Newsletter

Animal Voice: September 2010
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

In this edition:

01. Animal Welfare Dinner - October 4th
02. Ask Minister Gormley to revoke coursing licence
03. Complaint to Church over priest's coursing connection
04. Priest presented trophy at coursing meeting
05. Download Animal Voice Action Alerts
06. Coursing is vile: Irish Independent Columnist
07. Urge MEPs to stop bull abuse subsidies
08. Tipperary pet shop sponsored coursing event
09. Landowners: Help save the Irish Hare
10. ICABS Action Alerts
11. NPWS inspectors seize 300 wild animals/birds
12. The documentary that exposed blooding in Ireland
13. Keep hunters off your land
14. Help stop illegal cockfighters
15. Campaign Quotes: September 2010
16. Letters to Editors: September 2010
17. Petitions

Animal Voice - Issue 9, 2010 Download (MS Word .doc, 214 Kb)

01. Animal Welfare Dinner - October 4th

A fundraising dinner to help support the Green Party's ongoing work to end cruelty to animals will take place on October 4th. Please support this unique event.

The four-course dinner will be served on Monday, October 4th 2010 at 7pm at a Dublin city centre venue. Tickets are 55 Euro and may be purchased online at http://animalwelfaredinner.eventbrite.com You are advised to book as early as possible as places are limited.

The Green Party says the evening will "mark the party's recent achievements in the area of animal welfare, particularly the ban on stag hunting and the regulation of dog breeding establishments, changes that will be followed later in the year by a new Animal Welfare Bill."

"People have campaigned for decades for these advances and we want to bring together animal welfare campaigners, supporters and activists to celebrate the occasion," they state.

On the evening, Minister John Gormley will say a few words about the party's achievements and other proposals that are coming down the line.

Please click here for more information

02. Ask Minister Gormley to revoke coursing licence

The 2010/11 coursing season has begun and thousands of hares are now being rounded up in nets across the country for weekly blood sport events. This latest season of hare abuse was greenlighted despite overwhelming opposition to the activity and fears for the future of the Irish Hare species.

Make your voice heard now. Demand an end to hare coursing in Ireland. Urge Minister Gormley to reflect the wishes of the majority of the electorate and revoke the licence he issued to the Irish Coursing Club.

Urge him to follow the example of Northern Ireland and mainland UK and urgently bring this barbarism to an end.

Watch our Ban Hare Coursing in Ireland campaign video at www.youtube.com/icabs

 ACTION ALERT 

Urge Minister John Gormley to revoke the coursing licence and put in place permanent protection for the threatened Irish Hare. Send a copy of your correspondence to all of your TDs and encourage them to back a ban on the blood sport.

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Custom House, Dublin 1.
Email: minister@environ.ie
[CC taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie - An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen]
Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses
http://www.oireachtas.ie/members%2Dhist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=30&disp=const
http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=12684&&CatID=138

03. Complaint to Church over priest's coursing connection

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is horrified to learn that a Catholic priest is chairman of a coursing development committee that "has been busy organising the Irish Coursing Club Stand [at the Ploughing Championships festival]". Fr. Dan Dunne of Ballyadams Parish, Co. Laois has been brought to the attention of church authorities as part of a formal complaint.

According to the Sporting Press, the Irish Coursing Club's newspaper, "The Coursing Development Group Committee, under the Chairmanship of Fr Dan Dunne, has been busy organising the ICC Stand and they look forward to welcoming thousands into their marquee over the three days."

"It is utterly shameful that a Catholic priest should be promoting and developing a barbaric activity which has no place in a civilised society and should be long since banned," said Aideen Yourell, Spokesperson for the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. "Not only that, he is in direct contravention of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly states that 'it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly.'"

Hares do indeed suffer as reports obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act show. The latest reports for the last season 2009/10 reveal that in Gorey, 12 hares were hit, 7 badly, with three deaths. Two days after coursing, the ranger discovered three more hares dead from injuries In Ardpatrick & Kilfinane last December, 16 hares were hit, 5 injured, 3 killed and another dead hare was found afterwards; 1 hare suffering from a dislocated hip was put down. At Tralee last December, 7 hares were hit, 1 put down, and a further 4 found dead afterwards; a ranger described a mauled hare with "marks on its back and bare areas", while a vet noted the cause of a hare death as "knocks sustained during coursing the previous day". Another ranger noted that the muzzle came off a greyhound which caught a hare in its mouth and ran up the coursing field with the "hare hanging limp", while a hare with a damaged leg was noted at Fermoy.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has made a formal complaint to the Catholic Church authorities regarding Fr. Dunne's connection to coursing.

UPDATE: Please see the Laois Nationalist report "Priest defiant over stance on hare coursing" for the latest on this story. http://tinyurl.com/37mrk8a

 ACTION ALERT 

Send a letter of complaint to the Church authorities

Mgr. Brendan Byrne
Diocesan Administrator
Bishop's House, Carlow
Email: brendan.byrne@kandle.ie
Tel +353 59 9176725
Fax +353 59 9176850

Send a copy of your correspondence to the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference
Columba Centre
Maynooth
Co. Kildare
Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3000
Fax: +353 (0)1 601 6401
Email: columbacentre@iecon.ie

Make a complaint directly to Rev. Dan Dunne PP
Tullamoy, Stradbally, Co. Laois.
Email: danielgdunne@mymeteor.ie
Tel: 059-8627123

SAMPLE LETTER
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter.)

Dear Sirs,

Paragraph 2418 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that 'it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly.' The Catechism also says that 'Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.'

I therefore appeal to you to intervene to urge Fr Dan Dunne of Ballyadams Parish to end his association with hare coursing, a blood sport that causes suffering, injury and death to hares. According to a Sporting Press report, Fr Dan Dunne is chairman of the Irish Coursing Club's Coursing Development Group Committee which 'has been busy organising the Irish Coursing Club Stand [at the Ploughing Championships festival]'.

I find it shameful that any Catholic priest should be involved in promoting and developing a cruel and barbaric activity such as coursing. I hope you will act to ensure that clergy connections to coursing are ended.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

04. Priest presented trophy at coursing meeting

ICABS has brought to the attention of the Irish Bishops Conference a priest who presented a trophy at a coursing meeting earlier this year.

According to a report on an Irish coursing website, "Fr Dan Greene" presented a trophy following the "Glencar Stakes for bitches" at the Tipperary and District coursing meeting in February 2010.

Photos on the website show hares desperately running for their lives in front of muzzled greyhounds.

In our correspondence, ICABS urged the Irish Bishops Conference to act to end clergy association with coursing. We pointed to the Catholic Catechism which makes it clear that 'it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly.'

In coursing, hares do indeed suffer as monitoring reports obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act show.

 ACTION ALERT 

Urge the Irish Bishops Conference to act to end clergy association with coursing and all blood sports.

Irish Catholic Bishops Conference
Columba Centre
Maynooth
Co. Kildare
Tel: +353 (0)1 505 3000
Fax: +353 (0)1 601 6401
Email: columbacentre@iecon.ie

SAMPLE LETTER
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter)

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to urge you to please act to bring to an end the association with bloodsports of some members of the clergy.

Paragraph 2418 of the Catholic Catechism states that 'it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly.' The Catechism also says that 'Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.'

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

05. Download Animal Voice Action Alerts 2010

Download and distribute copies of Animal Voice Action Alerts 2010. Featuring a roundup of all the year's action alerts, the newsletter can be downloaded as a pdf or viewed by clicking on Newsletters at www.banbloodsports.com

We would be grateful if you could photocopy the newsletter and place copies in your local library, veterinary surgeon's waiting room, animal welfare stands, etc and distribute among your friends and family. Thank you.

06. Coursing is vile: Irish Independent Columnist

The following piece by Ian O'Doherty is from the Irish Independent of September 22nd 2010...

The Catholic Church has always had a bit of a PR problem in this country. As the brighter sparks in the church will admit, they have a bad image problem and they need to start changing people's perception of them.

It is, I suppose, a question of hearts and minds -- if you present a warmer, cuddlier facade, then people will start to love you again.

So kudos to Catholic priest Fr Daniel Dunne who is doing his level best to improve the Church's image and reputation in this country -- by organising the Irish Coursing Club's stand at the National Ploughing Championship.

Coursing, as you know, is the vile and cruel practice of killing hares for fun.

It's antiquated, barbaric and taps into the darkest reaches of the human psyche -- deriving pleasure from watching a creature smaller and weaker than you being torn limb from limb.

And, according to Irish Council Against Blood Sports: "It is utterly shameful that a Catholic priest should be promoting and developing a barbaric activity which has no place in civilised society."

A Catholic priest involved in a barbaric activity that has no place in a civilised society?

Hmmm, where have we heard that one before?

07. Urge MEPs to stop bull abuse subsidies

According to a Daily Mail newspaper report, the European Union spends 37 million a year subsidising the bullfighting industry.

Since the subsidy scheme was introduced in 2005, it has reportedly spent 185 million supporting blood fiestas and bullfighting. By the end of 2010, the total is expected to jump to nearly a quarter of a billion.

Who's paying for all this? European taxpayers, including the majority who are opposed to bullfighting barbarity.

The EU ploughs tens of millions of pounds into the towns that host animal cruelty spectacles and has even funded the renovation of bullrings, the Mail report reveals.

Some MEPs are now campaigning to have bullfighting officially recognised as part of Europe's cultural heritage.

Please join international efforts to ask the European Parliament to reject attempts to classify cruelty as culture. Get in touch with all Irish MEPs now and ask them to work to bring to an end the subsidisation of bullfighting and blood fiestas.

The email addresses for all of Ireland's MEPs are: proinsias.derossa@europarl.europa.eu,joe.higgins@europarl.europa.eu,gay.mitchell@europarl.europa.eu,liam.aylward@europarl.europa.eu,mairead.mcguinness@europarl.europa.eu,nessa.childers@europarl.europa.eu,sean.kelly@europarl.europa.eu,brian.crowley@europarl.europa.eu,alan.kelly@europarl.europa.eu,marian.harkin@europarl.europa.eu,jim.higgins@europarl.europa.eu,patthecope.gallagher@europarl.europa.eu

For more info on MEPs, visit http://dublin.adagio4.eu/preview/en/irish_meps.html
Read the Daily Mail article at http://tinyurl.com/3556hdd

08. Tipperary pet shop sponsored coursing event

ICABS was disgusted to learn that a pet shop was one of the sponsors of a coursing meeting earlier this year.

According to an Irish coursing website, the winner of a coursing event at the Tipperary and District Coursing meeting in February got her trophy from "Micheal and Pascal O'Connell sponsors from the All Creatures Great and Small pet shop in Tipperary Town".

09. Landowners: Help save the Irish Hare

With a licence from Minister John Gormley, Ireland's coursers are currently netting hares for their cruel blood sport and will continue to do so over the coming months. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on landowners to act to keep coursers out and save hares from the cruelty of coursing.

If you are a landowner, please download, laminate and display copies of our poster - "Hare Sanctuary - No Coursing, No Netting, No Hunting". Please note that the licence does not give coursers the right to enter land without permission; if a trespass occurs on your land, please contact the Gardai immediately. The contact details for Garda Stations can be found on www.garda.ie

Thank you very much.

Download the poster now (pdf, 92kb)
or click on FARMERS at www.banbloodsports.com for more info

10. ICABS Action Alerts

Please visit our new Action Alerts page for quick and easy access to all the latest ICABS action alerts. Click on the red Action Alerts banner on our homepage - www.banbloodsports.com - to access them now! Thank you.

11. NPWS inspectors seize 300 wild animals/birds

Inspectors seize 300 wild animals from private homes
by Ken Foxe, Public Affairs Correspondent
Sunday Tribune - September 5, 2010

More than 300 wild animals and birds have been seized from Irish homes and farms in the past five years.

In many cases, the trapped animals were already dead, but if still alive were released into the wild or given to Dublin Zoo.

In one of the most recent cases, two dead deer were seized from a house in Co Donegal and a prosecution file is being prepared against the man involved.

Last December, a raid on premises in Co Offaly by inspectors from the National Parks and Wildlife Service uncovered four goldfinches, two bullfinches, a robin and a sparrow.

Other seizures last year involved rooks, hares, and the discovery of a military macaw in Co Laois.

In one of the largest finds, 10 linnets, eight greenfinches, 17 siskin birds, eight redpoll and a goldfinch were found at a property in Cork.

The state took a successful prosecution against the person involved, but it was later appealed on the grounds of severity of sentence.

The previous year, 10 hares - believed to have been used in blooding greyhounds - were discovered in a house in Co Tipperary and released into the wild.

In a seizure shortly before that, 21 birds, including linnets, finches and bramblings, were taken from a house in Dublin.

Eleven of the birds, which were being kept in atrocious conditions, died before inspectors had a chance to examine them.

A case against the person involved was successful, the Department of the Environment said.

In another case, 34 wild birds were taken from a house in Co Westmeath, including 30 wood pigeons, two rooks and two jackdaws.

The case against the home owner was subsequently withdrawn and the state was forced to pay out 11,500 in costs to the defendant.

During a series of raids in 2007, more than two dozen kakarikis were taken at properties in Co Laois.

Of the birds seized by wildlife inspectors, three subsequently died while 12 were returned to their owners.

An earlier raid in Laois had also seen more than 30 birds seized, including goldfinch, yellowhammer, bullfinch and a military macaw.

All of the birds - except for the military macaw, which was taken to Dublin Zoo - were released into the wild by the National Park and Wildlife Service.

Other animals also seized by inspectors include three mallard ducks and a number of scarlet macaws.

12. The documentary that exposed blooding in Ireland

Currently available to watch on Youtube, "On-The-Line: Cradle to Grave" was first aired on the BBC in 1993. It exposed the cruelty of the greyhound industry in Ireland, including the illegal practice of blooding.

"The use of live bait - in this case rabbits - is against the law in Ireland and the UK. Blooding is, in fact, an imprisonable offence. Nevertheless, blooding is a common training technique and in rural areas in Ireland, the use of live lures is an open secret," it is stated in the programme.

Part 1 | Part 2

If you are aware of blooding activities, please immediately contact the Gardai. The contact details for Garda Stations can be found on www.garda.ie

13. Keep hunters off your land

Make it known publicly that your land is off-limits to hunters. Place a preservation notice in your local newspaper. Below is a sample preservation notice which you may wish to use.

Take notice that all my lands at [Insert address 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.

14. Help stop illegal cockfighters

Despite being illegal in Ireland, the blood sport of cockfighting still takes place in some parts of the country. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on members of the public to report any information about cockfighting activities to the Gardai. For the phone numbers of Garda stations all over Ireland, please visit: http://www.garda.ie/Stations/Default.aspx

Witness the cruelty of cockfighting
Watch the ICABS campaign video on Youtube

15. Campaign Quotes: September 2010

"I am glad for persons like you in the world. Supporting the animal rights and against the animal cruelty! Count on me ever!!" From a message to ICABS from songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and rock producer, Joey Summer, August 14, 2010. Visit Joey's Youtube Page

"The poor sentiment already created against coursing, together with falling volunteerism and recession, means that the anti-coursing campaigns (anti's) are already 'winning' - in that Coursing clubs are struggling to retain members. Running a meeting, is a lot of work, for an annual spectacle that lasts only a handful of hours." From the website of Tradaree Coursing Club.

"A veterinarian has given an opinion that once hares are manhandled it becomes impossible for them to avoid stress. Can you imagine the terror when they are threatened and chased by dogs? Few of the relaxed folk sitting in their cars gazing out at the breezy vistas of Dublin Bay, or watching the manoeuvres of the sand sailors manipulating their kites to catch the wind, would be aware that among the dunes rising behind there might be family pets wreaking havoc among vulnerable wild creatures. The chase goes on for the dogs released from their restraints. Their owners do not seem to know, or indeed care. Anyway, their dogs did not kill any birds, or indeed hares. But chasing and disturbance leads to death from trauma." Leave vulnerable hares in peace, Sunday Independent, June 20 2010.

"An emaciated, starving horse was rescued in Portarlington recently, highlighting the growing problem of unwanted horses in the county. The charity Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) rescued the starving stallion, which was abandoned and callously tied to a tree off the Mountmellick road. The horse was left on a bank next to railway lines for three days hidden from view without food or water. A passenger on a passing train saw the animal and reported it to Gardai (police), who contact the IHWT. The horse required emergency treatment, and it took 10 litres of saline to re-hydrate the animal." Laois Nationalist, August 2010

"I support coursing...I believe that you are misinformed when you claim that most people find hare coursing abhorrent and unacceptable." Cllr John Hogan, Fianna Fail, North Tipperary County Council. From an email to ICABS, 10th September 2010.

"Coursing consists of four viewpoints: those of the hare; the greyhound; the supporters; and the critics. We can control the first three and will have to endure the fourth." Irish Coursing Club website, September 2010.

"A course is tough on the Hare" From "How Coursing Works", an online presentation about coursing in Ireland.

"Two found dead in paddock on Monday morning - autopsy carried out on these 2 animals - one died from well established pneumonia (likely to have been ill prior to capture) the other died from natural causes. One died during transportation from Loughrea to Westport." From a ranger report on the Loughrea & Westport coursing meeting, October 2009.

"Bullfighting brings shame upon the nation of Spain. But it seems even bullfighting isn't the worst example of cruelty. A British report has written about the practice of the 'blood fiesta' -- where bulls are chased down a narrow street being stabbed by eight-foot spears before being slowly hacked to death by a bunch of [cowards] who then remove its testicles and tail -- ideally while the creature is still alive. And, incredibly, up to 37m has been handed over by the EU in the last few years in 'subsidies' for the areas where this practice takes place." From But it's their culture, Ian O'Doherty column, Irish Independent, 21st Sept 2010.

"CAFT Ireland / National Animal Rights Association will be having an extra long protest at Barnardo's on Saturday 2nd October - please come along and support our fight against the fur trade! 12.30pm-2.30pm at Barnardo Furs (108 Grafton Street, Dublin 2)" From the website of the National Animal Rights Association

"UK police on horseback are targeting the illegal blood sport of hare coursing in Rettendon. The Essex Police Mounted Unit, with beat officers, will carry out patrols in a bid to deter coursers after a spate of incidents in the area, including at the Royal Horticultural Society's Hyde Hall. Police hope their presence will help them catch coursers in the act and help them reach hard to get to places more quickly." From Police increase patrols to catch illegal hare coursers, Essex Chronicle, September 2010

16. Letters to Editors: September 2010

Sinn Fein aiming to block hare coursing ban
Belfast Telegraph, 30 August 2010

It is with shock and profound disappointment that the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports has just learned that Sinn Fein is engaged in an attempt to prevent the ban on live hare coursing in Northern Ireland from coming into force this autumn.

The NI Assembly voted in June to ban the blood sport via an amendment to the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill.

In a letter from Sinn Fein Dail Deputy Martin Ferris, he claims that a bill is being drafted in the office of the Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew to prevent hare coursing from being banned.

If this is true, it is an outrageous and worrying development. Apart from the fact that hare coursing is an immensely cruel activity, we would ask if Sinn Fein is prepared to ignore the expressed wishes of the majority of people in NI who oppose the blood sport, and the decision of the Assembly that voted legally, and in accordance with that majority view, that hare coursing be banned.

We hope that parties that support the abolition of hare coursing will stand by the decision of the Assembly to protect the Irish hare from this practice.

Apart from the cruelty of hare coursing, the species needs protection now more than ever, with growing evidence that it is under threat from modern agricultural methods that erode its habitat.

Sinn Fein's official view of hare coursing is all the more difficult to understand given that three of its four Dail Deputies and its one senator oppose the practice. Martin Ferris is the only member of the Sinn Fein Parliamentary party who supports the blood sport.

JOHN FITZGERALD, Kilkenny

Animals should not be in circuses
Irish Independent, September 22 2010

The old adage about how times are changing is particularly evident when you ask people how they feel about animal circuses.

A poll that was commissioned by ADI (Animal Defenders International) did just that. Unsurprisingly, 80pc of people said they'd like to see all wild-animal circus acts banned.

It's clear then that increasing numbers of people realise that animal circuses have no educational merit.

Further investigations by ADI found that circus animals develop repetitive swaying and bobbing movements as a result of the confined conditions in which they are kept.

Faced with this evidence, it seems clear that those attending circuses in the hope of seeing animals perform true-to-life behaviour will undoubtedly be disappointed by what they see.

Physical abuse is also common, particularly when it comes to getting animals to perform tricks and manoeuvres.

ADI's investigation found that animals were being punched, whipped and deprived of food. The end result of this kind of lifestyle is that each animal becomes a shadow of its former self.

In recent years, Cirque De Soleil's popularity has soared. This is a clear message -- times have changed, and animal circuses have no place in today's society. People must start thinking of animals as more than commodities.

Lorraine Reilly, Limerick

17. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now
End Hare Coursing In Ireland
Ban Irish Fox Hunting
Petition against Faroese Pilot Whale hunts
Ban bullfights in Mexico

Top ways you can help the campaign

Please make a donation to ICABS

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports relies entirely on your generosity to continue our campaigning for an end to blood sport cruelty. Please become a supporter of our work today - click on Shop at www.banbloodsports.com for more details or send a cheque to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

Keep hunters off your land

Make it known publicly that your land is off-limits to hunters. Place a preservation notice in your local newspaper now. Here is a sample notice that 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(s) of landowner]" For more information, click on Farmers at www.banbloodsports.com

Tune in to the ICABS Channel

Footage of blood sport cruelty and the humane alternatives can be viewed on the ICABS Channel on Youtube - www.youtube.com/icabs or by clicking on "Videos" at www.banbloodsports.com Please ask your local TD/Senator to view our videos and back a blood sports ban.

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