Animal Voice: Issue 1, January 2012
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Protest against hare coursing - Dublin, Monday, 30th January
02. Protest against coursing - Clonmel, Monday, 30th January
03. Government Minister presents trophy at coursing meeting
04. The cruelty of coursing continues
05. Kilkenny's Springhill Court hotel wishes luck to coursing club
06. Gardai continuing to monitor Ward Union situation
07. Irish Independent asked to reject coursing
08. Complaint to Church over coursing patron priest
09. Meath County Councillors should be ashamed of themselves
10. Call for boycott of Liam Neeson's "The Grey"
11. The cubhunting horror "I will never forget"
12. Renewed call for end to digging out
13. Hunters and hounds at Ballymaloe House on New Year's Day
14. Comment: Coursing in Millstreet park
15. Mink fur farm cruelty exposed
16. Publican fired shots at hounds on his land
17. Taking joy in death is retrograde
18. The cruelty of pheasant shooting
19. Complain to Mexican Ambassador about bull abuse
20. Download Animal Voice - Winter 2011-12
21. Campaign Quotes
22. Letters to Editors
23. Petitions

01. Protest against hare coursing - Dublin, Monday, 30th January

ICABS will join with other animal groups outside the Department of Agriculture on Monday, January 30th at 12.30pm, to mount a protest against hare coursing. Please support this important event.

The protest coincides with the first day of the coursing finals in Clonmel.

Joining the protest will be ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan, TD, Vice-President, Noel Gregory and Clare Daly, TD of the Socialist Party.

We would very much appreciate your support on the day. We need to send a clear signal to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, that hares, foxes, etc, are deserving of protection against cruelty and suffering, and that all wild animals should be included for such protection under the new animal welfare legislation being framed.

Thank you. We look forward to seeing you there.

Location: Outside Dept of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Date: Monday, January 30th, 2012
Time: 12:30pm - 2pm

02. Protest against coursing - Clonmel, Monday, 30th January

An anti-coursing protest will be held by Animal Rights Action Network this Monday, January 30 at noon outside Powerstown Park, Clonmel.

Find out more about ARAN at

03. Government Minister presents trophy at coursing meeting

ICABS has expressed disgust to Minister Phil Hogan after he was photographed presenting a trophy at a hare coursing meeting. The Minister posed with the cup for a winning greyhound which had earlier bashed into a hare and sent it tumbling head over heels.

"A Government Minister supporting a form of animal cruelty which is illegal in all neighbouring jurisdictions, reflects poorly on Ireland," we stated. "We urge you to respect the majority view among the electorate that coursing is unacceptable in the 21st century and should be urgently banned."

In a letter to Fine Gael Head Office, we commented that it was highly inappropriate for a Government Minister to be involved with an animal cruelty activity.

"Minister Hogan's presence at a coursing meeting sullies the office of the Minister for the Environment and is an insult to the majority of Irish citizens who want this deplorable activity banned," we stated.


Contact Minister Phil Hogan and ask him to stop associating with coursing cruelty. Tell him that you are one of the majority in Ireland who want the government to make coursing illegal.

Tel: +353 (0)1 888 2403

04. The cruelty of coursing continues

Defenders of hare coursing continue to assert that the muzzling of greyhounds has eliminated the kill, but the annual monitoring reports obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act say otherwise.

For example, in the last season, 2010/11, 2 hares died as a result of being mauled by greyhounds, while another was put down at a coursing meeting in Donegal.

At Tradaree, a total of 6 hares died as a result of injuries, while 1 was put down.

At Freshford, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 3 injured and two died from injuries.

At Wexford & District, 2 hares died of injuries.

A vet's report on Liscannor stated that 3 hares were injured, 2 euthanised and 9 hares "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.

At Doon, 7 hares were pinned, 4 injured, 2 of which were put down.

At Tubbercurry, 2 hares were injured, 2 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", according to a vet's report, with one hare "injured in box before release and died". At Borrisoleigh, 1 hare was put down at the request of a National Parks ranger as it had a broken leg, while a veterinary report for the same meeting noted that 6 hares were "unfit" for coursing over the two days.

At Galbally, a ranger stated that "1 hare did not look well before coursing started and was euthanised."

At Mitchelstown, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 1 put down and 1 found dead in box during release. The vet's report stated that 8 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.

At Loughrea, 2 hares were injured and put down, while another died "in transit to Mayo".

At Glanworth, a vet report stated that 4 hares were injured during coursing and 5 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards.

At Ennis, 3 hares were hit by dogs, 1 injured and put down, and another died from injuries.

At Thurles, 8 hares were hit by dogs, 2 died "overnight" and at Ballyheigue, 3 hares were hit, 1 injured and put down.

Disturbingly, at a coursing meeting in Westmeath, the ranger was concerned that two hares, which were mauled by the dogs and placed in a box, were not receiving veterinary attention. She drew the attention of a coursing official to this after the vet had left the event, and was told that he was "going to bring them up to the vet's surgery".

The ranger decided to follow the official to the vet's surgery, whereupon the vet came out to look at the hares.

According to the ranger, the vet checked the hares' tag numbers and said he thought they seemed fine, although the hares remained in the box during the examination.

The vet kept the hares and said he would release them later if they were all right. The following day, the ranger was told that the vet had released the two hares, and would send on a report, which the ranger never received.

The next day, during the release of hares, the ranger saw a hare limp away, carrying its front left foot.

05. Kilkenny's Springhill Court hotel wishes luck to coursing club

ICABS is calling on the Brennan Group of Hotels to disassociate from hare coursing. The appeal follows another of the group's hotels advertising in a coursing meeting booklet.

In the January 2012 booklet for the Sevenhouses coursing club, an advert appears for Springhill Court hotel in Kilkenny. Above the Brennan Hotels logo, the wording in the advert is: "A very warm welcome to all of our English visitors this weekend, and the best of luck to Sevenhouses coursing club".

A link to a gallery of photos showing hares desperately running for their lives at the Sevenhouses meeting has been brought to the attention of the Brennan Group as well as to the manager of Springhill Court hotel.

"It is incredible that a modern hotel chain unashamedly associates with coursing cruelty," we stated in an email to the company. "From a business perspective, it is surprising that you don't take into consideration the fact that businesses which back animal cruelty risk being shunned by potential customers among the majority who oppose bloodsports."

The Springhill Court hotel is the latest Brennan Hotel to be linked to coursing. Previously, complaints have been made to Clonmel Park Conference Leisure & Spa Hotel about the publicisation of hare coursing on its website and a hotel advert in a coursing booklet which welcomed coursers and stated that coursing videos would be shown nightly at the hotel.

Hare coursing subjects hares to an appalling ordeal. They are violently captured from the wild in nets, transported in crates and kept in captivity for weeks before being forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds. The stress they endure leave them at risk of dying from capture myopathy during or after coursing.

Hares hit by the greyhounds suffer agonising internal injuries such as broken bones and dislocated hips. Every coursing season, hares are injured and killed.


Please join us in appealing to the Brennan Hotels group to act with compassion and fully disassociate its hotels from coursing.

Monica O'Byrne
Sales and Marketing Director
Brennan Hotels Group

Mr S O'Carroll
General Manager:
Springhill Court Hotel
Waterford Rd, Kilkenny
Tel: +353 56 7721122
Fax: +353 56 7761600

06. Gardai continuing to monitor Ward Union situation

The Office of the Garda Commissioner's Private Secretary has assured ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan TD, that the force is continuing to monitor the situation in the area where the Ward Union hunt operates "to ensure there are no breaches of the criminal law".

Deputy O'Sullivan - one of a majority of TDs who voted in 2010 for a ban on the cruel hunt - was told this week that the local Gardai "are fully aware of the terms of the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010" and that personnel have been "tasked with enforcing this legislation and dealing with all issues as they arise".

The Ward Union's hunting of deer with packs of hounds was outlawed in 2010 with the passing of the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010. According to this legislation, "a person who hunts deer with two or more dogs shall be guilty of an offence."


If you reside in the area where the Ward Union operates, please familiarise yourself with the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010 and report any breaches to the Gardai.

For the phone numbers of Garda stations, please visit:

07. Irish Independent asked to reject coursing

ICABS is calling on the Irish Independent to reject hare coursing. The call follows the inclusion of a coursing image in a 2012-13 Independent calendar and the continued publication of coursing results in the paper's sports pages.

The January 2013 page of the calendar (in association with Canon Ireland) shows the unleashing of greyhounds at a 1979 coursing meeting in Clonmel. It was included with the 7th January 2012 edition of the newspaper.

In a letter to Independent editor, Gerry O'Regan, ICABS stated:

"For those who abhor cruelty and respect wildlife, it was disappointing to see the inclusion of a hare coursing image on the January 2013 page of the latest Irish Independent calendar. It is saddening that, out of an archive of thousands of photos, this animal cruelty scene from Clonmel was chosen. Hare coursing is opposed by a majority in Ireland (including, no doubt, a majority of Irish Independent readers) and most won't want to suffer the month-long sight of a heartless courser unleashing greyhounds to chase a hare which may very well have been caught and ripped apart."

The Irish Independent is also being asked to keep coursing off its sports pages. An activity involving the terrorisation, chasing, mauling and killing of hares could never be categorised as a sport and should have no place on these pages.


Please join us in appealing to the Irish Independent to keep coursing out of its calendars and to exclude coursing from its sports pages.

Mr Gerry O'Regan
The Editor
Irish Independent

Tel: +353 (0)1 705 5333

Contact calendar sponsor, Canon Ireland, and ask them to clarify their stance on coursing.

Tel: +353 (0)1 205 2400
Email via:

08. Complaint to Church over coursing patron priest

ICABS has complained to the Bishop of Ossory about a parish priest who is a patron of a coursing club. On the front cover of the Sevenhouses coursing club booklet, the patron is listed as "V Reverend Kieran Cantwell PP".

In a letter to Bishop Seamus Freeman, we pointed to the Catholic Catechism which makes it clear that "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly."

Photos from the Sevenhouses coursing meeting, held on January 14 and 15, show hares running for their lives. Links to these have been sent to Bishop Freeman.

We have also renewed calls on the Irish Bishops Conference to act to end clergy involvement with blood sports.

"Members of the clergy should surely be denouncing animal cruelty and not acting as patrons or associating in any way with this disgusting animal abuse," we stated.


Ask Bishop Freeman to act to stop clergy involvement in blood sports.

Seamus Freeman, SAC
Bishop of Ossory
Ossory Diocesan Office,
James's Street, Kilkenny
Tel: 056-7762448. Fax: 056-7763753

Ask Rev Cantwell to show compassion and disassociate from coursing.

Very Rev. Kieran Cantwell P.P.
Danesfort, Co. Kilkenny
Tel: 056 7727137
Mobile: 087 2661228
Fax: 056 7727137


Urge the President of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference to act to end clergy involvement in blood sports.

Cardinal Sean Brady
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
President, Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference
Ara Coeli, Armagh BT61 7QY
Tel: +44 (0)28 3752 2045
Tel: 048-3752 2045 (from the Republic)
Fax: +44 (0)28 3752 6182
Fax: 048-3752 6182 (from the Republic)

Send a copy of your correspondence to the Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Charles John Brown
Apostolic Nuncio
The Apostolic Nunciature
183 Navan Road
Dublin 7
Tel: +353 (0)1 838 0577
Fax: +353(0)1 838 0276

09. Meath County Councillors should be ashamed of themselves

Council under fire from bloodsports opponents
Meath Chronicle, 18th January, 2012

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has expressed its "deep disappointment" at a motion passed by Meath County Council last week, calling on the government to reverse the ban on the Ward Union deer hunt.

The banning of this hunt in summer 2010 was overwhelmingly welcomed, not only by a majority in Meath but all over Ireland, the organisation said.

Last week, Meath County councillors voted overwhelmingly to call on the government to overturn the ban.

"Have the councillors who voted to support this motion an iota of compassion for the deer who suffered at the hands of this hunt for a century and a half?" asked Aideen Yourell, spokesperson for the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS).

"Clearly they are ignoring the wishes of the vast majority of decent, humane people in County Meath, who are opposed to the Ward Union. These compassionless councillors are also turning their backs on the farmers and landowners who have endured trespass and nuisance caused by this hunt over the years."

ICABS paid tribute to those councillors who voted against the motion and declared their opposition to "hunting cruelty".

Cllr Jimmy Fegan said he was voting against the motion because he "abhorred stag hunting" while Cllr Noel Leonard added that "I oppose stag hunting for the simple reason that it is cruel" and "there is no need for stag hunting in this day and age." He also made the point that "not one job has been lost as a result of the ban - the statistics are there to prove it".

In November, a spokesperson for Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, dismissed claims by Minister of State Shane McEntee that the Ward Union would be back. The spokesperson emphasised that there was "no such commitment in the Programme for Government" to reversing the ban.

A spokesman for Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan is also on record as confirming that "there isn't (a plan)" to reverse the ban and that "there is no legislation in the pipeline".

Meanwhile, Tanaiste and Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, has given several assurances that his party are against any reversal. "The Programme for Government contains no commitment to reverse the ban on stag hunting.

"The Labour Party position is as stated, we do not support reversal of the ban," he has said.

His personal assistant later commented that "there is no plan to revisit the issue".

Sinn Fein is also against reversing the Ward Union ban as is the Socialist Party.

ICABS said politicians like Shane McEntee and members of Meath County Council who continue agitating for a reversal of the ban should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. "It's now time for them to move on, respect the wishes of the electorate and accept that this hunting barbarity has no place in a civilised society," the group added.

10. Call for boycott of Liam Neeson's "The Grey"

An American wildlife protection group is calling for a boycott of newly released film, "The Grey".

In an online post, John Horning, the Executive Director of WildEarth Guardians expresses concern that the film which "inaccurately depicts wolves as hunters of humans" will fuel further persecution of the species.

The group criticises director, Joe Carnahan, who reportedly ordered an animal trapper to supply four dead Canadian wolves. Two of the carcasses were given to the cast and crew to eat while the other two became on-screen props.

"Killing wolves to make a movie and then profiting from their deaths is simply wrong," Mr Horning says in his statement.

Send a complaint to "The Grey" director

11. The cubhunting horror "I will never forget"

An ICABS supporter in Limerick recalls the horrors he witnessed at a cubhunt over 40 years ago. Shockingly, Irish foxes continue to suffer the same barbarism in 2012.

When I was a boy of 5 years old, I was taken to a cubbing. Even today, 43 years later, I can clearly recall the event.

The excitement of the men present. The terror of the foxcubs. The frenzy of the dogs. The noise of the kill. Afterwards the mangled remains of the cubs, the entrails, the blood. Afterwards the shame of my father that he had attended this and worse, had brought his child to it. Even worse, it was on our farm. When my mother found out she was blind with rage.

Many of those men are still alive. I remember one of them. He used foul language to one of the dogs because the dog was a coward. He only tore the cub when it was dead. He was afraid of being bitten while it was alive. When the show was over, the man took the dog away to kill it. He tied it to a stake. He was going to hit it with the spade that he had used to dig out the cubs.

My father stopped him and we got the dog as a pet. He was a little black and brown terrier called Tiny.

I will never forget. I will never forget.

12. Renewed call for end to digging out

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is renewing its call on the Minister for Agriculture to outlaw the horrendous practices of digging out and terrierwork. We are urging all TDs and Senators to back a ban on these activities.

Although similar to illegal badger baiting, fox baiting remains legal in this country. It is carried out by what can only be described as thugs and sadists who dig animals out with spades and take pleasure in seeing their dogs inflicting the most savage injuries on them.

Digging out and terrierwork is also an integral part of foxhunting in Ireland. The foxhunters' so-called code of conduct states that "only one terrier at a time may be used to locate the fox except in rocks, stacks of bales or stick piles, etc...Digging shall only be conducted by a small number of experienced people and assistants appointed by the Master or his nominee." It also highlights their desire to keep this appalling act away from the public eye, stressing that "reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure that digging out will not become a public spectacle."

Badger baiting, dog fighting and cock fighting are already illegal in Ireland. The next step must be for the heinous practice of fox digging and baiting to be outlawed.


Please contact the Minister for Agriculture and demand an end to digging out and terrierwork.

Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Dear Minister Coveney,

I support the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' call on you to urgently outlaw both digging out and terrierwork. These horrendous acts of cruelty are carried out by sadistic individuals and also by merciless foxhunting groups (when terrified foxes try to find refuge underground). There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for this shameful animal abuse and it must be stopped.

Please make it an offence NOW to dig out any animal or send terriers below ground to catch and attack animals under any circumstances. I also call on you to outlaw the use of packs of hounds to harass, attack, injure and/or kill any animal.

Thank you, Minister. I look forward to your positive response.

[Your Name and Location]

13. Hunters and hounds at Ballymaloe House on New Year's Day

A selection of photos showing hunters and hounds at Ballymaloe House on New Year's Day 2012 can be viewed online at

According to a statement from Rachel Allen on 4th January 2012, "The hunt traditionally meets at Ballymaloe House on New Year's Day only, since long before I was born. The welcome of Ballymaloe House is world famous and we are always anxious, when we can, to uphold that traditional country hospitality."

Responding to appeals to Ballymaloe House to keep the hunters out, Hazel Allen commented on 21 December that "traditionally the local hunt meet in this area on New Year's Day and as we are in the hospitality business we offer the families and friends a mince pie and a drink..."


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.

The Manager
Ballymaloe House
Co Cork

Tel: +353 (0)21 4652 531

14. Comment: Coursing in Millstreet park

Photos from the recent Millstreet coursing meeting show hares desperately running for their lives.

In these disturbing scenes, there is no mistaking the fear and stress of the hares as they try to escape a mauling from the greyhounds bearing down on them.

But it isn't just the hares that are victims of this despicable event. So too is the image and reputation of Millstreet itself.

The hosting of this animal cruelty in Millstreet's Town Park represents an unfortunate black mark against a town that has so many positive attractions and associations.

ICABS calls on the decent people of Millstreet to act to keep cruelty out of their park and prevent coursers from tainting the town.

15. Mink fur farm cruelty exposed

ARAN, Respect for Animals, Anima and Fur Free Alliance have released the findings of a 2011 undercover investigation into Ireland's shameful fur factory farms.

Footage obtained from an Irish mink farm, reveals scenes of animal suffering, including:

- painful injuries on minks' tails
- cramped, aged and filthy cages riddled with animal faeces
- stressed, traumatised and balding animals

Commenting on the footage, Irish vet, Peter Wedderburn, said: "There were several aspects that cause specific concerns. The animals seem to be kept at a high stocking rate, causing forced proximity to one another, with consequent social pressures that lead to repeated bouts of fighting. Episodes of fighting are demonstrated on the video. This in turn results in physical injuries, with one mink shown to have an open wound on its tail and another with the end of its tail completely severed..."

Please visit to view the footage and to support an action alert.

16. Publican fired shots at hounds on his land

Publican fired shots at hounds on his land
By Liam Heylin
Irish Examiner, January 10, 2012

A publican at breaking point took the law into his own hands when foxhounds from a harriers club strayed onto his land in Co Cork and he fired at the dogs.

Detective Garda Pat Condon said the club was not hunting on the land but that their pack of over 30 hounds strayed on to it. Fifteen of the dogs were injured, while four others were never found and it was assumed they were shot and died.

Michael O'Connell, aged 51, of Ardnaleac, Ballingully, Co Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court yesterday to charges of cruelty to animals by wounding of dogs by shooting with an air rifle loaded with .22 calibre lead pellets. He also pleaded guilty to a related charge of unlawfully and maliciously wounding dogs.

Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said O'Connell had complained numerous times about dogs coming on to his lands prior to the incident on February 22, 2009, and that he reached breaking point when he saw the foxhounds that day.

Mr Buttimer described it as a most beautiful location in terms of flora and fauna and that the defendant was trying to let it develop as a safe habitat for badgers and other wildlife. The rural lands overlook the EMC property in the Ovens area.

"He had problems with the ingress of dogs and the amount of destruction they caused. It was probably at breaking point. The charges are confined to wounding and causing damage to animals. Other serious stuff is not levelled against him. His purpose was not to injure the dogs but to protect the habitat," said Mr Buttime.

Judge Leo Malone said he would dismiss the charges under the Probation Act on payment of Eur2,000 to Marymount Hospice and the vet's expenses for appearing in court yesterday for what was listed as a trial before O'Connell's plea of guilty. The judge complimented Waterfall Harrier Club for indicating it would pay its own veterinary costs and forego witness expenses.

17. Taking joy in death is retrograde

Taking joy in death is retrograde
By Siobhan Cronin
Irish Examiner, December 09, 2011

It's called 'game' because that is supposed to be the method used to kill it - a game of chase for us powerful humans exerting our authority over defenceless animals.

But I don't see the game element of it at all - it thoroughly disgusts me that we should choose to extinguish the life of a creature unable to fight against our might, and tools, simply to satisfy our need to feed.

We are not cavemen, we don't have to rely on flesh any longer in order to sate our appetites, so why are we still killing? Is it because our ancestors were born with a very strong need to hunt and kill in order to provide for their families? It's a savage urge that some men and, naturally, fewer women, are intent on carrying on, long after it has outlived its use. I see no difference between game hunting and hare coursing, badger-baiting or cock-fighting. There is something so vile, so retrograde, so basic, about men gathering to take joy from the death of another creature.

You can dress it up with fine clothes, nice conversation and expensive weaponry, but to me it's mass murder, without having to answer for your actions.

And don't pass me off as a bean-eating eco-warrior: we all know it's wrong. How else do you explain the disinfecting of the language with terms like the dogs ensuring the pheasant is 'dispatched with urgency' when what our writer means is that the dogs are sent to retrieve the poor ailing birds so the butchering of them can be finished off? And what about the irony of the 'gamekeeper' being in charge of their diet and 'safekeeping' in the run up to the day of the mass carnage?! Don't make me sick.

These birds are bred for the entertainment of humans and we justify their deaths by devouring them later with some fava beans and a nice chianti, to borrow a quote from Hannibal Lecter.

18. The cruelty of pheasant shooting

A former shooter and gun club chairman has described pheasant shooting as "a very cruel pastime". Speaking on RTE's Liveline on January 3rd, he outlined that "a high proportion of the birds are not killed" when shot and instead suffer agonising injuries.

"Yesterday, I came across a pheasant dragging its wings along the ground, unable to fly because somebody had shot it and not killed it," he said. "Two days previously, I came across a pheasant with its entrails dragging along the ground and obviously in agony because somebody had shot it and not killed it."

Telling listeners that he was a shooter for 40 years and a former chairman of a local gun club, he stated that "the pheasants pay an extraordinarily high price for our fun and so-called sport."

"Of course, it's not a sport," he added emphatically. "It's far from a sport. It's a pastime and a very cruel pastime."

He went on to express his amazement that some people try to glamorise shooting.

Listen to the Liveline show extract

Quotes: Pheasant shooting cruelty

"I worked as a Low Ground Beat Keeper, rearing up to 30,000 Pheasants a year & over the years, I've seen hundreds of injured Pheasants in the days following a shoot. In my opinion though, Pheasant Shooting is Not a sport, they are simply shot for fun & sadly, the way many of those involved treat their dogs is just deplorable." (Comment on Youtube)

"Congratulations to your former shooter who has the courage to tell us the truth about this very cruel pastime. So often we hear a pack of lies from the shooting and hunting fraternity. It's not just the pheasants who get it but any wildlife that gamekeepers perceive as a threat." (Comment on Youtube)


Help protect pheasants and other birds and animals. Make your land off-limits to hunters and shooters. Encourage all your landowner friends and family to make their land a haven for wildlife. Click on "Farmers" at for more information.

19. Complain to Mexican Ambassador about bull abuse

Please join us in complaining to the Mexican Ambassador to Ireland about the barbaric Embalse de Toros.

During the cruel event, held at the beginning of February every year in Tlacotalpan (Veracruz state), bulls are captured, roped to the sides of boats and dragged through a river. When released wet and exhausted on the riverbank, the creatures are taunted and abused by a raucous, drunken crowd.

Quoted by Reuters, one local resident stated that "people cut off their ears and kick them". Online videos and photos show the tails of bulls being pulled and the animals being dragged with ropes and hit.

Watch the Video:

Describing the animal abuse as appalling and unacceptable, ICABS has asked Ambassador Carlos Garcia de Alba to convey our calls for a ban to the relevant authorities in Mexico.

Carlos Garcia de Alba
19 Raglan Road,
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Phone: +353 (0)1 667 3105
Fax: +353 (0)1 664 1013

20. Download 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.

21. Campaign Quotes

"The issues [Margaret Thatcher] supported included...banning the bloodsport [of] hare coursing." from The True Story behind The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep, January 3rd, 2012

"I got three different puppies - three days before Christmas - left with me because their owners wanted a nice clean house for Christmas," reveals Mary Chundee of Mullingar Friends of Animals. By St Stephen's Day, a Christmas present pet - a tiny Jack Russell pup, still too young to be separated from its mother, was dumped in a box on her doorstep. from "Dogs abandoned so owners could have clean homes", Westmeath Examiner, 5th January, 2012

"There's no such thing as bad publicity, or so the saying goes. But is that the case for Audi today as the luxury car manufacturer is getting used to having its Q7 splashed across news pages, with a host of dead birds splayed across its bonnet? ... Even I, a country-living, meat-savaging, SUV-loving boor, finds the image of dead animals strewn across the front of a car like some sort of mass road-kill somewhat troubling. And this is not really what Audi had in mind when they signed up chef Rachel last November. They wanted a yummy mummy on the school run before she drives home to run her ever-growing global brand. Ms Allen said as much recently: "As a working mum I spend a lot of time on the road between filming commitments and playing chauffeur to my children so the Q7 is ideal for me." Now what Rachel should have said was: "As a working mum I spend a lot of time out in fields shooting and killing innocent little birds, before I chuck 'em on the Q7 and watch the blood drip down onto the badge." Ian Mallon, Motoring Editor, Evening Herald, January 03 2012

"Well I won't be watching any more of her cookery programmes. Shame on her!!" Comment left on Rachel Allen's Facebook page in response to a photo showing her posing with a shotgun and birds she killed. 4th January 2012

"The Department of Agriculture came into my townland (which has not had an outbreak of bovine TB in over 45 years) with the intention of 'depopulating' (as in, exterminating) all the badgers in my area. Although various EU and Irish laws protect the badger, the Dept. of Agriculture avoids this issue by stating that the culling is for 'research' purposes. However, their representative advises that the badgers are not tested for TB, when they are culled. The research is actually eradicating areas of this native animal, and then seeing if bTB comes into that area. It appears that more than half of this native species has quietly been destroyed without the knowledge of most of the Irish population." from an email to ICABS, 2011

"The County Galway Hunt also known as the 'Blazers' have permission from Coillte to use Moyode wood as well as a number of other properties owned by Coillte in the vicinity for hunting purposes in line with traditional usage." Michael Donnellan (Forest Manager) Coillte Teoranta, 14/01/2011

"Anyone caught hare coursing should be captured and brought to a field. Then you release trained rottweilers to hunt them down. Don't worry though, the rottweilers will be muzzled." Comment on, 30-11-2011

22. Letters to Editors

Politicians seeking reversal of hunting ban 'should be ashamed of themselves'
Drogheda Independent, January 25 2012

Dear Sir,

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is deeply disappointed at the motion passed by Meath County Council, calling on the government to reverse the ban on the Ward Union deer hunt. The banning of this cruel hunt in summer 2010 was overwhelmingly welcomed, not only by a majority in Meath but all over Ireland.

Have the councillors who voted to support this motion an iota of compassion for the deer who suffered at the hands of this hunt for a century and a half? Clearly they are ignoring the wishes of the vast majority of decent, humane people in Co Meath, who are opposed to the Ward Union.

In November, a spokesperson for An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, dismissed claims by Shane McEntee TD that the Ward Union would be back. Meanwhile, Tanaiste and Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore has given several assurances that his party are against any reversal. So it is the view of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports that the case is now closed on the Ward Union deer hunt, and that the ban will not be reversed.

Politicians like Shane Mcentee TD and members of Meath County Council who continue agitating for a reversal of the ban should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Aideen Yourell
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Hounding wild dogs for 'sport'
The Irish Times, January 3, 2012

Sir, Your festive picture of a St Stephen's Day fox hunt (Home News, December 26th 27th) calls to mind Oscar Wilde's reference to this bloodsport as the "unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable". Not that I feel altogether comfortable with this description, bearing in mind that the writer was not alluding to the cruel nature of the pastime but rather to his distaste for a particular social milieu or set of attitudes that he found distasteful.

I see nothing wrong with any aspect of what is captured in your paper's photograph of a hunt, as I have no objection to people riding horses, or galloping across country behind packs of hounds, or indeed to the colourful pageantry of the hunt itself.

What I and many other Irish people oppose is hunts hounding a wild dog - the fox - to exhaustion and death for "sport". Or the blooding of novice hounds on fox cubs. Or the use of spades, terriers, and poles wrapped with barbed wire to unearth foxes that have sought refuge underground. One can enjoy almost every aspect of the traditional hunting experience, including the wonderful pomp and ceremony, by chasing an artificial scent or "drag". The experience is almost identical, but minus the terror and distress inflicted on a hunted animal.

Drag hunting provides an ideal alternative to live animal baiting. In contrast with its bloody and shameful "country cousin", this equestrian pursuit might be termed "the truly sporting in full pursuit of the uncatchable". - Yours, etc,

John Fitzgerald,
Lower Coyne Street,
Callan, Co Kilkenny.

Shoots no cause for celebration
Irish Examiner, December 13, 2011

Your feature article on the Longueville Shoot in east Cork (9th December) filled me with nothing but disgust.

Here we have a food writer describing 'the joys' of wildfowling and game shooting at a time when wetlands and other wildlife habitats in this country have for years now been under tremendous pressure.

On the one hand, Regina Sexton claims to have a 'sentimental and selective' attitude towards 'sentient creatures', while on the other hand she poses in the middle of a bunch of Downton Abbey 'wannabes' on the grounds of Longueville House with dozens of wild birds strewn at their feet. She seems to regret that the day's shoot - in which she appears to have revelled - resulted in a comparatively small 'bag' of only 60 birds! Similar shoots in Britain, she adds, frequently result in hundreds of birds being shot. The list of birds mentioned as 'fair game' in this article includes red-legged partridge, Jack snipe, woodcock and golden eye duck. Can someone please point out to this person that several of these birds are endangered species, and that conservationists here and in other countries are working overtime to protect their habitats and build up their numbers?

Jack Power, in his arrogant defence of events like the Longueville Shoot, describes wildfowling and hunting as 'spiritually, physically and emotionally uplifting', something that is 'an essential, throbbing' part of his self-definition. He does not mention that 'shoots' such as these are also financially profitable for those who own hundred of acres of private land and lakes, and miles of private rivers. He goes on to trivialise opponents of such 'shoots' as hysterical fanatics who would not harm a feather on the head of a turkey, and who consider Dustin as one of the family. We are nothing of the sort, and it ill fits any journalist in today's Ireland to trivialise the anti-shooting lobby in this manner.

Siobhan Cronin in an addendum to this feature is perfectly correct when she states that 'taking joy in death' is retrogressive. She is especially correct when she says that hunters only disinfect the language when they talk of dogs and hunters 'dispatching' wildfowl and game birds with a sense of 'urgency'.

Wild birds are not mere playthings for giving bored journalists some sort of caveman-like 'kick'. Neither are they there to add yet another dimension to our overloaded plates at the Christmas table.

Jim MacLaughlin
Co Cork

Pets in heaven
Irish Independent, January 16 2012

A programme on TV3 about Smithfield and its pony and horse market left me disgusted.

Poor, defenceless animals for sale: so thin and skinny I wondered about the fact that many are believed not to be licensed or microchipped, which is the law for such sales. The gardai must suspect this, so why are these sellers not pulled in?

I was stopped last week on the back road to Kill and Punchestown by three gardai no less. I thought that they were refilming 'The Guard' as a lookalike Brendan Gleeson approached the car.

He was just checking tax, insurance and NCT. I saw the gardai in the programme prowling around Smithfield and they did not appear to be stopping any suspected unlicensed owners of horses or ponies. The kids in Smithfield, shown after the market, were seen racing around the Phoenix Park like the Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers and Trigger and have not got a clue about the management of animals. Many horses have been left abandoned, starving to death.

If we cannot care for these animals, how can we care for human beings? A controversial question is whether it is God's plan for animals to be in heaven or not.

Many Christians believe that heaven just would not be heaven without animals. Certainly I believe that the Creator of millions of different species of animals, birds, insects and fish is a God who loves variety and prizes His creation.

I cannot believe that heaven will only be populated by angels and saints. From a careful study of the Bible, I have become convinced that heaven will be richer in vegetation and animal life than the most paradise-like part of Earth could ever be.

Where people get the idea of harps and clouds from, I don't know. God has a far greater plan than we can imagine. "This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on Earth, with Christ as head." Ephesians 1:10

When the revealed Word of God teaches us that God's eternal plan is for "all creation" to be brought together under Christ then it includes all wildlife, too. When God says "everything", He means everything -- animals included.

That great book of worship in the Bible -- the Psalms -- reveals that all God's creation have contact with God (Psalm 93). All God's creatures praise Him (Psalm 145:10). It is only mankind who needs forgiving and saving and teaching as to how to worship (Psalm 36 and 51), the animal kingdom worships God continually and naturally.

So let us care of our animals as they love us unconditionally.

Terry Healy
Kill, Co Kildare

23. 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
Keep the ban on foxhunting in the UK

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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

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