Hunting dogs stolen
MORE than 35 hunting dogs have been stolen in a spate of robberies in Cork over the past three weeks.
Hunt kennels and working terriers have been targeted in at least six robberies, culminating in the theft of half the pack of the Riverstown Foot Beagles kennels from Glanmire last week.
At least 25 working terriers and 10 beagles have been stolen in the past three weeks, prompting the Hunting Association of Ireland (HAI) to issue an alert to owners of working dogs everywhere.
The HAI has urged dog owners to secure their premises, be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Gardai.
However, the association also warns that locks are unlikely to provide any security as the thieves are believed to be using cutting equipment such as angle grinders to gain access to kennels.
The oldest beagle pack in the country, the Riverstown Beagles, celebrates its 125th anniversary this year but the club has been devastated by the theft of the hounds last Monday night. This is the second time the hunt has been targeted, having had seven hounds stolen in 2009.
Because hunting hounds are not traded commercially, it is difficult to put a monetary value on the stolen hounds but Richard Daly from the Riverstown pack described the hounds as "priceless".
"Their breeding goes back for generations, they are irreplaceable," he said.