HUNT CRUELTY ALLEGATIONS
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) has called for a garda investigation into the complaints of animal cruelty during the recent foxhunt in Fermoy which was described as ‘an act of barbarism’ by one witness, who has given a detailed account of the allegations to The Avondhu.
ICABS issued a press release demanding that gardai make inquiries into allegations that foxes were mistreated at a hunt organised by Avondhu Hunt, as revealed in last week’s issue.
“It has been reported in the media that the incident is being ‘investigated’ by the Irish Masters of Foxhounds to which the Avondhu (Hunt) is affiliated, but as far as we are concerned, this amounts to foxhunters investigating themselves. This is a matter for the gardai, as they are the law enforcement agency in this country. Whatever the Masters of Foxhounds comes up with following their investigation is irrelevant as far as the law of the land is concerned”, the ICABS statement read.
A Fermoy garda source has said that they investigate all official complaints of animal cruelty. He specified, however, that these allegations must be made to the gardai officially and not through the media, suggesting that they have yet to receive any complaints on the matter. The Irish Masters of Foxhounds (IMFHA) have confirmed that the allegations of abuse came from hunters, and not from anti-blood sport activists.
One such enthusiast, who claims to have been hunting for 50 years, contacted The Avondhu claiming that the actions of the Avondhu Hunt ‘sickened him to the core’. The hunter described how a group of men dug foxes out of their underground hiding place with spades and bars, subsequently killing them in direct violation of what the person described as ‘the good sport’ to leave foxes who have outwitted the hounds alone once they are underground.
The allegations further suggest that two named hunters, one from the Avondhu Hunt and one from the Tipperary Ormond Hunt, waited with their hounds while another man tossed a helpless captive fox from a bag to the waiting dogs and were ‘implicit in this act of barbarism’.
The hunter is calling on the IMFHA, the sport’s governing body, to impose a life ban on both hunts involved and further believes that the current ban imposed on the Avondhu Hunt while investigations are ongoing is ineffective so close to the end of the hunting season, which finishes on April 30.
"It goes against my grain to report this to you but these hunts deserve to be exposed and the actions of the IMFHA need to be questioned,” the hunting supporter said. “I thought bagged foxes were a relic of darker times and consigned to the history books,” the source continued, “The gentlemen of the Avondhu and Ormond Hunts are stuck in the past and their actions will only hasten the demise of foxhunting in Ireland. The anti foxhunting brigade can hang up their boots, foxhunting will end as a result of the actions of its own followers”.
Speaking to The Avondhu, Brian Munn of the Irish Masters of Foxhounds, confirmed that the group met last Saturday and that a sub committee has been investigating the allegations by interviewing those involved in the hunt. This group will subsequently present a written report to the group.
The Irish Masters of Foxhounds will then make a judgement that will be passed onto the Avondhu Hunt Club.
Thursday 3rd April 6:59pm