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.
Declan Crowe (Independent, Kildare South):
"I would indeed support either of these bans [on fox hunting and hare coursing]...if elected I would be glad to forward your views at national level." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.
Martin Heydon, TD (Fine Gael, Kildare South):
"With regard to animal fighting, including dogfighting and cockfighting, the change in the law to association from participation is crucial. I totally oppose these activities and I am happy to hear how strongly we will act. To return to the issue of balance, we must be very careful. People can take a very strong approach to animal safety measures and try to cover all aspects such as trying to stop people who want to go fishing from taking worms out of the ground. One can go too far and unintended consequences can arise. If the means of farmers or others to protect wild animals are curtailed too much they may be left with no alternative but to use poison, which is far more indiscriminate." Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, 19 September 2012.
In March 2013, Martin Heydon voted against 3 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.
Suzanne McEneaney (Green Party, Kildare South):
"As the Green Party candidate, I can gladly assure you that I oppose foxhunting and hare coursing." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.
Sean O Fearghail TD (Fianna Fail, Kildare South):
In March 2013, Seán O Fearghaíl TD 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, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circus performances.
In 2005, foxes and mink were doomed to lives of misery on fur farms following the rejection by Dail Eireann of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50. Sean O Fearghail was among the 62 Fianna Fail TDs who voted AGAINST the bill.
Mark Wall (Labour, Kildare South):
Mark Wall has not responded to an enquiry from ICABS, asking if he is in favour of a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing. He is the son of outgoing pro-hunting TD Jack Wall who made it clear in 2010 that he was "not in favour of the bill [to ban the Ward Union hunt] and stag hunting provided employment."
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