Written Answers. - Stag Hunting.

Denis Naughten

Question:

83 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the number of licences issued by her Department for stag hunting in 1998; the plans, if any, she has to review the licensing system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19899/98]

One licence for the hunting of deer with a pack of stag hounds under section 26 (1) (ii) of the Wildlife Act, 1976, has been issued to the Ward Union Hunt by my Department in 1998. Having considered the advices of the Heritage Council in relation to the hunting practices provided for under section 26 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, I decided that, in the absence of evidence that the activities of the Ward Union Hunt have an adverse effect on the conservation of deer or wildlife and pending receipt of the views of the Attorney General in relation to the legal status of the deer in question, a licence should be issued in the normal way to the Ward Union Hunt for one further year. This licence specifies that the hunting should be carried out subject to appropriate monitoring and an assessment of the impact of the activity in co-operation with the Department of Agriculture and Food.