Animal Voice - April 2005
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports
Tom Hayes, the Fine Gael TD for Tipperary South, has admitted that he loves coursing and hare hunting. The admission came during the recent Dail debate on fur farming in Ireland.
"I attended six coursing meetings in the past few months and I did not see one hare killed," claimed the Deputy Spokesperson on the Environment with Special Responsibility for Heritage & Rural Affairs. "I love what is good in rural Ireland, whether it is coursing, hunting hares, beagling or whatever, and I believe there is a strong agenda to stop those sports."
"I represent a constituency that is proud of its heritage in the coursing and animal welfare world," he added. "I welcome the opportunity to make these brief comments because I speak on behalf of many people who love rural Ireland, the sports we stand for and, above all, who love the animals and the land of Ireland."
ICABS has written to the Fine Gael Head Office to complain about the comments made by Deputy Hayes. Pointing out that party leader, Enda Kenny, is opposed to hare coursing, we asked for clarification on the party's official policy on hare coursing and all blood sports.
Other Tipperary TDs on record as being in favour of hare coursing are Maire Hoctor and Noel Davern - both Fianna Fail representatives.
Please write to Fine Gael Head Office and express your disgust at Tom Hayes' offensive comments about coursing. Remind the party that eight in ten Irish people want coursing banned and ask for clarification on the current party policy on blood sports.
ICABS has this month launched a new online petition calling on the Irish Government to ban blood sports. The petition will make it easier for people in Ireland and around the world to register their opposition to fox hunting, coursing, carted deer hunting and all forms of hunting with hounds.
Our petition can be accessed by clicking on this link:
Please sign the petition today and encourage others to do so too!
Our range of paper petitions (including the new Irish language "Cuirtear cosc le spoirt fola in Eirinn" petition) are still available to download from the ICABS website. If you do not have a printer, please contact us and we can post you out copies of the petition. Completed petitions are forwarded to the relevant Government Ministers to remind them about the massive opposition to blood sports.
Thank you to everyone who has signed and collected petitions in recent months.
A fox was pursued for over 3 hours during a hunting festival in County Limerick, the Irish Field newspaper has reported.
The eight day festival - praised by the paper as "a marathon of hunting" - was organised by Limerick's Abbeyfeale Harriers and involved several harrier and fox hunts.
"Plenty of foxes were found," the report stated, focussing particularly on the one which had to endure several hours of hunting.
"With no horses, Will was in Wellingtons and a Barbour but his hounds hunted none the worse for that. They found and hunted the same fox for three hours and 10 minutes."
ICABS appeals to all landowners in Limerick to show compassion and make their land off limits to hunts. If you have friends or relatives with land in Limerick (or anywhere in Ireland), please tell them about the suffering of hunted animals and appeal to them to make their property a haven for wildlife. "Troubled by the Hunt" leaflets are still available from ICABS and "No Hunting" signs can be downloaded from the "Farmers" section of our website.
ICABS has written to the Bishop of Clogher, Most Rev Joseph Duffy DD, to complain about a priest in the diocese who is involved with a local hunt.
A listing in the Irish Field Directory 2005 reveals that Fr Shane McCaughey is a joint-master and whipper-in with the Drumlin Hounds.
"Harrier hunting involves chasing and killing foxes and hares," we explained in our letter to Bishop Duffy. "When the unfortunate animals are caught, the hunt's pack of hounds tear them apart."
"We are disappointed at the involvement of Fr Shane McCaughey with an activity involving animal cruelty," we continued. "While we acknowledge that the majority of members of the clergy would condemn hunting with hounds, we feel that those who insist on taking part should be urged to stop and to treat animals with compassion. We appeal to you to urge Fr McCaughey to disassociate from blood sports and to instead preach a message of respect and appreciation for Ireland's wildlife."
Please write to Bishop Duffy and ask him to urge Fr McCaughey to end his involvement in hunting. Explain that hunting animals for sport is contrary to paragraph 2418 of the Catechism which states that "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly."
Most Rev Joseph Duffy DD
Tel: (047) 81019
The draft of a Species Action Plan for the Irish Hare has been released and submissions from interested members of the public are now being considered. The action plan has been published through a partnership between the National Parks and Wildlife Service (Dublin) and the Environment and Heritage Service (Belfast) and is expected to be finalised later on in the year.
The full text of the draft can be viewed via the Latest News page of the ICABS website or by clicking on this link: www.npws.ie/en/PublicationsLiterature/Allpublications/file,828,en.pdf
Please contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service and urge them to recommend that coursing and all forms of hare persecution are banned in Ireland as part of the species action plan.
In response to the published draft of the All-Ireland Species Action Plan for the Irish Hare, I wish to register my support for full protection for the hare.
Any effort to seriously protect hares must insist on a ban on hare coursing (an activity responsible for interfering with an estimated 10,000 hares each year) and I therefore urge the NPWS to call on the Department of the Environment to stop issuing licences for coursing.
Hares used for coursing are removed from their natural habitat, trained to run up a field and forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds. As confirmed by NPWS reports obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports under the Freedom of Information Act, hares continue to die during and after coursing meetings. Some die while being captured from the wild in the coursers' nets and others succumb to disease and stress during the weeks in captivity before the start of coursing.
Injuries sustained during coursing account for even more deaths - being delicate creatures, any hit from a greyhound can result in fatal internal injuries and broken bones. The ones which survive the trauma of being handled, transported and coursed and are finally released back into the wild, continue to remain vulnerable to capture myopathy - a stress-related condition which can claim victims suddenly or days and months later.
Furthermore, coursers have been found to have released sick and injured hares back into the wild whose chances of survival are further reduced. They have also captured and coursed pregnant hares.
Please recommend that hare coursing and all forms of hare hunting are banned to ensure maximum protection for this vulnerable species.
Failte Ireland has conceded that former hunt master, Thady Ryan, who died earlier this year, "may have attended tourism events" organised by Bord Failte.
The tourism board was responding to a letter from ICABS in which we enquired about the Scarteen Hunt master's connections to tourism marketing in Ireland.
An obituary published in the Sunday Independent stated that Mr Ryan "went on trips sponsored by the Irish Tourist Board, but resisted their suggestions for mass tourism from America linked to hunting".
But Failte Ireland told ICABS they were unable to confirm or deny this.
"We have no record of funding Thady Ryan within the last five years, which is as far as our accessible records go," Product Marketing Manager, Rhonwen Watson, stated. "Nor does anyone in the organisation working in equestrian tourism recall his presence at any of our funded events."
She added: "As you can appreciate, given the long history of Bord Failte (now part of Failte Ireland), it is possible he may have attended tourism events in the distant past but I can find nothing to support that possibility."
ICABS initially quizzed the tourism board about links to Thady Ryan two years ago after we discovered an article in New Zealand's Timaru Herald newspaper which outlined how "[Ryan] travelled extensively in the United States for the Irish Tourist Board promoting hunting".
At the time, we were told that "Bord Failte has not employed Thady Ryan to promote Ireland nor do we have any other relationship with him."
The Hare by Jill Mason.
The jacket notes of this book declare that "few researchers have had the patience and skill to untangle fact from fiction, to reveal surprising evidence about this truly wild mammal." It is not clear about whom this comment is made, but it certainly doesn't apply to the author.
There is a lot of interesting material about the hare in folklore and hunting, but when it comes to presenting accurate contemporary knowledge about the hare, this author has a different agenda. Her background as a gamekeeper and her clear enthusiasm for exploiting hares as a quarry species has clearly influenced the selective nature of the material she has presented.
Whilst some of the factual material is accurate, the errors contained in this book are too numerous to list here. Scientific opinion is misrepresented and misquoted, with snippets of received knowledge slipped in to support the pro-hunting case. Sadly, for most readers of The Hare, fact and fiction will remain well and truly tangled. In its defence, the colour photos are indeed "stunning" and would brighten up any coffee table. The publisher may herald this as "the first major book on the hare in thirty years", but despite its polished appearance this is no reference work.
Reviewed by Mike Rendle.
A Limerick Leader columnist has given the thumbs up to drag hunting. Writing in the "Fear Tuaithe/The Countryman" section, Tom Browne acknowledged that drag hunting is a popular substitute for foxhunting. The following are extracts from the 5th March article...
"There are two types of drag hunts - one a summer sport and other practised in winter. The latter is a substitute for a real chase.
"Summer drags are run more as hound competitions. Run across country for about nine miles, the trail of aniseed drenched meat having been laid earlier by the organisers or club members. About 50 hounds are lined up and are released when the last of the drag runners, having laid the trail, is seen approaching. The hounds will then follow the scent over the nine-mile circular course and the first home is declared the winner.
"This summer sport is organised by hunt clubs, mostly catering [for] foot followers and is very popular in Clare, Cork and Kerry. Up north it's organised by clubs in Cavan and Fermanagh. There is great rivalry between the owners of the hounds who travel long distances to the drags every week.
"The winter drags are organised more by horse-hunting packs. Run on the same lines as the summer drags they are favoured by some landowners because the hounds and horses follow a specific course with less damage to rain soaked fields. Jumps are also arranged to the confined trail which means that walls and fences are not knocked.
"Some followers claim that it lacks the real spirit of the chase and is somewhat artificial. According to reports some hunts in England are wondering what kind of scent they'll lay for the hounds to follow now that they're forced to drag hunting.
"One hunt has been reported to [be] experimenting and trying to manufacture something that will give scent somewhere along the lines of real hunting. While it is recognised even by the most experienced huntsman that scent is a very mysterious thing dependant much on weather conditions and humidity, from my own experience I've never known a hound not to follow a trail laid with a lump of meat well drenched in aniseed - a liquid used by chemists in the preparation of medicines."
Write a letter to the editor of the Limerick Leader with your views on the cruelty of foxhunting versus the humane and practical drag hunting alternative. Appeal to readers who own land in Limerick to refuse access to hunts.
Brendan Halligan, Editor
Fax: +353 (0)61 401424
Note: Please include your postal address and phone number if you wish to have your letter considered for publication.
The committee of the Westmeath Hunt has been ordered to stop operating their Mullingar-based knackery or risk facing fines and/or imprisonment.
ICABS understands that "concerns about pollution and threats to public health" were the reasons behind a decision by An Bord Pleanala that the Hunt Committee could not retain its knackery at Culleen, Knockdrin or build a new one there.
The hunt had originally been granted permission by Westmeath County Council but An Bord Pleanala upheld the views of an objector and refused permission for both a new building and the retention of the existing knackery.
In its January 15th edition, the Westmeath Examiner reported that: "the board stated that having regard to the high pollution load of the effluent from the proposed knackery and the lack of details regarding the proposed development (including details regarding ground conditions on site), it was not satisfied on the basis of submissions made in relation to the application and the appeal that the proposed development [of a new knackery] would not result in serious ongoing surface and groundwater pollution, endangering the quality of water in the area. 'The proposed development would, therefore, be prejudicial to public health,' it concluded."
"With regard to the retention application, the board said that the knackery would injure the amenities of existing residential properties due to the odours emitted, and would be contrary to the County Development Plan with regard to the impact on the environment of adjacent occupiers and air pollution. It would therefore, the board continued, seriously injure the amenities and depreciate the value of property in the vicinity."
The following month, the Westmeath Examiner published a letter from a local resident who asked why the knackery was still in operation despite An Bord Pleanala's decision.
John Hutchinson of Knockdrin, Mullingar wrote: "After the recent decision by An Bord Pleanala to refuse permission for both the building of a new plant and the retention of the existing one - which over the years has become a complete disgrace - why has nobody got the guts to say enough is enough...The recent smell has been unbearable and we hope that someone in authority will be brave enough to finally uphold the decision made by An Bord Pleanala."
ICABS wrote to Westmeath County Council to ask for an update on the situation. We received a copy of an enforcement notice sent to the Westmeath Hunt Committee under Section 154 of the Planning and Development Act 2000-2002.
The notice, dated 9th February, stated: "Westmeath County Council, the Planning Authority for the County of Westmeath...requires you to carry out the following steps on receipt of this notice: Cease operation of this knackery."
"Should development not cease within the period specified," the notice continued, "the Planning Authority may enter on the land and take such steps, including the removal, demolition or alteration of any structure...Should the steps to be taken in this notice not be taken within the specified period, you may be guilty of an offence."
A person who is found guilty of an offence under Section 154 of the Act is liable to the following penalties: "On conviction and indictment, to a fine not exceeding 12,697,380.00 Euro or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both, or on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding 1904.61 Euro or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both."
ICABS has lodged a complaint with RTE and Frontier Films following yet another promotion of bullfighting on their "No Frontiers" travel programme.
The programme, broadcast in February, featured a visit to a bullfighting museum in Spain and showed the presenter emulating a matador.
In a letter to RTE, ICABS Campaign Director, Aideen Yourell, stated: "We were very disappointed that your show, No Frontiers, chose to promote bullfighting, particularly as we have been campaigning over the years to persuade Irish holidaymakers to boycott the bullrings when holidaying in Spain."
She continued: "Bullrings in Spain's holiday spots survive thanks to ticket sales to unsuspecting tourists, and ICABS has been appealing, with much success, to Irish holiday agents not to promote bullfighting in their holiday literature. It is very disappointing, therefore, that the No Frontiers program chose to ignore the indisputable and horrific suffering of the animals and promote it in such a trivial fashion, with the presenter simulating the killing of a bull - sword in hand, thrusting it into a bale of straw - and telling the public that the bullfighting museum was well worth a visit. Sadly, this conveyed a callous indifference to the plight of countless innocent animals tortured to death in bullrings around Spain."
"The presenter did announce that people could make up their minds whether or not they might go to a bullfight - but featuring a bullring, and giving the information on a holiday programme was, we contend, a strong endorsement of this barbarity. Many people who would not have seen the REAL images of bullfighting might consider a visit to the bullfight a good idea while on holiday, thanks to this light-hearted promo by your programme!"
Responding to the complaint, an RTE spokesperson said: "Your comments have been included in our Audience Log, which is circulated throughout the programme output areas and is on the agenda for discussion at the weekly Television and Corporate Editorial meetings."
This is not the first instance of No Frontiers promoting bullfighting. On the very first episode of the programme in 1999, past presenter, Christy Kenneally, stood outside a Seville bullring and declared in upbeat fashion, "if your taste is for blood and sand, then the bullfighting takes place here every weekend."
ACTION ITEM 1
Please contact Frontier Films, who produce No Frontiers, and ask them to refrain from promoting bullfighting on future editions of the show. Point out to them that they have a duty to warn holidaymakers to stay away from the violent and blood-drenched bullrings. Most tourists come away upset and disgusted at witnessing a creature being so brutally stabbed and speared to death.
Tel: +353 (0)1 4977077
ACTION ITEM 2
If you know anyone who is visiting Spain, tell them about the cruelty of bullfighting and ask them to boycott the bullrings. If you would like copies of our bullfighting leaflet, please contact us now. Why not also ask your local travel agent to display copies of the leaflet.
An English wildlife group which condemned Ireland's snaring of badgers as "slaughter masquerading as science" has won a prestigious award for its work.
The National Federation of Badger Groups (NFBG) was presented with the award by the UK's Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime, a multi-agency body representing the police, customs and excise, government departments and voluntary bodies with an interest in wildlife law enforcement.
Accepting the award at a ceremony in London, Dr Elaine King, Chief Executive of the NFBG, said it was a "credit to the 83 local, voluntary badger groups who work in partnership with the police, RSPCA and other organisations to protect badgers from illegal persecution."
"By protecting badgers, one of our largest wild mammals and an important part of the ecosystem, the NFBG is helping to safeguard the wildlife that people cherish," she added.
ICABS congratulates Elaine King and the NFBG on this achievement.
Dr King continues to be critical of the Irish Department of Agriculture's so-called TB Eradication Scheme which is responsible for the cruel snaring and killing of tens of thousands of badgers. In the last decade alone, more than 27,000 badgers have been snared, according to Department of Agriculture figures. BadgerWatch Ireland say that most of these animals would have been healthy and disease-free.
In 2003, Dr King described the Department's badger killing research as "laughable", saying "it has no scientifically valid 'controls' whatsoever and is little more than slaughter masquerading as science." Earlier this year, an NFBG statement added: "Ireland's futile badger slaughter has simply confirmed that badger culling will never be a solution to the problem of bovine TB."
1. Contact Minister Mary Coughlan
Urgently contact the Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan, and ask her to immediately stop the snaring assault on Ireland's badger population.
Minister Mary Coughlan
2. Contact Minister Dick Roche
Demand that Minister Dick Roche immediately stops issuing licences for the snaring of badgers. Remind the minister that the Wildlife Act, for which he is responsible, lists badgers as a protected species and that the TB Eradication scheme has been described as "slaughter masquerading as science".
Minister Dick Roche
3. Send Minister Mary Coughlan a campaign postcard
If you would like a "Stop the Badger Snaring Slaughter" postcard to send to Minister Coughlan, please contact us now. If you have friends who would be willing to join this protest by sending in a card, please specify how many cards you require. Thank you.
4. Sign the online petition
BadgerWatch Ireland is asking people to sign an online petition at: www.petitiononline.com/dgm001/petition.html. Alternatively, a petition is available to print from the Petitions page of the ICABS website.
5. Report location of snares
If you know the whereabouts of snares which the Department of Agriculture has set, please contact ICABS or BadgerWatch immediately.
The Westmeath Examiner has been criticised for failing to portray the reality of foxhunting. In its March 12th edition, two hunt-related photographs were published. One photo showed hunters and hounds before the start of the hunt; the other photo showed mounted hunters crossing a bridge during the hunt. What we didn't get was what happened next. No reference was made to the chasing of foxes to exhaustion and their barbaric killing by a pack of hounds. The impression given was that foxhunting is all about cross-country horse riding!
"Why is foxhunting's final act of brutality so often buried?" ICABS asked in its (unpublished) letter to the Westmeath Examiner editor. "The moment when the exhausted fox starts slowing down and the dogs start closing in. The pack biting, mauling and disembowelling the unfortunate fox as members of the hunt holler encouragement."
ACTION ITEM 1
Please continue to inform ICABS of pro-hunting articles and photographs in national and regional newspapers. Newspapers have a duty to present a balanced view of foxhunting, including details about the inherent cruelty which makes this blood sport opposed by a majority of people in Ireland.
ACTION ITEM 2
Write to the editor of the Westmeath Examiner and ask for an end to positive publicity for blood sports groups.
Tel: 044 48426
An animal welfare group due to benefit from a Boylesports-sponsored fundraiser has been told that the company is a coursing supporter.
An advert in the Irish Field newspaper in March outlined that proceeds from the "Cheltenham Preview Evening" were to go to the Kildare SPCA.
Those who purchased tickets for the event would be entered into a prize draw, the advert stated. Among the prizes on offer were "free bets from Boylesports".
In our correspondence to the KSPCA, we highlighted how "Boylesports is one of the handful of remaining companies in Ireland who shamelessly sponsor hare coursing." The company also accepts bets on coursing and has publicised coursing results on its website.
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC) has upheld a complaint against RTE involving "humour" based on animal cruelty.
The complaint was made under Section 24(2)(b)(Taste & Decency) of the Broadcasting Act 2001 and referred to comments made by Ryan Tubridy during his "The Full Irish" programme on 15 September 2004.
On a news bulletin preceding his show, a story was broadcast about the skinning of a cat by art students in Canada. Tubridy spent the next half hour intermittently imitating the cat by saying "meow, please don't skin me" and "it hurts so much when you skin me".
"Mr Tubridy seemed overcome with the hilarity of his witty response to the brutal torture and killing of a live creature," The BCC outlined in its summary of the complaint.
The following day, the complainant again tuned in to the programme to hear Ryan Tubridy refer to the hunting ban in England with the comment "I am delighted that the filthy felines will live to see another day". She said she "was appalled and deeply offended that a national broadcaster would promote cruelty as an acceptable topic for attempts at humour".
Responding to the complaint, RTE claimed "it was clear that at all times the presenter was only joking and did not intend the audience to take him seriously."
"The style of the programme is light-hearted and 'jokey' with constant humorous responses to 'straight' topics. No offence is intended. The audience for the programme is aware of the style and does not take offence, understanding the programme to be a 'bit of fun' starting the day. It is not the intention of the programme to encourage cruelty to animals in any way. The production team knows its audience and knows that such remarks would be taken as jokes."
They added: "RTE Editorial management has spoken to the production team and advised them that some members of their audience are taking offence at what is intended to be humorous remarks about animals and has advised the production team to tone down their remarks."
Explaining its reasons for upholding the complaint, the BCC said: "The Commission accept that humour often walks a tightrope in regard to taste and decency. However, in this case the butt of the humour, that of the live skinning of a cat, was unsuitable for broadcast at that time. The Commission was of the opinion that including humour that was based on cruelty to animals was inappropriate and offensive."
The Munster Express has blasted heartless hunters who gunned down ducks loved by local children.
"Loads of ducks were shot at close range on the River Suir from Polerone Quay to Fiddown," the report stated. "Most of the ducks shot, are fed daily by children at Polerone Quay and also by people at Rockets Castle in Portlaw. The ducks are almost tame and were literally sitting duck for those trigger-happy gunmen in high power speedboats."
"We are glad to see that the duck-shooting season is almost closed for this term," the report concluded.
ICABS has appealed to singer Chris de Burgh to act to keep blood sports groups off the property of his family home in Wexford.
The call came following a report in the Irish Field newspaper which mentioned how the Killinicks hunt "worked their way...on into Bargy Castle, the family home of singer Chris de Burgh."
Outlining the day's hunting, particular reference is made to the chasing of a fox which was sent running for its life from a covert. "Hounds found a fox that ran on by Dermot Days, running on to Jim Powers of Thornville, [then] ran on to Mattie O'Briens and through Pat Esmonds, where he turned again at Ringaheen, as if to retrace his steps back to Silversprings. Whips were spread out as hounds split and were hunting hard."
In our appeal to Chris de Burgh, we stated that hunting with hounds involves the terrorisation and brutal killing of wildlife.
"Greyhounds sold at Limerick auctions have been found hanging from trees in Spain after their owners tortured them to death it was claimed today. The greyhounds which are sold for as low as 100 Euro to Spanish buyers in the city are allegedly used for racing and coursing by Spanish gypsies before they are tied to trees and left to slowly die inches above the ground...[Limerick Animal Welfare] are now appealing to dog owners not to sell greyhounds to Spanish agents at auctions." (Limerick Leader, March 5th, 2005)
"Banning hunting and coursing does not just satisfy animal welfare concerns, although this is the most important aspect. It is also indicative of the way in which we treat the most vulnerable and defenceless members of our society, upon which we are judged as a community...it is crucial that [Northern Ireland's temporary ban on the killing, taking, sale or purchase of Irish hares] is now extended to permanent protection under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 so that the barbaric pastime of coursing can be brought to an end as soon as possible...Similarly, the dreadful treatment of greyhounds, who are purposely overbred and then discarded, when they are no longer at their peak is a disgrace." (From a Belfast Telegraph article by The Lord Laird Of Artigarvan entitled "It is our duty to protect animals", 21 October 2004).
"He [John Harnett, breeder of racing greyhounds] said that as the owner and trainer of greyhounds for many years, he lost many animals who were hurt while racing or in training. This, he said, he could accept as part of the risk in greyhound racing." (from "Breeder lifts lid on stolen dogs' trade" - an article in the Irish Examiner, 18th April 2005, relating to the theft of numerous pet dogs in Limerick housing estates).
"The Minister for the Environment, under the 1976 Wildlife Act, grants an annual licence to the Ward Union despite the fact that these captive-bred deer are not wild animals. Senior officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service pointed out this fact and recommended that the licence shouldn't be granted. They were ignored. Our neighbours, England, Scotland and Wales, have recently outlawed hunting with dogs. Surely, it's now time for Ireland to follow suit and ban these cruel and abusive activities." (ICABS Campaign Director, Aideen Yourell, in a letter to the editor published in the Westmeath Examiner dated April 23rd, 2005).
Foxes and mink will continue to live a life of misery on fur farms following the rejection by Dail Eireann of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004. The bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50. Those who voted against the bill comprised 62 Fianna Fail TDs, three Progressive Democrats and two Independents.
For details on who voted for and against the Bill, please visit the Latest News section of the ICABS website.
The full text of the parliamentary debate can be viewed by clicking on these Irish Government website links:
ICABS commends Dan Boyle (Green Party/Cork South Central) for publishing the bill. We also thank all the TDs who endeavoured to bring this cruel activity to an end in Ireland by voting in favour of the bill.
ACTION ITEM 1
Please write to Agriculture Minister, Mary Coughlan, expressing disappointment at her decision to oppose the bill. Call on her to follow the example of Northern Ireland, the UK and Austria where fur farming is already banned.
Minister Mary Coughlan
Tel: 01-607 2000
ACTION ITEM 2
If your local TD(s) voted in favour of the bill, please write and congratulate him/her. Encourage them to continue pushing for a fur farm ban. If your local TD voted against the bill, please write and express your disappointment. To access the names and contact details of TDs, visit www.oireachtas.ie, click on Dail Eireann (on menu at left) and then click on Deputies.
More information on the campaign against fur farming in Ireland can be found on the CIWF website at www.ciwf.ie
In the January 2005 edition of Animal Voice we highlighted the reported shooting of 35 deer in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.
According to the Irish Independent of December 29th, many of the deer were left to slowly bleed to death.
We have since learned that the animals, which were gunned down the day after Christmas, had escaped from a deer farm.
Responding to a Dail question from ICABS Vice-President, Tony Gregory, TD, the Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, revealed that a representative of the National Parks and Wildlife Service investigated the incident and found that the deer were captive-bred fallow deer that had escaped from a local deer farm.
The Minister added that since the deer were not wild, there was "no basis for my Department to pursue the matter further".
"Sections 25, 28 and 29 of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended, govern the licensing of the hunting and killing with firearms of wild mammals," he said. "These provisions of the legislation expressly limit the licensing function to wild animals. As a wild animal is defined as including an individual of a population which primarily lives independent of human husbandry, a licence was not required under the Wildlife Acts for the killing of these captive bred deer with firearms."
ICABS contacted the Garda Commissioner and asked him to investigate the report that the deer had been left to bleed to death. "Such treatment of deer would represent an offence of cruelty under the Protection of Animals Act," we pointed out.
Correspondence received from the Commissioner's office stated that the matter had been forwarded to the Assistant Commissioner, Northern Region. We hope to be able to feature an update on this in a future Animal Voice.
Toyota Ireland has been asked to scrap a radio advertisement which describes cats as disgusting.
The ad for the company's Corolla car revolves around two women discussing their likes and dislikes. One of statements made by them is: "cats are disgusting".
ICABS contacted Toyota to complain about the advert. We expressed our disgust that this unnecessary slur on cats was allowed to be included in the ad and that it was offensive to the thousands of cat owners around Ireland. Toyota, however, said they had no plans to stop using it.
Sadly, this is not the first time ICABS has had to contact Toyota about its adverts. In 1998, the company was urged to withdraw a TV ad in which a Starlet car assumed the role of a matador and confronted a bull in an arena.
Please make a complaint to Toyota and ask them to withdraw their current radio ad and to refrain from using anti-animal themes in future advertising campaigns.
Toyota Motor Centre
Tel: 01 4190222
I wish to register my disappointment at the content of your radio ad for Toyota Corolla cars, which includes the statement: "cats are disgusting."
In the interests of prevention of cruelty to animals, I appeal to you to drop that particular statement from your advertisement, as it sends out a very negative message about cats. Sadly, there is a lot of cruelty being inflicted on these creatures already, and this ad only serves to re-inforce prejudices.
It is also offensive to cat owners.
Would you like to learn more about the mammals in Ireland? The Mooney Goes Wild website features a guide which includes mammals of the air, land mammals and sea mammals. Among the mammals you can read about are fox, hare, squirrel, badger, mink, pine marten, otter, deer, feral goat, bats, dolphins, whales and seals.
The address of the relevant webpage is:
22. Reporting animal cruelty
If you have information relating to cruelty to animals, please immediately contact the Gardai. The phone numbers of Garda stations all over Ireland can be found at www.garda.ie/angarda/stations.html. You can also pass on information to ICABS or to the ISPCA National Cruelty Helpline (Tel: 048-9081 4242).
For advice on wildlife-related issues, please contact your local National Parks and Wildlife Service conservation ranger. The relevant telephone numbers are listed in the State Directory of the telephone book under the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. For additional ranger contact details or for advice on the appropriate ranger to contact for your area, please get in touch with us.
The Irish Independent of April 19th has reported that two terriers, believed to have been used in illegal dog fights, have been destroyed due to their injuries.
The pair of Staffordshire bull terriers were found abandoned in a "terrible state" near Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan. They were suffering from severe bites and were badly malnourished.
According to the Independent, the dogs were taken in by an SPCA but later attacked each other and had to be put to sleep by a vet. The vet was quoted as saying he was heartbroken at having to destroy the animals and that he blamed those who bred the dogs for fighting.
Please contact the Gardai in Carrickmacross (Tel: 042-9690190) if you have information which could help identify the owners of the dogs. If you can help expose dogfighting activities in Monaghan or around the country, please immediately contact the Gardai.
In other dogfighting-related news, the trial of 11 men charged in connection with running an illegal dogfight will begin at Naas Circuit Court on July 5.
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