs etc.) with a spade (representing the cruel “dig-out” practise) and an effigy of a fox as the doomed animal would appear following a “dig-out”.
We are anxious to convey the message that a so-called “animal welfare bill” that actually PROTECTS hare coursing and fox hunting INSTEAD of the foxes and hares that are cruelly abused for “sport”...is a complete contradiction and a massive retrograde step for Ireland. The government is supposed to be updating animal welfare legislation...not taking it back two hundred years.
Foxhunting itself is bad enough, with the animals being hounded for hours until exhaustion delivers them to the hounds to be killed in a frenzy of biting and savagery, but the practise known as the “dig-out” is the by far the worst part of it.
This involves hunters using terriers and spades to “dig out” foxes that escape underground during a hunt. The spade men dig deep into the earth and drop a terrier down to attack the fox. The fox and dog savage each other, with the fox usually coming off worse, though the terrier also suffers horrific injuries. The terrier is then pulled back up, usually with its teeth sunk into the still live fox. The fox is then thrown to the pack of hounds.
The Government Minister who will push through the Animal Welfare Bill has already indicated that although he does not wish to ban foxhunting itself in its entirety, he is repulsed by the “dig-out” practise and MAY ban it.
Hare coursing can, and should, also be banned under the Animal Welfare Bill, though a powerful lobby is pressing for it to be exempted from prohibition. This practice, as you may already know, involves setting greyhounds after live hares in wired enclosures and results in thousands of these gentle creatures being horribly mauled or battered every year by the dogs for “sport”. Many dogs also are injured or die in the process.
Deputy Maureen O’ Sullivan has prepared a series of amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill aimed at replacing the exemptions for blood sports with an outright ban on these cruel practises.
Here is a brief video clip of a dig out:
And here is a series of slides exposing what happens during a dig-out:
Labour Deputy Patrick Nulty with protesters at Dail
The "dig-out"...Minister Coveney says it's unacceptable...but will he ban it?
The aftermath of a "dig-out": what hunters call "sport"
Hare coursing "sport"