Animal Voice: Issue 6, June 2012
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Receive Animal Voice by email every month - Subscribe Now

In this month's edition:

02. Renewed Appeal to Boylesports to disassociate from hare coursing
03. Dublin protest against coursing sponsor, BoyleSports
04. No NPWS confiscation of 3,000 illegal traps
05. Trip Advisor removes cruel bullrun from "Quirky Festivals" list
06. Animal info stall at Dungarvan festival
07. Meet your local TDs and demand bloodsports ban
08. "For the Oceans" - Sea Shepherd talk in Galway
09. Environmental group calls for amendments to Animal Welfare Bill
10. Renewed Appeal: Ask Boston College to remove hunting from directory
11. Carbery Hunt kennel shut down
12. Bullfighting in Colombia under increasing pressure
13. Save the Khokana Goats in Nepal
14. Report shows deficiencies at Cork SPCA dog shelter
15. Letters to Editors
16. Campaign Quotes
17. Petitions


The Irish Council Against Blood Sports welcomes the fact that the so-called Irish Cup coursing event, held annually at Limerick Racecourse, will no longer take place there.

Last February, we filmed hares being severely mauled at this event ( and sent our film footage to advertisers with banners at the course. Among the advertisers we contacted was Guinness, whose name is prominent on the Pavilion at the racecourse and on the actual course where the cruelty was taking place.

Following our plea to Guinness to disassociate from the event, we received a phone call from Rhonda Evans, Head of Corporate Communications, Diageo, to say that Diageo (Guinness) does not support or condone hare coursing. We understood that they contacted Limerick Racecourse with their concerns about the event.

Another advertiser, Specsavers at the Crescent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle, Limerick, told us in a letter that they neither "promote nor condone any activity that involves cruelty to animals" and that they are "deeply shocked - and deeply upset - that Specsavers is even remotely associated with the event in question".

They further stated that they asked the racecourse management why their hoarding was used without their permission at the coursing meet, given that the last event they had sponsored at the racecourse was a Ladies Day in 2008. It was subsequently taken down, at Specsavers' request.

After ten years at Limerick Racecourse, this barbaric activity will no longer take place there. It's about time now that our legislators follow suit and permanently ban hare coursing as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already done.


Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and demand that the exemptions for coursing and hunting be removed from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012.

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

Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for wildlife and introduce an immediate ban on bloodsports.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048

An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Iveagh House,
80 St. Stephen's Green,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail)
Tel: 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)
Fax: 01 408 2400

Email Both:;

02. Renewed Appeal to Boylesports to disassociate from hare coursing

ICABS is renewing its appeal to Louth-based betting company, Boylesports, to disassociate from the bloodsport of hare coursing.

On its website, Boylesports proclaims that its Irish sponsorships include "the Coursing at Clonmel, Co Tipperary".

Last season, the company was slammed for offering free bets to hare coursers. An advert on the Irish Coursing Club website declared that Boylesports is "No 1 for coursing betting" and offered a free 20 Euro bet to coursers.

"Your association with an activity that causes terror, stress, injury and death to the Irish Hare is appalling," ICABS stated in an email. "It is extremely distasteful that your company considers it appropriate to profit from the suffering of animals. We hope you will reconsider your stance and stop the sponsorship and bets."

Brought to Boylesports' attention was some of the victims of coursing, including "a hare "squealing in distress" after being caught by a muzzled dog and "a hare in agony in a coursing enclosure with its leg "almost completely broken off".


Ask Boylesports to stop sponsoring hare coursing.

John Boyle
Managing Director
Finnabair Industrial Park
Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Tel: +353 42 939 3000
Tel (ROI): 1800 22 00 66
Tel (UK): 0800 22 00 66
Tel (International): +353 42 9393168
Fax: +353 42 939 3051 Email:;;;;

Nicola McGeady,Public Relations spokesperson
Tel: 042 9393081 / 086 0400683

Leon Blanche, Head of Public Relations
Tel: 087 9807986

Boylesports Ltd,
First Floor,
Millennium House,
Victoria Road,
Douglas, IM2 4RW,
Isle of Man

Contact Boylesports On Facebook

03. Dublin protest against coursing sponsor, BoyleSports

The Association of Hunt Saboteurs is holding a demonstration outside BoyleSports in Dublin to protest against the company's sponsorship of hare coursing.

Location: Outside Boylesports, 6 Westmoreland Street. Dublin 1.
Date: Thursday 5th July 2012, 12.30-2pm.

By persuading sponsors to withdraw support from hare coursing, you can help to bring this disgusting activity to an end.

04. No NPWS confiscation of 3,000 illegal traps

The National Parks and Wildlife Service have refused to confiscate and destroy 3,000 illegal traps which strangle animals to death. The individual found to be in possession of the cruel Nooski traps has instead been given the opportunity to return them to a UK distributor.

Responding to a Dail Question from ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan, TD, the Minister for Arts and Heritage Jimmy Deenihan confirmed that the traps were illegal. However, he did not comment on the failure of the NPWS to confiscate them, saying only that "officials of my Department understand that the traps in question have been returned to the UK distributer."

When ICABS passed information about the illegal traps on to the NPWS in May, we were dismayed to learn that no action would be taken. A spokesperson for the NPWS stated: "There has been communication between NPWS and [the individual possessing the traps] some time ago...As soon as he realised that these traps were illegal he took them off the market. He is currently waiting for the UK representative of the company supplying Nooski traps to come and retrieve the traps. As a result, there are no plans to prosecute..."

In response, we again pointed to the Wildlife Act and renewed our call for action to be taken. "This presents a valuable opportunity for the NPWS to secure one of its biggest confiscations of illegal traps and to send a strong signal to foreign distributors that there are no second chances when it comes to breaches of our legislation. This would also help raise awareness among importers, retailers and the general public that these traps are illegal and that there are penalties in place for those caught possessing them."

The possession of, and offering for sale of, unapproved traps and snares is contrary to Section 34(6) of the Wildlife Act 1976 as amended by Section 42 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000. If you are aware of the sale or possession of unlawful traps or snares, please Email ICABS immediately.

Find out more about other illegal traps in Ireland, e.g. glue traps, gin traps/leghold traps, electronic traps, etc. by clicking on "Campaigns" at


Please join us in urging the Director of the National Parks to investigate if the traps are still in the country and if so, to arrange for appropriate action to be taken. Ask why there has been a reluctance to confiscate and destroy the illegal traps. Send a copy of your email to Minister Jimmy Deenihan.

Conor O Raghallaigh
National Parks & Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place
Dublin 2

Tel: +353-1-888 3242

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

Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201

05. Trip Advisor removes cruel bullrun from "Quirky Festivals" list

Trip Advisor has responded positively to an ICABS appeal and removed the cruel Pamplona bullrun from its "10 Quirky Festivals" list.

In an email to the company, ICABS asked: What's quirky about taunting and terrorising bulls along narrow village streets during which they are at risk of slipping and sustaining injuries such as broken bones? The bulls used in Pamplona are subjected to appalling abuse - they're hit and prodded (sometimes with electric shock prods) by bullrun participants and scared into stampeding.

What's quirky about an event that puts people's lives at risk? People lured to Pamplona by upbeat recommendations, similar to the Trip Advisor one, have found themselves being carried away - dead or paralysed with serious lifelong injuries. A BBC News correspondent described one such incident as follows: "The fighting bull which gored [the victim] weighed half a tonne. It hit him in the abdomen, severed a main artery, sliced through his kidney and punctured his liver, before tossing him seven metres in the air...he died in hospital of massive blood loss."

What's quirky about an event that culminates with the slow torture to death of bulls in the local bullring? Irish humanitarian journalist Don Mullan vividly conveyed the horror of bullfighting in an Irish Times report. Describing matadors as "cowardly butchers" he told of how he witnessed an injured bull convulsing, a bull bleeding from its mouth and nose with "its tormented cries clearly audible" and a bull with its front covered in "liquid crimson".


Send a thank you message to Trip Advisor and ask them to follow up their positive move with the removal of all bullrun-related information from

TripAdvisor LLC,
141 Needham Street,
MA 02464, USA

Tel: 001 617-670-6300 (USA)
Fax: 001 617-670-6301

06. Animal info stall at Dungarvan festival

Going to the Rhythm Fest in Dungarvan this weekend?

Check out the animal rights information stall for leaflets, petitions, etc and be inspired to get involved in campaigns to help animals.

The festival takes place on June 30th and July 1st at Fraher Field, Dungarvan, Waterford.

07. Meet your local TDs and demand bloodsports ban

Please arrange a meeting with your local TDs to ask them to push for protection for hares and foxes under the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012.

In its current form, the Bill includes exemptions for "lawful hare-coursing" and "lawfully held foxhunts", meaning some of Ireland's worst cruelty is set to continue.

We ask you to meet your local Dail representatives and urge them to introduce or support amendments to the Bill which will remove these exemptions and ensure that foxes and hares are protected from blood sports cruelty.

Please ask friends and family to take action too. We need as many people as possible to get involved to help increase calls for our wildlife to be protected.

Read the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 draft
See Section 12(12)

Check out your TDs' websites for details of the locations and times of their local clinics.

08. "For the Oceans" - Sea Shepherd talk in Galway

David Scott of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is to give a "For the Oceans" talk at the Volvo Ocean Race event in Galway.

"This talk will allow the audience to foster the understanding of ocean conservation through Sea Shepherd's international campaigns and the use of direct action by the organisation, to create awareness of and stop the unlawful plundering of ocean wildlife and the oceans," the society outlines.

Location: Global Village, Galway, Spoken Word Tent
Date and Times: Friday 6th July, 2012, 7pm and 8pm

For more details, email

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.

09. Environmental group calls for amendments to Animal Welfare Bill

Westmeath Environmental Group has joined called for hunting and coursing exemptions to be removed from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

"It is a sad reflection on Ireland in the 21st century that a bill supposed to be for the Welfare and Health of animals, can be put before the Dail without including the stopping of hare coursing and fox hunting," spokesperson Richard Murphy stated. "The continuance of these barbarous practices should be a cause of shame to us all."

Please urge all your local animal welfare and environmental groups to support calls for wildlife to be protected from bloodsports cruelty in the new Bill.

10. Renewed Appeal: Ask Boston College to remove hunting from directory

Boston College Ireland has again been urged to remove hunting from its Irish Sporting Heritage website directory. In a message to the college, ICABS stated: "Terrorising a defenceless animal and encouraging a pack of hounds to rip it to pieces is not sport. It's animal cruelty."

In relation to one of the hunts listed, information is given about meet days, ie "the hunt meet twice weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday, throughout the hunting season which lasts from October to April."

As part of our appeal to Boston College, we have invited them to view our foxhunting cruelty video at


Ask Boston College to exclude hunting from its Irish Sporting Heritage project.

Dr Roisín Higgins,
Irish Sporting Heritage,
Boston College-Ireland,
42 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (1) 614 7452

Leave a comment on the Irish Sporting Heritage Facebook Page

SAMPLE LETTER (If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below)

Dear Dr Higgins

It is offensive that Boston College considers it appropriate to include hunting in its Irish Sporting Heritage directory.

Please show compassion for the animals that are terrorised, chased to exhaustion and ripped apart by packs of hounds. This is appalling animal cruelty, not sport! I urge you to remove hunting from the directory.

Yours sincerely,


11. Carbery Hunt kennel shut down

Kennel shut down over howling hounds
By Louise Roseingrave
Irish Examiner, June 02, 2012

A judge has ordered the closure of hunt kennels in Bandon that housed 36 hounds whose howling kept neighbours awake.

The Carbery Hunt kennels, which have been at the Old Military Barrack Mill for the past 80 years, were ordered to close yesterday despite a number of attempts to quieten the animals with piped music and electronic "bark busters".

The foxhounds listened to pop music and talk radio shows, including Ray D'Arcy, in a bid to distract them, houndsman John Roche said. Hunt organisers installed a high-pitched electronic dog silencer, the "bark buster", but it was blown off a wall by the wind and the dogs chewed it up.

Higher-powered devices were installed and "seemed to have an effect", according to Mr Roche.

"When the hounds would bark it triggered something in their head; they would turn to look at the device and stop barking," he said.

Residents of the neighbouring Cluid sheltered housing in Millcourt said the measures made no difference and howling continued "most nights".

Unemployed plasterer John Burke, whose apartment overlooks the kennels, resorted to sleeping in his sitting room in a bid to block out the noise. He took the case against the Carbery Hunt and was backed by a number of residents.

"The odd night, I'd get to sleep but I'm woken most nights by the dogs howling," Mr Burke told Bandon District Court yesterday. "It's like a fire brigade the way it goes on. My sleep pattern is all over the place."

Fellow resident Tom Glover said he was constantly woken between 3am and 6am. "Once one starts, they all howl. It's very annoying," he said.

Ray Boland BL, representing Carbery Hunt, asked if Mr Glover ever got used to the noise enough to sleep through it, like bird song at dawn. Mr Glover replied: "The birds are singing, the dogs are howling."

Representing Mr Burke, Diane Hallahan BL said none of the residents noticed any improvement since the Carbery Hunt introduced measures to keep the noise down in January. She said Mr Burke continued to lose sleep and was disturbed by the dogs on 22 nights during May.

Directing the kennels to close, Judge Aeneas McCarthy said the noise of the dogs could not continue "cheek by jowl" with the residents of Millcourt.

Ordering the closure, he said: "It's the only way to defeat this nuisance."

Mr Boland, who estimated the cost of relocating at Eur 70,000, indicated that the hunt was likely to appeal.

12. Bullfighting in Colombia under increasing pressure

Colombia Reports, 28 June 2012
Esteban Manriquez

A Colombian court has made a ruling on animal rights that jeopardizes the future of bullfighting.

"One must recognize the value of animals as living beings and their capacity to have rights," the court stated in reference to both domesticated and wild animals.

Representing the nation's top administrative court, Justice Enrique Gil Botero noted that it is the responsibility of owners to protect the rights of animals and ensure they are decently treated, concluding that animals have the right to die with dignity and without suffering.

The court's decision provided a legal basis for animal rights advocates fighting to ban the spectacle. Spokeswoman for Bogota's Animal Rights Defense board Maria Janeth Torres called the legislation a "...weapon to work for the benefit of animals."

The change in law upholds Bogota's Mayor Gustavo Petro's recent suspension of bullfighting in Plaza Santamaria, the capital's main venue for the sport.

Medellin Mayor Anibal Gaviria followed Petro's lead June 15 by saying he would cut funding for bullfighting if groups refused to stop killing the animals after events. "Medellin wants to be a leader in the process toward bloodless bullfights," Gaviria told Caracol Radio.

13. Save the Khokana Goats in Nepal


Nepal's Khokana festival is held every year in August. A 5-6 month old goat is thrown in a pond close to a temple and nine young men enter the pond and start to tear the goat apart by grasping its legs, ears, hoof or tail. The one who manages to kill the goat is the 'hero' and leads the Shinkali dance which is held afterwards.

Please send emails of complaint to political parties and tourism bodies:



To Whom It Concerns,

I am writing to express my great concern about the Nepal's Khokana Festival during which a terrified goat is thrown in the Deu-pond close to the Rudrayani Temple and torn apart by a group of young men.

There is absolutely no justification for allowing this shameful cruelty to continue.

I appeal to the government of Nepal to urgently abolish this barbaric practice and introduce strong animal welfare laws to protect animals from such awful abuse.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,

[Name / Country]

14. Report shows deficiencies at Cork SPCA dog shelter

Animal shelter inspection report shows a number of deficiencies
Evening Echo, June 19, 2012
By Kieran Dineen

A number of deficiencies in the running of the city's dog shelter have been identified in two inspections carried out on behalf of City Hall.

These include the failure to 'bag- up' dead dogs.

The inspections also found there was no "paper recording" which could "compromise animal welfare" while there was a risk of infections and a "disease outbreak".

Following public concerns about the Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) centre, City Hall asked Cork County Council veterinary staff to carry out a review there.

A formal inspection was carried out at the Mahon premises on April 18, with a random inspection on June 6. In their final report, the inspectors said they were "somewhat disappointed with the response by the CSPCA".

The inspectors found "the freezer used for storage of dead animals contained some frozen dogs that were not 'bagged-up'. This situation had "deteriorated significantly" by the time of the second inspection. The inspectors stated: "It is important dog carcasses are bagged-up immediately after euthanasia as body fluids and materials emanate from carcasses immediately after death."

In the original report, inspectors found inadequate ventilation in two kennels which was later rectified by the CSPCA.

In addition, "there was no means of containing effluent/contaminated material in the isolation kennels" which was "a critical factor in containing disease".

A row of outdoor kennels were covered by corrugated sheeting which, in hot weather, "would not provide adequate shade". While this was fixed, the CSPCA did not address the inadequate shelter to cope with "adverse environmental conditions".

There was no "paper recording at any of the kennels" with the inspectors noting: "Compromised communication will compromise animal welfare."

Dogs outside of the Control of Dogs Act were being accommodated with dogs entering the facility which "compromises the health of dogs outside the Act". This was addressed by the CSPCA.

By the time of the second report, a new problem arose with "excessive quantities of faeces evident in some kennels."

There were inadequate wire mesh partition walls in kennels which did not extend fully to the floor surface, meaning a "risk of transfer of infectious agents from one kennel to another."

This was not remedied when the second inspection was carried out, while the "wash-hand basins are still not equipped with a bactericidal soap dispenser and there was no paper towel in the two dispensers."

A further random inspection will be carried out this year, and every year from now on. Councillors are to discuss the report's findings with officials on Monday.

There was no comment available from the (CSPCA) centre today.

SEE ALSO: Cork SPCA duo are hunt enthusiasts

15. Letters to Editors

Offaly Topic, June 2012

Dear Sir,

The chairman of Edenderry coursing club, Naomhan Farrell, was 'Under the Spotlight' in last week's edition of Offaly Topic. He says he was sent to hare coursing meetings as a youngster and became "hooked". He then gave us a potted history of coursing in Edenderry, proudly boasting that the coursing field on the Dublin Road is rated 5th out of 90 in the whole country. I'm sure many Edenderry folk won't even be aware of the coursing field on the Dublin Road , heavily screened from prying eyes by a double ditch of Leylandii trees. Unless you're one of the inner circle of coursers, you're not welcome onto Edenderry's coursing grounds, as TV3 found in October 2010 when they asked to film inside and talk to fans.

Indeed, the coursers have a lot to hide behind the Leylandii trees - hares, trapped from the wild, running for their lives as lures before greyhounds in a barbaric sport that has been banned, because of its cruelty, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Coursers continually claim that no hares are injured and killed during coursing events, now that the greyhounds are muzzled, but official reports from the National Parks & Wildlife Service belie this claim, with statistics of hares being mauled, injured and killed at coursing meetings annually, and we also have video footage that backs up these statistics, which shows hares being severely mauled by greyhounds at these events.

Mr. Farrell says that there are 60 adult members and "about 30 children who enjoy many days in the field" and are "the future of the club". It's tragic that children are exposed to this cruelty, which can only lead them to believe that it's okay to terrorise animals for fun. Let's hope that by the time these children are grown up, the Republic of Ireland will at last have grown up too, become a little more civilised and outlawed live hare coursing and the persecution of all wild animals for "sport".

Aideen Yourell
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Irish Examiner, June 4th, 2012

With the focus on our economic woes and the fiscal treaty referendum, the Animal Health and Welfare Bill has been virtually overlooked by the media, understandably, and may for that reason fail to impinge on the public consciousness.

It has already been partially debated in the Seanad and will in the coming weeks continue to proceed through the Oireachtas. The bill, according to the Government, aims to update and overhaul animal welfare legislation, the first such major attempt at reform in this area since the 1911 Protection of Animals Act.

Nothing wrong with that, in principle. And indeed the draft bill contains many welcome provisions, such as stiffer penalties for acts of cruelty and a hotline for reporting offences.

The problem is that the bill, in its present wording, seems to regard some forms of animal cruelty as heinous crimes and others as activities to be condoned and even encouraged in our society.

It rightly carries over the prohibition on cock fighting and badger baiting from the 1911 act it will replace, but it contains special exemptions for hare coursing and fox hunting, referring to these as field sports with "traditional codes" of practice.

The setting of roosters against each other to fight and inflict pain and injury is a cruel act, as is the use of a pair of dogs to attack a badger. But surely the setting of 20 or more dogs after a fox, to hound it to exhaustion and then tear the skins from its bones, is also a barbaric practice, not to mention the digging out of foxes and cubs that seek refuge underground, and the use of poles wrapped with barbed wire to drag them to the surface.

And while greyhounds in coursing are muzzled, they can and do maul the hares, toss them about like playthings, batter them into the ground, or otherwise injure them. Hares also succumb to the condition known as capture myopathy that may cause them quite literally to die of fright.

The reports filed by rangers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service for the 2011/12 coursing season reveal that hares were killed or injured at coursing events in ten different counties, demolishing the claim that dog muzzling protects the animal.

I find it disturbing and alarming that the first parliamentary initiative aimed at improving the lot of animals on this island in over 100 years may afford protection to these two appalling practices instead of protecting the hares and foxes that are on the receiving end of this organised and indefensible cruelty.

Cock-fighters and badger-baiters have few if any friends in high places and no political backing. One never hears of a TD or a senator putting in a good word for them, which is fine. But is the Government going to ban thug cruelty while enshrining in law the demonstrably cruel pursuits of people who just happen to be higher up the social ladder and politically well-connected? Gandhi said: "A nation can be judged by the way animals are treated". I would suggest we can also be judged by the kind of politicians we elect. The proposal to exempt two of the world's most barbaric blood sports from prohibition is a case in point.

John Fitzgerald
Lower Coyne St, Callan, Co Kilkenny

Irish Examiner, June 6th, 2012

I fully support John Fitzgerald's letter (May 4) and his abhorrence of the barbaric activities of cock fighting and badger baiting.

Such acts should not be tolerated by any civilised society.

The Animal Welfare Bill is long overdue. Almost a century has passed since any legalisation has been introduced to protect the animals. While this bill is greatly welcomed by animal lovers, its effectiveness will be measured on if, and how, it is enforced.

As a nation, our reputation for our lack of care and indifference to the suffering of our animals is shameful, compounded by a similar attitude displayed by successive governments. Ignorance is no excuse. We have all read and seen the images of dogs and puppies incarcerated in hell holes of puppy farms, the horses dying of starvation in the fields and the greyhounds shot and dumped. Such suffering is an indictment on us humans who consider ourselves the most evolved of the species.

Catherine O'Brien
St Margaret's Rd
Dublin 11

Sunday Independent, June 3rd 2012

Madam --I am writing to commend Fiona O'Connell on her most accurate portrayal of life for the average greyhound in Ireland (Sunday Independent, May 27, 2012).

Whether it is throwing a cowering and frightened greyhound into a river to clean him, shooting and dumping dead greyhounds in a quarry or handing "slow greyhounds" into the pound condemning them to certain death, these activities sadly typify the attitude of far too many owners/breeders.

Greyhounds have long associations with our Celtic past, yet sadly they are regarded as a racing commodity. When they run their final race, often at the age of two or three, death is almost a certainty.

Thousands are bred annually, which means thousands are "retired" and die annually; a few hundred lucky ones find their way into rescue. These loyal dogs deserve better than a life short lived.

Steven O'Leary,
Mahon, Cork

Waterford News and Star
14 June 2012

I HAVE read with interest letters in a number of newspapers over the past week commenting on the greyhound industry, some expressing concern about ill-treatment and neglect of greyhounds and others defending the industry's record in caring for these animals.

I believe, however, that a far greater cause for concern from an animal welfare point of view should be the continued legality of live hare coursing, a practice in which greyhounds are used to chase and terrorise captive hares within the confines of a wire-enclosed field.

Reports from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) for the 2011-12 coursing season reveal that hares were mauled, battered, pinned to the ground, or otherwise injured at events in ten different counties, giving the lie to the repeated claim by coursing clubs that hares are protected as a consequence of the dogs being muzzled.

That such a practice continues to be an integral part of the greyhound industry is bad enough, but what has largely escaped public attention is the fact the Government is seeking to have it exempted from prohibition under the Animal Health and Welfare Bill that has begun its slow progress through the Oireachtas.

This Bill was hailed as a highly progressive measure aimed at updating and overhauling our antiquated animal welfare legislation, which dates to 1911. Instead, at least in the case of hare coursing, it may take us a step backwards in time towards the Dark Ages. This blood sport has already been abolished in almost the entire English-speaking world, including Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and, just last year, Northern Ireland. It is also a criminal offence in most of mainland Europe.

Drag coursing has replaced it in the countries that have banned it, replicating all the action and excitement of the live version minus the spectacle of an animal running for its life or being savaged by dogs.

If the Government is serious about preventing animal cruelty, and if the greyhound industry is sincere in its commitment to alleviating unnecessary suffering of animals, both must turn their backs on a practice that shames Ireland and that should have no place in any civilised society.

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

The Avondhu, June 14 2012

Dear Editor,

Can something as direful as an economic recession have a silver lining? Many people would balk at the very suggestion, but for some members of the bovine species the cataclysmic downturn would appear to have brought some benefit and relief.

I read that it has prompted many cash-strapped Spanish town councils in recent years to cancel their annual bullfighting events as part of cutbacks to save public money.

Now that, for me, is a classic case of austerity tempered with compassion, even if the latter is, sadly, unintended. I say this as a lifelong campaigner against blood sports.

Of course, not everyone in Spain is willing to take austerity lying down. Earlier this month, the population of a picturesque village in the recession ravaged Western Spanish province of Extremadura was asked to vote on a crucial issue in a referendum: The question put to them was: Given the economic crisis facing the country, would they accept the allocation of a substantial part of the money set aside for bullfighting in the instead fund a vital job creation programme.

According to the Spanish and international media, 242 of the village's 1,764 inhabitants rejected the job creation proposal and opted to continue full funding of the bullfights, with 181 voting Yes to using the money to create much-need employment in the village.

I am not anti-Spanish. I'm sure that there are little hillbilly backwaters scattered around Ireland where the natives might also choose hare coursing over economic revival, but its nice to think that the recession is hitting a form of so-called entertainment that involves repeatedly stabbing a bull with razor-sharp spears and lances, then teasing the animal in front of cheering human spectators, before dispatching it with a sword thrust.

When I think of that spectacle, and the blood streaming from the jagged human inflicted wounds in the body of this noble creature; of its eyes bulging with pain and terror, I cant help but think that the downturn, for all its grim resonance, has a brighter side.

Thanking you,


John Fitzgerald

16. Campaign Quotes

"Two committee members of the Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) are fox and mink hunting enthusiasts. Committee member Brian McDonagh and public relations officer Chris Connolly used to also go otter hunting before it became illegal in 1990. Mr McDonagh still goes fox hunting with beagles and hounds, and mink hunting with hounds." Evening Echo, June 26, 2012. Read the full story at

"An offer by a national shooting organisation to help by engaging in 'pest control' in areas where white-tailed eagle exist in attempt to reduce the need to poison wild animals is a brazen attempt at obtaining more shooting rights under the guise of conservation. Their on-going involvement in the destruction of wildlife both fur and feather renders them a viable threat to the bird of prey introduction project into the Irish countryside. The conservation of Irish wildlife and its habitat does not and never did depend on the actions of those who kill wildlife for fun. They contribute nothing only terror and death to the issue and can be tagged as rural vandals." John Tierney, Campaigns Director of the Association of Hunt Saboteurs,, June 5, 2012

Animal Health and Welfare Bill [Seanad] (second stage) - It's the first airing for Simon Coveney's new Bill to reform and reinforce animal welfare conditions; a fairly universally acceptable bill is otherwise marked by the specific exception for hare coursing, which has annoyed many. Today in Leinster House: May 3, 2012, -

"The meet of the Three Counties hunt at Newnham Bridge on the River Teme the following Wednesday, September 8th [1982], was an interesting event coloured by a visit from a film crew. They were there to film hunting fanatic Jack Charlton for the minkhunting section of his TV series 'Jack's Game'." From "Outfoxed" by Mike Huskisson. Read this book online at

"The Golden Eagle pair in Glenveagh had previously reared a single chick in 2007 and two chicks in 2009. This year the Glenveagh pair returned to their 2007 eyrie and successfully reared one chick which left the nest in late June. The picture above shows a small fox cub brought into the nest. The diet contained mostly Hares again this year and during an end of season search of the nest vicinity the remains of a predated adult Raven were also found. So considering the number of badger and fox cubs this pair predated previously, it is clear that this pair is having an impact, to some degree, on the food chain locally." From the Golden Eagle Trust website.

The full extent of Bord na gCon's mounting debt and the exact source of it will not be known until its accounts are published. A LARGE amount of debt heaped on the Irish Greyhound Board because of the unravelling of its budget plans for its new stadium in Limerick has sounded alarms in its parent department. Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has been told the commercial semi-state is edging ever closer to its €25m borrowing limit. The IGB has advised his officials its financial situation is "very difficult" and its taxpayer-supported surpluses are being used to pay down debt. from Greyhound body's debt sets off alarm bells in Agriculture, Irish Examiner, June 25, 2012. Read the full story at

The Irish Greyhound Board has been warned that its growing debt levels are not guaranteed by taxpayers and it would have to sell tracks if it cannot meet repayments....All of its tracks performing below expectations. from Irish Greyhound Board may have to sell tracks to cover debt, Irish Examiner, June 26, 2012. Read the full story at

17. Petitions

Ask An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to Ban Hare Coursing
Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland
Stop the Bail-Out for Irish Dog Tracks
Save the Goats of Khokana
Lobby for the urgent need for updated Animal Welfare Legislation in Ireland
Help Stop the Mass Dog Killings in Ukraine!
Ask Amazon to stop selling cruel traps
Petition Against Faroese Pilot Whale Hunts
Ban Larsen Traps & Multi Corvid Traps
Keep the ban on foxhunting in the UK
Urge the Sint Maarten Government to Keep Cock Fighting Illegal

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.

Animal Voice - Subscribe

To receive "Animal Voice" by email every month, please send "Animal Voice - Subscribe" to

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.

Top | Newsletters | Home