Hunters may benefit from Stena’s ferry discount
02 September 2005
Hunters affected by the British blood sports ban may be among those to benefit from a ferry company discount. Stena Line, which operates five ferry routes from the UK to Ireland, is currently offering members of the Countryside Alliance a 10 per cent discount.
Countryside Alliance campaigns for the continuance of “country sports” which, they state, are “central to our vision for a sustainable countryside”. Among those on the board of Countryside Alliance Ireland are Jerry Desmond of the Irish Coursing Club.
In a letter to Stena’s head office in Sweden, ICABS expressed our objection to this discount. We also asked what their policy is in relation to hare coursing, foxhunting and other cruel pursuits.
“These activities are now illegal in England, Scotland and Wales,” we stated. “Stena Line’s discount could act as an incentive for those involved in blood sports to travel to Ireland where they unfortunately remain legal.”
We added that since the majority of Irish people are opposed to blood sports, it very probable that a majority of the company’s Irish-based customers would also object to the discount.
In a reply from the company’s Dun Laoghaire office in August, Communications & PR Manager, Eamonn Hewitt stated: “To my knowledge none of the pursuits [which CA are involved in] are illegal in Ireland...In no way do we condone cruelty to animals nor do we see our offer to Countryside Alliance as support or subsidisation of blood sports.”
Please ask Stena to stop offering discounts which could encourage hunters to come to Ireland to kill our wildlife.
Eamonn Hewitt, PR Manager
I object to the discount being offered by Stena Line to Countryside Alliance. This organisation campaigns in favour of “country sports” (also known as blood sports) such as foxhunting and hare coursing. They state that these activities are “central to our vision for a sustainable countryside”. As one of the majority of Irish citizens who wish to see hare coursing and foxhunting banned, I find it very disappointing that Stena is offering discounts to Countryside Alliance members. Furthermore, I feel it is inappropriate for Stena to associate with any group which defends activities that are illegal in part of your route network.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.