letter writing

ANIMAL VOICE - April 2004
The campaign newsletter of the
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS)
PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland
Website: www.banbloodsports.com

In This Issue:

  1. Carted deer hunt campaign continues - Please Help
  2. Aertel publicises hunt fundraisers
  3. Boyle Sports sponsor coursing
  4. Urgent: Campaign against Italian oxen race
  5. Success: Ganly Walters remove hunt references from website
  6. Success: Blood sport listings removed from Council website
  7. Clare FM promotes coursing
  8. Clare Champion promotes coursing
  9. Voice your support for Barcelona Bullfight Ban
  10. Foxhunting priests commit "serious sin"
  11. Death of Dr Anne Behan
  12. Success: Roscreaonline remove coursing references
  13. Phone company donates to shooters
  14. Bank of Ireland defends loan scheme for wildlife shooters
  15. Poetry Corner
  16. Ear to the Ground promotes bird shooting
  18. News: Coursing sponsor JP McManus condemned
  19. Bullfight for Madrid bombing victims
  20. Google continues to promote bullfights
  21. Success: National Parks to remain hunter-free
  22. Fur farming - a national disgrace
  23. Kangaroo Killings: Adidas responds
  24. News: Shocking badger kill figures released
  25. Latest News
  26. Parliamentary Questions and Answers


The campaign against carted deer hunting continues and we desperately need your help. Please follow the action item below and get as many other people to do so as well. For more information on this blood sport, click on Campaigns at www.banbloodsports.com.

Here you will find our new leaflet/factsheet on carted deer hunting (please print out and distribute if possible), a petition and also a collection of new video clips and images captured by ICABS during the 2003-04 carted deer hunting season. Extracts from the video (which shows seven men holding on to an exhausted and bloodied deer at the end of a hunt) were featured on Prime Time's recent expose of the Ward Union hunt.

You may also wish to read the report the Government kept hidden for nearly seven years (www.banbloodsports.com/rep-kane.pdf). The report's conclusions are utterly damning of the Ward Union and yet the hunt continues to receive an annual licence from Minister Martin Cullen.


Please appeal to Minister Joe Walsh (he is responsible for animal welfare and the Protection of Animals Act) and Minister Martin Cullen (he issues an annual licence to the Ward Union deerhunt under the 1976 Wildlife Act) to end carted deer hunting.

Minister Joe Walsh
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2892 or LoCall: 1890-200150.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie

Minister Martin Cullen
Department of the Environment and Local Government
Custom House
Dublin 1.
Tel: +353 (0)1-8882000 or Locall 1890-202021 (Request to speak to Minister Cullen or his Secretary).
Fax: +353 (0)1-8882888.
Email: minister@environ.irlgov.ie


RTE TV's teletext service, Aertel, is currently including information about point-to-points in its Local Sports pages (See Page 508 on Network 2). The fixtures and results listings includes several references to foxhunts, including the infamous Galway Blazers.

Point-to-points are a major fundraising activity for hunts. They rank next to hunt balls as the top money earners. Without these fundraising activities, foxhunts would be severely curtailed.

Please join us in appealing to Aertel to stop helping foxhunts in their fundraising activities. Demand an end to point-to-points in Aertel's listings.


Dublin 4, Ireland.
Email: treacyb@rte.ie; press@rte.ie; complaints.review@rte.ie


ICABS was disgusted to learn that Boyle Sports Bookmakers is among the handful of remaining companies in Ireland who shamelessly sponsor coursing. The "Boyle Sports Derby" was one of the events at the national coursing finals in February. We have written to Boyle Sports saying that "it is regrettable that your company deems it appropriate to help keep this blood sport alive through financial support". Hare coursing results are included on the company's website.

Please express your opinion about the Boyle Sports' sponsorship of blood sports.


Internet Service Centre
Finnabair Industrial Park
Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Tel: (042) 9393044
Fax: (042) 9393167
Email: advertising@boylesports.com; feedback@boylesports.com

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

To whom it concerns:

I wish to express my disgust and disappointment at the sponsorship by Boyle Sport of live hare coursing.

Until I learn of a change in your company's policy, I will not be visiting any Boyle Sports outlet and will be informing others about your pro-blood sports stance.

I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,


(Source: www.animalitalia.it, www.faace.co.uk and www.anti-corrida.de)

On 22 April each year, an inhumane oxen race takes place in the Italian town of Chieuti. Four oxen are forced to pull heavily laden carts full of laurel branches. The animals undergo training throughout the year in preparation for the race, and the day before, a rehearsal is held.

The oxen are run almost three miles through the town to the main street. They are accompanied by large crowds of spectators, as well as horseback riders, who spur the oxen on using long spears. A local newspaper report highlighted how, following the race, the ground is spattered with the animals' blood.

Please write to the Chieuti authorities asking them to end this race due to the stress and injury caused to oxen and horses.


Al Signor Sindaco di Chieuti Matteo Ionata
Municipio di Chieuti
L.go IV Novembre
71010 Chieuti FG

Tel/Fax: + 39 0882 689113

Assessore al Turismo
Amministrazione Provinciale Di Foggia
Piazza Venti Settembre, 1
71100 Foggia (FG)

Fax: + 39 0881 791213

Email (The mayor of Chieuti and the Italian tourism authorities - copy and paste into the CC field of an email): comunedichieuti@virgilio.it; assessoreturismo@provincia.foggia.it; enit.ffm@t-online.de; enit-muenchen@t-online.de; enit-berlin@t-online.de; delegation.wien@enit.at; enit@bluewin.ch; info@enit.ch; enit-info@infonie.be; enit@italcam.com.br; enit.canada@on.aibn.com; info@cameraitacina.com; enitsl@korea.com; aptfoggia@pugliaturismo.com; enit.parigi@wanadoo.fr; enit@indiaitaly.com; enitams@wirehub.nl; enitmw@astelit.ru; italiaturismo@retemail.es; italiantouristoffice.se@telia.com; sedecentrale@enit.it; relazesterne@enit.it; studiestatist@enit.it; pubbmultimediale@enit.it; enitch@italiantourism.com; enitla@italiantourism.com; enitny@italiantourism.com; italy@italiantouristboard.co.uk; enitour@ihug.com.au; enit@inea.com.ar; chieuti@animalitalia.it; info@anti-corrida.de

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

To whom it concerns:

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the inhumane oxen race in Chieuti.

The animals forced to take part in this cruel event are stabbed with spears to make them race through the streets of the town.

An article in "La Grande Provincia" newspaper highlighted how, following the race, the ground is spattered with the animals' blood.

Please act to abolish this animal cruelty from Chieuti. Until this is done, I will avoid this town and the province of Foggia on any visit I make to Italy.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours Sincerely,



Thank you to everyone who responded to our "Ganly Walters Present Blood Sports As Property Attraction" appeal in January's Animal Voice.

We are pleased to report that the offending reference to hunting ("[This property is] adjacent to Meath and Louth foxhounds, Tara Harriers and Ward union Staghounds") has now been removed.

ICABS thanks Ganly Walters for their positive move.


Thank you to everyone who joined us in our appeal to Waterford County Council to remove positive references to blood sports from their county sports directory.

We are delighted to report that the directory in which the coursing and hunting listings appeared has been removed from the council's website. In its place is a link to the website of Waterford Sports Partnership (www.waterfordsportspartnership.ie). No mention of coursing or hunting appears on this site. Thank you to Waterford County Council for this positive move.


A Clare FM radio presenter promoted hare coursing during a show in February. Cormac McConnell had a coursing enthusiast on his "Cormacology" show to announce results of a coursing meeting. During the interview, Mr McConnell - a coursing supporter himself - made the absurd claim that hares enjoy being chased by greyhounds.

In a letter to Clare FM's Chief Executive, ICABS stated: "We were very surprised to hear that Clare FM permits coursing to be promoted on air, particularly when eight in ten Irish people - and presumably the same percentage of people in Clare - want this activity banned due to the cruelty involved. We appeal to Clare FM to please stop giving positive coverage to coursing."

Please write to Clare FM, asking them to disallow the promotion of animal cruelty on-air.


Mr Liam O' Shea Chief Executive, Clare FM Abbeyfield Centre Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland.

Tel: 065 6828888
Fax: 065 6829392
Email: liamoshea@clarefm.ie

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

Dear Mr O'Shea,

I am writing to express my disappointment over the promotion of live hare coursing on Clare FM.

On the Cormacology show in February, coursing results were announced and an absurd claim that hares enjoy being chased was made.

I feel that it is inappropriate for coursing to be promoted on Clare FM, particularly when a huge majority of Irish people want this form of animal cruelty made illegal.

I hope you will take steps to ensure that no further promotion of coursing is allowed on your station.

Thank you. I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,



The Clare Champion featured a half page report on hare coursing in the sports pages of it February 6th edition. Appearing alongside a photo of a hare running for its life, the report described the coursing finals in Clonmel as "another great day for Clare".

Please contact the editor of the Clare Champion. Appeal to him to stop giving positive coverage to blood sports.


Gerry Collison, Editor
John Galvin, Managing Director
Clare Champion
Barrack Street
Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland.

Tel: +353 65 682 8105
Fax: +353 65 682 0374
Email: editor@clarechampion.ie; jgalvin@clarechampion.ie

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

Dear Sir,

As one of the eighty per cent of Irish people who are opposed to hare coursing, I wish to register my objection to your half page article on this blood sport (February 6th, 2004).

The report which appeared in the sports section described the coursing finals in Clonmel as "another great day for Clare". I found this to be offensive.

Hare coursing is a form of animal cruelty which involves the taking of around 10,000 hares from the wild. The hares are forced to run for their lives up a field in front of two muzzled greyhounds. It is an illegal activity in most countries.

I appeal to you to please stop giving positive coverage to animal cruelty.

Yours sincerely,



Thank you to all the ICABS supporters who signed and collected signatures for the "Anti-bullfighting Barcelona 2004" petition. On 25th February, the campaign organisers (WSPA and ADDA) made a petition presentation to the mayor of Barcelona. The petitions came from groups and individuals from all over the world. The total number of signatures was a massive 250,000.

This overwhelming support for a ban prompted the mayor to announce that there would be a vote taken on whether or not to ban bullfighting in the city. The vote is due to take place on Tuesday, April 6th.


Please send an email to the authorities in Catalonia, asking them to vote in favour of a bullfight ban on April 6th. (Thanks to International Movement Against Bullfights for update and email address list). Copy and paste list into the CC field of an email.

alcalde@mail.bcn.es;jportabella@mail.bcn.es; moranich@mail.bcn.es;imayol@mail.bcn.es;gruppsc@mail.bcn.es; gruperc@mail.bcn.es;grupicv@mail.bcn.es;grupciu@mail.bcn.es; bi@mail.bcn.es;fmascarell@mail.bcn.es;infoicub@mail.bcn.es; opinio@gencat.net;president@gencat.net; consellerencap.presidencia@gencat.net; conselleria.drip@gencat.net;conselleramieras@gencat.net; consellet.ctc@gencat.net;consellermila@gencat.net; portaveu.govern@gencat.net;psc@psc.es;gpc.ciu@convergencia.org; fedbcn@esquerra.org;iniciativa@icv.org;futbcn2004@yahoo.es; ernest.benach@parlament-cat.net;gsoc-cpc@parlament-cat.es; gruperc@parlament-cat.es;grupicv-ea@parlament-cat.net; grupciu@parlament-cat.es;grupppo@parlament-cat.es

You can also sign Barcelona City Hall's guest book at: www.bcn.es/cgi-bin/pt.pl?url=/castella/llibre/ellibre.htm&i=e (Click on "Escribir", type in comment and then click "Envia")

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to express my support for a ban on bullfighting in Barcelona.

Please vote in favour of this ban on April 6th. By doing so, you will help make history in Barcelona by bringing this cruel and out-dated blood sport to an end.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,



A homily given by Bishop Pat Buckley in Larne has condemned those who hurt animals for sport.

"To hurt or neglect an animal unnecessarily or for sport or fun is immoral and quite simply, in God's eyes, it is a very serious sin," Bishop Buckley stated.

He went on to make particular reference to two Catholic priests in Clare and Cavan who are involved in foxhunting.

"For sport and fun, these priests went out with their hunt colleagues and packs of dogs. They chased wild foxes until they dropped and watched as the hounds pulled the poor creatures to bits. What a leisure recreation for a priest. I think it is a strange past time for any Christian man or woman."

"God created the animal kingdom and God loves that which he has created," he added. "When God revealed the 10 Commandments, he didn't say 'Thou shalt not kill humans', he simply said 'Thou shalt not kill'. In the book of Genesis, God charged Adam and Eve - and through them all of us - to be stewards of creation and to be the custodians of animals."

Bishop Pat Buckley writes a weekly column in the Irish News of the World.


It is with great sadness that we report the death on 1st February 2004 of environmental consultant Dr Anne Behan. Dr Behan operated the Hidden Wilds service which involved bringing people of all ages on eco-tours and giving lectures. She also wrote a weekly column for the Leinster Leader newspaper. In 2003, she won an award for video footage she captured which showed the beauty of nature.

At an ICABS seminar in 1998, Dr Behan gave an informative talk on the theme of "History of Hunting with a Modern Perspective". She also spoke on the issue of habitat destruction, highlighting the plight of wildlife when their habitat is destroyed. "They have no choice but to move on elsewhere," she said. "With suitable habitats being continually eliminated, however, the places to which displaced wildlife can retreat to are becoming very scarce."

Those who attended the seminar will recall Dr Behan's infectious enthusiasm and dedication to preserving wild places and wildlife.

ICABS extends its sympathy to Dr Behan's family. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dhílis.


Further to our "Roscrea Website Lists Coursing As Sport" appeal in the January 2004 edition of Animal Voice, we can confirm that the offending reference to coursing has now been removed.

Thank you to everyone who contacted Roscrea Credit Union (sponsors of the Roscrea Online website) and asked for an end to this promotion of a blood sport.


A telecommunications company operating in Ireland is offering donations to a shooting organisation whose members kill tens of thousands of wild creatures every year.

Euphony Ireland's "Game Talk" service is aimed at members of the National Association of Regional Game Councils. For every call made through the system, a donation is made by Euphony to NARGC.

On the company's website, a notice for the service states: "Help raise funds for your local Regional Game Council...Euphony Communications are pleased to announce in conjunction with the NARGC a unique opportunity to not only save money on your local eircom bill but at the same time help your regional game council. So every time you make a call with Game Talk, Euphony donates money to the NARGC."

When ICABS contacted the company's marketing department, a spokesman expressed surprise that NARGC was a shooting organisation. However, a subsequent statement from the company outlined that they "have no qualms about doing business with an officially recognised organisation...who abide by the governing bodies that oversee hunting sports in Southern Ireland".

Please join us in our call to Euphony. Ask them to stop giving financial assistance to a group involved in the killing tens of thousands of Irish creatures every year.

If you have friends in the other countries in which Euphony operate - the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands - please ask them to also contact the company.


Jonathan Denny Euphony Marketing Department 37-45 Station Road Reading, Berkshire RGI IJS

Tel: +353 (0)1 676 0033 (Ireland) or 0118 921 8333 (UK)
Fax: 0118 921 8101
Email: jonathan.denny@euphony.co.uk;ie.affinities@ie.euphony.com

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

Dear Mr Denny,

I was very disappointed to see that Euphony is offering financial assistance to Ireland's National Association of Regional Game Councils.

A notice on your company's website announces that "every time you make a call with Game Talk, Euphony donates money to the NARGC."

Is Euphony aware that the NARGC is a shooting organisation whose members are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of wild creatures every year. Among the victim species are: fox, hare, mink, rat, feral cats, deer, Canada Geese, Cock Pheasant, Curlew, Gadwall, Golden Plover, Goldeneye, Grey Crow, Greylag Geese, Jack Snipe, Magpie, Mallard, Pintail, Pochard, Red Grouse, Red-legged Partridge, Ruddy Duck, Scaup, Shoveler, Snipe, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodcock, Woodpigeon.

I urge you to please stop giving financial assistance to this group.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,



The Bank of Ireland has defended a loan scheme for members of the National Association of Regional Game Council (NARGC).

A leaflet published by the bank entitled "Preferential Loans exclusive to scheme members of NARGC" includes the NARGC logo on the cover.

In a letter of complaint, ICABS asked why the Bank of Ireland is giving preferential treatment to those who slaughter Irish wildlife. Responding to our letter, a spokesperson stated: "Bank of Ireland provides preferential loan schemes to members of a wide variety of clubs, associations and groups throughout Ireland. These schemes offer preferential rates to individual members on loans for personal use and are not for the benefit of the organisation. The same lending criteria applies to members of group schemes as it does to individual borrowers and is based entirely on repayment capacity."

"The establishment or existence of such schemes should not be taken as an endorsement by Bank of Ireland of the clubs or associations, or in this case, blood sports generally," she added


Mary Brennan
Group Corporate Communications
Bank of Ireland
Head Office
Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2

Email: Mary_C.Brennan@boimail.com

Michael D. Soden
Group Chief Executive
Bank of Ireland
Head Office
Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0)1 632 2530
Fax: +353 (0)1 631 4201
Email: mike.soden@boimail.com

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

To whom it concerns:

I wish to express my disgust at Bank of Ireland's association with the National Association of Regional Game Council (NARGC).

I refer in particular to your Preferential Loans scheme aimed at members of NARGC and to a Bank of Ireland leaflet which includes the NARGC logo on the cover.

I do not believe that those who slaughter tens of thousand of Irish creatures every year should be given any preferential treatment whatsoever.

Among the species killed by members of NARGC are: fox, hare, mink, rat, feral cats, deer, Canada Geese, Cock Pheasant, Curlew, Gadwall, Golden Plover, Goldeneye, Grey Crow, Greylag Geese, Jack Snipe, Magpie, Mallard, Pintail, Pochard, Red Grouse, Red-legged Partridge, Ruddy Duck, Scaup, Shoveler, Snipe, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodcock, Woodpigeon.

Please reconsider associating with groups who gun down wildlife.

Yours sincerely,



from "Red Coats"
by Frank Murphy

The sound of horses hooves
Bridles, snorts and shouts
The creak of leather

Red Coats
Running along the country lane
Strung out in autumn sunshine
The colour of blood filing past

The Bloody Trails
by John Amsden

Riotous heralding of thund'ring slayers
In train with the yelping of the forward-
Driven hounds, bounding and jumping
With servants the players
Their message and clamour relayed
In the woodlands or ditches and dykes
In field and in hedgerow where the few
Hide from the furious ride where so many dismayed

In minutes or hours the screams will go
In bloodletting done on the yet bloody scene
Insilent suffering the shame is not there
For the death and agonies much piteous slow
And as the sun goes down there are few to mourn
Only the animals cannot understand more
For they know instruments of torture are in
Human hands and theirs is the grief of each shining morn.


On its 5th February programme, RTE's Ear to the Ground programme featured an item on pheasant shooting in Co Wexford. During the programme, one participant described it as a "healthy pastime". Please write to John Cummins (Managing Director of Agtel Communications and Executive Producer of Ear to the Ground) and appeal to him to stop giving positive coverage to activities which involve the killing of animals.


John Cummins
Managing Director
Agtel Communications
22 Fitzwilliam Street Upper
Dublin 2, Ireland.

Tel: +353 (0)1 708 8100
Fax: +353 (0)1 676 6137
E-mail: john.c@agtel.ie; info@agtel.ie

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

To whom it concerns:

I wish to complain about the inclusion of pheasant shooting on Ear to the Ground in February. The majority of Irish people are opposed to the killing of animals for "sport". I think it is wrong therefore for Ear to the Ground to promote pheasant shoots. I hope that no similar items are featured on the programme in the future.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,



"We are now in the middle of the lamping season when gun clubs are culling out as many foxes as possible during the long nights. Much of this type of shooting is done with rifles and it goes without saying that great care must be taken to avoid shooting domestic livestock such as cattle, sheep, horses, etc. Always make sure that the eyes picked up by the lamp are indeed a fox, before firing...If you do shoot an animal by mistake, make sure to contact the owner...Do not do a hit and run on it as this leads to bad feelings among farmers and makes for bad relationships all round." (Gameshot, newsletter of the National Association of Regional Game Councils, December 2003).

"Bullfighting used to be the second major "sport" of Madrid; nowadays basketball is much more popular. It is definitely the cruellest sport in Iberia and akin to foxhunting in Britain in its controversy. It is a medieval and macabre gladiatorial event with humans, bulls and horses all putting their life in mortal danger in the name of entertainment. Those who oppose bullfighting have their merited arguments and really it should be banned...The final act of the killing of the bull is a ritual and it does grasp the fierce attention of the spectators. In my one visit to a bullfight I saw none of these nuances and just the bloodshed." (Conor Caffrey, Travel Section, Irish Independent, 31 January 2004).

"The Carbery Hunt paid their annual visit to Butlerstown on Saturday last...Near Seacourt Pound a fine dog fox was first up, which took the pack eastwards behind Butlerstown village, down through Ballyangley and on to Shanagh where he met his doom. Another fox was put up in Carrigean and led the dogs a merry dance taking them on to Grange before going to ground near Ahawaddra...In all a most exciting and pleasurable day's hunting." (The Southern Star, 31 January 2004).

"...a fox can keep ducking in and out of close-knit coverts so it is a case of getting your hounds close on a fox so that you give him no respite and keep him on the move." (The Irish Field, January 3rd, 2004).

"We hunted a fox as fast as we could go for 1 hour and 20 minutes. All the time we could hardly keep the hounds in sight as the snow was falling so heavily." A foxhunter described his "best hunt" outing. (The Irish Field, January 31st, 2004).

"Here we got a marvellous view of a smallish dark red fox with a good white tag crossing the winter barley, all in the winter sunshine. Hounds were only seconds behind..." (From a report on the Coolnakilla Harriers, The Irish Field, January 10th, 2004).

"Probably one of the most enjoyable hunts was on foot last year when we had a joint-meet with Macroom Foot Foxhounds at Tullylease on St Patrick's Day. We had a run of about 14 miles as the fox just ran on and on." (The Irish Field, February 7th, 2004).


ICABS vice-president, Tony Gregory, TD, has condemned coursing sponsor, JP McManus. Manchester United shareholder, McManus - said to be Ireland's eighth richest person - sponsored the three day Irish Cup coursing meeting in February. The total prize money on offer was 140,000 Euro.

Quoted in the News of the World, Deputy Gregory stated: "I don't understand the mentality it must take to sponsor an event like that...this so-called sport has no place in a modern Ireland and no one who is forward thinking should be involved in it."


(Source: FAACE, ANPBA)

According to the "Diario de Sevilla" there will be a bullfight to raise funds for the families of the victims of the Madrid bombing. It will be televised live by Spain's state television TVE1. The "stars" of the bullfighting scene will be present. The prices for tickets have been reduced by 20 per cent. Spain's Asociacion Nacional para el Bienestar y la Protecion de los Animales (ANPBA) is asking for international support in this matter.


Sr. D. Fernando Giner
Presidente de la Diputacisn de Valencia
Plaza de Manises, 4
46003 - Valencia, Spain.

E-mail: dipuval_presi@gva.es

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

Dear Mr. President,

I wish to appeal to you to halt a fundraising bullfight which has been organised to raise funds for the families of the brutal terrorist attack of March 11. I feel it is inappropriate to allow this violent and cruel event to be held, particularly when there are countless other ways to raise funds.

Please intervene to stop this bullfight on April 2nd.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,



Internet search engine, Google, is continuing to promote the blood sport of bullfighting.

The company is featuring "sponsored link" advertisements for bullfighting. One such advert is for a website selling tickets to bullfighting.

ICABS has renewed its appeal to Google to stop helping to promote this blood sport. We told them that money taken in by Google through the acceptance of such ads amounts to "blood money".

When we originally contacted the company last June, they sidestepped the issue, saying that Google "believes strongly in freedom of expression and therefore offers broad access to content across the web without censoring results". They failed to address the fact that the sponsored links are adverts and not part of the search engine results.

Please write again to Google and ask them to stop promoting bullfighting.


Email: adwords-support@google.com ; amac@google.com
or send a message via this web page: https://adwords.google.com/select/main?cmd=ContactUs

(If possible, please modify this letter or write a different one)

Dear Mr. MacGillivray,

I wish to appeal to Google to stop accepting adverts/sponsored links for the blood sport of bullfighting.

I was appalled to learn that one of your sponsored links is for a website which sells tickets to bullfights.

As you are no doubt aware, bullfighting is one of the world's most brutally cruel activities with bulls being tortured and killed for the sake of entertainment. Horses are also the victims of this bloody spectacle.

I am extremely surprised that Google would accept "blood money" from anyone involved in this animal abuse.

As one of the vast majority of European Union citizens who wish to see this blood sport banned, I call on you to please change your policy regarding the promotion of bullfighting. Please remove these sponsored links immediately.

I look forward to your positive reply.

Yours sincerely,



Thank you to everyone who responded to our "Hunting On State Lands" appeal over the past number of years. The following is a media statement issued by ICABS on March 4th in which we welcome the news that Ireland's state lands are to rightly remain free of hunters.

"The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has welcomed the news that Environment Minister, Martin Cullen, is to retain the policy of keeping hunters out of our national parks and nature reserves. The decision comes following a four year wrangle with the gun clubs who wanted the 30-year policy changed.

"In 1999, the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) requested the then Minister with responsibility for wildlife, Sile De Valera, to reconsider this policy and she initiated a review into hunting on state lands. The review was carried out by consultants for the Heritage Service who advised in 2000 that no shooting should be allowed in national parks and nature reserves. Regardless, the NARGC continued to press for the policy to be changed.

"On January 29th 2004, Minister Martin Cullen who is responsible for the national parks, wrote to gun club boss, Des Crofton, and told him that the no hunting policy was to remain. Among the reasons cited for the refusal were public safety and the protection of wildlife. Minister Cullen said that "the NPWS (National Parks & Wildlife Service) sites were acquired, using public funds, for the purpose of nature conservation and they should serve as refuges and breeding places for species of wildlife" and that "the general public understands that the role of NPWS is to protect wildlife and would view hunting on NPWS property as inconsistent with that role."

"The Irish Council Against Blood Sports very much welcomes Minister Cullen's decision to stand firm against the gun clubs and keep our national parks hunter-free. We are much relieved that these sanctuaries for wildlife, of which there are precious few in this country, are kept safe and free from hunters. It would have been a retrograde step if this policy was overturned in the interests of gun men. We know that the vast majority of people would be horrified to have the peace and tranquillity that they have come to enjoy in our national parks shattered by gun fire."

Voice your support for this important development. Email Minister Cullen at: minister@environ.irlgov.ie


(Article by CIWF)

The campaign to ban fur farming in the Republic of Ireland is gathering force. Compassion in World Farming and the UK's Respect for Animals kicked off the year with the launch of dramatic new undercover footage filmed on fox and mink fur farms in this country. Also launched was a striking new campaign poster, in conjunction with the ISPCA, which is to be sent to all veterinary surgeries and secondary schools in the country. The groups are also delighted that the Young Greens have adopted the fur farming issue as their first-ever national campaign, with a protest outside the Dail on March 31st.

Fur farming involves the keeping of mink and fox in rows of cramped, barren wire mesh cages in which their natural behaviour is very severely impeded. In the wild, fox and mink are highly complex territorial animals. Mink are semi-aquatic and choose home ranges of 1-6km, always near water. Arctic and red fox (both of which are farmed in Ireland - the red fox in its silver colour variant) both roam over wide territories, with Arctic fox often migrating more than 100km in one season, travelling to the Arctic coastline and onto ice flows in search of food.

It's a far cry from the wretched 6 month life of incarceration mink and fox have to endure on Irish fur farms. Unlike other farm animals, these animals are not domesticated. They have been selectively bred for pelt quality rather than for adaptation to captivity and they are therefore still essentially wild. The serious animal welfare problems speak for themselves and are outlined comprehensively in a 2001 report by The European Commission's own expert Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare. They include fox and mink performing repeated meaningless behaviour, such as pacing around and around the walls of their cage over and over again; caged fox killing their young and farmed mink biting and sucking their own fur or even self-mutilating their tails and limbs.

Viewers of RTE's Prime Time recently were horrified to discover that not only is this practise still legal in this country but that fox farms do not even require a licence. Fur farming became illegal in the UK / Northern Ireland on 1st January 2003. We want the Republic of Ireland to be next.

We were therefore delighted with the publishing in February of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004 by the Green Party. This is a very positive and exciting first step in the legislative process and sets down in writing for the first time the legal wording for a ban. However, the support of the government is required for this Bill to pass through several stages in the Dail and Seanad and ultimately to become law.

We are at present writing to all 166 TDs in the Dail calling on them to support this Bill and to do all they can to facilitate it being enacted into law.


We desperately need you to write to all your local TDs (either at their local constituency office or at Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2) asking them to support this Bill. Also please write to Mr. Joe Walsh, Minister for Agriculture & Food, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, calling on him to enact a ban on fur farming in this country, either by supporting the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004 or by introducing similar legislation himself.

Fur farming is of negligible value to the Irish economy, produces a non-essential fashion product, and causes untold suffering, frustration and distress. Help us to make sure the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004 becomes law and stops fur farming in this country forever.

More info: www.ciwf.ie


In last September's Animal Voice, we reported how hundreds of thousands of wild kangaroos are being killed in Australia for use in Predator football boots. Manufacturers, Adidas, have tried to defend this mass slaughter by outlining that "none of the common species of kangaroo that are harvested are considered endangered animals".

In a letter to an ICABS campaigner in Donegal, Adidas indicated that as long as the animals are killed humanely, they have no problem with it. "Adidas is opposed to kangaroos being killed in an inhumane or unnecessarily cruel manner. This is why we insist that our suppliers fully comply with the Australian Government's strict rules on kangaroo culling," the company's director of public relations stated.

No comment was made on international calls for a synthetic material (which Adidas itself produces) to be used instead of kangaroo skin.


Figures released in February show that more than 27,000 badgers have been killed by the Department of Agriculture since 1995. The Department's controversial TB Eradication scheme which blames badgers for disease spread has been condemned as "slaughter masquerading as science".

The figures were made public following a Dail question by Green Party TD, Trevor Sargent.

According to Badger Watch Ireland, the estimated number of badgers killed in the last two decades by the Department of Agriculture may be as high as 50,000. Most would certainly have been healthy and TB-free.

The Department receives a licence to snare and kill badgers from Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen. Minister Cullen has dismissed calls for his Department to stop issuing licences which allow a protected animal to be killed.

How many badgers have been killed in your county? To find out visit the Latest News section of the ICABS website and click on "Shocking badger kill figures released". To view images of snares set by the Department of Agriculture along with some of the unfortunate victims, please visit our Gallery page.

More info: www.badgerwatch.ie/html/normal.htm


For all the latest news on the campaign, please click on Latest News at: http://www.banbloodsports.com The following is a selection of some recently added news stories.

- Star Sunday exposes millionaire members of hunt (14 March 2004)
- Kane report damning of Ward Union (11 March 2004)
- Deerhunt plea to Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice (11 March 2004)
- Carted Deer Hunting: New leaflet launched (10 March 2004)
- Carted Deer Hunting: Latest Images (10 March 2004)
- Government "subverting protection of animals legislation" (04 March 2004)
- National Parks to remain hunter-free (04 March 2004)
- Ban Barcelona Bullfighting (03 March 2004)
- Shocking badger kill figures released (25th February 2004)
- Euro 14,642,869.33: Government grant to Punchestown Centre (24th February 2004)


A selection of Dail Questions from the past couple of months. For more questions (from TDs Tony Gregory, Trevor Sargent, Dan Boyle and John Gormley), please visit the "Politicians/Parliamentary Questions" section of the ICABS website.

Question 270 - Answered on 3rd March, 2004

Trevor Sargent: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if the licensing of stag hunting will cease in view of the fact that the quarry in this activity is in fact domesticated.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): As stated in reply to Questions Nos. 971, 972, 973, 974, 975 and 976 of 27 January 2004, the legal advice to the Government is that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government may grant to the Master or other person in charge of a pack of stag hounds a licence authorising the hunting of deer by that pack during such period or periods as is or are specified in the licence. Licence applications from the Ward Union Hunt Club continue to be determined on their merits in accordance with this legal advice.

Question 97 - 25th February 2004

Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if the Irish Council Against Blood Sports has been in correspondence with his Department regarding its concerns at the ongoing cruelty involved in live hare coursing, including video evidence of the success of drag coursing abroad; if he has fully considered all the issues raised given his reply to Question No. 246 of 18 February 2004; and if he will make a statement on the need for legislative change.

Mr. O'Donoghue: As I explained in my reply to the earlier parliamentary question referred to by the Deputy, under section 26 of the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, the Irish Coursing Club, ICC, is recognised as the controlling authority for the breeding and coursing of greyhounds, subject to the provisions of the Act, the constitution of the club and the general control and direction of Bord na gCon. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has written to my Department about drag coursing and the availability of a video showing drag coursing events abroad. As the Deputy will be aware, the question of introducing drag coursing to Ireland has already been raised with the ICC by the monitoring committee which comprises officials of my Department, the Department of Agriculture and Food, Bord na gCon and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The ICC informed the committee that it does not propose to change to drag coursing and that the muzzling of greyhounds and the continued veterinary inspections by both the coursing clubs and the Department of Agriculture and Food have significantly reduced the incidence of injuries to hares. In light of these initiatives, I do not propose to introduce changes in legislation to introduce drag coursing in Ireland.


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