Animal Voice, Issue 7, July 2014
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Receive Animal Voice by email every month - Subscribe Now

01. Hare coursing cruelty catalogue 2014
02. Celebrities call for ban on Ireland's cruel fur farming
03. Urge Minister Simon Coveney to 'Ban fur farming now'
04. 8 out of 10 want fur farming banned in Ireland: opinion poll
05. Dog with atrocious injuries believed to be victim of dogfighting
06. Minister Coveney approves painful mutilation of dogs
07. Donedeal urged to ban animal killing ads
08. Greyhound Board has "overall control" of hare coursing
09. Senator brands birds "vermin", calls for Minister to stop them
10. Protest against badger cull, July 30th, Dublin
11. Badger cull inhumane and ineffective: scientific report
12. Illegal deer poaching in County Clare
13. Letters to the Editor
14. Campaign Quotes
15. Petitions

01. Hare coursing cruelty catalogue 2014

The ongoing cycle of hare coursing cruelty continues and in a few weeks, the coursers are in line to receive another annual licence from new Minister for Arts Heritage, Heather Humphreys. The licence will permit them to cruelly snatch in the region of 5,500 hares from the wild for use as live lures at approximately 80 coursing meetings around the country.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports has recently accessed reports on hare coursing meetings for the 2013/14 season of cruelty, and they make for depressing reading as usual, with hares being mauled, injured and killed as they run for their lives in fear and terror before greyhounds.

This year, in a new departure, the coursers, who are required to make returns to the National Parks & Wildlife Services, detailing numbers of hares mauled, injured and killed, euphemistically describe hares being struck and mauled by greyhounds as "requiring assistance". For example, at Doon & District, 4 hares "required assistance" and were put down by the vet because of their injuries; at Dundalk and Dowdallshill, 6 hares "required assistance", 4 were euthanised by vet and 3 died of "natural causes", and in Tradaree in November 2013, the coursers claimed that 6 hares "required assistance", resulting in 3 dying of "natural causes" though no post mortems were carried out to establish cause of deaths, while at the same meeting, the National Parks ranger stated that 13 hares were struck by dogs, and 3 were "found dead in the paddock" the next day. And at Gorey, the National Parks ranger cited 4 hares hit by dogs, with 2 dying of their injuries, while the coursers cited 3 hares "requiring assistance" and 1 put down, which points to the fact that we can expect the coursers to minimise the number of victims.

In another case, New Ross, the National Parks ranger cited 14 hares struck by dogs, while coursers claimed that only 11 hares were struck.

This year, only 23 coursing meetings were monitored by National Parks rangers, down significantly on previous years. At one of these meetings, Liscannor, a ranger was "intimidated" when she asked to check the hare paddock, and at Mallow, when a time was arranged with the National Parks ranger for a supervised release of hares, the coursers failed to turn up and refused to provide a contact phone number. Failure to co-operate with the NPWS ranger is a breach of the licence conditions.

At Fermoy, a vet failed to attend to a hare which had been hit, with the ranger stating: "I asked that the vet look at the hit hare but he did not come." It is a condition of the hare netting licence that a vet be in attendance at coursing meetings.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is seeking a meeting with Minister Heather Humphreys, who has responsibility for the National Parks & Wildlife Service, to put our case against the cruel capture of hares from the wild for use in coursing, and to ask her to call on the coursers to implement drag coursing, the humane alternative to live hare coursing, for which have video evidence filmed at a drag coursing meeting in Listry, Killarney last year, and which shows it works very well, with the coursing dogs enthusiastically following the drag - see our footage at

For more details, read the ICABS report


Contact the Minister for Arts and Heritage, Heather Humphreys, and urge her not to issue a licence for another season of hare coursing.

Email "Stop the cruelty. Don't license hare coursing" to,
Tel: (01) 631 3800

Sign the petition: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing Save Irish hares from cruel coursing [or]


02. Celebrities call for ban on Ireland's cruel fur farming

Over 280 members of the film, television and music industries have come together to urge Minister Simon Coveney to outlaw Ireland's cruel fur farming.

"We are all calling for an immediate ban on fur farming in Ireland," say the actors, directors, writers, musicians, producers, comedians, models and make-up artists in a joint statement.

United in demanding a ban by Fair City/The Clinic star Rachel Pilkington, the compassionate celebrities include Saoirse Ronan, Stephen Rea, Angeline Ball, Sharon Shannon, Bosco Hogan, Charlene Gleeson, Bryan Murray, Pauline McLynn and many more.

Disturbing video footage, filmed this month in Laois shows the plight of mink on Irish fur farms. The animals are seen throwing themselves against the bars of their cages in futile attempts to get free.

Irish Council Against Blood Sports spokesperson, Aideen Yourell, who was present at a NARA protest outside the fur farm, describes as "very distressing and depressing" the sight of row upon row of sheds, containing the confined mink desperately trying to get free from the cages.

Fur farming is outlawed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney - despite overwhelming opposition - has so far refused to ban it here, even though it is a minority industry with only five farms operating in the country.

"The Minister is proposing a so-called code of practice for fur farms, but this won't address the intrinsic and inherent cruelty of confining wild animals in cages, and then gassing them to death at six months old," Aideen said. "This code of practice exhorts the operators to be 'respectful of mink' and develop a 'positive relationship between man and animal' but from what I saw on Saturday, there is no scope for such touchy feely sentiments to be implemented in such a ghastly and nightmarish operation."

"If we, as a supposedly civilised country, cannot legislate against this horrendous cruelty, we are sending out a message that we lack the courage to take on minority interests, that we are a gutless and backward country, which has a history of brushing unpleasant social and moral issues under the carpet, and only addressing these when we are embarrassed into it or have our arms twisted to do the right thing."

A opinion poll has shown that a massive majority want fur farming banned in Ireland. The poll recorded over 13,000 votes, with 79 per cent of voters expressing support for a ban. Excluding those who were unsure, the percentage in favour of a ban stands at 83 per cent.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports thanks and commends all the celebrities for speaking out and providing a major boost to the campaign for a ban on fur farming. Minister Coveney must listen to the majority and act to end this shameful industry.

Amongst those to lend their names to Rachel Pilkington's campaign are:

Saoirse Ronan, (Atonement/The Host/Hannah), Robert Sheehan (Misfits/Love/Hate), Pauline McLynn (Eastenders/Fr.Ted), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game/Breakfast On Pluto), Orla Brady (Doctor Who/Sinbad/Mistresses), Gráinne Seoige (Presenter), Angeline Ball (The Commitments/The General), Sharon Shannon (Musician), Peter Coonan (Love/Hate), Síle Seoige (Presenter), Don Baker (Musician), Ruth Negga (World War Z/Shirley/Love Is The Drug), Mary Coughlan (Singer), Lenny Abrahamson (Director- Frank/What Richard Did), Brian Kennedy (Singer), Eva Birthistle (Amber/Waking The Dead), Paddy McKenna (Radio Presenter), Frances Black (Singer), Darren Holden & Martin Furey (Musicians -The High Kings), Clelia Murphy (Fair City), Rosanna Davison (Model), Simon Delaney (Delivery Man/Bachelors Walk), Aisling O' Sullivan (Raw/The Clinic), Jason Barry (Titanic/Love/Hate), Peter Sheridan (Director - Borstal Boy), Mary Black (Singer), Hugh O' Conor (The Stag/My Left Foot), Victoria Smurfit (Dracula/The Beach/About A Boy), Peter McDonald (The Stag/Moone Boy/When Brendan Met Trudy) and Josh Gray ('Home town' Band Member).


03. Urge Minister Simon Coveney to 'Scrap the code of practice. Ban fur farming now'

ICABS is joining calls on Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, to scrap a proposed code of practice for fur farmers and instead ban the shameful industry which sees animals cruelly caged and gassed to death.

The farcical code of practice is presented as aiming to "safeguard the welfare of mink" and encouraging fur farmers to "be respectful of the mink".

In an email to Minister Coveney, ICABS stated that "the notion of respect for animals is entirely alien to the fur industry, given the fact that it is based on cruelly caging animals, gassing them to death and ripping the fur from their bodies."

Please join calls on Minister Coveney to scrap the code of practice and introduce a total ban on cruel fur farming.


Sign and share our petition: Ban fur farming in Ireland

Demand a ban on fur farming in Ireland.

In 2005, Simon Coveney, Enda Kenny and Joan Burton voted in favour of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill. The bill was narrowly defeated by 67 votes to 50 but now - nine years and over a million animal deaths later - the trio of Agriculture Minister, Taoiseach and Tanaiste are in the perfect positions to put in place a ban. Please contact them now and tell them that "The time has come to ban fur farming in Ireland".


Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01 661 1013 and 021 437 4862


Dear Minister Coveney, Tanaiste, Taoiseach,

I support a total ban on fur farming and an immediate closure of Ireland's fur farms.

In these hellholes, animals suffer a horrendous life of misery before being cruelly gassed to death. There is absolutely no justification for allowing this cruelty to continue.

Please ban fur farming now.

Yours sincerely,



04. 8 out of 10 want fur farming banned in Ireland: opinion poll

A opinion poll has shown that a massive majority want fur farming banned in Ireland.

The poll which asks "Should we ban fur farming in Ireland?" has so far recorded over 13,000 votes, with 10,424 (or 79 per cent) of voters expressing support for a ban. Just over 2,000 opposed a ban while 654 were not sure. Out of those who voted yes or no, the percentage in favour of a ban stands at 83 per cent.

ICABS has brought this poll to the attention of Minister Simon Coveney and urged him to respect public opinion and put in place a ban on this shameful industry.


05. Dog with atrocious injuries believed to be victim of dogfighting

The ISPCA is appealing for information in relation to a terrier found in Dublin with atrocious injuries. The dog, who is now recovering, is believed to have been used in illegal dogfighting.

The dog was discovered in Finglas and was suffering multiple severe wounds to his neck, throat and front legs consistent with bites from another dog.

Quoted in the Sunday World, ISPCA's Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: "It would appear that [the dog] was involved in some form of dog fight. But, from an assessment of the dog and his injuries, we do not believe that he willingly engaged in a fight with the other dog involved. We would really like to identify those responsible for putting Garth in the position whereby he suffered these atrocious injuries and old them legally accountable for their actions".

If you have information on those responsible, please contact the ISPCA's National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or the Irish Blue Cross on 01-4163033.


06. Minister Coveney approves painful mutilation of dogs

The Minister for Agriculture has given his approval to an animal mutilation that is considered so unethical, Irish vets who perform it could be struck off.

It has emerged that on March 5th, two days before the Animal Health and Welfare Act came into effect, Minister Simon Coveney gave the go-ahead to Statutory Instrument 128/2014 which despite being titled "Prohibition On Tail Docking And Dew Claw Removal (Dogs) Regulations 2014" actually sets out "the conditions under which the docking of a dog's tail is permitted".

Once again the Minister for Agriculture has shamefully given in to those involved in animal cruelty and granted the exemption they were seeking. He has dismissed calls from animal lovers and animal protection groups to implement a ban on all tail docking and dew claw removal. Docking has been condemned for causing "unnecessary short and long-term pain and suffering" while dew claw removal has been likened to "the chopping off of the equivalent of the thumbs of pups".

But while the intention of Coveney's regulations is to allow certain breeds of hunting dogs to be subjected to mutilation, the veterinary profession here consider it unethical and are thankfully refusing to perform it. Unless the docking of a tail is for therapeutic purposes, vets are strictly prohibited from carrying it out.

According to the regulations, "a person shall not remove or cause or permit another person to remove the tail or part of the tail or the dew claws of a dog" - unless it's done in accordance with Regulation 4.

Regulation 4 states that "a veterinary practitioner or a veterinary nurse may remove the tail or part of the tail or the dew claws of a pointer, spaniel or terrier" if the dog is less than 8 days old and if the dog is "to be used in connection with lawful pest control or the lawful hunting or shooting of animals".

Last year, hunting groups asked Minister Coveney to allow them to continue subjecting their dogs to the cruel and painful procedures by exempting them from the provisions of the Animal Health and Welfare Act. In December, the Minister said that exemptions for the docking of "certain breeds" in "certain circumstances" may be considered but only if scientific evidence shows that it is of benefit to the welfare of the dog.

ICABS understands that an expert veterinary working group, comprising members of Veterinary Ireland, the Veterinary Council of Ireland and the School of Veterinary medicine in UCD, has been set up to consider if "the incidence and severity of tail injuries in working dogs is so high over their lifetime that they will, on balance, suffer less by being preventatively docked as pups." When their report is complete, they will be making a submission to the Minister.

The latest research from Scotland suggests that to prevent one tail injury in an adult dog, between 81 and 135 puppies would need to be docked.

Speaking on Morning Ireland last November, Veterinary Ireland's Alan Rossiter stated: "We've looked at this in a very objective manner and all the studies we've looked at so far have said that the incidence of injury just isn't high enough to warrant cutting off all their tails...We're disbarred by the Veterinary Council of Ireland from doing this procedure. If I did it, I could be struck off because they are unethical procedures, they confer no benefit to the animal; they only cause pain and risk to the animal."


Tell Minister Coveney that cutting off tails and dew claws is cruel. Ask him to reverse his decision to allow it.

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

Please sign and share our petition.

Minister - Don't allow hunters to cut off dogs' tails.


07. Donedeal urged to ban animal killing ads

Donedeal is being asked to stop accepting adverts from those offering to kill animals. A "Deer Culling" ad currently on display on is inviting contact from people who want deer killed in Wicklow, Waterford, Tipperary and Kilkenny. Although claiming to be animal lovers, Done Deal has so far refused to remove the ad.


Ask Donedeal to stop publishing adverts involving the killing of deer or any animals - Email


08. Greyhound Board has "overall control" of hare coursing

Bord na gCon, the Irish Greyhound Board has "overall control" of hare coursing, according to a Department of Agriculture document seen by ICABS.

The October 2010 "confidential Department submission to the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities", states that Bord na gCon's functions include "the control, promotion and operation of greyhound racing [and] the overall control of coursing".

More recently, the Greyhound Board's coursing connection was highlighted earlier this year in a response to a Dail Question from Tommy Broughan TD. Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney described the Irish Greyhound Board as "the statutory body with responsibility for the improvement and development of the greyhound industry, greyhound racing and coursing."

Despite the fact that a massive majority of Irish people are opposed to hare coursing and want it outlawed, the Irish Greyhound Board receives millions of euros of taxpayers' money via grants from the Irish Government. In the period 2001-2010, the total amount received was over 134 million Euro. in 2014, the figure is nearly 11 million Euro.

In 2004, the IGB's Michael Foley told then Green Party TD Dan Boyle that "the board has not supported the Irish Coursing Club financially". In the decade since then, it remains unknown if the Irish Coursing Club indirectly benefited from government funds.


09. Senator brands birds "vermin", calls for Minister to stop them

A County Kerry Senator is calling for action to be taken to "stop" Dublin seagulls.

Speaking in the Seanad on July 17th, Ned O'Sullivan branded the birds "vermin", blamed them for keeping people awake and went on to claim that they "dispossess [children] of their lollipops and stuff like that".

"I am very much against seagulls," he said. "It seems that the seagulls have lost the run of themselves completely. In the apartment block I live in, it is impossible to get a night's sleep."

According to an Irish Independent report, Senator O'Sullivan's comments were met with jeers from colleagues.


10. Protest against badger cull, July 30th, Dublin

The Department of Agriculture has announced plans to cruelly snare and kill 12,000 more badgers in Ireland over the next two years, as part of a failed "cull" to stop the spread of bovine TB.

Already, an estimated 100,000 of the supposedly protected creatures have been killed by the Department, with a licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Animal Rights Action Network will hold a protest against the badger cull outside the Department of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin on Wednesday July 30 from 12 noon to 2pm. More info at


11. Badger cull inhumane and ineffective: scientific report

Badger culls were 'ineffective and failed humaneness test'
By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News

An independent scientific assessment of last year's pilot badger culls in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset has concluded that they were not effective.

Analysis commissioned by the government found the number of badgers killed fell well short of the target deemed necessary, the BBC understands.

And up to 18% of culled badgers took longer than five minutes to die, failing the test for humaneness.

The pilot culls were intended to limit the spread of TB in cattle.

They were carried out to demonstrate the ability to combat bovine TB though a controlled reduction in the population of local badgers.

Contracted marksmen, paid for by farming groups, were employed to shoot the animals at night.

The Independent Expert Panel was appointed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to help ministers evaluate the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of the Gloucestershire and Somerset pilots.

Prof Rosie Woodroffe, a scientist at the Zoological Society of London, said that the panel's "findings show unequivocally that the culls were not effective and that they failed to meet the humaneness criteria.

"I hope this will lead to the Secretary of State (Owen Paterson) to focus on other ways of eradicating TB in cattle," she told BBC News.

Robin Hargreaves, president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said it was the BVA that had taken a lead in calling for the controlled shooting to be tested and critically evaluated before it was rolled out.

"We are unable to comment in detail on the findings of the IEP until we have seen the report," he told the BBC. "But if these figures are true then they would certainly raise concerns about both the humaneness and efficacy of controlled shooting.

"We have always stated that if the pilots were to fail on humaneness then BVA could not support the wider roll out of the method of controlled shooting."

The pilots were authorised by Defra and licensed by Natural England.


12. Illegal deer poaching in County Clare

Illegal deer poaching taking place in County Clare
Clare People, July 16 2014

The National Parks and Wildlife Service [NPWS] have confirmed that illegal deer poaching is taking place in parts of Clare but cannot comment as to whether the problem is getting worse.

This comes in the wake of an incident in the Whitegate area last month when a horse was shot dead on private property by suspected poachers.

It has also been reported locally that shooting, and night shooting in particular, is continuing in areas of the county even though the shooting season for deer has long closed and that some people are even shooting illegally from the back of moving vehicles.

East Clare residents have also expressed their concern that poachers, using high powered rifles to shoot at night, could pose a serious risk to public health.

"We do get reports of illegal hunting. Shooting at night is illegal.

"Discharging a fire arm from a public roadway is also illegal but that would be a matter for the gardaí to deal with.

"Shooting from a moving vehicle is also illegal and would be a matter for the gardaí if done from a public road, shooting from a vehicle off-road is something that we [NPWS] would look at under the Wildlife act," said Seamus Hassett, District Conservation Officer for the NPWS.

"We mount patrols in conjunction with the gardaí and sometimes on our own but in relation to going to court, evidence has to be gathered and you would need to have a robust and strong enough case to take them to court.

"That would entail evidence, either physical or others.

"I cannot really comment on whether the problem is getting worse in Clare or not.

"You hear anecdotal evidence that deer numbers are decreasing in some areas and also that they are increasing in others.

"So it is very difficult to give an accurate answer. But we are aware of an element of what we would consider taking place in Clare."

Fears have been raised about the dangers of night hunting in parts of Clare with poachers using rifled that can kill from a number of kilometres away.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service have confirmed that, under current legislation, there is no maximum power of rifle than can be used. "There is no upper limit to how powerful the rifles can be, there is a minimum power. The rifles must be of at least a .22 caliber with a minimum grain weight of 64 grains and a minimum muzzle velocity of 1700 foot pounds.


13. 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.

Hare Coursing Shames The Nation
Sunday Independent, 20th July 2014

I find it interesting that the review of Bord na gCon, the Greyhound Board, prepared by Indecon International Consultants for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine refers to the "reputational damage" to the greyhound industry caused by doping scandals. It recommends that the "Bord na gCon sanctions regime should be strengthened in fundamental ways to become a real deterrent to animal cruelty."

I welcome the report's confirmation that there are considerable animal welfare problems in the greyhound industry, and its recommendation that these be addressed. The welfare issues alluded to are doping and ill-treatment of greyhounds.

Unfortunately, because the report's brief was confined to the affairs of Bord na gCon and the status of greyhound track racing, it did not tackle what is by far the most grievous animal welfare issue affecting the industry: the practice of hare coursing, in which thousands of wild hares are snatched from the countryside and used as live bait.

After weeks of unnatural captivity, the animals are forced to run for their lives from competing pairs of greyhounds. . . all for a laugh and a gamble. Though the dogs are muzzled, they can maul the hares, pin them to the ground, and toss them about like rag dolls, inflicting serious injuries.

Even hares that avoid direct physical contact with the dogs can die after the coursing event from Stress Myopathy, a condition brought on by a traumatic experience.

Apart from the horrific and completely unnecessary suffering caused to the hares in coursing, this blood sport undermines the credibility of the whole greyhound industry and shames Ireland as a nation.

Many jurisdictions have outlawed it, most recently Northern Ireland, and I suggest that our own government add a hare coursing ban to the list of legislative changes it will be making in response to the Indecon Report.

John Fitzgerald

Pamplona bull run
Irish Times, July 9th 2014

Sir, The injuring of four people during the annual Pamplona bull run ("Pamplona bull run leaves four hospitalised on first day", July 7th) is another reminder of how cruel and irresponsible this barbaric ritual is, despite the romanticised image that attaches to it in the minds of the heartless, the deluded and the misinformed.

Apart from the risk to human participants, the bulls don't deserve this vile mistreatment. They are goaded by "sportspeople" who prod them or administer electric shocks prior to the run. The animals are teased and aggravated to the point of frenzy, and the presence of so many people standing, gesticulating, or running along the narrow cobbled streets adds to their fear and distress.

Traumatic though the run is for them, the bulls are afterwards subjected a far worse ordeal. They are tortured to death in another so-called traditional event, the bullfight, in which they are hacked and stabbed with razor-sharp lances before being teased by a caped matador who dispatches him with a sword thrust. All for the edification of a blood-crazed mob that wouldn't look out of place in an ancient Roman coliseum.

The biggest myth surrounding this twisted and sadistic form of entertainment is the notion that the matador, whatever one thinks of the "sport", is a heroic fellow who puts his life on the line in the pursuance of a noble custom.

In fact, apart from the softening-up process in the ring with the repeated stabbing by the picadors, the bull is also weakened even before entering the ring. This is accomplished by beating the animal with great force over the kidneys and rubbing Vaseline into its eyes to impair vision.

I find it revolting that the Pamplona "festival" is still being covered by the media as an almost normal cultural activity. It doesn't deserve any such standing. It belongs, not in the annals of culture or legitimate tourism but in the dustbin of history, along with bear baiting, hare coursing, and dog fighting. That there are people who organise and participate in such barbarism is a disgrace to humanity. Yours, etc,

John Fitzgerald,
Lower Coyne Street,
Callan, Co Kilkenny

We need to legislate against mink farming
Irish Examiner, July 09, 2014

Recently, I went to see a midlands fur farm, which was situated in a scenic area beside a canal. The first thing that met me was the noxious smell of effluent, and then from a bridge on the canal I could look down and see the extent of the operation, row upon row of sheds, with the confined mink throwing themselves desperately against the cages a very distressing and depressing sight, knowing that there was nothing one could do to alleviate their torture.

Fur farming is outlawed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but Minister for Agriculture Coveney, despite much opposition, decided not to ban it here.

He has decided to implement a code of practice for fur farms, but this won't address the intrinsic and inherent cruelty of keeping wild animals confined in cages, and then gassing them to death at six months old to be skinned and their pelts exported for fashion items. This code of practice exhorts the operators to be "respectful of mink" and develop a "positive relationship between man and animal".

If we as a so-called civilised country cannot legislate against this horrendous cruelty, we are sending out a message that we lack the courage to take on minority interests, that we are a gutless and backward country, which has a history of brushing unpleasant social and moral issues under the carpet.

Aideen Yourell
Co Westmeath

Alternatives to a badger cull?
Irish Times, July 14, 2014

Sir, The Department of Agriculture's plan to have 12,000 badgers killed over the next two years as part of an anti-bovine TB initiative is monstrous. An estimated 100,000 of these shy, nocturnal creatures have already been snared and shot in Ireland in the course of successive department-sponsored culling programmes, and still the disease continues to afflict farms nationwide, with the badger killing to date failing to make even a dent in the incidence of bovine TB.

Instead of targeting the badger, which is supposedly protected under the 1976 Wildlife Act and a Council of Europe convention, I suggest the department focus its energies on the search for a badger vaccine against the disease that would remove the broc's alleged threat to Ireland's agricultural sector.

Snaring is cruel to badgers. Each animal caught has to wait, struggling to break free from the stranglehold, for the arrival of someone contracted by the department to end its life with a rifle shot.

That's an ordeal no wild animal should have to endure, but there is another reason why the snaring of badgers should not even be contemplated, the prevalence in the countryside of organised badger baiting. Unscrupulous people set pairs of dogs on captive badgers until either the badger is ripped to pieces or one or both of the dogs has been mauled to death by the terrified creature.

The badger is being made to serve as a scapegoat for the department's failure to tackle bovine TB and to devote adequate resources to the quest for a vaccine. It's time for everyone who values our wonderful wildlife heritage to say no to a badger cull! Yours, etc,

John Fitzgerald,
Lower Coyne Street,
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Twinning at expense of horse racing industry
Irish Examiner, July 12 2014

While a possible twining between Waterford and Haikou city, China, might yield cultural and business rewards, it is a concern that it might take place at the expense of the non-human members of our society.

The intention to introduce a horse racing industry into Haikou could be seen as an attempt to export an activity that has a seam of animal cruelty, illegal drug use and financial malpractice running through it.

Horse racing is an activity based on greed and involves the abuse of animals in the pursuit of financial profit.

The fact Ireland is looking to export one of our animal-based cruel activities to China could open the floodgates to creating a shamrock cruelty industry.

Our national pastimes of live hare coursing, dog fighting, badger baiting and foxhunting could soon be heading to China with the approval of local and national government.

Given that Waterford has been involved in the live animal export trade that has sent Irish farm animals to their deaths under Middle Eastern skies, will our involvement with this twinning project mean that we soon will be exporting Irish horses to be abused for financial interests

For Ireland to inflict the horse racing industry on China would be an act of cultural vandalism on a par with knocking over the Great Wall of China and using the rubble to build a horse racing track.

John Tierney
Chairman, Waterford Animal Concern


14. Campaign Quotes

"Fur farming violates most of the five freedoms which underpin animal welfare. Not only are animals denied the right to freedom and dignity, they are also denied the fundamental right to life." Actress Rachel Pilkington, Evening Herald, 22 July 2014. Rachel is leading a campaign for a ban on Ireland's cruel fur farming.

An elephant who was held in spiked chains and beaten for fifty years in India was released on July 4th - American Independence Day. Raju was reported to have cried tears of relief after he was rescued in a daring midnight operation last Thursday night. from Elephant 'cries' when freed after 50 years in chains,, 8th July 2014

In a champion move for animals, Wimbledon star Andy Murray has just banished promos for hunting from the website of his luxury Cromlix Hotel in Scotland! The tennis gold medallist hadn't realised that the inexcusable pastime of maiming and killing animals with high-powered weapons was being advertised on his hotel's website. After hearing from PETA, his company's management swiftly confirmed that "Andy has made sure all traces of hunting have been removed from the website". Bravo! A British study found that 11 per cent of deer who'd been killed by hunters died only after being shot two or more times and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 minutes before dying. from the PETA UK website, June 24th 2014

Harold's Cross Greyhound Stadium in Dublin may have to be sold in a bid to save Bord na gCon, the body that runs the greyhound racing industry. It is in the red to the tune of Eur21m, and a new report has recommended it sell off some of its assets. They also include the board's former head office in Limerick and land in Cork. Consultants Indecon have also suggested Bord na gCon reduce the number of races it holds so less money prize money is given out. from Report advises Bord na gCon to sell off greyhound stadium, Irish Examiner, July 8th 2014.

A major cull of the wild deer of Wicklow is urgently needed as cases of bovine TB rise sharply in the Garden County and farmers count the cost of damaged crops, broken fences and lost pasture..."You have very sick deer running across family farms and spreading disease. No-one likes to hear it but a cull is needed," [pro-bloodsport IFA President Eddie] Downey said..."It is causing major hardship for families. The deer have come down from the uplands and once they get a taste for young sweet grass they tend to hang around," he added. from Major wild deer cull 'urgently needed' to combat TB - IFA, Irish Independent, 23 July 2014

"The later implementation of the badger culling programme in these counties due to staffing reasons, and the particular terrain involved makes badger culling more difficult. This has impeded progress in eradication. The staffing issue has been addressed and the badger culling programme is now being implemented more effectively," the Department said. from Major wild deer cull 'urgently needed' to combat TB - IFA, Irish Independent, 23 July 2014


15. Petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Save Irish hares from cruel coursing Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty

Minister Simon Coveney: Ban ALL Tail Docking - No Exemptions

Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland

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

National Trust - stop allowing hunters and terriermen on your land

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

Add report option "Animal Abuse" on Facebook

End Bullfighting in France

STOP Spain's cruel and barbaric Toro de la Vega

Protect Pygmy Rabbit from Extinction


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.

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