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.
Joan Burton, TD (Labour Party, Dublin West):
In March 2013, Joan Burton 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.
TJ Clare (Independent, Dublin West):
"I am opposed to animal cruelty and support the banning of fox hunting and coursing. We are behind other nearby countries such as England in banning fox hunting and I would support its banning. I also have concerns about animal acts in circuses. I believe that past-times and interactions with animals should be humane and would support further laws and regulations in this regard." from an email to ICABS, 1st February 2016.
Ruth Coppinger, TD (Socialist Party/AAA, Dublin West):
In a 2014 text message to ICABS, Ruth Coppinger confirmed her anti-cruelty stance, saying "I don't support [foxhunting or hare coursing]." In a Dail Question on 15th May 2015, Ruth Coppinger TD challenged Minister Heather Humphreys on why she failed to sanction two coursing clubs which breached their licence conditions. The Dublin West Socialist Party TD asked Humphreys "the reason she intervened in the case of two hare coursing clubs and did not apply any sanctions, following alleged breaches of conditions of their licences."
"If re-elected Ruth is happy to pledge that she will continue to stand for animal welfare and use whatever influence she has to improve animal welfare." from a reply to the National Animal Rights Association, 2016.
Cllr Paul Donnelly (Sinn Fein, Fingal County Council)
"I am opposed to blood "sports" and I find that term offensive. I would fully support a ban on these activities." from an email to ICABS, June 2015.
Cllr David McGuinness (Independent, Fingal County Council)
"I think it's cruel [foxhunting and hare coursing]. I've no personal experiences of it but sounds like it should be illegal." from a tweet to ICABS, October 2015.
Cllr Roderic O'Gorman (Green Party, Fingal County Council)
"I have always strongly opposed blood sports, as I believe there is no moral justification for setting one animal against another for human enjoyment. If elected to Fingal County Council I will use all available powers of the local authority to oppose blood sports". Roderic O'Gorman, March 2014
In January 2012, Roderic O'Gorman, along with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, were thanked for attending an anti-coursing protest outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.
Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael, Dublin West):
In March 2013, Leo Varadkar 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.
Leo Varadkar voted against the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010 which banned staghunting.
In November 2007, Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for the Environment "if he has decided to grant a licence for [the Ward Union stag hunt] and if he will make a statement on the matter."
An Irish Council Against Blood Sports website
Visit our campaign website at www.BanBloodSports.com