Newsletter

Animal Voice: Issue 9 - September 2011
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this edition:

01. Hares again running for their lives with start of coursing season
02. Ask Allianz to cancel hunting insurance
03. Help save cubs from hunting cruelty
04. Save the Island Eddy Hares
05. 10 reasons to keep hunters off your land
06. Traps removed from European shopping website
07. Derek Mooney highlights illegality of glue traps
08. Golden Eagle Trust removes Larsen traps from website
09. Rally for animals - Cork, Saturday, 29th October
10. Find out the facts about foxes
11. Crackdown on sale and owning of invasive species
12. Ask Mr Middleton to stop selling cruel traps
13. Sickening: Birds caught in Larsen traps blowtorched to death
14. Capture of protected bird sparks fresh calls for Larsen trap ban
15. Athletics club asked to cancel pig race
16. Ask Agriculture Minister to stop licensing fur farms
17. Tethered pigeons coated in poison and used as live bait
18. Ask Wordpress to stop publicising bullfighting
19. Appeal to Penela to cancel bullfight
20. Sadistic barbarians spear bull to death in Tordesillas (Spain)
21. Greyhound industry seeking Irish bail-out funds
22. Campaign Quotes
23. Letters to Editors
24. Petitions

01. Hares again running for their lives with start of coursing season

To Ireland's great shame, another season of hare coursing cruelty begins this weekend. From 1st October to 26 February, thousands of hares will be used as live lures in front of greyhounds.

Some of the hares will be battered and mauled into the ground by the dogs. Some will sustain injuries so severe that they will die on the coursing fields or be put down. All will suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives.

The cruelty continues thanks to a licence from Minister Jimmy Deenihan. Please contact the Minister now to re-register your opposition to this blood sport. Send a copy to your local TDs and demand that they take action to end coursing in Ireland.

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
[with a copy to An Taoiseach - taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie]
Tel: (01) 631 3802. Fax: (01) 661 1201.

02. Ask Allianz to cancel hunting insurance

Allianz Ireland has been asked by ICABS to end its insurance for hunters. "By providing cover to those involved in foxhunting and hare hunting, your company is facilitating the continuation of these cruel activities," we stated.

In a letter to Allianz CEO, Brendan Murphy, ICABS expressed dismay at the company's connection to blood sports.

According to the website of Wexford Insurance: "in conjunction with Allianz PLC we are pleased to announce that we can offer Hunt Liability Insurance for HAI [Hunting Association of Ireland] registered Hunts. This is a tailor made policy providing the widest cover available to all members of the IMFHA [Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association] & IMHA [Irish Masters of Harriers Association] and automatically includes cover for Hunt Balls, Terrier, Hound and Puppy Shows. Extensions are available for Point to Points, Charity Rides & Hunter Trials."

Allianz has been told about the suffering caused to Irish wildlife by hunters and the fact that most people want such cruelty outlawed.

"It is extremely disappointing that a modern insurance company like Allianz would tarnish its image by associating with those involved in some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals," we added. "Please show compassion for the creatures that suffer and die in hunting and immediately scrap this cover."

 ACTION ALERT 

Urge Allianz to end is association with blood sports. Email "Allianz - Disassociate from bloodsport cruelty. Scrap your hunt insurance cover" to info@allianzdirect.ie If Allianz's association with hunters would make you choose an alternative insurance company, please make this clear in your correspondence.

Allianz Head Office
KoniginstraBe 28,
D-80802 Munchen
Germany

Email: info@allianz.com
Tel: +49.89.3800-0
Fax: +49.89.3800-3425

Brendan Murphy
CEO Allianz Ireland
Allianz House,
Elmpark,Merrion Road,
Dublin 4, Ireland

Email: info@allianzdirect.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 613 3000
Fax: +353 (0)1 613 4444

03. Help save cubs from hunting cruelty

Throughout September and into October, the brutal cubhunting season continues. Defenceless cubs are attacked and killed as part of a merciless training exercise for new foxhunting hounds.

Cub hunting takes place in the depths of the countryside in the early hours after dawn. Hunters bring their hounds to a fox earth and flush out the cubs within. The defenceless creatures are attacked, dragged to the ground and bitten to death.

This brutality is carried out to introduce new hounds to the taste of fox blood ahead of another hunting season. The hunters like to refer to it as 'Autumn hunting' but their euphemism doesn't disguise the fact that it's one of Ireland's nastiest acts of cruelty.

Please take action to help stop the cruelty. Respond now to the action alerts below.

 ACTION ALERTS 

If you are a landowner, make your land off-limits to hunters. Find out more about how to do this by clicking on "Farmers" at www.banbloodsports.com

Encourage all land-owning friends and family members in the countryside to show compassion and make their land a haven for wildlife. If hunters are denied access to land, the resident wildlife will be spared the suffering of cubhunting and foxhunting.

See our selection of downloadable "No Hunting" signs

Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture

Please join us in appealing to the Minister for Agriculture to give wild animals the same protection that is given to domestic animals.

Tell the Minister that since all animals are capable of suffering, all animals should be protected from cruelty. Urge the Minister to amend the Protection of Animals Act so that foxes and all wild creatures are protected from unnecessary cruelty.

Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Appeal to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs

Please also contact the Minister with responsibility for the Wildlife Act. Urge him to amend the Wildlife Act so that foxes are given full protection from the cruelty of hunting.

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

Email: ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie
Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201

Appeal to all Irish politicians

Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace foxhunting, and all its associated cruelty, with the humane alternative - drag hunting.

Drag hunting sees the hounds chasing an artificial lure instead of a live animal. 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.

We desperately need your help to convince the government that it is time to ban foxhunting. Please write to all of your local politicians and ask them to express their opposition to this blood sport.

Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too.

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.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses
www.oireachtas.ie/members%2Dhist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=31&disp=const
www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=12684&&CatID=138

04. Save the Island Eddy Hares

In past years, coursers have landed on Galway Bay's Island Eddy, netted the resident hares and used them as live bait for coursing greyhounds on the mainland.

In 2009, for example, Galway and Oranmore coursing club removed 12 hares from the island. At their subsequent coursing meeting, five hares were struck and one died.

ICABS has urged Galway politicians to intervene to protect the hares. "Hares form a much loved part of Galway's wildlife heritage and should be protected from animal cruelty," we stated.

This year, with a hare netting licence from Minister Jimmy Deenihan, the hares on Island Eddy are again at risk of being snatched from their habitat and forced to run for their lives. Please support our campaign to save them from this fate.

 ACTION ALERT 

Send an email to all Galway TDs and urge them to intervene to protect the Island Eddy hares.

Email the TDs now

 ACTION ALERT 

Ask Minister Deenihan to show compassion for the Island Eddy hares, and the hare population as a whole, and stop licensing hare coursing.

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
[with a copy to An Taoiseach - taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie]
Tel: (01) 631 3802. Fax: (01) 661 1201.

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

Dear Minister,

I am greatly saddened to learn that among the victims of coursing in Ireland are hares that live a peaceful existence on some of our off-shore islands. Coursers land on these wildlife havens, mercilessly net the resident hares and take them back to the mainland to use as live lures.

Minister, please intervene to protect the Island Eddy hares and all hares that will be subjected to coursing cruelty in the coming weeks and months.

As you are aware, a humane alternative exists in the form of drag coursing in which the hares are replaced by a plastic lure. This is practised successfully in England, Australia and the USA. There is absolutely no reason why Ireland should allow the shameful practice of hare coursing to continue.

Please show compassion for the Island Eddy hares, and the hare population as a whole, and end coursing.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

05. 10 reasons to keep hunters off your land

ICABS has published a new factsheet entitled "10 reasons to keep hunters off your land". Please download it, print it and give copies to landowners in your area.

Download from http://www.scribd.com/doc/66052313

1 Hunters, whether on foot or horseback, are a major threat to the biosecurity of your farm. Dozens of farms may be crossed during the course of a hunt. Diseases can be carried long distances on the clothing and footwear of hunters, on horses' hooves, on the hounds and on hunt vehicles.

2 Hunts scatter sheep and cows when they come through your farm with their horses and hounds. The result can be stressed animals, miscarriages, injuries and death. Fields of crops are also at risk.

3 If hunters have no insurance or insufficient insurance, you may be held liable for injuries they sustain while on your property. Saying yes to hunters could prove extremely costly.

4 When horseback hunters plough through your farm boundaries, or leave gates opened behind them, the result may be livestock escaping into neighbouring farms or on to public roads.

5 Pastures are very vulnerable to poaching and not just when they are wet. According to an article in the Irish Farmers' Journal, "plots that had been severely damaged in the autumn produced over 70 per cent less grass the following spring compared to plots that were not damaged."

6 Wildlife experts, the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, all agree that foxes do not pose a significant threat to farming interests. The major threat comes from the hunters who get their kicks from chasing and killing wildlife on your property. Most farmers recognise the fox as a friend who helps keep down the numbers of rabbits and rodents.

7 Farm dogs and pets are at risk during hunts. Among the victims are a sheep dog in Galway which suffered injuries to its hind quarters, back and paws after being attacked by a pack of foxhounds. Beloved farm pets have also been attacked by hounds and ripped apart.

8 Hunts pose a risk to children on your farm. In 2009, the Vice-President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Family and Child Protection called on the Minister for Agriculture to ban hunting with hounds. Referring to hound attacks on pets and public fears for child safety, Kathy Sinnott, MEP said she was "greatly concerned that, if action is not taken, such attacks could result in the death of a child."

9 Hunters are responsible for horrific cruelty to animals. Foxes, hares and rabbits are chased to exhaustion and ripped apart. Foxes that try to escape underground are dug out and thrown to the hounds. The use of ferrets can leave rabbits blinded and mauled before they're killed.

10 Struggling farmers are exploited by wealthy, money-grabbing hunters. Did you know that hunts charge participants up to 150 Euro each for a day's hunting. They take the financial benefits while you endure the risks to your livelihood. Please read on to find out how to make your land off-limits to hunters.

For more information, click on "Farmers" at www.banbloodsports.com. Please print and share with neighbours.

How to keep hunters off your land

In advance of the hunt season, send a warning-off letter by registered post to all hunt masters in your area. You may also wish to put a notice in your local newspaper to highlight that your land is strictly off-limits. These are both optional - hunters have no right to enter lands without permission and it is unacceptable for them to claim that they didn't know that your lands are private and preserved.

Immediately contact the Gardai if members or followers of the hunt trespass on your land. Under the Control of Dogs Act, dogs must be kept "under effectual control" so if hunt hounds come on to property where they do not have permission to be, the Gardai should be notified. Try and take photos or video footage as evidence.

Contact the Gardai also if there is a breach of Section 44 of the Wildlife Act. This makes it an offence for any person who is not the owner or occupier of land to carry onto that land, without permission, any firearm, net, or other weapon, instrument or device capable of being used for hunting a wild bird or a wild animal.

If trespass occurs, ascertain the name of the hunt and the person in charge. Have the damage independently assessed and contact your solicitor with a view to seeking compensation. Avoid accepting an informal apology from the hunt or "off the record" payment as this is unlikely to stop further trespass.

06. Traps removed from European shopping website

Thumbs up to European shopping website, Fruugo, for responding positively to an ICABS appeal. The company has removed from its website glue traps, electronic traps and Nooski traps (all illegal in Ireland).

The cruel traps have been removed not only from its Irish website but also from its entire range of European sites.

We thank them for their compassionate response.

Visit Fruugo at http://www.fruugo.ie and http://www.fruugo.co.uk

07. Derek Mooney highlights illegality of glue traps

Mooney show presenter, Derek Mooney, has highlighted the fact that glue traps are illegal in Ireland. An ICABS comment was read out on the show in response to a listener who said he stopped using the traps due to the cruelty.

Spokesperson Aideen Yourell clarified that glue traps are not only cruel but also illegal. You can listen to an extract from the September 2nd edition of Mooney show by clicking on this link: http://song.ly/2o1zy#axzz1Y2fp1AlE

Thanks to Derek for passing this information on to listeners.

Find out more about Ireland's illegal traps on our campaigns page

08. Golden Eagle Trust removes Larsen traps from website

The Golden Eagle Trust has responded positively to an ICABS appeal to remove references to Larsen traps from its website.

Following complaints, the Trust removed a page entitled "Eagle Friendly Farming" on which farmers were encouraged to shoot foxes and use cruel Larsen traps to capture birds and foxes.

In our appeal to the Trust, we highlighted the suffering caused to animals caught in Larsen traps, the RSPCA's condemnation of the traps as "inherently cruel" and the fact that foxes are not a significant threat to farmers. Also brought to their attention was the threat Larsen traps pose to protected species - according to a report in Veterinary Ireland Journal, a protected buzzard was found in one of the traps.

ICABS welcomes the Golden Eagle Trust's positive response. Thank you to everyone who responded to our action alert.

The group is continuing to appeal to farmers to stop laying poisons - now strictly illegal in Ireland. If you have any information about the use of poisons, please contact the Gardai or the National Parks and Wildlife Service immediately.

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.

09. Rally for animals - Cork, Saturday, 29th October

The Animal Rights Action Network will hold a rally on October 29th to highlight the suffering of animals in Ireland. Please make a special effort to attend this important event.

When: Saturday, October 29th 1.30pm sharp (until around 4pm) Where: Grand Parade Plaza, Cork City For more details, visit the ARAN website - www.aran.ie

Download the ARAN rally poster at http://www.scribd.com/doc/66806392

Please note that this rally replaces the previously highlighted one which was due to take place in Dublin.

10. Find out the facts about foxes

After humans, foxes are one of the most widespread of animals on earth.

Learn lots more interesting facts about the red fox in ENFO's factsheet
http://www.scribd.com/doc/62900975/Foxes-Factsheet

11. Crackdown on sale and owning of invasive species

Extracts from "Crackdown on sale and owning of invasive species"
Irish Times, September 28, 2011

More Than 70 non-native plants and animals, including some which are kept as family pets, are to be eradicated under new EU regulations to protect indigenous Irish species. The Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht has compiled a "blacklist" of unwanted species which have been identified as a major threat to native wildlife.

Under the Birds and Habitats Regulations, signed into law by Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan yesterday, it will be an offence to sell, import, breed, release or allow the invasive species to escape. Anyone holding the alien plants and animals will be required to "dispose of them appropriately"...

"We will be making a concerted effort to work with pet shops to ensure they are not stocking undesirable animals. We're not going to penalise people who have bought a chipmunk, because the last thing we want is for people to panic and release them into the wild, but it will be an offence if people try to breed them."

In addition to pets, animals imported for hunting such as wild boar, roe deer, ruddy duck, and carp also make the banned list. A number of wild boar had to be removed from land in Co Wicklow last year after they had begun to breed, Mr Carvill said.

A small number of animals such as the hedgehog, Irish stoat and fox will be banned from offshore islands only, where they pose a particular threat to the eggs of native birds.

Trapping and shooting programmes were ongoing in relation to some non-native species including the grey squirrel, but Mr Carvill said it was unlikely the species would ever be eradicated.

Read the full Irish Times report at http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0928/1224304857053.html

Read the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 http://www.scribd.com/doc/66826678

12. Ask Mr Middleton to stop selling cruel traps

Join us in asking Dublin garden shop, Mr Middleton, to stop selling Larsen traps. These bird traps have been condemned by the RSPCA as "inherently cruel".

Designed in Denmark in the 1950s, Larsen traps are now banned there due to the suffering caused. They use a permanently trapped bird to lure in other birds. They fly down on to the trap, fall through a collapsing platform and find themselves trapped too.

Before being brutally strangled to death, the birds will be overcome with the fear and stress of confinement. Some will suffer thirst, hunger and starvation while others will sustain broken beaks and cut heads from futile attempts to smash their way to freedom.

Find out more about our Ban cruel Larsen traps campaign by clicking on Campaigns at www.banbloodsports.com

 ACTION ALERT 

Appeal to Mr Middleton to show compassion and stop selling cruel Larsen traps.

Mr Middleton
FREEPOST
58 Mary Street
Dublin 1

Email: mrmiddletongardenshop@eircom.net
Tel: (01) 8603 674
Fax: (01) 8603 675

13. Sickening: Birds caught in Larsen traps blowtorched to death

Group to expose barbaric cruelty The Kerryman, September 21 2011 By Donal Nolan

A Kerry wildlife protection group this week revealed how a depraved gang is capturing birds in the county and burning them to death just for kicks.

In one of the most sickening cases of animal cruelty ever seen in the county, the barbaric gang is capturing crows and magpies in baited cages in north and east Kerry and then burning them to death using blow torches or beating them to a pulp with iron bars.

The voluntary wildlife protection group, which has members in towns from Ballylongford to Farranfore, say they know of at least four people - some who they described as 'pillars of the community' - who are involved in the bizarre practice and will name them publicly if they continue.

While the practice of trapping and shooting grey crows and magpies is common among farmers and members of gun clubs in an effort to control the population of pests, there is no evidence until now of such barbaric means of killing. The humane culling of the species is legal under the EU Birds Directive.

Wildlife group member Mike Mitchell from Currow said he was sickened to find a trapped magpie burnt to death with a blow torch.

"They're simply getting a kick out of it by trapping the birds and either leaving them to die slowly over a number of days and weeks in the traps or by burning them alive or beating them with metal bars. It is absolutely disgusting," he said.

"This is psychopathic behaviour and we know exactly who is responsible," Mr Mitchell added. "We approached two people we've been watching for a while this week and told them to stop or we will expose them publicly. People have been sickened to hear what is going on and there is absolutely no need for it whatsoever."

Fellow group member John Houlihan said he found the remains of one bird that had been burnt to death with a blowtorch. "There's a network of these people, I've no doubt about it and it's happening all over north and east Kerry but we're doing everything in our power to stop it and will name these people if necessary," he said.

Mr Mitchell said the group have been monitoring the cruelty for some years: "It first came to our attention three years ago and we monitored it for some time, found those responsible and threatened them with exposure if they didn't stop. They stopped for a period but it is escalating again and if they continue we will make our claims public. These people are pillars of the communities in some areas and people would be astounded to find out what they do in their spare time. It's obvious they've nothing better to do and this is how they get their kicks," he said.

- Note: ICABS has brought this to the attention of Minister Jimmy Deenihan and again urged him to ban Larsen traps.

14. Capture of protected bird sparks fresh calls for Larsen trap ban

ICABS has renewed its appeal to Minister Jimmy Deenihan to ban cruel Larsen traps. The call comes following a Veterinary Ireland Journal report which reveals that a protected buzzard found itself caught in one of the traps.

In the publication's August 2011 edition, vet Feargal O Cuinneagain states: "Many of my clients know that I have an interest in birds, and will call me if they spot something unusual. This buzzard was caught accidentally in a Larsen trap. The farmer called me out to check for injuries before he released him back into the wild. As you can see, some of his tail feathers have been damaged in his efforts to flee from the trap."

"The fact that it is now on record that protected Irish buzzards can get caught in Larsen traps must surely now compel you to urgently ban them," ICABS commented in an email to Minister Deenihan.

 ACTION ALERT 

Please join us in calling on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs to urgently introduce a ban on Larsen traps.

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

Email: ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie
CC: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201

15. Athletics club asked to cancel pig race

Dunboyne Athletics Club ignored appeals to cancel a pig race which went ahead as part of its sports day earlier this month. The club has been told that the pigs used are likely to suffer stress as a result.

Pig racing has been condemned by the ISPCA who have stated that 'the animals will be exposed to large crowds of people cheering them on which is not a suitable environment for farm animals.'

An RSPCA scientific adviser on farm animals is on record as saying that the transportation of pigs to and from races is likely to cause stress to the animals. 'Pigs are highly social animals and separation from their groups causes stress,' he stated. 'Potentially, any animal transportation causes problems.'

Please urge Dunboyne Athletics Club to drop pig racing from future sports day events and replace it with races involving humans.

Write to the Chairperson of Dunboyne Athletics Club, Sean Kinnane Email: dunboyneac@eircom.net

16. Ask Agriculture Minister to stop licensing fur farms

Figures obtained by CIWF from the Central Statistics Office in Ireland show that, in 2009 141,301 mink pelts and 106 fox pelts were exported from the Republic of Ireland. From January to July 2010, 85,977 mink pelts and 675 fox pelts were exported.

Foxes and mink live a life of misery on fur farms. The foxes are electrocuted to death and the mink are gassed to death before their skins are ripped from their bones.

Mink farms in the Republic of Ireland are licensed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Fox fur farms require no licence.

 ACTION ALERT 

Please email the Minister for Agriculture and appeal to him to make fur farming illegal in the Republic (as it already is in Northern Ireland)

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie;Simon.Coveney@oireachtas.ie
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Witness the cruelty of fur farming in Ireland
www.youtube.com/watch?v=moceenTkTbA

17. Tethered pigeons coated in poison and used as live bait

Poisoned pigeons used to kill wild buzzards
Irish Times, August 27, 2011

by Eoghan MacConnell

Hand-Reared live pigeons were coated in poison, tethered to the ground and used to kill two wild buzzards near the Tipperary-Offaly border, according to BirdWatch Ireland.

BirdWatch volunteers were horrified to discover the two dead buzzard chicks beside three poisonous tethered pigeons near Roscrea.

BirdWatch Ireland Development Officer Niall Hatch said the banned insecticide Carbofuran used to kill the buzzards is so toxic "a quarter of a teaspoonful is enough to kill a fully grown adult."

"There is a really serious public safety issue here as well," he said, "whoever is responsible for planting the poison took a real risk themselves". Had the pigeons been found by children who attempted to rescue them, "you could be reporting on an even worse story today," he added.

No motive has yet been established. Buzzards eat rabbits, crows, magpies, rats and mice. They will occasionally feed on a dead lamb, but are incapable of killing a lamb, said Mr Hatch.

An indigenous bird, the buzzard was absent in Ireland from the late 19th century until 1933, when a pair bred in Co Antrim. The species has spread slowly down from the north through the 20th century and is now established in almost every county in Ireland.

BirdWatch Ireland say this was a particularly abhorrent incident.

The live hand-reared pigeons were tethered to the ground as bait, their bodies coated with poison and their wings clipped to prevent any chance of escape.

A day after the dead buzzards were found last month, another live, poison-coated pigeon was discovered tethered in the same area.

The buzzards' nest in Roscrea was being monitored by two young volunteers from BirdWatch Ireland's Raptor Conservation Project since early spring. They had been charting the progress of the three young buzzard chicks.

One volunteer said: "We had been watching them all summer and it was sickening to see them killed like that for no reason."

The farmer on whose land the birds were nesting said: "they have not caused me or any of the other farmers in the area any problems whatsoever. I gave nobody permission to come on my land and lay down poison, and whoever did so was trespassing," he said.

In October 2010, laws were passed making it illegal to use poison to kill birds or animals, with the exception of rats and mice.

An investigation has been launched and anyone with information is urged to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service on 057 91 37811 or Birr Garda station on 057 91 69710.

18. Ask Wordpress to stop publicising bullfighting

Please join us in urging blogging website, Wordpress, to stop publicising bullfighting on its website.

The Wordpress homepage - http://www.wordpress.com/ - features a section entitled "Freshly Pressed" which includes links to a selection of what they call "the best" of the new posts.

This month, one of the featured posts was a pro-bullfighting blog entry entitled "Madrid (y Toros)"

The blogger describes the spectacle of a bull being tortured and killed as "an amazing experience" and declares that "a bullfight is an amazing thing to see and I suggest it to anyone who believes they can stomach it".

He goes on to give the impression that horses in the bullring are now protected by 'armour'. We have told Wordpress that this armour is merely padding and that horses are frequently victims of gorings.

In our appeal to Wordpress, we highlighted the suffering of the bulls and asked how they could justify publicising a blog entry that recommends a visit to a bullring.

"It is highly disappointing that Wordpress considers a post about animal cruelty to be worthy of being elevated into the Freshly Pressed section," we stated.

Please email "Keep bullfighting cruelty out of Freshly Pressed and Wordpress" to support@wordpress.com

19. Appeal to Penela to cancel bullfight

Source: International Movement Against Bullfights / www.iwab.org

The beautiful city of Penela, in the Coimbra region of Portugal, will hold its first bullfight ever on 2nd October. This bullfight will be added to the annual festival of the city and part of the profits will be given to the local firemen.

Please help us to prevent this barbarity taking place by sending letters to the Mayor with a copy to the fire department.

Email: cmpenela@cm-penela.pt,gab.presidente@cm-penela.pt,antonio.alves@cm-penela.pt, div.cultura@cm-penela.pt,gab.imprensa@cm-penela.pt,geral@bvpenela.pt,secretaria@bvpenela.pt BCC: IMAB@iwab.org

Dear Mr Mayor,

I was saddened to learn that you are permitting a bullfight to take place in your city on 2nd October as part of an annual festival.

I understand that your city is a fascinating tourist attraction with its range of monuments and Roman ruins. However, as long as bullfighting takes place there, I will not be in a position to consider visiting.

I urge you to protect Penela's reputation and firmly reject animal cruelty.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely [Name/Country]

20. Sadistic barbarians spear bull to death in Tordesillas (Spain)

Source: International Movement Against Bullfights / www.iwab.org

On Tuesday, September 13th 2011 in the Spanish city of Tordesillas, a bull was chased by a mob of heartless locals who persecuted the animal and speared it to death. Please register your opposition to this appalling Toro de la Vega event.

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact the City Hall of Tordesillas who shamefully allow it to take place.

Please send a protest letter now to:

ayto.tordesillas@dip-valladolid.es, presidencia@dip-valladolid.es, prensa@dip-valladolid.es, presidente.responde@jcyl.es, turismo@tordesillas.net, informacion012@jcyl.es, oficinadeturismodevalladolid@jcyl.es

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

Ecxmos. Senores,
Muy Sres. Nuestros,

He tenido constancia de la celebracion que se lleva a cabo en Tordesillas durante la primera quincena de septiembre, denominada Toro de Vega, en la que centenares de personas a pie y a caballo acosan a un toro hasta la muerte a lanzazos.

Me pongo en contacto con ustedes para manifestarles el desagrado que este hecho nos provoca a mi, a mis conocidos y amigos, como miembros de una sociedad sensible hacia el maltrato y el sufrimiento animal.

En nuestro país disponemos de legislacion en materia de proteccion animal que harian imposible que se dieran este tipo de celebraciones, ya que no solo perjudican a los animales sino que degradan la imagen de la sociedad que los permite.

Es por ello que les solicito reconsideren la celebracion de dicho festejo.

Mientras se siga celebrando, dare a conocer a los turistas las practicas del municipio de Tordesillas como parte de la verguenza que supone para Europa que se sigan manteniendo tan sanguinarias tradiciones, propias de otros siglos.

Atentamente,

[Name/Country]

 ACTION ALERT 

Please join us in making a complaint to the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland.

Javier Garrigues Florez
The Spanish Ambassador to Ireland
Embassy of Spain
17A Merlyn Park
Dublin 4.

Email: emb.dublin@maec.es
Tel 1: +353 (0)1 2691640
Tel 2: +353 (0)1 2692597
Fax: +353 (0)1 269 1854

21. Greyhound industry seeking Irish bail-out funds

Greyhound welfare group, Grey2K USA, is calling on the Irish government to refuse to give cash from the EU-IMF bail-out fund to the greyhound industry.

"We have recently learned that the Irish government may use money received from an international rescue package to subsidise dog racing and also to explore an expansion of the Irish industry into China," the group says in a statement. "This outrageous use of public funds must be stopped."

In 2009, the Irish Greyhound Board (Bord na gCon) received Eur 13.6 million in government subsidies. Last year, it received Eur 11 million. It is now seeking another Eur 15 million.

For more information and action alert, visit the web site of Greyhound Compassion

Sign the Grey2K petition

22. Campaign Quotes

The PRO of Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports, John Fitzgerald, has written to Galway TDs, Senators and Councillors urging them to seek an end to all hare netting on Eddy Island...Mr Fitzgerald said the island is an "idyllic haven of tranquillity" and has called on the Galway and Oranmore Coursing Club to refrain from taking hares from the island...Mr Fitzgerald said netting hares on the island for coursing could damage the attraction of Galway Bay, "renowned as it is in song and story and feted worldwide as one of Ireland's key tourist destinations". Galway City Tribune, September 22, 2011

"Always be aware that the roads are for public use and should never ever be blocked by the hunt field. Blocking the roads really infuriates the local people. Never ride on mowed road edges, these are part of someone's garden or a joint local effort for tidy towns." from the County Roscommon hunt website

"[Irish Coursing Club president Brian Divilly] pointed to his record of investigating irregularities in the ICC, claiming to have shown that monies had been 'used as a cash cow to fund the extravagant lifestyle of certain staff and their associates'. He added that the activity of another member of staff 'is the subject of an ongoing Garda investigation and they have sent a separate file to the DPP for consideration.'" The Phoenix, September 23, 2011

"Meanwhile, the latest accounts filed for the Irish Coursing Club include a note under the heading of 'going concern' relating to the long-running case with Greenband Investments over a land deal with ICC, which has still to be resolved. The ICC has already lost in the High Court and the matter is set to go before the Supreme Court. According to the note, 'should the ICC lose this case it may cast a significant doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern.'" The Phoenix, September 23, 2011

"I like the greyhounds - and coursing in winter." Dublin hurling manager and VHI Cul Camps ambassador, Anthony Daly, shamelessly admits his interest in the blood sport. Irish Examiner, July 30, 2011

"Two of the country's biggest bookmakers have raised questions as to the 'integrity' of races at both Shelbourne Park and Harold's Cross greyhound tracks in Dublin, according to the minutes of recent Bord na gCon board meetings. The development amounts to an ill-timed new controversy to hit the greyhound industry following two separate allegations in the past three years in relation to the 'integrity' of specific races at the Dundalk and Cork tracks." from Bookmakers cast doubts over greyhound integrity, Sunday Independent, 4th September 2011

"Bord na gCon, the Irish Greyhound Board...receives state subvention of 12m a year..." from Bookmakers cast doubts over greyhound integrity, Sunday Independent, 4th September 2011

"The pine marten is a species listed in Annexes II and IV of the habitat directive as a species of European interest. Also listed in Appendix III of the Bern Convention as a species requiring protection, and in Ireland the species is protected under the Wildlife Act 1976." From Young Pine Marten Successfully Released, ISPCA website.

"Wild Time Radio is an animal rights / world conservation show on air globally every Wednesday from 2-4pm GMT via www.rhubarbradio.com The show is co-broadcast on www.tcrfm.co.uk Mondays from 8-9.30pm GMT. Produced and hosted by holistic animal healer and animal rights activist Thomas Janak - http://www.wildtimeontcrfm.blogspot.com/"

"A 49-year-old bear hunter from Shepherd, Michigan, was injured Sunday night (Sept. 11) when he was attacked in his tree stand by a female black bear in Mackinac County, west of the village of Trout Lake, the Department of Natural Resources reported today. The hunter sustained non-life threatening lacerations to his legs and was transported to a local hospital by a member of his hunting party. According to initial reports, the hunter was seated approximately 10 to 12 feet above the ground in a tree stand when a female bear and three cubs approached." from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources news release, September 12, 2011.

"I caught a dog [in a Larsen trap] a few years back...one of the funniest things I've seen, the mesh was 2" on that trap and his legs were poking out, he could move about 5 yards at a time, took the dog back to his owner and no harm done. I had the trap baited with a bit of rabbit trying to get a decoy. Caught plenty of cats in my fox trap." A comment on boards.ie confirms that dogs and cats are being caught in Larsen traps.

"We worship a false God when we worship ourselves, or when we think only human beings matter to God, or when we think our power over animals is its own justification, or when we regard cruelty to any creature as a small, insignificant, matter, or, even worse, when we think God condones any infliction of suffering." Professor Andrew Linzey, theologian at Oxford University and the director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. From a press release, 29 September 2011

23. Letters to Editors

'Abhorrent' cruelty being committed
Galway Independent

21 September 2011

Dear Editor,

Throughout September and October, one of the most abhorrent examples of cruelty is being committed in the countryside. Cub hunting involves flushing infant foxes out of their earths and goading hounds into tearing them apart.

The existence of this gruesome practice spotlights the glaring inadequacy of our animal welfare laws but also the lies hunters hide behind. Trying to downplay their depravity, they often maintain that only old and sick foxes are killed (as if this might make it more acceptable). The casualties of "cubbing", however, are unmistakably young and healthy.

They claim it's natural for a pack of hounds to chase a fox but the truth is that, during cub hunting, new hounds are unnaturally introduced to the taste of fox blood and trained to attack a creature which poses them no threat. They tell farmers they are eliminating a so-called pest species, whereas part of the purpose of cub hunting is to force the dispersal of foxes. Siblings of slaughtered cubs are scattered so that their wider distribution will later provide a greater hunting area.

Unsurprisingly, farmers are increasingly recognising that any perceived problem with foxes is eclipsed by hunters poaching pastures, spreading disease, disturbing livestock and damaging boundaries. This autumn, landowners and legislators are urged to hear the cries of the cubs and act to spare them the suffering.

Philip Kiernan, Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Cruel animal traps should be outlawed
The Kerryman

September 28 2011

Sir, Last week's revelations in The Kerryman about the horrific cruelty to birds caught in traps, presumably Larsen traps, is utterly sickening, and all the more reason for these cruel traps to be outlawed. Ironically, the Larsen trap, developed in Denmark, is now banned in that country as it was deemed to be inhumane. The Larsen trap has been condemned by the many animal welfare experts, including the chief superintendent of the RSPCA, who stated that they were inherently cruel.

The Larsen trap uses a decoy bird, i.e. magpie, crow, jackdaws, rooks and other members of the crow family, to lure in one of its species, and then watch as it is killed in front of it. The decoy bird, according to law, is supposed to be fed and watered, but scant regard is paid to this legal requirement in many cases. Furthermore, confined in this trap, its most vital instincts are frustrated and, close to the ground, it is terrorised by predators.

And now we learn from The Kerryman story the "unspeakable cruelty" meted out to these sentient creatures by some sick individuals in the north and east of Kerry i.e. birds left to die in cages, burned alive with blow torches or beaten to a pulp with metal bars.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is campaigning for the Larsen trap to be banned on the grounds that it is cruel and inhumane to confine and terrorise a bird or animal in this manner. We again call on Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts & Heritage, who has responsibility for our vulnerable wildlife, to outlaw this barbaric trap.

Aideen Yourell, Spokesperson, Irish Council Against Blood Sports, P.O. Box 88, Mullingar.

Cub Hunting
Tuam Herald, September 15

Dear Editor,

Deep in the countryside, in the still hours after daybreak, the silence is shattered by the sound of a fox crying for its life.

Throughout September, the sad plight of our wildlife continues as foxhunting groups descend on earths, flush cubs out into the open and use them as live bait for their dogs.

No mercy is shown as the squealing creatures are dragged off their feet and bitten to death.

This brutality is carried out to introduce new hounds to the taste of fox blood ahead of another hunting season. The hunters like to refer to it as 'Autumn hunting' but their euphemism doesn't disguise the fact that it's one of Ireland's nastiest acts of cruelty.

In the absence of long overdue legislation that will one day ban such barbarity, landowners are urged to keep hunters out and protect foxes from their persecutors.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Disappointed with Mooncoin hare coursing feature
Kilkenny People, 21 January 2011

Dear Editor,

Though I normally enjoy Barrie Henriques' "Southern Scene" column in your excellent newspaper, I was disappointed with his over the top piece on hare coursing in the Mooncoin district. A reader unfamiliar with this cruel sport might deduct from Barrie's article that it was one of the fairest, best regulated sports on earth, and that every coursing venue was a holiday camp for hares!

Sadly this is not the case. Dosing the hares against disease doesn't lessen the terror they experience when they are compelled to run from two greyhounds. There is nothing fair or sporting about using a hare as live bait in this way, any more than it would be fair to have the Kilkenny hurling team face an opposing side that had more players on it, or to give hurleys to only half the team members.

Coursing is more a form of bullying than a sport. Though the dogs are muzzled, they can toss the hares around and maul them, and we know now that hares that are subjected to coursing suffer afterwards from a condition known as "stress myopathy" that affects a number of wild species, and are liable to die from this.

Barrie is a great sports writer, but I wish he had spoken to some Mooncoin people who do NOT approve of hare coursing. His article was far too one-sided and weighted in favour of this controversial activity. There are people for and against it here in Mooncoin as I am sure there are in Barrie's native Callan, or indeed any other part of Ireland one cares to mention.

I would have no objection to coursing if a mechanical hare was used, as happens now in Australia, Britain and Northern Ireland where the coursing of live hares is banned by law.

Keep up the good writing Barrie, but please stick to covering REAL sports, and not something that gives sport a bad name!

Joseph P Barry
Roselawn, Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny

Shame on the justice system that fails to protect horses from being cruelly treated
Galway Advertiser, August 04, 2011.

Dear Editor,

"In response to the failed GSPCA prosecution of the owner, guilty of horse cruelty, I have this to say; - to the owner of the horses 'shame on you' for starving an innocent pregnant mare and foal, for leaving them out in the freezing cold with no shelter, and for saying that you were giving them medical help.

To the legal representation, for helping the man get off the hook through a minor technicality, I say 'shame on you' for defending the morally indefensible, and getting paid for it.

To the judge, who used the letter of the law and returned the mare and two foals to this man, I say 'shame on you'. I wonder how each of you would feel if you could experience for just one day the pain of cold, thirst, and hunger that these horses felt?

How disheartening it must be for a voluntary animal welfare organisation to have to take on time and time again in court those whose morals are up for sale. Fortunately, GSPCA understands the difference between right and wrong, and that sustains them. Each creature on this planet is connected: what we do to one, we do to all, and that includes ourselves; that is the universal law of cause and effect."

Alison Herbert,
Ballybrit Heights, Galway.

What justice is there when we have loopholes to allow animal cruelty?
Galway Advertiser, August 04, 2011.

Dear Editor,

What kind of a judicial system do we have? How can someone who has neglected to take proper care of his horses get off scot-free because an officer of the GSPCA and a veterinary surgeon entered his field without his permission? I do not believe for one second that the GSPCA officer and a veterinary surgeon just "came across" these animals. Presumably they had good reason to investigate, ie they must have been alerted to the fact that the horses were being cruelly treated. Why did the owner not provide food, water, shelter and veterinary care?

Perhaps defendants got off because they can afford to hire a barrister? Because of a silly loophole, this case is dismissed and the horses are returned to them. I wonder what will become of these horses now?

To me this proves the law is an ass! What kind of asses are the people in the system who allowed this to happen?

Yours,

Muriel Hayden,
Athenry, Co Galway.

24. 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!
Petition Against Faroese Pilot Whale Hunts
Stop the Bail-Out for Irish Dog Tracks
Ban Larsen Traps & Multi Corvid Traps
Save the Turtles in Costa Rica!
Ban bullfighting groups from Facebook
Help stop the dog cruelty! (in China)

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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Make a donation to ICABS

Please consider making a small donation to ICABS. For more details, please click on the button below or follow this link to find out how to become a campaign supporter. Thank you.


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