Animal Voice, Issue 02, February 2013
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. More scenes of coursing cruelty filmed at Limerick Racecourse
02. Sign our new petition: Ask Racecourse to stop hosting coursing
03. Gathering removes hunting from events website
04. Deer chased into river during search for body
05. Paolo Nutini "in no way supports fox hunting"
06. TDs condemn Clonmel coursing cruelty
07. It's barbaric: Green Cllr calls for hunting ban
08. Ask Dunnes Stores to lift its ban on animal groups
09. Brothers defamed by Kilkenny hunt chairman awarded Eur30,500
10. Renewed call for ban on hunting with hounds
11. NPWS trappers to kill foxes, crows and shoot mink through their brains
12. Ask Radio Kerry to stop including coursing in sports coverage
13. Anti-fur protests in Dublin this Saturday
14. ICABS report into Hector Goes Hunting programme
15. Hunters look down on their neighbours
16. Coursing fundraiser continues in parish newsletter
17. New Report: When hunts attack pets
18. Laois fox found shot, skinned and tied to gate
19. Writer objects to the derogatory term "vermin"
20. "An out and out disgrace" - foxes dumped in Limerick
21. Thank you for attending anti-coursing protests
22. Campaign Quotes
23. Letters to Editors
24. Petitions

01. More scenes of coursing cruelty filmed at Limerick Racecourse

ICABS has filmed more scenes of appalling cruelty to animals at the JP McManus-sponsored Irish Cup coursing meeting at Limerick Racecourse.

Over the weekend, 23-24 February, ICABS captured scenes of hares being hit and severely mauled by muzzled greyhounds - see videos at

In one instance, a hare can be heard crying out in pain as it is mauled. The hare is then picked up, brought to the side of the course and put in a box. Another hare was similarly dumped in a box after being mauled by the dogs. Our footage also shows a hare pinned to the ground close to the escape area - this creature finally managed to get away but with the severity of the mauling it received, we can only speculate as to its fate afterwards, as many die from their injuries.

During these mauling sessions, the excitement of the crowd increased. These people are totally de-sensitised to the suffering of the hare, having witnessed such scenes many times. Even small children were heard laughing and cheering as the horror unfolded.

Last year, at this JP McManus-sponsored cruelty fest, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports noted many banner adverts of household name companies adorning the course where the cruelty was taking place. We wrote to those advertisers, asking them to disassociate from this cruelty, and they all responded, as this year the course was totally denuded of banners. We thank all those companies for shunning this appalling cruelty, and we renew our appeal to Limerick Racecourse to stop hosting this barbarity.

Hare coursing cruelty carries on, year after year, decade after decade, as our government continues to protect those involved in this abominable "sport". Despite ongoing appeals for a ban - and majority opposition to coursing - coursing is set to be exempted from the cruelty provisions of the Animal Health & Welfare Bill. This is in stark contrast to our near neighbours Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales who have already banned it.


Please sign our petition - Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Contact Limerick Racecourse and urge them to stop hosting hare coursing.

Russell Ferris, General Manager
Limerick Racecourse, Greenmount Park,
Patrickswell, Co Limerick

Telephone: +353 (0)61 320000
Fax: +353 (0)61 355766
Twitter: @LimerickRaces

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

Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
CC: (An Taoiseach)
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,
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:;

Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for bans on coursing and foxhunting.

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

If you prefer to post a letter to your TDs, address your correspondence to:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics. Contact us for details.

02. Sign our new petition: Ask Limerick Racecourse to stop hosting coursing

Please join us in calling on Limerick Racecourse to stop hosting hare coursing. ICABS filmed hares being hit and severely mauled by greyhounds at a coursing meeting at Limerick Racecourse this month. Please sign and share the petition now

03. Gathering removes hunting from events website

A big thank you to The Gathering for responding positively to an ICABS appeal and removing hunting from its website. One of the deleted listings was for a fair which promotes itself as being "supported by all the main hunting organisations" and includes a digging contest, "rabbits, lurchers and long nets" and hunt horse and hound displays.

A spokesperson for The Gathering told ICABS that "like Failte Ireland, we do not support blood sport and will not advertise any Gathering that promotes it."

ICABS greatly welcomes this positive response. In a year when Ireland is portraying its many positives, it is appropriate to exclude bloodsport-related events. Internationally condemned hunting and hare coursing bring shame on the nation.

We are encouraging all compassionate Irish citizens, at home and abroad, to join the campaign to rid Ireland of animal cruelty and help secure a ban on hunting and coursing.


Thank the Gathering for keeping hunting off its website. Send a message from

Browse through upcoming Gathering events

Get active in 2013 for the campaign against blood sports. Join our mailing list to receive all the latest news and action alerts - Email "Subscribe" to

If you are a landowner, make your property a haven for wildlife by denying access to all hunts. Visit our Farmers/Landowners Page for more information.

Set up an animal group in your area to highlight the beauty of wildlife and the urgent need for it to be protected.

04. Deer chased into river during search for body

On Tuesday, 19th February, despite the fact that deer hunting with dogs has been outlawed since 2010, eye-witnesses clearly saw a deer, pursued by hounds of the Ward Union hunt, jumping into the River Boyne on a stretch where a search and recovery operation (for the body of a man who tragically drowned) was in progress.

An eye-witness told Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline show that the stag floated down the river which was very swollen and fast flowing, and that the dogs jumped into the river after the deer, which was trying to escape the hunt. He added that members of the deceased man's family were upset at the intrusion by the hunt, and that the Ward Union hunt would have known the search was taking place there. "They have no respect for anybody," he said. Listen to the Liveline segment at

ICABS has called for the Gardai and National Parks & Wildlife Service to investigate this disturbing incident under the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010. According to the Act, "a person who hunts deer with two or more dogs shall be guilty of an offence."

Did you also witness this incident? Please contact the Gardai with details of what you saw. If you have photos or video footage of this incident, please get in touch with the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. Email:


According to the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010, "a person who hunts deer with two or more dogs shall be guilty of an offence." If you reside in the area where the Ward Union operates, please familiarise yourself with the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010 and report any breaches to the Gardai.

For the phone numbers of Garda stations, please visit:

05. Paolo Nutini "in no way supports fox hunting or any other type of blood sports"

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has welcomed a statement from multi-platinum Scottish singer, Paolo Nutini, in which it is confirmed that he does not support bloodsports. ICABS contacted the star after he was photographed at a hunt ball in Westmeath while in Ireland recording.

The statement, published on Facebook, stresses that Paolo Nutini "in no way supports fox hunting or any other type of animal blood sports" and that he "doesn't endorse the hunting of any animal".

In relation to his presence at the hunt ball, it is stated that that he "was not fully aware of the nature of this party".

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is very happy that Paolo's stance has been clarified and that he stands with the majority of Irish people who are opposed to foxhunting.

After learning that Paolo was photographed at a Westmeath Hunt ball, we sent him information about some of the victims of this hunting group - including a fox that was chased by hounds into the freezing water of a canal - and the gruesome practice of digging out foxes and cutting off their tongues and tails. We also told him about a 2007 investigation into the Westmeath Hunt after a landowner alleged that during a hunt, he saw a rope being tied to the leg of a fox which was then pulled out of the ground and "fed alive to the dogs". We have thanked Paolo for expressing his anti-hunting position.


Thank Paolo for expressing his anti-hunting stance. Leave a comment on his Facebook Page at

Please appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for foxhunting from the new Animal Welfare Bill.

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

06. TDs condemn Clonmel coursing cruelty

TDs Maureen O'Sullivan and Clare Daly have condemned the animal cruelty involved in Clonmel's coursing festival. In a joint-statement, they highlighted the suffering caused by the netting and coursing of hares and the illegal practice of blooding.

The statement, headed "National Hare Coursing Meeting a National Event of Animal Cruelty" emphasised the cruelty involved in netting hares from the wild for use as live lures.

It added: "Cruel techniques are also used to train the hares to run in straight lines on the field. Furthermore the use of weak hares for the practice of 'blooding' although illegal still continues today. Hare coursing is dangerous for hare and dog alike, leading to injuries which cause long term suffering, and which circulates and contributes to a negative cultural attitude towards animals and their wellbeing."

ICABS thanks Maureen O'Sullivan (Independent, Dublin Central) and Clare Daly (United Left Alliance, Dublin North) for their ongoing support of the campaign against bloodsports.


Please sign our Petition: Mayor Shoer: Animal Cruelty is NOT "Splendid"

Express your support for a ban on coursing: Sign a petition

Please contact the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and demand that he stops licensing hare coursing.

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

[With a copy to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore]
Tel: (01) 631 3802. Fax: (01) 661 1201

07. It's barbaric: Green Cllr calls for hunting ban

Green Party Councillor, Malcolm Noonan, has joined calls for a ban on foxhunting. The Kilkenny politician condemned the bloodsport as "barbaric" and said the time has come to ban it in Ireland.

Cllr Noonan's comments came in the wake of the horrific attack on a dog by hunt hounds in a Coillte forest in Carlow. The family pet was left fighting for its life with severe injuries.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports greatly welcomes Cllr Noonan's statement of support for a ban. Please join us in renewing calls on the Minister for Agriculture to remove a foxhunting exemption from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

Find out more about Cllr Malcolm Noonan at


Support politicians who oppose blood sports. Find out the views of your local TDs by clicking on "Politicians" at

Find out more about the Green Party at

08. Ask Dunnes Stores to lift its ban on animal groups

Dunnes Stores has banned animal groups from fundraising at its stores. Ask management at the supermarket chain to lift the ban and allow struggling animal groups to resume fundraising activities.

Despite complaints and protests, Dunnes Stores has so far refused to reveal the reasons for its deplorable decision to reject groups who are working hard to try and alleviate the suffering of animals across Ireland. Labour Party Senator, John Kelly, raised the issue in Seanad Eireann on 12th February 2013 and called for answers. Watch his Senate speech at


Contact Dunnes Stores Now and ask them to lift the ban.
Tel: 01 475 11 11

Sign the petitions:

09. Brothers defamed by Kilkenny hunt chairman awarded Eur30,500 in damages

Two Kilkenny farmers who were accused of being 'a pair of paedophiles' by a Kilkenny Hunt chairman have been awarded damages of over thirty thousand Euros. More details on the outcome of this case can be seen in the Irish Independent report below.

Brothers defamed by local hunt boss get Eur30,500 Irish Independent, February 05, 2013 by Conor Kane

Two brothers who were defamed by the chairman of the Kilkenny Hunt, who referred to them as a "pair of paedophiles", have been awarded damages between them totalling Eur30,500 in the circuit court.

The defamation action was taken by Norman Daniels and Hubert Daniels, of Rathielty, Rathmoyle, Co Kilkenny, against Edward Norris, of Danesrath, Knocktopher, Co Kilkenny.

Judge Thomas Teehan, in his judgement at Kilkenny Circuit Court, said he accepted evidence that Mr Norris used the words "pair of paedophiles" when looking towards the brothers during a hunt on November 12, 2004.

Mr Norris told the court when evidence in the case was heard in December that he did say the brothers were "acting like a pair of paedophiles" when he met them during a meeting of the Kilkenny Hunt outside their land but didn't say they were paedophiles and didn't believe they were paedophiles.

The trial heard evidence from Mr Norris that parents were complaining to him about their children being recorded while taking part in the hunt.

Judge Teehan said in his ruling: "It is not an exaggeration to say that paedophiles are the most despised group in our society. This was so in 2004 and it is so today."

It was "gratifying", the judge said, that it was accepted by both sides that there was "absolutely no truth" to those words that were spoken by Mr Norris at the hunt in 2004, and he was satisfied that there "never was an attempt to photograph children, specifically".

The court heard the brothers had filmed the hunt whenever it passed near their land since 2000 on their solicitor's advice in case any damage was done.

The judge struck out a counter-claim lodged by Mr Norris for harassment.

He awarded compensatory damages to the Daniels brothers of Eur10,000 for defamation and exemplary damages of Eur20,000, because of the "conduct of the defendant in how this case was met".

There was also an award of Eur500 for assault.

In his closing submission yesterday, Shane English, counsel for the brothers, said the remarks were used "to provoke maximum hatred, contempt and ridicule" for his clients.

Johnny Walsh, defending, said the words used by his client were "inappropriate" and "shouldn't have been used" but had to be seen in the context of what was going on since 2000, when the plaintiffs started filming the hunt.

10. Renewed call for ban on hunting with hounds

ICABS President, Maureen O'Sullivan TD, has renewed a call on the Minister for Agriculture to put in place a ban on hunting with packs of hounds. The appeal follows an horrific attack on a pet dog by a pack of hunting hounds in a Coillte forest.

In her Dail question to Minister Simon Coveney, Deputy O'Sullivan referred to the attack at Bahana Woods in Carlow and stated that there is "clear and present danger posed by hunting dogs to domestic animals, livestock and pets". Read Maureen's Dail Question below and the reply in which Minister Coveney tries to differentiate between attacks on pets and equally horrendous attacks on wildlife.

Parliamentary Questions and Answers
Question 171 - Answered on 30th January, 2013

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in view of the recent attack on, and mauling of, a family pet by hounds of a County Carlow based hunt and in view of the clear and present danger posed by hunting dogs to domestic animals, livestock, pets and so on, if he will ban all hunting of wild animals with packs of dogs in the countryside.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney: (Cork South-Central, Fine Gael): I understand that this matter is currently being investigated by An Garda Siochana under the Control of Dogs Act 1986. In regard to the hunting of animals generally, this is a separate and distinct matter from the present case. The Animal Health and Welfare Bill makes provision for lawful hunting unless a animal is released in a injured, mutilated or exhausted condition.


Please appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for foxhunting from the new Animal Welfare Bill.

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

The time has come for Coillte to put in place a blanket ban on all hunters entering its property.

Sign Our Petition Now

Please urgently contact Coillte and demand that they stop selling licences to hunters and making profits from the killing of defenceless animals and birds.

David Gunning
CEO, Coillte
The Irish Forestry Board
Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow
Tel: +353 (0)1 201 11 11

11. NPWS trappers to kill foxes, crows and shoot mink through their brains

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has announced that a six month mink killing operation will begin next week. The body is spending funds on employing trappers despite an earlier admission that "escapes from mink fur farms would invalidate any attempts to eradicate feral populations". Foxes and crows are also to be targeted up to the end of July and throughout September.

A report in the Irish Examiner (February 22nd, 2013) outlines that "the mink will be captured in live traps set close to the nesting sites of protected birds" and that trappers have been instructed to kill the mink "humanely".

According to a 2009 NPWS report, mink caught in traps are subsequently killed by a shot through their brains. It stated that "well placed shots through the front of the skull above the nose destroyed their brains".

The report - "A review of mink predation and control for Ireland" - also made it clear that as long as Ireland’s shameful fur farms remain, attempting to control mink is a waste of time and money. The report states: "It must also be noted that several mink farms operate across the Republic of Ireland. Escapes from these will continue to threaten the wildlife of Ireland, by adding to the feral population, even if the feral population is managed. Escapes from fur farms would also invalidate any attempts to eradicate feral populations."

ICABS has renewed its appeal to the government to ban fur farming which was outlawed a decade ago in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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

Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01 661 1013 and 021 437 4862


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,


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,
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:;

Witness the cruelty of Ireland's fur farming at

12. Ask Radio Kerry to stop including coursing in sports coverage

Radio Kerry features hare coursing in its sports coverage. Join our appeal to Radio Kerry now to recognise that coursing is cruelty, not sport.

Tel: 066 7123666
SMS: 083 300 3 300

13. Anti-fur protests in Dublin this Saturday

On Saturday 2nd March, the National Animal Rights Association will hold two anti-fur protests.

1pm-2pm: Barnardo Furs (108 Grafton Street, Dublin 2)
2pm-3pm: Paula Rowan (Westbury Mall, Dublin 2)

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

More details at

14. ICABS report into Hector Goes Hunting programme

An Irish Council Against Blood Sports report into "Hector Goes Hunting", a pro-hunting, propaganda-filled programme broadcast on RTE on 28th January 2013.

Read the report and respond to our action alerts at

Please make a donation to ICABS

If you like our work, please consider making a donation. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports relies entirely on your generosity to continue our campaigning for an end to blood sport cruelty. Please become a supporter of our work today - click on the Paypal button at to make a donation or send a cheque made payable to ICABS to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

15. Hunters look down on their neighbours

by Richard Murphy

With the topic of foxhunting back in the news, I thought your readers might like to share the words of renowned American historian Barbara Tuchman on the subject of the gentry on horseback, written in 1962 or thereabouts.

She spoke of the way in which the German and French 'haut monde' aped the English gentry in their hunting pink and haughty demeanour. "It was no accident that their admired model was thought of in equestrian terms. The English gentleman was unthinkable without his horse. The horse distinguished the ruler from the ruled. The man on horseback was the symbol of dominance, and of no other class anywhere in the world was the horse so intrinsic a part as of the English aristocracy. A contemporary writer said that they saw society made up of "a small select aristocracy born booted and spurred to ride and a large dim mass saddled and bridled to be ridden".

So that is the way our imitators of the English gentry see themselves. If they really wanted to free the farmers of "vermin" they should be chasing rats [or bankers!].

In a republic, the only possible reason for someone to ride a horse is so that they can look down on their neighbours.

16. Coursing fundraiser continues in parish newsletter

A hare coursing fundraiser lotto is continuing to be featured in the Lixnaw Parish newsletter, including in the latest February 24th edition.

Please email a message to the Bishop of Kerry, Bill Murphy, and ask him to act to permanently exclude coursing from the newsletter.

Bishop Bill Murphy
Bishop's House,
Killarney, Co. Kerry.
CC: (Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference)
Tel: 064-6631168
Fax: 064-6631364

Please sign and share our petition

17. New Report: When hunts attack pets

An Irish Council Against Blood Sports report into attacks on pets by hunting dogs. Also included in the report is a section focusing on the threat posed to public safety by hunting hounds. Read it now at

18. Laois fox found shot, skinned and tied to gate

Animal rights groups condemn ‘brutal attack’ on fox in Laois
by Michelle Hennessy,

Animal rights groups have condemned an attack in Co Laois on a fox which was found hanging on a gate after being shot and skinned.

Two local residents found the animal tied to a gate with blue twine with a stick lodged in its mouth on 2 February. Further inspection showed that the fox had been shot and its tail was skinned and removed.

Photographs taken by the residents were seen by but they are too graphic to publish.

John Tierney, Campaigns Director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs said today he condemns this "vicious and sadistic torture of an animal".

"The fox receives no protection under Irish wildlife protection legislation so it is fair game for every sadistic fox hunter to carry out these evil acts," he said.

The Alliance for Animal Rights also spoke out against the attack on the fox and organised hunts and shoots where people "do as they wish, dig out foxes, pursue stags on to the roads, throw live foxes to hounds and block badger setts and coverts away from prying eyes".

Both organisations have called for the government to reform current legislation to offer protection to foxes under the Wildlife Act.


Send a copy of this report to Minister Simon Coveney, with a copy to your local TDs. Demand protection for Irish foxes under the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

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

Contact your TDs at

19. Writer objects to the derogatory term "vermin"

Young Mink Pushes His Luck
Tipperary Star, 8 February 2013

A young mink pushed his luck last week. While chatting to our local National Parks and Wildlife ranger about plans to demolish some fencing, shift young trees, cut back the thatch of overgrown grass and clear excess vegetation from one of the natural springs at Cabragh Wetlands, the mink chose that particular moment to put his head up twenty metres from us.

Boldly announcing his presence and unfazed by the proximity of humans, he took his time to turn away and scurry off down a mink-sized tunnel through the blackberry briars and back into the wetlands. The sight of him was enough to remind us that these mammalian predators are still around in considerable numbers and will be only too happy in the spring to feed on any eggs and young creatures that they come across.

This writer is ambivalent about mink. Of course they are not an Irish species, and can do serious damage to native wildlife. On the other hand the casual use of the term "vermin" to describe them unsettles me. The mink is only here because of a combination of human carelessness, selfishness, greed, ignorance and stupidity. Torn from their natural American homeland through no fault of their own, beyond possession of a beautiful coat, mink were farmed in Europe under conditions that were often remarkably cruel. The campaign against the fur trade and fur farms was driven by common decency and respect for all forms of life, but of course the well-intentioned release of mink onto the wild was a badly thought-out action.

So now the descendants of those freed mink roam our waterways, hunt our lakes and farmland, raid our hen houses and further deplete our dwindling bird populations. They, I suggest, are the entirely innocent party, lost souls in an unfriendly and alien land trying to eke out a living, yet with a natural God-given right to life…just like you, me and every other living being on the planet. I object to the casually dismissive and derogatory "vermin". This is the language of the holocaust, of hatred and violence. All creation has an equal right to exist, but perhaps the mink’s right to exist should only be exercised in their native American forests, and not in rural Ireland.

20. "An out and out disgrace" - foxes dumped in Limerick

Gruesome scene as 20 foxes are dumped in Limerick
Limerick Leader, 7 February 2013
By Daniel Tighe An investigation is to be carried out into the discovery of up to 20 dead foxes which were dumped from a roadside in county Limerick and appeared to have been shot.

The dead foxes, some of which had the fur removed from their tails, were clearly visible from the roadside of the Maigue Bridge on the Bruff Road outside Croom and had been dumped in the river.

The dead animals appear to have been carelessly dumped from the road and at least one fox carcass could be seen tangled and hanging in the trees next to the bank of the river.

When the Limerick Leader visited the gruesome scene late this Wednesday afternoon having been notified by a member of the public about the dead foxes, workers had been dispatched by Limerick County Council to remove the animals from the river.

Speaking at the roadside one said: "This is an out and out disgrace."

"They are going to be checked out (by vets) and hopefully they will get them (those responsible) for this," he explained, adding his belief that the animals had likely been shot.

"We got a phone call today to come and retrieve them. We have to hold them for the vets. I suppose they are going to find out who did this after that."

The animals were dumped from the bridge, which is just a half a mile outside Croom. There was a noticeable smell emanating from the carcasses.

"They weren’t put in there today or yesterday," remarked another person at the scene

"They are only a harmless animal, they were not doing any harm to anyone, it is the height of ignorance. I don’t know why they threw them in there, if they threw them into the river, they would be gone."

21. Thank you for attending anti-coursing protests

ICABS thanks everybody who showed support for a ban on hare coursing by attending the recent protests against hare coursing outside Dail Eireann and Powerstown Park.

22. Campaign Quotes

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has urged Limerick Racecourse to stop hosting an annual hare coursing meeting at its venue. The JP McManus Irish Cup hare coursing meeting was held at the racecourse last weekend, and the Irish Council Against Blood Sports said the event witnessed "horrific scenes of hares being mauled and battered by muzzled greyhounds". from Animal rights group urges racecourse to stop hosting hare coursing, Irish Examiner, February 27, 2013.

Gardai in Gorey are investigating an appalling act of cruelty, which occurred on an estate in the Riverchapel/Ardamine district recently, in which a small white terrier-type dog was viciously attacked with a hatchet. from Small terrier hacked to death in vicious attack with hatchet, Wexford Echo, February 19, 2013

"Blood sports shows nothing but weak character and insecurities in which a human feels the need to be superior. Shows no respect for living animals and what does that teach children?" Comment left on the Westmeath Independent website, February 2013

"Encouraging depravity like digging and fox hunting for sport feeds the coarser aspects of humanity, and you basically grow what you feed. Don't be too surprised when you get a bunch of people in society that would just as soon slit your throat as help you out. There is nothing extreme about trying to stop people from teaching their children that cruelty is a fun activity, and saying that people who do are 'extremists' who 'don't respect human beings' is a pathetic and transparent attempt to shift the subject which is obviously too difficult to defend with a real position." Comment left on the Westmeath Independent website, February 2013

"This Thursday, Valentines Day, I would normally be in my local Dunnes Stores holding a raffle in aid of the animal rescue I'm involved with. We'd usually raise about Eur500. Not this Thursday! This Thursday I'll spend the day wondering how to raise that Eur500 which is so vital to continue the work we do. Animal rescues don't run on love alone sadly. Funds are needed on an ongoing never ending basis to provide veterinary care for the many animals rescued every day across this country. Shame on Dunnes for banning animal charities fundraising at their stores!!!" Comment left on the Boycott Dunnes Facebook Page

I am sure you will join me in congratulating our friends in the field sports community who appeared on RTE 1 tonight as part of "Hector Goes Hunting". Chris Ryan, Rupert Macauley and Paul Kerr did us proud, well done to all involved! What could have been a tricky assignment was turned to our advantage and the best side of hunting and shooting in Ireland was shown. From the Hunting Association website, February 2013. Read an ICABS report on this pro-hunt programme at

"Can I hunt in the Forest? Yes but you will require a hunting permit. Coillte offers these permits through a tender system which is advertised on our websites. Hunting is totally prohibited without a permit." from the Coillte Outdoors website. Contact Coillte and urge them to ban all hunting in its forests. David Gunning, CEO, Coillte The Irish Forestry Board, Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow. Tel: +353 (0)1 201 11 11. Email:

A 14-year-old from Brownswood was left shocked and disgusted when she happened upon a gruesome scene near her home when out walking her dog. Michaela McCormack McEvoy couldn’t believe her eyes when she peeked over a bridge to check the water levels after a night of heavy rainfall and instead saw a Greyhound in an appalling condition. Not only had the dog been dumped, but the perpetrators had left the dog beheaded. from Teenager discovers dog beheaded and abandoned, Wexford Echo, February 19, 2013

23. Letters to Editors

Judging a nation by how it treats animals
Irish Examiner, February 21, 2013

Gandhi once said: "The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Can we judge Ireland’s moral progress by the way we treat animals? Hare coursing still allowed, plans to reintroduce live exports, little regulation on puppy farming, little or no sentences for animal cruelty, thousands of beautiful greyhounds and horses going missing each year (now we know for what) etc, etc.

Can we judge our own personal moral progress by the way we treat our animals? Animal neglect and cruelty, puppy farming, failing to neuter or spay our animals, using our so-called pets to make money, abandoning our animals because they become too big or too loud or don’t suit us or we are moving house or they are too old.

We all need to wake up. If animals could speak we would all be in tears. Animals have feelings too. Please do your bit to help. If you are looking for a cat or dog adopt, don’t buy. A small bit can make a big difference.

Ted Cronin
Knockmoyle, Tralee

A healthier form of coursing
Southern Star, 11th February 2013

As another hare coursing season draws to a close, I have to ask: Why on earth do we still tolerate these festivals of cruelty when a simple innovation could end the well-documented animal suffering that has been such an innate and shameful part of this practice for decades.

Across the world, in countries where hare coursing has been banned, fans continue to enjoy the main elements of the spectacle without causing any distress to animals. Drag coursing, in which a mechanical lure or dummy hare is used, replicates all the fun, action, excitement, the gambling and the camaraderie, and the craic in the pubs afterwards that is associated with the live version.

In Australia, the whole family goes along, with not a protester in sight. I’m delighted to see that a number of drag coursing events may soon be held in Ireland, including a major fixture due to be organised in early March at a venue near Killarney in County Kerry.

Hopefully it will catch on and coursing fans will then realise that the future lies with this humane alternative. With even Northern Ireland having switched completely to drag coursing since the hare baiting ban of 2011, it is surely time for all true sports men and women on this island who enjoy watching greyhounds compete, to turn their backs forever on the horrors of live hare coursing.

At a drag event, one can have a wonderful day out and observe first-rate exhibitions of canine skill and stamina. Once drag coursing takes hold, I’m sure we’ll be saying goodbye to the days when people found it necessary or desirable to frighten the living daylights of an animal, especially the gentle Irish hare, in the name of ‘sport’.

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

Hounding a hare
Irish Times, 8th February 2013

Let’s put talk bubbles over the heads of the two animals pictured in The Irish Times (February 4th) during the National Coursing Championships in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

The Hound: "Little hare, little hare, do not worry, I have a mask to stop me biting you!"

The Hare: "Oh, great hound, I know – but I still recognise you as the enemy, that is why I run!"

Moral: Instinct rules, okay? - Yours, etc,

Brenda Morgan
Asgard Park, Howth, Co Dublin

Hunting and shooting
Irish Times, January 12, 2013

Regarding the letter of Conor Brady (January 4th), genuine sport is where competing players attempt to overcome each other, having started on an equal basis. There are also rules and regulations intended to enhance the initial equality between the parties. Perhaps if the animals and birds who are hunted were armed, you could call hunting and shooting a sport. These hunted creatures have no knowledge of what is occurring, other than an intense instinctive fear. They will not be writing letters to the papers afterwards.

Eugene Tannam,
Monalea Park, Firhouse, Dublin 24.

'Vile' live cattle trade to the Middle East
The Southern Star, January 19th 2013

Recent media reports indicate that live cattle exports from Ireland to the Middle East are to recommence. The BSE crisis had stopped these exports and the prospect of them reopening is extremely worrying.

Given the inherent imposition of physical stress on animals, combined with a disconnection with animal welfare standards in the countries receiving and processing our cattle, this vile trade should not be subscribed to by the Irish farming community in their pursuit of financial reward.

Live animal exports are cruel and unnecessary. They represent a historical attitude to animal welfare and a refusal by the farming community to embrace modern thinking both in terms of animal welfare and economic reality.

A snapshot of what our cattle will endure can be found in the fact that most animals in the Middle East are not stunned – rendered unconscious – before slaughter. Their throats are cut while they are fully conscious and they are left to bleed to death.

A society or a religious dogma that permits and encourages that practice is mired in a time warp where knuckle-dragging is the only means of moving.

The Irish government needs to rethink any return to live exports to the Middle East.

The journeys involved are too long to be able to guarantee a satisfactory level of animal welfare and the conditions for animals in destination countries are often far below the minimum legal standards required in Ireland.

John Tierney, Chairman Waterford Animal Concern
Larchville, Waterford.

Barbaric scene
Irish Independent, 22 February 2013

I was reminded of one of my favourite paintings on Wednesday. Edwin Landseer's work, The Stag at Bay, captures the terror in the eyes of a mighty stag, splashing about at water's edge, as wolves close in for the kill. It desperately strives to fight them off, exhausted, with its tongue lolling, against the background of a stormy sky.

What brought the great painting to mind was an interview on RTE's 'Liveline' in which a man described a chilling incident. He was involved in a search-and-recovery operation along a stretch of the River Boyne when suddenly a hunted stag came running.

It jumped into the water, he recounted, and floated down the river – which was very swollen and fast-flowing. In hot pursuit came the dogs. What a chilling throwback to a darker, barbaric time.

Carted stag hunting was banned in 2010. Yet rumours have abounded for months that the activity continues on a small scale in parts of Meath and north Co Dublin.

Anyone with knowledge of illegal stag hunting should contact the gardai or the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Wildlife Amendment Act 2010 states that "a person who hunts deer with two or more dogs shall be guilty of an offence".

This majestic creature deserves better than to be hounded to injury for a thrill. There should be no "stags at bay" in 2013.

John Fitzgerald
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Read more of John Fitzgerald's letters in "Animal Writes"

24 Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Ask An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to Ban Hare Coursing

Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Coillte - Ban hunters from your forests

Bishop Bill Murphy: Stop clergy involvement in cruel coursing

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

End Cruel Blood Sport of Fox Hunting in Ireland

Lift Ban on Animal Charities Fundraising at Dunnes Stores

Stop DoneDeal Selling Animals

Tell AVIVA Ireland not to Promote Greyhound Racing in Advertisements

Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland

Stop Oscar nomination of Spanish bullfighting movie

Don't Show Bullfights on Public TV!

Ban the use of animals in Irish circuses

Ask Amazon to stop selling cruel traps

Say NO to the cruel Toro de Fuego ("bull on fire") event in Spain

Protect Elephants from Ivory Poaching

Stop Bear Farming In Asia

1 Million to Ban the Lion Trade

The horror of Tesco selling live, packaged turtles in their supermarkets

Add report option "Animal Abuse" on Facebook

Top ways you can help the campaign

Top ways you can help the campaign
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Monitor blood sports meetings in your area and provide us with photos, video and reports.
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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

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