Letter Writing Campaigns - February 2003
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you. Thank you for all your valuable letter writing efforts last year. We look forward to your continued support throughout 2003. Below are our latest set of appeals. As always, we would be very grateful for any help you can give us with these. We have included some "Sample Letters" for those who want to help but who don't have the time to construct their own original letters.
If you do not receive a response to your letter, do not hesitate to write again. Keep emailing the same letter until your correspondence is at least acknowledged. If you are not satisfied with the response, keep writing. In many cases, persistence pays.
Did you know that in Spain alone 70,000 bulls, cows and calves are tortured and killed in bullrings and fiestas every year? Did you know that your taxes are being used to breed fighting bulls? Each breeder of fighting bulls receives 210 Euros per male animal for up to 90 animals every year (a possible 18,900 Euros). He also claims subsidies for suckler cows, extensive farming plus a payment at time of slaughter.
The European Commission is fully aware that these animals are raised for torture. However it is not considering excluding the breeders of fighting bulls from these subsidies.
Make your voice heard! Send a letter (either your own or the following sample) to:
Commissioner Dr. Franz Fischler:
Commissioner David Byrne:
The European Ombudsman:
Also send a copy of your letter to ALL IRISH MEPs. Their email addresses are as follows:
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I do not agree that my taxes are being used to subsidize the breeders of fighting bulls. This has already been going on for too long.
It is totally unacceptable that the European Union should promote the torturing of animals.
I ask you to exclude the breeders of fighting bulls from these EU Common Agricultural Policy subsidies.
Please take the time to register a vote in the following online opinion polls
ISPCA Opinion Poll:
Unison SportsDesk Poll:
Please also leave a comment by clicking on the firstname.lastname@example.org link which appears below the poll results. Use the subject line "My Comments on : Do you consider Coursing to be a sport?"
The Portuguese city of Santarém is organising a "National Fair of the Bull" between February 14th and 16th 2003. Among the barbaric activities planned for the event are:
"Tentas" - the “pinching” of young bulls and cows with spears to see if they are “brave” enough for bullfighting. This is commonly practiced by bull breeders (who receive enormous subsidy payments from the EU - see separate appeal above).
"Bulls of Fire" - a sickeningly cruel activity practised in several Spanish towns. Santarém now wants to import it into Portugal and will be using the "National Fair of the Bull" to promote it.
Please contact the following authorities to express your disgust at the “National Fair of the Bull”. Demand that the cruel treatment of bulls be stopped in Portugal and that the organisers of the fair are prevented from abusing any animal. Point out that you will be bearing Portugal’s treatment of animals in mind next time you are booking a holiday.
City Hall Of Santarem
Inspection of Cultural Activities
I am calling on you to please take immediate steps to prevent the "National Fair of the Bull" from taking place in the Portuguese city of Santarém. This appalling event which is set to take place from February 14th-16th 2003 will involve barbaric abuse of animals. Young bulls and cows will be subjected to "Bulls of Fire" and "Tentas" (forbidden by Portuguese Law 19/2002 since this is the equivalent of a bullfight with picadors).
I call on you to prevent these inhumane activities from proceeding at the "National Fair of the Bull" in Santarém. Sincerely,
PS I will be bearing in mind Portugal's treatment of animals when I next book my holidays.
The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) are demanding money from the Government to help support their blood sport activities. The club is desperate to get its hands on a chunk of the grant aid doled out to Bord na gCon (the greyhound industry governing body). But Bord na gCon are resisting the demands because they believe that if money is given to coursing, “it will mark the beginning of the end for greyhound sports”. According to the Bord’s chairman, any such move would lead to anti-blood sports campaigners “putting pressure on the Minister and on Brussels”.
Meanwhile, the hare coursers appear to have a friend in Minister for Agriculture, Joe Walsh. They claim Minister Walsh promised them funding at a Select Dail Committee meeting in 2001. They quoted the Minister as stating that the coursing clubs “are the lynchpin of the whole [greyhound] industry and deserve to get their proportionate amount of funding and I will make sure that happens.”
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, John O’Donoghue, to ensure that not a penny of taxpayers’ money is given to coursing. Funding a cruel activity which is opposed by eighty per cent of the population would be highly unacceptable.
Please contact Minister John O’Donoghue and insist that no funding is given to coursing clubs. Also complain to the Minister about the fact that coursing is now associated with the Department of Arts, SPORTS and Tourism. Ask him if he personally views coursing as a sport.
Dear Minister O’Donoghue
I am writing to express my absolute opposition to any move by your Department to grant funding to the Irish Coursing Club (ICC).
I understand that the Minister for Agriculture, Joe Walsh has said that coursing clubs “are the lynchpin of the whole [greyhound] industry and deserve to get their proportionate amount of funding and I will make sure that happens.” I trust that you will not allow any taxpayers' money to make its way to the Irish Coursing Club - particularly in light of the fact that this blood sports is opposed by eighty per cent of Irish adults.
Please give an immediate assurance that no funding will be allocated to the ICC.
PS I also wish to enquire why the Department of Arts, SPORTS and Tourism is now dealing with live hare coursing. Do you, as Minister, actually consider this cruel activity to be a sport?
Nine towns from Spain, France, Portugal and Crete founded the "Proyecto Minotauro" which aims to promote Spanish Blood Fiestas in Europe. It comes disguised as a cultural exchange and aims to obtain funds from the EU's Programme Interreg III. The towns want to obtain 1.3 million Euro to promote their brutal entertainment.
Crete depends absolutely on tourism. Please write to the Greek authorities and demand that Crete disassociate itself from this effort to spread Spanish cruelty throughout the EU.
The Greek prime minister:
Ellinikos Organismos Tourismou (Main office for tourism in Athens)
To whom it concerns:
I have recently learned that the Greek island of Crete is one of the founders of the "Proyecto Minotauro" which aims to promote Spanish Blood Fiestas all over Europe. If Crete does not officially drop out of the "Proyecto Minotauro", I will consider boycotting Crete when I book my next holiday.
Please also write to Commissioner Michel Barnier (who is responsible for the Programme Interreg III)
cc: David.Byrne@cec.eu.int; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Commissioner Barnier,
I have just learned about the "Proyecto Minotauro" which aims to promote Spanish Blood Fiestas all over Europe. I do not think it is morally legitimate that European funds should be granted for the promotion of animal torture.
I urge you to please refuse to grant any EU funds to the "Proyecto Minotauro".
Northern Ireland has identified the hare as being a species in crisis, and has drawn up a Species Action Plan to counter-act the decline in the population. Although our government signed up to this same convention, absolutely nothing has been done to halt the decline here. A blind eye is being turned to the problem, and hares are continuing to be exploited by hunting and coursing.
At present, Ireland does not have any information on hare numbers, and despite repeated calls to successive Ministers with responsibility for wildlife, this plea has fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, there is no way of knowing if hares are at a favourable status.
ICABS is currently preparing a submission to the Council of Europe, citing the failure of the Irish Government to adhere to an EU Directive which states that a protected species may only be exploited provided this is compatible with its maintenance at a favourable status.
ICABS has written to Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen, warning of what we believe to be a flagrant breach of EU Conservation Directive 92/44/EEC, calling for a survey to ascertain hare numbers on the ground, and the ceasing of all hunting and coursing of hares. To date, there has been no response.
Write to Minister Cullen, expressing concern about our hare population and calling for a survey.
Minister Martin Cullen
Dear Minister Cullen,
I am writing to ask you to investigate the possibility that the Republic of Ireland is in breach of EU Conservation Directive 92/44/EEC which states that a protected species may only be exploited provided this is compatible with its maintenance at a favourable status.
I refer in particular to the hare which has been identified in Northern Ireland as being a species in crisis. Authorities in the North have drawn up a Species Action Plan to counter-act the decline in the population. What is the Irish Government doing to determine the status of the hare here? I call on you as Minister with responsibility in this area, to instigate an immediate survey of the hare population.
I look forward to your prompt reply in this regard.
Waterford County Council is continuing to promote blood sports in its website's "County Sports" directory. Contact details are given for both hunting and hare coursing clubs. Please contact Waterford County Council and demand that they remove reference to activities involving animal cruelty from their website. Point out that foxhunting and live hare coursing are not sports and have no place among the genuine sporting activities listed. Also, remind them that the majority of Irish people want these cruel activities banned. If you have written already, please write again. Thank you.
Dear Mr Walsh
I am writing to appeal to you to please remove all references to blood sports from the "County Sports" directory on the Waterford County Council website. It is entirely unacceptable that the Council is using its website to promote acts of animal cruelty. May I remind you that a majority of Irish adults are opposed to hunting and hare coursing and want the Irish Government to make them illegal.
I find these promotions of blood sport on your website to be highly offensive. Please remove them immediately.
The Department of Agriculture has employed 75 individuals who are currently busy with their task of snaring and killing one third of Ireland's badger population (that's an estimated 83,000 badgers). Despite the fact that there is no proven link between badgers and the spread of bovine TB, the Government is continuing to persecute this supposedly protected species. Please write to the following and demand an end to the Irish Government's appalling operation to decimate the badger population. Many of you have written already on this issue but please take the time to write again.
1. Write to the Council of Europe urging them to take action to prevent the Irish Government from slaughtering thousands of more badgers.
2. Write to the Minister for Agriculture, Joe Walsh, asking him to immediately stop this terrible assault on the badger - a "protected species" in Ireland, believe it or not!
Joe Walsh, TD
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