Animal Voice, Issue 01, January 2014
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Demonstration against cruel hare coursing - 3rd February 2014
02. Festival of coursing cruelty kicks off at Clonmel this weekend
03. QuickPark and coach company's coursing connection
04. Elavon/Realex urged to stop facilitating sale of coursing tickets
05. Courser's claim that hares are treated well is laughable
06. Call on Clonmel Park Hotel to stop publicising cruel hare coursing
07. Cartoon conveys drag coursing alternative
08. Animal welfare grant given to group promoting killing of animals
09. Ganly Walters asked to remove foxhunting from property listings
10. Fox hunt image in Westmeath Hospice calendar
11. Irish Rail must prosecute hunt that trespassed on to rail line
12. Irish Rail urged to ban hunters from level crossings
13. Paralyzed hunt hound left to die on Athlone train track
14. "Bloodsports should be banned" - Cllr Marie Corr
15. Protest against hunt ball in Meath
16. Renewed appeal to Simon Coveney to ban digging-out and terrierwork
17. Deer rescued after being shot in back and left to die
18. NY.T.Roma Hotel thanked for removing bullfighting from activities page
19. Father and sons plead guilty to dog fighting charges
20. Call for international court to try cases of animal cruelty
21. Macroom urged to reject cruel hare coursing
22. Dail Questions and Answers
23. Campaign Quotes
24. Letters to the Editor
25. Petitions

01. Demonstration against cruel hare coursing - 3rd February 2014

Please join the Irish Council Against Blood Sports and other animal groups for a protest against hare coursing on Monday 3rd February at 12 midday. The peaceful demonstration will take place opposite Powerstown Park, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Be there for the hares.

Protest Details:

Monday, 3rd February 2014
12 midday sharp - 2pm
Outside Powerstown Park
Powerstown Road / N24, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Get Driving Directions from anywhere in Ireland -
Co-ordinates: 52.36279443752316,-7.683886589718633 or 52° 21' 46.06'',-8° 18' 58.01''

UPDATE: Thank you very much to all who attended the protest.


02. Festival of coursing cruelty kicks off at Clonmel this weekend

Saturday 1st February sees the start of yet another state-approved "festival" of coursing cruelty with the national finals of hare coursing taking place at Powerstown Park, Clonmel, where hares face three days of stress, terror and risk of injury and death.

Already in the region of 80 of these barbaric events (now banned in England, Wales, Scotland Northern Ireland) have taken place around the country, using up to 7,500 timid hares, snatched from the wild in nets, courtesy of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan and his officials at the National Parks & Wildlife Service.

The coursers claim that muzzling the greyhounds has saved hares, but the most recent figures to hand, obtained by ICABS from the National Parks under FOI, relating to the 2012/13 season, belie this claim. For example at Murrintown, Co. Wexford, 18 hares were injured, with 1 "declared killed" and the National Parks Ranger who monitored the event noted that on release of hares into the wild, three had "injuries so serious they couldn’t move and a fourth limped off," adding that "while only one hare was declared killed, I am recording at least another 6 were in conditions ranging from very poor to almost dead, therefore a minimum of 7 were in very poor condition."

At Tubbercurry, 16 hares were hit by dogs, 9 injured, and 2 died, with the vet who was present at the event stating that 10 hares were injured and "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing. At Parksgrove, Kilkenny, 7 hares were struck by greyhounds, 5 killed, 1 injured and put down; at Fermoy, 10 hares were hit over two days, and 3 put down because of injuries, with the NPWS Ranger adding that 4 hares were "found dead early in the morning".

This is just a sample of coursing’s cruelty catalogue. It should be noted also that not all events are monitored due to NPWS manpower shortages, so we can only speculate on the real extent of hare injuries and deaths resulting from live hare coursing.

And the cruelty follows the same pattern every season, according to the documents we receive annually under FOI, and it will carry on until our legislators stop turning a blind eye to the suffering and finally move to ban coursing.

Coursing is already banned in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. The North's two coursing clubs, Dungannon and Ballymena, now travel south to be hosted by Cavan and Tubbercurry coursing clubs.

There is absolutely no excuse for this barbarism, particularly as the coursing of greyhounds could continue perfectly well using an artificial lure, evidenced by video footage filmed by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports at a drag coursing meeting in Listry, Killarney in March 2013. See video footage at

Ministers Jimmy Deenihan and Simon Coveney can no longer dismiss this perfectly viable and humane alternative. It’s now time for both ministers to act to protect one of Ireland’s most loved wildlife species, the gentle Irish hare.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports, along with other animal groups, will be protesting against this cruelty outside Powerstown Park on Monday next, February 3rd, from 12 to 2pm.


03. QuickPark and coach company's coursing connection

A commuter coach company is advertising a bus service to the national coursing cruelty festival in Clonmel. The ad for Dublin Coach - run by coursing enthusiast John O'Sullivan - says "Going to the coursing? Get to Clonmel in luxury and we'll take you right up to the turnstiles." Click here to see the ad.

"Coaches arrive approximately one hour before coursing commences and will depart one hour after coursing finishes," it adds.

In an Irish Examiner report last year, O'Sullivan was quoted as saying "We have been coursing all our lives — it’s our main interest — and we plan to support this [coursing coach] initiative and try to make it work. We run a luxury coach service around Ireland and, in this case, our emphasis is on providing a high quality service to get people to and from the national [coursing] meeting."

The newspaper report also outlined that a coursing DVD of the "day’s action" would be shown on the buses on the return journey.

O'Sullivan also runs and is the owner of QuickPark carpark near Dublin Airport.


If John O'Sullivan's involvement in hare coursing would make you choose alternatives to Dublin Coach, QuickTours and QuickPark, please contact the companies now and let them know.

Dublin Coach / QuickTours
Unit 20, Western Ind. Estate,
Naas Road, Dublin 12
Phone: +353 (0)1 465 9972
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Santry Road
Dublin Airport
Tel: +353 (0)1 8621977
Mobile: +353 (0)87 9483973

Sign anti-coursing petitions
Minister Coveney: Save hares from cruel coursing
Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland
Find more petitions on our Petitions Page

Witness the cruelty of hare coursing and join the campaign for a ban


04. Elavon/Realex urged to stop facilitating sale of coursing tickets

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on online payment companies, Elavon and Realex, to show compassion for Irish hares and stop facilitating the sale of tickets to an animal cruelty event.

"We are surprised and disappointed to note that you are making the online sale of tickets to a hare coursing event possible by providing online payment services to the Irish Coursing Club," we stated in our appeal.

We told the companies that coursing is one of Ireland's worst forms of cruelty and that hares violently netted from the wild are forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds.

"This is a bloodsport which a majority of Irish people are opposed to and which is illegal in most countries including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland," we pointed out.

We also provided them with information about the victims of coursing and highlighted that painful injuries suffered by hares include broken bones and dislocated hips.


Please join us in urging Elavon and Realex to show compassion for the hares and stop providing online merchant services to coursers.

Elavon Financial Services
Block E, Cherrywood Science & Technology Park
Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin

Elavon Financial Services, Inc.
Two Concourse Parkway,
Suite 800, Atlanta GA 30328 USA


Realex Payments
The Observatory
7-11 Sir John Rogerson's Quay
Dublin 2


Leave a comment on Facebook:

Tel (London): +44 (0) 20 3178 5370
Tel (Dublin): +353 (0) 1 702 2000


05. Courser's claim that hares are treated well is laughable

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has rubbished a claim by a courser that hares are treated well. In an Irish Examiner report, the Sevenhouses coursing club representative also maintained that he has not seen a hare killed "in years". Records confirm that hares have been hit, injured and killed in 2012 and 2013.

Responding to the report, ICABS told the Irish Examiner editor that:

"According to official National Parks and Wildlife Service monitoring reports, 2 hares were hit by greyhounds at last year's Sevenhouses coursing meeting. Both animals were injured with one of them dying due to the severity of the injuries" and

"The previous year, 12 hares were hit by dogs at the same venue. One of these hares was killed, another four were injured and one was put down due to injuries sustained."

We also challenged a claim in the report that the coursing club "treats the hares well".

"Hares used as live lures in Ireland's coursing are subjected to terrible cruelty which begins with the creatures being forcefully captured from the countryside," we stated. "The ordeal continues when they are crammed into boxes, brought to coursing fields and kept in captivity for weeks until eventually being forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds. The facts are that hares are treated appallingly and that every coursing season, there are numerous injuries and deaths."


06. Call on Clonmel Park Hotel to stop publicising cruel hare coursing

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has renewed its appeal to the Clonmel Park Hotel in County Tipperary to stop publicising hare coursing. On its website, the hotel presents the local coursing cruelty festival as a "sporting event" and those who attend it as "sports people".


Appeal to the Clonmel Park Hotel to stop publicising the Clonmel hare coursing cruelty festival on its website.

Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tel: +353 52 6188700
Leave a comment on Facebook


07. Cartoon conveys drag coursing alternative

Another wonderful cartoon by writer and artist Harjit Singh Sagoo.

The humorous illustration shows a greyhound enthusiastically chasing an artificial lure while the dog's owner (being dragged along after the animal) shouts "Like I said, our dogs would never chase an artificial lure".

Visit to find out more about drag coursing and see video footage showing that, contrary to claims by coursers, greyhounds do enthusiastically chase artificial lures.


08. Animal welfare grant given to group promoting killing of animals

A group which encourages the killing of foxes, squirrels and birds has been given a 2,400 Euro "animal welfare" grant by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

The Irish Red Grouse Association received the cash as part of 1.8 million euro in funding to "136 organisations involved in animal care and welfare services throughout the country".

The Irish Red Grouse Association was formed in 2010 following a directive from pro-bloodsports group, Countryside Alliance Ireland to increase numbers of the game bird which is targeted by shooters during the open season of September 1st to 30th.

In December, as the Department of Agriculture issued a statement headed "Coveney awards funding to Animal Welfare Organisations", the Countryside Alliance newsletter was reporting that "the Irish Red Grouse Association has launched a Vermin Control Drive for Spring 2014."

Among the creatures that will be killed are foxes, grey crows, magpies and squirrels.

Replying to a Dail Question from Clare Daly TD, Minister Coveney defended the grant, saying the grouse group meets the criteria of the grant scheme.


09. Ganly Walters asked to remove foxhunting from property listings

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on real estate company Ganly Walters to stop including references to foxhunting in its property listings.

The company, which previously assured ICABS in 2004 and 2007 that hunting would be kept out of listings, has been contacted this week in relation to a number of property descriptions.

One property is described as being "within easy reach of the Louth Foxhounds, The Meath Foxhounds and the Ward Union Hunt" while another states "for those keen on hunting there are a choice of local packs within easy reach". Those considering buying a 1.8 million Euro estate in Cork are told that "there are a choice of local packs including the Muskerry Foxhounds, the Carberry and Duhallow Foxhounds."

"Given the horrific cruelty to animals involved in hunting, we implore you to show compassion and stop using the proximity of hunts as a selling point for properties," ICABS stated in an email to Managing Director Robert Ganly. "As highlighted previously, foxes suffer a terrible fate in foxhunting. They are chased to exhaustion by a pack of hounds and torn apart. There is no escape either for foxes that try to find refuge underground in a drain or earth. Terriers are sent after them to corner and attack before hunters use shovels to dig them out and kill them."

The company has also been told that the presence of hunting in listings is likely to prove off-putting to many potential clients.


Join us in appealing to Ganly Walters to act to permanently remove hunting from property listings.

Robert Ganly
Managing Director
Ganly Walters
Tel: +353 1 665 3922
Mob: 086 2553 507

Sign our petition - Keep cruelty out of property listings


10. Fox hunt image in Westmeath Hospice calendar

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is horrified that the North Westmeath Hospice has chosen to include a picture of the Westmeath Foxhounds in their fundraising calendar for 2014. The photo of a mounted hunter surrounded by a pack of foxhounds is featured on the February page.

"An image of a hunt which inflicts horrendous suffering on foxes, chasing them to exhaustion, then digging them out of their refuges, using spades and terriers, doesn’t sit well with the ethos of a hospice," said Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. "Its inclusion in the calendar is totally out of place for an organisation whose aims and objectives are bringing comfort to those facing the end of their life. The violence of bloodsports, no matter how innocuously portrayed, should have no place in such a publication."

"We are saddened at its inclusion in the calendar. Clearly, the hospice group has no understanding of what happens at a foxhunt and the horrific cruelty meted out to foxes."

Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty:

A 2011 Farmers' Journal hunting report told of how sixteen mounted followers of the Westmeath hunt, along with 29 hounds, found a fox that was caught and "chopped." Later on, another fox was "overhauled before he managed to put any distance between himself and them." Both "chopped" and "overhauled," in hunting terminology, mean that the fox was caught by the hounds and brutally killed.

In 2007, there was a probe into allegations that a rope was tied to the leg of a fox and that it was pulled out of a burrow and fed alive to the dogs - See Irish Independent report

A 2008 Irish Field report revealed that the Westmeath Hunt's hounds chased a fox into the freezing water of the Royal canal and along its banks - the fox and the pack swam across the canal and continued along the banks to the Mullingar/Ballynacargy Road...the fox, with four and a half couple (9 hounds) in pursuit, then swam the canal again before retracing their steps back to Newman's Bog." Following complaints, Waterways Ireland moved to contact the hunt and tell them to keep away from the Royal Canal.

The Irish Field of December 1991 documented the obscene ritual of cutting off the tails and tongues of foxes - "Terriers were some time in coming as car followers were the wrong side of the wind for hearing. A quick dig followed and two foxes were dispatched. Eamon had a brush for Clarissa and a fox's tongue which he intends pickling in vinegar to cure warts and draw thorns." (Westmeath Foxhounds, Hunt Report)


11. Irish Rail must prosecute hunt that trespassed on to rail line

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on Irish Rail/Iarnrod Eireann to prosecute a Kilkenny hunt for trespass on the Waterford to Dublin railway on Saturday 11th January. A number of hounds were killed and damage was caused to a train when it ploughed into the pack.

The rail company confirmed to the Irish Independent that the 14.50 train from Waterford to Dublin's Heuston station hit a pack of hounds on the track at Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, just after 3pm on Saturday. A spokesperson also told the paper that "to be on the track was trespassing".

In a letter to Irish Rail CEO, David Franks, ICABS urged the company to vigorously pursue the hunt responsible.

We pointed out that the company has previously assured ICABS that hunt trespass is not tolerated and that hunts caught trespassing will be prosecuted.

We also quoted from a past Irish Rail statement which acknowledged that "trespass on an operational railway can endanger the lives of both the trespassers and rail users and is considered, both by Iarnrod Eireann and the courts, as most serious."

For years, ICABS has been warning Irish Rail about the dangers posed by hunts on railway lines.

As far back as 1999 we urged the company to act to keep hunters out. We provided them with photos of mounted hunters on tracks and highlighted highly dangerous situations such as one reported in the Irish Field involving hounds owned by a Wexford hunt pursuing a fox "along the centre of the railway line with the full pack in pursuit" as a train came along the track.

Iarnrod Eireann’s then Chief Executive, Richard Fearn, responding to ICABS, stated that all hunts had been warned by the company’s district managers that trespassing by them onto tracks would be prosecuted, adding that Iarnrod Eireann "will, and has, prosecuted offenders who commit acts of trespass on the railway".

Foxhunts in this country generally have an arrogant and cavalier attitude to trespass onto other people’s property, be it private land, roads and railway tracks. They wreak havoc in the countryside, and their view seems to be that they have a God-given right to go where they please. It’s time that this was addressed and a ban introduced on their barbaric activity, which clearly causes a risk to rail and road users.

If they want to ride out in the countryside, they should change to drag hunting, where no live quarry is chased and where the route is pre-planned in conjunction with landowners’ wishes.

Were you on Saturday's 14.50 train from Waterford to Dublin Heuston which collided with and killed the hounds? Please email us if you witnessed the hunt carnage and/or have photos/video.


Urge Irish Rail to prosecute any hunt that trespasses on to railway lines. Tell the company that, in the interests of public safety, they must immediately act to prohibit hunts from coming anywhere near tracks. The company has acknowledged that a collision with animals could derail a train; they therefore must put passenger safety first and stop allowing hunts and their horses and hounds to use unattended level crossings. If you are a rail user, please point this out in your correspondence.

Tel: 01-83 66 222
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @IrishRail:

If you witness a hunt trespassing on rail lines, urgently contact Iarnrod Eireann. Their emergency number is 01 8555 454. After alerting Iarnrod Eireann, please send the details to ICABS. Thank you.


12. Irish Rail urged to ban hunters from level crossings

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is also calling on Irish Rail / Iarnrod Eireann to ban hunts from using unattended level crossings.

Despite acknowledging that "animals can behave in an unpredictable fashion" and that "collisions between trains and animals have resulted in derailments", the company outlines in its "The Safe Use of Unattended Railway Level Crossings" booklet that hunts, with their horses and hounds, are free to cross unattended level crossings if the crossing is "carefully planned".

We say to Iarnrod Eireann - "With passenger safety on the line, hunts must not be trusted to be anywhere near tracks."


Urge Iarnrod Eireann to act in the interests of public safety, and immediately implement a total ban on hunt horses and hounds coming on to unattended level crossings. If you are a rail user, please point this out in your correspondence.

Tel: 01-83 66 222
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @IrishRail


13. Paralyzed hunt hound left to die on Athlone train track

The chairman of Athlone SPCA has described the terrible fate of a hunt hound that was left to die on a track after being hit by a train.

"I had to pick the foxhound off the railway track in Athlone last year," Billy Gallagher recalls in a message posted on the ICABS Facebook page. "A train had ran over it and broke its back. It couldn't move and a number of trains passed over the live, paralyzed dog till i picked him up and carried him to my van."

The dog, which was later put to sleep at a vets, was found suffering on the track on a Monday - the day after a foxhunt had been in the area.

"I still think about what happened," Billy said. "Fox hunting makes me sick."


14. "Bloodsports should be banned" - Cllr Marie Corr

A big thank you to South Dublin County Councillor Marie Corr for expressing her support for a bloodsports ban.

In a tweet to the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, the Labour Party politician stated: "I believe that bloodsports should be banned."


Please contact your local councillors and ask them where they stand on bloodsports and other animal cruelty issues.


15. Protest against hunt ball in Meath

The National Animal Rights Association will hold a protest on Saturday 1st February at 7pm, outside the Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim, venue for the Meath Hunt ball

"We will be there to protest the hunters as they arrive," NARA says in a statement. "For every fox they have murdered, please be there to voice your disgust."

The group is also encouraging people to lodge a complaint with the Knightsbrook Hotel - Telephone: +353 46 9482100, Email: Facebook: Twitter: @Knightsbrook1

For more details about this and other upcoming protests, visit


16. Renewed appeal to Simon Coveney to ban digging-out and terrierwork

ICABS has renewed its appeal to Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney to ban the horrific practices of digging-out and terrierwork. The Minister is being urged not to turn his back on the foxes that are continuing to suffer appalling injuries and deaths across the countryside.

Please join us in urging the Minister to act to save animals from some of Ireland's worst acts of cruelty to animals.


Sign our petition: "Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty"

Please contact the Minister for Agriculture and demand an end to digging out and terrierwork.

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

Dear Minister,

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

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

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

[Your Name and Location]


17. Deer rescued after being shot in back and left to die

A deer that was shot in the back and left to die is recovering in Cork after being pulled from a ditch.

A farmer and his sister rescued the five-month-old female fawn after it was discovered crying out in pain.

The Irish Daily Mail (January 24 2014) reported that a hunter with a rifle who was earlier spotted on the property is believed to be responsible for the animal's suffering.

Rosie Campbell of Animal Magic, who helped in the rescue, said that fragments of a bullet were found inside the deer's body after it glanced her spine and disintegrated. Following two operations, it is hoped she will be able to walk again.

Well done to everyone involved in this rescue operation.


18. NY.T.Roma Hotel thanked for removing bullfighting from activities page

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has thanked Mexico City's NY.T.Roma Hotel for removing bullfighting from its "Things to Do in Mexico City" web page.

After being told about the animal cruelty and the upset caused to tourists lured in to watch the barbarity, the boutique hotel deleted references to bullfighting and a bullring.

ICABS is very grateful to NY.T.Roma Hotel for this compassionate response. More details about the hotel and its amenities may be found at

NY.T.Roma Hotel joins a growing list of companies which have responded positively to ICABS appeals and removed references to bullfighting or bullrings. These include EasyJet, Jet2holidays, Marriott International, Hilton Hampton, Ebookers, Club Travel, Abbey Travel, Sunways, Low Cost, Travel Department, Cancun Holidays Information Center, Co-op Travel, Ultimate Travel, No Fly Cruising, City Breaks 101, Original Travel, Escape Trips and Charter Travel.

Help us to convince other companies to drop bullfighting from their websites. Check out our latest anti-bullfighting Action Alerts now.


19. Father and sons plead guilty to dog fighting charges

The Newsletter (Northern Ireland)
14 January 2014

A father and two sons from east Belfast have pleaded guilty to charges linked to animal cruelty and animal fighting.

Jeremiah Kirkwood (43) and his sons Christopher (23) and Wayne (20), who are all from Island Street, appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday.

All three originally faced a total of 15 charges, but after pleading guilty to three charges each, the remaining counts were left on the books.

Each of the three men admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to four terrier cross puppies on dates between November 1 and November 28, 2011.

They also pleaded guilty to possession of items for use in connection with an animal fight, namely a CD7 battery pack, handheld lamps, a green dog harness and an animal trap. The father and two sons also admitted a charge of keeping or training animals for an animal fight on dates between July 10 and November 28, 2011.

The final charge relates to four bull lurcher dogs.

A co-accused, 19-year old Jamie Edward Morrow from McAllister Court in Belfast, originally faced three charges. Two of these were left on the books after he admitted a charge of keeping or training an animal for a fight, namely a whippet cross Staffordshire bull terrier, on November 27.

After the guilty pleas were entered, Judge Donna McColgan ordered that pre-sentence reports be prepared for all four men. The Judge agreed to release them on continued bail but said: "this is no indication of the likely outcome of the case", which will be heard before the same court on February 21.

Also appearing in the dock of the same court was Catherine Kirkwood from Island Street in Belfast.

Wife of Jeremiah and mother of Wayne and Christopher, the 43-year old originally faced a total of 15 charges linked to animal cruelty and animal fighting.

A jury was sworn in to hear the case, but a prosecutor told the Judge and jury that the Crown would be offering no evidence against her.

Judge McColgan directed the jury to find Catherine Kirkwood not guilty of all the charges against her and when they were discharged, Kirkwood was told she was free to go.


20. Call for international court to try cases of animal cruelty

"Humanitarian organizations worldwide should collaborate in setting up an international court to judge cases of animal cruelty and specifically to assess the culpability of governments", says Oxford ethicist Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

"Individuals and groups should be able to bring cases before the court where governments have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent systematic and widespread occurrence of cruelty to animals. The court would consist of eminent humanitarians drawn from the legal and veterinary professions, together with ethicists, philosophers, theologians, and those accomplished in anticruelty work worldwide."

"Although animal protection is obviously a matter of global concern, animal protectionists have sometimes been slow in recognising this fact and have contented themselves with working on an issue-by-issue, country-by-country basis. But what this approach neglects is the need for international strategies to tackle what are global problems."

The call is made in Professor Linzey’s Introduction to The Global Guide to Animal Protection published today by the University of Illinois Press.

"Government and industries found guilty (or who fail to participate in the hearings) would be named and shamed and placed on a register. Like Amnesty International’s published list of countries that allow torture, the register would focus attention not only on the distressing fact of cruelty itself, but also on the culpability of governments and industries in justifying and supporting cruelty.

The Global Guide to Animal Protection is the result of collaboration between the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, a world-wide association of academics from all disciplines, and the University of Illinois Press. Raising awareness of human indifference and cruelty toward animals, The Global Guide includes more than 180 introductory articles that survey the extent of worldwide human exploitation of animals from a variety of perspectives.


21. Macroom urged to reject cruel hare coursing

Please join us in urging Macroom in County Cork to reject cruel hare coursing. At a coursing meeting in the town, hares were forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds.

ICABS is urging local politicians to show compassion for the hares and condemn the bloodsport.

"Hare coursing is a form of animal cruelty which is illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions - England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland - and Macroom's association with the activity is a damaging blemish on the town's image," we stated in a message to local councillors. "We urge you to show compassion for the Irish Hare, speak out against coursing and support calls for it to be banned."

The suffering caused to hares in Ireland's cruel coursing is well documented. A list of some of the latest victims can be seen in our Coursing Cruelty Catalogue 2013 report.


Urge Macroom Councillors and Cork North West TDs to show compassion for the Irish Hare and speak out against cruel coursing.

Send an email to local politicians


22. Dail Questions and Answers

Question 277 - Answered on 16th January, 2014

Maureen O'Sullivan, TD (Dublin Central, Independent):

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the removal of a deer's antlers by sawing or other means constitutes a mutilation under Section 11(b) of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney (Cork South-Central, Fine Gael):

Matters relating to prohibited operations and procedures for deer antlers will be regulated under Section 16 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

Regulations are currently being prepared under Section 16 of the Act to set down those procedures to be permitted under this Section. It is my intention under these regulations to permit the removal of the non-sensitive part of the antlers of farmed deer (unless the antlers are in live velvet) by a veterinary practitioner. It will be an offence to carry out a procedure interfering with sensitive tissue on an animal in contravention of these regulations, which will replace Statutory Instrument 267 of 1994 (Welfare of Deer Regulations).

Question 687 - Answered on 15 January 2014

Clare Daly TD (Dublin North, United Left):

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason he allocated an animal welfare organisation grant to the Irish Red Grouse Association. [1594/14]

Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael):

My Department provides ex-gratia funding to organisations working with animals. Applications for funding are considered against a number of criteria including the impact, real and potential of the services to animals in the locality in which the organisation is based. In 2013 my Department received an application for funding from the Irish Red Grouse Association and awarded funding on the basis that it meets the criteria under the scheme. The Irish Red Grouse Association is working towards reversing the decline of one of Ireland’s native game birds (the red grouse) and has a significant impact in the care and welfare of red grouse in the South East and beyond.


23. Campaign Quotes

"I have seen firsthand how injustice gets overlooked when the victims are powerless or vulnerable, when they have no one to speak up for them and no means of representing themselves to a higher authority. Animals are in precisely that position. Unless we are mindful of their interests and speak out loudly on their behalf, abuse and cruelty go unchallenged. It is a kind of theological folly to suppose that God has made the entire world just for human beings, or to suppose that God is interested in only one of the millions of species that inhabit God’s good earth...

Our dominion over animals is not supposed to be despotism. We are made in the image of God, yes, but God – in whose image we are made - is holy, loving, and just. We do not honour God by abusing other sentient creatures. If it is true that we are the most exalted species in creation, it is equally true that we can be the most debased and sinful. This realization should give us pause...There is something Christ-like about caring for suffering creatures, whether they are humans or animals." Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his foreword to the Global Guide to Animal Protection, published by the University of Illinois on 30 December 2013.

"Recently, I was driving along a public road. The hunt was out and the road was blocked by dogs. To let me pass, the thug with the hounds starting beating them to move them. One fell into a ditch and he just beat the poor dog uncontrollably. I opened my window and shouted 'really is there any need for that?' This in-bred turned and run at my car with a stick and this is in a public area. What are they doing to the animals out of public view?" A reminder from a motorist in Waterford that it's not just foxes that suffer in foxhunting. If you witness cruelty to animals, please report it to the Gardai and send us the details. Obtain photos/video whenever possible.

"Came across a hound that got away a few weeks ago, the poor dog was totally petrified of people. Ten minutes later a guy came looking for the dog with a big wooden stick in hand, told him I hadn't seen the dog, he was ignorant to me but went away, when I had gotten back to the garden where the dog was he had gone, hopefully he got away. Hate to think of the life he had." Comment left on ICABS Facebook page, January 2014.

"The work of animal welfare organisations continues to play a very important role in protecting Ireland’s reputation as an animal caring nation." From a 20 December 2013 statement from Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney whose refusal to ban barbaric foxhunting, hare coursing, terrierwork, digging-out, etc makes Ireland stand out as an animal cruelty blackspot,73200,en.html

More white rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in 2013 than in any previous year, according to government figures. A total of 1,004 animals were poached, representing a 50% increase over the previous 12 months. Campaigners say that a growing demand for rhino horn from markets in Vietnam and China is fuelling the killing. They are concerned that illegal hunting on this scale threatens the survival of the species in the long term. The White Rhino is one of the world's greatest conservation success stories. At the end of the 19th century there were just 100 alive in South Africa. Today there are around 20,000 according to experts. But in recent years, the rapid rise of poaching has threatened to undermine the good work. from "Worst year ever for SA rhino poaching" by Matt McGrath, BBC News, 17 January 2014

The Animal Rights Action Network has sent a "stiff letter" to Lord of the Dance star, Michael Flatley, stating displeasure at what it describes as his “selfish” behaviour. The group’s founder, John Carmody, writes: “Whilst I am sure the break-in was traumatic and stressful on you and your family’s part, has it set in or even occurred to you that neither you nor those who stole the horn are the rightful owners? That horn once belonged to a sentient living animal who’s very species is in serious trouble right now due to poaching and hunting. The animals are literally on the brink of being wiped off the face of the planet. In order to obtain a rhino horn, the animal must first be shot dead, which can often be more than one bullet before the animal has much of its faced hacked off in order to get to the root of the horn that you so casually had on display at your home. Have you thought for even a moment how much violence and crime was behind the origin of that “ornament”? from People are not impressed by Michael Flatley’s rhino horn [which was this month stolen by thieves],, 28th January 2014

"There are thousands of pheasants for African safari room...and a wildlife sanctuary with rare bird, fox, rabbit, red squirrel, mink and badger [on the grounds of Castlehyde mansion, home of Michael Flatley]" from the Michael Flatley website

I love Clonmel and its heritage but I’m not proud of that disgraceful event known as the “national Coursing Meeting” and I believe I am entitled to dissent from the view that it makes the town and district look good. It doesn’t. This 3 day festival of animal baiting, of subjecting hares to the terror and distress of this so-called sport, is making Clonmel the cruelty capital of Ireland. We should ban it forever as happened in other parts of the world instead of promoting it as a wonderful sporting event, which it must definitely isn’t! Comment left on the Clonmel Online website

24. Letters to the Editor

Help raise awareness about Ireland's animal cruelty issues - write letters to the editors of local and national newspapers to speak out against hare coursing, foxhunting, etc.

Wake up to cruelty
Letters to the Editor
Irish Daily Mail, January 6, 2014

We who are involved in animal welfare/rescue are up just as early as the so called 'good fellows' who take their perverted pleasure from persecuting and terrorising innocent animals in their habitats.

We rescuers are up early picking up the pieces from this so-called sport.

Apart from the foxes and all the other wildlife disturbed during these hunts, the hounds and the horses are often ill-treated by many of these great 'custodians of the countryside'.

How many hunt kennels would allow the general public/animal welfare people in to see what really goes on there, the puppies that are culled at birth for being the wrong colour, size, shape, etc.

The old hounds that can't keep up with the pack, old at three to four years of age. Where do they end up?

And the horses injured out hunting, who takes care of them when they are no longer able to do the job required of them, in some cases carrying overweight men and women over long distances and over rough terrain?

And what about the numerous domestic pets and livestock that are chased, mauled and killed by blood-thirsty hounds, bred to do just that?

The group Farmers Against Foxhunting and Trespass have many a convincing tale to tell - give them a chance to tell the real truth about this so-called benign pastime.

What puzzles me the most is the farmers who allow these hunts to cross their land, destroying fences and walls in the process.

And the Department of Agriculture who allow horses and hounds traverse one farm to another, bringing disease and the potential for the snail that transports the Liver Fluke disease from farm animal to farm animal, not to mention other diseases.

Hundreds of thousands of euro are spent each year by farmers on the treatment/prevention of Liver Fluke and many other diseases, it just doesn't make sense.

Blood sports should be banned and are in every civilised country.

We are supposed to be the superior being, let us show that we are. Just because something is legal does not mean it is right.

Let 2014 be the year we finally wake up to the realities of animal cruelty and what it means to us as a society.

Fiona Gammell

Unhappy hunting
Letters to the Editor
Irish Times, Dec 30, 2013

Sir, – Your photograph (Barry Cronin, Front page, December 27th) projects the picture postcard image of foxhunting, the alluring pomp and pageantry of this traditional English pastime that England has banned.

What nifty blood red or shining black jackets the hunters wear as they set off on their festive pursuit of Reynard. And what lovely white breeches and well polished gleaming jodhpurs they wear. Not to mention all those impeccably behaved hounds scampering past cheery sightseers. Almost any one of the hunt images that surface in the newspapers at this time of year wouldn’t look out of place on a Christmas card.

Unfortunately they present a misleading picture of foxhunting. We never see a photograph of a fox at the end of a hunt, on the point of exhaustion, its lungs spent and the dogs closing for the kill. No pictures either of this much-maligned wild dog of the countryside having the skin ripped off its bones in a melee of orchestrated savagery.

Instead we have again the feel-good colour pieces and happy-clappy snapshots.

I accept photographers and journalists have to make a living, but no amount of whitewashing can alter the truth about this blood sport. I have witnessed the cruelty firsthand and I can assure your readers that the agonised death of a hunted fox by disembowelling is not a pretty picture. – Yours, etc,

John Fitzgerald,
(Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports),
Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny

Why I'll always regret buying a shotgun
Irish Independent, 06 January 2014

Once, a long time ago, I bought a shotgun. I had gotten into my head to go hunting and thought this might be fun.

As soon as this gun was in my possession, it felt good, powerful, and as I fingered the beautiful French engraving on the steel and Oakwood butt right down to the trigger finger, that feeling of power grew.

The next day I found myself in Connemara on the hunt for a rabbit or anything else that was legal to shoot. I did not have to wait long. In fact, I hardly had to get out of my car for there he was, my prey, my rabbit, right in front of me -- less than 10 metres away.

Surely he will at least make a run for it, give himself a sporting chance, though he may not have shared my point of view.

As I reached for the gun clumsily and noisily, took precious agonising seconds to load it, this rabbit did not move; when I slowly took aim at him, he did not move even then.

I was now looking at him with his heart still beating, eyes bright and wide, standing on his hind legs erect and pausing with a living, breathing curiosity, when time seemed to stand still as I pressed down on the trigger.

The gun kicked back, seeming to recoil at its own violence as thunder crashed into my ear.

The rabbit was dead.

I walked up to him, or it, for I did not know if it was a male or a female and could not tell, and surely it did not matter now to the rabbit.

The following week, I sold the gun at a loss, sure in the knowledge that I could never go killing for fun any more or ever kill again unless I needed to.

Barry Clifford
Oughterard, Co Galway

Not keen on coursing
Irish Examiner, February 16, 2011

I will regretfully cease to buy your paper due to the extensive coverage you give to coursing.

I know it is one of the best and most fair-minded newspapers around and I would generally purchase it three to four times a week.

Mary Tinnan
Kinlough, Co Leitrim


25. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Minister Coveney: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty

Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland

Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Minister Simon Coveney: Ban ALL Tail Docking - No Exemptions

Ask An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to Ban Hare Coursing

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Protect the Irish Hare

End Cruel Blood Sport of Fox Hunting in Ireland

Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Coillte - Ban hunters from your forests

Ban Fur Sales on eBay

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

Ban Torturous Hanging of Greyhounds in Spain

Dunnes Stores: Lift Ban on Animal Charities Fundraising

Arts Council of Ireland: Stop funding animal circuses

Stop the EU funding bullfighting

Stop Torturing Bears: End Bear Bile Farming In China

Stop badger culling and focus on a vaccination programme in Ireland

Add report option "Animal Abuse" on Facebook

End Bullfighting in France

STOP Spain's cruel and barbaric Toro de la Vega


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
Connect with us on Facebook, 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 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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