Animal Rights Campaigner Bill Oddie To Call On MLAs At Stormont To Ban Hunting With Dogs

Veteran nature programme presenter Bill Oddie is in Stormont this week to call on MLAs to ban hunting with dogs.

                                                               Photo: ANDREW CROWLEY

The veteran animal rights campaigner, who is also the League Against Cruel Sports Vice President, will be at an event in Stormont this week where he will urge legislators to introduce a new law to clamp down on people hunting animals including deer, badgers and foxes with dogs.

The League says the results of an Ipsos MORI poll they have had carried out shows the majority of people in Northern Ireland support a ban. Mr Oddie will tell that Northern Ireland is the last place in the UK where setting dogs on wild mammals remains legal.

The Ipsos MORI poll shows that when the people of Northern Ireland were asked which if any of foxes, deer, and hares should remain legal to hunt by dogs; less than 1 in 20 supported deer hunting remaining legal, less than 1 in 8 supported hare hunting remaining legal and less than 1 in 5 supported foxhunting remaining legal.

Bill Oddie will ask the Assembly to “act on these strong public opinions”.

Speaking ahead of the event, he said: “The people of Northern Ireland have spoken: they want hunting with dogs banned in their beautiful part of the world. Cruelty to wild animals in the name of sport has no place anywhere in the 21st century.”

The League says it is clear there is “widespread revulsion for hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland”.

They add: “These results reflect recent polls undertaken in England and Wales which showed strong feelings about keeping the hunting ban. There, 80% want fox hunting to remain illegal, 86% for stags and 88% for hares.”

Janice Watts from League Against Cruel Sports NI said the MORI survey shows most people in Northern Ireland “view hunting with disgust”.

She added: “Three out of five people actually think this cruel activity is already illegal so it’s high time our representatives brought in a law to ban hunting.

“Our new charter urging members of the Northern Ireland Assembly to introduce new anti-hunting legislation is endorsed by animal welfare organisation across the country, reflecting the strength of feeling for a complete ban.”