Animal Voice Newsletter - Issue 10, 2012
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Don't accept an Animal Welfare Bill that allows cruelty
02. Banned: the hunting of red deer and curlews
03. Not appropriate to outlaw cruelty: Coveney
04. Vote for ICABS Video
05. Drag hunting is exciting: Micheal O Muircheartaigh
06. Ward Union subscriptions are down: Phoenix Magazine
07. Ask Irish Independent to reject hare coursing
08. Videos: Politicians and Blood Sports
09. Disgust at Boylesports' continued association with coursing
10. 10 Reasons to Keep Hunters Off Your Property
11. Hunters enjoyed themselves during Irish famine while the poor starved
12. Attitudes to animal welfare: Ireland V Turkey
13. Animal Voice Action Alerts 2012
14. The story of rescued greyhound, Emily
15. Faroe Islands Barbarity
16. Help stop Oscar nomination of bullfighting movie
17. All-Ireland Mammal Symposium
18. Letters to Editors
19. Campaign Quotes
20. Petitions

01. Don't accept an Animal Welfare Bill that allows cruelty

Don't accept an "Animal Welfare" Bill that allows hare coursing, foxhunting, digging-out and terrierwork. Please contact all your local TDs now and urge them to support upcoming amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 that seek to improve the Bill to protect animals from Ireland's worst acts of cruelty.

Watch our campaign video

Phone TDs at 01-618 3000.
Email TDs from

Or find out individual email addresses of TDs on the Irish Government Website

Arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics. Contact us for details (

02. Banned: the hunting of red deer and curlews

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports welcomes the announcement of bans on the hunting of Kerry Red Deer and the shooting of curlews. The bans have been introduced by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan.

"Kerry Red Deer are a unique feature of our heritage," Minister Deenihan outlined in a statement. "I have, therefore, decided that, in order to conserve the special lineage of red deer in Kerry, to prohibit the hunting of these unique species."

A ban on the shooting of stags was already in place but this latest ban on the killing of hinds means the species may not now be hunted.

The Minister also announced his intention to review the Open Season Order for other deer species. "The last substantial change to the Open Season for deer species was in 2005 so I believe it is timely that a review is now undertaken," he said. "I would ask that various interest groups partake in this consultation process as it is important that I have the views of a wide range of interests which will assist my Department in considering if changes are needed to the Order."

Minister Deenihan has also announced a ban on the shooting of curlews, a move to try and save the species from extinction here.

"A number of surveys and studies in the past year have estimated a rather dramatic reduction in the total number of breeding pairs of curlew in the country," Minister Deenihan said. "These estimates indicate a decrease ranging from 60 per cent to 96 per cent."

In July, Deenihan indicated that he may ban the shooting of hares: "I said to the coursing community that I was thinking of removing the reference to hares from the Bill because very few people shot them," he stated during a Dail debate on the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012.

The primary motivation behind a possible ban on the shooting of hares is believed not to be to save hares from being shot to death but rather to help make it easier for coursers to find hares for their bloodsport. Earlier this year, pro-coursing Deenihan pledged to coursers: "Whatever I can do for coursing while I am in this job, I will certainly do it."


Email Jimmy Deenihan and welcome his bans on the hunting of Kerry Red Deer and Curlew. Encourage him to introduce a ban on the shooting of hares, foxes and other species. Express your support for a full ban on coursing and hunting.

Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

CC: An Taoiseach -
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802
Fax: +353 (0)1 661 1201

03. Not appropriate to outlaw cruelty: Coveney

"It is not appropriate to simply outlaw hare coursing and hunting when they are pursued according to the codes of conduct drawn up by clubs," Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney stated during a Dail speech on the Animal Health and Welfare Bill on September 20th. "Considerable numbers of people are passionate about these pursuits and my job is to ensure that standards are met rather than simply outlawing practices."

Tell Minister Coveney you are one of the considerable majority of Irish Citizens who want hunting and coursing banned and that it is very appropriate for him to ban cruelty in an "Animal Welfare" Bill.

Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

04. Vote for ICABS Video

To help highlight the unacceptable inclusion of bloodsports exemptions in the Animal Welfare Bill, ICABS has entered a campaign video into the 2012 Better Together Awards.

Please vote for us at

You can vote once every 24 hours up until 19 November 2012.

Please encourage your friends and family to vote.

After voting, contact your local TDs and urge them to support upcoming amendments to the Bill. Thank you.

05. Drag hunting is exciting: Micheal O Muircheartaigh

Drag hunting has been praised as an "exciting sport" by GAA commentator legend, Micheal O Muircheartaigh.

Writing in the Irish Independent of October 20th, 2012, Mr O Muircheartaigh recalled "great events like the drag hunts over Cnoc A' Chairn", describing it as "a simple but exciting sport".

"The course of the drag or race would be laid out the previous day," he wrote. "It involved somebody under the supervision of an expert dragging a lump of meat wrapped in porous material over a testing course. To add to the difficulty of the course, the 'lump' had to be lifted off the ground over a distance of some 30 or 40 yards every now and then. This move was meant to create confusion among the canine racers the next day."

"The drag often drew good crowds, especially when a few champions had been entered for the race. It always began by releasing the pack a little bit away from the start of the scented trail; but once the same scent was picked up by one of the eager hunters an instinctive 'tallyho' bark informed others that the chase was under way. The pace quickened as they sped along, competitive by nature and each anxious for the lead...Further searches were necessary when the trail suddenly vanished but before long it was picked up once more and stage two was then in progress."

"Eventually the exciting closing stages came to an end with a champion of the day being crowned and celebrated. Naturally the event did not really finish until other muses were invoked and vent given to songs, reminiscences and the instant composition of a ballad commemorating a new hero."

Read the full article at

Watch a video showing drag hunting in action in Ireland

06. Ward Union subscriptions are down: Phoenix Magazine

Phoenix Magazine has reported as "good news for stags", a drop in Ward Union hunt subscriptions and a more than 50 per cent fall in income from fundraising.

In its September 21st edition, the magazine outlined how the current economic climate has taken its toll on the hunt.

"The big problem for the Ward Union Hunt is, not surprisingly, financial and the AGM on September 28 will hear from [its chairman] that subscriptions were down by one third on the previous year (to 73,000 Euro), while there was a drop of more than half in income from fundraising (down to just 27,000 Euro)," the report stated, adding "Good news for stags of course."

Read the Phoenix report at

07. Ask Irish Independent to reject hare coursing

ICABS has renewed its appeal to the Irish Independent newspaper to keep coursing off its sports pages.

An activity involving the terrorisation, chasing, mauling and killing of hares could never be categorised as a sport and should have no place on these pages, we stated in an email to editor Stephen Rae.


Please join us in appealing to the Irish Independent to exclude coursing from its sports pages.

Stephen Rae
The Editor
Irish Independent

Tel: +353 (0)1 705 5333

08. Videos: Politicians and Blood Sports

Check out our new Youtube video playlist featuring footage of TDs speaking in Dail Eireann on animal-related issues.

Politicians featured so far include Maureen O'Sullivan, Clare Daly, Richard Boyd Barrett, Simon Coveney, Eamon O Cuiv, Martin Ferris, Robert Troy, Jimmy Deenihan, Michael Colreavy, Sandra McLellan, Peter Fitzpatrick and Mattie McGrath.

We encourage you to contact the TDs featured. Praise those who speak out against cruelty and complain to those who speak in favour of it.

09. Disgust at Boylesports' continued association with coursing

ICABS has expressed disgust to Louth-based betting company, Boylesports, over its continued association with cruel hare coursing. An advert on the Irish Coursing Club website declares that Boylesports is "No 1 for coursing betting" and offers a free bet to coursers.

On its website, Boylesports proclaims that its Irish sponsorships include "the Coursing at Clonmel, Co Tipperary".

"Your association with an activity that causes terror, stress, injury and death to the Irish Hare is appalling.," ICABS stated in an email. "It is disgusting that your company considers it appropriate to support an activity whose victims include hares with broken legs and dislocated hips and hares mauled so severely that they die from their injuries. We hope you will reconsider your shameful stance and stop the sponsorship and bets."

Brought to Boylesports' attention was some of the victims of coursing, including "a hare "squealing in distress" after being caught by a muzzled dog and "a hare in agony in a coursing enclosure with its leg "almost completely broken off".

In a 2011 Sunday Times interview, Boylesports founder John Boyle, stated "I love the coursing."


Sign a Petition: Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland
Sign Now

Complain to Boylesports about its association with cruel coursing.

John Boyle
Managing Director
Finnabair Industrial Park
Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Tel: +353 42 939 3000
Tel (ROI): 1800 22 00 66
Tel (UK): 0800 22 00 66
Tel (International): +353 42 9393168
Fax: +353 42 939 3051

Boylesports Ltd,
First Floor,
Millennium House,
Victoria Road,
IM2 4RW,
Isle of Man

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 the Paypal button at to make a donation or send a cheque made payable to ICABS to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

10. 10 Reasons to Keep Hunters Off Your Property

Please read our 10 Reasons to Keep Hunters Off Your Property fact sheet and act now to keep your land off-limits to hunters.

Read the fact sheet at

We encourage you to send warning-off letters to all local hunts. Email us on if you need contact details for hunts in your area.

11. Hunters enjoyed themselves during Irish famine while the poor starved

Read a Drogheda Independent column focusing on the shameful continuation of hunting for sport during the Irish Famine (1845-1852) -

"It appears the Ward Union Staghounds were in fact in existence in November of 1846," the column states. "This was at a time of the Great Irish Famine in Ireland and there are many references to the exploits of these hunts and the 'enjoyment' of the participating gentry, while thousands were laid wasted along the verges of the roads and streets of Ireland."

Other hunting groups mentioned in the column are the Louth Hounds, Meath Hounds, Duleek Hounds, Gormanstown Harriers, Fingal Hounds and Trim Hounds.

12. Attitudes to animal welfare: Ireland V Turkey

Extract from "From Istanbul to Irish cock and bull animal welfare"
by Fiona O'Connell

Sunday Independent, 14 Oct, 2012

About 10,000 people marched that day to stand up for the rights of their four-legged fellow creatures. Demonstrations also took place in 13 other cities across Turkey. The Animal Welfare Draft was expected to be among the first pieces of legislation discussed by parliament when it opened just before I left.

Meanwhile, at home in Ireland, a few politicians valiantly preach to mostly empty seats in the Dail about the many glaring discrepancies in the long overdue Animal Health and Welfare Bill.

Disgracefully, it still allows fox hunting, hare coursing, fur farming and other cruelties to continue. Yet not one political party here seems to care. Someone's interests are being protected. And it sure isn't the animals.

From Istanbul to Irish cock and bull, our attitude to animal welfare is no Turkish delight.

Read the column in full

13. Animal Voice Action Alerts 2012

Read "Animal Voice Action Alerts 2012" newsletter for a compilation of this year's action alerts

Please print and display copies in your local library, youth club, animal rights stand, etc

14. The story of rescued greyhound, Emily

by Martina Kenny

Emily was found last year trying to get food from bins near a main road in County Dublin. She was skin and bones and full of soars and mange. One of her legs was gone and a vet reckoned it had been badly amputated. We think that whoever had her had kept her for puppies.

The two guys who found her brought her to a vet and from there she ended up in a dog pound. The pound called Dogs Aid (where I volunteer) to say they had an old greyhound/lurcher with three legs and her time was up. We took her straight away.

I met her two days later at the sanctuary and brought her with me on a collection day on Grafton street. She never made it back to the sanctuary! She was so sad, scared and basically her spirit was so knocked out of her that I took her home and gave her loads of TLC. It took a long time for her to trust again, she was glued to me...she's now one of the sweetest girls and looks at me with her big, huge, thankful eyes.

She lives with a lurcher called Lucy and a Saluki called Millie and a little guy called Harvey, all rescues and from similar backgrounds. They all get on brilliantly. Everyone loves Emily. It's a long way she's come. She's a complete super star.

15. Faroe Islands Barbarity

Every summer, hundreds of pilot whales are brutally hooked to death in the Faroe Islands. Such is the scale of the killing that the sea is turned blood red. Please join us in registering opposition to this deplorable slaughter.


The Faroe Islands are a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark. Please send a complaint now to the Ambassador of Denmark and demand that he takes action to stop this cruelty.

Mr Niels Pultz,
Ambassador of Denmark,
Embassy of Denmark,
7th Floor, Block E,
Iveagh Court, Harcourt Road,
Dublin 2, Ireland.

Tel: +353 (0)1 475 6404
Fax: +353 (0)1 478 4536
(Faroe Islands Prime Minister, Foreign Department of the Faroese Government, Faroese Department of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs)

Witness the barbarism in these disturbing Youtube videos
(Warning: Graphic Content)

Sign a Petition Against Faroese Pilot Whale Hunts

16. Help stop Oscar nomination of bullfighting movie

Source: CAS International

Voice your opposition to the Spanish movie Blancanieves, a bullfighting version of Snow White.

Several bulls have been maltreated and killed for the movie, which has been entered for the 2013 Oscars under the Foreign Language Film category.

Please sign and share the petition calling for members of the Award committee to distance themselves from Blancanieves, and the promotion of animal suffering in this way, by not voting for the movie. Thank you.

Sign the petition

17. All-Ireland Mammal Symposium

The 2nd All-Ireland Mammal Symposium will take place on 26th & 27th October at the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin.

This two-day event hopes to encourage growth in positive public attitudes to our mammalian wildlife heritage. It will also support long-term links amongst state agencies and third level institutes, while allowing access for all those involved in mammal ecology and conservation in the wider community.

"This symposium is a highly significant event as it will showcase the large amount of high quality research which is currently being done in Ireland," stated Dr Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

Find out more at

18. Letters to Editors

God's creatures
Irish Independent, October 05 2012

Now October is upon us we are reminded that the killing season is here.

With fox-hunting bans in place in neighbouring countries, we anticipate the day that wild animals will live safely here.

In the UK, all the hunters have lost is the sordid pleasure gained from killing a living creature.

Now, there is no need to breed foxes to be hunted.

The excuse of pest control was destroyed by the leaking of a plea by the UK Master of Foxhounds Association to breed more foxes to cope with the then current fox shortage.

No doubt the situation is similar here.

The stag-hunt ban needs to be actively monitored as bans are useless unless they are actually enforced.

Leopards may not change their spots but neither do those who campaign against animal abuse bow out when only a small success has been achieved.

I call for any information of illegal hunting, shooting or other animal violations to be sent to the authorities to help them protect the other sentient beings that hunters use for fun and sport.

B Wright
The Ward, Co Dublin

New Oireachtas petitions system
Waterford Today, 19th September 2012

Dear Editor,

As a believer in democracy, I welcome the new Oireachtas petitions system whereby any of us can petition the Oireachtas on issues of public concern. But I would question whether members of the Committee to which the petitions will be presented will be capable of dealing with each issue strictly on its own merits. My concern arises from the fact that the Joint Committee on Public Service and Petitions is, like all other Oireachtas committees, composed of politicians ...TDs and Senators.

I would love to think that each of the politicians on the Committee will address the concerns of petitioners fairly and with forensic objectivity, but past experience does not inspire confidence in that regard.

My fear is that they may be tempted to approach each issue from their own party political perspectives or prejudices, or with an eye to electoral considerations.

If, for example, an issue of great controversy has to be considered by the Committee, can politicians really be trusted to put aside their own feelings and act in the public interest? Will the fear of losing votes militate against a given course of action, as it does in relation to just about every issue that politicians have to deal with?

In 1984, a motion to the Oireachtas Joint legislative committee calling for an investigation into the cruelty of live hare coursing was rejected by committee members by a margin of nine votes to six. This was the result, despite the fact that the committee had received thousands of letters from the public supporting the proposed investigation and less than a dozen opposing it.

TDs with coursing clubs in their constituencies had voted down the motion. I only mention this because I was involved with campaigning on that issue at the time. It offered me an insight into how the political process operates in Ireland.

I would be in favour of an oath of some kind to be taken by the Oireachtas Committee members to ensure that they will NOT be swayed by party policies or dictates or electoral self-interest when considering petitions, and the publication in full of the specific reasons why any given petition has been rejected by the Committee.

Otherwise, the entire procedure will be suspect and may come to be seen as mere political window-dressing posing as an exercise in democracy.

Yours etc,

John Fitzgerald

19. Campaign Quotes

"Explanation is quite simple and that is that the lobby against hare coursing will not give up until they make us all into vegetarians." Eamon O Cuiv TD (Galway West, Fianna Fail) in response to an ICABS supporter who asked why he changed his stance on the cruel blood sport of hare coursing. In 1992, Deputy O Cuiv outlined in a letter that he would "certainly support the abolition of hare coursing". In 2012, he told Dail Eireann that it's right that a ban on hunting and coursing is NOT included in the new Animal Welfare Bill.

A National Animal Rights Association protest will take place on Saturday 27th October at the Charles River and Ovagen laboratories in Ballina, followed by a protest at the Charles River laboratory in Glenamoy. The NARA website outlines that Charles River Laboratories is "one of the biggest animal testing companies in the world...they conduct painful, live experiments on animals for the Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Medical Device, Biotechnology and Food Industries." To find out more about the protest, visit

"A black swan that fascinated tourists and locals in Castleconnell and Limerick city has been found strangled to death. Its carcass was found with a rope around its neck on the Clonlara side of the river in Doonass days after it returned to the area last week. LSPCA believe the swan may have been hanged. Black swans are indigenous to Australia so wildlife photographer, Kevin O’Dwyer, christened it Oz when it turned up in Castleconnell two years ago." from Beloved black swan in Limerick village found strangled to death, Limerick Leader, 23 October 2012. Please contact Gardai if you have any information on the sick individuals responsible. Animal Rights Action Network is offering a reward of 1,000 Euro for information leading to a conviction.

[Extract from news report played on RTE's Mooney Radio Show]: "Beyond the picture postcard quaintness, there's one tradition here [in the Faroe Islands] that outsiders find deeply confronting. One that the islanders have maintained defiantly even in the face of international outrage. What you're about to see is not pretty or quaint...It's called the grind, a hunt where pilot whales are driven to the shore and slaughtered in the shallows. The grinds have periodically brought protest and condemnation abroad but the Faroese have refused to buckle." Derek Mooney in response: "And in many ways you would say 'why should they [buckle]?'" Mooney Show, RTE Radio 1, 15 October 2012

Britain's largest newsstand chain, WH Smith, has banned youngsters under 14 years old from buying hunting magazines after a campaign by Animal Aid, Britain's largest animal rights organisation. Earlier this year, Animal Aid published a report, 'Gunning For Children: How the Gun Lobby Recruits Young Blood,' which said the "lurid, pro-violence content" of hunting magazines may have a "corrosive, long-lasting effect on impressionable young minds." from Hunting Publications Banned for Youth Under 14, Opposing Views website, October 16, 2012

"Men say 'this animal is a pest'. Some say insects are a pest. There is really only the one - mankind himself. He is the one. We destroy everything in a stride. Animals and insects have to hide. Here comes Man and his vision, making earth the ultimate prison...if anything stands in man's way, we wipe them out and they pay. When you walk amongst his kind, you have to look over your shoulder all the time." from Who is the Pest, a poem by John Harrison.

"The noises, smells and people can be overwhelming for many pets on Halloween, so create a safe haven in one room of your home where he or she can quietly relax. The HSUS also cautions pet owners to watch out for pets getting a hold of candy, especially chocolate, which can be toxic. Seemingly innocuous items like fake cobwebs may also prove dangerous for a curious pet, if he or she tries to chew on it and chokes.", October 23, 2012

Queen star Brian May is "delighted" after the British Government announced it will delay a planned cull of badgers in the U.K. until next summer due to fierce opposition. May joined forces with officials from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the Save the Badger Drive in a bid to stop the mass slaughter. He tells British newspaper The Guardian, "We're delighted that the badgers have had a reprieve. That goes without saying. Waking up this morning and realising they will live, rather than die, is great news for us...It's by no means the end of the line. What we need is a complete abandonment of this plan to cull badgers, which has always been irrelevant." from Brian May Delighted At Badger Cull Reprieve,, 23 October 2012

"Hare coursing involves cruelty to animals...and fox hunting involves cruelty and suffering" Richard Boyd Barrett, TD

"Blooding with hares, rabbits and kittens is practised by people who own greyhounds" Maureen O'Sullivan TD

20. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now
Ask An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to Ban Hare Coursing
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland
End Cruel Blood Sport of Fox Hunting in Ireland
Tell AVIVA Ireland not to Promote Greyhound Racing in Advertisements
Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland
Save the Antarctic ocean - Sign Leonardo DiCaprio's petition
Stop Oscar nomination of Spanish bullfighting movie
Don't Show Bullfights on Public TV!
Help End Illegal Trade of Endangered Animal Parts
Stop bear baiting in Pakistan
Ban the use of animals in Irish circuses
Ask Amazon to stop selling cruel traps
Petition Against Faroese Pilot Whale Hunts
Ban Larsen Traps & Multi Corvid Traps
Say NO to the cruel Toro de Fuego ("bull on fire") event in Spain
Protect Elephants from Ivory Poaching
Stop Bear Farming In Asia
1 Million to Ban the Lion Trade

Top ways you can help the campaign

Top ways you can help the campaign
Join our email list and respond to our Action Alerts
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 Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and Youtube
Sign up for our free text alert service and receive occasional campaign updates to your phone
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
Sign and collect signatures for our 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.

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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