Gormley grants coursing AND deerhunting licences
09 October 2009
Green Party leader and Environment Minister John Gormley has ignored appeals and issued a fresh licence to the Ward Union carted deer hunt. The disappointing move comes just weeks after the Minister greenlighted yet another season of hare coursing cruelty.
In an Irish Times article, a spokesperson for Minister Gormley claimed that “as the legislation currently stands he does not have discretion on not issuing it...He is required to issue the licence in a certain timeframe on an annual basis in order to provide them with sufficient time to prepare for the hunt season.” ICABS does not accept this - the Wildlife Act says that a licence "may" (not "must") be issued to deer hunters.
The licence also ignores the legal opinions of Trinity School of Law Professors, Clive Symmons and William Binchy, who concluded in a 2007 Irish Law Times report that the Ward Union is "illegal" under the 1911 Protection of Animals Act and that it shouldn't be licensed under the Wildlife Act.
Read the Irish Times report in full at www.irishtimes.com
If you would like to express your disappointment to Minister Gormley and enquire about legislative change, you can contact him at:
Department of the Environment
GORMLEY GRANTS HARE NET LICENCE
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports roundly condemns the decision made by Environment Minister John Gormley to grant yet another licence to capture hares from the wild for use as live lures for greyhounds in the cruel and primitive "sport" of hare coursing.
We are astounded that a "GREEN" Minister would issue such a licence, not only because of the inherent animal cruelty but also due to the fact that hares in the wild are in decline. Last year Minister Gormley himself issued a report on the Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland, which rated the conservation status of the Irish hare as "POOR" with reasons gives as loss of habitat, increased urbanisation and hunting. This decline continues, as a recent survey published in Northern Ireland shows, and in response to that decline all hare hunting across the border has been suspended for the last five years, with Edwin Poots, NI Environment Minister last week extending that protection for yet another year.
It is absolutely incredible that while our Northern Ireland neighbours are taking measures to protect the hare population, our "GREEN" Minister is recklessly allowing the exploitation of our vulnerable hares by coursers and other assorted hare hunters. He should have acted in concert with our close neighbours to protect the hare as part of an All-Ireland plan, and placed a temporary ban as they have done. (See below N.I. Department of the Environment Press Release below).
By issuing this licence, Minister John Gormley has disregarded the issue of cruelty. Every coursing season, hares are injured and killed by greyhounds at coursing meetings and last year was no exception, as reports obtained by ICABS under FOI revealed. For example, at Enniscorthy - 7 hares were mauled by dogs, with six dying of their injuries; Ballyheighue, Co. Kerry - 6 hares hit and 4 killed; Gorey -11 hares hit, 7 injured and 5 put down because of injuries; Doon - 11 hares hit, 4 died from injuries, and so the catalogue of cruelty continues, year on year, as we approach 2010 in a so-called civilised country!
Northern Ireland statement re protection order for hares
Department Of The Environment, Northern Ireland
Minister extends measures to protect Irish Hare
Environment Minister Edwin Poots, is proposing to renew the temporary ban on the killing, taking, sale or purchase of Irish Hares.
The proposal is to introduce a special protection order under the Game Preservation Act (NI) 1928, for the period 1 December 2009 to 11 August 2010, which includes the 'close season' for hunting hares.
Recent results from the 2009 Northern Ireland Irish hare survey have shown that there are approximately 27,400 hares in Northern Ireland .
Speaking today the Minister said: "The conservation mechanisms that my Department has put in place are bearing fruit and the number of Irish Hares is being sustained.
"However, until all data from the surveys undertaken so far can be analysed in 2010, I believe that there is a need for continued temporary protection. Therefore I am proposing that a new Special Protection Order should be made."
Notes to editors:
1. The results of the 2009 Irish Hare survey can be found at the following: www.ni-environment.gov.uk
2. Section 7C(1) of the Game Preservation Act (NI) 1928, provides that, where the Minister is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to provide special protection for any kind of game, he may by order prohibit the killing or taking, or the sale or purchase, of any game prescribed by the order, during such period not exceeding one year as shall be prescribed by the order.
John Gormley Issues 2009-10 Hare Coursing Licence
ICABS has learned today that Environment Minister John Gormley has ignored appeals from Ireland and around the world and issued a licence to the Irish Coursing Club for the 2009-10 season.
Minister Gormley can be contacted at:
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Minister John Gormley - Revoke the coursing licence
URGENT ACTION ALERT
More information about hare coursing
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