Animal Voice: Issue 12, December 2011
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Happy Christmas 2011 from all at ICABS
02. Animal Voice - Winter 2011-12
03. Hunt to depart from Ballymaloe House on New Year's Day
04. Fis Nua party denounce hunting
05. Hunt group says hunting is "very much under threat"
06. Ask the Lols not to perform at hunt balls
07. Investigation into illegal dog baiting
08. Mexico City is taking a step toward a ban on bullfighting
09. Ask Irish Heart Foundation to clarify bloodsports stance
10. Review into Fur Farming in Ireland
11. Campaign Quotes
12. Letters to Editors
13. Petitions

01. Happy Christmas from all at ICABS

Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2012.

We wish all our friends & supporters a happy, healthy holiday!

Thank you for all your support throughout the year. We look forward to your continued support in the new year.

Send an ICABS Christmas e-card

02. Animal Voice - Winter 2011-12

Check out the Winter 2011-12 edition of the ICABS Animal Voice newsletter. The 44-page magazine contains all the latest campaign news, updates and action alerts. Download your copy now and email to all your friends.

Download Now (pdf, 3.2 MB)

If you would like a print version, please email us your name and postal address.

03. Hunt to depart from Ballymaloe House on New Year's Day

Ballymaloe House in Cork is to again host a hunt this New Year's Day. In a current "special offer", the country house is trying to attract guests with the promise of mulled wine, mince pies and a chance to see the local hunt setting off from the property.

A notice on the Ballymaloe bookings page outlines that the offer includes: "complimentary afternoon tea and cake during your stay and mulled wine with mince pies on New Year's morning [2012] when the local hunt departs from Ballymaloe".

More details are given on marketing website, Ireland's Blue Book, which outlines that visitors to Ballymaloe can "act as a spectator or join in with the local hunt as it departs from Ballymaloe".

"Chose to put on your riding boots or wrap your hands around a warming glass of mulled wine as the hounds get excited," it adds.

Ballymaloe House is owned by members of the Allen Family. Despite conveying concern for wildlife on its website - "the grounds are a haven for wildlife" - hunters and hounds have been invited on to the property for years.

Responding to complaints, Hazel Allen of Ballymaloe House stated: "Traditionally the local hunt meet in this area on New Years Day and as we are in the hospitality business, we offer the families and friends a mince pie and a drink..."

In 2002, ICABS highlighted how Darina Allen "wined and dined" members of a local hunt. A photograph of the celebrity cook published in the Irish Field newspaper showed her serving mince pies to a mounted Cloyne Harriers huntsman outside Ballymaloe House. According to the accompanying report, "there was a bottomless supply of lovely mulled wine and delicious mince pies" at the New Year's Day lawn meet.


Please contact Ballymaloe House and urge management to show compassion for the victims of hunting by keeping hunters and hounds out. If its association with hunts would make you avoid staying at the property or purchasing Ballymaloe-related products, please make this clear in your correspondence.

Hazel Allen
Ballymaloe House
Co Cork

Tel: +353 (0)21 4652 531
Twitter: @Ballymaloe
Leave a comment on the Ballymaloe Facebook Page

04. Fis Nua party denounce hunting

Ireland's newest registered political party has denounced cruelty to animals, including hunting. At a recent convention, Fis Nua passed a motion stating: "We denounce all forms of animal cruelty and terrorisation, and hunting animals for sport."

The passing of the motion means that this now forms Fis Nua's stated policy on animal welfare.

ICABS welcomes Fis Nua's strong anti-bloodsports stance. Thanks and congratulations to the party's Deputy Co-Ordinator, Cllr Patricia Kavanagh (Wicklow Town Council) for succeeding in getting the motion passed.

Find out more about Fis Nua and how you can get involved at

05. Hunt group says hunting is "very much under threat"

A hunting group has acknowledged that bloodsports continue to be "very much under threat" in Ireland. A spokesperson for the Hunting Association of Ireland said that hunting activities are in danger even though the Green Party is no longer represented in government.

In a 2011 newsletter, HAI chairman, Donal Boyle, stated: "Many may feel with the demise of the Green influence in government that the danger has receded, but nothing could be further from the truth."

He stressed that hunting is "very much under threat from those who oppose our sport".

Please continue supporting the ICABS campaign and helping to increase the threat to hunting until it is finally banned.

How you can increase the threat to hunting

06. Ask the Lols not to perform at hunt balls

ICABS has expressed disappointment to Midlands band, the Lols, who are to perform at a hunt ball on January 1st.

"Hunt balls are a fundraiser for hunting and help to keep the bloodsport going," we stated in an email to the band.

We highlighted the animal suffering and killing involved.

Join us in asking the Lols to reject hunt balls.

Tel: (087) 2499800

07. Investigation into illegal dog baiting

The following report from the Galway Bay FM website highlights that illegal dog baiting is believed to be taking place in Galway. Help stop the suffering of dogs - please contact the Gardai immediately if you have any information on anyone involved in horrific dog baiting activities.

Galway investigation into illegal dog baiting
Galway Bay FM, December 2, 2011

An investigation has been launched into illegal dog baiting in the city.

If follows the abduction of a golden labrador in the Renmore area this week which was later returned in a very poor condition, having been beaten.

An examination carried out by a local vet revealed the pet had evidence of bite marks and was likely to have been used as bait for underground dog fighting.

Evidence showed the animal had also been muzzled to prevent any retaliation.

Margaret O'Sullivan of the Galway Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the incident is now being investigated.

08. Mexico City is taking a step toward a ban on bullfighting

Source: CAS International

On 5 and 7 December proponents and opponents of bullfighting presented their pro- and anti-bullfighting arguments to the Congress of Mexico City. The arguments of the representatives of animal welfare organisations in favour of a ban were well received by the members of the commission for Public Administration.

Also shown to Congress were videos, photographs and studies which show the nature of the bull and its suffering during the bullfight. The members of the commission were informed about the process that has led to the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia and about the future of the bullring in Mexico City, as exemplified by the re-use of the bullring Las Arenas in Barcelona. Since March 2011 this arena houses a commercial centre with shops, museums, cinemas and sports facilities. A similar re-use of the arena in Mexico City will compensate for the loss of jobs in the bullfighting industry due to a ban.

Victor Hirales (Derecho sin Fronteras) is a bioethicus who explained to the Congress the nature of the bull. Supporters of bullfighting claim that the bull is aggressive by nature. Research shows that this is not the case: the bull is more likely to shy away from people than to attack them.

Gustavo Larios of Amedea Mant presented a petition signed by animal protectors from different countries to the members of the commission. He also provided them with several studies that show the suffering of the bulls and results of polls conducted in 2009 and 2011, indicating that less than 10% of the population of Mexico City are against a ban on bullfighting.

According to member of the parliament Lizbeth Rosas, representatives of animal welfare organisations presented more convincing arguments than the supporters of bullfighting did. It is to be expected that the ban will be voted on before the end of 2011.

09. Ask Irish Heart Foundation to clarify bloodsports stance

ICABS has expressed disappointment to the Irish Heart Foundation after a representative thanked hunters for supporting a fund-raiser.

In a letter to the editor published in the Nenagh Guardian of 26th November, a Irish Heart Foundation Regional Manager stated: "Thanks to the East Clare Farmers Hunt for their co-operation and participation on the day...Thanks to all the local hunts and those who travelled from all over the country to participate [in the Horse and Pony Charity Ride]."

In an email to the IHF head office, we pointed out that foxhunts cause horrendous suffering and death to Irish wildlife and that a majority of Irish citizens want foxhunting made illegal.


Please join us in appealing to the Irish Heart Foundation to clarify its stance on bloodsport cruelty.

Irish Heart Foundation
4 Clyde Road
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 1 6685001
Fax: +353 1 6685896

10. Review into Fur Farming in Ireland

Source: ANVIL -

The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has announced a review group to investigate fur farming in Ireland. Submissions have been invited and the closing date is 31st December 2011.

This is disappointing as a ban on fur farming had been expected to be in place within 3 years as proposed by the Green party in the last administration.

The terms of reference of the review are as follows:

1. To review fur farming in Ireland taking into account existing legislative provisions for the licensing of mink farming
2. To comment on the economic benefits of the sector
3. To consider the effectiveness of existing welfare controls, and
4. to make appropriate recommendations

Submissions have been invited and should be sent to or

Animal Health and Welfare,
(Ref: Fur Farming Submissions)
Department of Agriculture
4 Centre, Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2

It is important that as many people as possible send in submissions outlining their opposition to this barbaric practice.

11. Campaign Quotes

"Dear might soften the hearts of hunters who call it sport to maim and kill/We know politics respond to lobbyists but they could resist if they'd a will/They may secure a licence but not a right to take our Nature from us/I suppose the only way to stop them is to make a mighty fuss" From Dear Santa by Thomas O Donovan

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of Snip Nua's tragic death. The decision to destroy Snip - the BBC's canine star of Three Men go to Ireland - was taken by her affluent syndicate members to include comedian Dara O'Brien. RIP 'Snip Nua', the fight continues in your name and the other thousands of greyhounds that suffer and die worldwide, all for the price of a bet! 14th December 2011

"There are many books promoting blood sports in shops and libraries nationwide. Bad Hare Days by John Fitzgerald is one of the very few that offers an anti-blood sports perspective and as such may prove useful or of interest to readers of all ages and to students undertaking research projects." Download Bad Hare Days at

"We're sending out a heartfelt plea to the farm where the pigs escaped from with an offer to buy the animals and retire them to a kind, caring sanctuary where the animals will meet nothing but compassion and kindness and a fulfilling life, not on top of someone's plate this Sunday." John Carmody quoted in the Clare Herald of 28 November following the escape and recapture of two pigs from a farm.

Environment Minister, Phil Hogan has signed the commencement order for the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, paving the way for tighter controls to prevent cruelty from January 1st. He was at the Dogs Trust yesterday to mark the signing of the Act. Mr Hogan said most dog-breeding establishments were well run. "However, I am well aware of problems with a small number of establishments. The legislation will deal with these operators, who seem to have no respect for the animals they use." Irish Times, December 22, 2011

The beginning of 2012 is a good one: on the first day of the new year, bullfights are banned from Catalonia. A good start of the year, isn't it? Marius Kolff, CAS International,

"Live hare coursing, the father of modern day racing, was once regarded as a proper and normal practice, particularly by the rural community and many politicians..." From an Australian greyhound racing website. Hare coursing is illegal in Australia.

The Dublin SPCA, Ireland's oldest and largest animal welfare charity, would like to make people aware that we do not condone the use of live animals for entertainment purposes. Furthermore, with regard to the Lord Mayor's Crib, the Dublin SPCA neither granted permission, nor were they asked for advice surrounding this activity. DSPCA website, December 14, 2011

12. Letters to Editors

Goodwill hunting
Irish Independent, December 13 2011

Given the inclement weather at this time of year, would it be too much to ask bloodsport enthusiasts to call off their recreational killing and terrorising of wildlife for a few weeks?

Far from scaling down their activities, fox hunts escalate their attacks from mid-December on the much-maligned creatures that provide them with "sport", climaxing on St Stephen's Day.

Coursing clubs step up their assaults on hares during the festive season. Last year, in the midst of some of the worst weather conditions seen for decades, coursing events went ahead on frozen, water-logged or slush-drenched fields, the organisers seemingly heedless of the additional suffering caused.

It wasn't enough to force them to run for their lives from pairs of hyped-up dogs, to be forcibly struck, mauled, or tossed about like playthings; they had to perform for the human spectators (who were well insulated against the chill) in sub-zero temperatures.

Both so-called sports bring man's inhumanity to a fine art, transforming a winter wonderland into a cruel amphitheatre.

The birds could do with a respite also, and yet they face even more human foes at Christmas. Ducks are shot in rivers and lakes even as they forage frantically to feed themselves. The pheasant, with its eye-catching multi-coloured crest, rises into a winter sky only to be blasted and turned into a blood-soaked carcass.

Some shooters add song birds to their killing lists, blowing away blackbirds, song thrushes, wrens, chaffinches and, yes, the very symbol of Christmas itself, the robin redbreast.

The excuse offered is that these birds make smaller and therefore more challenging targets, the shallowest of motives.

Shooting "for the pot" is one thing, with the acquisition of food as the stated aim, but how can one justify killing the singers?

Leaving aside the ethical objection to targeting birds and animals for sport, I suggest that those involved in all these activities put away their firearms or call off the dogs for at least seven days before and after Christmas

This is reasonable: a two-week ceasefire to give our hard-pressed wildlife a break during the season of peace and goodwill.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports

13. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports In Ireland Now
End Hare Coursing In Ireland
Ban Irish Fox Hunting
Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland
Stop the Bail-Out for Irish Dog Tracks
Lobby for the urgent need for updated Animal Welfare Legislation in Ireland
Petition Against Faroese Pilot Whale Hunts
Ban Larsen Traps & Multi Corvid Traps
Demand Facebook includes a "report animal abuse/torture" button

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 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

Tune in to the ICABS Channel

Footage of blood sport cruelty and the humane alternatives can be viewed on the ICABS Channel on Youtube - or by clicking on "Videos" at 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

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