FOLLOWING the BBC report of stag hunting in Co Down not so long ago, an investigation was held to find out whether accusations of cruelty could be upheld. Since the inquiry was carried out by three no-so-independent hunting organisations, the answer was unsurprisingly ‘no’. No kidding – what a farce.Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where wild stags can be hunted. However, I am aware of plenty of anecdotal evidence whch suggests stags are being illegally bred for hunting near Ballynahinch, and transported at night for hunting.
In one illegal enclosure where stags are kept, some have been spotted with no horns – a clear sign when they are eventually released that they are not wild.