General Election 2016 - Where do the candidates stand on animal cruelty issues?

'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated' - Mahatma Gandhi
'Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation' - Martin Luther King

Before voting in the general election on Friday 26th February, read our guide to the candidates and where they stand on animal cruelty issues. Please make your vote count for the animals.

Individual candidate views may differ from official party policies, to which members are expected to follow in Dail Eireann. Click on the link to view party policies in relation to animal issues. Help us expand this list - let us know about responses you receive from candidates. If you are a candidate and wish to be included in this list, please get in touch with us now.


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Cllr Chris Andrews (Sinn Fein, Dublin City Council)
As a TD in 2010, Chris Andrews voted in favour of the ban on carted deer hunting.

Lucinda Creighton, TD (Renua, Dublin Bay South):
During a November 2015 Dail debate. Renua leader Lucinda Creighton suggested that hunting be developed as an Irish tourism product - "I think we need to develop a lot more of our tourism industry around the horse equestrian sector generally - be it sport horses, be it the hunting sector, be it racing and so on. A lot of that can be integrated because often it's the same people who are interested in all the different elements. I think there's real potential there". When ICABS expressed shock and disgust at the statement, Lucinda Creighton tweeted "it already is [developed as tourism product]. There's definitely room for further promotion. Would be a huge boost for neglected rural economy." Watch a video of the speech extract. The reality is that, due to the appalling animal cruelty involved, Ireland's tourism body Failte Ireland, has long since stopped promoting hunting. On its website, the tourism body makes it clear that "Blood sports including coursing or hunting are not promoted in any Failte Ireland publications."

As a Fine Gael TD in 2010, Lucinda Creighton voted against the Bill which banned staghunting.

Kevin Humphreys, TD (Labour Party, Dublin Bay South):
In March 2013, Kevin Humphreys voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.

Annette Mooney (People Before Profit Alliance, Dublin Bay South):
"I abhor cruelty to animals, I'm a dog owner myself. I am against fox hunting and hare coursing" from a tweet to ICABS, February 2016.

Eoghan Murphy (Fine Gael, Dublin Bay South):
Eoghan Murphy has not responded to enquiries from ICABS about where he stands on foxhunting and hare coursing.

In May 2011, Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture "if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Irish Greyhound Board is considering sending Irish greyhounds to China; and his views on same." In February 2013, he asked the Minister for Agriculture "the amount the State subsidy to the Irish Greyhound Board is worth; the person who oversees its spend; what it is designated for; if it is performance linked and his views on whether the allocation is value for money."

Eamon Ryan (Green Party, Dublin Bay South)
"I am firmly opposed to the current practice of fox hunting and hare coursing in the country which I feel cannot be defended on the grounds of preserving rural traditions or indeed any other conservation or rural development arguments.

In January 2012, Eamon Ryan attended an anti-coursing protest outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.

Signed a Eurogroup for Animals animal welfare pledge, including "I will strive to ensure that animals are recognised as sentient beings in all legislation that comes before the Parliament and strive to ensure all existing animal welfare related legislation is properly enforced..."

Eoin Tierney (Independent, Dublin Bay South):
"I am utterly opposed to all forms of cruelty. I am wholly in favour of a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing. Let these hunters chase each other. I will try to hound their brutish practices from the land." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.

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