Respite for game birds, not foxes
Madam, – All God’s creatures have a place in the choir. So sang the late Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem.
Unfortunately, it seems that some creatures have been dropped from the ensemble. The Department of the Environment has imposed a temporary ban on the shooting of game birds, effective until December 30th, owing to severe weather conditions. While this brief respite from man’s inhumanity is welcome, there is to be no let-up in the hounding of foxes and hares.
Foxes will continue to be chased to exhaustion and agonising death over the festive season. And the gentle hares will be snatched from their natural home in our currently frozen or snow-covered countryside and forced to run in terror from pairs of hyped-up greyhounds. As if the fox or the hare were immune to the ravages of Mother Nature. But the powerful, massively financed pro-blood sport lobby still holds our politicians in a vice-like grip. We saw its clout and influence in the run-up to the stag hunt ban last June.
A government with guts would face down the animal baiters and halt the twin obscenities of hare coursing and fox hunting. Sadly, political cowardice is something many of us have come to expect from those who govern us.
Will hell itself have frozen over before we see an end to blood sports in Ireland? – Yours, etc,