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IRISH field sports groups have launched a counter-attack on animal rights extremists, who they claim seek to ban all hunting and disrupt businesses in the republic.
The Hunting Association of Ireland (HAI) held two seminars, entitled “Animal rights terrorism: Understanding the enemy” and “Vegan and animal rights extremists, their political ideology: Consumer intimidation” at a Dublin hotel on 7 and 8 August.
They invited representatives of the hunting, shooting and fishing fraternities in Britain, Ireland, Belgium, France, Australia and New Zealand, and businesses that have been targeted by extremists.
“We wanted to enlist the business community and send a message to the media and the public, distinguishing between animal welfare groups — which we support — and animal rights activists,” said Gavin Duffy, chairman of the HAI.
Keynote speaker at the conference was Dennis Foster of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America, described by Mr Duffy as the world’s leading authority on the animal rights movement.
Around 30 protestors gathered with placards outside the gates of the hotel during the seminars.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (21 August, ’08)