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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Declan Burke (Independent, Dublin South West):
"Yes I am in favour of a ban on both of those [fox hunting and hare coursing]." from a tweet to ICABS, February 2016.

Sean Crowe, TD (Sinn Fein, Dublin South West):
"I find [blood 'sports'] to be a loathsome practice and the argument that they are in some manner a necessary part of traditional, rural life insulting to the intelligence. I would be delighted to support any and all legislation, which restricts, or bans these 'sports'."

Cllr Anne-Marie Dermody (Fine Gael, South Dublin County)
"I don't get the hunting think and how it could be someone's pleasure!" from a text message to ICABS, May 2014.

Cllr Mick Duff (Labour Party, South Dublin County Council)
"I fully favour a complete ban on coursing and foxhunting" from a text message to ICABS, February 2015.

In 2010, Cllr Duff proposed a motion calling for a ban on the import and sale of fur which was successfully passed by South Dublin County Council. He also supported a motion to ban circuses with wild animals from public lands in South County Dublin and monitors dog pounds in the county.

Cllr Francis Duffy (Green Party, South Dublin County Council)
"I am against cruelty to animals in all contexts. I would like to see higher standards of animal welfare in farming, harsher sentences for those who commit crimes against animals in a domestic context, and an end to the farming of animals for their fur. The law as it stands is wholly inadequate in dealing with crimes against animals and, if elected [as a TD], I would support any legislation that improves standards in animal welfare." from an email to ICABS, October 2014.

Sandra Fay (Anti Austerity Alliance, Dublin South West):
"AAA oppose all cruelty against animals, including of course blood sports. I would definitely use my influence to call for a complete ban on all blood sports. It is barbaric that in the 21st century that we legally allow a sport where foxes are 'torn to pieces' at the end of hunts. I am opposed to the hunting of foxes by hounds as indeed I am opposed to live hare coursing. Circuses have long been a feature of Irish life, but the day of aniaml abuse should be long gone. A circus is no place for animals in the 21st century. I would like to work to use my influence to help put an end to circuses with animals in Ireland." in reply to Maynooth University's Animal Rights Society.

Peter Fitzpatrick (Independent, Dublin South West):
"Definitely in favour of a ban on fox hunting/hare coursing. Legislate to protect animal rights." from a tweet to ICABS, February 2016.

Cllr Sarah Holland (Sinn Fein, South Dublin County Council)
"Most definitely in favour of a ban" from a tweet to ICABS, September 2014.

Cllr Pamela Kearns (Labour Party, South Dublin County Council)
"I am against any cruelty to animals." from a text message to ICABS, May 2014.

Eamonn Maloney, TD (Labour Party, Dublin South West):
Cllr Eamonn Maloney said: "The relevant minister should have no difficulty in banning activity such as circuses with wild animals." from Cruel circuses that use wild animals are banned, Evening Herald, 14th January 2009.

Cllr Ronan McMahon (Renua, South Dublin County Council)
"Yes, I am against these cruel activities [hare coursing and fox hunting] and against cruelty to animals in general." from a text message to ICABS, December 2014.

Paul Murphy TD (Anti-Austerity Alliance / Socialist Party, Dublin South West)
The campaign against hare coursing "is a campaign that [Paul Murphy MEP] fully supports". from an email from Paul Murphy MEP's office, February 2012.

As an MEP, Paul Murphy was active on many animal welfare issues at European Level. He highlighted the plight of the Galgos in Spain, banning the fur trade, etc

"The issue of the fishing of bluefin tuna is an issue that has come up in the European Parliament. Paul Murphy MEP and the Socialist Party oppose the fishing of bluefin tuna and have always taken a position of voting for measures to end the practice of fishing this endangered species. In the next period as the budget and the Common Fisheries Policy is debated in the Parliament you can be assured of Paul Murphy's support for the protection of Bluefin tuna." From a letter to ICABS from the office of Paul Murphy MEP, 13 August 2012.

He 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..."

Cllr Deirdre O’Donovan (Independent, Dublin South West):
"As a dog owner and granddaughter of dairy farmers, I respect and value animals and the contribution they make to our society. It is unacceptable to me that in this day and age that some people can't find something better to do than chase a defenceless animal around." from an email to ICABS, January 2016.

Stephen Sinclair (Direct Democracy Ireland, Dublin South West):
"I would like to publicly state that I am completely opposed to fox hunting and hare coursing. These activities only pander to the basest aspects of the human nature of a very small minority of our citizenry. It is both cruel and disgusting and has no place in our modern society. You can count on my full support in having these pursuits banned." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.

Joan Summerville-Molloy (Independent, Dublin South West):
"Joan Summerville-Molloy is against animal cruelty." from a tweet to ICABS, February 2016.

Senator Katherine Zappone (Independent, Dublin South West):
"I oppose fur farming, and all blood sports such as hare coursing and fox hunting, I believe we need better legislation and more resources to enforce the existing legislation to improve animal welfare in Ireland and I will pledge my support if elected for further legislation in this area." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.

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