letter writing

Letter Writing Campaigns - November/December 2002


Welcome to the November/December 2002 edition of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' letter writing campaign email!

Thank you and well done to everybody who responded to our last set of appeals. Your efforts have prompted eircom to issue an apology for the bullfight-themed advertisement they used to promote Ireland's World Cup game against Spain. According to a company spokesperson: "It was certainly not eircom's intention to cause offence with this material and once we were aware that some offence was taken the advertising was withdrawn immediately and the company apologises. As a result it was only used once."

Your letters to politicians, meanwhile, have helped identify more anti-blood sport politicians. Among those who responded to letters over the past few months are: Dr Jerry Cowley, Independent TD, Mayo, ("I think [blood sports are] barbaric and totally unnecessary."), Eamon Ryan, Green TD, Dublin South ("Like most of my fellow Green Party TDs, I am firmly opposed to the current practice of fox hunting and hare coursing in the country which I feel cannot be defended on the grounds of preserving rural traditions or indeed any other conservation or rural development arguments.") and Senator Jim Higgins, FG ("I am totally and unequivocally anti-blood sports. I think foxhunting is appealing to the lowest possible instincts in so-called civilised men. It is manifest barbaric cruelty.")

And, further to our appeals to the Donegal Democrat to stop promoting foxhunting, we can now report that the newspaper subsequently published two letters in which the cruelty of foxhunting and the problems it causes for landowners were highlighted. However, another article in praise of foxhunting has since been published (see below).

Please keep up the good work and respond to as many of the appeals below as possible. Together, we can play a part in helping to stop the suffering of animals. Thank you all for your continued help.

Best wishes.

Philip Kiernan
Letter Writing Campaigns Co-ordinator

Current Appeals

Irish Mirror Launches Anti-Snare Campaign

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. The Irish Mirror newspaper has launched a campaign to save the badger and they are inviting members of the public to write to them with their views on this appalling Government operation to decimate the badger population.


1. Write to the Irish Mirror who will forward letters to the Minister for Agriculture, Joe Walsh.

Save the Badger Campaign
Irish Mirror
Park House
191-197 North Circular Road
Dublin 7

Email: larissa.nolan@mgn.ie

2. Write to the Council of Europe urging them to take action to prevent the Irish Government from slaughtering thousands of badgers. Direct your correspondence to:

Eladio Fernandez-Galiano
Chef de la Division du Patrimione Naturel
Convention of the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Tel: 00 33 3 88 41 20 00.
Fax: 00 33 3 88 41 37 51.
Email: eladio.fernandez-galiano@coe.int

Waterford County Council Promotes Blood Sports

We were dismayed to see that Waterford County Council are promoting fox hunting and hare coursing on their website. Local listings for the blood sports are listed in the "County Sports" section of the site. 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.


Tom Walsh
Waterford County Development Board
The Courthouse
Co. Waterford

Email: tomwalsh@waterfordcoco.ie
Tel: 058-20897
Fax: 058-42911

Jimmy Deenihan And Hare Coursing

ICABS recently received an email from Kerry North TD, Jimmy Deenihan, (FG) in which he stated: "It was I who proposed muzzling greyhounds for coursing and it is working very well." Deputy Deenihan obviously finds it difficult to admit that his proposal failed (as we predicted it would at the time). We have drawn Deputy Deenihan's attention to our Ban Hare Coursing website where video footage of hares being battered and fatally mauled by muzzled greyhounds is available for download. Please write to Jimmy Deenihan, querying his views on coursing when hares are continuing to suffer horrific injuries and death.


Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Dáil Éireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

Email: jdeenihan@eircom.net
Tel: 01-618 3000 OR 1890 337 889 (outside Dublin).

Ongoing Political Appeal

Please continue writing to your local TDs to try and determine where they stand on the issue of blood sports. If they are anti-blood sports, appeal to them to work towards a ban in Ireland. For a full list of TDs, Click Here. We are continually updating this section which includes a listing of the views of various TDs in relation to blood sports so if you receive a reply which reveals a TD's attitudes, please forward a copy to us immediately. Thank you.


Dáil Éireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-618 3000 OR 1890 337 889 (outside Dublin).

Online Petitions

Please take the time to sign the following online petitions:

"European Union allows sadistic torturing of animals because it's tradition" petition

"Save the Irish Badger" petition

School Accepts Donation From Hunt

A school in Waterford has accepted the proceeds of a sponsored ride organised by the Woodstown Harriers foxhunt on 3rd November last. Please contact the principal of the school and urge her to refuse future donations from those involved in animal cruelty. Explain that such donations are part of a cynical public relations exercise by hunts, the aim of which is to try and secure a veneer of respectability and an acceptance in their local communities.


Ailish Hackett, Principal
St. Martin's Special School

Tel: 051-876741

Bulls Killed During Making Of Movie

ICABS is calling on cinemagoers to boycott the Spanish film Hable Con Ella (Talk to Her). This is one release which certainly won't be claiming that "no animals were harmed during the making of this film". Director Pedro Almodovar used six live bulls for the bullfight scenes, all of which were horribly tortured and killed. Photographs taken on the set of the film show the bloodied animals being speared and stabbed.


Do not pay to go to see this film or rent it when it is released on video/DVD. If you know of a cinema which is screening this film, lodge a complaint with the management and ask them to stop screening it due to the associated animal cruelty.

Please send protest letters to the following: Almodovar's Producer "El Deseo": eldeseo@eldeseo.es
Spanish Academy of Arts and Science Films: acacine@render.es

Strongbow TV Ad Glamorises Bullrunning

A television advert for Strongbow cider glamorised the cruel activity of bullrunning in which thousands of bulls are taunted, abused and killed. The advert focussed on the Pamplona bullrun and showed a man dressed in red running from the bull before ducking into a pub for a drink. The company behind the ad, Bulmers, have defended it on the grounds that "at no time is a bull seen being harmed, nor does the commercial promote or condone bull fighting". We feel, however, that any portrayal of animal cruelty in a humorous and light-hearted fashion amounts to promotion of the activity.


Please write to Bulmers and complain about the Strongbow ad. Ask them not to use it in the future. Tell them that the bulls used in the Pamplona bullrun suffer abuse and are killed in a bullfighting arena following the run.

Plough Lane

Tel: 0044 1432 352000
Fax: 0044 1432 352084
Email: ConsumerHotline@bulmer.com

Irish Independent Lists Foxhunting And Coursing As Sports

The Irish Independent is listing information on foxhunting meets and live hare coursing results in the Sports section of the newspaper. Please write to the editor and appeal to him to stop categorising these activities as "sports". Highlight the cruelty of blood sports and the fact that the majority of Irish citizens want them banned.


The Editor
Irish Independent
90 Middle Abbey Street
Dublin 1

Email: independent.letters@unison.independent.ie
Tel: 01-7055333
Fax: 01-873 1787

Pub Guide Promotes Hunting

The Vintners Research & Development Company's "Irish Pubs of Distinction 2001" booklet promoted foxhunting in two of its entries and featured a photograph of fox hunters and hounds. The entry for a pub in County Tipperary states that "hunters will be spoiled for choice in this area". Please join us in appealing to the publishers to omit references to foxhunting from future editions.


Vintners Research & Development Company Ltd
VFI House
Castleside Drive
Dublin 14.

Email: ipd@vintners.ie

Tel: 01-4923400.
Fax: 01-4923577.

Bank Of Ireland Manager Presents Cheque To Hunt

In July, the Roscommon Champion newspaper printed a photograph of the manager of the Bank of Ireland (Roscommon branch) presenting a cheque to the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice. The cheque for 1,270 Euro was raised at the Roscommon Hunt Ball. ICABS has brought this to the attention of Bank of Ireland's Head Office in Dublin. Please contact Bank of Ireland Head Office and ask them to outline their policy on blood sports.


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

Email: mike.soden@boimail.com
Tel: 01 632 2530
Fax: 01 631 4201

Donegal Newspapers Give Positive Publicity To Foxhunting

You will remember that in our last set of letter writing appeals, we asked you to write to the Donegal Democrat to urge them to stop giving positive publicity to foxhunting. The good news is that the newspaper subsequently published two letters in which were highlighted the cruelty of foxhunting and the problems it causes to landowners. The bad news is that the paper has recently published another pro-foxhunting article - a report on the opening meet of the Donegal Farmers' Hunt entitled "Hot on the Chase”. Please contact the editor again, re-emphasising the cruelty of foxhunting and urging him to permanently cease giving positive publicity to foxhunting.


The Editor
Donegal Democrat
Larkin House
Oldtown Road
Co Donegal.

Tel: (074) 28000.
Fax: (074) 28001.

Meanwhile, another Donegal newspaper, The Tirconnail Tribune, published an article about the same hunt along with a photograph of foxhounds. Please contact the editor and ask that the newspaper stop giving positive publicity to foxhunting.


The Editor
Tirconaill Tribune
Main Street
Co. Donegal.

Email: tirconailltribune@eircom.net
Tel: (074) 53600.
Fax: (074) 53607

Coursing Stopped In Northern Ireland - Why Not Here?

ICABS has learned that two coursing meetings in Northern Ireland have not gone ahead due to an identified decline in the hare population. A survey was undertaken by Queen's University, Belfast which found that the "Irish hare is widely distributed especially in areas with semi-natural grassland, heath or bog, although at generally low densities and there was evidence of a reduction in both population and range." The Northern Ireland authorities have put in place a Species Action Plan which includes conservation of the Irish hare. Northern Ireland is signed up to the Biodiversity Convention and it is this which prompted this development. The Republic of Ireland is also signed up to the Biodiversity Convention. So why are coursing clubs being allowed to continue catching and abusing hares here?


Write to Minister Martin Cullen, Department of the Environment and urge him to suspend all hare netting for coursing and carry out a survey as a matter of urgency to ascertain the status of the hare population.

Minister Martin Cullen
Dept of the Environment and Local Government
Custom House
Dublin 1

Email: minister@environ.irlgov.ie
Tel: 1890-202021 (Locall)
Fax: 01-888 2888

TG4 Presenter Pays Respect To Matador

On November 17th, TG4's "Amu Amigos" programme included an item which unashamedly promoted bullfighting. Presenter Hector attended a bullfight in Mexico. The programme showed a matador spearing a bull to death and the bleeding bull collapsing onto the ground. The next scene showed Hector rushing up to the matador, shaking his hand and saying "Respect". At the end of the programme, he listed bullfighting as one of the things he liked about Mexico. The fact that a presenter would shake a matador's hand and express respect goes beyond belief.


1. Please contact TG4 and lodge a complaint about this deplorable item.

Michéal Ó Meallaigh
Programmes Department
Baile na hAbhann
An Gaillimh

Email: micheal.o.meallaigh@tg4.ie
Tel: 091 505050.
Fax: 091 505021.

2. Please contact Vodafone (the sponsors of the programme) and ask them why they allowed their brand name to be attached to a programme which promoted bullfighting.

Mr Mark Mellett
Sponsorship Department
Dublin 18.

Email: mark.mellett@vodafone.ie

Renewed Appeal: Hunting On State Lands

Shooting organisation, NARGC (National Association of Regional Game Councils) is putting pressure on the Minister for the Environment & Local Government, Martin Cullen, to lift the ban on shooting on State lands.


Please write to Minister Cullen asking him to keep state lands (which cover just 1 per cent of Ireland's total land area) free of hunting.

Minister Martin Cullen
Dept of the Environment and Local Government
Custom House
Dublin 1

Email: minister@environ.irlgov.ie
Tel: 1890-202021 (Locall)
Fax: 01-888 2888

Ban Fur Farming In Ireland

A document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveals the appalling treatment and slaughter of foxes in Ireland's fur farming industry. There is at least one fox fur farm in Ireland and six mink farms and the animals are confined in small wire cages until they are killed. The Department of Agriculture licenses the mink fur farms – the fox fur farm(s) apparently do not need a licence. The UK and several other countries have banned fur farms but they remain in existence in Ireland. A Department of Agriculture Veterinary Inspector made the following report after witnessing a fox being slaughtered in one of these farms: “The operative [uses] one hand to insert the earth probe per rectum and then to insert the charging probe either into the mouth or onto the ear. When the animal bites the probe it is immediately electrocuted. The operative maintains the charge for 10 seconds approximately…I can say that I firmly believe that this procedure is humane.”


Please write to the Minister for Agriculture, Joe Walsh, and tell him that electrocuting foxes is in no way humane. Animals live a life of misery in Ireland's fur farms and are brutally killed for their fur. Urge Minister Walsh not to renew any licences for fur farms.

Joe Walsh, TD
Agriculture Minister
Agriculture House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
Tel: 01-607 2892 or LoCall 1890-200 150.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

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