Charities join together with the public to ban hunting with dogs

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The League Against Cruel Sports and USPCA are calling on the public to support the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland.

Already illegal in England, Wales and Scotland, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where it’s still legal to hunt mammals for sport.

Speaking at the Together campaign launch, USPCA chief executive Nora Smith said: “People across all age groups and across all parts of Northern Ireland want this terrible form of animal cruelty to end. This is supported by recent polling which shows that between seven and eight people out of ten want to see a ban.

“The USPCA is pleased to join with the League Against Cruel Sports to campaign for a ban. Together we can make a positive change.

The League Against Cruel Sports and USPCA are calling on the public to support the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press EyeThe League Against Cruel Sports and USPCA are calling on the public to support the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye
The League Against Cruel Sports and USPCA are calling on the public to support the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

“We are asking for the public’s help to ensure we introduce legislation by signing our petition. We want all of our politicians to get the message that the majority of people here are against hunting with dogs.

Robbie Marsland from the League said: “Chasing and killing a mammal with dogs has no place in today’s society. We are asking people to let our local politicians know that this cruel killing of wild animals has to end.

“There are humane alternatives such as drag hunting which allow for the traditional pageantry but crucially don’t involve encouraging a pack of dogs to chase and kill wild animals across the countryside.

“While farmers need effective methods of pest control, evidence shows that hunting with dogs isn’t one of them. It’s a sport that is cruel to the wild animals and the dogs that are forced to kill them.”

The League Against Cruel Sports and USPCA are calling on the public to support the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press EyeThe League Against Cruel Sports and USPCA are calling on the public to support the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye
The League Against Cruel Sports and USPCA are calling on the public to support the campaign to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

The Together Campaign is asking people to take some simple steps for change:

  1. Sign the petition
  2. Tell people you have signed the petition, especially politicians
  3. Ask people to sign the petition - ask family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and school mates “have you signed yet?”

Follow the campaign for change

To show your support and help end hunting with dogs, sign the petition at https://takeaction.league.org.uk/page/144213/petition/1

Meanwhile in response, Gary McCartney, director of Countryside Alliance Ireland, said: “Hunting has been part of the Northern Irish countryside for hundreds of years and there is no justification for banning it.

“Where laws have been passed in other countries it has been a divisive and time consuming process which has done nothing for animal welfare and in many cases seen the populations of quarry species decline.

“The Countryside Alliance and the hunting community support any serious efforts to tackle cruelty and wildlife crime, but we will oppose any attempt to legislate against properly conducted hunting activity.”