Greens propose NI hunting ban


The Green Party is to introduce a hunting ban Bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly, it was revealed today.

Fox and stag hunting and hare coursing could be ended under the plans, which will be unveiled in a consultation document to be launched on Wednesday.

Thousands of people showed up to protest outside the Green Party’s national convention in Waterford at the weekend after the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, introduced legislation to restrict the blood sport.

Green Party Northern Ireland Assembly member Brian Wilson said: “Legislation banning the hunting of wild mammals with dogs already exists in England and Wales and Scotland, so this Bill, which I hope to introduce to the Assembly before recess, will bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK and end fox and stag hunting and hare coursing.”

A group called Rural Ireland Says Enough (Rise) opposes Mr Gormley’s plan to ban the Ward Union Stag hunt in counties Meath and Dublin.

Up to 5,000 people - led by six riders on horseback - turned out to protest in Waterford on Saturday.

A constitutional challenge to the controversial 2004 Hunting Act has already been dismissed by the courts.

The law prohibits fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing with dogs in England and Wales.

The legislation polarised rural and urban Britain and prompted impassioned demonstrations by both sides of the debate.