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Digest of Animal Health and "Welfare" Bill 2012 published
03 May 2012

A digest of the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 has today been published. Farcically, this "animal welfare" bill does NOT cover some of Ireland's worst acts of animal cruelty, namely foxhunting, hare coursing, fur farming, etc Urgently contact your TDs and demand that they push for the bill to be amended to include protection for all animals in Ireland.

Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 Digest

Videos: Bloodsports Cruelty

See the appalling animal cruelty which the new Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 will allow to continue. Urgently contact your TDs and demand that they push for the bill to be amended to include protection for foxes, hares and all animals in Ireland.

More ICABS Videos

Shameful new "Animal Welfare" Bill exempts coursing and hunting
14 March 2012

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has expressed outrage at the proposed Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012. A draft published today by the Department of Agriculture exempts some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals - foxhunting and hare coursing.

While the Bill sets out to protect animals from cruelty and unnecessary suffering, stating among its provisions that to terrify or bait an animal is prohibited by law, it then chooses to exempt hare coursing, which most certainly constitutes baiting and terrifying an animal, and causing it unnecessary suffering! If it were not obviously cruel, it would not have to be specially exempted, nor would other forms of hunting wild animals with dogs.

This exemption has existed since 1911. One hundred and one years later, these cruel activities are again exempted! Why? What hold do those who carry on such cruelty have over our governments down the years and our elected representatives, despite the fact that the vast majority of our citizens abhor this cruelty?

Only two weeks ago, ICABS filmed, over three days, hares being mauled at a coursing meeting in Limerick. See our footage at

We have sent these video clips to all our elected representative along with an appeal for them to support a ban.

Hare coursing has been outlawed in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, leaving our Republic as the last outpost of this backwoods barbarism.

With the bill also exempting foxhunting, hunters will be free to continue using packs of hounds to chase foxes to exhaustion and rip them to pieces.

We say "Shame on this Fine Gael and Labour Government" for turning a blind eye to the suffering being caused in hunting and coursing and publishing a bill which seeks to allow them to continue. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling for these farcical exemptions to be removed and for hares, foxes and all wild animals to finally be given the protection they deserve.

Link to Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 draft
See Section 12(12)


Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and demand that the blood sports exemptions are removed from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012.

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 intervene to remove the coursing and hunting exemptions from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012.

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.

Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for foxes and hares and use the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 as an opportunity to finally ban cruel coursing and foxhunting.

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

Horrid History Repeating: 101 years of Irish animal protection laws facilitating cruelty

From 1911 to 2012, Ireland's wildlife has been betrayed by 101 years of animal "protection" laws that have shamelessly facilitated foxhunting and hare coursing. And now, in a proposed new Animal Health and Welfare Bill, legislators are again trying to shield some of our country's worst animal abusers to allow them continue with their cruelty.


Protection of Animals Act, 1911:

"Nothing in this section shall render illegal any act lawfully done under the Cruelty of Animals Act, 1876, or shall apply...(b) to the coursing or hunting of any captive animal, unless such animal is liberated in an injured, mutilated, or exhausted condition; but a captive animal shall not, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be coursed or hunted before it is liberated for the purpose of being coursed or hunted, or after it has been recaptured, or if it is under control and a captive animal shall not be deemed to be coursed or hunted within the meaning of this subsection if it is coursed or hunted in an enclosed space from which it has no reasonable chance of escape." Section 1 (3)(b)


Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act, 1965:

The following section was inserted after Section 1 (3)(b) of the Protection of Animals Act, 1911 (see above)

"[Nothing in this section shall apply]...(c) to the commission or omission of any act in the course of the coursing, hunting, pursuit, capture or destruction or attempted destruction of any wild animal unless such commission or omission is accompanied by or involves the infliction of unnecessary suffering." Section 4(d)


Animal Health And Welfare Bill 2012:

"Nothing in this section applies in relation to anything which occurs in the ordinary course of (a) fishing, (b) lawfully hunting an animal, unless the animal is released in an injured, mutilated or exhausted condition, or (c) coursing a hare, unless the hare is hunted or coursed in a space from which it does not have a reasonable chance of escape." Section 12 (12) Prohibition on animal cruelty.

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