Animal Voice, Issue 8, August 2013
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Receive Animal Voice by email every month - Subscribe Now

In this month's edition:

01. Protest against bullfighting - Dublin, 4th September
02. Shameful: Jimmy Deenihan issues licence for 2013-14 coursing season
03. Ticketmaster urged to stop selling bullfighting tickets
04. Irish Farmers Journal column: Hunters on land without permission
05. Five to contest badger baiting and cruelty charges
06. Farcical and shameful badger cull begins in England
07. Video: Irish badger set free from Dept snare
08. It's a dog's life if you're captive at country fair
09. Student website drops bullfight recommendation
10. Ask Boylesports to stop sponsoring Ireland's cruel coursing
11. Help remove animal cruelty from Facebook
12. Joanne O’Riordan: Hunters - think about what you are doing
13. Argus Car Hire asked to stop publicising bullfighting
14. Boyne Valley Foods asked to drop matador wine
15. American Airlines asked to stop publicising bullfighting
16. Dead giant turtle washed up on Wexford beach
17. Hilton Hampton thanked for removing bullfighting references from website
18. Marriott thanked for dropping bullfight recommendation
19. Ebookers no longer telling tourists to "watch a bullfight"
20. Co-op stops suggesting visit to bullring
21. Club Travel stops telling tourists to "see a bullfight"
22. Cancun Holidays Information Center erases bullfight page
23. 365 Tickets urged to stop selling bullring tour tickets
24. Guilty! Four hunt staff admit illegal hunting in UK
25. Dail Questions and Answers
26. Campaign Quotes
27. Letters to Editors
28. Petitions

01. Protest against bullfighting - Dublin, 4th September

Please join us for a protest against bullfighting outside the Spanish Embassy in Dublin on Wednesday, 4th September at 12 midday. Assemble outside the embassy gates on the corner of Ailesbury Road and Merrion Road.

Be there to join calls on the Spanish Government to ban this barbaric bloodsport.

How to get from anywhere in Ireland to the protest location.
Find out the driving directions:

How to get from O'Connell Street Dublin to the protest location.
Find out the public transport details:,+Dublin&to=53.320472,-6.21521

Sat Nav Co-ordinates: 53.320472, -6.21521

02. Shameful: Jimmy Deenihan issues licence for 2013-14 coursing season

Minister Jimmy Deenihan has ignored the suffering, injury and death caused to hares in coursing and shamefully issued a licence for a 2013-14 season.

The licence issued by the Kerry North Fine Gael TD allows coursing clubs all around Ireland to capture hares from the wild for another season of coursing cruelty.

Coursers will be out with their nets, snatching timid hares from the wild for use as live lures before greyhounds at coursing meetings. There are in the region of 90 2- or 3-day coursing meetings held around Ireland between October to February; each uses approximately 100 hares. As in the past, pregnant and nursing hares may also be snatched up in the nets, leaving vulnerable young behind in the wild.

The coursing licences Deenihan has approved will cause immeasurable suffering to thousands of hares. Hares will suffer the fear and stress of being captured from the wild and forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds.

This latest licence comes as a huge disappointment to the majority who want blood sports banned. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports' campaign will continue, however, until the day coursing becomes history.

In March 2012, Deenihan assured coursers that "whatever I can do for coursing while I am in this job, I will certainly do it."


Sign anti-coursing petitions

Petition to ban horrific hare coursing cruelty in Ireland

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Ask Minister Deenihan why he disregarded the wishes of the majority and licensed another season of hare coursing cruelty.

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

Tel: (01) 631 3804
Fax: (01) 661 1201

Constituency Details
18A The Square, Listowel, Co Kerry
Telephone: 068-57446
Fax: 068-57805

In 2003, Enda Kenny told ICABS: "I am opposed to the practice of live hare coursing." Today, join us in urging him to intervene to stop another season of coursing.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048

Urge your local TDs to back a ban on cruel hare coursing:
Find out the name of your TDs and their email addresses.

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

03. Ticketmaster urged to stop selling bullfighting tickets

International ticket selling company, Ticketmaster, has been urged to stop selling bullfighting tickets on its website. In an appeal, ICABS asked the company to show compassion and stop profiting from an activity which involves the torture and killing of animals.

"Ticketmaster's sale of bullfight tickets is helping to keep the blood-drenched bullrings in business," we stated. "This is one of the world's worst acts of cruelty to animals and one which millions across the world want made illegal."

On its Spanish website, Ticketmaster is offering tickets for bullfighting events in several locations, including Madrid, Valencia, Almeria, Bilbao, Marbella, Malaga, etc


Please join us in telling Ticketmaster to stop selling animal cruelty tickets.

Jared Smith
8800 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood
CA 90069, USA

Email from:
Twitter: @smithjt1 @Ticketmaster @LiveNationInc

04. Irish Farmers Journal column: Hunters on land without permission

An Irish Farmers Journal columnist has described an encounter with a local hunt which left her inching along in a "cavalcade of slow-moving vehicles" and being stopped on a road blocked by vehicles.

"Cars lining either side of the passageway stopped me abruptly," wrote Imen McDonnell. "I sat idling, trying to figure out what was going on, when out of nowhere a massive stream of redcoats on horseback with a pack of hunting dogs came trotting across the road only inches from the front end of our car."

"I was in shock," she continued. "I have heard about the hunt, I've even seen a group of hunters from afar, but I've never been so up close and personal. Despite the stunning beauty of the horses, it was daunting and, to be honest, a bit overwhelming to me. And above all, they were carrying on with their hunt on the farm's land without permission, which seemed so disrespectful."

In the January 2012 article, Imen went on to discuss the experiences of landowners who try to keep hunters out: "Each year, our farm and others post notices in the local newspapers so that the hunt groups know which townlands are private and forbidden to hunt upon. Signs go up everywhere in our community, but still, year after year, hunters show up determined to do as they please."

ICABS encourages landowners to read the "Farmers" section of our website which presents information about how to keep hunts out.

05. Five to contest badger baiting and cruelty charges

Belfast Telegraph, 28 August 2013
BY Rebecca Black

Five men accused of badger baiting are set to contest the charges at a special sitting of Newtownards Magistrates Court next month.

Chris Kirkwood (22) and Ryan Kirkwood (21), from Belfast, along with 40-year-old Darren Millar from Belfast, Graham Officer (42) from Donaghadee and Edward Edens (22) from Belfast, have been charged with interfering with a badger sett, unlawfully digging for badgers, causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in relation to a terrier dog and abandoning an animal.

Ryan Kirkwood has additionally been charged with resisting police.

At a sitting of Newtownards Magistrates Court yesterday, Deputy District Judge Amanda Brady ordered that two days be set aside for contest.

The men were initially charged in April 2012, and they appeared before the court on several occasions last summer

A police constable told the court then that this was "an extreme and disturbing case". She added that the USPCA said it was the worst case of animal cruelty they had seen in many years.

The men were arrested by the PSNI as part of a national police crackdown on badger baiting called Operation Meles.

The charges relate to an alleged incident on February 24, 2012.

06. Farcical and shameful badger cull begins in England

Source: League Against Cruel Sports /

As the first shots are fired in the pilot badger culls, the League Against Cruel Sports has condemned the Coalition Government for going ahead with its cruel and unscientific policy to cull badgers.

Reports indicate that badgers were shot in Exmoor in Somerset marking the start of the pilot culls postponed from 2012. It is understood that the cull in Gloucestershire will start later this week.

The trial culls which form part of the Government’s long term initiative to tackle the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) will see a devastating 5,000 badgers killed using the method of controlled shooting over the next few weeks.

The charity has heavily criticised the Coalition Government for refusing to listen to science, ethics or public opinion.

Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports commented: "Let us be absolutely clear. The Government’s policy goes against everything it has been put in place to do. Out of touch with public opinion and flying in the face of scientific evidence, it beggars belief that the Government can even try to justify going ahead with the senseless slaughter of badgers when it will do little to achieve its aim in halting the spread of bovine TB.

"Over 270,000 people signed the petition against the cull, but what we have here is the death of democracy as the Government carries on regardless. This is nothing but ‘Cameron’s Cull’, done purely as the politicians can’t be seen to lose face. We are outraged at this, and will do all we can to campaign against roll-out to other areas."

The pilot culls have purportedly been set up to test the humaneness, effectiveness and safety of the free-shooting culling method. Yet, to the anger of many, DEFRA, is refusing to publicly release information about how it intends to assess the 'humaneness' of the badger cull, the examination protocols and criteria, how shot and wounded badgers who retreat underground to die will be factored into the assessment and the selection process for post mortem examination.

The League also has grave fears over public safety, raising concerns about the potential consequences of night time free shooting with the Policing Minister, Damien Green and locals Police and Crime Commissioners.

Mr Duckworth concluded: "This cull was a farce from the start, and even more so now that actual shooting of an iconic and protected animal has begun. The government ought to be ashamed."

07. Video: Irish badger set free from Dept snare

Watch a video showing an Irish badger being set free from a cruel Department of Agriculture snare

This is one of the estimated 97,000 badgers cruelly snared by Ireland's Department of Agriculture as part of its failed TB eradication scheme. This badger was found and released - unlike the thousands of others who are left to struggle in the snares (overnight or for days) before a Department of Agriculture "snaring operative" returns to shoot the animal in the head.


Please appeal to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to show compassion and suspend the cruel badger snaring operation. Remind the Minister that the badger is a protected species in Ireland and that the Animal Health and Welfare Act, for which he is responsible, clearly states: "A person shall not do, or fail to do, anything or cause or permit anything to be done to an animal that causes unnecessary suffering to, or endanger the health or welfare of, an animal".

Tell him that research has shown 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 Simon Coveney
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Sign a Petition: 'Stop badger culling in Ireland'

08. It's a dog's life if you're captive at country fair

by Fiona O'Connell
Sunday Independent, 11 August 2013

Rather fittingly, it occurred to me in hindsight, I reckoned I could kill quite a few festival birds with one all-encompassing stone by visiting the National Country Fair in Co Carlow last weekend.

There were two predominant sounds from the moment I parked: a man's voice over a microphone, and gunfire from clay shooting and air guns. But living targets seem to be more popular, judging by the abundance of shooting-related paraphernalia on sale.

In fact, killing and trapping creatures seemed to be all the fun of this fair, from the moment I passed the first stall of caged ferrets. There was a huge array of camouflage clothing for sale. The 'country living' uniform of designer tweeds was also widely available.

Countryside Alliance Ireland was canvassing in a prominent marquee. Pursuers of pastimes which are horrendously high risk for their prey seem mightily concerned with their own self-preservation, judging by their promotion of insurance cover as one of the major benefits of membership.

And cages were everywhere, in all shapes and sizes. There were fake animals illustrating some, but plenty of live ones too. Like the dogs that remained in a caged pen despite the downpours, while the owners were sheltered.

There was an enclosure in which you could hide from your target, and a taxidermy stall for stuffing the end results.

As the Carlow Farmers' Hunt entered the main arena, a hound called 'Pheasant' made a bid for freedom through the open gate. She hurried away, ignoring all orders to return. A burly boy grabbed the scruff of her neck and tried to force her back.

'Pheasant' was dragged back into the arena. Interestingly, a young woman did the commentary for this key event, explaining in a sing-song voice how a hunt goes after "the quarry". Around here, she went on, the quarry is usually a fox or hare.

But in the arena, 'Pheasant' still wouldn't play ball. Or maybe that's all she wanted. She kept searching for a way out. Finally a man tied a leather belt around her neck and led her away.

Then the rain came down and the spectators fled. The Carlow Farmer's Hunt finally gave up and left the arena. As the hounds passed, an old Labrador in front of me gave a hoarse growl.

"He'd want to shut up," a man said, "if he knows what's good for him." There was a generalised snigger.

I left before the rain stopped. Unlike so many of the fair's participants, I wasn't a captive audience.

09. Student website drops bullfight recommendation

Top marks to Ireland's number 1 student website,, for dropping a recommendation to visit a bullfight.

The move came after ICABS highlighted the suffering caused to bulls in Spain's blood-soaked bullrings.

A big thank you to Oxygen for this compassionate response.

10. Ask Boylesports to stop sponsoring Ireland's cruel coursing

ICABS has renewed its appeal to Louth-based betting company, Boylesports, to stop sponsoring cruel hare coursing. On its website, Boylesports outlines that its Irish sponsorships include "the Coursing at Clonmel, Co Tipperary".

An advert on the Irish Coursing Club website, meanwhile, declares that Boylesports is "No 1 for coursing betting" and offers a free bet to coursers.

"Please show compassion for Irish wildlife and stop backing this disgusting cruelty," we stated in an email to the company's head office in Dundalk.

Brought to its attention was our Coursing Cruelty Catalogue Report which reveals the suffering, injury and death caused to hares during the last coursing season.

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


Sign a Petition: Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Complain to Boylesports about its sponsorship of cruel hare 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

11. Help remove animal cruelty from Facebook

Spotted a pro-bloodsports profile on Facebook? Please report it as a breach of Facebook's Community Standards which state that "sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited" -

To report a page on Facebook, click on the icon next to "Like" and choose "Report Page"

Please sign the petition - Add report option "Animal Abuse" on Facebook

Send a letter of complaint to Facebook's Dublin office. Demand that those involved in animal cruelty are prevented from using Facebook to network.

Facebook European Headquarters
Hanover Reach,
5/7 Hanover Quay,
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 5530550

12. Joanne O’Riordan: Hunters - think about what you are doing

Young Person of the Year Joanne O’Riordan has spoken out against cruelty to animals. In an Irish Examiner column, she implores hunters to "think about what you are doing" and expresses hope that "if one hunter or animal abuser stops as a result of reading this article, then hopefully, that’s at least one more innocent animal saved." Bravo Joanne!!!

Read Joanne's article at

Visit for more about Joanne's story.

13. Argus Car Hire asked to stop publicising bullfighting

UPDATE: Thank you to Argus Car Hire for removing some references to bullfighting from its website and announcing that all will be removed in November. We are grateful for this positive response.

Dublin-based Argus Car Hire is being urged to stop publicising bullfighting and bullrunning on its website.

On pages about Seville and Seville Airport, the website says that one of the local highlights is "exciting Fedris de Abril, a two-week extravaganza of bullfighting".

On a page about Bezier in France, it is stated that "the city is known throughout the Languedoc region for bullfighting".

Bullrunning is also publicised on the Argus Car Hire website. The infamous Pamplona bullrun is presented as "an exciting festival" while visitors to Nimes in France are told they can experience bull runs.

ICABS has highlighted the cruelty of bullfighting and bullrunning to Argus Car Hire as part of our appeal to them to remove the offensive references.

14. Boyne Valley Foods asked to drop matador wine

Boyne Valley Foods is being urged to stop marketing Spanish wines which feature a bullfighting scene on the label.

The label of the Espada brand wines shows a matador waving a red cape at a bull.

In an email to Boyne Valley Foods, ICABS asked the company to drop the offensive brand from a range being marketed by its Greenlea Wines division.

"It is in bad taste to market a product using bullfighting imagery. Bulls are subjected to horrendous cruelty and suffering in Spain's bullrings," we stated. "The animals are tortured with spiked banderillas and are disorientated and in pain when the matador arrives to wave the red cape. The matador, like the one pictured on the Espada label, taunts the bleeding and exhausted bull before plunging a sword between its shoulder blades and into its heart."

It is very surprising that Boyne Valley Foods would accept a bullfighting label, given the widespread opposition to this disgusting cruelty and the fact that if someone abused a bull in this way in Ireland, it would constitute a criminal offence.


Please join us in appealing to Boyne Valley Foods to drop the Espada label from its range.

Boyne Valley Group
Head Office
Drogheda, Co Louth

Tel: +353 41 9870300
Fax: +353 41 9870339

15. American Airlines asked to stop publicising bullfighting

ICABS is calling on American Airlines to stop presenting details about bullfighting on its website. The company is publicising bullfights in Madrid, Seville and Lima and even providing a link to a site where tickets can be purchased.

In the events section of the American Airlines Lima page, an "all-important" bullfight festival is featured along with a phone number and website address for the ticket agent.

"The most famous matadors and bull ranches in the world compete for fame and glory in the Acho Plaza de Toros, a bullfighting arena erected in 1766 and rebuilt in 1945," the event description outlines. "The Feria Taurina del Senor de los Milagros is one of the key bullfighting events in Latin America."

Acknowledging the cruelty of bullfighting, a warning is given to those who "find the practice of bullfighting unpleasant": "We suggest you steer well clear."

More bullfighting content appears on the airline's Seville page - "Flying To Seville With American Airlines? Seville conjures up images of raven-haired flamenco dancers, bullfights and extravagant Mudejar architecture...The Sevillians' passion for bullfighting is visible on a tour of the Real Maestranza bullring and its onsite museum, which houses paintings and embellished matador costumes."

The city's Feria de San Miguel is also featured on the page. One of the highlights of the festival is listed as "bullfights".

For those flying with American Airlines to Madrid, information about the city's "premier" bullring is presented, including address, phone number and bullfight dates.

The entry for Madrid goes on to outline that "while many may be against the taunting of animals for sport, bullfighting is associated with a sense of Spanishness, deeply rooted within the national identity."


Contact American Airlines and urge them to remove all references to bullfighting from their website.

Mr Tom Horton
CEO, American Airlines
P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9612

Email Via:
Tel: 817.786.3778
Twitter: @americanair

16. Dead giant turtle washed up on Wexford beach

The unfortunate creature that washed up on a Wexford beach may have died as a result of eating a burst balloon or a plastic bag which looked like a jelly fish...

1,000kg giant leatherback turtle washed up on beach
Evening Herald, 21 August 2013
by Clodagh Sheehy

The arrival of a giant leatherback turtle made a big splash among locals in Cullenstown Strand, Co Wexford over the weekend.

The turtle, as big as an upturned rowing boat, washed up on the beach last Friday.

The Co Wexford coast is a popular feeding ground for these turtles, which arrive en masse every June to feed on jellyfish until early autumn.

A number of dead leatherback turtles washed up off the south coast last year, but this was the first at Cullenstown Strand for some time, Wexford naturalist Jim Hurley said.

"There were people arriving having a look and taking photos over the weekend.

"Often these turtles die after they mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and swallow them."

The cause of the leatherback turtle's death remains unknown.

John Kinsella of Wexford Naturalists Fieldclub said large leatherbacks could weigh up to 1,000kg – "the best part of a ton" – and be two-and-a-half metres long.

They breed in the Caribbean and are so big not even sharks would bother to attack them.

He said it was likely that the turtle died offshore and the carcass was washed in by the tide: "They don't beach themselves like whales."

Mr Kinsella said the biggest recorded leatherback turtle washed up on a beach in Wales about 10 years ago and weighed over one tonne.

The species takes about 50 years to mature and turtles live at least 80 years.

The turtle has since been taken from the beach by council workers and buried.

17. Hilton Hampton thanked for removing bullfighting references from website

ICABS has thanked Hilton Worldwide for responding positively to an appeal and removing references to bullfighting from Hampton hotel website pages.

Among the content deleted was a suggestion that visitors to Mexico "watch a bullfight".

A Hilton representative thanked ICABS for bringing this to their attention and emphasised that they "certainly do not condone any action that inflicts harm on another living being."

A big thumbs up to the company for this compassionate response.

Hilton is a global leader in hospitality with over 530 hotels and resorts across six continents.
Find out more at

Help us to convince other hotel chains and travel companies to stop recommending visits to bullfights.
Check out our latest Action Alerts now -

18. Marriott thanked for dropping bullfight recommendation

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has thanked Marriott International for removing from its website a recommendation to watch bullfighting in Cancun, Mexico. The company was told about the animal suffering involved and the upset caused to tourists who witness the bloody violence.

Following an ICABS appeal to the company's president, Marriott also removed an article about bullfighting from its Paradise by Marriott website.

We are most grateful to Marriott International for this compassionate response.

19. Ebookers no longer telling tourists to "watch a bullfight"

Ebookers has responded to an ICABS appeal and removed references to bullfighting from its website.

Highlighting the cruelty of bullfighting, we urged the Dublin-based company to stop suggesting that tourists "watch a bullfight".

Among the content removed was a suggestion that "the exciting bullring is the place to be for nail-biting action."

We thank Ebookers for becoming the latest travel company to stop publicising bullfighting.

Find out more about Ebookers at

20. Co-op stops suggesting visit to bullring

Co-operative Travel has been thanked for responding to an ICABS appeal and removing bullfighting-related content from its website.

The move came after we highlighted the cruelty of bullfighting and pointed to a Co-op Group statement which outlines that "we’ve long known that animal welfare is important to our customers" and "whether it’s the environment, animal rights...we want to make sure you can do business with us without worrying about where your money is going".

"It is entirely incompatible with your stated concerns about animal welfare to publicise one of the world's worst acts of cruelty to animals - a bloodsport which involves the slow torture to death of bulls," we stated in our appeal.

Removed from the Co-op Travel website was a suggestion that those holidaying in Spain could visit a bullring and "become one of the fans applauding the bravery of the matadors".

ICABS is grateful to Co-operative Travel for its positive response. Find out more about Co-operative Travel at

21. Club Travel stops telling tourists to "see a bullfight"

A big thank you to Club Travel for responding positively to an ICABS appeal and removing bullfighting references from its website.

Find out more about Club Travel at

22. Cancun Holidays Information Center erases bullfight page

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has thanked Cancun Holidays Information Center for removing a page about bullfighting from its website.

Responding to our appeal, a spokesperson for the Mexican website stated: "We erased the article and we support your cause on animal cruelty."

A big thumbs up to Cancun Holiday Information Center for this positive response.

Find out more about Cancun Holidays at

23. 365 Tickets urged to stop selling bullring tour tickets is being urged to stop selling tickets for a tour of a bullring where bulls are brutally tortured and killed.

On its website, the company says that Plaza Monumental de las Ventas is "the international centre of bullfighting" and that those who go on the tour "will discover a place which is emblematic of the heart and soul of bullfighting, where the world’s finest matadors present their artistry and skill".

The tour description presented on the website shockingly refers to bullfighting as a "magnificent spectacle" and invites people to discover "not only the bullring itself but also the basics of bullfighting".

"The bullring in Madrid showcases the traditions and passion of the fight, more than 23,000 spectators thrill at the skills of the Matadors and the sheer power and beauty of the magnificent bulls," it adds.

ICABS has told 365 Tickets about the suffering endured by bulls in bullfighting and urged them to watch a video which shows a bleeding, exhausted bull being killed with a sword at Las Ventas bullring.

"How can 365 Tickets justify selling tickets for tours of this venue when you are aware that it is one of the world's worst animal cruelty blackspots?" we asked.

Elsewhere on the 365 Tickets website, "bulls" is listed as one of "the best attractions of Spain".


Ask 365 Tickets to stop selling tickets for tours of a bullfighting venue.
6 New Street
St Helier
Jersey JE2 3RA
Channel Islands

Tel: 0901 8100365 (UK, charged at 25p/min 08:30-17:30, 08:30-13:00 weekends)
Tel: +44 1534 739663 (Rest of World, charged at international rates 08:30-17:30, 08:30-13:00 weekends)
Twitter: @365tickets

24. Guilty! Four hunt staff admit illegal hunting in UK

Source: League Against Cruel Sports

Case shows Hunting Act 2004 can, and does, work

Four members of the Middleton Foxhounds, a registered fox hunt based at Malton, in North Yorkshire, today pleaded guilty in respect of the illegal hunting of a fox in December 2012, following footage obtained by the League Against Cruel Sports during a hunt meet at Full Sutton, East Yorkshire. Huntsman Tom Holt, Whipper-in Shaun Marles, Terrierman Lee Martin, and Amateur Terrierman Brian Cuthbertson all pleaded guilty in respect of Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004 – the offence of Hunting a Wild Mammal with a Dog.

The case concerned an incident which was video-recorded by members of the League’s Investigations Team, who saw a fox take refuge from the hunt in a stack of hay bales. The animal was trapped in the bales for over 25 minutes, with hunt staff using terriers, sticks and hounds to force the fox to flee into the open. Eventually it did attempt to escape, and was brought down and torn apart by the waiting pack of hounds. The huntsman could then clearly be seen, and was filmed, using his hunting horn to blow the traditional call for a kill (used when hunting was legal). He then picks up the fox carcass and holds it over the hounds so that they could better attack and ‘rag’ it.

Paul Tillsley, Head of Investigations at the League and one of the team that filmed the incident, stated;

‘Whilst we’re pleased with this result, and the admission of guilt from the hunt staff concerned, we doubt it will change their behaviour going forward, or that the hunt themselves will admit illegal hunting and change their ways. We know that many hunts are regularly out there breaking the law, and that’s precisely why we have a team of professional Investigators in the field – to capture illegal activity and work with the relevant authorities to bring about prosecutions.’

He continued ‘This case is one of several from our work during the last hunting season (2012/13), but a new season is just beginning. We can only hope that successful cases like this will make hunts think twice about continuing to blatantly flout the law, and start adapting their practices to hunt false trails, leaving animals well alone. This was the will of the British public when the Hunting Act 2004 was passed, but sadly it didn’t save this fox. The successful outcome of this case today is a clear example of how the Hunting Act 2004 can, and does, work when enforced.’

Watch the League's video footage at

25. Dail Questions and Answers

Question 364, Hare Coursing, 18 July 2013

Deputy Clare Daly: To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will exclude all of the coursing clubs found to have trespassed on lands while netting hares in the previous coursing season from the license for the 2013/14 season; if he will exclude all of the coursing clubs found to have breached any of the other license conditions last season from netting hares for the forthcoming season and from holding any coursing fixture in the forthcoming season; if he will add a requirement to the license for the 2013/14 season that coursing clubs seek written permission from landowners before netting hares on their property (details supplied). [36161/13]

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Jimmy Deenihan): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 475 of 2 July 2013 where I stated that my Department issued a licence to the Irish Coursing Club to capture live hares under the Wildlife Acts for the 2012-13 season. The licence states that it does not authorise any person to enter any land without the permission of the owner or occupier of the land. The licence also provides that the Licensee and its members must comply with Section 44 of the Wildlife Acts which relates to unlawful hunting and entry on land.

The conditions of the license will be reviewed for the 2013-2014 season. In that context, I am mindful of the provisions of Section 44 which already confer considerable powers on the owners or occupiers of land to protect their property from unlawful hunting. While under section 44, it is open to aggrieved owners and occupiers of land to take summary proceedings where persons enter on land without permission for the purpose of hunting, where resources allow, my Department will investigate a number of allegations, which were recently brought to my Department’s attention, in relation to the unlawful capturing of hares by coursing clubs during the 2012-13 season.

26. Campaign Quotes

"Marriott Cares." A response on Twitter to an ICABS message of thanks after the company removed bullfighting references from its website.

"For Sale: 9 year old pony. Has hunted [for] 3 seasons...Selling because getting out of hunting." from an Irish classified ads website. July 2013.

"The characteristic I like most in myself - Compassion. My pet peeves - Cruelty of any sort." Sports presenter, Tracy Piggott, Irish Independent, 13 July 2013. ICABS has asked Tracy to speak out against cruel foxhunting.

"The poorest of turn outs attendance wise" - from a hunting forum in relation to a digging-out/terrierwork show in Westmeath.

Inexperienced bullfighters, or great ones on an off day, often meant that death strokes missed their mark. Swords failed to pierce the heart on one thrust, bulls staggered around vomiting blood for 10 minutes or simply stood looking at their human tormentor not like toros bravos but as confused, suffering animals that just wanted to lie down and take a long nap. Those scenes tore at my heart. The toreros no longer resembled heroes; they were sweaty guys in tights taking too long to kill a cow. from Confessions of a Redhead in the Callejon: What I Learned at the Bullfights by Barbara Drake

When things got really bad, even the toreros themselves broke down. Chubby little Michelito burst into tears after stabbing a young bull repeatedly in its bony back without success. His father or a manager comforted the sobbing child by passing a handkerchief. Finally, the helper toreros rushed to reposition the sword so the blade passed through bone and gristle into its beating target. The whole affair was disgusting, repetitive and pointless -- the antithesis of the fiesta brava that fans romanticize. And lots of bullfights are like this. from Confessions of a Redhead in the Callejon: What I Learned at the Bullfights by Barbara Drake

The Lisbon native is among dozens of bullfighters, mostly Spaniards, who are hoping to gain the fame in Latin America that the economic crisis back home, compounded by rising ethical opposition to the bloody sport, has made near impossible. The number of annual bullfights in Europe nearly halved to 1,997 last year from the crisis' inception in 2008 and is down an additional 15 per cent this year, said Vicente Royuela, a University of Barcelona economist who studies the sport. from "Migration of the matador: How bullfighters are turning their backs on Spain and heading to Peru", Daily Mail, 5 August 2013

Bullfights are horrible spectacles! I have been to the bullfights where the matador was on horseback. I went with a group of Hispanics from California. These people were all enthusiastic at the beginning of the bullfight because they thought they were witnessing their heritage. All were shocked and saddened at the end. My good friend Christina was in tears. Comment left on the website of Fodor's, May 2013.

"The well-publicised initiative known as The Gathering is wholly owned/controlled by Failte Ireland. It is a funding vehicle to aid events which will bring foreign visitors to Ireland in 2013. As such, the [shooting organisation] NARGC applied for funding towards the FACE Europe meeting in Dublin. Despite clearly qualifying under the published criteria, we were turned down..." from the NARGC newsletter.

"In the Main Street [of Cavan Town] there was once a site called the "Bull Ring". On that spot a form of bullfighting was once carried out. It was a popular spectator sport across the country. A bull was tied a metal ring on the ground by a rope which was looped through its nose ring. Dogs were then allowed to attack the bull until it died." from Horrid history, Cavan Town page on

"The last one is a very small possibly late or second litter cub still has his baby fluff on it. The very last fox shot was literally in my own back yard and had been one of the possible reasons that my dogs had been doing a lot of barking in recent nights, just as i fired on it, it moved and got hit in the lower front leg, It fell over and on getting up started making it for the ditch but in a direct line straight away from us, my partner kept the lamp on her the whole time and quickly reloading i managed to put a second through the back of its head." Comment on from a Kerry hunter who shot and killed a fox cub on 6th August 2013.

27. Letters to Editors

Green light for hare coursing
Irish Times, Thursday Aug 22, 2013

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan, has just given the green light to another live hare coursing season. He has licensed five months of this cruel and discredited blood sport, despite claiming to be a keen admirer of Lepus Timidus Hibernicus. Yet the thought of what actually happens to the hare on the coursing field doesn’t appear to bother him. And it certainly doesn’t bother the coursing clubs.

These profess to care deeply about the welfare of the species and fans routinely claim to love the hares, emphasising that they don’t derive pleasure from the mauling or tossing about of the animals by dogs, or the child-like scream that may accompany a lethal interaction between hare and greyhound. They only wish to see the hares give the dogs a good run, they insist. Prior to the big sporting occasion, they feed the hares all sorts of lovely vegetables. Pictures of the feeding process, complete with kindly greyhound owners and beaming officials, can be seen on coursing club websites. Their love affair with the animal they use as live bait is surely one of life’s great contradictions.

Although a passionate believer in conservation, there is one species I would dearly like to see become extinct: The Irish hare coursing enthusiast! – Yours, etc,

John Fitzgerald,
Lower Coyne Street,
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Hunting bites back
Cork Independent, 13 June 2013

Hare coursers reside on the lowest rung of the bloodsports hierarchy. Beneath them in the basement lie the working terrier community.

Like a bad odour, this community is kept contained within the bloodsports circle as should they rise above their cesspit home it would destroy attempts to whitewash animal abuse via the horse and hound image.

However, things are afoot. The working terrier community have crawled together to form an organisation to represent their interests in a makeover attempt that is the equivalent of trying to turn scummy water into clear water.

Working terrier involves using terrier dogs or terrier crossbreeds to hunt down and kill animals as a form of sport or so-called 'pest' control. The main legal quarry is fox, mink and rat. Working terrier is legal so long as the hunters have permission to be on the land which is being hunted over and that the animal being hunted is not protected
under the 1976 Wildlife Act.

There is no defined hunting season for working terrier. In reality any animal that is found where a terrier is sent underground will be dug to and killed. The badger, which receives full protection under current wildlife legislation, is regarded as the ultimate quarry for working terrier.

Apart from articles written about it in hardcore underground bloodsports magazines, working terrier maintains a low but deadly profile.

Working terrier is male dominated and operates within small groups. It attracts some of the most thuggish individuals of the 'fieldsports' community.

Pathologically vicious, they give out an appearance of normality in human society but are a viable danger to animals and humans alike. The fact they can hide their abusive tendencies under the cover of legal hunting is a shameful reflection on society's failure to treat abusers in its midst.

With the working terrier community organising itself, it will be interesting to see how they conduct themselves in the harsh light of the media glare.

Given their propensity for violence one shudders to think how they will react to a logic point of view from those trying to expose the reality of working terrier.

Our government needs to adopt a zero tolerance to wildlife crime. A first step would be to put legislation in place to outlaw all forms of legal hunting.

This would remove the cloak of legality from those who believe themselves to be above the wildlife legislation in this country and who remain handcuffed to traditional animal cruelty.

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

State-sanctioned animal abuse reflects moral decay
Irish Examiner, July 27, 2013

The violent death of two defenceless elderly brothers at their home in Castlebar has unleashed grief and anger.
People are shocked. Is there any moral boundary in our society? Life has become valueless. Criminals have set their moral compass at zero.

But look at society: criminality taints every level. The divide between ‘legal’ and illegal criminality is non-existent. The stench of a rotting society seems the fragrance to wear.

This moral decay extends into our treatment of the non-human members of our society.

Every day brings reports of animal abuse. Despite the best efforts of animal welfare groups and the gardaí, animal abuse is increasing in its scale and viciousness.

Efforts to tackle animal abuse fall at the first hurdle, because the abuse is sanctioned by the Government, in the form of hunting with hounds, hare coursing, and entertainment activities that involve animals.

Until all forms of hunting with dogs are rendered illegal, society cannot deal with animal abuse.

Animal abuse represents an assault on the non-human members of our society and should not be tolerated, defended or allowed to be promoted by those who have lost all connection with a conscience. Irish society is in moral decay.

Life for the human and the non-human has been rebranded as valueless. Anger can be vented at the tragic events in Castlebar, but soon it will evaporate, until the next incident.

What is required to remedy this societal rot is an overhaul of attitudes, backed up by clear legislation and cohesive legal punishment.

The time for tears can wait, the time for action cannot.

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

28. 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

Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Coillte - Ban hunters from your forests

Stormont Northern Ireland Assembly: Ban Fox and Stag Hunting in Northern Ireland

Fodor's Travel Guides: Stop directing tourists to bullrings

Bishop Bill Murphy: Stop clergy involvement in cruel coursing

Dunnes Stores: Lift Ban on Animal Charities Fundraising

Arts Council of Ireland: Stop funding animal circuses

Ban the use of animals in Irish circuses

Stop the EU funding bullfighting

Stop Torturing Bears: End Bear Bile Farming In China

Stop China Wanting More Ivory!

Stop DoneDeal/ GumTree/ Buy & Sell Selling Animals

Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland

1 Million to Ban the Lion Trade

Add report option "Animal Abuse" on Facebook

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.

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.

Animal Voice - Subscribe

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

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.

Top | Newsletters | Home