Sunday 18 February 2018

Ward Union must leave deer alone

IT SEEMS that there is to be no respite for the Ward Union red deer, even though hunting them with a pack of dogs has now been outlawed. The hunt's new plan (Irish Independent, October 15) is to take out a deer, have it "roam" around the countryside for up four hours, capture it, then take out the dogs to follow the scent it left behind.

Taking a deer out and forcing it -- by whatever means -- to roam in the countryside in unfamiliar terrain for many hours, is frightening and stressful for the animal, which normally resides in a paddock with a herd. No doubt the hunt will want it to leave its scent over a wide range, so that they can have a good run with their horses and dogs.

So how does the Ward Union propose to make the deer do its bidding? Will huntsmen follow behind on foot and scare it into moving along? Then there's the capture, which is cruel in itself, with hunt followers literally wrestling the terrified animal to the ground.

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