‘It’s a bloodbath’ – Kilkenny minister under fire as hunting season gets underway
A Kilkenny TD and minister is coming under attack for allowing what is being described as a “bloodbath” by animal rights campaigners.
As the hunting season officially resumed yesterday, Hertiage Minister and local TD Malcolm Noonan has come under pressure from Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) for not implementing a review on the impact of hunting on Irish bird populations.
As of this week, 17 bird species can be hunted in Ireland, with a further five from November on.
Minister Noonan has made a commitment to review how the shooting season impacts the bird population in Ireland. However, the review is not in place for this season.
ARAN founder John Carmody accused the Green Party and Minister Noonan, who stand on a policy of protecting nature, of “essentially standing over” the mass shooting of native birds this season.
“That is heart-breaking for a lot of people across the country who are bird-lovers knowing that these birds are essentially going to be blasted out of the sky from today onwards,” Mr Carmody said in an interview on NewsTalk.
“I can tell you here and now that what Green Party members are left are hanging by a thread and they are not going to be sitting there listening to this show happy with the fact that their minister Malcolm Noonan is literally standing over the shooting season.
“It is time we called this off. It is a bloodbath we will be seeing in the days and weeks ahead,” Mr Carmody added.
Responding to the criticisms, Minister Noonan released a statement in which he said he wants the slaughter to end.
“Biodiversity in Ireland (as it is globally), is coming under pressure from many different sources. Such pressures combined can have a negative impact on many species,” said Mr Noonan.
“Our wild bird populations are particularly susceptible and it is important that we fully understand how our actions and other factors cumulatively can impact on the viability of vulnerable bird species.
“Therefore, I believe it is necessary for us to look again at how our practices impact on our bird populations. It’s clear that we need a new way forward to ensure the sustainable hunting of birds of conservation concern in Ireland.
“To this end, I have established a working group in NPWS to determine the next steps and to invite stakeholders to participate in a collaborative dialogue in the coming months to develop a plan for a sustainable future for these species in Ireland,” Minister Noonan (pictured below) added.