Stop bizarre deer hunting 'sport'
Brave minister creams Bailey
Sir -- It seems that the cavalry of the Ward Union, headed up by Michael Bailey, weren't able to whoop it up on St Stephen's Day when they couldn't hound a deer around the countryside for "sport", after Environment Minister John Gormley issued a restricted licence, which stipulates that deer must not be hunted by hounds (Sunday Independent, December 30).
For over 100 years now, this hunt, twice-weekly from November to March, has been subjecting tame deer to a distressing ordeal, leaving them exhausted, often injured and at risk of dying of heart failure, despite claims from one of their supporters that she had never seen a hunted deer injured.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, incidents of cruelty have been documented, such as deer dying of aneurisms; a deer choked on capture; a deer drowned in a quarry; a deer sustaining fractured ribs and dying; a deer hanging by its front leg on barbed wire; and lameness in deer following hunts. These, we believe, are just the tip of the iceberg.