New figures show overwhelming suppprt for hunting ban in Northern Ireland

New figures published by the League Against Cruel Sports show an overwhelming 73% of people in Northern Ireland think fox hunting should be illegal while almost eight in ten people (79%) think hunting deer with dogs should be banned. 76% and 71% respectively think hunting hares and rabbits with dogs should be made illegal.

Furthermore, almost three quarters (73%) of those polled think the Assembly should revisit the issue after the Elections and introduce legislation which makes hunting with dogs illegal. The figures are being released just weeks before Northern Ireland goes to the polls to vote in the Assembly Elections 2022.

Janice Watt, Senior Public Affairs Officer for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “These latest figures show the vast majority of the public fully support a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs. However, more significantly, 73% think the Assembly should return to the issue after the elections, following two failed attempts in recent years to legislate to end the horrific cruelty of hunting with dogs.

“Northern Ireland is woefully behind the rest of the UK when it comes to hunting with dogs. It is utterly shameful that in this day and age, anyone can take a pack of hounds into the countryside and encourage them to chase, terrorise and kill wild animals purely for sport and entertainment.”

In December last year the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs. Members voted 38 for, and 45 against the Hunting of Wild Mammals (Northern Ireland) Bill. This was despite a ground-breaking 18,425 people responding to a public consultation on the issue with almost 80% of those in favour of outlawing this barbaric practice.

Janice Watt added: “It is clear there is huge public support for a ban on hunting as well as a strong political will to introduce legislation but it is frustrating the Assembly has failed to get this issue across the line.

“The League will continue to campaign for the introduction of a law which prohibits hunting wild animals with dogs, trail hunting, and terrier work and we hope the Assembly will listen to public opinion on this, and return to it as soon as possible after the elections next month.”


Notes to editor

  1. Fieldwork was carried out online between 4th and 15th February 2022 using a sample of 1,010 people, all of which are 18+ and resident in Northern Ireland.
  2. Media enquiries to Louise Robertson on 07930 539832 /

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