Actress Pauline McLynn to join greyhound demo in Dublin on Wednesday May 4th
03 May 2016
Actress Pauline McLynn will join with the Irish Council Against Blood Sports tomorrow (Wednesday May 4th, 12.30 to 2.30pm) for a protest outside the Department of Agriculture to highlight the callous trade of Irish greyhounds to China. Greyhounds are being exported to race at Macau's infamous Canidrome track where it's literally 'death row' for dogs. An avid campaigner for animals and a patron of Kildare-based Little Hill Animal Sanctuary, Pauline will make a statement at the protest about the plight of greyhounds.
Irish dogs (generally not successful on the tracks here) are being sent to their deaths to the Canidrome track where underperforming dogs are put down at the rate of one a day. (See Australian ABC video report about scandal of Australian dogs sent to Macau, China).
As many as 800 greyhounds are housed at the infamous Canidrome track in Macau, the only region of China where gambling is legal, with racing five nights a week on a track that is deemed by animal welfarists on the ground as too hard, resulting in injuries to dogs. If a greyhound does not finish in the top three in five races in a row, he/she is destroyed. It is reported that around 400 dogs are killed by lethal injection each year and every greyhound arriving at the track is dead within three years. There is no adoption program at the Canidrome, so Irish greyhound owners are callously exporting their unwanted greyhounds to their deaths and to a region where there are no animal protection or welfare laws.
The acting Minister for Agriculture (with responsibility for animal welfare and greyhounds), in answer to a Dail question by Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan last week, stated that he was aware of the reports about conditions in Macau but that "once appropriate animal health and welfare certification requirements are met, dogs, including greyhounds, may be exported internationally, including to China." Clearly, the Minister is aware of the conditions in Macau, but has literally turned a blind eye and is not going to intervene to stop it.
However, in 2011, when the export of greyhounds to China and the establishment of racetracks was mooted, there was an outcry from animal welfarists, including 37 celebrities, among them Brendan Gleeson, Louis Walsh, Frances Black, Lenny Abrahamson and Sharon Shannon. Minister Coveney vetoed the plan by Bord na gCon (the Irish Greyhound Board), who were incidentally funded by taxpayers to the tune of €12 million in the last budget.
Meanwhile, in another hand-washing exercise, the Irish Greyhound Board said they did not have a statutory remit in relation to export controls for greyhounds and that they "expect owners to apply principles set out in the Code of Practice when exporting greyhounds" and "to only export to destinations to provide the expected levels of greyhound care and management as defined in the Code".
At least nine Irish greyhounds have been shipped to this hellhole in recent weeks, and they are, effectively, on death row in the Canidrome. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has urgently appealed to shipping companies and airlines, and to date the response has been very positive, with the majority saying they will NOT facilitate the shipping of greyhounds destined for Macau.
A petition calling on the Irish Government to stop the export of greyhounds to China has been signed by nearly a quarter of a million people from Ireland and around the world Sign Now!
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on Minister Coveney to show compassion and move swiftly to outlaw the export of greyhounds to Macau.
About Pauline McLynn: Pauline is the author of ten books and as well as her famous role as Mrs Doyle in Father Ted, she has starred in several TV shows and films, including Eastenders, Shameless, Far and Away, Angela’s Ashes, When Brendan Met Trudy, An Everlasting Piece, etc. Pauline is a patron of Kildare-based Little Hill Animal Sanctuary and has helped knit jumpers for hens rescued from egg industry battery cages. Last year, she said she was "so sad and angry" to learn that a rescued hen was killed by a pack of hunting hounds that invaded a garden in Cork. She told the homeowner "you are now a victim of the hunt too" and advised her to email Simon Coveney's office to protest at the continuation of hunting. She has expressed support for a ban on Ireland's cruel hare coursing - in a tweet to ICABS, she stated: "[Hare coursing is] AWFUL. BAN IT!!!!!" Find out more about Pauline, her acting and writing at www.paulinemclynn.com/
Location: Outside the Department of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin
Date: Wednesday, May 4th
Time: 12.30 to 2.30pm
Let us know you'll be there on our Facebook Event Page
Stop the export of Irish greyhounds to China: Join the demo on Wednesday 4th May
27 April 2016
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is holding a peaceful demonstration outside the Department of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin, on Wednesday, May 4, from 12.30 to 2.30pm. The demo is to highlight the horrific export of Irish racing greyhounds to China's infamous Canidrome track at Macau, where more than 30 dogs are killed monthly, according to animal rights activists on the ground there.
The Department of Agriculture vetoed the export of racing greyhounds to China in 2011, citing concerns about welfare standards there, but now in 2016, they are seemingly turning a blind eye, stating there is "no ban on the export of greyhounds to China".
Please join us to send a strong message to the acting Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, that this is totally unacceptable and that he must move to immediately call a halt to this trade in misery.
Sign and share the petition
Stop export of Irish greyhounds to China
Urgently call on the Acting Taoiseach and Minister for Agriculture to ban the export of Irish greyhounds to China.
Click on the link to send them a message: firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
Enda Kenny, TD
Upper Merrion Street,
Tel: +353 (0)1 6194020
Simon Coveney, TD
Acting Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Download Protest Posters
They "will die there": Irish greyhounds exported to China
14 April 2016
“Every dog sent to the Canidrome will die there" - The Sunday Times has revealed that Irish greyhounds have been exported to race in China.
Despite blocking a Bord na gCon plan in 2011 to export Irish greyhounds to China (due to grave public concerns about the fate of the dogs), the Department of Agriculture has told the Sunday Times this month that there is “no ban on the export of greyhounds to China”.
A petition set up by Grey2K, and signed by over 242,000, is calling on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture to stop the export. Grey2K describes the Canidrome dog track in Macau as "the world’s deadliest dog track" where "thousands of innocent Australian greyhounds have been sent there to be used and killed since 1963". The export of greyhounds from Australia to Macau was suspended in December after Qantas and Cathay Pacific airlines refused to fly any more greyhounds to the region and there are fears now that Irish greyhounds may be used at the track instead.
"We have recently learned that three greyhounds arrived in Hong Kong for transfer to Macau last week," a Grey2K spokesperson stated. "These are Irish dogs, the latest in a long line of four-legged victims who will soon die at a slaughterhouse for greyhounds."
|A doomed greyhound at Macau’s Canidrome (Photo: Animals Australia)|
Sunday Times Report - 10th April 2016
Greyhounds exported to race in China
Animal welfare groups say dogs are put down if they don’t win
by Gabrielle Monaghan, Sunday Times, 10th April 2016
Three Irish greyhounds have been exported to race in China, despite the Department of Agriculture previously blocking plans by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) to send dogs to the country over animal welfare concerns.
The three greyhounds arrived in Hong Kong on March 16 and were transported to Macau, home to China’s only legal dog track, the Yat Yuen Canidrome. According to eyewitnesses familiar with Irish greyhound ear-markings, the names of the dogs raced at the Canidrome matched those of animals registered with the IGB, also known as Bord na gCon.
These are the first Irish dogs to race at the Macau Canidrome and may be part of a trial to determine whether Ireland can fill a supply vacuum, according to Albano Martins, president of the Society for the Protection of Animals (Macau), also known as Anima. Last December, the Australian carrier Qantas begun refusing to transport greyhounds to Asia.
“The track is old and narrow, and the length of the track is not good for the animals, so many accidents happen,” said Martins, who operates a rescue centre. “They kill the dogs and need more to replace them. Dogs cannot come from China as they must be in quarantine for rabies, and this must be done in the municipal kennel, which is impossible because of its lack of space.”
Anima tracks each greyhound death at the Canidrome. Last year, it claimed, young and healthy dogs were being killed at a rate of 30 a month. Dogs are destroyed if they are ill, injured or fail to place in the top three in five consecutive races.
Australia had been the main supplier of greyhounds to the dog track. Qantas agreed to halt transport of the animals to Hong Kong after ABC, Australia’s public broadcaster, showed footage of dogs being put down in Macau.
The photos, names, lineage and racing performance of the three Irish dogs are listed on Canidrome’s website. Two of the dogs, Crossfield Leona and Crossfield Simon, are listed on the IGB website as having been owned by Brendan O’Shea, a trainer from Millstreet, Co Cork. The third Irish dog is Two Stone Tadgh, which the IGB site records as having been owned by Jason Lehane in Co Cork. The dog was raced at Curraheen Park in Cork on December 17, finishing fifth.
Lehane declined to confirm whether he sold the dog, or knew it was being shipped to Macau. “I’ve kept dogs all my life and I only have their best interests at heart,” he said.
O’Shea declined to comment. It is understood he sold the two dogs to an agent.
While gambling is illegal in the rest of China, it has been permitted in Macau since it was handed back to China in 1999 as a special administrative region. Gambling remains Macau’s biggest source of revenue. Irish dogs, along with those from Australia and America, are considered among the best in the world for both racing and breeding purposes.
IGB, a commercial semi-state body, sought permission to begin sending racing dogs to China in 2011. The Department of Agriculture blocked the move following lobbying by animal-welfare groups, with support from the RTE newsreader Sharon Ní Bheoláin. The department decided there was insufficient assurance “that adequate provision would be made to safeguard the health and welfare of greyhounds in China at the end of their racing life”. However, this weekend the department pointed out that there was “no ban on the export of greyhounds to China”. This article was shared by a Times and Sunday Times member.
Almost 51,000 people worldwide have signed an online petition on change.org calling on taoiseach Enda Kenny and Simon Coveney, the agriculture minister, to enforce an anti-export policy. The petition was started by Grey2K USA Worldwide, the world’s largest greyhound protection organisation. Christine Dorchak, its president, said: “Every dog sent to the Canidrome will die there. And it seems especially cruel to take a dog raced in one country and send it to another just to make a few more dollars.”
An IGB spokeswoman said that, while there is no legal ban on the export of greyhounds to China, it has begun to “make inquiries overseas” into the latest development. “We are extremely proactive in enforcing disciplinary action against any parties who are in breach of greyhound welfare legislation and continuously investigate all matters brought to our attention,” it said.
Mark Beazley, executive director of Dogs Trust Ireland, said he raised the issue of potential greyhound exports to China with the IGB. “If an individual wanted to export greyhounds in accordance with appropriate international regulations, there is little the IGB could do to stop them,” he said. “We pointed out IGB should write to owners and trainers and say it is not supportive of this practice.
“Ireland has seen huge improvements in animal welfare in recent years and we believe the export of greyhounds to China would be a retrograde step and bad for our reputation.”
PREVIOUSLY: Irish personalities calling on Dept to block IGB involvement in China
12 May 2011
Brendan Gleeson and other stars from the world of entertainment are among a group of 37 who are urging the Department of Agriculture to block plans by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB/Bord na gCon) to help establish greyhound racing in China.
In a letter published in today's Irish Times, the musicians, actors, comedians, designers, etc condemn the IGB's proposal as "cynical", "sinister" and "ominous".
While welcoming the Department of Agriculture's rejection of an IGB attempt to export Irish greyhounds to China, they go on to point out that the IGB in China would have to get greyhounds from elsewhere. Regardless of the origin of the dogs, the grave welfare concerns remain the same.
"They will have to get greyhounds from somewhere for this cruel sport...In China, there is a massive amount of well-documented evidence of dogs and cats being thrown alive into boiling water, and then skinned, alive, to eventually end up for sale in open markets," the 37 outline in their letter. "The Department of Agriculture may sign off on this new proposal. Now they need to take responsibility for deciding whether or not Ireland’s reputation is worth more than the money that may be generated by this ominous project."
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports commends all who signed this letter and who are speaking up loudly for the welfare of animals. You can see the full text of the letter below or by following the link to the Irish Times website.
|Actor Brendan Gleeson, one of 37 compassionate individuals highlighting the cruelty in greyhound racing.|
Greyhound racing in China
Irish Times, May 12, 2011
Madam, – While we are relieved that Bord na gCon was denied permission to export Irish greyhounds to China, we remain alarmed that they are nevertheless going to attempt to develop and manage racetracks there. This is not just a cynical move, but a sinister one. They will have to get greyhounds from somewhere for this cruel sport.
Unlike other breeds, greyhounds tend to be portrayed as commodities. But they are not machines. They are creatures who feel. Yet their lives are so undervalued, they are regularly subjected to neglect and abuse all over the world. In China, there is a massive amount of well-documented evidence of dogs and cats being thrown alive into boiling water, and then skinned, alive, to eventually end up for sale in open markets.
The Department of Agriculture may sign off on this new proposal. Now they need to take responsibility for deciding whether or not Ireland’s reputation is worth more than the money that may be generated by this ominous project.
Lately we have seen how Irish society has been shot to pieces by State and semi-State bodies abdicating themselves from responsibility and by overbearing greed and arrogance running rough-shod over sense and compassion. We have seen that those who try to speak out against the establishment, for whatever reason, are often ridiculed as fools or worse. And we have seen how Ireland has fallen in terms of our pride and reputation.
Irish people are compassionate. Very recently, we spoke out loud and clear on the issue of cruelty to Irish greyhounds. This outcry shouldn’t be seen by those making this important decision as ending with the welfare of Irish dogs. This extends to all greyhounds, no matter where they come from. At this point in our country’s affairs, let us dispense with greed in favour of humanity. – Yours, etc,
Brendan Gleeson; Christy Moore; Paul Brady; Louis Walsh; Damien Rice; Imelda May;
Darrel Higham; Damien Dempsey; Andrea Corr; Paddy Moloney; Louis Copeland; Eleanor Shanley;
Ian Dempsey; Linda Martin; Declan O’Rourke; Luka Bloom; Luan Parle; Donal Lunny; Mundy; Frances Black;
Lucia Evans; Barry Murphy; John Reynolds; Mary Black; Liam Ó Maonlaí; Lenny Abrahamson; Mark Rowlands;
Glenda Gilson; Jerry Fish; Ciara Sidine; Gavin Friday; Tommy Tiernan; Jack Lukeman; Pat Shortt;
Jon Kenny; Sharon Shannon; Geraldine Murphy.
The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that following a meeting yesterday, the Irish Greyhound Board has agreed to "modify its proposal to exclude the export of greyhounds from Ireland [to China]". The U-turn came amid growing international opposition and fears for the welfare of greyhounds.
The positive development came to light yesterday in response to a Dail Question from Labour Party TD, Joe Costello who called on the Agriculture Minister to "clarify his policy regarding the export of Irish greyhounds to the People's Republic of China".
"The proposal of Bord na gCon to set up a racing franchise and export Irish greyhounds to the People's Republic of China has given rise to considerable concern among animal rights and welfare groups and ordinary dog owners," the Dublin Central TD stated. "I am sure the Minister of State and every Deputy will have received numerous letters and e-mails on the issue in recent days raising concerns about the possible export of greyhounds to a country which has no animal welfare legislation and no regulation, supervision or mechanism for protecting such animals. There is no ban on the killing of dogs there and we are all aware that some dogs are regularly eaten or are on the menu in China. Obviously, there is considerable scope for abuse under the circumstances."
Responding, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Shane McEntee, TD said: "The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is aware that Bord na gCon is exploring possible business opportunities in China and has been in contact with the Department in this regard. Today I met the chairman and chief executive of Bord na gCon to discuss the proposal. I made it clear that I am not in a position to approve the project as presented. It was agreed that Bord na gCon would modify its proposal to exclude the export of greyhounds from Ireland but would continue to explore possibilities of developing the proposal to assist in the management of greyhound racing in China."
Thank you to everyone from Ireland and around the world who made their voices heard and saved Irish greyhounds from a "dire and unthinkable" future in China.
ICABS has called on the Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, to urge the Irish Greyhound Board to abandon a proposal to help establish greyhound racing in China.
In a letter to the Minister today, we welcomed the news that plans to export greyhounds to China have been scrapped but expressed concern that the IGB is continuing to consider associating with China.
"The many people in Ireland and around the world who opposed the idea of Irish greyhounds being used in China would almost certainly be equally opposed to the use of greyhounds from anywhere, given China's poor animal welfare record," we told the Minister. "We believe that if the IGB helps establish greyhound racing in China, and animal cruelty is subsequently exposed, it will reflect very badly on Ireland."
Comedian and Hollywood star, Ricky Gervais, has condemned plans by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) to send thousands of greyhounds to China, where they face a "dire and unthinkable" future.
In a front page Irish Sunday Times report at the weekend, Mr Gervais said he is "extremely concerned for these dogs”.
“It is bad enough that many greyhounds are killed and injured through commercial racing in the UK and Ireland and other parts of the world," he said. "Now the Irish greyhound racing industry wants to expand and send greyhounds to China.”
According to the Dublin SPCA, Irish greyhounds could face a "dire and unthinkable" future if sent to China. "It is clear that this initiative is being pursued with no consideration for the welfare of greyhounds," it says in a statement on its website, expressing fears that the welfare of dogs would be "severely compromised".
The authors of a petition on the Care2 petition site echo this, saying they are "horrified that the IGB would even consider conducting business in a country with such a terrible record for animal abuse - where dogs are both skinned alive for their fur and killed for human consumption".
They go on to highlight the appalling abuse and neglect that greyhounds already suffer in Ireland:
"Each year the industry breeds between 20,000 and 30,000 dogs with no statutory provision for welfare and it is estimated that 8,000 greyhound puppies - either too slow or which will not chase the mechanical lure - 'disappear down a black hole' before even reaching the Irish tracks. Despite the strenuous efforts of greyhound rescue groups in Ireland - every year many thousands of healthy young greyhounds are callously killed by their breeders/trainers or dumped in pounds - where as 'hand ins' they are put to sleep almost immediately. In 2008 County Clare dog pound destroyed 273 and County Kerry dog pound destroyed a further 259 greyhounds - a total of 532 in just two of Ireland's 26 counties.
A big thumbs up to Ricky Gervais for speaking out against the IGB's deplorable plan and bringing it into the international spotlight. Please follow his good example by signing the petition today and responding to the action alert below. Thank you.
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