Rachel Woods MLA has criticised MLAs for voting down the Hunting of Wild Mammals Bill after its Second Stage debate in the Assembly today (Monday 6th December 2021).
The Green Party MLA for North Down said: “Hunting with hounds should have no place in our society. I don’t consider animals being ripped to shreds by packs of dogs as sport or entertainment. It’s also incorrect to represent hunting as a form of pest control – it is not ‘countryside management’.
“The Green Party NI has long been at the forefront of the campaign to ban hunting in Northern Ireland. In 2010, the Green Party NI introduced legislation to ban hunting, but this was unfortunately voted down in the Assembly. It’s deeply disappointing to see that over a decade later, so many of our politicians remain stuck in the past on this issue and do not reflect public opinion.
“Polls and consultations have repeatedly shown that a large majority of the public in Northern Ireland are in favour of a ban. It’s inexcusable that MLAs have today gone against the will of the public, and blocked this latest attempt to ban this cruel practise.
“This is especially surprising from Sinn Féin, as their party president last year committed to voting against foxhunting at the earliest opportunity. Despite this pledge, today Sinn Féin MLAs voted down the Bill. Voters are fed up with politicians not keeping their word, and I fear that Sinn Féin’s u-turn on this critical animal rights issue will further undermine confidence in our political system.
“The rest of the UK has accepted that hunting is an outdated an inhumane practice – Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom without a ban. Once again, some political parties here are holding Northern Ireland back from achieving progressive political change.”
Media contact: Jack O’Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)