Written answers

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Regulation of Hunting

Photo of Ruth CoppingerRuth Coppinger (Dublin West, Socialist Party)
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334. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if there is a need to introduce regulations surrounding the conduct of hunts and to licence hunts; if he has received any complaints regarding the conduct of hunts in the years 2011 to 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46721/15]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The regulation of hunting is primarily the responsibility of the Department of Arts, Heritage and The Gaelteacht, through The National Parks & Wildlife Service which issues hunting licences in the case of some species, including deer. Hunting also operates under codes laid down by the Hunting Association of Ireland. These guidelines must be observed at all times.

My Department’s responsibilities in relation to hunting derive from the Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013. Section 12 of the Act provides that the activity is lawful unless the animal is hunted having been released in an injured, mutilated or exhausted condition. The Animal Health & Welfare Act 2013 contains robust measures relating to the ill-treatment of animals and these can apply where hunting is not conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Therefore I do not envisage any further legislation in this area.

A small number of complaints about specific cases have been reported to my Department over the time period referred to by the Deputy, and where appropriate, these have been brought to the attention of An Garda Siochana.


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