A number of foxhounds were killed yesterday after an Iarnród Éireann train hit the dogs who had strayed onto the railway track.
It is believed the dogs were taking part in a hunt along the railway tracks.
Waterford to Dublin train
A spokesperson for Iarnród Éireann confirmed to TheJournal.ie that a pack of hounds that were on the railway line just outside Mullinavat County Kilkenny were struck by the 14.50pm train from Waterford to Dublin train.
They also confirmed that a number of dogs were killed and the train suffered a small amount of damage.
The incident also caused the train to be delayed for a period of time.
“We would advise that no one should cross the railway line where there is not a designated crossing,” said the spokesperson, adding “it is extremely dangerous”.
No prior notification
She also added that no hunt group had given any prior notification that a hunt was taking place and that they would be crossing the line. “There were no prior arrangements made with Iarnród Eireann,” she said.
The Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland said they “wholeheartedly condemn the failure of the hunters to control the pack of hounds and to protect their welfare. The death of hounds while hunting is not an isolated incident, accidents in the past have involved road accidents, other train accidents and deaths of other animals caused by hounds out of control,” said their spokesperson.
“This is further proof that hunting with hounds is a danger to both animals and humans. Hunt hounds cannot realistically be controlled by hunt masters once they are on the scent of another animal. Hunting must be banned in this country for the welfare of all animals,” they added.
The name of the fox hunt group involved in this incident has yet to be verified. Hunt groups that operate hunts in the area have stated that they are not aware of any incident involving their group.