In a reply to a recent Dáil question, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said that live hare coursing will not be banned.
Despite this activity being outlawed in the land of its conception along with most countries of the world, our minister apparently refuses to accept that live hare coursing is riddled with cruelty, criminality and represents a slice of Irish humanity that resides in Darwin’s waiting room.
For a potential future leader of a political party, the lack of leadership on this issue displays a poverty of intellect and a misreading of the political runes.
Despite protestations that his department is making a difference in the lives of the non-human members of our society, the continuation of hare coursing and hunting with dogs drives a coach-and-four through existing animal welfare legislation.
There is no acceptable level of animal abuse. You cannot exclude certain animals from the protection of animal welfare legislation. Cruelty to one is cruelty to all.
Merit can be given to the view that this minister has no affection for bloodsports. It appears he lies in political hock to those who whisper in his cultured ear the view that if Ireland’s rural IS loses the man-made right to abuse and kill animals, then the fabric of rural Ireland will be shredded.
Given that the vast majority of rural dwellers do not support bloodsports and do not want animal abuse taking place in their communities, it offends democracy that this view is not converted into political action to represent the views of the people.
In the ‘Simple Simon’ nursery rhyme, Simon did not have a penny. Our political Simon is also missing something: the cojones to stand up to Ireland’s animal abuse community. It’s simple, Simon.
John Tierney, campaigns director,
Association of Hunt Saboteurs
PO Box 4734, Dublin 1