Five hundred. That’s the number of times hunts ride out in Northern Ireland each year.

Five hundred days out hunting foxes, hares, deer and other animals with dogs.

It is horrifying to consider the suffering of just a single fox, hunted down mercilessly with a pack of baying hounds. Chased for miles to exhaustion, until it is torn to pieces in a spectacle of unimaginable cruelty. But with the hunts riding out an estimated five hundred times a year, a similar fate awaits countless wild animals in Northern Ireland, day in day out, while this cruel ‘sport’ remains legal.

The scale of the suffering is almost unimaginable. That’s before even considering the ‘terrier work’ taking place across the country, with dogs sent underground to corner wild animals or force them to flee before being brutally killed. It’s a heartbreaking reminder of what’s at stake for the future of wild animals in Northern Ireland.

Can the cruelty be allowed to continue for even one more year?

There is a real sense that now is the time for change. A public consultation earlier this year garnered a record-breaking 18,425 responses, with more than 78 per cent supporting a ban on all hunting with dogs. National opinion polling tells a similar story. Politicians have taken up the charge, with John Blair MLA securing the permission needed for a bill to ban hunting with dogs to be drawn up. With that process now underway, there is a real

opportunity for us all to work together to stop the hunting of wild animals with dogs in its tracks. Zero days out hunting and killing animals with dogs.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is now on its annual summer break, so it is important now more than ever to keep the pressure up. To keep speaking out against the cruelty of fox hunting. To speak up for all those animals still persecuted in the name of ‘sport’. To keep the momentum going.

The Assembly returns to work in September. Let’s make sure our politicians know that when a bill to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland is brought before them, we are all behind it. For a complete ban on hunting wild animals with dogs, without delay.

Together, we can end this cruelty for good. Please sign the petition to ban hunting with dogs in Northern Ireland completely and for good.