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University equestrian club told not to engage in foxhunting
08 July 2009

Thank you to everyone who contacted University College Cork about the presence of UCC Equestrian Club members at a foxhunt in February. We are very pleased to report that a positive response received from the university has clarified that the foxhunt outing was "not an official club activity" and that the club has been instructed to not engage in fox hunting activities.

ICABS has thanked University President, Michael B Murphy for investigating the matter and for forwarding us a copy of a letter he received from the UCC Director of Sport & Recreation.

In this letter the director states: "UCC Equestrian Club competes in a number of equestrian-related activities such as show jumping, dressage, tetrathlon to name but a few. The club does not actively promote fox hunting. In relation to the foxhunt in question, I have been informed by the equestrian club that it was individual members who attended the event from a personal perspective and it was not an organised club trip."

Referring to the fact that the individuals were wearing club jackets displaying the college and club logo, she added: "I have advised them that this was inappropriate because it was not an official club activity. No funding was contributed to supporting these individuals attending the event from club funds. I have written to the club and instructed them not to engage in fox hunting activities as a club and if individuals within the club wish to attend such activities to refrain from using club gear."

In our original appeal to UCC we highlighted how a majority of Irish people want foxhunting outlawed. We quoted from an Irish Field report which outlined how several foxes were disturbed and chased during the hunt in question. One was found in a quarry and was forced to "drop down into a crack in the limestone" to evade capture by the pack of hounds. Another fox was described as "clearly feeling pressed" and was chased down a hill, across a farm lane, into gorse, under some sheds, onto a hill and through fields of slurry. The hunters and hounds, it was reported, continued to "hunt him down the valley" where he was marked to ground.

ICABS greatly welcomes the response from UCC. Please join us in our appeal to other universities to follow this example.

Video: Foxhunting cruelty

Foxhunting: More information

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