• Becci Pigeon

Historic opportunity to get fox, stag and hare hunting banned in Northern Ireland. You can help!

Updated: Jan 20

As we have discussed before, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK in which it is fully legal to hunt foxes, stags and hares with dogs--but now, we finally have a chance to change that! Alliance MLA John Blair has announced his plans to bring forward a bill that would see the practice banned here, bringing us up to date with Scotland, England and Wales, who had all done so by 2004. Blair has opened a very short, simple public consultation on the matter; the deadline for which is 12 February. You can find the consultation as well as additional information on hunting from the League Against Cruel Sports here.

Don't be fooled by politicians and hunt supporters who insist that this is a matter of 'rural' versus 'urban' populations--84% of people in Northern Ireland are opposed to the practice, and that includes farmers, who complain of trespass, damage to land and property and frightened animals. (Only 8% of those surveyed wanted hunting to remain legal; another 8% said they didn't know.) Nor is it a matter of 'pest control'--not only are fox populations self-regulating, hunts are actively farming and raising foxes in order to release them into the countryside for slaughter.

Hunting results in suffering, injury and death--not just to foxes, stags and hares, but to the dogs and horses forced to participate in the activity. The only individuals who do enjoy the practice are the tiny 8% of the population who find it entertaining to watch a terrified animal being torn apart by dogs. And now we have an opportunity to stop them from doing it legally: please respond to the consultation, and before 12 February!

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