Dáil debate on animal cruelty

 

Sir, – Tonight (October 3rd) Dáil Éireann will debate a motion from the Independents 4 Change group focusing on animal welfare in Ireland that calls for “a clear message from Government that cruelty to animals is unacceptable and will not be tolerated”.

We welcome this debate, and hope that TDs from across the political divide will participate. Not a day goes by that a revolting act of inhumanity to an animal isn’t reported in either a daily paper or on local radio: horses tortured, abandoned, or found dead on roadsides, cats shot with pellet guns or thrown into fires, dogs found with ears hacked off, hedgehogs kicked to death, farm livestock left to starve. An endless list and a litany of horrors that shames our nation.

We hope too that at least some of the 114 TDs who last year voted down an anti hare coursing Bill may have had a change of heart in the meantime because, frankly, expressing one’s abhorrence of animal cruelty while condoning or supporting live animal baiting is hypocrisy.

A hunted fox or coursed hare feels pain as surely as animals targeted by teenage louts or people high on dope. They don’t suffer any less because blood sports happen to command the backing of respectable folk.

So let’s hope that no TD who sees the hounding of wildlife as a fun pastime has the nerve to speak out tonight against animal cruelty. – Yours, etc,

JOHN FITZGERALD,

Campaign for the Abolition

of Cruel Sports,

Callan, Co Kilkenny.