Ireland's Agriculture Minister: Please Ban Extremely cruel practices under Animal Welfare Law

Ireland's Agriculture Minister: Please Ban Extremely cruel practices under Animal Welfare Law

October 8, 2012
Petition to
Leader of Ireland's Green party Eamon Ryan TD and 7 others
Signatures: 53,104Next Goal: 75,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by John Fitzgerald

Because these activities make life a living hell on earth for animals in Ireland.

Ireland’s animal welfare rules are supposedly being updated under a new law. Please tell our government to outlaw, as a matter of urgency, a number of extremely cruel practises that make life a living hell on earth for animals in Ireland...

Three of the worst practises are 1) Fox hunting, 2) Hare coursing, and 3) possibly the worst obscenity, the use of half-starved terriers and cross-bred dogs in “unearthing” foxes that seek refuge underground from pursuing hounds and hunt followers.

Foxhunting itself is bad enough, with the animals being hounded for hours until exhaustion delivers them to the hounds to be killed in a frenzy of biting and savagery, but the practise known as the “dig-out” is the by far the worst part of it.

This involves hunters using terriers and spades to “dig out” foxes that escape underground during a hunt. The spade men dig deep into the earth and drop a terrier down to attack the fox. The fox and dog savage each other, with the fox usually coming off worse, though the terrier also suffers horrific injuries. The terrier is then pulled back up, usually with its teeth sunk into the still live fox.

The fox is then thrown to the pack of hounds. If a hunt cannot retrieve a fox even after sending a terrier down, a pole wrapped with barbed wire is lowered into the hole and used to drag the distressed animal to the surface. This is immensely cruel in itself but the still live fox is then fed to the waiting hounds to be torn to pieces.

Even some pro blood sport politicians have indicated that although they do not wish to ban foxhunting itself in its entirety, they are repulsed by the “dig-out” practise.

This is where you come in, and where you can really help to end this horrendous form of animal cruelty. Please relay to the Minister via this petition the message that Ireland’s image as a nation will not in any way benefit from allowing this appalling practise to continue for one more day.

The picture shows the effects of this “sport”. We are sure you will agree that such treatment of an animal, any animal, is abhorrent in the extreme. It shows a foxhunter proudly displaying a fox his dog has “unearthed” and the dog that is, sadly, also a victim of this depraved activity.

Hare coursing can, and should, also be banned under the Animal Welfare Act, though it is currently exempted from prohibition. This practice, as you may already know, involves setting greyhounds after live hares in wired enclosures and results in thousands of these gentle creatures being horribly mauled or battered every year by the dogs for “sport”. And of course many dogs also are injured or die in the process.

So, we are asking you to sign this petition to ensure that fox hunting, digging out of foxes, and hare coursing are banned once and for all under the Animal Welfare Act.

Here is a brief video clip of a dig out:


And here is a series of slides exposing what happens during a dig-out:



Support now
Signatures: 53,104Next Goal: 75,000
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Eamon Ryan TDLeader of Ireland's Green party
  • Green Party of IrelandGreen Party HQ
  • Senator Pippa HackettMinister for Biodiversity, Ireland
  • Thomas Pringle TDmember of Irish parliament
  • Eamon O' Cuiv TDmember of Irish parliament