Newsletter

Animal Voice: Issue 7 - July 2011
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this edition:

01. Ask Minister Deenihan to refuse hare coursing licence
02. Tell Coillte to stop profiting from killing
03. NPWS urged to block hare coursing licence
04. Ireland's coursing is "cruel", "sick", "horrible", "vile"
05. Fine Gael "will not be doing anything to ban hunting, coursing"
06. Deenihan should consider heroics of Byrne
07. Clare Daly, TD "pushing for an outright ban" on coursing
08. Failte Ireland restates anti-bloodsports stance
09. Complaint to Volvo over hunt mag ad
10. Fianna Fail to push for animal welfare legislation
11. Encourage Enda Kenny to End Animal Cruelty
12. Ask Donegal hotel to remove "hunting" from website
13. TDs defend cruel coursers
14. Deputy Clare Daly looks forward to day when blood sports are banned
15. Honour for homeless hero who rescued rabbit
16. ICABS letter in Irish Post
17. Foxes defended in Galway Advertiser
18. New campaign video: Please display on your website
19. Bloodsport horror on Belfast playing fields
20. Complain to Japanese Ambassador about whaling
21. Animal deaths on Irish roads
22. Wildlife rehabilitation conference
23. ARAN animal rally on October 30th
24. Campaign Quotes: July 2011
25. Letters to Editors: July 2011
26. Petitions

01. Ask Minister Deenihan to refuse hare coursing licence

Minister Jimmy Deenihan is currently considering a licence application from the Irish Coursing Club which would allow coursing clubs around Ireland to net thousands of hares and use them as live lures. Please join us now in urging Minister Jimmy Deenihan to respect the wishes of the majority who oppose coursing and refuse this licence.

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact Minister Deenihan now and urge him to refuse the coursing licence.

Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

Email: ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie;taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802. Fax: +353 (0)1 661 1201

02. Tell Coillte to stop profiting from killing

ICABS is calling on Ireland's forestry board, Coillte, to stop selling licences to hunters to shoot defenceless forest creatures.

The licences Coillte are selling will allow hunters to target deer, birds and "other wild quarry species". The animals that will be gunned down include both forest wildlife and creatures introduced to the forests and released as living targets for shooters.

In an email to Coillte CEO, David Gunning, ICABS said that it is saddening that the company is happy to boost its profits from wildlife destruction. "Coillte is owned by the Irish people, the majority of whom value our wildlife and would abhor killing for fun," we stated. "We hope you will take this into consideration, end the killing and give protection to the defenceless forest creatures."

On its website, Coillte says it respects "the traditional nature" of hunting and stalking. Ironically, in another section of the site, Coillte urges nature-loving visitors to the forests to "respect wildlife", "avoid disturbing" animals and birds and avoid feeding wildlife as "our foods damage their health and leave them vulnerable to predators."

Watch the ICABS campaign video

 ACTION ALERT 

Please urgently contact Coillte and demand that they stop selling licences to hunters and making profits from the killing of defenceless animals and birds.

David Gunning
CEO, Coillte
The Irish Forestry Board
Newtownmountkennedy
Co Wicklow

Tel: +353 (0)1 201 11 11
Fax: +353 (0)1 201 11 99
Email: pr@coillte.ie

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

Dear Mr Gunning,

I am writing to demand that Coillte stops selling licences to hunters to enter Coillte property to shoot and kill defenceless birds and animals.

It greatly saddens me that Coillte is happy to boost its revenue from the destruction of life. The animals that will be blasted to death are creatures currently living in the forests and those brought in for the specific purpose of being used as living targets for shooters.

These animals should be allowed to live free from persecution. Foxes, deer, rabbits and birds all add immeasurably to the public's enjoyment of the forest experience. I find it unacceptable that Coillte is sacrificing them for profit.

Coillte is owned by the Irish people, the majority of whom would oppose the killing of animals for fun. I call on you to make our forests a safe haven for wildlife and immediately end the practice of inviting hunters in to destroy.

Thank you. I look forward to your prompt reply.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

Also contact your nearest Coillte regional office.
You can find their locations at www.coillte.ie/aboutcoillte/contact_us

Will creatures in your local forests be shot and killed?

To see the areas around Ireland at which Coillte is inviting hunters in to kill, please click on the links: Birds | Deer
Find out more about the licences on the Coillte website.

03. NPWS urged to block hare coursing licence

ICABS is urging the National Parks and Wildlife Service to block a coursing licence which would result in the capture of thousands of Irish hares and cause a massive interference to the species. Pointing to the NPWS's conservation role, we stated that it would be very appropriate for them to move to end the licensing of the blood sport.

"Every effort should be made to promote conservation and eliminate threats to the species," we told NPWS Licensing Unit Director, Ciaran O'Keeffe. Highlighted was the "Status of EU Protected Habitats and Species in Ireland" report which states clearly that the status of the hare species is "poor" and that "factors likely to reduce hare numbers locally include...hunting."

Also flagged to Dr O'Keeffe was a statement in a NPWS document which casts uncertainty over the "reproductive viability of hares post-coursing and the impact on local population demographics of hare removal and return". (Background to the conservation assessment for the Mountain Hare Lepus timidus).

"The stress and related capture myopathy caused by coursing activities compromise the welfare of hares and their subsequent chances of survival," we stated. "This alone should compel the NPWS to ensure that the licence is refused and the species is protected."

 ACTION ALERT 

Please join us in urging the NPWS Licensing Unit to move now to block the coursing licence.

Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe
Director, NPWS Licensing Unit
National Parks & Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place
Dublin 2

Tel: +353-1-888 2000
Fax: +353-1-888 3272

Email: ciaran.o'keeffe@environ.ie
CC: Feargal.O'Coigligh@environ.ie;ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie;taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie

SAMPLE LETTER
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Dear Dr O'Keeffe,

The NPWS's primary role is to conserve wildlife, including the Irish Hare species. I urge you, therefore, to urgently move to block any further licence for the bloodsport of coursing, an activity which represents a threat to the species.

As the NPWS has previously acknowledged, the conservation status of the hare species is considered poor and factors responsible for this include hunting. The NPWS has also noted that there is uncertainty over the 'reproductive viability of hares post-coursing and the impact on local population demographics of hare removal and return'.

Coursing licences result in thousands of hares being frightened out of their habitats into nets. The creatures are kept in captivity for months, fed an unnatural diet, trained to run up fields, transported in crates and forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds. The NPWS has recorded hare deaths at all stages of coursing, including after they are released back into the wild.

The NPWS is entrusted to conserve the hare species and I believe it is very appropriate for you to act to prevent the continuation of coursing and recommend that full, permanent protection is granted to the threatened hare species.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

04. Ireland's coursing is "cruel", "sick", "horrible", "vile"

Hare coursing is not only opposed by a majority in Ireland but also by compassionate people all around the world. On the Care2 website, they have been condemning the blood sport as vile and cruel and expressing support for a ban.

In a renewed appeal to Minister Jimmy Deenihan to refuse another licence for coursing, ICABS has highlighted how coursing brings shame on Ireland.

You can read some of the comments from around the world below...

Very cruel sport - Maria, Athens, Greece

How sick!!!!! - Maria, USA

This is a vile 'sport'. Should definitely be banned - Tracey, Edinburgh

I've owned wolfhounds and competed in coursing events, but never with live lure...to catch live prey is no longer a necessity...and should be outlawed - Ellen, USA

This is horrible - Jen, Canada

This is sick and should be banned - Mary, USA

Another so called sport. How can anyone be entertained by the inflicted cruelty on another sentient being? - Esther, USA

Disgusting, it makes me sick!! - Valerie, Paris

This is not a sport, this is plain CRUELTY!! - Ruth, Florida

Absolutely terrible. This is not a sport or a means of entertainment by any stretch of the imagination - Meg, Texas

Sounds horrible - Masha, London

It is horrific what people think up for entertainment - Susan, Canada

This is just so horrible - Sally, Melbourne, Australia

Disgusting. How can people find pleasure in the death of innocent animals who have done no wrong? - Cristina, New Zealand

How low can people go? - Julie, South Africa

Anyone who would participate in this VILE display of animal abuse...needs intensive psychiatric counsel - Valerie, Canada

I hate you people that get your kicks from the torture and death of animals - Leanne, Canada

A practice such as this, universally categorized as a blood sport, should be fastidiously rallied against on all fronts - Christina, USA

This is not a sport - it is entertainment for morons! - Wendy, UK

Sad to think that in this day and age that this can be considered "sport" obviously evolution has been dealt a setback - Mike, Virginia

This is terrible cruelty to the poor Hares. It needs to be stopped with immediate effect - Sameera, Sri Lanka

05. Fine Gael "will not be doing anything to ban hunting, coursing"

During a Dail debate on the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 on 30 June 2011, Fine Gael TD, Shane McEntee, announced that "we will not be doing anything to ban hunting, coursing or other pursuits".

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny and urge him to take action to eliminate some of Ireland's worst cruelty to animals by banning foxhunting and coursing. Express your support for the ban on carted deerhunting and urge him to keep this in place.

Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
CC: shane.mcentee@oireachtas.ie
Tel: 01-619 4020 / 619 4021 / 619 4043
Fax: 01-6764048

06. Deenihan should consider heroics of Byrne

As he considers an application for a coursing cruelty licence, Minister Jimmy Deenihan should consider the compassion and bravery of the homeless man who jumped into the River Liffey to rescue a rabbit. Read the letter below from the Irish Independent.

Deenihan should consider heroics of Byrne before granting hare licences Irish Independent, July 13 2011

Many of us have been moved by the heroism of John Byrne, the homeless man who jumped into the Liffey to save his pet rabbit. Equally, I'm sure the majority of us abhor the act of the young man who threw the animal in.

I can't help but reflect on the contrast between the decency and compassion of Mr Byrne and the plans being laid by over 70 coursing clubs right now for another season of hare baiting.

The Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht has to decide whether to grant a licence permitting these clubs. I hope Jimmy Deenihan reflects on Mr Byrne's actions, as he can withhold these licences without getting his feet wet.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports

07. Clare Daly, TD "pushing for an outright ban" on coursing

Socialist Party TD, Clare Daly, has said that she is "pushing for an outright ban" on hare coursing and urging Minister Jimmy Deenihan to refuse a licence for another season of the blood sport.

Minister Deenihan is currently considering an application by the Irish Coursing Club to net thousands of hares from the wild for use as live lures before greyhounds.

A big thank you to Deputy Daly for her efforts to bring coursing cruelty to an end in Ireland.

08. Failte Ireland restates anti-bloodsports stance

ICABS has thanked Failte Ireland for restating its anti-bloodsports stance. In an email this month, a spokesperson said: "Failte Ireland has a policy of not supporting blood sports."

The tourism body has previously emphasised that it does not promote blood sports.

ICABS is grateful to Failte Ireland for this latest confirmation. If you are planning a home holiday in Ireland or travelling to Ireland from abroad, please visit Failte Ireland's websites at: www.discoverireland.ie, www.discoverireland.com and www.failteireland.ie

09. Complaint to Volvo over hunt mag ad

ICABS has complained to Volvo about the appearance of a car advert in a pro-bloodsports magazine. The company has been asked to clarify its position in relation to animal cruelty.

The full page ad for the S60 car appears in a section about foxhunting in the Summer 2011 edition of hunting and shooting magazine, Countrysports and Country Life.

ICABS has told Volvo about the cruelty of foxhunting and questioned why the company deemed it appropriate to advertise in a hunting publication. We pointed out that a majority of Irish people support a ban and that the blood sport is already illegal in England, Scotland and Wales.

"The foxhunting reports on either side of the Volvo advert, describe how several foxes were terrorised by packs of hounds," we outlined. "One of the unfortunate creatures 'took a line out of the Estate...crossed the road again...at which time he looked tired but was still running.' Another fox 'ran at speed' after being 'put afoot from the trees to give a very fast hunt'."

"It is surprising that a company like Volvo would choose to associate its product with cruelty and killing," we added.

 ACTION ALERT 

Ask Volvo to clarify its stance on animal cruelty and urge it to stop advertising in hunting magazines.

Volvo Car Corporation
405 31 Goteborg
Sweden
Email: gcr@volvocars.com
Tel: +46 (0)31 59 00 00

10. Fianna Fail to push for animal welfare legislation

The office of Fianna Fail leader, Micheal Martin, TD has promised that the party will "put pressure on the Minister for Agriculture to publish legislation on animal welfare".

The statement says that "Fianna Fail strongly supports improvements in animal welfare legislation" and points to "the introduction of the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2010 banning stag hunting with hounds" when the party was in government with the Greens.

Michael Martin had previously rejected the idea of banning bloodsports. In relation to foxhunting, he stated in 2004 that he didn't believe a ban was "the way to deal with the issue". We are asking him to now accept that, to eliminate the unacceptable cruelty of foxhunting and coursing, a ban is the only way to deal with the issue.

 ACTION ALERT 

Join us in urging Fianna Fail and all political parties to support the introduction of bans on hare coursing, foxhunting and all forms of cruelty to animals. Please contact the parties now, as well as your local TDs, and call on them to end cruelty.

Micheal Martin, TD
Leader, Fianna Fail
137 Evergreen Road,
Turner's Cross, Cork.

Email: micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie
Tel: 021-432 00 88 (Constituency Office)
Tel: 01-618 3000 (Dail)

Encourage all political parties to act to protect animals from bloodsport cruelty.

Find out their contact details by clicking on POLITICIANS at http://www.banbloodsports.com

11. Encourage Enda Kenny to End Animal Cruelty

Please download and display our new campaign poster from
http://www.scribd.com/doc/59600106/Enda-End-Animal-Cruelty

The poster encourages members of the public to join calls on An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to end foxhunting, hare coursing and all forms of animal cruelty in Ireland.

12. Ask Donegal hotel to remove "hunting" from website

A hotel in County Donegal has been asked by ICABS to stop presenting "hunting" on the local activities page of its website.

"Donegal has so much to offer visitors, without directing them to hunting," ICABS stated in an email to An Grianan Hotel.

Please appeal to An Grianan Hotel to stop presenting hunting on its local activities page.

An Grianan Hotel,
Speenogue,
Burt, Co Donegal

Email: info@angriananhotel.com
Tel: +353 (0)74 93 68900
Fax: +353 (0)74 93 68906

13. TDs defend cruel coursers

During a Dail debate on the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 on 30 June 2011, ICABS was disgusted to note that a number of TDs shamelessly defended the cruelty that is coursing and those involved in the bloodsport. Please send a complaint to each...

"Those involved in the industry and coursing clubs are genuine, decent and honourable people, providing employment and entertainment and maintaining animal welfare standards second to none." Michael Moynihan TD, Cork North-West, Fianna Fail Email: michael.moynihan.td@oireachtas.ie

"I acknowledge the contribution made by the vast majority of those involved in greyhound racing and coursing to the sporting and cultural landscape in Ireland, and in rural Ireland in particular, and to the welfare of dogs." Sandra McLellan TD, Cork East, Sinn Fein Email: Sandra.McLellan@oireachtas.ie

"Hopefully, the Minister will be able to find Eur1 million or so for the track in Clonmel. It is very important. Coursing is a huge industry and is worth 6 million or 7 million to South Tipperary. The Clonmel event is known throughout Europe. I have been there many times. There is none of the savagery that is often spoken about." Mattie McGrath TD, Tipperary South, Fianna Fail Tel: 052 6129155 or 086 8184307

You can read the full debate at
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/06/30/00009.asp

Please make a donation to ICABS

If you like our work, please consider making a donation. 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 made payable to ICABS to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

14. Deputy Clare Daly looks forward to day when blood sports are banned

Clare Daly, TD says she and Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan "look forward to the day when coursing, fur farming, fox hunting and all such activities are banned". She made the statement during a debate on the Welfare of Greyhounds Bill 2011 before going on to highlight some of the victims of greyhound racing in Ireland.

Deputy Daly, who is currently pushing for a ban on hare coursing, condemned bloodsports as activities that "have, at their core, deliberate and wilful cruelty to animals, including death".

You can read the full text of her statement at:
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/06/30/00009.asp

15. Honour for homeless hero who rescued rabbit

The Animal Rights Action Network has presented an award to homeless hero John Byrne who hit the headlines this month after bravely jumping into the Liffey to rescue his rabbit.

"Ever since the Evening Herald wrote about what happened, myself and Barney [the rabbit] have been getting so much support," Mr Byrne, 38, said. "But to be given an award is unbelievable. It's nice to know that despite living on the street, people still care and want to do a nice thing for me."

Watch news coverage of the presentation at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlozqECfnOQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrDR68MHdI4

16. ICABS letter in Irish Post

Thanks to The Irish Post - the highest selling weekly newspaper for the Irish in Britain - for printing our letter about the PR Institute's shortlisting of a cruelty campaign. You can read the letter below.

Bloodsports award a mistake
The Irish Post, July 9th, 2011

The bodies representing public relations in Ireland should perhaps consider hiring a PR guru.

In the space of a few weeks, they have managed to spectacularly tarnish their images and infuriate a large portion of the public.

The shortlisting of a pro-bloodsports campaign for a PR Excellence Award saw the Public Relations Institute of Ireland and the Public Relations Consultants Association disregarding overwhelming public opposition to deplorable activities such as hunting and coursing.

The RISE campaign mysteriously made it on to their awards shortlist despite being repeatedly criticised for spreading misinformation and showing disrespect towards public officials - both contrary to PR codes of conduct.

Condemned as malicious and despicable, the behaviour of RISE supporters included throwing eggs at a State car, jeering politicians, telling a Minister to go to hell and sticking threatening leaflets on vehicles outside a church.

Claims made during the RISE campaign were variously described as "nonsense", "wrong" and "completely erroneous". The same could be said for the decision to shortlist it for an award it thankfully failed to win.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

17. Foxes defended in Galway Advertiser

The beauty of foxes and the cruelty of foxhunting are the themes of a letter published in the Galway Advertiser of July 7th. The letter by anti-bloodsports author and campaigner, John Fitzgerald, praises the fox as a friend of the farmer and condemns the hunters who "make it suffer a slow agonising death".

You can read it at: http://tinyurl.com/4xhrfcq

Visit the Galway Advertiser website at: www.advertiser.ie

18. New campaign video: Please display on your website

Help highlight our anti-coursing action alert. Please display the "Save the hares from coursing cruelty" video on your website or blog and encourage visitors to take action.

Get the embed code

19. Bloodsport horror on Belfast playing fields

Extracts from a 28th July Belfast Telegraph report by Natalie Gorman...

An east Belfast woman has described the terrifying sight of greyhound trainers using live bunny bait to lure their racing dogs in a Sydenham park.

"Every day" in full view of residents' homes, rabbits that have been transported to St George's playing fields in cages " are being torn to pieces" by the greyhound dogs under the instruction of the trainers.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Community Telegraph: "It's horrifying and it makes me sick to see what they are doing to these defenceless little animals but I'm terrified to go out and confront them in case they are linked to paramilitaries.

"They aren't waiting to do this in the evening or when it's dark - they even do it during the day. This has been going on for months. One of my neighbours told me they had reported it to the police a while ago - the police came out but the greyhound trainers had disappeared by then. It hasn't stopped them at all.

Read the full report

Blooding is believed to be widespread throughout Ireland. It is extremely cruel and highly illegal.

Greyhound scene commentator, John Martin, is on record as saying that "greyhound racing would not continue to exist without blooding [and] it follows that, with a constant greyhound population of close on 30,000, blooding must be widespread."

Writing in the Irish Independent of January 12th, 1994, Mr Martin added: "Do not expect an admission of that from Bord na gCon, the country's semi-state greyhound racing authority. To concede the point would be to accept that they are the custodians of a sport whose very existence is based on blooding."

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports appeals to anyone with information on blooding activities, to urgently contact local Gardai or the Garda Confidential line on 1800 666 111.

20. Complain to Japanese Ambassador about whaling

United Press International has reported that Japan is planning to resume whaling in the Antarctic. Please register your opposition to this barbaric assault on one of planet's most spectacular creatures.

Urgently contact:

Ambassador Chihiro Atsumi
The Embassy of Japan in Ireland
Nutley Building
Merrion Centre
Nutley Lane, Dublin 4
Email: cultural@embjp.ie

Find out more at www.upi.com

21. Animal deaths on Irish roads

It's a dog's life on the roads as thousands are mown down
Irish Daily Mail 19th July 2011
Author: Paul Kelly

Two motorists in five have accidentally run over an animal. AA Ireland found pet dogs were the most common victims of such collisions.

It asked 13,243 members if they had ever struck a pet or another animal-and over 5,469 admitted to doing so, just over two in every five drivers.

John Farrell, AA Insurance director, said: "Cats were identified as the second-most common animal to be knocked down by motorists. "AA Patrols are frequently called to free cats that have trapped themselves under the wheel arches and engine bays of member's cars."

Cats were mown down by 36.4 per cent of drivers, while rabbits were third on 33.4 per cent.

The list also reveals livestock like sheep and cattle were also victims of road collisions.

Mr. Farrell said: "A collision with a larger animal such as a horse or deer, particularly when drivers are travelling at higher speeds, can lead to a huge amount of damage, serious injury and even fatalities. One AA member, while unhurt, reported doing over E4, 000 worth of damage to their car having struck a deer in Phoenix Park."

Animals were most at risk in Co. Leitrim, where 57.1 per cent of drivers claimed they hit one. Dublin was the "safest" for them, with 30.5 per cent of motorists hitting an animal.

ICABS NOTE: Help prevent wildlife deaths on our roads. Purchase a set of wildlife warning devices for the front of your vehicle. When air passes through them, they emit a high pitched noise which alerts animals to danger. Find them in online marketplaces and auction sites.

22. Wildlife rehabilitation conference

Irish Wildlife Matters will hold a Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference on September 24th and 25th.

The conference will consist of two days of presentations and practical sessions.

The Saturday event will be open to all while the Sunday gathering will be for veterinary practitioners.

Presentations will include "Caring for orphaned wildlife", "Birds as Casualties: Causes, Care and Rehabilitation" and "Bat first aid and treatment".

Please visit www.irishwildlifematters.ie/conference/ to find out more.

23. ARAN animal rally on October 30th

The Animal Rights Action Network has announced Sunday, October 30th 2011 as the date for its 'Have a Heart for Animals' national march and rally.

The event will include presentations from campaigners who will update attendees on efforts to bring in new legislation to protect Irish animals from cruelty.

When: Sunday, October 30th, 2pm sharp (runs until around 5pm)
Meet at: Garden of Remembrance, O'Connell Street, Dublin.

24. Campaign Quotes

"Hare coursing a CRIME in UK and LEGAL FUN here in Ireland! Have a look at this video - www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB-SIBVfYks - it shows the Cambridgeshire police [on the orders of a judge] crushing a car that belonged to a hare courser. Here in Ireland, police direct traffic outside live hare coursing events while animals are terrorised and tossed about like rag dolls for fun and gambling." Comment from Contrasts on Indymedia, July 23, 2011

"In 1958 I was with Sir Winston Churchill on board the yacht Christina in Seville. Some local dignitaries called on him to say that they were preparing a bullfight in his honour and looked forward to his attendance. Churchill replied briefly, 'I shall do no such thing. It is not a bullfight; it is a bull torture,' and he turned his back on them." Sir Anthony Montague Browne. From The Spectator, May 31, 2003

"Please crush those empty food cans! Ever had your head stuck in a bucket and not been able to get it out? No? Well, lucky you. But if you were dying of hunger and that bucket had a tasty morsel in it, you might stick your head in it. Well, many animals have had this experience and it is usually fatal. So, PLEASE squeeze those empty food cans, irrespective of what was in it. That simple one second act might just save a life!" from The Animal Care Society's June newsletter

"I am so proud of the beauty Ireland is famous for and as an immigrant eleven years ago, my proudest day will be when I can tell my visitors from the USA that we are a bloodsport-free country." From an email to ICABS, July 2011

25. Letters to Editors

Policy on dogs needs to move with the times
Irish Independent, July 04 2011

Regarding the correspondence on the Irish attitude towards animals, Ireland is the only country in the EU to ban dogs from all trains, trams, buses and the DART.

Michael Job
Glengarriff, Co Cork

Jump at chance to ban coursing
Sunday Independent, July 17 2011

Sir, Political opportunities for a politician to leave a legacy that changes society are rare, but when they arrive it is a measure of the politician's intelligence to act on them. Therefore, one hopes that Jimmy Deenihan TD will grasp the opportunity to be a political undertaker and consign hare coursing to its eternal rest.

The annual application by the Irish Coursing Club for a licence to conduct live hare coursing has landed on his desk. A ban would see Ireland crawl out of the gutter in terms of the treatment of animals.

John Tierney,
Campaigns Director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs,
Dublin 1

Decision time for hare coursing
Anglo Celt, 20th July, 2011

Dear Editor,

It's that time of year again, when the government must decide whether to allow another season of enclosed hare coursing. The Minister for Arts, Culture, and the Gaeltacht has the power to issue a licence permitting coursing clubs to net hares all over Ireland for use in this cruel game of chance. He also has the power to withhold this licence.

The abuses inherent in hare coursing are not confined to forcing the hares to run from the competing dogs, to be terrorised and maybe mauled or tossed into the air by their larger and faster opponents. It begins with the netting itself. Many hares become tangled in the nets and have to be killed due to bone fractures that cannot heal.

Others become ill during the unnatural confinement to which they are subjected. Hares are solitary creatures, unaccustomed to the herd mentality, and often cannot cope with being crammed into wire cages in groups ranging from a dozen to eighty or more. Then there is the threat to them posed by Capture Myopathy, a condition affecting a number of wild species including the Irish hare.

The actual stress occasioned by the whole ordeal of capture, confinement, and the terror of the contrived chase on coursing day can result in hares dying within hours or days of being released back into the wild.

Small wonder that hare coursing has been abolished in most countries. The timeline for the English speaking world is thus: South Australia banned it in 1986, Scotland in 2001, England and Wales in 2004 and Northern Ireland only last autumn. The vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly was significant, because the ban received cross-party support and the arguments put forward by the pro-hare coursing lobby were comprehensively demolished. Anyone who wishes to see hare coursing end here in the Republic should write to, or email, Minister Jimmy Deenihan (ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie) asking him NOT to grant the hare netting licence this year.

Let's urge him to protect the gentle hare from cruelty dressed up as sport. This graceful creature threatens nobody and enhances our natural environment.

John Fitzgerald,
Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports

Double standards on animal treatment fails Gandhi's test
Irish Independent, July 22 2011

I never cease to be amazed at our treatment of animals. We had a heart-warming scene the other day involving the rescue of a kitten from the M50 motorway.

Gardai and the DSPCA acted with great skill to ensure 'Freeway' was safe. Days before that, a homeless man jumped into the Liffey to save his rabbit "Barney".

Meanwhile, Minister Jimmy Deenihan is considering whether to grant a license to the country's coursing clubs. If they get the green light, up to 7,000 hares will be subjected to the cruelty of enclosed hare coursing.

Gandhi said that you could judge a nation by the way its animals were treated. I wonder what he would think of us? I'm fairly sure that he wouldn't be found applauding or slugging whiskey at one of our coursing events!

John Fitzgerald
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Time to name and shame those who dump and kill puppies
Galway Advertiser, July 14, 2011.

Dear Editor,

This cruel and horrible cruelty of dumping puppies and kittens by irresponsible people has to stop. We are now saying to all Galwegians if you know someone doing it, be responsible and name and shame . We are at bursting point as are the other welfare groups in Galway. We say it year in, year out please neuter your pets but it falls on deaf ears. Every day we get calls from people whose dog or cat are into their second or third round of babies. Will they neuter? Of course not, do they care , not at all. We had calls from people wanting rid of their puppies/kits as they were going on holidays. Excuse me if you can afford to go on holidays , you can then get your pet neutered, get your priorities right.

On average around 50 dogs including puppies die in dog pounds a day in Ireland, this does not include dogs handed over by their owner, put to sleep by vets. This does not include kittens and puppies drowned, or worse by owners. It's unknown how many kittens are destroyed each year as there are no stats for that, but it has to be thousands .

We are getting puppies and kittens dumped all over the place, woods, sides of roads, left outside someone's door or our door.

If you know someone who is dumping , please contact us at 091 563631 or gspca@eircom.net, and your local Garda station. if you witness someone doing it please take their number. As a society we should no longer keep quiet , when we know who is doing it.

Also we ask people to be vigilant as for the last few summers we have seen a rise in the number of dogs going missing. Don't let your dog out unless you are with it. Be vigilant out walking and around your area. If you see anything suspicious like a strange van or car take the number.

Mairead NI Shuilleabhan
Gaillimh SPCA

26. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports In Ireland Now
End Hare Coursing In Ireland
Ban Irish Fox Hunting
Lobby for the URGENT need for updated Animal Welfare Legislation in Ireland
Canada: End the Seal Hunt Now!
Stop the subsidies to A Coruna bullfights
Petition Against Faroese Pilot Whale Hunts
Save the Saddest Dolphins
End Dog Racing on Macau: Nearly 400 Dogs Killed Every Year
Demand Protection for the Danube Delta Wild Horses!
Stop Animal Experiments at The University of Plymouth
Petition against proposed badger cull in UK

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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

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