Written Answers. - Fox Hunting.

Tony Gregory


55 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the plans, if any, he has to outlaw any of the cruel practices associated with fox hunting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16466/95]

It is generally recognised that field sports like fox hunting are part of the traditional fabric of rural life and have the support and participation of a broad cross-section of people in rural communities. Nevertheless, there are aspects of fox hunting which need to be considered from the standpoint of animal welfare and I have therefore arranged for an examination of the issues involved. This examination includes consultations with various interested organisations. I invite concerned parties who have not already done so to indicate their views on this issue to the Department. I will take a decision on the matter as soon as these consultations are completed.