Prohibition on animal cruelty. Oh! Except in blood sports.

Just having a dip into the new Animal Welfare Act 2013.

The Irish government are admitting that hunting, coursing and fishing are cruel. But they’re not going to do anything about it.

Am sure I must be misunderstanding but …

Section 12 – Prohibition on animal cruelty

Pardon me paraphrasing the first ten subsections, but the act doesn’t appear to be copyable in the form I have it and I’m not about to type the whole thing out. Basically those first sections mostly say

Blah blah being cruel to animals is illegal and shall be punished

All well and good (though not entirely, but let’s leave those details for the moment).

THEN subsection 11 says:

(11) Nothing in this section applies in relation to anything which occurs in the ordinary course of –
a) fishing,
b) lawfully hunting an animal, unless the animal is released in an injured, mutilated or exhausted condition, or
c) lawfully coursing a hare, unless the hare is hunted or coursed in a space from which is does not have a reasonable chance of escape.

So … erm … let me get this right … animal cruelty is NOT prohibited by this Act in the cases of fishing, hunting and hare coursing. Good to know where the government stands on that one.

In case you didn’t get that the first time round, let me just reiterate – animal cruelty is explicitly and legally allowed by the government in Ireland under certain circumstances – fishing, hunting and coursing.

Or, put another way, the Irish government are admitting that hunting, coursing and fishing are cruel. But they’re not going to do anything about it.

As far as I can tell with a general search neither fishing, hunting nor coursing is mentioned anywhere else in the Act.

*hysterical laughter*

Now, it’s entirely possible I’ve read this wrong. Please do let me know if, and how, I’ve misunderstood if that is the case. I’m always open to discussion.

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Posted in Blood Sports, Legislation, Must Reads.


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  4. Yes, I know what you mean and I’ve raised the issue today in The Daily Telegraph. I’ll post any responses.
    PS Maggie is doing great, well & truly part of the family now and still giving fabulous head butts 🙂
    I’ll send on a recent picture soon.

    • Oh! Yeah – do let us know any responses – would love to see the article! Any chance ye can post a copy? And I’ll look forward to the pic 😀

  5. Hardly a surprise Muriell as the right to hunt animals (and course hares) is sadly endemic in rural Ireland. I recall standing on street corners, in Co,. Roscommon, many years ago advocating an end to Coursing which, after spending many years in England, I found barbaric and difficult to understand. Many letters to the papers were ignored and so here we are in 2014 and this wretched pursuit of animals, for fun, is still not outlawed. Shame on the Irish government!

    • I think what I do find surprising is the fact they admit that it’s cruel. And then think they’ll get away with saying they’ll do nothing about it. I know they’ve always allowed it but kinda got the impression it was more that they were saying there wasn’t a problem with it, ie. denying that it was cruel. The fact they actually admit that it’s cruel within the legislation is mind boggling to me – how can they say it’s cruel and get away with doing nothing about it? Dya know what I mean?

      Shame indeed 🙁

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