Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Fox hunting goes the way of bear baiting

Except in Ireland. This weekend, hunting with dogs will finally be illegal in England and Wales. It already is in Scotland. In Ireland, however, nothing has changed. Hunting deer and fox with hounds continues and hare coursing is still regarded as a "sport". It does look as though there may not be the large scale "hunt tourism" into Ireland initially feared, as the hunts here are much smaller than in England and say themselves that they can't accommodate extra numbers. As Northern Ireland retains separate domestic law in these areas, fox hunting continues to be legal there too, although "carted deer" hunting (where the deer is kept domestically and transported or "carted" to the hunt) and hare coursing have already been banned there by the back door.

Of course, when the UK proposes changing their law in a major way by making all residents carry ID cards, the Irish government says they may have to follow suit. But hunting is different clearly.

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