Animal Voice - December 2008
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports
Also Available: Animal Voice - The 2008 Annual
In This Issue:
01. Happy Christmas from ICABS
A very happy Christmas to you from all at the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. We thank you for your support throughout 2008 and look forward to your continued help with our campaigns in 2009.
Please view your "Happy Christmas from ICABS" video card at: http://www.youtube.com/greeting_view?s=wGgMQDFTYPE&p=EBCDC60F80A66799 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8m_f-Mvb0o
Show you care about animals this holiday season - choose from our selection of 9 exclusive Christmas cards. Click on Downloads at www.banbloodsports.com and scroll down to Greeting Cards for the full selection!
Please consider making a donation to the Irish Council Against Blood Sports this Christmas. We rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to help ensure that our campaign goes from strength to strength. To make a donation today, click on the Paypal logo at www.banbloodsports.com or click on Join ICABS. Thank you very much.
Please make a special effort to support the peaceful protest against hare coursing on 4th February 2009.
The protest is being jointly organised by ICABS and ARAN.
To pledge your presence at this important event, please email "I'll be there for the hares on 4th February" to email@example.com
Keep an eye on the ICABS and ARAN websites for more details - www.banbloodsports.com and www.aran.ie. Thank you very much. We look forward to seeing you on the day.
The Labour Party's spokesperson on Arts, Sport and Tourism, Deputy Mary Upton, has questioned the Agriculture Minister about the stance the new Animal Welfare bill will take in relation to the blood sport of hare coursing.
Minister Brendan Smith declined to clarify whether the bill will bring coursing to an end, saying that "it would not be appropriate to comment on specific issues to be included in the Bill until the consultation process is completed." Deputy Upton's question and the answer received from Minister Smith can be read below.
Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Mary Upton: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the status of the Animal Welfare Bill; when this Bill will be published; the stance this Bill will take on hare coursing; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: (Brendan Smith): A good deal of work has been undertaken on drafting the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill which gives effect to a number of animal health and welfare commitments contained in the Programme for Government.
My officials are currently meeting with organisations that made submissions on the draft Bill following the public consultation process initiated by me earlier in the year. It would not be appropriate to comment on specific issues to be included in the Bill until the consultation process is completed. I would however state that the Bill is intended to update existing legislation to ensure that the welfare of all animals is properly protected and that penalties for offenders are increased significantly.
1. Urge Minister Brendan Smith to ensure that coursing and all blood sports are banned under the new legislation and that those convicted of such cruelty receive heavy fines.
Minister Brendan Smith
TO: Agriculture Minister, Brendan Smith, TD
Dear Minister Smith,
I am writing to register my opposition to hare coursing and all blood sports in Ireland.
I fully support the Irish Council Against Blood Sports call for the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill to outlaw these cruel activities.
If this new bill is to be credible as a modern piece of animal welfare legislation, it must outlaw coursing, foxhunting, hare hunting and all forms of hunting with packs of hounds as well as such obscenities as digging out and terrierwork. Thank you, Minister. I look forward to your response.
Top Irish author John Banville, has expressed his support for the ICABS campaign against hare coursing. Mr Banville, who won the Man Booker Prize for "The Sea", stated: "I'm utterly against the foul practice of hare coursing."
Responding to a letter from ICABS last month, Mr Banville said he believes it is good that photos of coursing continue to appear in the newspapers "to show people just how horrible it is". "Keep up the good, and vital, work," he added.
ICABS is delighted to have the support of John Banville in our campaign to secure an end to coursing in Ireland.
Join us in our appeal to Minister John Gormley to save the Irish Hare from coursing cruelty by withdrawing the licence he issued.
Minister John Gormley
To: Environment Minister, John Gormley Copy To: Green Party TDs, Senators From: [*** Insert Your Name and Location Here ***]
Dear Minister Gormley,
I share the view of Irish author, John Banville, that hare coursing is "a foul practice". I implore you to act now to stop the suffering and death being caused to Irish Hares - please withdraw the licence you issued to the Irish Coursing Club.
Thank you. I await your response with the greatest anticipation.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has expressed its disgust at the brutal attack on three horses in Waterford (on the night of 17th December). Gardai are asking anyone with any information about this appalling incident to please call them immediately on 051-305300.
Waterford's WLR FM has reported that the horses were attacked in both the Ballybeg and Williamstown areas: "The first attack occurred on the Ballybeg Link Road last night, the second near the Halting Site in Williamstown this morning. In all three cases, the horses legs were almost severed."
PAVEE Point travellers centre has condemned the attacks as extreme animal cruelty and say that it marks a new low in the conflict between feuding families. The horses had to be destroyed due to the severity of their injuries.
In an email to the Garda Commissioner, ICABS stated: "We hope that every possible effort will be made to apprehend the sick individuals responsible for this appalling cruelty."
In November, the Kilkenny People newspaper invited the public to express their views on foxhunting in Ireland. The following are some of the anti-hunt comments recorded on the paper's website - www.kilkennypeople.ie
Philip P Lynch, Chairman Farmers Against Fox Hunting and Trespass: "Contrary to the fox hunt peoples' statement, they do not ask permission and even when we erect "No Fox Hunting" signs, the hunt people tear them down or alter them to read "Fox Hunting Here". The Gardai have been notified of this vandalism. We farmers appeal even now to the hunt, to re-erect those signs with the original notice. Why do we farmers suffer the expense of giving the message that we do not want our barbed and electric fence wire cut, our fences destroyed, our crops and grass land poached , our livestock scattered and injured and at times killed. All contrary to EU reps and TB eradication and road safety requirements. Thus putting farm income payments at risk."
Patie from Galway : "STOP HUNTING ANIMALS. Oh you would lose your job? Well then GET ANOTHER ONE that doesn't involve the slaughtering of defenceless and innocent creatures. You know, the kind of jobs that the REST OF US HAVE!"
Augie, South Dakota: "Absolutely, fox hunting should be banned. Foxes should not be run down to exhaustion by dogs and men on horses. This is cruel!"
Lilly, Dublin: "Any person who can hurt any animal or allow any animal to be purposely hurt are sick and twisted people and are capable of anything. Stop the cruelty."
Lisa F, N Ireland: "Ban this disgusting "SPORT" , what pleasure is got from chasing and killing an innocent sentient animal, they feel fear and pain and anyone killing for fun should hang their heads in shame...[The hunters] turn the dogs into bloodthirsty savages, and if you have ever seen footage of fox hunting it's horrendous and totally inhumane and not called for at all. Why in 2008 do we still murder animals for fun, we're far from civilised! But what gives any of them the right to kill these animals...the government does, that's right...stand up and say no now!!"
Kilkenny People: "In reply to a comment made by Aaron [Dublin], the Kilkenny People would like to point out that fox-hunting is not classified as a 'Sport' on this website. The section with the 'Most Commented Article' appears at the bottom of the sports page, as it does on many other pages, and this week, that just happens to be this Fox Hunting story."
Ms M. Hanley, Galway: "Let's keep Ireland's special traditions and update the HORSE hunting sport so that it can allow people to participate in the sport without the chasing of fox. This can be done!!! Nobody that I know in fox hunting ever went out for the kill its for the participation and enjoyment of being involved in a horse sport."
Pat Kavanagh, Wicklow: "It's cruel. It's inhumane. It's barbaric. That's not 'sport'." PETA_John, Maryland: "Yes it should be banned! Fox hunters, like all hunters are nothing more then a bunch of cowards."
Stand up to the Hunt, Navan area: "We keep various types of poultry - hens, geese, turkeys, peafowl, guineafowl - as well as our dogs and cats in the farm yard and have been invaded by hunt hounds completely out of control on two occasions. My daughter-in-law and I had to literally beat the hounds to keep them from getting into our yard while the huntsmen were ineffectually trying to call them off. We have also had mounted huntsmen cut our fence and ride into our fields while we were shouting at them to keep out. We now patrol our boundaries when the hunt is in our area and have told them that uncontrolled dogs (hounds) on our land will be dealt with. They understand this and it seems to be the only thing to keep them out. I also go to the meet and remind the master of the hunt to keep of my land - very loudly and in words of one syllable so there is some hope people of their limited intelligence will understand."
LIndylooloo, Midlands: "I get tired of hearing from the hunters that hunting foxes is to control the population. It's not true. Vixens will naturally have more cubs as numbers decline to balance it. Very convenient to say that though, but it is not based on reality. As for cub hunting how more cowardly can it get?? What happens to the hounds if they are not up to scratch or old? What do you do with them? We never hear about that...You create aggression in these dogs that could lead to them attacking children. How irresponsible. Get a decent hobby that doesn't involve killing innocent and helpless animals! What kind of people enjoys seeing foxes and their cubs and all the other casualties that can occur being ripped apart by dogs whilst still alive anyway? Yuck!"
Bavaria from Waterford : "As a sheep farmer I would like to refute the nonsense posted here by foxhunters. First neither I or my neighbours here have any problems with foxes, even though there is a healthy population of them. Our greatest fear is DOGS. And there is nothing more terrifying and dangerous to a flock of sheep than a crowd of red coated clowns on horseback and a pack of howling dogs charging into them. You try to make it sound as if you have every sheep farmer phoning you up requesting your services [sic]. You are nothing more than a danger and intolerable nuisance in the countryside... I have lived in the irish countryside all my life and unlike your kind I get to see animals going about their lives, not running for their lives.There is no overpopulation of foxes in Ireland or any problem with foxes. I am a farmer and if foxes were a problem to my livelihood I would do something about it, but they are NOT. The problem for me is yobs on horseback with packs of dogs invading my lands and damaging fences and posing an intolerable threat to my livestock and this I will not tolerate. The reasons you give for the continuation of foxhunting make about as much sense as the reasons George Bush gave for invading Iraq."
Every week throughout the 2008-09 coursing season, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports will be reminding Minister John Gormley (Green Party) about the suffering being caused to thousands of hares thanks to a licence he granted to the Irish Coursing Club. Please respond every week to our updated Action Alert.
The licence issued by Minister Gormley allows thousands of hares to be forcefully removed from the wild in nets. The creatures, which will have suffered the stress of being netted, handled by humans and transported in crates to coursing enclosures, will be kept in captivity for up to three months. During this time, they will be mercilessly used as lures for greyhounds.
Some of the hares will be battered and mauled by the greyhounds. Some will sustain injuries so severe that they will die during or following the coursing. All will suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives.
Minister Gormley issued this blood sport licence despite compelling conservation reasons for it to be refused. The licence is also contrary to the Green Party's pre-election promise that they would end blood sports in government
Attention: Environment Minister, John Gormley
Dear Minister Gormley,
Over the Christmas holiday season, hares will be used as live lures for greyhounds at the following coursing meetings: Tradaree, Roseberry, North Kilkenny, Borrisoleigh, Kerry, Cork, Dundalk and D'Hill, Mooncoin, Roscommon, South Clare, Wexford, Abbeyfeale, Fethard, Athy and Old Kilcullen.
I wish to express my great disappointment that this animal cruelty is taking place as a direct result of a licence you chose to grant to the Irish Coursing Club earlier this year. This was despite an official report confirming that the conservation status of the hare is 'POOR' and that persecution of the species is one of the 'local factors likely to negatively influence hare numbers'.
It is shameful that a cruel blood sport like coursing is still taking place in a modern Ireland. Minister, please recall the Green Party's pre-election promise to end blood sports and act now to stop this cruel activity.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive action for the Irish Hare.
Witness the lengths to which followers of the Ward Union hunt will go to hide the suffering caused to deer during their cruel hunt - please watch the new ICABS video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEk3WocBIGk
This short film includes November 2008 scenes in which hunt monitors from the Irish Council Against Blood Sports are verbally abused and harassed on public roads. Also shown is the vehicle of a hunt follower driving slowly in the middle of a road in an attempt to interfere with the monitoring and filming of the hunt.
The film ends with a montage of footage captured by ICABS over the past few hunt seasons. The footage shows terrified deer being chased by the hounds, cornered, bitten and dragged head-first to the ground. All footage was filmed during Ward Union hunts in County Meath by Irish Council Against Blood Sports monitors.
Please respond to our ongoing action alert. Ask Minister Gormley to stop licensing this cruel hunt and to fulfil his party's pre-election promise that they would end blood sports when they got into government.
Email "Ban the Ward Union carted deer hunt" to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Minister Gormley's office on 01 888 2403.
ICABS Vice-President, Deputy Tony Gregory, has questioned Minister John Gormley about the five and a half month duration of the Ward Union's current deer hunting season.
Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the basis of the decision to specify a five and a half month hunting season in the recent licence granted to a hunt (details supplied).
Written reply. Ref No: 43827/08
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Gormley): Section 26(1) of the Wildlife Act 1976 provides that I may grant to the master or other person in charge of a pack of stag hounds, a licence authorising the hunting of deer by that pack, during such period or periods as is or are specified in the licence.
The Ward Union hunt applied for a licence for the 2008/2009 season from 13 October, 2008 to 31 March, 2009 and the duration of the licence issued was in line with previous licences which were valid for similar periods. While the licence for the 2007/08 season was valid from mid December, 2007 to 31 March 2008, this was due to issues of serious concern to me which needed to be addressed prior to my decision on the licence application.
While out monitoring the Ward Union carted deer hunt in November 2008, an Irish Council Against Blood Sports' cameraman came within feet of being struck by one of the hunt's horses. The horse, ridden by a red-coated member of the hunt, was forced up a steep slope, through a hedge of thorny briars and out on to the road. The ICABS hunt monitor had to quickly step backwards to avoid being struck.
The horse was described as wincing in pain as the thorns scraped along its face, mouth and body.
The moment is captured in an ICABS video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBiBXLNTuJs
ICABS has reported this incident to Environment Minister, John Gormley (Green Party) who licenses this hunt. We have presented the footage to him as another example of the danger posed to members of the public when hunts encroach on to public places.
Email "Ban the Ward Union carted deer hunt" to email@example.com or telephone Minister Gormley's office on 01 888 2403.
Help highlight the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' campaign against hunting and coursing cruelty. Please add us as a top friend on your MySpace, Bebo and Youtube pages and repost our regular bulletins. If you have a website, we would be grateful if you could link to us or display an ICABS banner (For linking options, please click on Links at www.banbloodsports.com and choose Link To Us). Thank you very much.
The addresses are:
A book by one of Ireland's most vocal and prolific anti-coursing campaigners has this month been published. "Bad Hare Days" by Kilkenny native, John Fitzgerald, documents his determination to help secure a ban on the blood sport and details the devastating persecution he has suffered for his beliefs.
You can purchase the book from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Hare-Days-John-Fitzgerald/dp/1905513674
Red coats should be hung up
Dear sir - Coming up to Christmas, it is saddening to see that a Darwinian form of pest control is still being sold as entertainment to the masses on St Stephens Day in Meath. To focus on the cruelty perpetuated in the annual Boxing Day hunts as reason against its happening, would gladden the insides of the bloodthirsty few who grace the horses back. However, it is sufficient to say such a 'sport' has no place in humane and educated society.
It is interesting to note that the Hunting Association of Ireland speak of this 'sport' going back to ancient times and featuring strongly in Celtic literature as if its existence transcended imperialism and establishment. Whilst it is true that hunting finds its roots in ancient culture, the form that the 'sport' takes around the fields of Meath, makes it disturbingly hard not to mistake it for a remnant of British aristocratic life that is unappealingly dated. This is particularly so, given that fox hunting is banned in the UK itself.
Public en-masse celebration of hunting, the pomp and grandeur attached to it, is somewhat reminiscent of the medieval scenes of public executions and humiliations. Whilst celebrating country ways of life is culturally important, hunting with its horrific and bloody connotations; its symbolism, exuberant with power and elitism-has no place in modern Meath. The bloodied red coats should be hung up in the pages of history,
Farmers and foxhunters
Madam - The foxhunters have been active again since November 1st, and farmers throughout the country can expect the usual bad behaviour from these people, who think nothing of invading land where they're not welcome, ploughing through boundaries, knocking walls, breaking fences, cutting wire, terrorising and stressing livestock (which can lead to injury and death) and treating farmers with derision and arrogance.
Many farmers have to resort to the expense of placing advertisements in their local papers warning foxhunters off their lands - something they shouldn't have to do, since entering onto lands to hunt a wild animal, without the permission of a landowner, is a criminal offence under Section 44 of the Wildlife Act. Similarly, allowing dogs to run riot, and clearly out of control, is a breach of the Control of Dogs Act. But foxhunters seem to believe they are above the law of the land, as they routinely flout these laws, and consider themselves answerable to nobody.
It is time the law of the land was enforced where these hunters are concerned, and indeed farmers and landowners should acquaint themselves with their rights under these laws. No farmer should have to go it alone through the civil route, and pay hefty legal fees to get redress under the law.
Any farmer who has suffered trespass or hounds rioting on his lands should report the matter to Garda and insist that the law of the land be applied to this criminality. - Yours, etc,
Should fox hunting be allowed in Ireland
Looking at the photo of the carnival in Gowran, the people in fancy dress performing on horseback in the street in the November 14 edition of the paper, we could be excused for thinking it was the 'Yeo Dragoons' heading for Vinegar Hill again.
They, the hunt, were on the road all day. If they had asked permission I am sure they would have been allowed to hunt on the race course. But maybe the race course committee did not want them, or their damage, no more than us farmers. Do the fox hunt people ever read the local papers? If they did they would see all the no hunting - lands preserved notices. These constitute 80% of landowners in the endangered areas. 56 farmers from Ballymack to Kilmaganny, 25 over Thomastown, the Bramblestown area, farmers in Kells, Mooncoin, North Kilkenny, Tullaroan, where men have been very badly treated, we have a video of hunt actions now available to RTÉ.
Also the hundreds of farmers who as groups or individuals, stud farms and landowners who do not want their livelihood vandalised and state so in the Kilkenny People at their own expense. Contrary to the fox hunt peoples' statement, they do not ask permission and even when we erect "No Fox Hunting" signs, the hunt people tear them down or alter them to read "Fox Hunting Here". The Gardai have been notified of this vandalism.
We farmers appeal even now to the hunt, to re-erect those signs with the original notice. Why do we farmers suffer the expense of giving the message that we do not want our barbed and electric fence wire cut, our fences destroyed, our crops and grass land poached , our livestock scattered and injured and at times killed. All contrary to EU reps and TB eradication and road safety requirements. Thus putting farm income payments at risk.
We "Farmers Against Fox Hunting and Trespass" are appealing to government to ban fox hunting in the interest of good and healthy farming and in the country's interest, as in the UK, spare us farmers this vandalism. Then the hunt people could operate drag hunts (a pre-laid scent) confined to their own land area sparing us commercial farmers all this arrogance, abuse and damage.
Yo Charlie, I will say the photo will still be as good with drag hunting.
But you might get a cheer in the meadows, remember do not follow the fox into farm land without permission, you will be putting your dogs at risk of a reaction. Drag hunting only, will make happy farmers, but we croppies will not lie down.
Please thank the President of the Municipality of Viana do Castelo, in Portugal, for putting an end to bullfights in this city and for deciding to purchase and convert the town's bullring into a science and education centre. Encourage Defensor Moura to go one step further and make Viana do Castelo Portugal's first anti-bullfighting city
In an interview in Portuguese newspaper "Diario de Noticias", Mr Moura stated: "We are in the 21st century and the sacrifice of animals - if it can at all be justified in places where there is a local important bullfighting tradition - can find no justification in Viana do Castelo. We have no bullfighters, forcados, bulls or horses...To maintain a place to sacrifice eight animals per year has no justification."
Mr Defensor Moura
Dear Mr Moura,
I wish to congratulate you and the Municipality of Viana do Castelo for your decision to purchase a local bullring and convert it into a science and education centre. This admirable move is greatly welcomed by the majority of people in Portugal and around Europe who want the barbaric practice of bullfighting ended.
We hope that you will now make the historic decision to declare Viana do Castelo Portugal's first anti-bullfighting city.
Many thanks for your positive action.
[*** Insert Your Name and Location Here ***]
Ban Blood Sports in Ireland
As a tourist, I will avoid bullfighting locations in France
Stop bullfighting in Catalonia (ADDA)
Vote against bullfights in Mexico
Protect animals from cruelty at Mexican market
"How often it happens that we come across deer that have been badly wounded but not killed and left to die a lingering and painful death of malnutrition or severity of wounds. And that is a regular occurrence..." (Liam Nolan of deer hunting-related group, Deer Alliance, Morning Ireland, 18 November 2008.)
"Any landowner who suspects that [the illegal shooting of deer] is going on would be well advised to contact his or her local conservation ranger. but that, of course, is a different issue because if 14,500 Gardai can't control the criminal activities of a couple of families in Limerick, what hope have a few dozen conservation rangers in terms of stemming poaching in the wilderness mountains of Donegal or Wicklow or wherever it may be." (Liam Nolan of deer hunting-related group, Deer Alliance, Morning Ireland, 18 November 2008.)
"A person, without the duly given consent of the owner, shall not- (a) enter and occupy any land, or (b) bring onto or place on any land any object, where such entry or occupation or the bringing onto or placing on the land of such object is likely to - (i) substantially damage the land, (ii) substantially and prejudicially affect any amenity in respect of the land, (iii) prevent persons entitled to use the land or any amenity in respect of the land from making reasonable use of the land or amenity, (iv) otherwise render the land or any amenity in respect of the land, or the lawful use of the land or any amenity in respect of the land, unsanitary or unsafe, (v) substantially interfere with the land, any amenity in respect of the land, the lawful use of the land or any amenity in respect of the land." (Amendment to Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994 - to read the amendment in full, please click on Links at www.banbloodsports.com and scroll down to Irish legislation links)
"Some falls go down in hunting folklore. Like the girl who fell into a seemingly innocuous muddy patch that turned out to be a six-foot-deep hole full of slurry run-off from the farmer's yard. Or the man who was left clinging to a branch that was overhanging the river while his horse swam away downstream. Or even the pair of cowboys who decided to jump a massive hedge without checking if there was wire on the other side. Sometimes your fate is in the lap of the gods and sometimes it's simply your own fault." (from a pro-hunting article in the Farming Independent, 18 November 2008)
"Just recently Irish author John Banville blasted Trinity College in Dublin for using animals in medical experiments. His comments to Trinity College made national headlines across Ireland! Shortly after, Irish Sunday newspaper - The Sunday Tribune, made a freedom of information request to Trinity College which unearthed heartbreaking details of how much money is squandered in animal experiments, plus the massive amount of animals that undergo painful and deadly experiments, animals such as dogs, pigs and others." (from the Animal Rights Action Network website - www.aran.ie)
The 2008 Annual Edition of Animal Voice is still available to download!
You can download now from:
If you would like to receive a hard copy of the newsletter, please email us now.
Educate others about the cruelty of blood sports! Please download ICABS videos, copy them to your portable media player and show them to as many people as possible. Encourage your friends to become active in the campaign against blood sport cruelty and subscribe to Animal Voice by emailing "Subscribe" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why not arrange a meeting with your local TDs and show them the terrible reality of blood sports. Ask them to support legislation outlawing foxhunting, carted deer hunting, hare coursing, mink hunting and other blood sports.
To download the videos, please click on "Videos" at www.banbloodsports.com, choose the video you wish to download and click on the Download link. Thank you.
Make it known publicly that your land is off-limits to hunters. Place a preservation notice in your local newspaper now. Below is a sample preservation notice which you may wish to use.
"Take notice that all my lands at [Insert address(es) of land] are private and preserved day and night. All forms of hunting and shooting are strictly prohibited. Trespassers will be prosecuted. Signed [Insert name of landowner]"
Note: Regardless of whether or not you publish a preservation notice, hunters have no right to enter privately-owned lands without permission. It is unacceptable for them to claim that they didn't know that your lands are private and preserved. However, many landowners choose to publish a preservation notice to make it abundantly clear to hunters that they are not allowed to enter the land. For more information about how you can keep hunters out, please click on "Farmers" at www.banbloodsports.com
Farmers affected by hunt trespass may also wish to contact the Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass organisation which offers advice to landowners. Chairman, Philip Lynch, can be reached at 056-7725309. Visit the FAFT website at: www.myspace.com/farmersagainstfoxhunting
Foxhunting is one of Ireland's most cruel and inhumane activities. Foxes are chased to exhaustion and ripped apart by packs of hounds. If they manage to find refuge underground during a hunt, terriers are sent after them to viciously drag them back out into the open.
Please call on Agriculture Minister, Brendan Smith, to ensure that foxhunting is banned under the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill.
View our Foxhunting Cruelty Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjN67BVuk9I
SAMPLE LETTER 1
Minister Brendan Smith
Dear Minister Smith,
I am one of the majority of Irish people who want foxhunting banned. Please ensure that the Animal Health and Welfare Bill prohibits the chasing of foxes with packs of hounds and the associated foxhunting cruelty of terrierwork, digging out and earthstopping. Foxhunting is an abhorrent assault on our wildlife heritage and a complete ban is long overdue. Thank you. I look forward to your response.
SAMPLE LETTER 2
Minister John Gormley
Dear Minister Gormley,
I am writing to appeal to you to amend the Wildlife Act so that foxes are protected from the terrible cruelty of foxhunting. Foxhunting is one of Ireland's worst blood sports; it is totally unacceptable that our wildlife legislation is failing to save foxes from the horrific injuries and deaths they suffer during hunts.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive reply.
Appeal to all Irish politicians
Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace foxhunting with the humane alternative - drag hunting. Drag hunting sees the hounds chasing a scent which is artificially laid across the countryside. This form of "hunting" is already practised successfully by a few groups in Ireland. In a modern and civilised country like Ireland, there should be no place for foxhunting, particularly when a transition to drag hunting would be simple.
Write to your TD at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Write to your Senator at: Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623. For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/.
Please join our appeal to Minister John Gormley (Green Party) to stop licensing the Ward Union carted deer hunt - a cruel "sport" which causes horrific suffering to defenceless red deer. According to official monitoring reports obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act, the victims include deer dying of aneurisms, a deer drowned in a quarry, a deer that died after sustaining fractured ribs, a deer hanging by its front leg on barbed wire and a deer that dropped dead after trying to escape over an 8ft wall.
Minister John Gormley
Dear Minister Gormley,
I am writing to urge you to stop licensing the Ward Union hunt for carted deer hunting activities. The captive bred, domesticated deer used by the hunt are protected animals under the Protection of Animals Act and may not be legally hounded by hunters. It is contrary to existing legislation to licence the activities of this hunt.
I implore you, as a Green Party Minister, to stop licensing this hunt. Thank you. I look forward to your response.
Yours sincerely, [Name/Location]
Tens of thousands of badgers have been cruelly snared and killed by the Department of Agriculture to-date. The assault on the badger species is part of their so-called TB Eradication Scheme, a failed and discredited operation that has been described as "slaughter masquerading as science".
View our Badger Snaring Cruelty Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMHFoPaeHo8
Please appeal to Agriculture Minister, Brendan Smith, to show compassion and suspend the cruel badger snaring operation. Remind the Minister that the badger is a protected species in Ireland and that the Protection of Animals Act, for which he is responsible, makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. Tell him that a recent report stated that "badger culling apparently has the capacity to increase badger-to-badger transmission of infection, potentially undermining anticipated reductions in badger-to-cattle transmission."
Minister Brendan Smith
Please write to the Minister for the Environment and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Remind them that the Wildlife Act, for which they are responsible, lists the badger as a protected species. Demand that they stop licensing the snaring and killing of thousands of badgers as part of a cruel and discredited TB eradication scheme.
Minister John Gormley
* Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe
I wish to register my outrage that tens of thousands of badgers have been cruelly snared and killed by the Department of Agriculture in recent years. There is absolutely no justification for using these cruel snares which cause terrible stress and suffering to badgers. When caught, the badgers struggle frantically throughout the night to escape before being shot to death by a Department of Agriculture employee.
This failed approach to eradicating bovine TB has been described as "slaughter masquerading as science" and it's not difficult to understand why. Tackling the disease should focus fully on developing a bovine TB vaccine (as is being done in the UK) and not using defenceless badgers as scapegoats. The badger is a protected species under the Wildlife Act and should be given the protection it is entitled to.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.
The status of the otter species is "poor" according to the "Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland" report published by the Department of the Environment in May 2008. Urgent action must be taken to help halt the decline in the otter population. It is imperative that this includes a ban on mink hunting, a blood sport which is not only cruel to mink but also results in huge disturbances to the otters which inhabit the same stretches of rivers.
View our Mink Hunting Cruelty Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cmsp7SjfVE
Dear Minister Gormley,
The "Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland" report reveals that the conservation status of the otter is "poor". I urge you to ensure that this precious species is given every possible protection. This protection must include a ban on mink hunting. With otters and mink inhabiting the same stretches of river, mink hunting is a significant threat to the otter species and its habitat. The disturbance caused by hunters on riverbanks and in the water can be clearly seen in an Irish Council Against Blood Sports presentation at www.youtube.com/icabs
As someone who opposes the cruelty of mink hunting and wants the otter's future safeguarded, I urge you, Minister, to bring mink hunting to an end in Ireland. Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.
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