Written Answers. - Wildlife (Amendment) Bill, 1999.

Liam Aylward

Question:

89 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage Gaeltacht and the Islands further to Parliamentary Question No. 161 of 17 November 1999 regarding the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill, 1999, the progress to date on the sections of the Bill which have raised some concerns. [6488/00]

Second Stage consideration of the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill, 1999, commenced in Dáil Éireann on 17 December last. In my address to the House on that occasion, I indicated that I intended to make a number of changes at Committee Stage to the published text of the Bill.

Section 46 of the Bill as published proposes a ban on the use of lamps and similar devices in the hunting of any animal. A strong case has been made that this would restrict an existing practice whereby landowners control certain pest species and I therefore propose to amend this section so as to apply this control only in respect of protected species.

I also propose to amend the published text of section 51, which would have made it an offence to hunt with a dog, ferret or bird of prey, or to have control of a pack of hounds, on land without the owner's permission. It has become clear that this would impose new controls on existing legal forms of hunting, which were never intended, and I therefore propose to remove this change.