Otter decline sparks fresh call for mink hunt ban
30 November 2006
ICABS has renewed its call on the Environment Minister to ban mink hunting, a blood sport which is not only cruel to mink but also results in huge disturbances to the otters which inhabit the same stretches of rivers.
"Water quality, riverside habitat and availability of suitable food are likely to be the most important factors determining the abundance of otters," the Otter Survey of Ireland report states, acknowledging too that otter hunting exacerbated the decline in the past.
The findings, first published in September, also note the possibility that in some of the 525 sites surveyed, otters are being deliberately disturbed by humans.
Thanks to years of lobbying by ICABS and an EU Directive, otter hunting is now illegal in Ireland. However, to circumvent the ban, otter hunters simply started hunting mink instead. We have always maintained that since mink and otters inhabit the same stretches of river, any form of hunting will significantly disturb the now protected otter.
The full report can be downloaded from the NPWS website by clicking on the following link:
Please contact Environment Minister, Dick Roche, and ask him to do everything possible to halt the otter decline - including a ban on mink hunting which results in severe disturbances to otters and their habitats.
Minister Dick Roche
Tel: +353 (0)1-8882403
Please also contact your local TDs/Senators and urge them to put pressure on the Environment Minister to outlaw mink hunting. Explain how mink hunting is a threat to the otter species.
Write to your TD at:
Write to your Senator at:
For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website at:
Dear Minister Roche,
I was dismayed to learn from the recently published Otter Survey of Ireland 2004/2005 that otters have declined by 18 per cent in Ireland and are continuing to decline.
I wish to take this opportunity to appeal to you to ensure that this precious species is given every possible protection. This protection would have to include a ban on mink hunting. With otters and mink inhabiting the same stretches of river, mink hunting must surely be considered a significant threat to the otter species and its habitat. The disturbance caused by hunters on riverbanks and in the water can be clearly seen in an Irish Council Against Blood Sports presentation at www.youtube.com/icabs
I urge you, Minister, to bring mink hunting to an end in Ireland. This would be a most positive contribution to preserving the declining otter population.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.
Video: Mink Hunting
Please see the new ICABS Channel at www.youtube.com/icabs for footage of mink hunting in Ireland.