Letter: We need laws on both sides of the border to end the plight of foxes, badgers and hares

A letter from John Fitzgerald:
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Animal lovers north and south will be delighted to hear that the Alliance Party MLA John Blair is to reintroduce his bill to ban hunting with hounds in Northern Ireland, which was narrowly defeated two year ago (‘Alliance MLA will bring fox hunting bill back to Assembly - but DUP say ministers should deal with issue,’ December 28)

If successful, the bill would end the deliberate chasing to exhaustion and death of foxes and hares.

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Apart from the inherent cruelty of these activities, there’s another factor that lends an even greater urgency to the need for this bill. When apprehended, badger baiters routinely claim that they were just digging out foxes that had gone to ground in badger setts.

Badger baiting gangs on this side of the border also use fox hunting as a cover for their ‘sport’, which involves pitting cross-bred dogs against a badger in a prolonged fight to the death. The suffering endured by dog and badger alike is beyond imagining. Huge sums are gambled on the fights.

The legality of fox hunting is a major obstacle to halting this nightmarish practice, here in the Republic as well as in Northern Ireland. We need a similar measure to the one proposed by Mr Blair to end the plight of foxes, badgers and hares nationwide.

We can’t claim to be committed to saving what’s left of our biodiversity if we allow these blots on the countryside.

John Fitzgerald, Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports, Callan, Co Kilkenny

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