Irish foxhunters, shattered by legislation earlier this year banning the 154-year-old Ward Union Staghounds, have been holding their collective breath for the next shoe to fall. The Green Party, instrumental in the staghound ban, were pushing additional legislation that would require all dog breeding establishments with five or more breeding bitches to be licensed and open to inspection by government department officials.
Effective lobbying, however, by HAI and FACE—multinational pro-hunting groups—has succeeded in securing a number of concessions for hunt kennels. Records of tattoos and microchipping will be kept in a HAI/FACE central database, and license fees specified in the bill will not apply to hunt kennels.
Green Party Minister John Gormley had promised exemptions for hunt kennels but did not deliver on an earlier draft of the bill. RISE! (Rural Ireland Says Enough!) was also instrumental in defending hunting against Green Party pressure. More details available in Hounds magazine, October 2010.
October 30, 2010