Hunters back in Coillte forests
12th October, 2001
Coillte has given in to pressure from foxhunters and re-issued a permit which allows hunters into forests in Galway. The move comes following an appeal by the Galway Blazers against an earlier decision to keep the woodlands foxhunt-free.
The permit gives woodland access to the hunt on specific dates and gives hunters the go-ahead to continue terrorising and killing forest foxes. ICABS believes that the hunt are now blooding their hounds in the woods in preparation for the next hunting season.
Last season, an anti-hunt campaigner in the area reported how he witnessed hunters cub hunting and interfering with fox earths in two local Coillte woods. ICABS entered into negotiations with the forestry board and last month received the good news that a permit issued to the hunt last year would not be renewed.
However, we have recently learned that the Galway Blazers were successful in an appeal to Coillte’s regional manager. Coillte Chief Executive, Martin D Lowery told ICABS: “I am advised by the Regional Manager that he has accepted that the Blazers had traditionally hunted over these lands, albeit not always under permit.”
In our bid to persuade Coillte to make their forests off-limits to foxhunters, we enlisted the help of TDs, Michael D Higgins and Tony Gregory who appealed to Coillte to keep the hunters out. However it seems the cruelty brigade hold the balance of power and are now free to continue terrorising foxes in these woods.
We need as many people as possible to write to Coillte and demand that forests in Galway and forests around the country are made off-limits to foxhunts. Ireland's wildlife are fast running out of safe havens. Please urge Coillte to show compassion for the creatures which live in their forests and keep all hunters out.
Martin D Lowery
Tel: 01-661 5666.