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 Malcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail, Wexford County Council)
Wexford County Councillor Malcolm Byrne has expressed opposition to coursing in Ireland, saying he would "support any legislation at national level that would ban hare coursing". The Fianna Fail politician's statement came in response to an ICABS email in which we highlighted the suffering caused to hares used as live lures in coursing. In September 2010, Cllr Byrne stated: "I am personally opposed to hare coursing, which I view as cruel."

Senator Michael D’Arcy (Fine Gael, Wexford)
As a TD in 2010, Michael D’Arcy voted AGAINST the ban on carted stag hunting.

Julie Hogan (Fine Gael, Wexford)
"I absolutely am in favour of a ban [on foxhunting and hare coursing]. These outdated cruelty 'sports' [are] completely unacceptable." from a tweet to ICABS, January 2016.

Brendan Howlin TD (Labour Party, Wexford):
In March 2013, Brendan Howlin TD voted against an amendment 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 and the use of animals in circus performances.

In March 20011, Labour Party Minister, Brendan Howlin, stated on the Pat Kenny Radio Show that any move to reverse the ban on carted deer hunting "will be a matter for discussion". His statement followed a pre-election assurance from Labour leader, Eamon Gilmore, that the party accepted the ban and wouldn't support a reversal.

In 2010, Brendan Howlin TD voted AGAINST the ban on carted stag hunting.

In 2005, Brendan Howlin TD voted in favour of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50.

Paul Kehoe, TD (Fine Gael, Wexford)
Paul Kehoe voted AGAINST the staghunt ban in June 2010.

"The Government Chief Whip, Minister Paul Kehoe T.D., today announced the Legislative Programme for the Spring Parliamentary session of 2012...Progress will also continue to be made in a number of other areas with the introduction animal welfare laws" Paul Kehoe statement, January 11, 2012

"Taoiseach Brian Cowen reminded every TD of their responsibility. Mr McGrath and Mr O'Sullivan still abstained. A peace process began with the rebels. Their abstention provoked Fine Gael's whip Paul Kehoe to up the ante. He withdrew an agreement to keep two of his TDs back to cancel out two sick men - Sean Ardagh and Noel Treacy..." Irish Examiner Wednesday, June 30, 2010

David Lloyd (Direct Democracy Ireland, Wexford):
"I would totally agree with a ban on bloodsports as it is an outdated and cruel to any animal." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.

Cllr Deirdre Wadding (People Before Profit, Wexford County Council)
"I vehemently oppose all blood sports and cannot understand something as cruel as coursing being allowed to continue in any so-called civilised society." from an email to ICABS, August 2015.

"I join you in abhorring this cruel practice and will most certainly add my voice to those calling for it to be banned." from an email to ICABS, June 2015.

"I am completely and utterly opposed to hare coursing and most emphatically support a ban." from a text message to ICABS, December 2014.

Mick Wallace, TD (Independent, Wexford)
On 27th March 2013, Mick Wallace supported amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, terrierwork, digging-out, ferreting and fur farming.

In a 16th December 2014 Dail Question, Mick Wallace TD asked the Minister for Agriculture "if he will provide details of measures being taken to prevent cruelty to animals involved in hare coursing".

On 10 February 2015, Mick Wallace TD asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht "her plans to revoke hare coursing licences here, particularly in view of figures from the National Parks and Wildlife Service which indicate that during the 2013 coursing season over 100 hares required assistance, due to injuries sustained during races."

Ann Walsh (Green Party, Wexford):
"I totally abhor all blood sports and also factory farming" from a tweet to ICABS, February 2016.

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