Athlone vetinary hospital sponsors Westmeath fox hunters

VIA  Ban Bloodsports

A veterinary hospital in Athlone has sponsored an equestrian event organised by a foxhunt, ICABS has learned.

In a promotional graphic for the “Westmeath Foxhounds Hunter Trials” on March 5th, one of the listed sponsors is “Patrick McGuire (Athlone Vet Hospital)”. The graphic shows foxhunters on horseback alongside a pack of hounds.

In an email to Veterinary Surgeon Patrick McGuire, ICABS asked: “Surely you would agree that, given the animal cruelty inherent in foxhunting, it is entirely inappropriate for a veterinary hospital to sponsor a foxhunt-organised event.”

We outlined the horrendous cruelty of foxhunting in which foxes are chased to exhaustion by a pack of hounds and ripped apart when caught.

The cruelty of the Westmeath hunt is well documented. For example, a 2011 report in the Farmers Journal revealed that sixteen mounted followers of the hunt, along with 29 hounds, found a fox that was caught and “chopped”. Later on, another fox was “overhauled before he managed to put any distance between himself and them”. Both “chopped” and “overhauled” in hunting terminology mean that the fox was caught by the pack of hounds, torn apart and disembowelled.

In 2007, the Irish Independent reported that there was a probe into allegations that during a Westmeath Foxhounds hunt, a rope was tied to the leg of a fox and that it was pulled out of a burrow and fed alive to the dogs.

In 2008, an Irish Field report revealed that the Westmeath Hunt chased a fox into the freezing water of the Royal Canal. And in another report in the Irish Field in 1991, it was reported that a fox was dug out by Westmeath Foxhounds as follows: “Terriers were some time coming as car followers were the wrong side of the wind for hearing. A quick dig followed and two foxes were dispatched. Eamon had a brush for Clarissa and a fox’s tongue which he intends pickling in vinegar to cure warts and draw thorns.”

In February 2015, a disturbing Westmeath Foxhunt video emerged which provided an insight into the deplorable attitude hunters hold towards animals. At the beginning of the video, one of the hunters can be heard calling his horse a c***. In another scene, a female rider whips her horse 5 times in quick succession (forward to 03:00 minute mark).

Witness the cruelty of foxhunting in Ireland at


Urge Patrick McGuire (Athlone Vet Hospital) to stop sponsoring foxhunt-organised events.

Telephone: (090) 6474020

Sign our “Ban Blood Sports in Ireland” petition

Please join us in appealing to the Minister for Agriculture remove an outrageous exemption for foxhunting from Ireland’s Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @creedcnw

Contact the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Frances Fitzgerald and urge them to ban fox hunting.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Tweet to: @EndaKennyTD
Leave a comment on Facebook:

An Tanaiste, Frances Fitzgerald
Department Of Justice
51 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 1 602-8202 or +353 1 457 7712
Tweet to: @FitzgeraldFrncs

Appeal to all Irish politicians

Please contact all your local politicians and ask them to push for a ban on this cruel bloodsport. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses… Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.