Ireland’s Ward Union Staghounds have been given permission to challenge the hunting licence issued by environment minister John Gormley.

The judicial review is expected to be heard in April and, in the meantime, lawyers for the hunt are trying to get the 2007 licence revoked and the 2006 licence — which would have allowed them to hunt as before — reinstated.

The Hunting Association of Ireland has also had good news. Hunt kennels will now be exempt from puppy farming legislation to take effect across the Republic.

Hunting officials are calling on the government to bring responsibility for hunting issues under the Department of Agriculture and Food and set up a dedicated team.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (14 February, ’08)