Animal Voice: December 2009
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Download as pdf or doc file:

Animal Voice - December 2009

In this edition:

Please join the rally for animals this Sunday December 6th

01. John Gormley to extend coursing season into March 2010
02. Val Falvey producers asked to stop trivialising dogfighting
03. Fine Gael challenged on blood sports stance
04. Success: Online card company thanked for removing bullring cards
05. Success: Shop fined 500 Euro for unlawful glue traps
06. Success: MySpace thanked for removing foxhunting advert
07. Ask Irish MEP to stop defending fur farming
08. Revealed: Minister Gormley's licence for coursing cruelty
09. New Campaign Leaflet: Ban digging out and terrierwork
10. Offaly protest highlights suffering of hares
11. Renewed appeal: Ask Google to stop advertising foxhunting
12. Badger cull to curb bovine TB 'brutal'
13. Man jailed for neglect of greyhounds
14. Stop Snaring in Northern Ireland
15. Ecuadorian majority against bullfighting
16. Urge ShopRite to Stop Selling Glue Traps
17. Campaign Quotes
18. Letters to Editors
19. Say NO to bullrunning in new Tom Cruise film
20. Top Ten Tweets

Please join the rally for animals this Sunday December 6th

Animal Rights Action Network is organising a peaceful rally for Dublin on Sunday, December 6th 2009 (1.30 pm sharp). Many of Ireland's animal welfare groups will be represented at the event, including ICABS. Please make a special effort to attend the rally and voice your opposition to animal cruelty.

Date: Sunday, December 6th 2009
Time: 1.30pm Sharp
Place: Garden of Remembrance, O'Connell Street, Dublin (Top of O'Connell Street on left hand side)
Contact: John Carmody or Christina Lynch 087-2391646
More info:

Watch the rally's promotional video at

01. John Gormley to extend coursing season into March 2010

ICABS is dismayed to learn that Green Party leader and Environment Minister, John Gormley, has agreed to a coursing licence extension which will allow coursers to continue terrorising hares into the month of March 2010. This is the third year in a row that Minister Gormley has agreed to the coursers' request for an extension.

The details are revealed in a document obtained following a Freedom of Information request by ICABS. A letter signed by Gerry Leckey - the Assistant Director of the NPWS Species "Protection" Unit - states that "it is recommended that licences issue to the Irish Coursing Club under the Wildlife Acts to mark hares, capture hares and undertake coursing outside the Open Season Order on 1 March 2010. The licence will cover all clubs affiliated to the Irish Coursing Club."

Subsequently, in a letter from the Assistant Director to the CEO of the Irish Coursing Club, it is stated: "In relation to your application for a licence under Section 26(3) of the Wildlife Act, 1976 to undertake coursing outside the Open Season Order, the Minister has agreed to this extension for 1 March 2010 to facilitate the holding of the Irish Cup meeting at Limerick. The appropriate licence will issue to you in 2010."

In a letter of appeal to Minister Gormley, ICABS has called for the current licence to be revoked, the extension to be withheld and for permanent protection to be put in place for the Irish Hare.


Please email "SAVE THE HARES - Revoke the coursing licence and refuse an extension" to Minister Gormley.

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment
Custom House, Dublin 1.
Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640.
Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640.
Copy to:;;;;;;;

SAMPLE LETTER (Please compose your own personal letter or send the following sample letter. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Dear Minister Gormley

I am one of the majority opposed to the cruel blood sport of hare coursing.

I am very disappointed that as leader of the Green Party, you have not only issued another licence for this animal cruelty but have agreed to allow the blood sport to continue into March 2010.

As you are aware, hares suffer from the moment they are snatched from the wild in nets, during their time in captivity and while they are being chased by the greyhounds. When hit, they suffer agonising life-threatening injuries, including broken bones. The cruelty of coursing is clear to see at

How can you possibly justify keeping this blood sport alive by licensing it? I strongly urge you to REVOKE the licence you issued to the coursers for the 2009-10 season, withhold the extension you have promised and urgently put in place permanent protection for this most timid and treasured of species. I wish to remind you that it is contrary to Green Party principles to facilitate animal cruelty.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name and location]

02. Val Falvey producers asked to stop trivialising dogfighting

The producers of new comedy series, Val Falvey, have been asked by ICABS to stop trivialising dogfighting. The call comes following the appearance of a dogfighter character in the show's first episode. "Featuring scenes which portray a cruel and illegal activity in a comedy programme is inappropriate and in poor taste," we said in a letter to Grand Pictures.

The scenes in question show the dogfighter character emerging from a farm outbuilding where the barking of dogs can be heard and actors portraying dogfight spectators can be seen cheering. The dogfighter says of his dog - "I think she's a bit hyper, she's after doing two inside there" - to which the other character laughs and replies "Did she?"

Conveying the appalling reality of dogfighting, ICABS told Grand Pictures about a court case some years ago which resulted in the conviction of dogfighters. The Irish Independent reported at the time that "the two pit bull terriers had lacerations to the face, ear, head, neck and forelimbs...Such was the ferocity of the fight between the dogs that a ladder was needed to separate them..." The evidence was so gruesome and upsetting that the judge excused the jury from service for 10 years.

"Trivialising this disgusting activity and presenting a dogfighting character as a jokey rogue-type is not very humorous to those who are campaigning for dogfighting to be eradicated from Ireland," we added. "Over the years, our organisation and other animal welfare groups have been trying to educate the public about the cruelty of dogfighting and encouraging them to report information to Gardai. Portraying dogfighters as anything but the sadistic, sick individuals that they are is not helpful to our efforts to protect dogs from this blood sport."

You can watch episode 1 of Val Falvey online at
[To see the "dogfight" scene, skip to the 15:15 mark]


Please join us in urging Grand Pictures to exclude animal cruelty themes from future episodes.

SAMPLE LETTER (Please compose your own personal letter or send the following sample letter. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Paul Donovan
Producer, Val Falvey
Grand Pictures Ltd
44 Fontenoy Street
Dublin 7
Tel: +353 1 860 2290
Fax: +353 1 860 2096

Dear Mr Donovan,

I am writing to express my disappointment that the illegal blood "sport" of dogfighting was trivialised in the first episode of Val Falvey. There is nothing funny about dogfighting - in reality, dogs suffer horrific injuries and the men involved are despicable thugs.

It is regrettable that this cruel activity was portrayed in a light-hearted way and that one of your main characters is shown laughing as the dogfighter character tells of how his dog is "after doing two inside there".

I urge you to exclude animal cruelty themes from future episodes.

Yours sincerely,

[Name / Location]

03. Fine Gael challenged on blood sports stance

ICABS is urging Fine Gael to modernise its animal welfare policies after a spokesperson stated that the party "supports country sports" and will "oppose any move by Government to deny groups the right to continue to pursue these activities".

In a letter of complaint to Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, ICABS strongly criticised the party's stance on animal cruelty activities. The stance was outlined in a statement from FG Agriculture spokesperson Michael Creed TD, who said:

* "Fine Gael supports country sports which are carried out humanely, properly supervised and monitored and that do not involve any undue risk to animal welfare. If these criteria can be satisfied Fine Gael does not oppose properly licensed country sports activities."

* "Fine Gael will oppose any move by Government to deny groups who have conducted their activities as per their licences, the right to continue to pursue these activities in the future. We believe that imposing a ban on these licensed activities would be a retrograde step both in terms of animal welfare and economically.

* He also shamelessly defends cruel blood sports on monetary grounds, saying that "it would be irresponsible to discount the importance of rural pursuits to the economy as a whole."

In our correspondence to Enda Kenny (and Olivia Mitchell TD who said Mr Creed's statement reflected her own views), ICABS stated: "We wish to convey to you our extreme disappointment and disbelief that a modern party like Fine Gael is continuing to side with the merciless minority who take pleasure in abusing animals and subjecting them to the most horrendous cruelty. For the majority who want coursing, foxhunting and carted deer hunting outlawed, it is highly offensive for Deputy Creed to suggest that the activities he euphemistically refers to as 'country sports' could in any way be 'carried out humanely...and not involve any undue risk to animal welfare'."

We stressed that Deputy Creed is "clearly wrong in his assertion that if an activity is licensed, it must not be cruel", highlighting that in coursing and carted deer hunting (both licensed), animals are subjected to terrible suffering.

"The stance, presented by Deputy Creed, reflects very poorly on Fine Gael," we added. "We hope that your party can work on modernising its animal welfare policies and bringing them in line with the overwhelming view in Ireland that animal cruelty is wrong and should be urgently legislated against."


Please join us in urging Fine Gael to stop siding with the merciless minority who take pleasure in subjecting animals to suffering. Ask party leader, Enda Kenny, to urgently work to modernise the party's animal welfare policies.

Please download, print and post this letter to Enda Kenny
or copy the message below into an email.

Enda Kenny, TD
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 618 3105Fax: 01 618 4502

SAMPLE LETTER (Please compose your own personal letter or send the following sample letter. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Dear Mr Kenny,

I am one of the majority of Irish people who want blood sports banned in Ireland.

I am deeply disappointed by a statement by your party's Agriculture spokesperson Michael Creed TD that Fine Gael supports blood sports and will oppose any attempts by the current government to ban them.

Such shameless defence of animal cruelty reflects very poorly on Fine Gael. I hope you can urgently act to modernise your party's animal welfare policies.

I wish to add that a political candidate's stance on animal cruelty is a major factor in my voting decision.

Thank you. I look forward to your reply.


Please contact your local TDs/Senators and urge them to back a ban on all blood sports.

Write to your TD at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at: Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website at:

04. Success: Online card company thanked for removing bullring cards

A very big thank you to for removing around 20 bullfighting-themed cards. ICABS has praised the company for dropping the cards which included scenes of a Santa matador taunting a bull, a matador proposing to an injured bull and matadors and bulls on New Year's Eve. Thank you to everyone who supported our action alert.

ICABS has sent a message of thanks to 123 Greetings but if you would like to thank them too, you can send a message from:

About 123Greetings: 123Greetings (Free Greetings for the PlanetTM) is the world's leading online destination for human expressions. It reaches millions of unique users annually and offers over 20,000 greeting cards, covering a mix of 3,000 seasonal & everyday categories. You can visit their website at

*** Help ICABS achieve more successes. Make a donation today and help fund our campaign. Donate now from the Shop page at or send a donation directly to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you. ***

05. Success: Shop fined 500 Euro for unlawful glue traps

A shop reported by ICABS for offering unlawful glue traps for sale has been fined 500 Euro. The National Parks and Wildlife Service outlined that a man pleaded guilty at Letterkenny District Court to having the traps on his premises and offering them for sale.

He was charged with a breach of Section 34 (6) of the Wildlife Act 1976 and Section 42(F) of the Wildlife Amendment Act 2000 and was convicted and fined after pleading guilty.

ICABS applauds the member of the public who originally brought the shop in question to our attention. We also thank the NPWS conservation rangers involved in this latest successful trap-related court case.

Glue traps (also known as glue boards) are one of the world's most inhumane traps. Among the victims are mice, rats, small mammals, birds and pets. In a futile effort to escape from the sticky base, creatures may bite off their own limbs.

Help us ensure that glue traps remain off the shelves of Irish shops. Please read on to find out how you can help.


Please help rid Ireland of glue traps - one of the world's most cruel and inhumane traps. Visit your local hardware stores, discount shops, pet supply outlets, builder provider stores, etc to make sure that these illegal traps are not being sold. If you spot glue traps (also known as glue boards) for sale, please contact ICABS immediately with the details and we will pass them on to the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Also, if you are aware of any company or individual using glue traps, please get in touch with us now.

Glue traps are designed to catch mice and rats in a sticky base where they will suffer a slow, lingering death. Rodents caught in the traps frantically struggle to free themselves by pulling out their hair or biting off their own limbs. If they don't die from these injuries or from suffocation due to their faces becoming stuck in the glue, they spend days dying from starvation and dehydration. Veterinary surgeons who have condemned the traps have confirmed that "there is much suffering by the entrapped animals - it is not a sudden or merciful death...Because all mammals have similar nervous systems, they are capable of experiencing the same type of pain and suffering."

ICABS has reported numerous shops selling the traps and our efforts have led to their removal from sale nationwide. Help us to ensure that glue traps remain off shop shelves.

*** Help ICABS achieve more successes. Make a donation today and help fund our campaign. Donate now from the Shop page at or send a donation directly to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you. ***

06. Success: MySpace thanked for removing foxhunting advert

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has thanked MySpace for removing an advert for foxhunting in Ireland. The ad invited readers to "experience the thrill of the chase". Responding to our concerns, a MySpace spokesperson said that the company "normally does not allow this type of advertising".

"At this time, we are researching ways to tighten up our advertising demographics in order to make the user experience as enjoyable as possible," the spokesperson added.

ICABS is grateful to MySpace for this positive response.

Our attention now turns to Google, who continue to feature foxhunting in their sponsored adverts. To find out about our current action alert, please see Urgent appeal to Google: "Stop advertising foxhunting"

If you ever see an internet advert for foxhunting or other blood sports, please send us details along with a screen shot. Thank you.

*** Help ICABS achieve more successes. Make a donation today and help fund our campaign. Donate now from the Shop page at or send a donation directly to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you. ***

07. Ask Irish MEP to stop defending fur farming

Please join ICABS in our appeal to Fianna Fail MEP, Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher, to withdraw his plea to the Government to reconsider its plans to phase out cruel fur farming in the next three years.

The Donegal Democrat [05 November 2009] reported that "Gallagher said he will be asking the government to re-consider the position on fur farming which would see two mink farms close in south west Donegal."

The comments sparked anger among animal welfare groups. In the 12 November edition of the newspaper, it was reported that the MEP "has come in for strong criticism".

A letter to the MEP from Katy Falkingham of the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT Ireland) was quoted as follows: "You may not have empathy with your fellow creatures of this earth but you were elected to represent the Irish people, the overwhelming majority of whom are opposed to fur farming. You were elected to represent your constituents - if you cannot represent the view of the overwhelming majority, perhaps you should reconsider your position as an MEP."

Anti-fur farming campaigner, Laura Broxson of the National Animal Rights Association, also criticised MEP Gallagher. "Even if your conscience cannot grasp the concept of empathising with another living creature, please try to actually represent your country's sentiments and educate yourself on this issue before making such ignorant comments," she said. You can watch videos showing fur farming on the NARA website

In a letter to Mr Gallagher, ICABS highlighted the suffering endured by mink and foxes on Irish fur farms.

"Regardless of the small amount of jobs supported by this cruelty in Donegal or the euros it generates, nothing will ever change the fact that it is a disgraceful, disgusting, depraved industry and that those involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves," we stated.


Please ask Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher to stop defending fur farming and to withdraw his appeal to the government to reconsider its plans to phase out this disgusting industry.

Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher
Co. Donegal
or via
Tel: +353 (0)74 9521276.
Fax: +353 (0)74 9521133.

08. Revealed: Minister Gormley's licence for coursing cruelty

Despite appeals from Ireland and around the world, Green Party leader and Environment Minister, John Gormley, issued this licence for another season of hare coursing cruelty (2009-2010) -

The licence allows coursers to forcefully removes hares from the wild in nets for use as live lures before greyhounds.

Watch our campaign video at

09. New Campaign Leaflet: Ban digging out and terrierwork

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is continuing to call on the Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith, to outlaw the horrendous practices of digging out and terrierwork. We are urging all TDs and Senators to back a ban on these activities.

Brought to their attention is a new leaflet which conveys the cruelty of this barbaric activity. Please download and forward a copy of the leaflet to all your local politicians along with a letter of appeal for help in stopping this cruelty.

You can view the leaflet at

You can download the leaflet directly from


Minister Brendan Smith
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
CC: (Taoiseach, Brian Cowen), (Minister's Secretary) and; (Trevor Sargent, TD, Minister of State at the Dept of Agriculture) Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510. Fax: 01-661 1013.

Dear Minister Smith,

I support the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' call on you to urgently outlaw both digging out and terrierwork. These horrendous acts of cruelty are carried out by sadistic individuals and also by merciless foxhunting groups (when terrified foxes try to find refuge underground). There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for this shameful animal abuse and it must be stopped.

Please make it an offence NOW to dig out any animal or send terriers below ground to catch and attack animals under any circumstances. I also call on you to outlaw the use of packs of hounds to harass, attack, injure and/or kill any animal.

Thank you, Minister. I look forward to your positive response.

[Your Name and Location]

10. Offaly protest highlights suffering of hares

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports held a successful protest against hare coursing in Edenderry, Co Offaly on 18th October. We thank everyone who joined us for this important demonstration and all the local people who expressed support for our campaign.

The protest received front page coverage in the Offaly Topic newspaper [22nd October 2009], helping to remind thousands more Offaly residents that this cruel activity continues in their county.

You can see photos from the protest at

11. Renewed appeal: Ask Google to stop advertising foxhunting

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has appealed to Google to stop advertising foxhunting holidays in Ireland. A "Google Ad" invites readers to "experience the thrill of the chase". Please join our appeal to Google - respond to our action alert now.


Ask Google to stop displaying ads for foxhunting. Use the sample letter below or compose your own original letter. Thank you.

Mr John Herlihy
Vice President, Global Ad Operations
Google Dublin,
Google Ireland Ltd.
Gordon House
Barrow Street, Dublin 4
Email from:
[Paste your message into the box at bottom of page]
Tel: +353 (1) 436 1000
Fax: +353 (1) 436 1001

Dear Mr Herlihy,

I am horrified to see that one of the ads being displayed in "Ads by Google" is for the cruel and barbaric activity of foxhunting. ["Fox hunting in Ireland - Experience the thrill of the chase"]

I call on your company to immediately remove this ad on the grounds that it is promoting one of Ireland's worst acts of animal cruelty.

In foxhunting across Ireland, foxes are disturbed from their habitats, chased to exhaustion and torn apart by a pack of trained hounds. Foxes that manage to escape underground are dug out with spades while terriers are sent down to viciously attack them.

I invite you to view this short Irish Council Against Blood Sports campaign video which shows just some of the suffering involved:

I trust that after viewing this, Google will agree that foxhunting is disgusting animal cruelty. I hope, therefore, that you will act now to remove this ad and stop publicising foxhunting.

Thank you

Yours faithfully

12. Badger cull to curb bovine TB 'brutal'

Irish Times
Thu, Nov 12, 2009
Sean Mac Connell, Agriculture Correspondent

The killing of 7,000 Irish badgers last year to prevent the spread of bovine TB has been described as a "brutal pogrom" by Badgerwatch Ireland.

The group has called on Minister for the Environment John Gormley to halt the snaring and killing of the animals.

"Latest figures released by the Department of Agriculture show that almost 7,000 badgers were slaughtered by department trappers in 2008," said Badgerwatch.

"Close on 30,000 'reactor' cattle failed to pass the TB skin test for the same period, indicating a rise in TB levels over the previous six years," it said.

Badgerwatch Ireland said that in the last decade, more than 50,000 badgers had been killed by the department in "slaughter masquerading as science".

Last week the Department of Agriculture issued figures showing a 20 per cent decline in the number of cattle failing the bovine TB test this year.

It announced that a programme for vaccinating badgers against bovine TB had shown promising results and would continue.

13. Man jailed for neglect of greyhounds

Extract from "Carbury man jailed for neglect of greyhounds"
Leinster Leader, 28 October 2009

A Carbury man was jailed after two starving greyhounds were rescued from his home by the ISPCA. Judge Desmond Zaidan described the animal cruelty case before Kildare District Court last Thursday as disturbing.

Twenty-year-old Thomas Daly, of Ticknevin, Carbury, pleaded guilty before the court to two charges of cruelty to animals. Along with the sentence and fines, he was also told he would never be allowed to keep animals for the rest of his life.

Read the full story at:

14. Stop Snaring in Northern Ireland

The League Against Cruel Sports - - has produced a new postcard which highlights the cruelty of animal snaring in Northern Ireland. The card can be downloaded from

Please support this campaign by printing and posting the card and sending it to Minister Gildernew. Thank you.

Michelle Gildernew MLA
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SB
Northern Ireland

Telephone 028 905 24011
Fax 028 905 24170

15. Ecuadorian majority against bullfighting

An opinion poll carried out by CAS International and Proteccion Animal Ecuador has found that a majority of people in Ecuador are opposed to bullfighting.

The results of the Cedatos/Gallup International poll show that:

77% of Ecuadorians do not like bullfighting, 64% are against it, 91% think bulls and horses are maltreated and therefore suffer during bullfights, 68% think a national law should ban bullfighting in Ecuador and 60% would like their municipality to declare itself 'Anti-Bullfighting Municipality', just like 85 other municipalities in other bullfighting countries.

In December 2008, an opinion poll in Peru found that 68% of inhabitants are against bullfighting.

More information about the poll results at

16. Urge ShopRite to Stop Selling Glue Traps

Despite knowing that glue traps are among the most cruel traps on the market, US chain ShopRite continues to sell them. Animals who get stuck to glue traps suffer for days before they finally die of starvation, dehydration, self-mutilation, and shock. Patches of skin, fur, or feathers are torn from their bodies as they frantically struggle to escape the relentless adhesive.

Send a letter to the company from:

17. Campaign Quotes

"Hunting has a major battle for survival on its hands. For all of us who live in the countryside and love and enjoy country sports the time has come to make our voice heard. Please make your voice heard by contacting your local TD and or writing to your local papers." October 15th, 2009, Hunting Association of Ireland website

"A family is horrified by the actions of a huntsman who they claim insulted their seven-year-old daughter. A man on horseback dressed in hunting pink is said to have stuck his middle finger up at Tia Pearce when she shouted: 'Get out of our garden!' Tia, who was shocked and upset by the gesture, said she was trying to convey her feelings when a pack of hounds got into the front garden of her home in Piddletrenthide." (Row over hunt 'insult' in Piddletrenthide,, 26th November 2009)

"They [Tipperary Foxhounds] met at the Rock of Cashel on Thursday for Hoare Abbey. Following a pre-Christmas stirrup cup and mince pies, from Mr Ray Morrissey's Supervalu in Cashel, hounds quickly had a fox to ground on the old Cashel Racecourse." from 23rd November 2009

"Coillte Teoranta, The Irish Forestry Board, currently invite tenders for licences to hunt Game and Deer on areas of their forest estate." Countryside Alliance website July 2009.

"Here, unfortunately, as huntsman, Derry Donegan, having dismounted received a severe kick from his horse...Derry, we are glad to report, is making good progress from the two broken ribs he suffered in the unfortunate mishap. He will be out of action for a few weeks." November 6th, Hunting Association of Ireland website

"Few people in Europe ever get to see a badger. Rather than killing these handsome animals, the largest carnivore we have, should we not be celebrating them along with our Irish hares, pine martens, otters, red squirrels, seals and dolphins as part of an environmental tourism product? If we don't value our wildlife how can we expect others to?" (Wrong to blame badgers for spread of bovine TB by Chris Murphy, The Irish News, 30/10/09)

"The size of a fox's territory varies from as little as 25 - 50 acres to well over 250 acres. The resident foxes sometimes live in pairs, but a single fox can sometimes join with several vixens to form a larger group when food is plentiful and harassment by man is infrequent." Irish Peatland Conservation Council website

"Insects with minuscule brains may be as intelligent as much bigger animals and may even have consciousness, it was claimed today. Having a brain the size of a pinhead does not necessarily make you less bright, say researchers. Computer simulations show that consciousness could be generated in neural circuits tiny enough to fit into an insect's brain, according to the scientists at Queen Mary, University of London and Cambridge University." Daily Mail, 17th November 2009.

"The Marsh Fritillary, Euphydras aurinia, is the only Irish butterfly species protected under the EU Habitats Directive. Once widespread, this species declined severely during the 20th century due to loss of uncultivated grasslands; overgrazing on remaining habitat; and its requirement for extensive habitat area and wildlife corridors. It is now considered one of the most endangered species in Europe so the Irish population is of international importance." NPWS website -

"An international research team including scientists from the Tyndall National Institute [in Cork] have developed a highly sensitive toxicity testing system. They believe it could provide a replacement for animal testing in toxicity screening...Tyndall researchers led by Dr Eric Moore developed the biosensors for the system, which he believes has the potential to replace animal testing." Irish Times, December 1, 2009.

"Wearing nothing but earrings and appearing next to the tagline "Fur? I'd Rather Go Naked", Suzanne McCabe [a finalist for Miss Universe Ireland in 2008] is sure to make anyone who sees her ad think twice before they buy or wear fur. The ad debuts in the wake of the Republic of Ireland's announcement that fur farming will be phased out in the country over the next three years. Suzanne and Ireland are setting an example that every person and every country in the world should follow, because there's nothing 'beautiful' about fur", says PETA's Poorva Joshipura. "On fur farms - where minks pace frantically and bite and chew at themselves because of the frustration of being confined to a tiny cage - life is as ugly as it gets."

"Magpies feel grief and even hold funeral-type gatherings for their fallen friends and lay grass 'wreaths' beside their bodies, an animal behaviour expert has claimed. 'It's bad biology to argue against the existence of animal emotions,' [Dr Bekoff of the University of Colorado] said." The Telegraph, 21 Oct 2009.

"A shock anti-animal torture billboard has been put up in Haringey using the mugshot of Baby P killer Stephen Barker. The two-week campaign being run by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals carries the chilling message: People who are violent toward animals rarely stop there...It was revealed that Barker enjoyed torturing guinea pigs and skinned frogs before breaking their legs. He had also previously been prosecuted by the RSPCA for cruelty to animals. Barker was jailed for life on May 22, 2009, for his role in Baby Peter's death and for raping a 2-year-old girl." Haringey Independent, 8th October 2009.

18. Letters to Editors

Animal abuse is no surprise
Irish Independent - November 12 2009

The sickening cruelty to swans on a stretch of the River Barrow in Co Carlow, where teenagers stoned the birds and inflicted horrific injuries, is part of a pattern of abuse extending across the whole country.

A dog was doused with petrol, set alight, and tossed over a wall in Finglas (Irish Independent, November 10).

Not a day passes without us hearing about animals being ill-treated in one way or another. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of these incidents should contact the gardai.

I blame to some extent the fact that we have legal cruelty to animals in the form of so-called field sports like hare coursing, fox hunting and stag hunting.

It's not easy telling children that cruelty to animals is wrong when adults are seen to deliberately torture or terrorise animals for fun.

John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny

'Much more needs to be done for animal rights'
Donegal Democrat - 10 November 2009

Sir, Ireland's hunting with hound community is scared witless about the march of the animal rights movement to victory in their war on animal abuse. Never in their lifetime did animal hunters think that their killing activities would end up on the political agenda.

After years of hard slog and effort animal rights/welfare issues are ensconced on the political radar in this country. It can only be a matter of time before Ireland becomes on par with the rest of the world and establishes an animal rights/welfare legislative framework that gives legal protection and respect to the non-human members of our society.

But we are not celebrating just yet. Much more needs to be done to remove animal abuse from our society. The hunting element of this abuse clings on limpet style while fouling our countryside with its odious footprint.

Members of Ireland's hunting movement cannot fathom animal rights/welfare issues because to them being cruel is a natural reflex action. Through the evil prism of hunting they cannot get the fact that there is a live breathing animal fighting for its life.

It falls to the animal rights movement to effect change and we will not be found wanting.

John Tierney, Campaigns Director, Association of Hunt Saboteurs, PO Box 4734 Dublin 1.

FF plan is as mad as a March hare
Irish Independent - October 28 2009

What have hares and drink drivers got in common? Both, it seems, enjoy the peculiar "protection" afforded by the Fianna Fail party.

In recent days, we have been hearing rumblings of dissent within Fianna Fail about the proposed reduction of the drink-driving limit, culminating in the Myles Na gCopaleen-like suggestion from one TD that sure maybe a drink might calm a driver's nerves and make him more relaxed on the road.

A few weeks ago, Fianna Fail backbenchers were threatening a revolt over the Green Party's alleged intention to include a hare-coursing ban in the revised Programme for Government. Fianna Fail strongly supports hare coursing, and claims that the practice actually benefits the hare.

But both species have something else in common too. Drink drivers, like coursed hares, may find themselves swerving, turning, and dodging to avoid serious death or injury.

The person behind the wheel "under the influence" is liable to end up like the "protected" Fianna Fail-backed hare at a baiting event: badly shaken up, a lot of bones broken, and very possibly dead.

The deputies may mean well, but to me the suggestion that we accept drink driving as beneficial to society is as mad as a March hare.

John Fitzgerald, Callan, Co Kilkenny

FF rebels fighting wrong cause
Irish Examiner - October 28, 2009

One shouldn't be too surprised to hear that Fianna Fail backbenchers are threatening a revolt. You'd expect a development like that given our frightful economic emergency. But it's not over government policy or proposals on any of these or other weighty issues that the Soldiers of Destiny are grumbling.

It's the prospect of the drink/driving limit being further reduced. They fear this move would spell the death-knell for the fabric of life and culture in rural Ireland, seemingly overlooking the fact that very few people ever go out for one drink anyway.

As a rule, they either drink no alcohol when driving or give the keys to someone else, hire a taxi, or make other arrangements.

So Transport Minister Noel Dempsey's proposal would make very little difference to the status quo of social life in any part of Ireland, rural or urban. And there's one very likely positive consequence of the proposed change that these brave rebels don't seem to have considered ... that it just might save some precious lives. Earlier this month, the FF foot-soldiers also threatened a revolt, again over a perceived impending threat to the rural way of life. When the Green party mulled over the possible inclusion of a hare-coursing ban in the revised programme for government, Deputy Ned O'Keeffe warned that he and other backbenchers would act decisively to block any such move.

The preservation of the right to drink more while driving and the freedom to watch hares being terrorised for fun would therefore seem to be of greater concern to these politicians than any of the measures that will affect, for better or worse, the lives of millions of Irish people for generations.

Is it really possible that publicans and coursing clubs have more influence over FF backbenchers than the trade union movement, pensioners, the jobless, the sick, victims of negative equity, the news media and any other grouping or lobby one cares to mention?

If so, then we can be sure it's not just rumour or speculation Fianna Fail is truly revolting.

John Fitzgerald, Lr Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny

19. Say NO to bullrunning in new Tom Cruise film

CAS International is calling on people to contact 20th Century Fox and Tom Cruise to protest against plans to include bullrunning scenes in the upcoming movie, 'Knight & Day'.

The film-makers want to recreate Pamplona bullrun scenes and are chasing bulls through the streets of Cadiz and into the bullring of Sevilla. It is feared that the presence of bullrunning in a Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz film will generate additional interest in the cruel activity and bring more tourists to the area to participate. More information on the CAS website


Please send a sample letter to Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz from:

20. Top Ten Tweets

Follow ICABS on Twitter -

Here are our top ten tweets from the past month. Please re-tweet them and help increase support for our action alerts. Thank you.

Some of the world's worst cruelty takes place in Ireland. Please help us stop it and save foxes from suffering

Ban on deer hunts using hounds a step closer. Irish Times report:

Landowners in Dublin and Meath. Please display this 'Ward Union Unwelcome' poster

Join us in asking the producers of an Irish TV comedy to stop trivialising dogfighting

Hare Sanctuary - No Coursing, No Hunting. Help the Hare by displaying this poster and keeping hunters out

Fox Friendly Farm (A3 anti-hunt poster) Please print, laminate + display on boundaries of your land

Ireland's National Parks and Wildlife Service. Please contact them now about breaches of Wildlife Act

Tell Irish forestry company -Coillte- to ban hunters from forests. Email msg to Campaign Video:

New "Ban Blood Sports" car bumper sticker. Please purchase and help highlight our campaign. Thank you.

Google continue to show ads for hunting. Please send "STOP ADVERTISING CRUEL HUNTING IN IRELAND" from

Animal Voice Magazine: Please download and distribute

Issue 11 of Animal Voice is available to download and view in magazine format. Please read, respond to action alerts, download and forward to your friends.

The magazine can be viewed at

You can also download it directly from [pdf, 1.5Mb]

Help the hares: Display our poster

Please download, laminate and display our "No hare netting, coursing, hunting on my property" poster - If coursers, hare netters or hare hunters trespass on to your land, please call the Gardai and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Top ways you can help the campaign

  • Join our email list (and encourage friends to join) and respond to our Action Alerts. Email "Subscribe" to
  • Become a campaign supporter and make a donation to help fund our efforts.
  • Contact your local politicians and ask them to support a ban on blood sports.
  • Be our friend on MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and Youtube
  • Sign up for our free text alert service and receive occasional campaign updates to your phone. To subscribe to this free service, simply text the word GO to our textline on 00 353 86 038 6617.
  • Link to our website and display one of our banners.
  • Monitor blood sports meetings in your area and provide us with photos, video and reports.
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper about the cruelty of blood sports
  • petitions
  • Organise a fund-raiser to help raise funds for the campaign
  • Set up an online anti-blood sports group (Myspace, Bebo, Facebook, etc) to cover your area.
  • Download, print and display our posters and leaflets
  • Set up an information stand at your school/library/youth group/adult group, etc
  • Introduce your friends to our website and encourage them to get involved.
  • Simply keeping your ear to the ground. about any blood-sport related incidents in your area.

Please make a donation to ICABS

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports relies entirely on your generosity to continue our campaigning for an end to blood sport cruelty. Please become a supporter of our work today - click on "Shop" at for more details or send a cheque to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

Keep hunters off your land

Make it known publicly that your land is off-limits to hunters. Place a preservation notice in your local newspaper now. Here is a sample notice that you may wish to use: "Take notice that all my lands at [Insert address(es) of land] are private and preserved day and night. All forms of hunting and shooting are strictly prohibited. Trespassers will be prosecuted. Signed [Insert name(s) of landowner]" For more information, click on Farmers at

Tune in to the ICABS Channel

Footage of blood sport cruelty and the humane alternatives can be viewed on the ICABS Channel on Youtube - or by clicking on "Videos" at Please ask your local TD/Senator to view our videos and back a blood sports ban.

Animal Voice - Subscribe

To receive "Animal Voice" by email every month, please send "Animal Voice - Subscribe" to

Top | Newsletters | Home