Newsletter

Animal Voice: Issue 7, July 2012
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Deputies Daly and O'Sullivan call for the protection of hares
02. Former Tanaiste Dick Spring was nominator of doped dog
03. Garda investigation into doping of coursing greyhounds
04. Senator Power: I hope Minister will consider a coursing ban
05. An Taoiseach reminded of his opposition to coursing
06. Photos: Protest against coursing sponsor, BoyleSports
07. Coveney considering fur farming submissions report
08. Minister is asked why illegal traps were not seized by NPWS
09. ICABS President enquires about number of NPWS prosecutions
10. FF TD, Robert Troy, wants stag hunt ban rescinded
11. Widespread disgust over donkey photo
12. Fund fencing, not killing: Maureen O'Sullivan TD
13. Matador removed from Speak Spanish webpages
14. Brennan Group of hotels asked to disassociate from coursing
15. JP McManus asked to end coursing sponsorship
16. Complaint to Council of Europe about Irish badger cull
17. Renewed appeal to anti-coursing Taoiseach and Tanaiste
18. SUCCESS: Trip Advisor removes cruel bullrun from "Quirky Festivals" list
19. Rally for Animals - August 26th 2012
20. Volunteers needed for bat survey!
21. Protest against bullfighting promotion during football final
22. Parliamentary Questions and Answers
23. Letters to Editors
24. Campaign Quotes
25. Petitions

01. Deputies Daly and O'Sullivan call for the protection of hares

A big thank you to Deputies Maureen O'Sullivan and Clare Daly for standing up for hares during a Dail debate in July. Their comments in support of protection for hares were featured on RTE's Oireachtas Report programme which can be viewed below:


RTE's Oireachtas Report (18 July 2012)

You can read Clare and Maureen's speeches below or read the full text of the debate at http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2012/07/18/00005.asp

Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages
Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan: It is appropriate that, even though they relate to the remits of two Ministers, we are debating the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 in advance of dealing with the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012. The Bill before the House is technical in nature and deals with the current hunting licence provisions relating to the shooting of wild birds and hares during open season. In the hunting of birds there is a need to put in place a protocol on the numbers of certain species hunted in order that we might monitor the impact. We must ensure changes in the level of hunting pressure are monitored and I wonder how it is proposed to do this. There is also a need to review the listed species of birds which are hunted in open season, particularly as some of these are of concern, both nationally and on an EU basis, in terms of their conservation. Wildlife in Ireland is a good indicator of the impact of environmental changes and, therefore, the question of monitoring is significant. We are aware that some species such as the breeding curlew and other breeding wader species are suffering a serious decline in numbers.

I will deal with the poor hare. I do not know what the hare has ever done to Irish society to justify the treatment meted out to it, first, as a result of many years of coursing and now by virtue of the fact that people will be able to shoot it. The Minister referred to open season which, for hares, will be five months long. However, open season for hares lasts all 12 months of the year.

My predecessor, the late Tony Gregory, was associated with a number of causes in combating illegal drugs and crime, promoting the interests of street traders and obtaining housing for people. Animal welfare was another cause central to his philosophy. It was one of his deep regrets that more had not been done to progress the issue of animal welfare before he died. In particular, he was concerned about the treatment of animals such as the hare, the fox, the badger and the stag. I am absolutely appalled to think the ban on stag hunting may be rescinded. That would be a retrograde step.

Tony Gregory was honoured to serve as vice president of the Irish Council Against Bloodsports when the late Hugh Leonard was its president. He used various mechanisms of parliamentary procedure to highlight the cause of animals and issues of cruelty. As the Minister is aware, in 1993 he sponsored a Private Members' Bill on wildlife. When he was introducing the Bill, he paid tribute to the democratic process for allowing an Independent Member to take that course of action. He considered that wildlife was a matter of immense public concern and interest and referred to "the welfare of the vulnerable and defenceless in nature's creation." He hoped his Bill would help to end the "mediaeval barbarity of live hare coursing." He acknowledged the pressure Members representing rural constituencies would be under to oppose the Bill. He also acknowledged that coursing clubs formed a very powerful lobby in some rural areas. Given that he came from Dublin Central, he was not under pressure from any lobby. However, he asked that Members be allowed to decide for themselves whether there was a need to change the cruel practice of coursing. This did not happen and, therefore, coursing was not banned in 1993. Many hares have suffered a cruel end as a result. I take the opportunity to state I object to the term "sport" being applied to coursing. There is no sport involved in either coursing or, as proposed in the Bill, shooting hares.

Tony Gregory was not the first person to try to have hare coursing banned in Ireland. The first attempt was made in November 1975 when the current President, Mr. Michael D. Higgins, then a Senator, tried to have legislation relating to wildlife being dealt with in the Upper House amended in order to have coursing declared illegal. His efforts in this regard were backed by another former President, Mrs. Mary Robinson, then a Senator, and the late Dr. Noel Browne. During the Committee Stage debate on the Wildlife Bill 1975 he stated, "My view is that the barbaric practice of hare coursing should be stopped immediately." One of the Senators of the day who was in favour of coursing made the following comment, "There is scope for escapes. Those hares are properly trained today." I wonder for what they were being trained. Another Member of the Upper House stated, "Coursing is fundamental to our greyhound industry." I do not agree with that assertion. There are only three countries, including Ireland, in which coursing is legal and other countries which have banned it have thriving greyhound industries. One of the Senators to whom I refer and who was in favour of coursing also stated, "The hares are adequately and perfectly cared for, both prior to the coursing meeting concerned and afterwards." I was bemused by the use of the word "afterwards", particularly as the former Senator in question was speaking prior to the introduction of muzzling. In such circumstances, I am not too sure how many hares would have survived coursing meetings and required care afterwards.

Mrs Mary Robinson said, "Coursing is a very cruel sport" and referred to "the principle of trying to prevent unnecessary and deliberate cruelty to animals." The late Dr. Noel Browne referred to the hare as "one of the gentlest of God's created animals" and the fact that very fast greyhounds were used to inflict "inevitably and invariably, unnecessary pain on this tiny animal." He also described coursing as a barbaric practice. It is interesting that at the time in question the British House of Commons had just passed legislation to abolish hare coursing. As Deputies are aware, a high percentage of MPs in the House of Commons would have believed in blood sports. However, they passed an Act to ban the practice of coursing.

During the debate to which I refer the late Dr. Noel Browne commented, "Speaking as a psychiatrist, it is worth examining the kind of people who indulge in this masochistic practice." He also wondered about the emotional make-up of those to whom he referred in the context of their enjoying "the sound of an animal screaming to death, being torn to pieces." He associated that kind of enjoyment which what would have then been obtained in "the more disreputable night spots in Soho." I do not think one would have to go to Soho to obtain such enjoyment nowadays because I am sure it is available much closer to home. I should note that all of the points made in the 1975 debate came prior to the Irish Coursing Club being forced to muzzle dogs at enclosed coursing meetings. The next political push to have hare coursing banned was initiated by the current Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Alan Shatter.

Let us consider what the supposedly humane practice of muzzling has done for the hare. About one month before each meeting club members go out into the countryside to collect hares in a process known as "netting". This involves a gang of supporters shouting and yelling to herd hares into nets which have been strategically placed. The hares are then put into boxes for transport to the coursing venue. These are another two instances of cruelty, but the Bill does not go into much detail on this aspect. The next stage of the process involves training hares. Perhaps the animals have a better chance of survival if they are the subject of coursing rather than being pursued by hunters with guns. However, that is debatable. Releasing a wild hare into a coursing field produces what coursing supporters see as very poor sport because it would not know where to run. During the training weeks hares are kept herded together in a enclosure. This adds considerably to the stress suffered by the hares which are solitary creatures and keep to themselves in the wild. They do not live together in groups. In captivity, therefore, they are very prone to disease which can spread more easily when they are kept together in an enclosure.

As a result of the level of secrecy relating to coursing and other blood sports, it is difficult to obtain accurate statistics for them. It is also difficult to know who to believe. We are informed that on coursing days each hare should only be coursed once. However, it is important to note in this regard that coursing clubs are monitored by coursing officials, not by an independent body.

It is clear that the practice known as "blooding" is widespread. I know this for a fact because many greyhound owners state their animals must be blooded before they can take part in coursing. They use rabbits and kittens for this practice to enhance the performance of the greyhound. The owners of greyhounds who want to race their dogs on tracks must first register them with the Irish Coursing Club. This represents an enforced subsidy in respect of coursing.

The majority are opposed to hare coursing. I am sure they would also be opposed to the hunting and shooting of hares. Many independent surveys have been carried out of this matter during the years. TheJournal.ie recently carried out a poll which showed that a considerable majority were in favour of banning hare coursing until, very suddenly, the numbers of those in favour of it not being banned rose. It was at that point that the staff of TheJournal.ie discovered an attempt to rig the poll - they have proof of this - by people who were pro-coursing.

All animal welfare organisations are opposed to coursing. What, therefore, is the justification for trapping hares or any other animals and using them and their pain as a form of entertainment? There is only a small minority who get pleasure from and bet on hares fighting for their lives as they are chased and terrorised by greyhounds. The activity of coursing is one-sided and the same side always wins. Greyhounds might be muzzled, but the hares are terrorised, injured and some have died. The hare is fighting for its life and is not aware that the greyhound is muzzled. Muzzling does not prevent hares from being tossed up in the air and injured. The lucky hare that reaches the escape area without being caught by the dogs is caught in an enclosure. We do not know what happens to those hares because we do not have the figures. They probably live to fight another day. Perhaps they are released to be shot under the terms of the Bill before the House. The animal we are talking about is chased by the greyhound, which is a much bigger animal...

I would like to make a point about the greyhound before I leave this issue. The greyhound is also a gentle animal. Greyhounds have also suffered particular injuries. I remind the House that a recent doping scandal involved greyhounds. In its definition of "animal welfare", the World Organisation for Animal Health states that "an animal is in a good state of welfare if ... it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear and distress". The Bill represents a declaration of open season for the hunting of hares, which have enough to deal with during the coursing season. I have made my point about the importance of registration in the cases of the bird species that are covered by the Bill. I will leave it at that.

Deputy Clare Daly: As Deputy O'Sullivan said, the purpose of this Bill is to allow somebody with a hunting licence issued after 1 August 2009 to carry on shooting wild birds and hares in the relevant open season. That is what it is about. It brings the issue of the welfare of hares to the forefront. It invites us to consider whether it is appropriate to treat them in this way. I totally agree with what Deputy O'Sullivan said when she spoke about the shooting of wild birds. The importance of the conservation of certain species of birds must be adhered to. It is appropriate for Deputies to ask what the hare has ever done to the Irish Parliament. The Bill we are discussing, which is being fast-tracked, will allow wild birds and hares to be shot.

This House has not yet been given an opportunity to debate a large and important Bill that has been published. The legislation in question - the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 - is being introduced to protect animals from cruelty and unnecessary suffering. That vital Bill is being delayed but the Bill before the House is being fast-tracked. It is appropriate to link the two. The Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 talks about the prohibition of terrifying or baiting an animal. It goes on to exempt hare coursing. One Bill acknowledges that hare coursing is cruel by putting in an exemption for hares. Hares are exempt from protection in one Bill and are included in this Bill to allow them to be shot, presumably over the course of the next few months, in case some of them got away or something like that. I do not really know what the agenda is.

It is appropriate to say that this barbarity must stop. What did the hare ever do? We are talking about making provision for licences to allow people to shoot this unique animal - an endemic sub-species that is not found anywhere else in the world - in the open season. I am suggesting that other forms of treatment of this species, such as hare coursing activity, are relevant in this context. We have allowed this activity to continue for more than 100 years while other jurisdictions have been criminalising it. Hare coursing was appropriately outlawed in New South Wales in 1953, in New Zealand in 1954, in Victoria in 1964, in South Australia in 1985, in Scotland in 2002, in England and Wales in 2005 and in Northern Ireland in 2010. These jurisdictions have criminalised hare coursing - it is treated as a criminal offence - but this country is carrying on regardless by allowing hares to be treated in a totally inappropriate manner. It is scandalous that this activity continues regularly in ten counties: Clare, Kerry, Cork, Kilkenny, Donegal, Tipperary, Wexford, Limerick, Galway and Dublin. Balbriggan, in my own constituency, is the only place in County Dublin where it is allowed to take place.

It is appropriate to draw attention to this matter. The Irish Coursing Club has said that hares come to no harm in coursing because they are protected by the existing rules governing the sport, as the club calls it. That is completely and utterly false. It does not stand up to any scrutiny of the evidence...

For 12 months of the year, we are allowing hares to be used in a coursing environment. We have to see it in the context of the protection of this species. I would like to mention some of the commentary that has been made by the Irish Wildlife Trust, which is the foremost authority on this subject. It is a conservation organisation that uses all the relevant scientific data and expertise on the status of the Irish hare population. Some of its members are experts on this species. The Irish Wildlife Trust has said that the hare on this island is an endemic sub-species. In other words, it is not found anywhere else in the world. The National Parks and Wildlife Service has assessed the conservation of the hare, on the basis of recent studies, and expressed some concerns. It has suggested that the population is stable but is subject to important fluxes. A species action plan for the Irish hare, which was published by the same organisation, states that hare populations have undergone a substantial decline in the past 15 to 20 years and are thought to have fallen to a critical level in some areas. There is concern about the conservation of hares.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has suggested in one of its reports that the unsustainable taking of hares for sporting purposes could be one of the reasons the species is threatened and in decline. It is obvious that this extension of hunting licences, to allow some more hares to be shot, will pose a further threat to the species as a whole. The trust believes this important species needs to be protected. It is afforded protection under the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended in 2000, and under the EU habitats directive. Additional measures need to be put in place to protect the hare. It is relevant to examine this issue in its entirety. The Government has been incredibly slow to introduce legislation to protect animals from cruelty. However, it has found time to fast-track this measure, which will result in more hares being shot. It is particularly reprehensible that we are doing this at the moment. Other Deputies have made the point that shooting animals and wildlife, including birds, is good for tourism. I suggest the opposite argument can be made. Bird-watching and similar activities are also very important for local tourism. If we prevent wild birds from being shot, it will be good for the economy. Therefore, it is not appropriate for this Bill to extend current legislative provisions in this way. I do not think we should take part in it. I do not agree with the Bill for those reasons.

 ACTION ALERT 

"I was thinking of removing the reference to hares from the Bill because very few people shot them," Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan stated during the debate. Please contact him now and urge him to remove the provision from the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 which allows people to shoot them.

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

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

02. Former Tanaiste Dick Spring was nominator of doped dog

Former Tanaiste, Dick Spring, was the nominator of 'Jeru Cavendish', the doped greyhound that won the JP McManus Irish Cup coursing event at Limerick Racecourse last February, netting for himself Eur8,000 as the winning nominator.

The owner of the dog, an eight-year-old girl, won Eur72,000.

We understand that an Irish Coursing Club committee has ordered the forfeiture of this Eur80,000 prize money.

The dog tested positive for Ephedrine and Phenylpropanolamine after the event, and the Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called for a Garda investigation into this doping incident and two more at Clonmel in early February.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports monitored the three-day JP McManus Irish Cup coursing event at Limerick Racecourse last February, and filmed hares being severely mauled by muzzled greyhounds. Our film footage can be viewed below.

It is clear that live hare coursing is rotten to the core, involving cruelty to hares and greyhounds which are, it seems, routinely doped, hence the revelations of doping at the so-called 'blue riband' events, the Irish Cup and the National Finals. It's time the government moved to ban this despicable abuse, as has been done in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

03. Garda investigation into doping of coursing greyhounds

A Garda investigation has been opened into the doping of coursing greyhounds in Ireland. It emerged last month that greyhounds at the Irish Cup and Clonmel coursing finals meets were found to have been given prohibited substances.

On June 27, the Irish Examiner reported that "Irish Cup winner Jeru Cavendish, under the guardianship of John O'Donoghue, Co. Clare and trained by John Browne, Co. Clare, has been sensationally disqualified almost four months after the event was staged at Patrickswell, Co Limerick."

The report outlined that tests from the National Greyhound Laboratory revealed that the winner of the JP McManus-sponsored event had tested positive for the banned substances, Ephedrine and Phenylpropanolamine, adding that an Irish Coursing Club committee ordered the forfeiture of the Eur80,000 prize money and trophies.

The dog had been nominated by former Labour Party leader, Dick Spring who has previously been condemned for his association with the cruel blood sport.

The Examiner went on to reveal that two greyhounds who competed at the coursing finals in Clonmel on February 1 were also found to have prohibited substances in their systems:

"Derby semi-finalist India Rio, owned by the Strictly Private Syndicate c/o John Murphy and trained by John Murphy, Co. Cork, was found to have the banned substance Modafinil in his system and has been retrospectively disqualified...Champion Stakes quarter-finalist Dresden Call, owned by Josephine McCarthy, Dublin and trained by John Kelliher, Co. Kerry, was found to have Ephedrine in his system and was duly disqualified."

Journal.ie has reported that a Garda investigation has now been opened into the doping of coursing greyhounds.

Read the Journal.ie report and leave a comment at
www.thejournal.ie

QUOTE: "Owned by eight-year-old Jenna O'Donoghue, Ballinagun, Cree, and trained by West Clare native, John Browne, Jeru Cavendish was an exciting and popular winner of the Irish Cup (64) worth Eur80,000 to the winner of which Eur8,000 goes to the winning nominator, Dick Spring, Tralee, the former, Tanaiste and Labour Party leader." from Fairytale ending to coursing season, Clare Champion, 01 March 2012

04. Senator Power: I hope Minister will consider a coursing ban

Fianna Fail Senator, Averil Power has condemned hare coursing as a "cruel pursuit" and called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to ban the activity.

During a Senate debate on Animal Health and Welfare Bill on 20 June, Senator Power stated:

"While I welcome the improvements in animal welfare provided for in the Bill I am disappointed that the Government decided against banning live hare coursing. As the Minister is aware, the practice has been banned in most other countries, including the UK and Northern Ireland, and it is my strong personal view that it is a cruel pursuit. Other countries have managed to create a sport out of drag coursing without inflicting pain and cruelty on animals.

"I note the Minister will have the power to make regulations and I hope he will consider a ban on live coursing," she added. "Fine Gael's position on stag hunting appears to have moved on, or at least it has not implemented its pre-election commitment to overturn the ban introduced by the previous Government. I hope its position on animal welfare issues will evolve in a similar manner."

Minister Coveney responded by saying "I am not going to get into a debate on hare coursing but I respect the Senator's views".

He went on to state that "We have endeavoured to get the balance right with this legislation in order to protect vulnerable animals...We have deliberately left alone the legal status of hunting and coursing."

With hares and foxes continuing to suffer the appalling horrors of coursing and foxhunting, the balance of the bill is clearly nowhere near "right". ICABS will continue pressing the Minister to include protection for hares, foxes and all wildlife from cruelty.

Read the full text of the debate at:
http://debates.oireachtas.ie/seanad/2012/06/20/00011.asp

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and demand that a ban on coursing is included in the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012.

Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
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: eamon.gilmore@oireachtas.ie;taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie

05. An Taoiseach reminded of his opposition to coursing

ICABS has reminded An Taoiseach Enda Kenny about a 2003 email he sent to us in which he declared his opposition to hare coursing. "I am writing to confirm that I am opposed to the practice of live hare coursing," he stated in the message of 18th July 2003.

We are calling on Mr Kenny to stay true to his beliefs and urgently intervene to ensure that a ban on coursing is included in the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill. "Please show compassion for the Irish Hare and make this historic move to bring coursing to an end," we urged.

 ACTION ALERT 

Join us in urging Enda Kenny to introduce a ban on hare coursing.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2 Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048

06. Photos: Protest against coursing sponsor, BoyleSports

Thank you everyone who attended the Dublin protest outside coursing sponsor BoyleSports. Thousands of passers-by - on foot, in cars and on buses - learned of BoyleSports shameful sponsorship of hare coursing cruelty.

If you were unable to attend on the day, please respond to the action alert below. You may also wish to organise a similar protest outside your nearest BoyleSports branch. You can see a list of branch locations at http://classic.boylesports.com/info/d.asp?show=ShopList

 ACTION ALERT 

Ask Boylesports to disassociate from coursing.

John Boyle
Managing Director
Boylesports
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: care@boylesports.com;media@boylesports.com;marketing@boylesports.com;lblanche@boylesports.com;nmcgeady@boylesports.com

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 https://www.facebook.com/boylesports

07. Coveney considering fur farming submissions report

Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, has told ICABS President Maureen O'Sullivan that he is currently considering the contents of a Review Group report into fur farming in Ireland. See below for the full text of Deputy O'Sullivan's Dail Question and Answer.

Find out more about Ireland's fur farm cruelty at http://banfurfarms.ie/

 ACTION ALERT 

Please join us in urging the Minister to introduce a total ban on cruel fur farming.

Email: Simon.Coveney@oireachtas.ie
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01 661 1013 and 021 437 4862

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Minister Coveney,

I support a total ban on fur farming and an immediate closure of Ireland's fur farms.

In these hellholes, animals suffer a horrendous life of misery before being cruelly gassed to death. There is absolutely no justification for the continuation of this cruelty.

Please ban fur farming now.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

Send a copy of your correspondence to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for animals and back a ban on fur farming.

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: eamon.gilmore@oireachtas.ie;taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie

08. Minister is asked why illegal traps were not seized by NPWS

Finian McGrath, TD has asked the Minister for Arts and Heritage why illegal Nooski traps were not seized by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The cruel traps, which strangle rodents and squirrels to death are unlawful under the Wildlife Act.

Read the Minister's response below, followed by our urgent action alert.

The cruel Nooski trap kills its mouse and squirrel victims by a method of strangulation - the animal enters a tunnel, pushes past a trigger and causes a small rubber ring to be released onto its neck or chest. It is then thrown from the trap and dies a few feet away with the ring still in place around its body.

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 332 - Answered on 24th June 2012

Finian McGrath: To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan the reason thousands of Nooski traps, unlawful under the Wildlife Act 1976 (Approved Traps, Snares and Nets) Regulations 2003, have not been seized by the National Parks and Wildlife Service division of his Department; if he will confirm if the traps remain in the country; and if he will arrange for appropriate action to be taken in accordance with the legislation.

Written Answer. Ref No [30806/12]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): While the Deputy's Question does not specify a particular incident, officials of my Department understand that, in a recent case, a number of the traps referred to - numbering less than 1,000 - have been returned to the relevant UK distributor.

 ACTION ALERT 

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 them to be confiscated and destroyed. Ask why there has been a reluctance to do this, given the fact that the traps are unlawful. Send a copy of your email to Minister Jimmy Deenihan.

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

Tel: +353-1-888 3242
Email: nature.conservation@ahg.gov.ie

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

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

09. ICABS President enquires about number of NPWS prosecutions

ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan TD has questioned the Minister for Arts and Heritage about the number of prosecutions taken by the NPWS over the past decade.

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 139 - Answered on 28th June, 2012

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD: (Dublin Central, Independent)

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of prosecutions taken by the National Parks and Wildlife Services over the past 10 years; the nature of these prosecutions and the number that have been successful; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Written Answer. Ref No: 31383/12

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: (Kerry North-West Limerick, Fine Gael)

My Department is compiling the material requested by the Deputy and will forward the information to the Deputy as soon as possible.

10. FF TD, Robert Troy, wants stag hunt ban rescinded

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is astounded at a statement made by Fianna Fail TD, Robert Troy, in the Dail this week in which he called for the ban on the hunting of deer with dogs (i.e. the Ward Union deerhunt) to be rescinded.

Deputy Troy, during a debate on the Wildlife Amendment Bill 2012, stated that his partner was from Meath, and that it was one of the main issues in the last general election, and so he had a "great interest in it".

"As it was a commitment made during the last general election (to rescind the ban), I thought the Government parties might have used the opportunity arising from this Bill to rescind the ban on stag hunting, as previously promised," he said.

Deputy Troy's stance on this issue of cruelty to animals beggars belief. It's hard to believe that any right-thinking person with a vestige of compassion would want to bring back an abusive activity that caused 150 years of suffering to vulnerable deer hounded around the Meath and North Dublin countryside for "sport".

Deputy Troy should bear in mind the views of the majority in County Meath who were very much opposed to this hunt, not least the many farmers who suffered trespass and damage to their lands on a regular basis. "We go where the deer goes" was the battle cry of the Ward Union hunters, who openly admitted on RTE's Liveline that they cut wire fencing to gain access onto farmlands.

Deputy Troy clearly turns a blind eye to the cruelty meted out to these farmed deer during the hunt, forced to run for their lives before a pack of dogs, and the fatalities that ensued as a result " deer dying of aneurisms, drownings, road accidents, and choking while being roughly captured " all documented on official government monitoring reports accessed by ICABS through FOI.

And there were the horrific incidents aired on RTE's Liveline - in one, this hunt invaded a school yard in Kildalkey, forcing the lock-down of the school for the safety of the children who watched in horror as an exhausted stag was pursued by dogs; in another, a hunted deer jumped onto a main road, was struck by a car and had to be put down. Surely Deputy Troy would not want to see a return of this kind of incident?

Deputy Troy has previously informed us that he supports hare coursing because some of his constituents are engaged in the activity, and now stag hunting, because his partner is from East Meath and it is of 'interest' in that region. The Deputy should bear in mind that the vast majority of his constituents are opposed to cruelty to animals, and he should reflect that in his utterances in Dail Eireann.

If you wish to get in touch with Robert Troy about his shameful pro-bloodsports stance, his contact details are:

Robert Troy
Email: Robert.Troy@oireachtas.ie
Tel: (01) 6184059
Mobile: (087) 7979890

Constituency details
The Manse, Castle Street
Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Tel: 044 9330769
Facebook: http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Robert-Troy/1596728296

11. Widespread disgust over donkey photo

A disturbing photo showing three people on a donkey at an animal fair in County Clare has prompted widespread disgust.

The image, published in June by the Irish Daily Star shows a donkey struggling to remain standing as three people sit on his back.

You can see the photo at www.scribd.com/doc/100930988/

 ACTION ALERT 

Email Spancilhill Fair and ask for a donkey derby to be excluded from future fairs
Email: info@spancilhillfair.com

12. Fund fencing, not killing: Maureen O'Sullivan TD

ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan TD has urged the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to use fencing instead of trapping and killing to protect nesting birds from natural predators.

In her Dail question to Minister Jimmy Deenihan, Deputy O'Sullivan pointed to the 100 per cent success of a conservation project in Mayo which uses fencing as a barrier around a bird breeding site. The Heritage Council-funded Annagh Marsh fence has been hailed a "great success" (See: www.tinyurl.com/annaghmarsh).

Minister Deenihan has previously given 20,000 Euro to a shooting organisation for "targeted control of predators" which he claimed "can have a significant benefit" to the breeding success of bird species.

However, the actual benefit of this approach is highly questionable, given the fact that when a predator is cruelly trapped and killed, another will naturally move in to fill the empty territory.

"Minister, we call on your department to stop funding the trapping and killing of wildlife and instead choose the humane and effective solution of fencing," we stated.

 ACTION ALERT 

Encourage Minister Jimmy Deenihan to stop funding trapping and killing and instead favour the permanent and effective fencing solution.

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

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

13. Matador removed from Speak Spanish webpages

Thumbs up to Kilroy's College Dublin and Findacourse.ie for responding positively to an appeal and removing a matador image from the Speak Spanish course page of their websites.

The move came after the cruelty of bullfighting was highlighted. We thank them both for their compassionate response.

Visit the Kilroy's College website at www.kilroyscollege.ie
Visit the Findacourse website at www.findacourse.ie

14. Brennan Group of hotels asked to disassociate from coursing

A hotel that wished luck to a coursing club has been told that hares were injured and died at the meeting. Kilkenny's Springhill Court hotel, which is part of the Brennan Group of Hotels, stated in a coursing booklet advert: "the best of luck to Sevenhouses coursing club".

In a renewed appeal to the Brennan Group, ICABS presented disturbing details from a National Parks and Wildlife Service report (obtained under Freedom of Information) which show that at this year's Sevenhouses coursing meeting, 12 hares were hit by greyhounds, 1 hare was killed, 4 hares were injured and 1 hare was put down because of injuries.

A photo gallery on a pro-coursing website shows hares desperately running for their lives at the Sevenhouses meeting. These images have been brought to the attention of the Brennan Group as well as to the manager of Springhill Court hotel.

Another hotel in the chain, the Clonmel Park Conference Leisure & Spa Hotel, has also been previously criticised for its association with coursing. Hare coursing was publicised on its website while a hotel advert in a coursing booklet welcomed coursers and stated that coursing videos would be shown nightly at the hotel.

"It is incredible that a modern hotel chain unashamedly associates with an animal cruelty activity which causes injury and death to hares," 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."

 ACTION ALERT 

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

Monica O'Byrne
Sales and Marketing Director
Brennan Hotels Group
Email: monica@brennanhotels.com

Mr Seamus OCarroll
General Manager:
Springhill Court Hotel
Waterford Rd, Kilkenny
Email: socarroll@springhillcourt.com
Tel: +353 56 7721122
Fax: +353 56 7761600
Springhill Court Hotel Facebook Page

15. JP McManus asked to end coursing sponsorship

ICABS is calling on businessman JP McManus to have mercy on the hares and permanently end his sponsorship of the Irish Cup coursing event. In a letter of appeal to the former Irish Philanthropist of the Year, we referred to scenes of appalling cruelty witnessed at the Irish Cup last February.

Irish Council Against Blood Sports monitors who attended the event at Limerick Racecourse filmed hares being terrorised and hit - See footage below or at tinyurl.com/irishcup. Fleeing hares could be seen desperately trying to evade capture but on several occasions, they were unsuccessful. The dogs battered them, pinned them to the ground and mauled their delicate bodies. The pitiful cries were clearly audible.

One hare was seen jumping against an advertisement board at the side of the field in a futile attempt to escape.

 ACTION ALERT 

Please join us in asking JP McManus to have mercy on the hares and stop sponsoring this cruelty.

 ACTION ALERT 

Please join us in asking JP McManus to have mercy on the hares and stop sponsoring this cruelty.

JP McManus
c/o Martinstown Stud
Martinstown
Kilmallock
Co. Limerick

Email: nmcmanus@martinstownstud.ie
Tel: +353 (0)63 88088
Fax: +353 (0)63 88084

16. Complaint to Council of Europe about Irish badger cull

Source: Irish Wildlife Trust - http://iwt.ie

The IWT has lodged a complaint with the Council of Europe; the body which deals with the protection of wildlife in Europe. The complaint relates to the Irish badger culling strategy that has killed 90,000 badgers since its onset in the early eighties. The badger population has been reduced from 150,000 to its current level of 60,000 animals.

Although vaccination trials are in place there is no plan to reduce current culling levels in the 4 / 5 year interim until a vaccination programme is rolled out. The IWT are concerned this may lead to an unsustainable population and the endangerment of this iconic species.

The complaint itself points towards specific aspects of the Irish strategy that breach the Bern convention criteria. These are as follows

- the continued culling strategy when a viable alternative is in place.
- intense continuous culling in the absence of an independent population survey.
- evidence that suggests the extinction of some local populations.

The Council of Europe have asked the Irish Government to respond to the complaint through the Department of National Parks and Wildlife services.

17. Renewed appeal to anti-coursing Taoiseach and Tanaiste

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is renewing its call on Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore to back a ban on hare coursing. Both have previously expressed their opposition to the bloodsport.

In an email to ICABS in July 2003, the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny stated "I am opposed to the practice of live hare coursing."

Tanaiste and Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore is also anti-coursing. He is on record as saying: "I am opposed to the blood sports of badger baiting, cock fighting, dog fighting, hare coursing and stag hunting." He added that he and his then party, Democratic Left, "strongly believes in protecting our wildlife" and that they are "very concerned about the cruelty and impact on the various species of so-called blood sports."

We are calling on both men to stay true to their beliefs and back a ban on the cruel activity.

"You are among the compassionate majority of Irish people opposed to coursing," we told them. "With the activity now illegal in Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, 2012 is the ideal moment in history for the Labour/Fine Gael Government to halt this cruelty and give permanent protection to the Irish Hare."

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore now. Ask them to back a ban on hare coursing.

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: eamon.gilmore@oireachtas.ie;taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie

Contact all your local TDs now. Tell them you are one of the majority who want coursing banned. Remind them that coursing is already illegal in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Urge them to respect the wishes of the majority of the electorate and back the anti-coursing bill being introduced by Maureen O'Sullivan, TD and Clare Daly, TD.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses.

http://www.oireachtas.ie/members%2Dhist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=31&disp=const
http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/Members_emails/document1.htm

If you prefer to post a letter to your TDs, address your correspondence to:

Dail Eireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

18. SUCCESS: 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'.

A big thank you to Trip Advisor for dropping the Pamplona bullrun from its list.

 ACTION ALERT 

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 websites.

TripAdvisor LLC,
141 Needham Street,
Newton,
MA 02464, USA

Email: membersupport@tripadvisor.com
Tel: 001 617-670-6300 (USA)
Fax: 001 617-670-6301

19. Rally for Animals - August 26th 2012

Join hundreds of caring people for a peaceful march against cruelty to animals.

Sunday 26th August 2012, 1pm sharp.
Garden of Remembrance, O'Connell Street, Dublin.

For more information, visit the ARAN website at www.aran.ie

Watch the rally video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6oQIICluc8
View the rally poster: www.scribd.com/doc/101120826

20. Volunteers needed for bat survey!

Bat Conservation Ireland is seeking volunteers to help with an all-Ireland Duabenton's Bat survey. If you are interested in surveying your local waterway for Daubenton's bats on two nights during the month of August, contact Tina at info@batconservationireland.org

More details at: http://heritagecouncil.newsweaver.ie

21. Protest against bullfighting promotion during football final

Source: CAS International

After Spain won the EURO 2012 final, footballer Sergio Ramos celebrated by bringing a pink bullfighting cape on to the field and imitating the movements of a bullfighter. These shameful images were broadcasted live to an estimated 250 million viewers.

This is the second time that Ramos has promoted bullfighting after winning a match. In 2011 when Real Madrid won a championship, he also waved a bullfighting cape.

Please join us in complaining to the president and executive committee of UEFA and asking them to prohibit displays which promote cruelty to animals. Send a letter from www.cas-international.org/en/support-us/protest/uefaprotest/#c2521

22. Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 147 - Answered on 11th July, 2012

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will consider the use of the funding currently being used in trapping and killing of natural predator for fencing to protect nesting birds of the type used in County Mayo (details supplied) which is enjoying 100 per cent success in keeping natural predators out of a bird breeding site.

Written Answer. Ref No: 33880/12

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, (Kerry North-West Limerick, Fine Gael): My Department is aware of the success of the use of fencing to exclude predators, such as foxes, from the site in question in County Mayo, where a small number of waders are now breeding within the fenced-off area. The use of exclusion fencing rather than trapping is an option that my Department considers, where appropriate, but it is not always feasible. For example, fencing would not be considered a viable option to exclude avian predators, such as crows, which fly over fences, or wild mink, which swim up rivers and wet drains into sites.

In addition, fencing is a very expensive option compared to trapping and would not be economically viable in the large number of sites that my Department manages. My Department will, however, keep the option of using exclusion fencing under review and will continue to consider its use, where feasible.

Question 667 - Answered on 17th July, 2012

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the date on which the submissions made and sent to his Department at the end of 2011 regarding fur farming will be assessed; when he will comment on the findings of the submissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Written answer on Tuesday, 17th July, 2012 The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney) (Cork South-Central, Fine Gael): The Review Group set up in my Department to review all aspects of fur farming has considered all the submissions made on the matter and has concluded its report, the contents of which I am now considering.

Question 990 - Answered on 6th June, 2012

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the grants if any that have been given to gun clubs, hunting and coursing clubs; the criteria used by the National Lottery and his Department in recognising a good cause; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport (Michael Ring TD): The Sports Capital Programme is the Government's primary vehicle for supporting the development of sports facilities and the purchase of sports equipment. The goal of the Programme is to increase participation in sport and to improve standards of performance by assisting in the development of sports facilities at national, regional and local level, thereby contributing to healthier lifestyles and an improved overall quality of life.

Applications received under the SCP programme are assessed on an individual basis by the Department in accordance with a detailed set of assessment criteria. These include such criteria as impact on participation, financial viability of the project and its technical merits. Special priority is also given to projects in designated disadvantaged areas. These projects are permitted to have lower levels of own funding and are given extra marks at assessment. Details of all allocations made under the Programme are available on the Department's website www.dttas.ie.

23. Letters to Editors

Referendum on animal rights
Irish Examiner, July 14, 2012

The proposed children's rights referendum will mark a turning point in the treatment of children in this country.

Political inaction in the area of child protection has led to needless suffering and death. The pious speaking must cease and genuine child protection reform should begin.

With a reform agenda in motion perhaps now is the time to bring into the public arena the issue of holding an animal rights referendum. Such an action will put into a legislative framework the protection of animals and ensure that their rights are upheld and protected.

Ireland has an appalling record on animal rights/welfare issues. Animal abuse, both within the legal and illegal realms, are stitched into the fabric of our society. It seems there is no level that elements of our society will not stoop to in order to violate the rights of animals be it for profit, entertainment, food and for the sheer enjoyment of causing suffering.

There is a layer of Irish society that remains handcuffed to the traditions of the dark ages. For them, animals are objects to use, exploit and abuse. Existing in the constituency of human abusers animal abusers shuttle between animal and human targets with ease.

An animal rights referendum would push the issue of how we treat the non-human members of our society into the public and political arena. It would establish a debate on what type of relationship should exist between humans and animals who are our psychological kin.

For now we can say that animal abuse in all of its forms is an attack on the non-human members of our society. It should not be tolerated, defended or allowed to be promoted by those who have lost all connection with a conscience.

Children are suffering and animals are suffering. Both are united in a common desire for the abuse to stop. With child protection measures on the way when will it be the turn of animals to enjoy an abuse-free environment? If not now, then when?

John Tierney
Campaigns Director Association of Hunt Saboteurs
PO Box 4734, Dublin 1

Educational offensive is needed to seal the future of our wildlife heritage
The Kerryman, June 13 2012

Sir, The gruesome incident in which seals' heads were nailed to a signpost at a County Kerry sanctuary is another stark reminder that Ireland lags behind other EU nations in terms of both animal cruelty awareness and a commitment to conservation of our precious wildlife species. Only a few weeks ago, another Golden Eagle was poisoned, further endangering the NPWS project aimed at re-introducing these wonderful creatures to our eco-system.

Seals have been around for longer than human beings and are at least as entitled as our own species to survive. Overfishing has contributed more to depleted fish stocks around our shores than the age-old natural quest of the seal to feed itself.

Our schools should be promoting humane treatments of animals and the importance of wildlife conservation. And our laws need to be overhauled to achieve consistency in addressing how humans treat animals in the wild.

As a nation we need to cherish the wild creatures that share this island with us, and their habitats. An educational offensive is vital to seal the future of our precious wildlife heritage.

John Fitzgerald,
Callan, Co. Kilkenny.

Free vegan offer for Mattie McGrath
Irish Examiner, July 26, 2012

Vegan Ireland, the Vegan Society of Ireland, are tempted to ask what planet is Mattie McGrath living on.

In a recent outburst in the Dail, and in the very week when Nasa announced that astronauts on their Mars mission would be living on a vegan diet, Deputy McGrath asked whether we would have to become cannibals if we cannot kill and eat animals. He asked this ridiculous question during a speech on the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 on Jul 18 in which he appealed for reasoned debate.

Deputy McGrath is in danger of sounding completely out-of-touch. He studied horticulture in Kildalton College, so it is certain that he knows a good deal about the production of vegetables and fruit. What seems uncertain is whether he's heard of vegans or vegetarians, the former of which eat a wholly plant-based diet.

Vegan Ireland now invite Deputy McGrath to experience and enjoy vegan cuisine at our expense to prove to him, for once and for all, that no-one needs to become a cannibal if they cannot eat fish or kill animals.

Dr Roger Yates
Vegan Ireland
Dublin 4

Society is paying a very heavy price for gun ownership
Irish Examiner, July 26, 2012

Evil was projected into a Denver cinema via the barrel of a firearm. What is it about firearm ownership that provides a method to unleash destruction and death on the innocent?

Firearms don't kill people. It is people using them to create a God-like persona in order to allocate the right to live or die by the impact of bullet on skin.

Society allows the firearm ownership community a platform to create a climate of acceptance of having and using firearms for recreation while ignoring the inherent dangers of using these lethal weapons.

In light of the Denver cinema shooting Irish society should not be lulled into thinking that these incidents only happen in faraway countries.

While our firearm-owning community is small in size, the potential for a member within its ranks to run amok within a public setting exists.

The fact the firearms owners are allowed to blast away at the non-humans of society acts like a safety insulation blanket.

We can all relax as the pent-up aggression and physiological issues of firearms owners are projected onto non-human targets.

Firearm ownership draws in the flotsam of society, people searching for an identity and a way of expressing their view of how society should operate.

Within their cordite-soaked minds they see themselves as defenders of a free society.

For them, the solution to any problem they encounter can be found within a bullet casing.

Despite strict firearms laws, firearms, both legal and illegal flow like water through the veins of Irish society.

They are held by people that need the weight of a firearm to feel alive and are a gun-cock away from proving their macho credentials.

Guns are entrenched in society. Their existence is a reminder that we have created a lethal monster that can lash out at any time. By eliminating as many unnecessary avenues for firearms ownership society can protect itself.

Until that action is taken, bullets flying and people weeping will be the legacy of firearm ownership.

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

24. Campaign Quotes

"To me, it's unthinkable. How could people want to tear these beautiful creatures [foxes] apart limb from limb using packs of dogs?" Queen guitarist/songwriter Brian May, in a wildlife rescue video. Watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LfQmUE-bgDU

"Trouble is in a lot of cases [greyhounds] are not put down humanely, and there the antis do have a winning point. All we have to look at is incidents like those Gob****e down in Co Limerick that was dumping shot greyhounds out in a quarry or the other who was chucking them off the pier into the estuary near Glin [Which just happens to be a coursing meet track]. As well as stupid idiots cutting the ears and ID tattoos off their dogs and dumping them. Idiots like that are just handing the antis loaded guns to shoot the coursing and greyhound industry right between the eyes." from a comment on Boards.ie, 18 July 2012.

"Gun clubs in rural areas...have a strong bond with and are respectful of nature...[Shooting animals] is a traditional skilled activity that has been handed down for generations. It is important for my rural constituents to have their traditions respected and honoured." Peter Fitzpatrick, TD (Fine Gael, Louth) Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012

"Is it not better for a young boy or girl to be outside fishing or hunting than sitting at home every day in front of computer on Facebook, Google or whatever else? At least when they return to school after the summer, their teachers can ask them about flora, fauna and mother nature, about which I learned when I went coursing as a buachaill og with the men of the parish. Coursing was good, healthy exercise and all I had was the butt of a stick to hit a ditch." Pro-bloodsports TD, Mattie McGrath (Tipperary South). Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages, 18 July 2012

"The conservation group WWF in Spain has removed King Juan Carlos as its honorary president for going on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana. The WWF's Spanish chapter voted overwhelmingly to abolish the post, a statement said, adding that the safari did not sit well with WWF goals." from Spanish WWF sacks King Juan Carlos over elephant hunt, BBC News, 22 July 2012.

"The only corncrake left on the Shannon river is probably dead, according to conservationists, leaving Donegal and Mayo as the only two counties where the once widespread bird remains. Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Kathryn Finney of Birdwatch Ireland said the seventh successive summer of flooding on Ireland's longest river had probably wiped out the last of the population of ground nesting birds, which numbered 60 calling males in 2000." Last corncrake on Shannon probably dead, Journal.ie, 19 July 2012.

"The Irish Cup is run over three days and is now staged at Limerick Racecourse having been for many years held on The Dunraven estate outside Adare. We were fortunate to have been invited into the private box of JP and Noreen McManus where we were wonderfully entertained to lunch each day...The coursing meeting was of a very high standard." from a coursing report published on the Weatherbys website. No mention is made in the report of the hares hit, mauled and carried off the field at the JP McManus sponsored meeting.

"The Clare Dog Pound works with a number of local rescues in an effort to find homes for Greyhounds that are available for rehoming but many Greyhound owners surrender their unwanted dogs to the pound on condition that they be put to sleep...those with unwanted Greyhounds [have] the option of bringing the dogs to the pound when the vet would be in attendance so they can be humanely PTS [put to sleep]. This policy is not limited to Clare or ISPCA pounds. Perhaps people need to be asking why there are so many unwanted Greyhounds in the first place and why an industry that is so heavily subsidised with tax-payer's money is not investing more heavily in trying to alleviate the situation." From a statement on the ISPCA website, June 2012. www.ispca.ie/news/view/ispca_objects_to_todays_misleading_irish_mail_on_sunday_article

How confident are coursing clubs about their "great sport" when they feel the need to have a warning printed on the events card of every fixture: "All unauthorised photography strictly prohibited"? From a comment posted on www.peoplesrepublicofcork.com

Specsavers and Diageo have just announced they're never again to allow their billboards to be displayed on Limerick racecourse while any coursing is taking is taking place on that venue. That's some kick in the teeth to hare coursing and the so-called "Irish Cup" meeting. Step by excruciating step, hare coursing is being hammered into the ground, though not as violently as the hares that get pinned down and mangled by the blooded dogs. Fair play to the irish council against blood sports, they've really got to the ICC and all the coursing clubs. Big campaign underway to get all sponsors of coursing to withdraw their support. From a comment posted on http://www.peoplesrepublicofcork.com

"Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad] - This session of proposed amendments to the new animal welfare legislation could be tetchy: among the proposed amendments will (probably) be one to remove the specially-enshrined sanctity of hare coursing, which was left intact by junior agriculture minister Shane McEntee who is overseeing this." http://agenda.ie/2012/06/20/today-in-leinster-house-june-20-2012/

"Bird trapping has become a rapidly increasing cottage industry in parts of the North East [of Ireland]. Local populations of some birds have been wiped out. Gangs target songbirds...Birds are sold at markets and on the internet." From the Lay of the Land column by Fiona O'Connell, Sunday Independent, 22 July 2012.

25. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now
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
Help End Illegal Trade of Endangered Animal Parts
Stop bear baiting in Pakistan
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 www.banbloodsports.com

Tune in to the ICABS Channel

Footage of blood sport cruelty and the humane alternatives can be viewed on the ICABS Channel on Youtube - www.youtube.com/icabs or by clicking on "Videos" at www.banbloodsports.com Please ask your local TD/Senator to view our videos and back a blood sports ban.

Animal Voice - Subscribe

To receive "Animal Voice" by email every month, please send "Animal Voice - Subscribe" to info@banbloodsports.com

Make a donation to ICABS

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


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