Animal Voice: Issue 4 - April 2011
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this edition:

01. Ricky Gervais says NO to export of Irish greyhounds to China
02. Protest against exportation of greyhounds to China
03. Petition: Sign and say NO to Irish greyhound export
04. Opinion Poll: 99 per cent say NO to export of dogs to China
05. Minister Shatter urged to push for blood sports ban
06. ICABS again assured that Labour does not support ban reversal
07. Socialist Party support for ban on hare coursing
08. NPWS asked to investigate Ward Union "still hunting" claim
09. Ireland's Golden Eagle Trust encouraging destruction of foxes and birds
10. Renewed Appeal: Ask FBD Insurance to stop covering cruel hunters
11. Complaint to Church over TV3 hunt prayer
12. Mercedes takes note of ICABS concerns
13. Brian May pays tribute to ICABS founding member, Dick Power
14. An Appreciation of Dick Power RIP
15. Dick Power: Irish Times Obituary
16. Atlas of Mammals in Ireland launched
17. National Frog Survey of Ireland web page
18. Ask Glastonbury Festival to cancel mock bullfight
19. Tell Google to drop dogfighting app
20. Launch of ground-breaking Journal of Animal Ethics
21. Fox 'Dubs' leave den for the first time - 2km from O'Connell Street
22. Badger vaccine pilot project planned for Devon
23. Cruelty conviction for Donegal man who castrated neighbour's dog
24. 13,700 deer shot in County Wicklow
25. Complaint to Italian Embassy about cruel ox race
26. Campaign Quotes
27. Letters to Editors
28. Petitions

01. Ricky Gervais says NO to export of Irish greyhounds to China

Comedian and Hollywood star, Ricky Gervais, has condemned plans by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) to send thousands of greyhounds to China, where they face a "dire and unthinkable" future.

In a front page Irish Sunday Times report at the weekend, Mr Gervais said he is "extremely concerned for these dogs".

"It is bad enough that many greyhounds are killed and injured through commercial racing in the UK and Ireland and other parts of the world," he said. "Now the Irish greyhound racing industry wants to expand and send greyhounds to China."

According to the Dublin SPCA, Irish greyhounds could face a "dire and unthinkable" future if sent to China. "It is clear that this initiative is being pursued with no consideration for the welfare of greyhounds," it says in a statement on its website, expressing fears that the welfare of dogs would be "severely compromised".

The authors of a petition on the Care2 petition site echo this, saying they are "horrified that the IGB would even consider conducting business in a country with such a terrible record for animal abuse - where dogs are both skinned alive for their fur and killed for human consumption".

They go on to highlight the appalling abuse and neglect that greyhounds already suffer in Ireland:

"Each year the industry breeds between 20,000 and 30,000 dogs with no statutory provi­sion for welfare and it is estimated that 8,000 greyhound puppies - either too slow or which will not chase the mechanical lure - 'disappear down a black hole' before even reaching the Irish tracks. Despite the strenuous efforts of greyhound rescue groups in Ireland - every year many thousands of healthy young greyhounds are callously killed by their breeders/trainers or dumped in pounds - where as 'hand-ins', they are put to sleep almost immediately. In 2008 County Clare dog pound destroyed 273 and County Kerry dog pound destroyed a further 259 greyhounds - a total of 532 in just two of Ireland's 26 counties. A big thumbs up to Ricky Gervais for speaking out against the IGB's deplorable plan and bringing it into the international spotlight. Please follow his good example. Get involved by signing the petition below and responding to the action alert. Thank you.


Urgently contact the Department of Agriculture and demand that they block any move to export Irish greyhounds to China. Please send a copy to all your local TDs.

Minister Simon Coveney
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Tel: 00353 (0)1 618 3753

SAMPLE LETTER (If you have time, please compose your own personal letter.)

Dear Minister Coveney,

I am contacting you to express my total opposition to the IGB's plan to export thousands of Irish greyhounds to China.

I share the fears of animal welfare groups in Ireland, the UK and around the world that this move would pose a severe threat to the welfare of our greyhounds.

Several countries refuse to sell greyhounds to China, a country where animal abuse horrors include the skinning of dogs alive. Any move by Ireland to export dogs to China would prove highly detrimental to our country's international image.

I hope that as well as blocking this horrendous export plan, you will prioritise tackling the cruelty which already exists within the greyhound industry in Ireland, e.g the killing and abandonment of thousands of greyhounds every year, the blooding of greyhounds on live animals and the use of hares as lures for greyhounds in coursing.

Thank you. I eagerly await your prompt and positive reply.

Yours Sincerely,

[Name / Location]

Please send a copy of your letter to all your local TDs and urge them to intervene on your behalf.

Find out the name of your TDs and their Email addresses.

Posting a letter? Write to your TDs at:
Dail Eireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

02. Protest against exportation of greyhounds to China

Please attend a demonstration at the Department of Agriculture, this Thursday, 28th April from 12.30-2pm.

Assemble outside Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin.

For more details, visit the website of Limerick Animal Welfare

or see the protest poster at

03. Petition: Sign and say NO to Irish greyhound export

Please sign this petition and pass the link on to friends

Say NO to Greyhound Exports to China

04. Opinion Poll: 99 per cent say NO to export of dogs to China

A Dublin SPCA opinion poll is showing that a vast majority are against the exportation of Irish greyhounds to China. The poll asks: "Should the Irish Government allow greyhounds to be exported from Ireland to China?" The current result stands at 99 per cent voting NO to the plan.

Cast your vote now at

05. Minister Shatter urged to push for blood sports ban

Former ICABS President, and current Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, has been urged to push for bans on foxhunting and hare coursing. Please join our appeal to Minister Shatter to use his influence to end cruelty in Ireland.

On his website, Minister Shatter proudly notes that he was "for many years President of the Irish Council against Blood Sports". He is on record as saying: "I am totally opposed to hunting wild animals with dogs."

In 1993, he defied the party whip to support the late Deputy Tony Gregory's Bill which aimed to outlaw hare coursing.

In a letter to Minister Shatter this month, ICABS urges him to use his influence within the party to push for a ban on all forms of hunting wild animals with dogs, including foxhunting, hare hunting and hare coursing.

You can help by responding to our action alert below. Thank you.


Contact Minister Alan Shatter now. Encourage him, as a former ICABS president and anti-hunt TD, to push for a ban on hunting and coursing.

Minister Alan Shatter
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
94 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2

Email: (CC
Tel: 016183911

Please also contact your local TDs and urge them to support legislation to ban blood sports.

Find out the name of your TDs and their Email addresses.

Write to your TDs at:
Dail Eireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

06. ICABS again assured that Labour does not support ban reversal

The personal assistant to An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore, has reiterated that the Labour Party "do not support reversal of the ban" on the cruel Ward Union deerhunt.

In an email to ICABS on April 19th, the assistant also emphasised that "the Programme for Government contains no commitment to reverse the ban on stag hunting."

ICABS welcomes this latest reassurance from the office of the Labour Party leader, Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Please contact Eamon Gilmore and welcome his statement. Urge him and his party colleagues to push for bans on foxhunting and hare coursing while in government.

Eamon Gilmore TD
Labour Party Leader
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade
Dail Eireann
Dublin 2

Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail)
Fax: 01 6184574
Mobile: 087 2200495

For details of Labour Party TDs, please visit and choose TDs in the "Find By Category" dropdown list.

The Labour Party
17 Ely Place
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 678 4700
Fax: 01 661 2640

07. Socialist Party support for ban on hare coursing

Socialist Party TD, Clare Daly, has said that the party is in favour of a ban on hare coursing and will oppose any attempt to bring back stag hunting in Ireland.

"We in the Socialist Party oppose stag hunting and the inherent cruelty of hunting animals purely for human enjoyment," Deputy Daly stated in an email. "We will oppose any attempt to overturn the ban from within the Dail."

She added: "We also support the banning of hare coursing and we would be in favour of legislation which aimed to do so."

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports welcomes this positive statement as we continue to press all parties to support legislation banning blood sports.

Socialist Party TD, Joe Higgins has previously called on the Environment Minister to refuse licences for coursing. "I am opposed to the hunting of foxes by hounds as indeed I am opposed to live hare coursing," Deputy Higgins is on record as saying.

In 2007, as a Councillor, Clare Daly proposed a successful motion to ban the use of wild animals in circuses on land owned by Fingal County Council. The final wording of the agreed motion was: "That Fingal County Council support the introduction of by-laws or other measures which would ensure that circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of the local authority area, in light of the well-documented evidence of suffering endured by the animals involved and the serious animal welfare issues raised."


Contact all your local TDs and urge them to support legislation banning coursing, foxhunting and all blood sports. Tell them that you want them to stop any attempt to reverse the widely welcomed ban on stag hunting.

Find out the name of your TDs and their Email addresses.

Write to your TDs at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

08. NPWS asked to investigate Ward Union "still hunting" claim

ICABS has asked the National Parks and Wildlife Service to investigate a claim by Meath TD, Shane McEntee, that members of the Ward Union deerhunt are "still hunting".

In a 1st February 2011 Dail debate, Deputy McEntee stated: "[Minister John Gormley] did not get to ban the Ward Union after all his talk. Its members are still hunting."

The Ward Union hunt, involving the chasing of a domesticated deer with a pack of hounds, was banned in June 2010, after Minister Gormley's Wildlife Amendment Bill won majority support in Dail Eireann.


If you have information about any post-ban deerhunting activities, please immediately contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service - - Tel: 01-8882000 or LoCall 1890-202 021. Thank you.

09. Ireland's Golden Eagle Trust encouraging destruction of foxes and birds

ICABS has called on the Golden Eagle Trust to stop presenting foxes as pests and encouraging farmers to shoot them. The group has also been criticised for suggesting the use of cruel Larsen traps for capturing foxes and magpies.

On its website, the Trust perpetuates the myth that foxes pose a threat to sheep farming. In a section headed "Eagle Friendly Farming", they warn farmers that the use of poison (which has caused eagle deaths) is now illegal and that instead of poisoning foxes, farmers should shoot them instead.

They state: "We would appeal to landowners to consider the following methods...Shooting - this is the safest and best means of controlling foxes as only problem animals are killed. Local guns club may offer a fox control service to farmers."

The Trust has also been criticised for suggesting the use of Larsen Traps - cage traps that have been condemned by the RSPCA as "inherently cruel".

In an appeal to Golden Eagle project manager, Lorcan O'Toole, ICABS urged the Trust to stop encouraging the destruction of foxes and the use of cruel traps.

"The fox does not pose a major threat to agricultural interests," we stated. "Statistics from the Department of Agriculture show that all forms of predation account for a miniscule percentage of sheep deaths. It is inappropriate for the Golden Eagle Trust to magnify this, perpetuate the myth that foxes are a threat and encourage sheep farmers to engage in fox destruction. You should remember that many farmers consider the fox a friend, as it keeps down the numbers of rabbits and rodents."

"While we welcome your efforts to discourage illegal poisoning - which threatens animals, birds and humans - we find it saddening that you are encouraging the killing of our native wildlife by other methods."

"We find it ironic that a Golden Eagle group is encouraging farmers to turn to gun clubs, especially given the fact that the Golden Eagle was driven to extinction by hunting," we added.

In our submission, we drew attention to a statement from the National Parks & Wildlife Service who have said that "No matter what people think, foxes seldom kill and eat lambs."

Objecting to the Trust's suggestion that Larsen cage traps be used to kill crows and magpies, we pointed out that captured birds are brutally strangled to death. "Before being killed the birds are overcome with the fear and stress of confinement," we stated. "Some will suffer thirst, hunger and starvation while others will sustain broken beaks and cut heads from futile attempts to smash their way to freedom. When magpie and crow parents are caught, their orphaned chicks will starve to death in nests." Also criticised was the suggestion that foxes be captured in cages.


The truth about foxes
Magpie caught in cruel Larsen trap


Please join us now in our appeal to the Golden Eagle Trust to stop encouraging the destruction of Irish wildlife and the use of cruel cage traps.

Lorcan O'Toole
Golden Eagle Project Manager
Golden Eagle Trust Ltd
22 Fitzwilliam Square
Dublin 2
Tel: 087-1310177

Scan this QR Code to send text message

Please make a donation to ICABS

If you like our work, please consider making a donation. 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 made payable to ICABS to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

10. Renewed Appeal: Ask FBD Insurance to stop covering cruel hunters

FBD Insurance is offering cover to hunters who cause damage and injury during hunting activities. The company has been asked to scrap its pro-hunt policy.

In a booklet dealing with FBD Liability Insurance, a number of questions and answers are presented, including:

Q. I own a horse and go hunting - any cover here? A. The standard FBD Public Liability policy provides cover for damage caused to property or injuries caused to third parties while you are hunting on horseback.

Q. How are animals covered while away from the farm? For example, animals at shows, horses at shows or at the hunt A. You are covered under your public liability insurance for any injury or damage that these animals may cause to members of the public or their property

ICABS has complained to FBD about its pro-hunt policy. In a letter to CEO, Andrew Langford, we stated:

"By offering coverage to hunters, your company is facilitating the continuation of foxhunting - an extremely cruel and barbaric activity that a majority of Irish people want made illegal. Hunting involves the terrorisation of foxes - a pack of hounds and a group of hunters chase the defenceless animals to exhaustion. When caught by the hounds, foxes are ripped apart. Those that try to find refuge underground are dug out with spades and thrown to the hounds."

For a company with its roots in the agricultural sector, it is ironic that FBD is facilitating an activity which

We hope that FBD Insurance will show compassion for the foxes, and the farmers plagued by hunts, and immediately scrap this hunt cover.


Urge FBD to stop accommodating those involved in animal cruelty and scrap its pro-hunt policy.

Andrew Langford
Group Chief Executive
FBD Insurance
Bluebell, Dublin 12

Tel: Locall 1890 617 617

ICABS advises anyone who experiences hunt trespass to immediately contact the Gardai and urge them to prosecute. We also recommend that legal advice is sought with a view to pursuing a claim for compensation. In all cases, take photos and/or video of the trespass and damage. For more information, please click on "Farmers" at

11. Complaint to Church over TV3 hunt prayer

ICABS has complained to Church authorities after a member of the clergy was shown on a TV3 documentary saying prayers at the beginning of a foxhunt.

On "The Truth About Irish Blood Sports" (TV3, March 22), viewers were shown an unidentified cleric praying for the safety of Laois hunters before they set out in pursuit of foxes. During the programme, we were told that foxes targeted by hunts are savagely mauled by the pack of hounds and suffer broken backs and necks.

The hunt prayer scene can be seen on the TV3 Website (forward to the 13 minute, 20 second mark).

In correspondence to church authorities, ICABS expressed disappointment about the pre-hunt prayer and stressed that associating with hunts is inappropriate.

"The clergy should denounce hunting and all forms of cruelty to God's creatures and spread a message of compassion," we added.


Please join us in urging the President of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference to act to end clergy involvement in blood sports.

Cardinal Sean Brady
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
President, Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference
Ara Coeli, Armagh BT61 7QY
Tel: 048 3752 2045 (from the Republic)
Tel: +44 (0)28 3752 2045
Fax: +44 (0)28 3752 6182

Send a copy of your correspondence to the Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza
Apostolic Nuncio
The Apostolic Nunciature
183 Navan Road, Dublin 7
Tel: +353 (0)1 838 0577
Fax: +353(0)1 838 0276

12. Mercedes takes note of ICABS concerns

Mercedes Ireland has told ICABS that our concerns about the appearance of an advert for a Vito van in a coursing booklet have been noted.

The full-page colour advert for Tipperary-based Mercedes dealer, Surehaul Ireland, was included in the coursing booklet for the coursing finals in Clonmel in February.

ICABS has called on Mercedes to act to prevent its name, logo and products from being included in any future coursing booklets. We highlighted the cruelty involved and outlined that a majority of Irish people want coursing outlawed and that it is already illegal in our neighbouring jurisdictions.

A Mercedes Benz spokesperson stated in reply: "Your comments have been duly noted and will be passed on to our marketing department."

13. Brian May pays tribute to ICABS founding member, Dick Power

Anti-blood sports rock legend, Brian May, has paid tribute to ICABS founding member, Richard (Dick) Power, who sadly passed away last month. "I'd like to pay tribute to this amazing man, whose courage and humanity shines out like a beacon, proving that the countryside does not have to be cruel," the Queen guitarist says in his blog.

Next to a photo of Dick, Brian states:

"I love looking at this man's face, in the picture, and wish so much I had met him. You look into his eyes, as I have looked into the eyes of so many farmers now, and country people, and you wonder how his mind works.

"He could be just another man who was content to carry in just as his forbears did, and his neighbours, and turn a blind eye to things that 'didn't seem quite right'. But he listened to his own feelings about what is right, and what isn't, and had the courage to speak up against what he knew was cruel and unacceptable behaviour.

"I hope the Farming newspapers publish an article like this (please click on link to the Irish Times) on Richard Power - if only to alert the good farmers out there to the fact that they CAN have the courage to stand up against tradition. But also to give credit due to this great human being.

"Long may his voice be heard. RIP Richard Power"

ICABS has thanked Brian May for his kind tribute to Dick.

14. An Appreciation of Dick Power RIP

by Philip Lynch
Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass

My late friend Dick Power of Ballyneety, County Limerick, was a man who abhorred acts of cruelty to animals... and to farmers.

He wrote many an enlightened article in the national and local papers, appealing for legislation to end the tearing apart of defenceless animals in the name of sport.

Being a farmer of ability himself, he was always concerned with the hardship inflicted by the fox hunting trespassers on his fellow farmers, also in the name of sport.

These vandals trampled and broke these protective fences and destroyed the life-giving crops, in addition to terrorising and often cruelly killing livestock.

Dick was an exemplary Christian who strove to love his neighbour as Christ directed him.

He hungered and thirsted for justice, as urged by the Gospel; in his case for farmers who had suffered so much injustice and loss as a result of fox hunting.

Dick was a man of great compassion who appreciated the wonders, multi-faceted landscapes, and the abundant wildlife that forms an essential part of God's wonderful creation.

He was conscious of man's duty to protect all of God's creatures while still using them for man's use and benefit.

He was a hard working farmer who loved to see the shine of health in his well fed from disease and injury. This was his life's calling.

He wished to see as his legacy an end to wanton cruelty to either man or beast.

He failed to see why Drag Hunting could not satisfy the fox hunters and offer them as much fun and recreation.

This alternative, he believed, would demonstrate greater respect for the farmer, his property, his livestock and his the true spirit of Christian tolerance.

May the sod of Ballyneety that he cultivated lie soft upon his earthy frame and may the lord welcome him with these words.

"Well done.

"Thou good and faithful servant...welcome to the place prepared for you."

May he rest in peace.

His admirer and friend,

Philip P Lynch
Farmers Against Foxhunting And Trespass
Callan, Co. Kilkenny

15. Dick Power: Irish Times Obituary

Farmer and campaigner against blood sports
Irish Times, April 9, 2011

Richard Power, who has died aged 84, was the last surviving founder member of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS).

With like-minded people such as comedienne Maureen Potter and actors John Cowley and Desmond Perry, he founded the organisation in 1966, remaining an active member until his death.

In the run-up to last year's Dáil debate on stag hunting, he reminded campaigners and TDs alike that St Eustace had been an avid stag hunter prior to his conversion to Christianity, after which the future saint renounced both the persecution of Christians and the hunting of stags with hounds.

A story he enjoyed recounting was of how St Patrick rescued a fawn from a deer hunt in the sixth century.

Born in Monaleen, Castletroy, Co Limerick, in 1927, he was the son of Patrick Power and his wife Nora (nee Noonan).

Educated locally and by the Jesuits at the Crescent (now Mungret) College, from 1955 he farmed at Boherlode, Ballyneety, Co Limerick.

He attended his first coursing meeting when he was nine. He recalled that he always felt there was something "wrong or inappropriate" about these events, but kept his reservations to himself.

One incident that remained fixed in his mind was hearing a coursing club official advising a dispatcher to turn his back to the crowd while finishing off a dying hare, in order not to give the sport a bad reputation.

His wife was from a hunting background, and he accompanied her to a number of hunt meets in the mid-1950s. One afternoon he observed a hunt in full flight from a vantage point on a hill close to the family farm. He saw the fox run outside the farm boundary, making a speedy U-turn in a bid to elude the pursuing pack of hounds.

But the exhausted creature slowed down and the dogs caught up with it, tearing it to pieces. What disturbed him about the incident was that the particular fox had been released from a sack for the hunt - a "bagman", in hunting jargon. And he was equally disturbed by the practice of hunt followers smearing the fox's blood on their faces.

In the 1950s, however, tradition held sway to the extent that few people in Ireland were prepared to speak out against blood sports. And it was a tradition that enjoyed some clerical backing.

An encounter with a "dog-collared" huntsman prompted him to study church history. Subsequently, in magazine articles, and in correspondence with newspapers, he drew attention to early synods and councils of the Christian church that denounced animal cruelty.

He emphasised that while God gave dominion of his creatures to man, man's dominance over them is not absolute; the integrity of creation had to be respected.

It was his belief that blood sports enthusiasts reject drag hunting as an alternative to hunting live quarry because it fails to "satisfy the desire to punish a fellow creature, the desire to put death in the place of life".

As a farmer he worked with animals all his life. In his latter years he fed foxes that strayed on to his farm, a practice he happily defended to those who questioned his kindness to an animal often portrayed as a dangerous pest.

And, while mindful of the welfare of lambs and poultry, he argued that foxhunts often posed a greater threat to livestock and farm property than the fox itself.

In retirement he continued to help out with the feeding of livestock and other farm chores, driving a tractor in all seasons even after a quadruple bypass operation.

Deeply religious, he attended the Tridentine Mass at St Patrick's Church in Limerick every Sunday, and was a devoted member of the Third Order of St Dominic (Lay Dominicans).

Predeceased by his wife Carmel (née Conway) in 2001, he is survived by his sons Martin and Pat and daughters Mary and Cora.

Richard Power: born 1927; died March 22nd, 2011

16. Atlas of Mammals in Ireland launched

Source: The National Biodiversity Data Centre

The National Biodiversity Data Centre has launched a new Atlas of Irish Mammals survey which aims to map the distribution of all mammals found in Ireland and its territorial waters between now and 2015

For the first time ever, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Bat Conservation Ireland, Irish Wildlife Federation, and some of Ireland's leading mammal scientists have come together to collaborate on documenting the distribution of all 64 species of mammals that are known to occur in the Irish territory. This includes 27 species of land mammal, 10 bat species, 3 marine mammals and probably 24 cetacean (whales and dolphins). The National Biodiversity Data Centre is co-ordinating this network and providing an online portal and mapping system where this information is collated and presented in up to date distribution maps. Also shown is the distribution of over 45,000 mammal sightings made prior to 2010.

"This is an exciting initiative as it brings together the main mammal experts and organisations so that their knowledge can be pooled to gain a full understanding of the distribution of all mammals in Ireland," said Dr. Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre. "Although a great deal is known about some mammal species, and there are excellent schemes for collecting data on the bats and cetacean, information on other species, such as the Irish stoat and hedgehog is lacking. This initiative should fill the remaining gaps in our knowledge."

Members of the public are invited to submit online any sighting of mammals so that they can contribute to building up a comprehensive picture of where mammal species occur in Ireland. The survey will run until the end of 2015, by which time a comprehensive picture of the distribution of all Ireland's mammals will be produced.

Visit the Atlas of Mammals in Ireland website

17. National Frog Survey of Ireland web page

Source: NPWS

Amphibians (frogs, toads and newts) are one of the most threatened groups of organisms on earth, with a third of all species having suffered declines. Ireland has only one species of frog (Rana temporaria) which is a key part of Irish ecosystems as a predator of insects and other invertebrates, as well as itself being prey for other species.

The National Frog Survey of Ireland began in March 2010 and will run until November 2011. As well as producing an up to date map of frog distribution in Ireland, the survey will also examine the aquatic and terrestrial habitats used by frogs and gather information on the threats facing these habitats. Baseline data on the size of the national frog population will also be gathered against which future population changes can be compared. The survey is funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and will be carried out by National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers in partnership with Giorria Environmental Services, Quercus at Queen's University Belfast and the charity Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

The results of the survey will help fulfil obligations under the EU Habitats Directive and, ultimately, will help to ensure the long-term survival of frogs in Ireland.

To report a sighting of a frog, please click on the link at

18. Ask Glastonbury Festival to cancel mock bullfight

Please join the calls on Glastonbury to scrap plans to stage a bullfighting-themed event at this year's festival.

The festival is organising a mock bullfight which reportedly will feature a real matador from Portugal.

In an email to festival founder, Michael Eavis, ICABS stated: "It is inappropriate to trivialise what is one of the world's worst examples of animal cruelty, a display that it is feared may subsequently direct more people to real bullrings. It is particularly objectionable that there are plans to use an actual matador from Portugal."

We highlighted the animal cruelty perpetrated by matadors in Portugal. The bulls are taunted and injured and, despite the claim that it is not as bad as Spanish bullfighting, the terrorised animals can be seen with blood dripping from wounds.


Urge Glastonbury to drop the mock bullfight and avoid tainting their internationally acclaimed festival with a bullfighting-themed display.

Michael Eavis
Glastonbury Festival Office
28 Northload Street
Somerset BA6 9JJ


19. Tell Google to drop dogfighting app

Source: PETA

Google-owned Android Marketplace currently has an app for sale called "Dog Wars" which, believe it or not, glamorises dogfighting and encourages people to participate in a digital version of this blood "sport".

In the "pit" where these bloody events take place, sticks are used to pry apart the dogs, who clamp down so fiercely that it is not uncommon for dogs to bite through their own lips. Dogs are encouraged to fight to the death, and the fight can go on for hours-until both dogs are exhausted and at least one is seriously injured or dead. Many of the dogs who do not fight or who lose fights are used as "bait animals".

Please contact Google now and ask the company to remove the Dog Wars app immediately.

For more information and to sign a sample letter, visit:

20. Launch of ground-breaking Journal of Animal Ethics

A ground-breaking new journal covering the issue of animal ethics has been launched by a US and UK academic partnership with the goal of widening international debate about the moral status of animals. This month, the University of Illinois Press will publish the pioneering new Journal of Animal Ethics (JAE), the result of years of collaboration between the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and the University Press.

The Journal of Animal Ethics, which is to be published bi-annually in the summer and winter, is jointly edited by the internationally known theologian the Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University and Associate Director of the Centre. The JAE is the first academic journal in the world to include the phrase "animal ethics" in its title.

"For far too long, academics have been slow to contribute to the burgeoning public debate about animal ethics. This is an opportunity for them to make their contribution to a multidisciplinary journal that aims to put animal ethics on the academic map," said Professor Andrew Linzey. "We want to ensure that animals receive the academic attention they deserve."

The Journal comprises: full-length scholarly articles, "argument" pieces in which authors will advance a particular perspective (usually related to current affairs) or respond to a previous article, review or research report, as well as review articles and book reviews.

The JAE is devoted to the exploration of progressive thought about animals and is multidisciplinary in nature and international in scope. It covers theoretical and applied aspects of animal ethics that will be of interest to academics from both the humanities and the sciences, as well as professionals working in the field of animal protection. It aims to publish ground-breaking work written by new and established academics from a wide range of disciplines including anthropology, ethics, history, law, literature, linguistics, political theory, religion and science.

In the first issue of the JAE: David M. Lavigne and William S. Lynn address Canada's commercial seal hunt; Joel Marks writes on how animal suffering is unrecognised in research; Andrew Fenton and Frederic Gilbert question the use of animals in spinal cord research; Judith Benz-Schwarzburg and Andrew Knight examine the cognitive abilities of animals and asks how long they can be denied similar rights to humans; Grace Clement asks whether animals can be classed as "pets or meat"? Barbro Froding, Martin Peterson, and Mark J. Rowlands debate whether animal ethics should be based on friendship, and Jan Deckers and Jay B. McDaniel debate whether Whiteheadians should be vegetarians.

To subscribe to the Journal, please visit the Journal's website at Contributions to the Journal are welcomed and submission guidelines can be found on the website.

21. Fox 'Dubs' leave den for the first time - 2km from O'Connell Street

Irish Independent, April 23 2011
By Edel O'Connell

It looks like a classic countryside scene -- a vixen bringing her cubs above ground for the first time since their birth.

However, this is no rustic idyll as the scene is a mere 2km from Dublin's O'Connell Street.

This urban fox has been studied by wildlife photographer Paul Hughes for the past three years, but he won't reveal their exact location to protect the animals.

The curious fox cubs explored a small green area while their cautious mother looked on, allowing just enough time for the photographer to capture the adorable family up close.

The she-fox forages for her cubs in local rubbish bins and has raised her offspring on a diet of hot dogs, small rodents, half-eaten ham sandwiches and hamburgers.

Mr Hughes said: "This is the third year she has produced a litter, which is fantastic, and she has given birth to 16 cubs in total over the past three years.

"I know her by the scar across her nose. She is a great mother and is constantly finding food for her cubs. The first time I came across her was when she snatched two newly hatched cygnets from their mother."

PJ Doyle, from the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said urban foxes were on the decline since the introduction of wheelie bins, which dramatically cut off their food supply. However, he said foxes were still regularly seen near city centres and were often spotted roaming Dublin's Grafton Street and near Dail Eireann at night.

They have also been spotted near supermarkets and in small villages where there is a ready food supply.

Dave Wall, a zoologist with University College Dublin, said foxes were hugely adaptable.

In some densely populated areas of Dublin there are up to four or five fox families per square mile, he claimed.

"Food is readily available for foxes across Irish cities and people feed them.

"We often receive calls from four or five different people who are feeding the same fox in a suburban area. When they can't access food from the bins, foxes adapt and exist on insects and grass..."

22. Badger vaccine pilot project planned for Devon

The National Trust is to vaccinate badgers against TB this summer in a bid to curb the disease in cattle - the first UK landowner to do so. The trust hopes its £320,000, four-year project on Devon's Killerton estate will make the case for vaccination as an alternative to culling. Cattle (or bovine) tuberculosis costs the UK about £100m each year.

The government is set to approve badger culling in England soon, and the Welsh Assembly Government also plans a cull.

Continue reading at


Please appeal to Ireland's Agriculture Minister to show compassion and stop the cruel culling of badgers in this country. Tell him that a report stated that "badger culling apparently has the capacity to increase badger-to-badger transmission of infection, potentially undermining anticipated reductions in badger-to-cattle transmission."

Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Please write to the Minister for the Environment and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Remind them that the Wildlife Act, for which they are responsible, lists the badger as a protected species. Demand that they stop licensing the snaring and killing of thousands of badgers as part of a cruel and discredited TB eradication scheme.

Minister for the Environment
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House, Dublin 1.
Tel: 01 888 2403.
Fax: 01 878 8640.

Director, Licensing Unit
National Parks and Wildlife Service
7 Ely Place, Dublin 2
Email: Ciaran.O'
Tel: 01-888 3214

23. Cruelty conviction for Donegal man who castrated neighbour's dog

from the ISPCA website

A Donegal man who castrated his neighbour's dog with a rubber "lambing ring" was convicted of animal cruelty at Letterkenny District Court on Monday 13th December.

Eddie Flood of Cornasaul, Termon pleaded guilty to the charge that he caused suffering to the pet terrier dog of his neighbour Frank McGettigan of Meanreagh, Termon in September 2009. Mr. Flood claimed that his thoroughbred border collies were being pestered by the animal which was allowed to roam freely, an allegation denied by Mr. McGettigan.

ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley and Garda Sergeant Oliver Moran approached Flood who initially denied any knowledge of the incident but later provided a statement admitting that, after becoming sick of the terrier visiting his yard, he caught the dog and put the rubber ring on it using a set of pliers.

Some days later the dog became unwell at which time Mr. McGettigan brought it to a vet incurring over €200 in vet's fees. The dog has since been given away as Mr. McGettigan feared for its safety.

Judge Seamus Hughes said it was a very serious charge that can carry a prison sentence. He ordered Flood to pay the €230 veterinary bill and €500 in compensation to Mr. McGettigan for the loss of his dog. Sentencing was adjourned until March 14th 2011.

Inspector McGinley said: "We are pleased with the successful outcome of this case. There is absolutely no excuse for causing this level of suffering to any animal."

24. 13,700 deer shot in County Wicklow

A Dail Question has revealed that at least 13,700 deer were blasted to death by shooters in County Wicklow during the 2009-2010 hunting season. The 25 January 2011 Dail question appears below...

Billy Timmins (Wicklow, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the estimated number of wild deer in County Wicklow for the years 2000 and 2010; the number of deer officially culled during both of these years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3794/11]

Eamon O Cuiv (Minister, Department of Social and Family Affairs; Minister, Department of Defence; Galway West, Fianna Fail): As counting deer in afforested areas is highly prone to error, there is no reliable estimate of the deer population in Wicklow. The most recent estimate of the deer population in Wicklow Mountains National Park, which is largely an open landscape, was 2,800 in 2009. The number of wild deer culled in County Wicklow, based on figures provided by licensed deer hunters to my Department for the 2009/2010 season, was almost 13,700. This compares with just over 4,200 during the 1999/2000 hunting season.

25. Complaint to Italian Embassy about cruel ox race

ICABS has complained to the Italian Ambassador to Ireland about an animal cruelty event in Southern Italy. The Chieuti annual oxcart race involves the chasing and abuse of oxen along a 3-mile course.

After a blessing of teams by the local priest, pairs of oxen are forced to pull four carts at speed. Riders on horseback use spiked lances to spur the oxen along a gruelling course through town and countryside. The frightened oxen suffer stress and injury.

Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (FAACE) is asking people all over the world to join calls for the cruel race to be banned.


Help bring the suffering of oxen to an end. Please lodge a complaint with the Italian Ambassador to Ireland.

Ambassador Valerio Augusto ASTRALDI
Italian Embassy
63/65 Northumberland Road
Dublin 4
Tel: 01 660 1744


Dear Mr Ambassador

I am writing to express my opposition to the cruel oxcart race which takes place every April in Chieuti in Southern Italy. This deplorable event sees oxen being stabbed with spiked lances and frightened into running along a gruelling three mile course. I appeal to use you use your influence to encourage the authorities in Chieuti to show compassion and ban this race.

Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
[Name / Location]


(The Ministry for the Environment, the Tourism Minister and Chieuti Townhall)

Sample letter thanks to FAACE

Come dimostrano le foto, gli articoli e le testimonianze raccolte dalle associazioni animaliste, la corsa dei buoi di Chieuti, Foggia provoca sicuramente sofferenze agli animali in gara, pungolati perche corrano e perfino stramazzano al suolo per affaticamento, ma i cavalli anche soffrono.

Riteniamo pertanto che la Corsa dei buoi sia uno spettacolo crudele, eticamente squalificante e dannoso per l'immagine turistica di Chieuti e della provincia di Foggia e Italia. Chiedo pertanto che la 'Corsa dei buoi' venga sostituita definitivamente con un'altra manifestazione in onore di S. Giorgio in cui non vengano impiegati animali.

Fino ad allora ci asterremo dal soggiornare in localita turistiche della provincia di Foggia e daremo la massima pubblicità a questa nostra decisione con amici e conoscenti sensibili, affinche essi stessi non si rechino per turismo in localita della provincia foggiana. Distinti saluti.


The photographs, videos, articles and testimonies of protestors serve to demonstrate only too clearly that the animals participating in the festival in Chieuti are made to suffer; to make them run, the oxen are goaded with spiked lances.

Not only are the oxen hurt and even collapse through exhaustion, but the horses also suffer.

This is a cruel spectacle that shows Chieuti, as well as the province of Foggia, and Italy, in a very bad light, and discourages tourism. I would ask you therefore, to permanently abolish the Chieuti oxcart race, and celebrate St. George's Day in a way that does not involve the abuse of animals.

Until this happens, I will not be visiting Italy and I will tell my friends and acquaintances of my decision, so that they also will not travel to Italy


Ask the Church authorities to disassociate from the Chieuti event

(Bishop Lucio Angelo Renna and the Vatican daily Osservatore Romano)

26. Campaign Quotes

The fox's eyesight is especially good in low light. It has a very good sense of smell and uses scent glands to mark its territory. It also has excellent hearing, and can even hear earthworms, insects and mice as they move along the ground. Foxes usually live in pairs, but where conditions are good, they may also live in larger family groups - usually containing one adult male and one breeding female, along with other non-breeding females, who help to take care of the cubs. National Parks and Wildlife Service.

This man should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. I feel so inspired by John Fitzgerald's story of courage against almost unimaginable odds in his native Ireland that I think that he should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Unlike Barack Obama who has done little thus far, John Fitzgerald has done much for the humble hare and for humanity and he deserves greater recognition - at least from all lovers of wild animals. From a comment on Amazon in response to John Fitzgerald's Bad Hare Days book. You can order Bad Hare Days at

People and young people in particular [especially in the towns where the votes are] can't see any justification for chasing a wild animal for sport. I am very much pro coursing but had to give it up due to pressure from my teenage daughters. I had many arguments but at the end of the day I lost as anyone will if the opponent is clever articulate and unlike the antis stick to the facts...No matter what you say about jobs etc the bottom line is that you are putting a live animal under pressure for sport. From a comment on the Greyhoundnuts forum

A sheep farmer who left the remains of 20 dead sheep on his land was find Eur500 at Trim District Court yesterday. James Griffin,(75), of Ballynaskea, Enfield, Co. Meath, faced 19 summons of permitting carcasses to remain unburied on his lands at the same address. Veterinary Inspector Christopher O'Brien-Lynch said on March 31st last year he found 15 dead sheep in field and four in water courses on the land. He "couldn't say how they died", but said there was no animal welfare problems on the farm then or subsequent inspection dates. "It is more a farm management problem." There seemed to be the normal level of deaths in the flock but Griffin had not got rid of the remains. Irish Times, 15th April 2011

Although it is very rare, it is, amazingly, on the list of birds that may be shot from this month. One is allowed to shoot the curlew. This is not allowed in Northern Ireland where shooting the curlew is out of the question. A former Member of this House, Eamon de Buitlear, says this makes absolutely no sense. I am taking the opportunity to touch on the matter because I know it is close to the Minister of State's heart. There has been great success achieved in protecting the grey partridge in County Offaly. Ten years ago there were fewer than 20 alive. Because they are being protected, that number has now risen to 900 as a result of the success of the BirdWatch Ireland scheme. Senator Feargal Quinn, Seanad debate, 4 November 2010

And just how is the IGB going to monitor what goes on in China? Give me a break...they can't even monitor what happens in Ireland. Comment left on in response to a claim by an unidentified Irish Greyhound Board spokesperson that "We would ensure any greyhounds sent to China would be looked after."

27. Letters to Editors

Hunt Ball
Waterford News & Star, March 10, 2011

Your one page colour photo spread of the Co. Waterford Hunt Ball failed to include a sidebar column saying that the purpose of a hunt ball is to raise funds for the local hunt to keep their animal killing machine running. But viewing the implied promotion of foxhunting on display perhaps that was too much to hope for.

Given the excellent promotion of animal welfare down through the years by your newspaper perhaps a slip in editorial standards allowed this shameless promotion of animal abuse to see the light of day.

Those who attend hunt balls are supporting the killing of one of Ireland's most beautiful animals for entertainment.

In effect, a hunt ball is a night out for social misfits who in another jurisdiction would be breaking the law for their fox killing activities. Do we now take it that Waterford News & Star photographers will receive unfettered access to local hunts so that colour photo spreads can be created for readers to see foxes being thrown to hounds, hunt supporters swinging fox carcasses above their heads in triumphant joy and the mangled remains of a freshly killed fox being tossed into a ditch. I some how doubt it. Local hunts are more than willing to allow the media report on the social aspects of hunting but when it comes to the unsavoury aspects a media blackout is imposed.

Animal abuse is an attack on the non-human members of our society. It should not be tolerated, defended or allowed to be promoted by those who have lost all connection with a conscience.

As a society, we must accept that those who are cruel to animals are only a step away from being cruel to humans.

We need to accept that animal abuse is an attack on the standards of respect for life, compassion and assistance to those sharing our planet space.

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

Horses shouldn't be saddled with cruelty
Irish Independent, April 13 2011

The deaths of two horses in the Grand National has refocused attention on the downside of the ancient pursuit of horse racing as practised in Britain and Ireland.

It would surely benefit the sport itself, apart from the long-suffering equines, if we could effectively tackle the cruelties associated with it.

A day at the races or the odd flutter can be a fun experience, and the bloodstock industry is deemed crucial to our economic well-being.

But racehorses fall victim to a wide range of injuries. Driven to their absolute limits, many of them suffer from extreme fatigue and bodily strain and among the afflictions they may have to endure are ulcerated stomachs, bleeding lungs, and damage to bone and muscle, all of which can be very painful for the horse. Wrongly administered drugs can also cause distress and immense suffering.

And, of course, the use of whips in racing is wide open to abuse, resulting in raw flesh wounds and/or internal injuries.

Racing could be made more animal- friendly by easing the pressure on the horses. Fences should be lowered for all races to a height that is not overly demanding for the horses.

The whip should ideally be banned altogether, as in Norway, allowing jockeys to use their heels and hands instead to urge on the horses without hurting them.

Alternatively, a padded whip like the one now used in Australia could replace the medieval-style flogging instrument that so often brings British and Irish horse racing into disrepute.

Horse racing will continue to project a negative and disturbing image of itself until the welfare of the horse has been prioritised and properly enshrined in law.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the abolition of cruel sports

ISPCA comments on shelters are 'appalling'
Irish Independent - April 20 2011

I refer to comments attributed to Noel Griffin, chief executive, ISPCA (Irish Independent, April 18). Mr Griffin alleges that many dogs are transported to Britain and rehomed in appalling conditions.

Leitrim County Council works closely with a local animal welfare charity, Leitrim Animal Welfare. We have successfully rehomed over 4,000 dogs in the past 10 years in Ireland, the UK and other European countries.

We consistently have the highest rehoming rate in the Ireland -- over 95pc of all stray or unwanted dogs, which came into our shelter since 2001, have been rehomed.

All our dogs are vaccinated, wormed, neutered and, if necessary, groomed. They also have a veterinary check before being rehomed.

We rehome all healthy dogs, with the exception of dogs that are considered dangerous or have a history of attacking people or livestock.

Our dogs are transported to Britain in a specialist vehicle and are checked, fed and watered enroute. They are rehomed in the UK by reputable animal welfare charities such as Dogs Trust UK. In all cases home checks are carried out by Dogs Trust UK before and after re-homing.

Leitrim Animal Welfare and Leitrim County Council have always taken the utmost care to ensure that every dog which leaves our shelter finds a suitable and loving home.

I am appalled by the comments attributed in this article to Mr Griffin with regards standards in non-ISPCA shelters and invite him to visit our dog shelter in Leitrim.

James Madden
Veterinary Officer, Leitrim

ISPCA's row is with unscrupulous dealers
Irish Independent - April 25 2011

I refer to the letter from James Madden (Letters, April 20) regarding the ISPCA and comments in connection with dogs being rehomed in the UK.

I am very aware of the excellent work of Leitrim County Council and I never intended to slur Leitrim or any other county council. Nor was there any slur towards any of the fine rescue societies throughout the country.

My issue was always with the unscrupulous dealer who has no regard for the welfare of the dog and simply wants to profit from the sale of such defenceless animals.

Noel Griffin

28. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports In Ireland Now

End Hare Coursing In Ireland

Ban Irish Fox Hunting

Say No To Irish Greyhounds Being Sent To China

Say NO to Greyhound Exports to China

Lobby for the URGENT need for updated Animal Welfare Legislation in Ireland

Canada: End the Seal Hunt Now!

Stop the subsidies to A Coruna bullfights

Petition Against Faroese Pilot Whale Hunts

Help end the suffering of bulls in Nimes
(Please print and collect signatures)

Top ways you can help the campaign

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.

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Make a donation to ICABS

Please consider making a small donation to ICABS. For more details, please click on the button below or follow this link to find out how to become a campaign supporter. Thank you.

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