Dáil vote on stag hunting


Madam, – Since we’ve been waiting for years for the reform of our antediluvian animal health and welfare legislation most of which predates independence, I was happy to see a section headed “animal welfare legislation” (Home News, June 29th).

Imagine, then, my disappointment to discover this header relates to a Bill which appears solely designed to ban stag hunting! An important issue no doubt, but when is the Government going to introduce its long- promised evidence-based legislation to protect the health and welfare of all animals? Or have the Greens, as it were, shot their load on stag hunting? – Yours, etc,


University Street,


Madam, – It was like a breath of fresh air to listen to John Gormley of the Green Party clearly articulating his position on the national news in relation to the blood sports and wildlife Bill amendments. It was in strong contrast to those baying for his blood. Is there any particular reason why such individuals are a rarity in Irish politics?

Since 1922, as a nation, we have been obliged to witness rural tribal politics played out by our Government of the day. With close to a third of the population living near or in what is still the capital of the Republic, is there any reason why both major parties are led by gentlemen, regardless of their adequate capabilities, from rural areas considerably removed from Dublin? It seems that in every part of rural Ireland, everybody now lives in comfortable haciendas up quiet boreens in strong contrast to the beleaguered and often run-down urban centres clustered around the few large towns that could be legitimately defined as “Irish” cities; namely Dublin, Cork, Limerick etc. It seems that the rustic tail consistently wags the urban dog, whether it be fox, greyhound or bloodhound. – Yours, etc,


Beechwood Lawn,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Madam, – It is both amazing, farcical and worrying that at a time when we are in the midst of an on-going financial crisis, having to prop up our banking system with billions, having the most expensive bread and milk in the EU, that the Government’s response is to bring forward a Bill to ban stag hunting. No doubt someone somewhere feels this is a matter of the utmost urgency. At least it’s providing for some hilarity in the country’s hostelries. It further demonstrates how out of touch are our elected representatives and shows the order of our Government’s priorities. – Yours, etc,


Bally Valley,

Killaloe, Co Clare.

Madam, – I have no interest in hunting, however I abhor anthropomorphic legislation.

I’m a veterinarian, and recently a client called to slaughter a magnificent animal with severe arthritis. The flowerpot politicians and buttered bureaucrats under the aegis of recent welfare and cruelty acts insist the animal to be shot, exsanguinated and, with its blood in a sealed container, dispatched to a licensed slaughterhouse within two hours. An acute paperwork deficiency meant the humane treatment of this animal was delayed for 24 hours.

However, the meat plant was unable to accept the animal the following day. The animal was dispatched 72 hours after the farmer sought a humane solution to a welfare problem.

On Wednesday, a vigorous young bull suffered coitus interruptus and fractured vertebra when it slipped performing an act of procreation. This broke-back bull must wait until Monday to be humanely dispatched, as the local abattoirs have been closed by the intelligentsia in Leinster House and the only accessible meat plant accepts animals on the first three days of the week.

This is welfare and cruelty legislation as it appears in the “Hills of Donegal”. Is the answer more legislation? I have legal concerns about the welfare of the stag, will he grown horns? Will he rut with such flower-power protection? How much does this legislation cost? Methinks like Nero they fiddle while the rest of us burn. – Yours, etc,


The Veterinary Clinic,

Malin Road,


Co Donegal.

Madam, – Fianna Fáil’s backbenchers are revolting, the party has gone to the dogs and they deserve to be hunted out of office. – Yours, etc,




Co Cork.