Victory for Deer in Ireland

Posted by on August 2, 2010 | Permalink

© / PaulTessier

I don’t know much about sports. Ask me the score of the last football match, the name of a top rugby player or the rules of cricket and I won’t have a clue. Still, I know that a sport should be fair. There should always be a chance for the other team to win – otherwise there’s no point. By that definition, stag hunting (or any form of hunting for that matter) is not a sport. It’s torture masquerading as fun.

Fortunately, this barbaric “sport” has at last been made illegal in Ireland. The decision to ban the nation’s last remaining stag hunt, the Ward Union hunt, came shortly after PETA sent a letter to Ireland’s Labour Party letting it know exactly why the callous ritual has no place in modern Irish society.

Born and raised in captivity, the deer used in stag hunts are taken to unfamiliar terrain, where they are relentlessly pursued by hunters. Confused and terrified, they are chased over stone walls, barbed-wire fences, deep trenches and even through lakes and rivers. Their tongues hang out as a result of fatigue, and their eyes bulge with fear. Hunted to the point of complete and utter exhaustion, the animals are eventually cornered, wrestled to the ground and dragged to a cart – only to be used later for yet another senseless hunt.

Although hunters would have you believe that stag hunting is a gentle country pursuit, hunting is always a monstrously cruel practice. PETA applauds the Irish Parliament for realising that animals are not ours to use for “sport” and trusts that this victory will trigger a ban on other abhorrent practices – such as fox hunting and hare coursing – across the republic.