Animal Voice, Issue 10, October 2013
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Receive Animal Voice by email every month - Subscribe Now

In this month's edition:

01. Complaint to AIB over "sports action" coursing photo
02. Mallow urged to reject cruel hare coursing
03. Say NO to hare coursing in Edenderry, Co Offaly
04. Say NO to hare coursing in Fermoy, Co Cork
05. Monaghan Cllrs condemn cockfighting and call for Garda crackdown
06. Member of hunt fined 3,000 Euro after hounds worry livestock
07. Call for investigation into anaesthetization of Love/Hate cat
08. Renewed appeal to Simon Coveney to ban digging-out and terrierwork
09. Ask Riverbank Arts Centre not to screen bullfight film
10. Barbaric bear baying stopped in South Carolina
11. Cruel fur farming issue on RTE's Prime Time
12. Ask Spain to stop horrific bull on fire festival
13. Ultimate Travel Company will no longer organise bullring visits
14. Escape Trips thanked for removing bullfight tickets info
15. Spanish congress votes to protect bullfighting
16. Destroyed by vet: Curious mink who visited newspaper office
17. Dead horses discovered dumped in Galway City
18. Groupama Insurance asked to stop advertising at bullfights
19. Letters to the Editor
20. Campaign Quotes
21. Petitions

01. Complaint to AIB over "sports action" coursing photo

ICABS has complained to Allied Irish Bank over a hare coursing image which was given 3rd place in the bank-sponsored Photojournalism Awards 2013.

The image, which shows a hare desperately jumping away from a greyhound at the Irish Cup coursing meeting, received the award in the competition's "Sports Action" category. It can be viewed at

In an email to AIB, ICABS expressed disgust that a scene of animal cruelty has been categorised as "sports action".

We told AIB CEO, David Duffy, of how we have witnessed hares being hit and mauled into the ground at the Irish Cup. We provided links to videos showing coursing cruelty at Irish Cup venue, Limerick Racecourse - including footage of a hare crying out when hit by greyhounds.

How can AIB, the Photojournalism Awards' sole sponsor, stand by and allow hare coursing to be categorised as a "sport"?

"Every year, thousands of Irish hares are snatched from the Irish countryside and forced to run for their lives in this vile activity," we stated. "It reflects very poorly on AIB that cruelty images are given awards and showcased at AIB branches. Hare coursing is deemed so cruel that it is illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."

We urged the bank to follow the example of companies who responded positively to an ICABS appeal last year and disassociated from cruel coursing at Limerick Racecourse. Following the Irish Cup coursing event, we contacted the companies which had advertising banners at the racecourse where the coursing was taking place. We sent them film footage of the activity, and all responded by having their banners removed from the racecourse for this year’s event. There was not one banner to be seen in the area, which speaks volumes about the attitude of the business community (Guinness, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Specsavers, Shannon Airport and many more) to live hare coursing, which clearly they don’t want to be associated with.

This is not the first time that a bloodsport photo has been featured in the AIB-sponsored competition. See below for a list of coursing photos which have previously been given awards in its sports category.

In an email to the president of the Press Photographers Association (who organise the awards), we pointed out that "hare coursing is animal cruelty and in no way can it ever be considered a sport."

"Coursing involves snatching hares from the wild and using them as live lures for dogs," we outlined to Michael Chester. "Including cruelty images contaminates the PPAI awards' sports category and is an insult to the genuine sports featured. We suggest that an animal cruelty category be created to deal with coursing photographs."


Urge the AIB to disallow hare coursing images in the "Sports" category of the photo awards. Suggest that if coursing photos are to be considered, that an animal cruelty category be created.

David Duffy
Chief Executive Officer
AIB Group Headquarters
Dublin 4, Ireland.
Tel: +353 (0) 1 6600311
Email via AIB website

Complain to Michael Chester, president of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland. Email:

Previous coursing images in PPAI / AIB Photo Awards

2011 Sports Portfolio category: A selection of photos, including one of a hare being chased by greyhounds, wins first place. View photo

2009 Sports Action category: A photo of a hare being chased by greyhounds during a snowstorm at the Clonmel coursing finals was given 3rd place. Praising the photo, a judge stated: "This photograph has great colour, a great sense of speed and in ways the sense of a painting. Such a good photograph allows you to see detail you never see in reality – look at the lead dog’s eyes." View photo

2008 Sports Action category: A photo of a hare trying to escape from a greyhound at a coursing meeting in Tipperary was considered. View photo

2006 Sports Action category: A photo showing a hare running away from two greyhounds during a coursing meet in Clonmel was awarded 2nd place. View photo

02. Mallow urged to reject cruel hare coursing

Please join us in speaking out against cruel hare coursing in Mallow, Co Cork. At a coursing meet this month, hares which were snatched from the wild were forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds.

ICABS is urging local politicians to show compassion for the hares and condemn the cruelty.

We have brought to their attention details of some of the past victims of coursing in the town...

Mallow, October 24/25, 2012 - 8 hares hit by greyhounds, with ranger noting that "muzzle came off one dog as it pinned hare". 2 hares were killed and 1 injured "broken leg", 2 died of injuries, plus another dead hare at release point.

Mallow, October 22/23, 2011 - 9 hares hit by muzzled dogs, and 1 “escaped” from paddock.

"Mallow's hosting of hare coursing is a damaging blemish on the town's valuable image," we stated. "This is a form of animal cruelty which is illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions. We urge you to speak out against coursing in your town and support calls for it to be banned."


Urge Mallow Town to reject hare coursing.

Mallow Town Council,
Town Hall, Davis st.
Mallow, County Cork, Ireland
Tel: 022-21542

Contact Mallow politicians and urge them to speak out against coursing.

Send an email to Mallow Councillors
Send an email to Cork East TDs
Find telephone numbers for Mallow Town Councillors and County Councillors

Tweet to Cork County Council

Sign anti-coursing petitions
Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland
Find more petitions on our Petitions Page

Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for wildlife and introduce an immediate ban on hare coursing and all 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:;

Ask Minister Deenihan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to respect the wishes of the majority who want hare coursing banned and withdraw the coursing licence.

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

Tel: (01) 631 3804
Fax: (01) 661 1201

Constituency Details
18A The Square, Listowel, Co Kerry
Telephone: 068-57446
Fax: 068-57805

Urge Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to remove exemptions for coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

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

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

Find out their contact details
Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

03. Say NO to hare coursing in Edenderry, Co Offaly

Please join us in speaking out against hare coursing in Edenderry, Co Offaly.

ICABS is urging local politicians to show compassion for the Irish Hare and condemn the cruelty.

"Hare coursing brings shame on your town and damages its image," we stated. "Please speak out against coursing and support calls for it to be banned."


Please email the councillors now

Send an email to Edenderry Town Cllrs
Find out telephone numbers for the Councillors

04. Say NO to hare coursing in Fermoy, Co Cork

Please join us in urging politicians in Fermoy County Cork to speak out against the hare coursing meet that takes place in their town.

ICABS has brought to their attention details of some of the past victims of coursing ...

Fermoy - October 17/18, 2012 - 10 hares hit over two days, 3 put down because of injuries. NPWS Conservation Ranger stated that "4 hares found dead early in the morning in escape". The ranger noted that coursing park was "very wet due to heavy rain". Vet noted that 11 hares were unfit for coursing, 7 hares injured during coursing, and 7 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", with 3 hares euthanised.

Fermoy - October 19/20, 2011 - 6 hares hit by muzzled dogs, 1 injured and 1 put down because of injuries, with the ranger being informed that a hare was found dead the morning after in the escape. Vet's report stated that 5 hares were injured (4 more than ranger stated) with 1 hare euthanised.


Send an email to Fermoy Cllrs
Send an email to Cork East TDs

Contact Cork County Councillors (Fermoy Electoral Area)

Cllr Kevin O'Keeffe (Fianna Fail)
Tel: 087 234 5163

Cllr Frank O'Flynn (Fianna Fail)
Tel: 086 852 0793

Tweet to Cork County Council

05. Monaghan Cllrs condemn cockfighting and call for Garda crackdown

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports thanks and applauds Monaghan County Council for passing an anti-bloodsports motion condemning illegal cockfighting in the county.

The motion, proposed by Sinn Fein Councillor Matt Carthy and seconded by Councillor Brian McKenna stated: "Monaghan County Council condemns the practice of cock-fighting and we call on the Gardai to initiate a major crackdown on this practice in our county." The motion was adopted unanimously.

It comes after cockfighting activities were filmed in broad daylight in County Monaghan earlier this year. Captured footage was featured on a BBC Newsline report which showed around 60 people gathered around a makeshift ring where "men set birds on each other, making them tear each other apart in a bloody barbaric battle".

Last month, ICABS contacted Monaghan County Council and urged them to join us in appealing to the Gardai to take action against those involved in the cruel and illegal bloodsport.

A big thank you to Cllr Carthy for proposing this important motion and to all the councillors who supported it.


Cockfighting is illegal in Ireland. If you have any information about cockfighting activities, please immediately report it to the Gardai. For the phone numbers of Garda stations, please visit: If you are in Northern Ireland, contact the police at

06. Member of hunt fined 3,000 Euro after hounds worry livestock

A member of Grallagh Harriers Hunt in Galway has been fined 3,000 Euro and ordered to pay 450 Euro expenses after incidents involving hounds worrying livestock.

The Connacht Tribune has reported that the fines were imposed on "the owner of a pack of hunting dogs which were found to have worried livestock on a farm near Kilrickle on two separate dates".

David Burke of Aille Cross, Grallagh, Loughrea (who set up the Grallagh Harriers Hunt in 2007) denied being the owner of a dog which worried livestock and permitting a dog to be in a place while not under effectual control, but Judge Geoffrey Browne said that he was satisfied the dogs belonged to Burke and described the situation as "very serious".

At Loughrea Court, a Doon farmer outlined how he saw up to 15 dogs hunting on his lands in October last year and that he spoke to Burke who told him he would keep an eye out for a bull and cows that had gone missing from the lands. He said he saw two men in hunting gear calling the dogs.

"[The farmer] went on to state how the fox hunt had come through his farm on January 9th when the dogs wouldn't even get out of a shed where he was scanning cows," the Tribune report continued. "The dogs had worried his sheep and when David Burke phoned the following day, he told him that he was finished talking to him."

When put to him that the defendant would say that the dogs and the hunt were under effectual control at all times, the farmer said this was "blatantly untrue" as there was no escape for his sheep when the dogs came in after a fox into a slatted house.

A neighbour told the court that he saw fox hounds coming on to land and that the farmer's sheep were "very bothered". He said there was no one in charge of the dogs.

He went on to describe how the hunted fox had come in to his yard and hid for an hour.

Defendant Burke claimed he couldn't say who owned the hounds and that they could have belonged to anyone else but Supt Enda Walshe, prosecuting, submitted that the dogs were not under control and that it was stretching credulity to argue that there was another pack of hounds in the area. Judge Browne said he was satisfied that the dogs belonged to Burke.


In 2008, ICABS reported that a fox had to endure a gruelling 80 minute chase during a Grallagh Harriers hunt. According to an Irish Field report: "as soon as [the huntsman] cast his pack in Pump Bog, they found a fox and were away for what was to be a run of one hour and twenty minutes." The report stated that the hunt terrier was among the dogs chasing the unfortunate fox.


Make your land off-limits to hunters. Find out how on our Farmers Page.

Please join us in appealing to the Minister for Agriculture to give wild animals the same protection that is given to domestic animals. Demand the removal of an exemption for foxhunting from Ireland's Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for foxes and hares and ban hunting and 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 Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore:,

Appeal to all Irish politicians

Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace foxhunting 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.

Please contact all 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.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses

07. Call for investigation into anaesthetization of Love/Hate cat

ICABS has called on the Veterinary Council of Ireland to investigate the anaesthetising of a cat during the filming of a Love/Hate episode broadcast this week.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, "the cat was anaesthetised by a vet to ensure it 'played dead'."

In a letter to the Veterinary Council of Ireland, ICABS pointed to the body's Code of Professional Conduct which states that "veterinary practitioners must consider the welfare implications of any procedure involving animals...benefit to the animal should transcend personal advantage or monetary gain in decisions concerning therapy."

"There was absolutely no benefit to the cat in question in relation to anaesthetization and therefore, it should not have been performed," we stated. "Given the risks of complications and death associated with anaesthetising cats, this act appears to contravene the Code of Conduct."

The Veterinary Council has been asked if it shares concerns that the trivialisation of cruelty on-screen could act as a catalyst for more real-life violence against animals and if it is appropriate for vets to be involved in project which present cruelty as a laughing matter.


Ask the Veterinary Council of Ireland to investigate the anaesthetization of the Love/Hate cat and take appropriate action.

Veterinary Council of Ireland
53 Lansdowne Road
Dublin 4

08. Renewed appeal to Simon Coveney to ban digging-out and terrierwork

ICABS is renewing its call on Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, to act with compassion and ban the horrific practices of digging-out and terrierwork. The Minister has been told that his refusal to implement a ban means foxes are continuing to suffer appalling injuries and deaths across the countryside.

We have brought to his attention images which show Irish foxes and dogs with horrendous injuries.

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

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

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


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

Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
CC: (An Taoiseach)
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Dear Minister,

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

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

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

[Your Name and Location]

09. Ask Riverbank Arts Centre not to screen bullfight film

Join us in our appeal to Newbridge's Riverbank Arts Centre not to screen bullfighting-themed film Blancanieves this December.

In an email appeal, we urged Linda Geraghty to reject the film "on the grounds that it glorifies bullfighting, one of the world's worst forms of cruelty to animals".

The film is described on the Riverbank website as a "magical retelling of a classic story" but there is nothing magical about cruelty portrayed.

CAS International - whose petition against the film attracted over 15,000 signatures - has said: "Blancanieves promotes animal abuse [and] we know that 9 bulls have been used and killed during the production of Blancanieves."

Animal Defenders International also condemned the film, saying it was responsible for "terrible cruelty" to the animals which had lost their lives for it.

In our letter to Riverbank Arts Centre, we have pointed to the gruesome reality of bullfighting which can be seen in this Video on Youtube -


Urge the Riverbank Arts Centre to reject Blancanieves and remove it from its December schedule.

Urge the Riverbank Arts Centre to reject Blancanieves and remove it from its December schedule.

Linda Geraghty,
Venue Director
Riverbank Arts Centre
Main Street, Newbridge
Co Kildare

Telephone: (045) 448319
Tweet: @riverbankarts

Ask the Mermaid County Wicklow Arts Centre to reject Blancanieves and remove it from its November schedule.

Mermaid Arts Centre
Main Street
Bray, Wicklow

Tel: 01 272 4030
Tweet: @mermaidarts

10. Barbaric bear baying stopped in South Carolina

The US state of South Carolina has stopped the barbaric practice of bear baying, a "sport" which saw hundreds of spectators watching a tied-up bear being viciously attacked by dogs.

South Carolina is the only state where bear baying is still legal but the activity has effectively been ended with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources denying residents permits to own black bears.

The Humane Society of the US whose undercover investigation exposed the cruelty revealed that bears had their teeth and claws removed before being tied up in an enclosure to be repeatedly attacked by dogs.

"Bear baying is nothing but a blood sport similar to dogfighting and cockfighting and has no place in South Carolina," stated Kim Kelly of the HSUS. "We are thankful to South Carolina DNR for helping put a stop to this barbaric practice, protecting these bears from further abuse and placing them [in a sanctuary] where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace."

DNR law enforcement director, Col. Chisolm Frampton, said: "A long term investigation, such as this, requires the highest commitment and dedication for the thousands of hours to work out the details of such a complex case. DNR law enforcement officers have done an outstanding job pursuing and prosecuting these criminal cases."

Witness the barbarity of bear baying at

11. Cruel fur farming issue on RTE's Prime Time

Ireland's cruel fur farming was featured on RTE's Primetime on 22nd October.

If you missed it, you can now watch it online at
(Forward to the 21:10 mark)

Sadly, no video footage of Ireland's appalling fur farms was included on the show but you can see the conditions in which mink are forced to live in this NARA Youtube video


Demand a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Email 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,


12. Ask Spain to stop horrific bull on fire festival

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is again joining groups across Europe in condemning one of Spain's most horrendous events. The Toro Jubilo or "Bull on Fire", which takes place on the second weekend of November in Medinaceli, involves setting the horns of bulls alight. Such is the suffering that some creatures attempt to commit suicide.

In an email to local authorities, ICABS condemned the barbarity and said it "marks Medinaceli as one of the world's absolute worst animal cruelty blackspots".

"This particular savagery involves putting a kind of ball of pitch on both the horns of the bulls and setting fire to the balls," the International Movement Against Bullfights outlines. "The bulls are released on the streets. The fire balls burn for hours, burning the horns, body and eyes, causing terrible suffering."

In the past, bulls have tried to "kill themselves against walls, due to the horrible pain".

Read more about the horrors of Toro Jubilo in this Daily Mail article.


Sign a Petition: Live bull to be set on fire

Please telephone or send protest letters to the local authorities

Click Here to send email to all of the email addresses below.

City Hall of Medinaceli
Plaza del Ayuntamiento,1
42240 Medinaceli
Soria, Spain
Fax + 34 975326053

President of the Diputación Prov. Soria
C/ Caballeros, 17 Soria
SORIA 42071
Tel: +34 975 211089
Fax: +34 975 101091

Turism of Soria:
Turism of Castilla y Leon:

President de la Junta de Castilla y Leon
Junta de Castilla y León
Plaza de Castilla y León
Tel: +34 983 41 11 00
Fax: +34 983 41 12 69
Email :

City Hall of Medinaceli
Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Medinaceli.
Plaza del Ayuntamiento, n 1.C.P: 42240
Medinaceli (Soria)
fax: + 34 975326053

Diputacion Provincial de Soria
C/ Caballeros, 17 Soria
42002 Soria – ESPANA
Tel: 975 10 10 00

Prime Minister of Spain
Presidente del Gobierno, D. Rodriguez Zapatero
Complejo de La Moncloa
28071 Madrid, Spain

Ministry of the Interior (the entity that governs bullfights in Spain)
Ministerio del Interior
Po de la Castellana, 5
28071 Madrid, Spain
Fax: + 34 915371177

13. Ultimate Travel Company will no longer organise bullring visits

A big thank you to The Ultimate Travel Company for responding positively to an ICABS anti-bullfighting appeal. A spokesperson has said that the London-based company will "no longer organise bullring visits" for clients.

The Ultimate Travel Company has over 20 years experience in creating luxury, tailor-made holidays, safaris, honeymoons and escorted tours across the globe.

We are grateful to the company for this compassionate response.

Find out more about the Ultimate Travel Company at

14. Escape Trips thanked for removing bullfight tickets info

ICABS has thanked travel company, Escape Trips, for responding to an appeal and removing information about bullfighting tickets from its website.

Deleted from the site was a page which presented details about the location of a bullring and how to enquire about getting tickets.

The company - one of UK's leading stag and hen weekend agencies - thanked ICABS for bringing our concerns to their attention and announced that the page had been taken down.

Escape Trips joins a growing list of companies who have responded positively to ICABS appeals and removed references to bullfighting or bullrings. These include EasyJet, Marriott International, Hilton Hampton, Ebookers, Club Travel, Abbey Travel, Sunways, Low Cost, Travel Department, Cancun Holidays Information Center, Co-op Travel, Ultimate Travel, No Fly Cruising, City Breaks 101 and Original Travel.

Help us to convince other companies to drop bullfighting from their websites. Check out our latest anti-bullfighting Action Alerts now.

15. Spanish congress votes to protect bullfighting

Source: Humane Society International/UK

The decision of the Spanish Congress to protect bullfighting and grant it cultural heritage status has been condemned by international animal protection organisations.

The coalition of six organisations released the following statement: "Spain’s government has signalled its support for unacceptable animal cruelty and the allowance of public funds used to assist the blood sport. This move is a cynical attempt by a desperate bullfighting industry to secure the future of this dying industry. Bullfighting is cruel and outdated and has no place in a modern society; culture stops where cruelty starts."

Bullfighting is a business in decline in Spain and elsewhere. Dwindling attendance figures raise questions over the industry’s financial viability and the public is not supportive of subsidies used to protect it. A 2013 Ipsos MORI poll of Spanish citizens showed more than three quarters of the Spanish population opposed their taxes being used to support bullfighting.

The final text will now be presented to the Senate where a vote is likely to take place later this month. Campaigners are encouraging Senators to oppose all moves to protect bullfighting.

The new legislation is not expected to affect the regional bans in place in Catalonia and Canary Islands. Spanish groups will launch a citizens' initiative in 2014 to reverse the new legislation.

16. Destroyed by vet: Curious mink who visited newspaper office

Irish Independent, 22 August 2013
by Eoghan MacConnell

Staff at a regional newspaper were forced to call for help when an unexpected visitor crept into their office.

Workers at the Tullamore Tribune were shocked to find a mink had wandered into their office at 10am on Monday. It's thought the animal walked in when the postman opened the door.

Journalist with the Tullamore Tribune Camilla McLoughlin was upstairs when the creature arrived. She heard a commotion and screaming from downstairs before one of the advertising staff came up.

"She came in and said it was a skunk in the office. I said whatever it is, it isn't a skunk," Ms McLoughlin recalled. The agitated mink climbed shelves and "it ran around and was of course, quite agile", she said.

A decision was taken to lock the door and call the Offaly Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) who arrived and removed the mink. The mink is a non-native species thought to have been introduced accidentally in Ireland through escapes from fur farms.

"It was brought to a vet and put down unfortunately," said Ms McLoughlin.

A spokesman for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) described the incident as strange. "It's very unusual that they would have walked into a building like that," he said.

Young mink born in April or May were mobile at the moment and "they would have a reputation for being curious", he said.

While mink are more likely to travel at night and avoid built-up areas, he said encounters between mink and humans were not uncommon, particularly for fishermen.

17. Dead horses discovered dumped in Galway City

Dead horses discovered dumped on city's outskirts
Galway City Tribune, 25 September 2013

Three dead horses that had been neglected and treated cruelly were found dumped on the outskirts of Galway city last week.

It is suspected two of the three horses, which were discovered by Galway Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA), drowned at a site along the Curraghline, Headford Road.

The GSPCA said the deaths were the result of wilful neglect and cruelty.

The cause of death of the other horse found dead in that vicinity is not known but the GSPCA said there were visible marks on its body consistent with striking.

This is the sixth time this year that the GSPCA has responded to the death of horses in the Headford Road area.

In the past, there have been a number of road traffic collisions involving vehicles and horses that are roaming free along the Headford Road.

The animal charity fears that once the Winter sets in, more horses will be abandoned and neglected.

Margaret O’Sullivan, GSPCA, said the situation would continue as long as laws in relation to micro-chipping of horses, so that owners can be traced, were not implemented.

Visit the GSPCA website at

18. Groupama Insurance asked to stop advertising at bullfights

French insurance and banking company, Groupama, has been urged to show compassion and stop advertising at bullfights. An advertisement banner for the company was on display on 1st September at a bullring in the South of France where bulls were tortured, killed and dragged away.

"It is disappointing to note that Groupama had an advertisement banner in place during a cruel bullfighting event at Arenes de Plumacon in Mont-de-Marsan this month," ICABS stated in a letter to the company. "It is surprising that your company would choose to associate with this horrendous animal cruelty - particularly as a majority of people across France and Europe are opposed to bullfighting and want it outlawed."

Video footage posted on Youtube shows bulls being tortured and killed in front of the Groupama banner. See the video at Warning: Graphic content.


Contact Groupama and urge them to stop advertising at bullfights.

Groupama SA
8 & 10 rue d'Astorg
75008 PARIS
+ 33 (0)1 44 56 77 77

Please also contact the other companies who had advertising banners at this bullring:

Carre Bleu International
RN7, ZI Les Plaines, 26780 Malataverne
Tel: 04 75 90 70 45
Fax: 04 75 90 73 64

France Bleu Radio
Email from:
Leave comment on Facebook:
Send a tweet: @francebleu

Email from:

Radio MDM
11 rue du Peyrouat
40000 Mont de Marsan
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tel: 05 58 46 46 46

19. Letters to the Editor

Help raise awareness about Ireland's animal cruelty issues - write letters to the editors of local and national newspapers to speak out against hare coursing, foxhunting, etc.

Hares Still Suffering
Irish Independent, 14 October 2013

The high piercing sound of a captured hare in a net, like a child crying, in a pro-coursing report on 'The Today Show with Sean O'Rourke', has confirmed it's open season on the hare again.

With the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' ceaseless reports of agonising injuries, trauma and even death inflicted by hounds in coursing, along with netting, caging, training and captivity, how can Ireland pretend to the world that the hare is a protected species here?

Blood sports have been outlawed in all the neighbouring jurisdictions, yet our country continues to capture and pursue the terrified hare with hounds, for fun. If Ireland hasn't caught up with the civilised world by then, it is our duty at the next election to elect enough enlightened politicians, who oppose coursing as part of their agenda, in order to prohibit and banish forever this deplorable sport from our country, too.

Mary Reynolds
Dublin 6

"Acceptable Cruelty"
Irish Independent, 23 October 2013

The killing of a kitten and the creature's mother that tried to help it by schoolchildren in Drogheda should serve as another wake-up call about the scale of our animal cruelty problem. There is the grotesque example offered by adults who ought to know better. Hare coursing and fox-hunting clubs are permitted by law to engage in recreational torture of animals. So, while we expect children and teenagers to be kind to animals, their "elders and betters" chase foxes and fox cubs to exhaustion and agonising death; or stand around at coursing venues, marking their cards or swigging from whiskey flasks as the timid creatures flee for their lives from salivating dogs.

John Fitzgerald
Callan, Co Kilkenny

With friends like these
The Avondhu, 7th October 2013

The hare coursing season has just commenced, despite renewed pleas from animal welfare organisations and conservation groups like the Irish Wildlife Trust. Two years after Northern Ireland banned this medieval 'sport', our own law, backed by the political establishment, still permits the capture of hares for organised baiting sessions.

Coursing clubs claim that without them hares would die out because they would lose the 'protection' that their wonderful 'country sport' offers the species.

Given that the Irish hare has been around since the last Ice Age and that hares thrive in the Arctic where there are no coursing clubs (or politicians), I think we can safely conclude that the fleet-footed creature can get along fine without any 'help' from people who use them as live bait.

It may be that certain politicians of all parties really believe the official coursing club line that the Irish Hare benefits from being forced to twist and turn and dodge before two hyped-up blood-crazed greyhounds; or that a hare’s life or conservation status is enhanced by being mauled, pinned to the ground, tossed up into the air like a plaything, or subjected to Capture Myopathy - a condition that can debilitate or kill any hare that undergoes an exceptionally stressful ordeal.

But many other people do not believe such inane propaganda. Politics itself has often been likened to a blood sport, but the politicians who connive to allow hare coursing to continue, need to realise that even the lowest points of their political careers pale to nothing beside the horrors of this real life blood sport.

John Fitzgerald,
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports

Animal lovers should watch how we kill hares
Irish Independent, 09 October 2013

The killing of a cat by a jeering youth with a sub-machine gun in the opening episode of the new 'Love/Hate' TV series has understandably shocked animal lovers nationwide.

I believe this heartfelt outpouring of revulsion is somewhat misplaced. I found the scene objectionable too, but I would place it in the context of a drama that focuses on gangland thugs who, in real life, would be far too busy peddling drugs and killing each other to be bothered shooting cats.

What concerns me a lot more is that we are into the opening weeks of a new hare-coursing season and animals are being horribly ill-treated for fun by gangs of so-called sportspeople . . . people who enjoy watching hares being hounded within the confines of a park or wired enclosure.

There will be no guards to trouble them as this barbarism is perfectly legal in Ireland.

And soon the driven pheasant shoots will commence. Ladies and gentlemen of leisure will walk almost shoulder to shoulder along arranged venues, blasting away at semi-tame birds that in many instances will obligingly waddle up to them to be shot. The field sport aficionados will sip brandy, whiskey or liqueurs as the beautiful creatures fall from the sky or are picked off at point blank range, their proud crests and multi-coloured plumage reduced to mutilated, bleeding clumps of feathers.

Despite the terror and the cruelty they unleash, both the driven shooters and the hare coursers claim to care deeply for the creatures they prey upon.

This, in my opinion, is a love/hate relationship if ever there was one.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Love/Hate cat shooting
Irish Times October 10th, 2013

Sir – The shooting of the cat on Love/Hate is perhaps an accurate portrayal of an amoral youth, born with the same potential as us all but due to his broken upbringing on the fringes of society has already become a vicious thug, a murder-in-waiting (Breaking News, October 7th).

There are numerous studies that demonstrate a very strong correlation between animal cruelty in early life and criminality/ familial abuse (to spouses, children) in later life. Our shock should be at society’s production of such a youth, not at this production’s portrayal of that youth, and our resolve as a society should be to identify and repair these youngsters before it is too late.

A separate but related point was that apparently this cat was anaesthetised to aid the filming of the scene. While modern veterinary anaesthesia in a clinic setting is incredibly safe, it does carry a risk. For a procedure to be ethical such a risk to the animal needs to be outweighed by the risk of doing nothing and/or the benefit of what needs to be done under anaesthetic. As there was clearly no benefit to the animal deriving from this anaesthetic – it being done merely to aid in the filming process – it would appear unethical for it to have been anaesthetised just for the sake of aiding filming.

I would hope that such practice will be discontinued and that in future any veterinary surgeon will refuse to administer an anaesthetic under such circumstances. – Yours, etc,

Alan Rossiter MVB, Blacklion Pet Hospital,
Kindlestown Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Dr Noel Browne's unfinished business
The Avondhu, September 28th 2013

Dear Editor, With so many pressing issues and challenges facing our country it might seem a bit inapt or petty minded to mention that another live hare coursing season is due to commence at the end of this month.

I can understand why people in negative equity, struggling on low incomes, or thinking of emigrating to escape the nightmare of enforced austerity mightn't see it as exactly the pre-eminent concern of 2013. Yes.

In the wider scheme of things, the fate of a hare running for its life from two frenzied greyhounds in a wired enclosure pales to a small dot on the crowded socio-political agenda of our time. But it remains an issue nonetheless, for people from all of walks of life who wish to see the iconic Irish Hare protected from this so-called sport. Noel Browne, that extraordinary reforming politician and fighter against injustice in Irish society (his Mother and Child Scheme enraged the Catholic Church and precipitated the fall of the government of which he was Health Minister) was a man who certainly had his political priorities in order.

He toiled relentlessly on behalf of the marginalised and the unfairly treated, and successfully tackled the killer scourge of TB, thus saving thousands of lives on this island. But he also found time to speak up for the humble hare.

When the Wildlife Bill was debated in the Seanad in 1975, he sought an amendment to have hare coursing banned under the proposed legislation.

He failed to achieve that objective.

Not surprisingly, given the calibre of politicians we had then, and still tend to elect. He couldnt be accused of not understanding the subject, for he had personally witnessed what many of our present-day TDs and Senators still publicly condone and eulogise.

In his autobiography, Against the Tide, he described a typical scene at one of those sporting events: The hounds reached the hare together, each furious at the other and mad for that spoonful of blood in the small body, as indeed were the baying human beings around me.

There was a long death scream of pain that rose to a crescendo, and died in my ear.

Like acid on a glass, that memory of a primeval ritual of a coursing meeting remains etched on my mind. Sadly, this ritual of sickening cruelty continues to be a part of rural life in Ireland.

Hares were filmed at the Irish Cup coursing event last February emitting the same never to be forgotten Banshee-like scream that Noel Browne heard in his childhood.

The event can be viewed on YouTube. Noel Browne was vindicated on many of the issues and causes he held dear.

Perhaps some day his position on this one will also be taken on board by our slow-moving, vote-conscious political establishment. Then, hopefully, the plaintive cry of the coursing hare will be consigned to the pages of our past.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports
Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny

20. Campaign Quotes

"But let's face it, setting hounds on an animal is to hunting what kicking someone in the head is to playing soccer – closely associated but only superficially similar. These people talk of the thrill of the chase, the natural urge to pursue, but they are not using human skill and instinct to stalk their prey. It's the hounds that are doing all the clever stuff, the ‘hunters’ only following on horses. Somehow though you never hear people wax lyrical about the noble art of chasing after some dogs." From "It's hounds, not humans who show skill when on a hunt", Connacht Tribune, 20 August 2013

This is the distressing moment Irish travellers are believed to have left a horse to die on the side of a country road after crashing it into the back of a parked car while racing it. The travellers had been racing the brown and white animal on the busy N8 road, connecting Cork with Dublin, when they smashed into the stationary black Volkswagen Polo, it is claimed. They then left the horse to die on the side of the road - with blood pouring from its head, neck and front legs. Daily Mail, 2 October 2013

"Reasons for Not Wanting the Opportunity to Discuss Education, Training and Employment Interests/Options - Reason: Lack of Interest. Example: 'Not interested. I’m happy doing what I’m doing. Prefer to spend my time fishing and hunting.'" From a 2006 FAS report about the Disability Allowance Project, a multi-agency initiative designed to respond to the increasing number of young people (between the ages of 16 and 25 years) applying for Disability Allowance.

"Culture should elevate us as human beings, celebrate the best of who we are and what human civilization is capable of. I love Spain, but what does bullfighting say about us if we declare it culture? That in the 21st century we think it's okay to torture animals for fun. Please no, it has to stop." Singer Leona Lewis, August 2013.

"People know that you’re not meant to shoot and torture humans and people don’t generally do that, but I’m afraid the truth is that people do often shoot and torture cats. It’s something I see regularly in the vet’s surgery." TV vet Pete Wedderburn, Irish Independent, 08 October 2013

The revival in popularity among young people in the 1980s TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has led to a growing problem for animal welfare groups – pet turtles cruelly dumped in the wild. A pet turtle that had been abandoned was discovered strolling through Rinville Park near Oranmore this week. The turtle would have almost certainly perished had a woman not encountered it along a path at the park while she was out walking...The Galway Society for Prevention for Cruelty to Animals is now caring for the turtle, which was most likely dumped by its owner because it grew so big. Galway City Tribune, 04 October 2013

"There are 3 toreros (people) and 6 toros (bulls) but I only managed to watch the first 3. I had seen the fights on TV and I should have known that I wouldn`t like it, but I live in Spain and it is a tradition. I`ll be honest, after the first bull was killed, and the blood was spurting out of its mouth, I shed a tear or two for it. Not sure if I was hardened by the first or I learnt not to watch the final act of killing, I managed a further two before Javi suggested that we should leave. I have seen it, I didn't like it, I won`t go again." from a blogger who attended a bullfight in Madrid, August 2012.

In today's day and age it really doesn't take much to work out that taking part in such activities or going to a bull fight to 'see what it's like' or 'because you have to see a bull fight when you're in Spain' is somewhat stupid and by doing it you are as good as stabbing the bull with the lance yourself. Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Care for the Wild International

Last Saturday saw the 2013 Hare Seminar run again this year at Powerstown Park. It's always a exciting event as the hares are now being netted and the first meeting is a few short weeks away...this year's seminar was attended by clubs far and wide with many new faces. With the addition of Lindsey Edwards MVB BSc...a veterinary surgeon stationed in Abbeyfeale, the seminar was the best yet. Lindsey has spent many years overseeing Hare Husbandry at Lixnaw Coursing Club...and has a huge interest in all things Hares. She should be the first port of call for any clubs wishing to gather information on Hare Husbandry and the place to go for help. from Coursing Diary, August 22nd 2013.

I am full of admiration for the conservation rangers who investigate these wildlife crimes. They have little or no training in interviewing skills, yet have to counter a parcel of lies in many of their investigations. They cannot arrest a suspect and place him or her in a cell to be interviewed at a pace that best suits the investigation...yet they frequently can put together a watertight case that will satisfy the high standards of evidence in court. But how much more effective would this be with the conservation rangers and Gardai working in tandem. From "Fox hunting and hare coursing in Ireland" by Wildlife Detective, March 2013.

The [Employment Appeals Tribunal] heard claims on Tuesday that Mr Edmund O’Brien had "a deal" with his former boss, the late Jerry Desmond [Irish Coursing Club], to claim Eur 3,800 a year in "fictitious" mileage expenses and that he was told by his former boss to make "adjustments" to the club accounts to improve the financial showing of the club-owned Sporting Press newspaper, which was competing with a new Greyhound Weekly publication. from "Sacked accountant ‘was collateral damage in row’", Irish Examiner, October 3rd, 2013

21. 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

Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Coillte - Ban hunters from your forests

Ban Fur Sales on eBay

Stormont Northern Ireland Assembly: Ban Fox and Stag Hunting in Northern Ireland

Fodor's Travel Guides: Stop directing tourists to bullrings

Bishop Bill Murphy: Stop clergy involvement in cruel coursing

Dunnes Stores: Lift Ban on Animal Charities Fundraising

Arts Council of Ireland: Stop funding animal circuses

Ban the use of animals in Irish circuses

Stop the EU funding bullfighting

Stop Torturing Bears: End Bear Bile Farming In China

Stop China Wanting More Ivory!

Stop DoneDeal/ GumTree/ Buy & Sell Selling Animals

Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland

1 Million to Ban the Lion Trade

Add report option "Animal Abuse" on Facebook

STOP Spain's cruel and barbaric Toro de la Vega

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.

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

Tune in to the ICABS Channel

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

Animal Voice - Subscribe

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

Make a donation to ICABS

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

Top | Newsletters | Home