A Brief Guide to our Campaign
FACE Ireland and the Hunting Association of Ireland have formed RISE! Rural Ireland Says Enough! to campaign at national, regional and local level to mobilise public and political opinion in support of our traditional field sports and rural pastimes. Together, these organisations represent more than 300,000 adherents of country sports.
FACE is the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation
of the EU, a non-profit making, non-governmental organisation that
has acted in the interests of over seven million European hunters since its foundation in 1977. The steering group of RISE! includes representatives of FACE Ireland, the HAI, and the Ward Union Hunt.
There are three imminent threats to rural sports:
- The Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009, proposed by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government,
is currently being debated in the Seanad.
- The same Ministers Wildlife (Amendment) Bill, which includes
a ban on stag hunting, is scheduled to be published between
now and Easter.
- The Animal Health and Welfare Bill is being drafted by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
These proposals represent part of a wider, fundamentalist Green
agenda being foisted on people.
RISE! says that packs of hounds maintained by hunt clubs for hunting should be exempt from the terms of the Dog Breeding Establishments
Bill 2009. There should be full consultation with all stakeholders before the proposed Animal Health and Welfare Bill is published or proceeded with and it should not be used to restrict the enjoyment of traditional rural sports. RISE! wants to retain the existing legal position in
relation to the annual licensing of the Ward Union Hunt.
The campaign calls for a comprehensive review of the existing licence conditions with a view to seeing how any legitimate concerns may be met without an outright ban.
Animal rights is essentially an ethical issue of conscience and there should be a free vote of all Deputies and Senators on any proposed ban.
RISE! calls on the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to continue to licence an extension of the open season on hares in accordance with Section 23 of the 1976 Wildlife Act, but in a timely fashion, as was done by his predecessors.
The RISE! case
The case made by RISE! is based on defending rural dwellers against further encroachment on their traditional rights. The threat to stag hunting is the thin end of the wedge. Fox hunting, hare hunting and coursing will be next and other field sports will follow.
The existing law works well and the activities of the Ward Union Hunt are closely monitored by Government inspectors. Hunting is a healthy, outdoor and family oriented activity.
A ban on stag hunting will withdraw 1.4 million Euro in spending power annually from the North East region. If it is followed by similar bans or restrictions on other field sports the withdrawal of spending power will be well over 100 million Euro.
The Ward Union Hunt has an exemplary record in managing its herd of pure bred Irish red deer, making it a unique ecological asset. If the ban proceeds, that entire heritage will be lost.
Hunting is not cruel to the deer and it is closely monitored by Government inspectors to ensure that this is so. It is not a danger to the public but further safety measures can be put in place if these are agreed to be necessary.
Rural Ireland says Enough! It is time to draw a clear line, to
resist these threats and to promote our traditional rural way of life.
RISE! is supported by people throughout Ireland who value our distinctive and traditional way of life. They are people who wish to conserve and develop a better way of life for themselves, their children and for future generations.
Rural dwellers have endured many setbacks: falling incomes in agriculture and related businesses, closure of schools, closure of post offices and Garda stations, closure of council offices, poor planning, lack of broadband, and lack of proper rural transport. Now, we face a threat to a distinctive form of recreation and sport that is enjoyed in rural Ireland by people from both rural and urban backgrounds.
This threat has no basis in science or research; quite the contrary.