Ireland’s €50-a-week work experience scheme, JobBridge, set up by the outgoing government in 2011, has angered animal rights campaigners in the country by advertising for a fox hunting internship
Hundreds signed an on-line petition organised by the Irish Council Against Bloodsports (ICABS) calling for the removal of the internship from the JobBridge website.
It has been advertising for a “first whipper-in” with Waterford Hunt Foxhounds, based in Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford.
“The intern will gain practical experience in all aspects of venery, hound management, horse management, country preservation and preparation and veterinary care,” it said.
It promised formal and informal training in hound management, whipping-in, and etiquette.
On completion the intern would be well placed to take up a position in hunt service as a whipper-in and continue training towards becoming a professional huntsman.
Fox-hunting was outlawed in England in 2005 – although some parts of the country regularly flout the law – but it is legal in Ireland.
A whipper-in is an assistant to the huntsman whose job is to keep the foxhounds in line.
The Irish Council Against Bloodsports (ICABS) said: “Many citizens will be astounded and appalled that their hard earned tax euros are going to fund this horrific animal cruelty.
“It is outrageous that the Department of Social Protection is subsidising animal cruelty. We call on the acting Minister for Social Welfare, Joan Burton, to intervene to have Waterford Foxhounds excluded from the JobBridge scheme.”
Ireland’s Department of Social Protection said in response: “There are a range of occupations that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another. The Department does not act as an arbiter in these cases, but does, of course, make every effort to ensure that all internships comply with the Terms and Conditions of the scheme and all relevant legislation.”