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.
Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein, Louth):
In May 2014, Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Agriculture "the amount of funding that is provided for the animal welfare helpline; and if he will make a statement on the matter."
In a January 2015 tweet, Gerry Adams posted photos he took of foxes. In an unanswered message to him, ICABS stated: "Gerry, foxes like this are chased to exhaustion and torn apart by packs of hounds. Are you in favour of a ban on foxhunting?"
David Bradley (Independent, Louth):
"I am totally against cruelty to animals in any shape or form and regard foxhunting and hare coursing as absolutely barbaric. If I am elected as a TD – and even if I am not – I will be making my voice heard in these matters to the very best of my ability and I will be endeavouring to improve the lack of respect shown to animals in this country. I really admire you and your colleagues for defending animals who suffer so much at the hands of the human race." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.
Cllr Kevin Callan (Independent, Louth County Council)
At a meeting of Drogheda Borough Council in 2012, Cllr Callan proposed a motion to ban wild animal-act circuses from using public borough land.
Cllr Mark Dearey (Green Party, Louth County Council)
"You can continue to enjoy the essence of the pastime on the basis of a drag hunt where the scent is dragged, rather than releasing a wild animal - but they turn their noses up at that...The other option is the release of the deer and its recapture before the hunt - the scent remains, but it doesn't lead to the animal being cornered, and in some cases killed. It's an exercise in terrorising the poor animal." Speaking as a Senator, Sunday Business Post, 04 April 2010
Peter Fitzpatrick, TD (Fine Gael, Louth):
"The legislation is necessary to allow people to continue lawful activities. Throughout my constituency of Louth, there are strong and law-abiding gun clubs...Gun clubs in rural areas...have a strong bond with and are respectful of nature...[Shooting animals] is a traditional skilled activity that has been handed down for generations. It is important for my rural constituents to have their traditions respected and honoured." Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012. Watch on Youtube
In March 2013, Peter Fitzpatrick, 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, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circus performances.
Senator Mary Moran (Labour Party, Louth):
"I can assure you I do not support blood sports and am happy to have my name included in the list to ban such cruel sports." from an email to ICABS, July 2015.
Gerald Nash, TD (Labour Party, Louth):
Gerald Nash is a patron of Drogheda Animal Rescue Centre. His views on blood sports are currently unknown.
Fergus O'Dowd TD (Fine Gael, Louth):
In March 2013, Fergus O'Dowd 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, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling and the use of animals in circus performances.
In February 2005, Fergus O'Dowd TD asked the Minister for the Environment "his views on the report of the scientific group set up to examine the issue of hunting on State lands."
Maeve Yore (Independent, Louth):
"I do not agree with cruelty of any sort to human or animal." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.
An Irish Council Against Blood Sports website
Visit our campaign website at www.BanBloodSports.com