I went into the Animal Welfare Conference in Dublin Castle on Friday, organised by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney. The first session was chaired and facilitated by Sharon Ní Bheoláin. The discussion at the first session was mainly about the welfare of dogs, cats, enforcement. Sharon who was directing the questions then posed the vital ones which had people protesting outside – the cruelty in practices like coursing with live hares, digging out of foxes etc. The hunting fraternity in the audience were not pleased and referred to the ‘extremists’ outside.
I then joined the so-called ‘extremists’ outside, many of whom I know are very committed, caring people who dislike the way many animals are treated in this country. How can we talk about animal welfare in one breath and in the next breath condone the mauling, tossing, injury of hares, terriers involved in a most cruel (even admitted as such by hunters) ‘digging out’ of foxes, snaring and shooting of badgers in the snare, leaving young badgers to die of starvation when other countries alternatives to the culling are being used effectively; fur farming; using large animals like tigers in circuses, illegal hunting, puppy farming.
Those are the causes the ‘extremists’ are highlighting and there was a really good attendance outside Dublin Caste. How come the hunting fraternity were invited and the Irish Council against Blood Sports were not? To be taken up with the Minister.