Heritage Council questioned over wildlife grant to gun club
13 March 2008
The awarding of a wildlife grant to a gun club has been questioned by ICABS Vice President, Tony Gregory, TD. The Leitrim shooting group received 4,000 Euro from the Heritage Council under its 2007 Wildlife Grants Scheme. ICABS is calling for groups connected to wildlife killing to be excluded from future grant schemes.
In a Dail Question to Environment Minister John Gormley, Deputy Gregory questioned the appropriateness of giving a grant to a gun club. Although the Minister outlined that he is not responsible for choosing grant recipients, he confirmed that the Council's function is to "propose policies and priorities for the...protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage."
In a letter to the Heritage Council, ICABS asked how they could justify a wildlife grant to a group involved in shooting wildlife. The grant was for a red grouse habitat survey and habitat management plan.
Responding, Heritage Council, Wildlife Officer, Cliona O'Brien stated: "Council assessed the project application on its own merits, determined the project met the relevant criteria and was awarded a grant."
The gun club which received the grant is affiliated to the National Association of Regional Game Councils whose members are responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of wild creatures every year.
In 2006, following representations from ICABS to the Heritage Council (relating to a massive grant for the eradication of rabbits from an island), we were led to believe that in the future, the Heritage Council would consider avoiding projects with connections to animal killing.
A Heritage Council spokesperson stated at the time: "The Heritage Council will address this more seriously in the grant programme from here on out. I would hope that for the 2007 round of grant awards, policy advice in this area will have been developed and issued from the Heritage Council where necessary."
ICABS has renewed its appeal to the Heritage Council to give a commitment that no further funds will be awarded to groups involved in the killing of Irish wildlife. Please help by responding to the action alert below.
Please contact the Heritage Council and ask them to exclude from its grant schemes any group connected with killing animals.
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