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Val Falvey producers asked to stop trivialising dogfighting
27 November 2009

The producers of new comedy series, Val Falvey, have been asked by ICABS to stop trivialising dogfighting. The call comes following the appearance of a dogfighter character in the show's first episode. "Featuring scenes which portray a cruel and illegal activity in a comedy programme is inappropriate and in poor taste," we said in a letter to Grand Pictures.

The scenes in question show the dogfighter character emerging from a farm outbuilding where the barking of dogs can be heard and actors portraying dogfight spectators can be seen cheering. The dogfighter says of his dog - "I think she's a bit hyper, she's after doing two inside there" - to which the other character laughs and replies "Did she?"

In this scene from Grand Picture's Val Falvey show, the dogfighter character looks at his dog who is just after "doing two inside there".

The dogfighter character with, in the background, characters cheering at what is clearly a portrayal of a dogfight.

The dogfighter character meeting with one of the main characters who jokes that the dog is a "terror". ICABS has complained to the producers for presenting a dogfighting character as a jokey rogue-type

Conveying the appalling reality of dogfighting, ICABS told Grand Pictures about a court case some years ago which resulted in the conviction of dogfighters. The Irish Independent reported at the time that "the two pit bull terriers had lacerations to the face, ear, head, neck and forelimbs...Such was the ferocity of the fight between the dogs that a ladder was needed to separate them..." The evidence was so gruesome and upsetting that the judge excused the jury from service for 10 years.

"Trivialising this disgusting activity and presenting a dogfighting character as a jokey rogue-type is not very humorous to those who are campaigning for dogfighting to be eradicated from Ireland," we added. "Over the years, our organisation and other animal welfare groups have been trying to educate the public about the cruelty of dogfighting and encouraging them to report information to Gardai. Portraying dogfighters as anything but the sadistic, sick individuals that they are is not helpful to our efforts to protect dogs from this blood sport."

You can watch episode 1 of Val Falvey online at
[To see the "dogfight" scene, skip to the 15:15 mark]


Please join us in urging Grand Pictures to exclude animal cruelty themes from future episodes.

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Paul Donovan
Val Falvey
Grand Pictures Ltd
44 Fontenoy Street
Dublin 7
Tel: +353 1 860 2290
Fax: +353 1 860 2096

Dear Mr Donovan,

I am writing to express my disappointment that the illegal blood "sport" of dogfighting was trivialised in the first episode of Val Falvey. There is nothing funny about dogfighting - in reality, dogs suffer horrific injuries and the men involved are despicable thugs.

It is regrettable that this cruel activity was portrayed in a light-hearted way and that one of your main characters is shown laughing as the dogfighter character tells of how his dog is "after doing two inside there".

I urge you to exclude animal cruelty themes from future episodes.

Yours sincerely,

[Name / Location]

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