Animal Voice - November 2005
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports
In This Issue:
01 Animal Voice Magazine - Now Available
The new print edition of Animal Voice featuring 44 pages of campaign news is now available. If you are not currently an ICABS subscriber, please consider subscribing now to ensure that you receive a copy of the magazine. If you require additional copies to give to friends, please let us know and we will send them to you.
An advertisement flier currently being distributed by cable and telephone company, Chorus, is suggesting a visit to one of Europe's cruellest events - the Pamplona bullrun.
Showing a photo of a bull on both the front and back, the flier contains the following statement: "Connect to Cablenet Broadband from Chorus and you can do virtually anything. From downloading music and mp3s to booking hotels and flights...to Pamplona for instance."
In a letter to the PR Department of the Limerick-based company, ICABS expressed disappointment at their suggestion that people book a flight to Pamplona. We also called for the flier to be withdrawn.
"The Pamplona bull run is synonymous with awful cruelty to animals," we stated. "The bulls are frightened into stampeding through the streets with the use of electric shock prods and sharpened sticks. Along the route, they slip to the ground and invariably sustain painful cuts and bruises and sometimes broken bones. At the end of the day, they are brutally killed in the local bullring."
We also drew attention to the fact that, over the years, numerous people have sustained severe injuries - fatal on at least 13 occasions - during the Pamplona bullrun.
Quoted was an extract from an article by a BBC News correspondent who witnessed a fatal goring there. In his report, Andrew Walker wrote: "The fighting bull which gored [the victim] weighed half a tonne. It hit him in the abdomen, severed a main artery, sliced through his kidney and punctured his liver, before tossing him seven metres (23 feet) in the air...In the car, 40 minutes later, heading out of town, the local radio told us what I already knew, that Matthew Tassio had died in hospital of massive blood loss."
In response, Chorus Public Relations Manager, Edwina Gore, stated that the flier is part of an advertising campaign which also includes cinema and radio ads. This campaign, she claims, "does not suggest people should visit Pamplona nor promote bull running or blood sports".
"The campaign was designed by our parent company and has been implemented right across Europe to show how easy it is to use our broadband product to research your holiday, book flights and hotels, upload your pictures, and lots more, with a little bit of humour," she added.
ICABS finds this response unsatisfactory and hopes the company will consider the cruelty of the Pamplona bullrun and stop publicising the event.
Please contact Chorus and ask them why they chose to publicise one of Europe's most cruel and inhumane events. Ask them to scrap the Pamplona ad campaign.
Edwina Gore, Public Relations Manager
Barry Johnson, Sales And Marketing Director
I have just learned that Chorus is circulating a flier which uses the Pamplona bullrun as a theme. The flier contains a photograph of a bull during a bullrun and states that those who use your broadband service can do "virtually anything - from downloading music and mp3s to booking hotels and flights...to Pamplona for instance".
Considering the extreme animal cruelty associated with the Pamplona bullrun, I find it offensive that Chorus is suggesting that people book a flight to go there. It is wrong to trivialise an activity which results in the suffering and brutal killing of animals and I hope your company will stop publicising the Pamplona bullrun.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.
Clonmel Chamber of Commerce is currently publicising the blood sport of hare coursing on its clonmel.ie website.
In a section headed "What to do", the site lists the local coursing meeting and the national coursing meeting, both due to be held in January 2006.
Please write to the Chamber of Commerce and appeal to them to stop publicising an activity which involves animal cruelty.
Ms Elaine McGowran
Tel: 00 353 (0)52 26500
In September, the Environment Minister granted another licence to the Irish Coursing Club for the netting of hares from the wild. ICABS has obtained a copy of the 74 clubs around Ireland where these hares will be terrorised during meetings between now and the middle of February. To find out the dates of coursing meetings in your county, please visit the "Latest News" page of the ICABS website.
On 27th October, the European Parliament approved an amendment to the 2006 EU budget which would end EU subsidies for livestock farmers who raise bulls for bullfighting. This is a hugely significant development! The final decision on the matter rests in the hands of the Council of Ministers.
Please join us in writing to the Irish Minister for Agriculture (or the Agriculture Minister representing your country) and asking her to vote in favour of this important amendment.
Minister Mary Coughlan
Dear Minister Coughlan,
The European Parliament has just approved an amendment to the 2006 EU budget which calls for an end to "special incentives" for beef producers in the European Union who raise bulls to be used in bullfights.
I urge you, Minister, to ratify the decision of the European Parliament on this issue.
Westmeath County Council has confirmed that the exercising of foxhounds in a local lake has been "discontinued".
ICABS contacted the Council after reading a July 2005 report in the Irish Field which stated that "[Westmeath Hunt] staff exercise the hounds early in the morning. This regularly ends with a swim in the lake, where huntsman James Lowry and whipper-in Noel Murphy give them the lead by wading out into the water."
In our correspondence to the Council, we highlighted how foxhounds are known to be potential carriers of parasites and disease. We pointed out that the lake in question - Lough Owel - is both the source of Mullingar's drinking water and a popular site for recreational users.
Responding, Michael Connolly of Westmeath County Council's Environment Section stated: "We have investigated the matter of hunt dogs swimming in Lough Owel. Our investigations revealed that the use of Lough Owel as outlined in the article extract was a relatively minor part of the dogs' daily exercise routine and has been discontinued."
ICABS has learned that the national survey of hares is now underway. The project is being carried out on behalf of the National Parks and Wildlife Service by Quercus, a research partnership between Northern Ireland's Environment and Heritage Service and Queen's University, Belfast.
A final report, based on the hare survey findings, is expected in June 2007. We will bring you more news and updates on the survey as soon as they become available to us.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has renewed its appeal to the French Government to end bullfighting in the southern part of the country. The call comes following the release of horrific images of bloodied bulls being dragged from a French bullring. (To view the images, visit the "Latest News" page of the ICABS website).
The shocking scene captured by Saskia Oskam of Anti Bullfighting Committee the Netherlands shows the dead animals with chains around their heads being pulled from a bullring in the French Riviera resort of Frejus.
Back in January 2005, ICABS applauded the French village of Mouans-Sartoux when it made history by becoming the country's first to declare itself anti-bullfighting. It was a tremendous move which other towns and villages are being urged to follow. However, until legislation is introduced by the government to fully outlaw bullfighting, the blood sport looks likely to continue in France. Despite opposition to bullfighting among a majority of French citizens, it continues to be permitted in 68 towns in the south of the country.
Please join us in our appeal to the French President and Prime Minister to intervene to finally rid France of this deplorable activity.
President Jacques Chirac
Mr Dominique de Villepin
Please ensure to send a copy of your correspondence to:
The Frejus Tourist Board Email: email@example.com
Mr Frederic Grasset
Find the contact details for a French Embassy in your country at: http://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/france/
I am writing to demand that bullfighting is finally banned in France.
Bullfighting is an horrific blood sport which should have no place in a modern country like France.
Recent images from the town of Frejus show the bloodied victims of bullfighting in Southern France. I hope that you can act to bring this animal abuse to an end in your country.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive reply.
ICABS Vice-president, Tony Gregory TD, has asked the Minister for Finance to clarify what constitutes a sport for the purposes of the Taxes Consolidation Act. This follows the sickening revelation that several hunts are currently enjoying tax exemption under Section 235 of the Act. The text of the Dail Q&A appears below.
ICABS will continue to demand an end to tax exemption for any group involved in killing animals for fun.
Dail Question & Answer
Question 89 - Answered on 13th October 2005
Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for Finance the areas in which the Revenue Commissioners grant tax exemptions to sporting groups; if the definition of sport is that as outlined in section 25 of the Finance Act 1932; and if this definition will be followed when deciding on qualifying activities for the purposes of a tax exemption under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. [28509/05]
Minister for Finance (Mr Brian Cowen): Section 235 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 governs the operation of the tax exemptions provided in the case of sporting bodies. The provisions of that section are administered by the Revenue Commissioners. Section 235 provides tax relief upon the income of any body of persons established for and existing for the sole purpose of promoting athletic or amateur games or sports. Relief from capital gains tax and dividend withholding tax is also provided for under the Taxes Consolidation Act. Two categories of sports bodies are embraced by the provision: a body promoting an athletic game or athletic sport; and a body promoting an amateur game or amateur sport.
Section 25 of the Finance Act 1932 was an amendment to the Finance (New Duties) Act 1916 which provided for the charging of a since defunct excise duty on specific entertainments. That has no relevance to the tax exemption provisions in the case of sporting organisations and is therefore not followed when determining which bodies qualify for the relief.
In addition, a scheme was introduced in 2002 whereby tax relief is available on donations to approved sports bodies for approved capital projects similar to the tax relief in place in respect of donations to charities. This relief is aimed at providing support to sports bodies around the country that are engaged in projects of a capital nature such as the construction or refurbishment of sports facilities. There are currently some 1,500 tax exempted sports bodies, a full list of which is published on the Revenue website under publications/lists of bodies and organisations that qualify for relief - No. 17.
"The wonder horse made his return to the track at Exeter yesterday after bursting a blood vessel in March...Paul Carberry, riding Best Mate for the first time, recognised the athlete beneath him was weakening. The partnership pulled up. Best Mate was being trotted back to unsaddle when he suffered a catastrophic heart attack just by the final obstacle. Carberry jumped off and screens were swiftly erected to mask the gelding's prone body from the crowd. As Best Mate was loaded into the horse ambulance, vet Bob Barker worked desperately to resuscitate his heart but, by then, he was almost certainly already dead." (Irish Independent, November 2nd 2005).
"Cows, sheep, ducks and other animals were painted the colours of Kerry to support an upcoming game in which the local farmer was supporting...On a Kerry radio station, ARAN's John Carmody blasted not only the farmer involved, but also the local Kerry SPCA inspector who thought this was perfectly okay as the animals were not harmed." (Animal Rights Action Network newsletter, October 2005).
"A lady in Ireland came home last week to find a dog with his scalp mutilated and both his ears removed. This appeared to be carried out by someone using a crude blade as the skin is hacked and infected. As greyhounds are tattooed on both ears to identify them for racing and coursing purposes, this practice is becoming all too common in Ireland and the UK." (Greyhound Action Ireland on the appalling practice of removing the ears of greyhounds before the animals are abandoned.)
"This year, thanks to a new rule, coursing clubs cannot legally capture pregnant hares for coursing, though female hares can still be coursed at all baiting events. Minister Dick Roche obviously believes that coursing clubs can be trusted to leave expectant female hares in peace when they trawl the fields in search of live bait. Perhaps his department will make scanners available to the ever so sensitive nature lovers who conduct these netting operations so that they will not take pregnant hares into captivity." (Extract from a letter to the editor by John Fitzgerald of the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports).
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