Newsletter

Animal Voice: Issue 8, August 2012
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Coursers get cruelty licence for 2012-13 season
02. Coursing is in decline in Ireland - Help finish it
03. Save cubs from cubhunting cruelty
04. New ICABS leaflet exposes Ireland's blood sport cruelty
05. Senator John Whelan: Stag hunting is "not missed by rural Ireland"
06. SUCCESS: "Hunter" listing removed from FAS website
07. Ask 95fm to drop cruel coursing from its "sports" coverage
08. 95FM laughter at struggling donkeys
09. Hunting cruelty highlighted to Cork SPCA
10. Anti-fur protests, Saturday 8th September
11. Irish horses to be sent to China
12. Council motion against animals in circuses
13. Ebay thanked for removing cruel animal traps
14. Coursing cruelty: Northern Ireland versus Republic of Ireland
15. Hounds Off campaign encouraging hunt-free areas in UK
16. Dogfight puppy found with snapped jaw - witnesses sought
17. Presidents against blood sports
18. Demand end to barbaric "Toro de la Vega"
19. Alicia Silverstone: Help Ban Hounding of Bears and Bobcats
20. Letters to Editors
21. Campaign Quotes
22. Petitions

01. Coursers get cruelty licence for 2012-13 season

ICABS has learned that Minister Jimmy Deenihan has issued a licence to hare coursers for another season of coursing cruelty.

Deenihan's licence allows the blood sports enthusiasts to net thousands of hares from the wild for use as live lures at around 91 coursing meetings around Ireland.

Shame on Jimmy Deenihan for turning a blind eye to the suffering of hares and allowing this shameful cruelty to continue.

Earlier this year, Deenihan pledged to coursers: "Whatever I can do for coursing while I am in this job, I will certainly do it."

Please join us in our calls on the Minister to revoke the licence and save hares from another season of suffering.

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
CC: An Taoiseach - taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802
Fax: +353 (0)1 661 1201

In 2003, Enda Kenny told ICABS: "I am opposed to the practice of live hare coursing." Today, join us in urging him to intervene to stop another season of coursing.

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

02. Coursing is in decline in Ireland - Help finish it

In 1935, there were 219 coursing clubs in Ireland. In 2012, there are 89. There is no doubt that hare coursing is in decline but its end can't come soon enough. Save thousands of Irish hares from another season of suffering - take action now to help bring coursing to an end. Hare coursing is in decline in the Republic of Ireland but its end can't come soon enough. Save thousands of Irish hares from another season of suffering - take action now to help bring coursing to an end.

Email "I am one of the majority opposed to hare coursing. I urge you to back an immediate ban on this shameful cruelty" to all of Ireland's TDs. It only takes a few minutes at http://www.contact.ie/contact-national-politicians

If you are a landowner, make your land off-limits to those netting hares for coursing. Download a notice and display it on the boundaries of your property. For more advice on keeping hunters and coursers off your property, visit our Landowners page

View our new poster at www.scribd.com/doc/104287721/Cruel-Hare-Coursing-is-in-Decline

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and demand that a ban on coursing and foxhunting 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 coursing and foxhunting.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Telephone: 01-6194020

An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail) or 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)

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

03. Save cubs from cubhunting cruelty

Cubs around Ireland face weeks of bloody barbarity as the cubhunting season begins again this month. Earths will be surrounded by foxhunters and their hounds will be goaded into attacking and killing the defenceless infants - all part of a merciless training exercise for new foxhunting hounds.

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

This brutality is carried out to introduce new hounds to the taste of fox blood ahead of another hunting season. It also serves to disperse foxes - siblings of slaughtered cubs are scattered so that their wider distribution will later provide a larger hunting area.

The hunters like to refer to their barbarity as 'Autumn hunting' but their euphemism doesn't disguise the fact that it's one of Ireland's nastiest acts of cruelty.

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

 ACTION ALERTS 

Keep hunters off your land

If you are a landowner, make your land off-limits to hunters. Find out more about how to do this on our Farmers/Landowners Page.

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

See our selection of downloadable "No Hunting" Signs.

If trespass occurs, contact the Gardai. Obtain photo/video evidence whenever possible.

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney now and demand that a hunting exemption is removed from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 and that a full ban on digging out and terrierwork is introduced.

Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
CC: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Dear Minister Coveney,

I support the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' call on you to ensure that foxhunting, cubhunting, digging out and terrier work are among the activities outlawed under the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill. There is absolutely no excuse for this shameful animal abuse.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

Appeal to all Irish politicians

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

Drag hunting sees the hounds chasing an artificial lure instead of a live animal. This form of "hunting" is already practised successfully by a few groups in Ireland. In a modern and civilised country like Ireland, there should be no place for foxhunting, particularly when a transition to drag hunting would be simple.

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

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

Write to your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

Email your TDs at http://www.contact.ie/contact-national-politicians

04. New ICABS leaflet exposes Ireland's blood sport cruelty

A new Irish Council Against Blood Sports leaflet exposes the cruelty of hunting and coursing and encourages you to take action to help stop them.

Read the leaflet online at www.scribd.com/doc/102353714 or email us if you would like print copies.

 ACTION ALERT 

Contact Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore now. Ask them to introduce a ban on all blood sports - foxhunting, hare coursing, hare hunting, mink hunting, terrierwork and digging-out.

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

05. Senator John Whelan: Stag hunting is "not missed by rural Ireland"

Anti-bloodsports Senator, John Whelan, has condemned stag hunting as a "relic of our colonial past" and said it's "best to leave it where it is…consigned to history!!".

The Labour politician made the comment in response to a Journal.ie article outlining how hunters are seeking the return of the banned Ward Union staghunt.

"Stag hunting does not have its roots or traditions in rural Ireland but is a throw-back to Mad King George and our colonial past," Senator Whelan stated. "It is not pursued, desired or missed by country people or rural Ireland but an elitist and cruel pursuit previously practised in one part of County Meath."

"Stag hunting has no basis in rural Irish tradition; cannot by any stretch of the imagination be seen to be representative of rural Ireland or the traditional lifestyle and activities enjoyed and cherished in rural Ireland," he added. "There is NO commitment by this Government to overturn the Ward Union Hunt ban and I for one would vigorously oppose any attempt to have stag hunting re-introduced to this country."

06. SUCCESS: "Hunter" listing removed from FAS website

Details of a wild game hunter internship have been removed from the FAS website, following complaints. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports called on the training and employment authority to show compassion and stop listing internships involving the killing of wildlife.

The listing had stated that "the intern will gain practical experience in wild game hunting."

Thanking ICABS for bringing it to their attention, FAS responded by explaining that "due to an IT glitch, this particular advertisement did manage to evade a preliminary validation check which all adverts must undergo."

We thank FAS for their speedy response in removing the listing.

07. Ask 95fm to drop cruel coursing from its "sports" coverage

Limerick's Live 95fm has been urged to exclude hare coursing from future sports coverage. Earlier this year, the station's sports editor described his visit to the coursing finals in Clonmel as "a mighty 3 days". In an appeal to the programme director, ICABS highlighted the suffering, injury and death involved in coursing.

In a February 2012 report, 95fm sports editor Liam Aherne described his attendance at the coursing finals as "a mighty 3 days", adding that there "is nothing more exciting then [sic] having a local dog in the Derby quarters and semis".

In a complaint to the station, ICABS objected to the sports department's categorisation of the chasing of live animals with dogs as "sport".

"Hare coursing is certainly not a sport and should never be classified as such by 95fm," we stated. "It is one of Ireland's worst forms of animal cruelty, causing horrific injuries and death to the Irish Hare. Among the injuries sustained are broken bones and dislocated hips. All hares used in coursing suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives."

We pointed to the latest catalogue of cruelty from the 2011-12 coursing season as well as video footage filmed in Limerick showing hares being hit and mauled into the ground by greyhounds.

Hare coursing is an illegal activity in Northern Ireland, the jurisdiction of 95fm's parent company, UTV Media Plc.

 ACTION ALERT 

Join us in complaining to 95fm about its "sports" coverage of hare coursing cruelty. Ask the station to drop coursing from future sports reports.

Gary Connor
The Programme Director
Limerick's Live 95FM
Radio House
Dock Road
Limerick

Tel: +353 61 46 19 00
Email: complaints@live95fm.ie (CC: info@u.tv)
Leave a Comment on the 95FM Facebook Page

Ronan Mc Manamy
Chief Executive of Irish Radio
UTV Media
Email: alma@96fm.ie

John McCann
Group Chief Executive
UTV Media
Ormeau Road
Belfast BT7 1EB
Tel: +44 (0) 28 9032 8122
Fax: +44 (0) 28 9024 6695

Dear Sir,

I am one of the majority opposed to the blood sport of hare coursing. I am writing to object to 95fm's inclusion of this cruelty in its sports coverage.

Please recognise that using a live hare as a lure for greyhounds is not sport but animal cruelty. The suffering, injury and death caused to hares is well documented - the victims of the 2011-12 coursing season, for example, can be seen at www.banbloodsports.com/ln120504.htm

I also urge you to view footage from a coursing meeting in County Limerick earlier this year which clearly shows hares being hit and mauled by greyhounds (www.tinyurl.com/irishcup). How could this ever be categorised as 'sport'?

95fm - Please keep cruelty out of your sports reports!

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

[Name/Location]

08. 95FM laughter at struggling donkeys

"We cried laughing watching this. Enjoy :))" said 95FM on its Facebook Page.

The video posted on Youtube shows 95FM Breakfast Show presenters Mark Whelan (Mark@live95fm.ie) and Lisa Gernon (lisa@live95fm.ie) on top of donkeys at the "Castletown Breakfast Show Donkey Derby". The animals can be seen struggling to stay on their feet.

Will you cry with laughter or just cry? Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cuCeE8R89WQ

 ACTION ALERT  Watch the video and contact 95FM

Gary Connor,
The Programme Director,
Limerick’s Live 95FM,
Radio House,
Dock Road, Limerick.

Tel: +353 61 46 19 00.

Email: complaints@live95fm.ie;alma@96fm.ie;Mark@live95fm.ie;lisa@live95fm.ie

09. Hunting cruelty highlighted to Cork SPCA

ICABS has highlighted the cruelty of foxhunting and mink hunting to the Cork SPCA, following revelations that two of its committee members are "fox and mink hunting enthusiasts".

According to a report in the Evening Echo newspaper:

"Cork SPCA 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...Mr Connolly insisted there was nothing hypocritical about being involved in an animal welfare group — and being a hunter. He said: 'I had to give up hunting five years ago for health reasons but I am proud of my past. I hunted for 30 years and used to keep hounds in my garden where I had 70 kennels. I would have gone otter hunting until it was changed to mink hunting.'" Read the full report at

In a comment posted on the Cork SPCA's Facebook page, ICABS pointed to the cruelty of mink hunting and the fact that mink caught by the pack of hounds are ripped apart. Also posted was a link to the ICABS "Ban Foxhunting" video.

Cork SPCA is not affiliated to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ISPCA's Policy on Wild Animals states that "the ISPCA is, in principle, opposed to the taking or killing of wild animals, or the infliction of any suffering on them. This includes the hunting, taking and killing of wild animals for the purposes of sport...The Society opposes foxhunting, live hare coursing, stag hunting and otter hunting. The Society particularly opposes 'sports' which involve the blocking of earths or the digging out of animals that have gone to ground as part of their natural defence mechanism."

See Also: Animal shelter inspection report shows a number of deficiencies

10. Anti-fur protests, Saturday 8th September

CAFT Ireland and the National Animal Rights Association will hold two anti-fur protests in Dublin on Saturday, 8th September 2012.

1pm-2pm, Sydney Vard Furriers (29 South Anne Street, Dublin 2)
2pm-3pm, Barnardo Furs (108 Grafton Street, Dublin 2)

"Stand up, be a voice for the voiceless, and help fight the fur trade!"

More details at http://www.naracampaigns.org/

 ACTION ALERT 

Demand a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Email Simon Coveney now.

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]

11. Irish horses to be sent to China

The Irish Examiner has revealed that plans to send thoroughbred horses from Ireland to China are currently on hold.

"Twenty mares were due to be shipped from the Coolmore stud in South Tipperary to Tianjin City this year in the first instalment in a strategic breeding partnership," the newspaper reported on August 15th.

The move, part of a 38 million Euro deal between Ireland and China, was announced last April during Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney’s trade delegation to China.

However, the plan is said to be on hold because "the facilities in China were not yet sufficient to handle thoroughbred mares in foal", i.e. "there was not enough grazing land available for animals once they arrived in Tianjin."

The Examiner outlined that the 20 mares, all in foal, will now be moved to a farm in North Cork where they await shipment to China in 2013.

Plans to ship Irish greyhounds to China were shelved last year following widespread concern about the welfare of the dogs, given China's poor animal welfare record.

 ACTION ALERT 

Please contact the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, and urge him to prevent the export of Irish animals to China.

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.

12. Council motion against animals in circuses

Next Monday September 3rd, Monaghan County Council will be voting on the following motion:

"That this Local Authority support the introduction of by-laws or other measures which would ensure that circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of this local authority area, in light of the well-documented evidence of suffering endured by the animals involved and the serious animal welfare issues raised."

Please email the councillors and urge them to support the motion:

matt.carthy@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,noel.keelan@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,padraig.mcnally@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,owen.bannigan@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,gary.carville@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,jackie.crowe@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,john.obrien@cllr.monghancoco.ie,seamus.coyle@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,hugh.mcelvaney@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,ciara.mcphillips@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,pat.Treanor@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,robbie.gallagher@cllr.monaghancoco.ie,davidmaxwell@eircom.net,brian.mckenna@cllr.monaghancoco.ie

CC: sean.conlon@cllr.monaghan.ie

Other local authorities around the country will be voting on the motion too. Please also email your local councillors and ask them to vote in favour of the motion. To find out their contact details, follow the links from http://www.environ.ie/en/LocalGovernment/LocalGovernmentAdministration/LocalAuthorities/

13. Ebay thanked for removing cruel animal traps

ICABS has thanked eBay for responding positively to an appeal and removing cruel animal traps. Listings for Nooski traps and glue traps were taken down after we highlighted that they are illegal in Ireland. eBay has been praised for prohibiting the sale of leghold traps, snares and rodent glue traps from ebay.ie.

A notice on the eBay UK website states: "Glue traps intended for animals such as rats or mice are not permitted" and Snares and Gin traps (leghold traps) are "not allowed".

In a message to ICABS, Mike Carson of eBay's Global Regulatory and Policy Management outlined that based on the information we provided, Nooski traps were removed from the site and that "any current listings for [Nooski traps and glue traps] were also removed."

He went on to advise those who spot an item which violates eBay's policies to click on the "Report item" link on the right-hand side of the listing. "It will be reviewed by our customer service team and removed if it violates our policies," he stated.

 ACTION ALERT 

Please familiarise yourself with eBay's Animals and wildlife products policy - http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/wildlife.html - and report any item you see which violates the policy. To report traps, click on the "Report Item" link on the bottom right side of the product page. On the new page that will open, choose "Report Category: Prohibited and restricted items", "Reason for Report: Animals, plants and wildlife" and "Detailed Reason: Animal Traps".

Visit the ICABS Animal Traps Page for more information on the suffering caused by Nooski traps, gin traps and glue traps. If you spot any of these illegal traps for sale in the Republic of Ireland, please get in touch with us now.

If you are living in a country where these traps remain legal, contact your local parliament representatives and urge them to push for a ban.

14. Coursing cruelty: Northern Ireland versus Republic of Ireland

The stark contrast between the bloodsports stances of a politician in Northern Ireland and one in the Republic of Ireland can be seen in our online poster at .

In the North, coursing is illegal while here in the Republic, Minister for Arts and Heritage, Jimmy Deenihan has pledged that whatever he can do for coursing, he will do it.

 ACTION ALERT 

Express your disgust to Minister Jimmy Deenihan at his licensing of hare coursing. Ask Fine Gael party leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny to modernise his party's policy in relation to animal welfare and ban hare coursing.

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

Email: ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie
CC: An Taoiseach - taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802
Fax: +353 (0)1 661 1201

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

15. Hounds Off campaign encouraging hunt-free areas in UK

Hounds Off encourages the creation of hunt-free areas of land to stop the illegal hunting of wild animals with dogs in England, Scotland and Wales. Our work compliments the effects of the Hunting Act, which made bloodsports illegal here in 2005. The public face of Hounds Off is our website, www.houndsoff.co.uk By following the simple process explained there, involving Warning Off notices being sent to the hunters, Hounds Off is spearheading a campaign which invites everyone to join in regardless of who they are or where they live.

Since our launch a year ago, almost 500 acres of land are known to have been made out of bounds to bloodsports, affecting 34 Hunts in England. In reality the figure could be far higher because there is no system for monitoring Warning Off emails and letters sent by individuals. Hounds Off encourages autonomous action. We deliberately make no demands regarding feedback or membership.

Following 26 complaints regarding Hunt trespass, Hounds Off offered practical advice and support in warning Hunts off land in twelve different counties.

Additionally: Confirmation from the Woodland Trust Site Manager that hunting is not permitted in Duncliffe Woods, Dorset (227.73 acres), following invasion by a hunt, and that action has been taken to prevent further breaches.

Please visit our website. We'll be installing a link to ICABS soon and offering Irish-appropriate advice there. 'Like' us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hounds.off?ref=hl

Take action. Tell your family and friends to do the same. Support Hounds Off. Be part of the people's campaign against bloodsports.

Thanks for reading this. Good luck to ICABS!

Joe Hashman, August 2012
www.houndsoff.co.uk

16. Dogfight puppy found with snapped jaw - witnesses sought

Dublin SPCA is appealing for information from the public following the discovery of a badly injured puppy believed to have been used as bait during illegal dogfighting activities. Read the Evening Herald article below for more details and please contact the Gardai or DSPCA if you have any information about those responsible for this barbarity.

Bloody pup used as bait in dog fights
Evening Herald, July 26 2012
by Fiona Dillon

This puppy was found covered in blood and in excruciating pain from a snapped jaw and puncture wounds on a Dublin housing estate.

Animal welfare officers fear he could have been used as a 'bait dog' in illegal dog fights.

The staffy-cross pup, who screamed in agony when he was touched, had to be put to sleep by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).

Inspector Liam Kinsella found the 10 to 12-week-old dog at the Harelawn estate after being alerted by a member of the public. The extent of the injuries meant that he could not be saved.

The DSPCA is asking for witnesses on 01 499 4700.

17. Presidents against blood sports

President Michael D Higgins: "The barbaric practice of hare coursing should be stopped immediately." Former President, Mary Robinson: "Coursing is very cruel. It is cruel in its intent and cruel in the way it is applied."

Check out our new "Speak out against blood sports" online posters at www.scribd.com/my_document_collections/3760476

18. Demand end to barbaric "Toro de la Vega"

Source: Occupy for Animals

On the second Tuesday of September, the town of Tordesillas (in Valladolid, Spain) will again host the disgusting "Toro de la Vega" fiesta

The festival begins with the release of a bull into the countryside surrounding the town, whereupon dozens of people then pursue the bull on foot and on horseback, stabbing him with daggers and spears until he collapses exhausted on the ground.

The lancer who delivers the deadly thrust, ending the bull’s immense suffering caused by multiple stab wounds, cuts off his tail, attaches it to a lance, and shows it off to the crowds.

On top of that, the town council rewards him with a golden badge and an iron lance.

For more information, video and photos, see www.occupyforanimals.org/-toro-de-la-vega--tordesillas-sadistic-fiesta.html

 ACTION ALERT 

Sign a petition calling for an end to the fiesta http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-toro-de-la-vega-2012#

Copy the sample letter below and send it through each of the following 3 portals:

1) Municipality of Tordesillas, Valladoid: http://www.tordesillas.ayuntamientosdevalladolid.es/?q=contact

2) President of Spain: https://portal-scc.presidencia.gob.es/ciudadan@s/contacto.jsp

3) Office of Tourism, Tordesillas: http://www.tordesillas.net/webs/inicio.php?cont=8&lang=por

Letter in Spanish:

Senores, Senoras,

Protesto energicamente contra el espectaculo del ‘Toro de la Vega’, por cruel y sangriento.

Una muchedumbre, armada con terribles lanzas medievales, persigue a un animal por el campo, acorralandolo y clavandole sus lanzas en cualquier parte del cuerpo, hasta matarlo.

Esto deja en entredicho, ante el mundo entero, la calidad moral del gobierno de la Junta de Castilla-Leon y del Ayuntamiento de Tordesillas al seguir apoyandolo.

Solicito la prohibicion de este salvaje martirio y me uno a la propuesta de declarar a Tordesillas "Ciudad non grata" mientras persista en defender este acto de feroz barbarie.

Ademas apoyo la proxima manifestacion que tendra lugar en Tordesillas contra la tortura de un inocente animal llamado Volante.

English Translation:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am shocked to learn of your annual Toro de la Vega event in which a bull is chased, stabbed, mutilated, and, after enduring prolonged agony and terror, is killed.

This event is promoted as a cultural tradition, a celebration of your heritage and spirit, but your mitigating words and euphemistic descriptions cannot conceal the inherently barbaric nature of this event. Any celebration built on a foundation of extreme animal cruelty, exploitation, and suffering cannot be justified; condemning bulls, or any other animals, to a torturous ceremony for mere entertainment is indefensible. Commemorating your cultural history is admirable, yet subjecting an innocent creature to such a primitive ritual only demonstrates yours as an uncivilised, undereducated society.

Animals, like humans, are sentient creatures, capable of emotion, thought, and pain; when you support the exploitation of them, you only promote indifference and establish that you are unsympathetic to suffering. Furthermore, the global community will certainly recognise and scoff at your shameless attempts of justification and will refuse to financially contribute to such an archaic demonstration of savagery.

Indeed, until you stop the Toro de la Vega in favour of a celebration that embraces compassion and respect towards all living beings, I will necessarily maintain the only ethical decision is to promote a boycott of your country and your country’s commerce. Please choose compassion and empathy and permanently ban the Toro de la Vega and any other rituals that inflict suffering and pain on our animal friends.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.

19. Alicia Silverstone: Help Ban Hounding of Bears and Bobcats

Source: www.ecorazzi.com, August 21, 2012

Alicia Silverstone is an actress as well as a vegan, author of "The Kind Life" series of books, and an animal advocate. She has voiced her support of banning battery cages, ending testing on chimps with the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, and asked that you save a turkey instead of eating one at Thanksgiving time.

Her most recent call to help animals comes via Twitter in a tweet to her fellow Californians. Silverstone tweeted yesterday, “Hey Californians! Help ban cruel hounding http://ow.ly/d6wrc of bears and bobcats @ASPCA.”

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has asked Californian residents to contact their state assemblymember in support of SB 1221, which has passed the State Senate and moved on to the Assembly.

The bill, of course, is not without loopholes. According to Aroundthecapitol.com, SB 1221 would "make it unlawful to permit or allow a dog to pursue a bear, as defined, or bobcat at any time," but "would exempt from that prohibition the use of dogs by federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, or their agents or employees, when carrying out official duties as required by law." Also allowed would be the "the use of not more than 3 dogs to pursue bears, as defined, or bobcats pursuant to a depredation permit issued by the department," and "the pursuit of bears or bobcats by dogs that are guarding or protecting livestock or crops on property owned, leased, or rented by the owner of the dogs, if the dogs are maintained with, and remain in reasonable proximity to, the livestock or crops being guarded or protected."

The ASPCA provided some reference points to use when contacting Assembly members, including that 83 per cent of Californians are opposed to bear hounding, and that this hunting practice is still legal in only 18 states. They also point out that the bears and bobcats are not the only animals hurt, as many hunting dogs are abandoned or brought to shelters when they are no longer wanted or are injured or unable to continue with hunts.

www.ecorazzi.com/2012/08/21/alicia-silverstone-help-ban-hounding-of-bears-and-bobcats/

20. Letters to Editors

Plan to send horses and foals to China comes under fire
Irish Examiner, August 20, 2012

We have witnessed over the past few years horrific levels of suffering and abuse of Irish horses which has merited extensive media coverage both at home and abroad.

I had hoped that maybe the individuals responsible for the laws governing the welfare of our animals would have made some efforts to protect these magnificent animals. But instead a decision has been made by Mr Coveney and his department to send our horses and foals to China to help develop a racing industry in a country which "has a limited history of horse racing and does not have enough grazing lands" in the proposed location. (Conor Ryan, Irish Examiner, Aug 15).

China has no laws to protect or care for animals.

This is a country which is renowned for its appalling treatment of animals; international animal welfare organisations consistently raise their concerns about the plight of millions of animals in China.

There was an attempt in 2011 by the IGB to send our greyhounds to China, however, the huge negative backlash from thousands of concerned voices nationally and internationally thankfully resulted in this proposal being shelved (at least for now).

It would seem, however, that despite a brief reprieve, Irish horses will end up in China.

Their lives and demise should surely be of great concern to anyone who professes to love them.

Chris McCarthy
Palmerstown Woods
Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Cub-hunting and netting of hares far from sports’ ideal
Irish Examiner, August 18, 2012

Even as we bask in the glory of Ireland’s sporting triumph, preparations are underway for activities that have never featured in the Olympics and that constitute an insult to the name of sport.

I refer to cub-hunting and the netting of hares for another coursing season. Though neither coursing nor fox hunting commences until October, the ordeal for the animals affected has already begun.

Cub-hunting, or "cubbing" as fans call it, is a practice whereby novice hounds are introduced to hunting. Coverts known to contain litters of fox cubs are surrounded by hunters, and all escape routes closed off. The dogs are then sent in to attack the cubs. The animals have no chance and are ripped asunder amid a frenzy of blood-crazed mayhem. Any cub that seeks refuge by escaping from the circle of death is beaten back with whips or well-aimed kicks from the hunters. The aim of cubbing is to give the dogs a taste for blood.

So, even before the savagery of fox hunting begins, this pathetic form of "training" for it despoils the Irish countryside.

The gentle hare is faring no better. Coursing clubs are out scouring the land for these iconic creatures. Nets are being laid to catch them in fields from Cork to Donegal, with stick-wielding gangs beating the bushes and shrieking like banshees to frighten them into captivity.

When caught, they will be held in readiness for public baiting sessions where they will be forced to run from pairs of hyped-up dogs in wired-off enclosures. Some will be mauled, others will be injured when pinned to the ground by the dogs.

If the Government is serious about promoting our image as a sporting nation, I suggest it abandon its proposal to exempt hare coursing and fox hunting from prohibition under the Animal Welfare Act.

John Fitzgerald
Callan
Co Kilkenny

Cub-killing is a warm-up for fox-hunting season
Irish Examiner, August 13, 2012

Fox cubs are one of the secrets of hunting with hounds.

Starting in August and ending prior to the start of the fox-hunting season in November, vixens and their cubs are blooding fodder for hunting hounds. This is legal.

Hidden, elusive fox-cub hunting sessions are diamond-hard slaughter conducted by hunt officials. Younger hounds are trained to locate and kill the fox, rekindling in older hounds an interest in hunting. Hounds are guided by the huntsman to scent, track and kill fox cubs.

The more fox cubs that end up in the mouths of the hounds, the more the hounds understand their role. Failure to make the hunting grade ensures a quick earthly exit for a hound.

Fox-cub hunting is brutal, accompanied by a soundtrack of screaming foxes, howling hounds and the violence-laced yelps of hunt officials. The drive is to mould the hounds into one single killing unit, ready and able to do the huntsman’s bidding on the hunting day. A well-blooded hunt pack will ensure that when the scent is patchy on the hunting day, they will have the drive to keep looking for their fox.

Fox-hunting is built on the deaths of fox cubs.

It is kept hidden by hunt supporters, who trot out vague references to it by way of saying it prepares the hounds for the hunting season.

Hunting with hounds is a cruelty-soaked activity. It dishes out death in a sadistic manner for enjoyment.

When the butchering of fox cubs for entertainment is your hobby, fox hunters should not be surprised that the sobriquet of ‘animal abuser’ is tacked to their dark hearts.

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

Protecting the badger
The Irish Times - Friday, July 27, 2012

Sir, – It used to upset me to see the corpses of badgers killed by traffic – now it upsets me that I see so few of them!

At least the corpses assured me that we still had a population of badgers. Now I wonder how many are left. Or, have they all been killed as part of the campaign (so-called) to eradicate bovine TB? 90,000 badgers have been killed since the 1980s. Yet, when a culling takes place (a cruel procedure in itself) up to 90 per cent of the badgers killed prove to be free of TB. Something is terribly wrong here.

The Welsh authorities have decided to use a badger vaccine rather than culling. Are Welsh badgers so different to ours? Vaccine trials have taken place in Ireland, so why is it not used? Instead we prefer to wipe out whole populations of one of our largest and most wonderful mammals. Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, must introduce vaccination programmes quickly – if the Welsh can tackle the problem in a humane manner, then so can we.

Here, culling does not stop during the breeding season, so orphaned cubs, too young to look after themselves, are left, by the culling of their parents, slowly to starve to death underground. This is cruelty.

Surely a humane society can do better by this wonderful, secretive and mysterious gift of God to our country? – Yours, etc,

Veronica Lynam,
Coralstown, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Deputy Troy's support for blood sports
Westmeath Topic, August 2012

Dear Sir,

May I be allowed a comment or two on your article of last week, "Deputy Troy criticised by ICABS"?

This gives a fascinating insight into the policy-making of the shiny new Fianna Fail - decisions are made based on the birth-place of ones partner and on the activities of "some of his constituents". If this is true [and I have no reason to doubt the Deputies word] could I ask the following questions?

If I and a few of my friends - all constituents - wanted to support these pursuits, would Deputy Troy feel bound to approve of them? Say, Badger-baiting? Or Bullfighting? Cock-fighting? Duelling, maybe? Why not man-hunting with dogs? We could, with the support of his party, move onward into the Middle-ages in no time at all!

We might then hope for the re-introduction of Capital punishment [in public, of course], maybe Child chimney sweeps, or slavery, even. The possibilities are endless. And all pass the criteria of cruelty to the helpless for the entertainment of a self-selected few.

Thanks to Deputy Troy for a glimpse of the future when he and his party return us to an Ireland run for the "entertainment" of their partners, families and supporters. And, no use setting the dogs on me - I can't run for tuppence anymore!

Richard Murphy,
Hightown, Coralstown, Mullingar

21. Campaign Quotes

I believe there should be psychiatric intervention to find what makes hare coursing fans tick. I have seen them, whoop for joy and applaud as hares were terrorised and savagely mauled by dogs. The exemption for hare coursing in the Animal Welfare Bill makes a mockery of what the Bill seeks to achieve. Feral cats need protection too, as at present these animals are being targeted by trigger-happy so-called “sportsmen”. John Fitzgerald, Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports, 27th August 2012.

I see in The Corkman one of the local TDs was criticising me for 'preaching from the middle of Dublin city' about hares. It is very regrettable the way some would like to make animal welfare an urban/rural divide. There are many people in rural Ireland committed to animal welfare and just because I am from the city it does not mean that I cannot have a grá for the country. With a name like O'Sullivan I have obvious country connections and my connection with Oilean Chleire, West Cork is well known." Maureen O'Sullivan TD, August 1st, 2012 - http://www.maureenosullivan.ie/maureens-blog.html

As a nation we should be hanging our heads in shame that we've turned our backs and a blind eye to the immense amount of animal abuse taking place in Irish society. Irish politicians are certainly to blame for much of what is happening to animals simply because they have ignored the plight of their suffering for so long and stuck us with a law that dates back to 1911. It is time politicians recognised that there are voters out there who care about animals and that their lack of support for animal welfare will not be ignored next time these politicians come knocking on our doors. John Carmody, director of Animal Rights Action Network, Irish Examiner, August 26, 2012.

The charging of the bull should not be interpreted as an attack (so the term 'fight' in bullfighting is an absolute misnomer), but as a way to push away the attackers, to avoid the adverse situation. In addition to the stress, the exhaustion and now the injuries caused by the weapons, the bull eventually faces the matador’s sword, which, more often than not, inflicts terrible internal injuries on the bull but it remains alive and standing for a considerable time. We then see several facial expressions that anybody, ethologist or not, can easily interpret as severe suffering. The bull’s final behaviour confirms it even more. It tries to walk towards the edge of the ring, where the exit is bound to be, as its last attempt to escape, or at the very least to cover its back. Sometimes it even approaches a bullfighter that does not appear to be hostile at that instance, as if looking for help or mercy. from "Suffering in bullfighting bulls; An ethologist’s perspective" By Jordi Casamitjana. http://www.scribd.com/doc/104177272

The Irish Greyhound Board is "a company under extreme financial pressure" with "more than 5 million euro in debts due within a year" Irish Examiner, August 27, 2012 http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2012/0827/ireland/collapse-of-gentlemens-pact-cost-greyhound-board-millions-205496.html

"It's not only unethical and inhumane, it's unnecessary," said Jennifer Fearing, California director of the Humane Society of the United States. "We don't do it for public safety or population management. We do it for recreation. It's out of step with California's values." from Hunters, animal-rights groups face off over California ban on using dogs to hunt bears, bobcats, MercuryNews.com, June 10th 2012

"A hunt master and a member of his staff have been found guilty of illegally hunting fox cubs with hounds. Johnny Greenall, 52, and Glen Morris, 43, both pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them after anti-hunt protesters covertly filmed the hunt in October last year." from Huntsman fined £3,000 after being convicted of illegal fox 'cubbing', http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/VIDEO-Huntsman-fined-pound-3-000-convicted/story-16687267-detail/story.html

The issue of the fishing of bluefin tuna is an issue that has come up in the European Parliament. Paul Murphy MEP and the Socialist Party oppose the fishing of bluefin tuna and have always taken a position of voting for measures to end the practice of fishing this endangered species. In the next period as the budget and the Common Fisheries Policy is debated in the Parliament you can be assured of Paul Murphy's support for the protection of Bluefin tuna. From a letter to ICABS from the office of Paul Murphy MEP, 13 August 2012.

"I know it's tricky getting hares [out of a net] when they're alive and the b*****ds can bite hard. Often had one kill itself from jumping about and hitting the peer or a stone on the ground." from an Irish courser's post on a hunting forum, March 2011.

In the Cardiff University experiment, more than 30 kittens were used in tests funded by taxpayers. All of them were put down after the study. Five had their eyes sewn closed for up to a week. Twenty-six new-born kittens were raised in darkness for up to 12 weeks. Comedian Ricky Gervais led the fury. He said: "I am appalled that kittens are being deprived of sight by having their eyelids sewn shut. I thought sickening experiments like these were a thing of the past." The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection’s Michelle Thew added: "This is unacceptable cruel research." from "Sew cruel: Scientists stitch up kittens' eyes in shocking experiment ", Daily Mirror, 23 July 2012.

"What I see, Mr Deenihan, is an outdated and backward attitude that you are presenting to the rest of the world, for example the United Kingdom who recognised that animal cruelty plays no part in sport and banned hare coursing in 2004 along with the Hunting Act. This reflects so badly on Ireland purely and simply because you choose to abuse your position of power and ignore the vast majority of the Irish population so that you and your cronies can revel in animal cruelty and torture. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for presenting Ireland in such a poor manner and I would urge you to reconsider the damage you are not only causing to the Irish reputation but also the unnecessary amount of animal suffering you appear to be proud in supporting." Comment left on ICABS Facebook page in response to news that Jimmy Deenihan issued another licence for coursing, August 2012.

"Hunting is one of the surest means of killing people's feelings for their fellow creatures." Francois Voltaire (1694-1788), author and philosopher.

22. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now
Ask An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to Ban Hare Coursing
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland
End Cruel Blood Sport of Fox Hunting in Ireland
Tell AVIVA Ireland not to Promote Greyhound Racing in Advertisements
Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland
Don't Show Bullfights on Public TV!
Stop Venezuela From Fishing With Cats And Kittens
Help End Illegal Trade of Endangered Animal Parts
Stop bear baiting in Pakistan
Save the Goats of Khokana
Stop the Bail-Out for Irish Dog Tracks
Lobby for the urgent need for updated Animal Welfare Legislation in Ireland
Ban the use of animals in Irish circuses
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
Say NO to the cruel Toro de Fuego ("bull on fire") event in Spain
Protect Elephants from Ivory Poaching
Stop Bear Farming In Asia

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 ways you can help the campaign

Top ways you can help the campaign
Join our email list and respond to our Action Alerts
Become a campaign supporter and make a donation to help fund our efforts
Contact your local politicians and ask them to support a ban on blood sports
Be our friend on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and Youtube
Sign up for our free text alert service and receive occasional campaign updates to your phone
Link to our website and display one of our banners
Monitor blood sports meetings in your area and provide us with photos, video and reports.
Write a letter to your local newspaper about the cruelty of blood sports
Sign and collect signatures for our petitions
Organise a fund-raiser to help raise funds for the campaign
Set up an online anti-blood sports group (Myspace, Bebo, Facebook, etc) to cover your area.
Download, print and display our posters and leaflets
Set up an information stand at your school/library/youth group/adult group, etc
Introduce your friends to our website and encourage them to get involved.
Simply keeping your ear to the ground. about any blood-sport related incidents in your area.

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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