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Republic's shocking record leaves Varadkar in no position to lecture the UK on animal welfare

Letter of the day: Bloodsports debate

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in an interview on RTE, queried whether the British would want their animal welfare and environmental standards lowered with the advent of Brexit, commenting that they love animals and (somewhat facetiously) observing that British people are to be seen outside supermarkets, collecting money for hedgehogs.

It's highly unlikely that the British would lower their animal welfare standards on exiting the European Union. In fact, England, Scotland and Wales demonstrated their animal welfare standards are higher than ours in the Republic, when they, on their own initiative and not responding to any European dictat, banned live hare coursing and hunting wild animals with dogs back in 2004, with Northern Ireland banning hare coursing in 2010, while fur farming was outlawed in the UK almost 20 years ago.

We, despite being in Europe and supposedly a civilised country, continue to permit horrendous animal cruelty, with the barbaric activities of fox hunting and hare coursing still perfectly legal and thousands of mink languishing in tiny cages in a couple of fur farms in the country, awaiting gassing and having the fur ripped from their bodies.

Only last year, 114 TDs, among them Leo Varadkar, voted against a private member's bill to ban hare coursing, as they turned a blind eye to the terrorising of timid, defenceless hares snatched from the wild in nets to be used a live bait for greyhounds at coursing matches, during which they are at risk of being mauled, injured and killed, as recently obtained video footage reveals.

The Taoiseach is in no position to lecture the British about animal welfare standards while he presides over a Republic that permits and condones the worst acts of cruelty to animals.

AIDEEN YOURELL

Irish Council Against Bloodsports

Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Belfast Telegraph

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