Sunday 18 November 2018

The guilty in pursuit of the innocent

From hunting to battery farming, it is in all our hands to end the torture of defenceless animals, writes Andrea Smith

'We're so deflated about the whole thing," bleated millionaire property developer and master of the Ward Union Hunt, Michael Bailey, following the delightful fiasco that unfolded on St Stephen's Day as the hunt adhered to new restrictions to its licence. "It's all about the thrill of the chase and that was lost here today."

The grinch who stole Christmas for the hunters is Environment Minister John Gormley, my new hero, who took a step in the right direction in relation to this heinous "sport" by issuing the hunt with a restricted licence. This meant that instead of pursuing a live animal, the hunt had to follow the scent of a deer, who was to be recaptured alive before the hounds were released.

Alas, it all went pear-shaped in Bellewstown, Co Meath as they lost the stag. As they sobbed into their pints afterwards, Bailey lamented how John Gormley was ripping the heart out of Ireland's rural community by "taking all our rural values away".

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