Letter Writing Campaigns - March 2002
Welcome to the March 2002 edition of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' letter writing campaign appeal!
We have a wide variety of appeals this month ranging from bullfighting in Iraq to Irish companies supporting blood sports. There are also some appeals renewed from previous months - foxhunting in Coillte forests and hunting on church land. Read on also for some good news regarding the campaign against fur.
Please respond to as many of the appeals as possible and you will play a part in helping to stop the suffering of animals. Thank you all for your continued help.
Best wishes till next time.
In January, a photograph of celebrity cook Darina Allen appeared in the Irish Field newspaper. Darina was serving up mince pies to a mounted Cloyne Harriers huntsman outside Ballymaloe House in Cork. According to the accompanying report, "there was a bottomless supply of lovely mulled wine and delicious mince pies" at the New Year’s Day lawn meet given by the cooking expert. Please write to Darina Allen and express your views on her association with those who cruelly kill our wildlife.
Among the spectators at this New Year’s Day foxhunt was fashion designer John Rocha. Please write to John Rocha and express your views on his association with those who cruelly kill our wildlife.
The Mallow branch of Acorn Life was among the companies who supported the Mallow Coursing Club meeting last November. The organisers of the meeting stressed the importance of the "sponsors and advertisers who made this meeting possible". Please contact Acorn Life’s Chief Executive Officer and urge him to give a commitment that the Mallow branch of the company will never again support hare coursing or any blood sport activity.
Mr Gerard O'Connell, CEO
Tel: 091 535700.
A local agent of Statoil also advertised in the Mallow Coursing Club meeting booklet. We contacted Statoil Head Office and were told that there is nothing they can do about an independent service station that supports coursing - despite the fact that the Statoil name is being used. Most companies would take whatever steps were necessary to prevent their brand name from being associated with animal cruelty. Please help convince Statoil to take action to prevent their name being used in connection with cruelty.
Tel: 01-636 8100.
Coonan Cawley Solicitors in Naas published a leaflet which stated: "We wish to remind you that Kildare Hunt point-to-point takes place at Punchestown on Sunday next, the 17th February 2002". It was posted through the letter boxes of local residents who brought it to our attention. If you live in Naas, please write and express your views on foxhunting and on point-to-points, one of the major fundraisers for foxhunts.
Coonan Cawley Solicitors
Last year, Coillte gave in to pressure from foxhunters and re-issued a permit which allows hunters into forests in Galway. The move came following an appeal by the Galway Blazers against an earlier decision to keep the public woodlands foxhunt-free. The reason given by Coillte for granting the licence is that the foxhunters have traditionally hunted in the area. But this does not oblige Coillte to give the licence.
Please write to Coillte and demand that forests in Galway and forests around the country are made off-limits to foxhunts. Urge Coillte to show compassion for the creatures which live in their woods by keeping hunters out. Ireland’s wildlife need all the safe refuges they can get.
Martin D Lowery
ICABS wrote to Clare TD Tony Killeen regarding the cruelty of hare coursing. We told him about a coursing meeting in Clare in December 2000 at which 17 hares were hit by dogs and ten hares were killed. A spokesperson for the TD replied: "Deputy Killeen has never attended a coursing meeting but he understands that muzzling of hares and other reforms which have been introduced have dramatically improved the situation." Deputy Killeen obviously believes that the killing of ten hares by blood sport constituents can somehow be described as an improvement!
Please write to Tony Killeen and outline to him that muzzling has not taken the cruelty out of coursing and it never will. The only way to take the cruelty out of coursing is to take the hares out. Remind him about the alternative to live hare coursing - drag coursing - in which the greyhounds chase a mechanical lure. This is carried out successfully in Australia.
Tony Killeen, TD
Tel: 01-618 3000 or from outside Dublin 1890-337 889.
Portuguese matador Mario Coelho is set to perform two bullfights in Iraq. The bullfights are scheduled for April and will take place in a portable bullring in the football stadium of Baghdad. In attendance will be President Saddam Hussein. If this event goes ahead, it could lead to the spread of bullfighting in other Arabic countries.
Please write immediately to the Iraqi President and urge him to follow the good example of authorities in Moscow and Cuba who disallowed bullfights from taking place.
Foxhunters have returned to terrorise wildlife on the Bishop of Clonfert’s farm in Loughrea, Co Galway. Members of the Galway Blazers hunt were spotted on the church land by a local anti-hunt observer who says mounted hunters jumped over a wall and into a field directly in front of the bishop’s house. It remains unclear at this point whether the hunt had permission from the bishop to be on the land on the day in question. There is a suggestion also that the bishop was not at home that day.
Please write to Bishop John Kirby at St Brendan’s, Coorheen, Loughrea, Co Galway. If you have written already, please write again. Alternatively you can telephone him on 091-841560.
ICABS has learned under the Freedom Of Information Act that the November meeting of the Cavan & District Coursing Club was cancelled because the hares were sick and dying. In reports from both the Department of Agriculture and Dúchas, we learned that 85 hares were captured for the coursing meeting and due to "numerous hare casualties", the meeting was abandoned.
The Dúchas Conservation Ranger covering the meeting expressed concern about the increased mortality rates of hares in confinement and the threat to the wild Irish hare population. He posed the question: are there enough hares in the wild for coursing to continue? ICABS believes that the hare population is in crisis. Write to Minister Síle De Valera and call on her to carry out a hare survey as a matter of urgency and to refuse licences for coursing.
Minister Síle DeValera
Tel: 01-6670788 Ext 2321 or LoCall 1890-474847.
In a letter to the editor published in the Waterford News and Star last June, Waterford Crystal’s Marketing Manager, Martin McGuire stated: "For decades, Waterford Crystal has been an enthusiastic supporter of field sports which are enjoyed by many people throughout the country...We will continue to lend our support to country pursuits."
Please register your disgust at Waterford Crystal’s support of blood sports. Ask them to disassociate the company from cruel activities which see foxes torn apart and hares pounded to death.
Tel: 051-37 33 11.
Last October, TG4’s ‘An Tuath Nua’ programme presented live hare coursing as a fun activity. At no point did the programme convey any hint of compassion for the timid animals despite accounts of hares being frightened out of the grass and a scene of a hare being held by its ears and having a syringe forced into its mouth. And in an apparent effort to present coursing in a positive way, a pop music soundtrack was chosen and two young coursing enthusiasts were interviewed.
Please contact TG4 and demand that they make amends by airing a programme that reveals coursing as it really is - a cruel blood sport which 80 per cent of Irish people want banned.
Tel: 091 505050.
The Irish Coursing Club has rejected a proposal by the Department of Agriculture that live coursing be replaced with drag coursing. At an October 2000 meeting between the Department and the Irish Coursing Club, it was proposed that the introduction of drag coursing - even on a trial basis - could be considered for some of the coursing meets. However, the response from the coursers was that it wouldn’t be "feasible for the speed of coursing they have with the type of mechanical equipment that has been proposed". It is disappointing that the Department of Agriculture appear to be allowing the coursers to call the shots. It seems they are accepting claims by the coursers that drag coursing would not work.
Please write to Minister Joe Walsh and demand that the Department insists on drag coursing being introduced.
Joe Walsh, TD
Tel: 01-607 2892 or LoCall 1890-200 150.
The Galway Blazers Foxhunt are holding a charity cross-country ride for the Beechwood Adult Day Service for the Handicapped on March 23rd. Such charity rides are, we believe, a thinly-disguised public relations exercise aimed at winning some brownie points in the community in which hunts operate. It also helps hunts gain good publicity in the local press.
Please write to Beechwood and appeal to them to reject funds raised by those who abuse wildlife.
Despite a promise from toy company Mattel that a Spanish-style bullfighting barbie would be withdrawn, the doll has appeared for sale on the Amazon website.
Bullfighting is a cruel and barbaric activity which subjects animals to horrendous torture and death and by selling this doll, Amazon is helping to promote blood sports. Please write to both Amazon and Mattel, appealing to them to take blood sport Barbie out of circulation.
Tel: (310) 252-2000
In the Spanish region of Catalonia, the horrendous activities of "toros de fuego" (fire bulls -setting fire to a bull’s horns) and "toros ensogados" (bull roping - dragging a bull along the streets with a rope) still continue. Despite a promise from Catalonian authorities that the law would be changed to ban these activities, nothing has changed. Please help convince the president of the region to stop the suffering of the animals.
Excmo. Sr. D. Jordi Pujol
Tel: (34) 93 402 46 00.
In February 2002, the Midland Topic Newspaper published two full pages of photographs from the Westmeath Hunt Ball. Hunt balls are a major fundraiser for foxhunt groups. Please write to the Topic editor and highlight the reality of hunt balls and their role in helping the barbarism of foxhunting to continue.
In January, the Anglo Celt newspaper printed an article headed "Coursing Scene in County Cavan" which claimed that "the introduction of muzzling on the dogs eliminated any element of cruelty". This newspaper regularly includes coursing news in its sports section. Please write to the editor and point out that coursing is not a sport and that muzzling has not eliminated the cruelty from coursing. Appeal to him to stop giving positive coverage to animal cruelty events.
Whenever you see photographs or articles which portray hunters in a positive light, please immediately write a letter of complaint to the editor. Tell him/her about the cruelty of blood sports and that the majority of readers find it offensive that hunters are receiving positive coverage.
The Sue Ryder Foundation has responded positively to an appeal by ICABS and other animal welfare groups to stop selling fur coats in its chain of charity shops. A spokesperson for the charity stated that fur coats would now be taken off the rails. Write a letter of congratulations to the foundation.
Mrs. Joan Breen
A 2002 "Ennis through the years" calendar published by the Ennis Information Age Centre features a hunt ball photo taken in the 1960s. Hunt balls are one of the major fundraisers for foxhunting and by publishing this image the publishers are promoting blood sports. Please write to the CEO of the centre and appeal to him not to feature any further photos related to animal cruelty.
Tel: 065-686 9200.
Two Waterford charities have accepted donations from a hunting group. The Dungarvan Harriers held a fundraising ride on the 24th December last, the proceeds of the which went to two local charities - The West Waterford Hospice Movement and the Alzheimer's Unit of St. Joseph's Hospital in Dungarvan. Please contact both charities expressing your disapproval of them accepting money from a foxhunting group. Explain that charity rides are a thinly disguised public relations exercise by hunts and that charities who accept such donations are helping the hunts who engage in horrendous animal cruelty to win brownie points in the local community and gain positive coverage in the local media.
West Waterford Hospice
St Joseph's Alzheimer's Unit
We are urging everyone to please contact your local TDs and candidates for the upcoming general election. Express your opposition to blood sports and try to determine the views of each politician in your area and what they are prepared to do to bring foxhunting, hare coursing, carted stag hunting and mink hunting to an end in Ireland. ICABS is currently compiling information on the views of politicians in relation to blood sports. We need your help. This is a crucial time for expressing your views to politicians.
To find out the names of your local TDs, visit the Irish Government website at www.irlgov.ie or ring Dáil Éireann on 01-618 3000 or from outside Dublin 1890-337 889.
Please keep ICABS informed about responses you receive
Subscribe to the ICABS Letter Writing Group
If you would like the latest letter writing campaigns emailed to you, please
Newsletters | Subscribe | Top | Home