Animal Voice, Issue 5, 2015
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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01. Double protests against cruel hare coursing in Edenderry
02. Queen legend Brian May condemns Ireland's cruel coursing
03. Shocking false claim about hare coursing from Minister Humphreys' office
04. Coursers plead guilty to poaching hares on Boora bog nature reserve
05. Limerick Council urged to reject application to retain unauthorised coursing field
06. Irish Indo asked to drop coursing from sports section
07. Maureen O'Sullivan TD questions Minister about post mortems on hares killed in coursing
08. Willie O'Dea TD expresses support for ban on hare coursing
09. "Finally we’ve managed to convince the local farmer to ban hunting from his land"
10. Nursing home connected to cruel hare coursing
11. Veterinary Nurse acting as judge at coursing meeting
12. Three hunters fined for disturbing badger sett with killer dog
14. Horrific blooding incident in Tullamore - rabbit torn apart by dogs as children watch
15. Limerick TD asks why a hunter's licence was delayed
16. Minister Humphreys performs opening ceremony at hunting fair
17. Two new wildlife stamps from An Post
18. "Animals need to be protected" says Minister who facilitates Ireland's worst cruelty
19. Death of anti-bloodsports councillor, Seamus O’Boyle
20. Stolen defibrillators used to 'blood up' fighting dogs
21. IFA's calls for deer cull are branded "misguided"
22. How local authorities are benefiting from Ireland's puppy farming
23. Fedamore GAA Club asked to keep foxhunters out
24. Ask to remove bullfighting from online guides
25. Travel Channel removes bullfighting from "Why We Love the Spanish" gallery
26. Minister questioned about bait digging and crabbing on Bull Island
27. Minister Humphreys allowing threatened birds to be shot out of the skies
28. Letters to the Editor
29. Campaign Quotes
30. Petitions - Please sign and share

01. Double protests against cruel hare coursing in Edenderry

On Saturday and Sunday, October 17 & 18 2015, members of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, the Animal Rights Action Network, Offaly SPCA and Athlone SPCA gathered outside Edenderry coursing club to protest against the use of hares as live bait in front of greyhounds at a coursing event.

Hares are plucked from the wild in nets, compliments of a licence issued by the Minister for Arts & Heritage, Heather Humphreys, even though the Irish hare, a unique species, is supposedly "protected" under the Wildlife Act.

Edenderry coursing club is situated very close to the town, beside the Lidl and Tesco stores, and the hare coursing can be seen from the large window of the upstairs cafe in Tesco, so while patrons sipped their coffee and tea last Saturday and Sunday, they were able to witness the barbaric spectacle of defenceless hares running for their lives in front of two chasing greyhounds. A hare weighs from 6 to 8lb, while the muzzled greyhounds weighing 60 to 80lb, and travelling at speeds of up to 40 mph can do a lot of damage when they strike and maul a hare. Every year, without fail, reports obtained from the National Parks & Wildlife Service document hares injured and killed during coursing.

Sadly and most regrettably, a Catholic priest, Fr. Dan Dunne, PP of Ballyadams Parish, Co. Laois, is listed as the owner of a competing greyhound on the Edenderry coursing card. His dog, Tullamoy Rebel is listed as no. 13 in the Finbar & Bridie Murphy Memorial Derby Trial Stake. Fr Dunne was acting as chairman of a coursing development committee of the Irish Coursing Club in 2010, so not only is he involved in coursing as a greyhound owner, but shamefully, he was actively involved in promoting this cruel "sport" in 2010, and possibly still holds that position.

It's apparent, judging from the paltry attendance at the hare coursing meeting in Edenderry, that the activity is dying out, and has little support from the vast majority in Edenderry, who honked their car horns enthusiastically in support for the protest as they drove in and out of Lidl and Tesco on Saturday and Sunday. It's high time this cruel and abusive activity was outlawed in line with our neighbours in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.

A big thank you to all the groups and individuals who supported the protests - including those from Offaly and those who travelled from Dublin and other parts of the country. A special thanks to the people of Edenderry for their overwhelming support.


02. Queen legend Brian May condemns Ireland's cruel coursing

Brian May has condemned Ireland's cruel hare coursing as "a disgusting so-called sport" that "belongs in history"

Tweeting on October 5th after a performance in Buenos Aires, the Queen legend was reacting to ICABS photos of hares in captivity in a coursing field in Edenderry. The hares were captured for use as live lures for greyhounds to chase at a coursing meeting on October 17 and 18.

Brian May tweeted: "A disgusting 'so-called' sport. Belongs in history. Let's keep fighting for decency, folks."

Please join Brian May in speaking out against Ireland's cruel hare coursing. Email "Withdraw your licence for cruel hare coursing" to Minister Heather Humphreys Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800


03. Shocking false claim about hare coursing from Minister Humphreys' office

In a letter dated August 2015 to Cllr Deirdre Forde (Cork County Council, FG) about hare coursing, a secretary in Arts Minister Heather Humphreys’ office stated: “It is important that you would be aware that all greyhounds are muzzled during these coursing events in order to prevent injury to the hares.” The letter was obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, along with other documents, under the Freedom of Information Act.

“We are shocked that a letter from Minister Heather Humphreys’ office would make this totally false claim. Muzzles do not prevent injuries to hares, and it has been proven over and over again, via reports on coursing meetings, that hares are pinned down and injured, with some dying from their injuries or having to be put down. In addition, video footage has been obtained by ICABS, which shows hares being battered and mauled by greyhounds wearing muzzles.

"The Minister and her officials know full well that hares are being injured year after year, as reports obtained by us under FOI show, yet they are covering up and putting it into the public domain that muzzles save hares from injury and death,” said Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports.

In fact, detailed in reports of coursing meetings in 2014/15, received by us under FOI, were the following:

Tubbercurry - 9 hares “required assistance” (coursers' euphemism for hares hit/pinned by greyhounds), with 1 hare being put down and 4 died afterwards.

Dundalk - 8 hares “required assistance”, 3 put down.

Balbriggan - 3 hares “required assistance”, 3 died.

Co. Kerry - 4 hares “required assistance”, 2 died.

Borrisoleigh - 6 hares hit by dogs, with 4 hares dying overnight “most likely from the injuries they received the previous day”, according to the NPWS ranger.

East Donegal - Ranger stated that 2 hares were hit by dogs and noted on his report that “2 hares dead in the enclosure on day no. 2. May have died from injuries on day 1”.

Galway & Oranmore - NPWS ranger stated 6 hares hit by dogs on day 1 (3 hits and 3 pins), 1 hare put down because of injuries on day 2, according to vet; and on day 3, NPWS recorded 5 hits (3 hits, 2 pins).

Enniscorthy - NPWS ranger stated 6 hares struck by greyhounds, 1 injured and 1 put down because of injuries.

Lixnaw - Coursers state that 2 hares “required assistance”, 1 treated by vet and 1 put down because of injuries.

Macroom - Coursers state that 2 hares “required assistance” and 1 died. This hare was described as “killed” by vet.

Mallow - NPWS ranger stated that 3 hares were struck, “1 of which was mauled and had to be carried off) on day 1, and 1 hare hit on day 2.

Wexford & District - NPWS ranger stated that 4 hares pinned over the 2 days, with 1 hare injured and 1 put down because of injuries.

Cashel - Coursers state 1 hare “required assistance” 1 examined by vet and 1 euthanised by vet.

Thurles – the NPWS ranger was drawn to a smell coming from a box containing a hare, which had a large injury to the shoulder and front of one of the legs.” This hare was later euthanised.

North Kilkenny - Ranger report cited 6 hares injured by dogs.

At the majority of the 75 or so coursing meetings last season 2014/15, hares “required assistance”, which means they were hit and/or pinned by the dogs. Greyhounds weighing from 60 to 88 lb travelling at 43mph can do a lot of harm when they hit a fragile 6 to 8lb hare, so it’s no surprise that hares are injured by muzzle-wearing dogs. The above list of hare hits, pins, maulings, injuries and deaths is clear and unequivocal proof that the muzzling of greyhounds does not “prevent injury to the hares” as shamefully and falsely claimed by the Minister’s office.

Last month, Minister Humphreys granted a licence to the coursers to net approx. 5,000 hares from the wild for use as live bait at coursing meetings around the country, starting next weekend and continuing until the end of February.

Hare coursing is outlawed in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and it’s high time it was outlawed here in our Republic. Shame on successive governments who have turned a blind eye to this barbaric activity.


04. Coursers plead guilty to poaching hares on Boora bog nature reserve

Members of Doon coursing club have pleaded guilty to breaching the Wildlife Act by poaching hares on Boora bog on November 15 last. Boora in County Offaly is a state-owned wildlife sanctuary managed by the National Parks & Wildlife Service. ICABS is calling on Minister Humphreys to revoke the coursing licence she issued or, at the very least, prohibit Doon from holding a coursing meeting on 28th and 29th November.

The nine defendants who appeared at Tullamore District Court on 28th September 2015 got off very lightly by having the Probation Act applied and ordered to pay just €350 each to charity.

Responding to an Irish Council Against Blood Sports appeal for Doon to be excluded from the 2015 coursing licence, the office of Minister Humphreys has replied to say that the matter is "under consideration". If this club is not strongly sanctioned, Minister Humphreys' earlier statement that licence breaches would no longer be tolerated will amount to empty rhetoric.

In a July 2015 document obtained by ICABS under Freedom of Information, a National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) representative stated: "We are trying to deal with an upsurge of illegal hare hunting in the midlands area. The efforts of our staff are stretched to the limits. When, through the efforts of our already stretched staff, cases are detected, we are anxious then for success. The Boora offences occurred on our property - a property managed for nature conservation purposes. The entrances to our property are clearly marked with signage, indicating this is a conservation area and with 'no hunting' signage."

We have absolutely no doubt that these coursers were at Boora to catch hares for Doon coursing club, which was scheduled to have its meeting some three weeks later. That coursers would travel 110km from Limerick to Offaly to catch hares in a wildlife sanctuary raises troubling questions about the state of the hare population in the open countryside and should be sounding alarm bells for the Department of Arts & Heritage and the NPWS.

To-date, none of the many licence breaches identified by ICABS have led to meaningful sanctions. It seems that coursers around the country may do as they like, routinely flouting licence conditions, for which they merely receive a slap on the wrist. For example, two clubs who breached conditions last year were not excluded from the licence but instead asked to shorten their next meetings by ten courses. Among the serious breaches in recent years are intimidation, verbal abuse and a lack of co-operation with National Parks rangers.

Given the animal cruelty inherent in hare coursing and the fears for the future of the species, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports is continuing to push for a complete ban on the bloodsport. Hare coursing is outlawed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and it’s high time it was outlawed here in the Republic.


Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to revoke the 2015-16 hare coursing licence.

Email "Stop the cruelty - Please revoke the 2015-16 hare coursing licencee" to
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -


05. Limerick Council urged to reject application to retain unauthorised coursing field

A new petition has been launched to appeal to Limerick City and County Council to move to stop a field in Glin from being used as a hare coursing venue.

A large complex for the holding, feeding, and "training” of captive hares on a field purchased by Glin Coursing Club for hare coursing purposes has no planning permission, and despite an enforcement notice being served by Limerick Council last year, the club went ahead with its coursing meeting this month, with another planned for November.

An October 2014 letter from the Development and Planning section of Limerick Council stated that "an Enforcement Notice under section 154 of the Planning and Development Act 2000-2014 has been served on the owners of Glin Coursing Club land at Ballinagoul, Glin, Co Limerick for the erection of fencing, shed and the material alteration of land for use as a sporting venue for coursing where there is a charge for admission from the public to the land for which there is no record of a planning permission being granted and is subsequently unauthorised."

In a Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht document seen by ICABS, it is stated that "Limerick City and County Council considers that the development application "may impact on architectural heritage", i.e. a lime kiln.

The unauthorised coursing venue was opened two years ago with much pomp and ceremony, with a local priest shamefully blessing the field.

So, not only do coursing clubs snatch hares from their natural environment for use as live bait for dogs, they also appear to consider themselves above the law by not applying for planning permission, and then ignoring an enforcement order from the local council.

Glin Coursing Club is now applying for retention, claiming that the field is primarily for “agricultural use” and that they bought the field for the benefit of the whole community.

This coursing field clearly belongs to Glin coursing club and its primary purpose is to facilitate its hare coursing events.

The decision on the retention is due on October 25th. Hopefully Limerick County Council will reject the coursing club's application.


Contact Limerick County Council and urge them to reject Glin Coursing Club's retention application.


Sign and share the Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports' petition


06. Irish Indo asked to drop coursing from sports section

The Irish Independent is continuing to include hare coursing in the sports section of its newspaper and website.

Please join us in telling the Irish Independent that hare coursing is cruelty, not sport, and that it should not be included in the sports section.


Leave comment on Facebook:

Tweet: @Independent_ie @IndoSport Hare coursing is cruelty, not sport. Please stop including it in sports section


07. Maureen O'Sullivan TD questions Minister about post mortems on hares killed in coursing

Maureen O'Sullivan TD has questioned Minister Heather Humphreys about why "the National Parks and Wildlife Service has decided to no longer seek copies of post mortems carried out by vets at coursing meetings".

Question 21 - Answered on 24th September, 2015

Maureen O'Sullivan: (Dublin Central, Independent) To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason the National Parks and Wildlife Service has decided to no longer seek copies of post mortems carried out by vets at coursing meetings; and if she acknowledges that only a post mortem can reveal true cause of death and that for transparency, this should be requested to ensure no clubs can claim deaths from natural causes which could prove to be untrue.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys

Hare coursing is administered by the Irish Coursing Club, a body set up under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Under the terms of the Wildlife Acts, licences are required by the Irish Coursing Club, covering their affiliated coursing clubs, if they wish to capture or tag hares for use at regulated hare coursing meetings. Such licenses are issued on an annual basis by my Department. I recently gave approval to the granting of the annual licence to the Irish Coursing Club for the 2015/2016 coursing season.

There are a total of 26 conditions attached to the licences. Where resources allow, officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department attend coursing meetings, on a spot-check basis, to monitor compliance with conditions on the licences granted by my Department. Veterinary officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine also attend some meetings on an annual basis.

To assist my officials in the monitoring of these events, my Department also receives reports from the Irish Coursing Club Control Stewards and Veterinary Surgeons in attendance on the day of hare coursing meetings.

It is a licence condition that a qualified veterinary surgeon should be in attendance during all coursing meetings and that a signed report on the general health of the hares and on any injuries or deaths of hares that occur during the meeting should be submitted to my Department. While I understand that post-mortem examinations are carried out at coursing meetings in certain circumstances, it has never been a licence condition that reports on these examinations are submitted to my Department.


Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share petitions

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing

Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Ban horrific hare coursing cruelty in Ireland

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland


08. Willie O'Dea TD expresses support for ban on hare coursing

Limerick TD, Willie O'Dea, has expressed his support for the ICABS campaign for a ban on cruel hare coursing.

Responding to an email in which we appealed to him to push for a coursing ban, the Fianna Fail politician stated: "I am happy to support this endeavour."

We are asking Willie O'Dea and all politicians to join us in urging Minister Simon Coveney to remove exemptions for coursing and foxhunting from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill and Minister Heather Humphreys to stop licensing coursing.

Willie O'Dea has previously expressed support for our campaign to get foxhunting and terrierwork banned. A 2009 statement from the office of the then Minister for Defence outlined that he "fully supports" the campaign.

We have thanked Deputy O'Dea for his support.


Contact your local Councillors, TDs, Senators, MEPs and urge them to push for a ban on bloodsports and all forms of animal cruelty. Find out the views of politicians on our Politicians Page.


09. "Finally we’ve managed to convince the local farmer to ban hunting from his land"

An ICABS supporter tells us about a successful appeal to a local farmer to make his land off-limits to foxhunters.

Hunters admit that "without the co-operation of landowners, hunting would cease to exist". So please be inspired to approach landowners in your area and urge them to keep hunts out...

Finally we’ve managed to convince the local farmer to ban hunting from his land.

He had a strange assumption that, because the hunt had crossed his land for decades, they had a right to do so. But we kept saying "you’re the land owner, you can ban them any time you choose." So he rang them up and did so. He seemed genuinely surprised how easy it was.

We have volunteered to pay for signs and he’s agreed we can attach them to his gates. He’s phoned the hunt joint master last night who has agreed to keep the hounds off his land.

Apparently this will "cause remarks" amongst his friends, some of whom ride with the hounds.

There’s a fox and cubs in the next field so its very good news for them.

Find out more about how to make land off-limits to hunters on our Farmers Page

10 reasons to keep hunters off your land
Download, print and distribute to all farmers / landowners in your area.

Fox Gallery - Image 25

10 reasons to keep hunters off your land

After reading our new information sheet, act to make your land off-limits to hunters. Please print and distribute to all landowners in your area. Thank you.

10 Reasons to Keep Hunters Out


10 reasons to Keep Hunters Off Your Land

  1. Hunters, whether on foot or horseback, are a major threat to the biosecurity of your farm. Dozens of farms may be crossed during the course of a hunt. Diseases can be carried long distances on the clothing and footwear of hunters, on horses' hooves, on the hounds and on hunt vehicles.

  2. Hunts scatter sheep and cows when they come through your farm with their horses and hounds. The result can be stressed animals, miscarriages, injuries and death. Fields of crops are also at risk.

  3. If hunters have no insurance or insufficient insurance, you may be held liable for injuries they sustain while on your property. Saying yes to hunters could prove extremely costly.

  4. When horseback hunters plough through your farm boundaries, or leave gates opened behind them, the result may be livestock escaping into neighbouring farms or on to public roads.

  5. Pastures are very vulnerable to poaching and not just when they are wet. According to an article in the Irish Farmers’ Journal, "plots that had been severely damaged in the autumn produced over 70 per cent less grass the following spring compared to plots that were not damaged."

  6. Wildlife experts, the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, all agree that foxes do not pose a significant threat to farming interests. The major threat comes from the hunters who get their kicks from chasing and killing wildlife on your property. Most farmers recognise the fox as a friend who helps keep down the numbers of rabbits and rodents.

  7. Farm dogs and pets are at risk during hunts. Among the victims are a sheep dog in Galway which suffered injuries to its hind quarters, back and paws after being attacked by a pack of foxhounds. Beloved farm pets have also been attacked by hounds and ripped apart.

  8. Hunts pose a risk to children on your farm. In 2009, the Vice-President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Family and Child Protection called on the Minister for Agriculture to ban hunting with hounds. Referring to hound attacks on pets and public fears for child safety, Kathy Sinnott, MEP said she was "greatly concerned that, if action is not taken, such attacks could result in the death of a child."

  9. Hunters are responsible for horrific cruelty to animals. Foxes, hares and rabbits are chased to exhaustion and ripped apart. Foxes that try to escape underground are dug out and thrown to the hounds. The use of ferrets can leave rabbits blinded and mauled before they're killed.

  10. Struggling farmers are exploited by wealthy, money-grabbing hunters. Did you know that hunts charge participants up to 150 Euro each for a day's hunting. They take the financial benefits while you endure the risks to your livelihood. Please read on to find out how to make your land off-limits to hunters.

How to keep hunters off your land

In advance of the hunt season, send a warning-off letter by registered post to all hunt masters in your area. You may also wish to put a notice in your local newspaper to highlight that your land is strictly off-limits. These are both optional - hunters have no right to enter lands without permission and it is unacceptable for them to claim that they didn't know that your lands are private and preserved.

Immediately contact the Gardai if members or followers of the hunt trespass on your land. Under the Control of Dogs Act, dogs must be kept "under effectual control" so if hunt hounds come on to property where they do not have permission to be, the Gardai should be notified. Try and take photos or video footage as evidence.

Contact the Gardai also if there is a breach of Section 44 of the Wildlife Act. This makes it an offence for any person who is not the owner or occupier of land to carry onto that land, without permission, any firearm, net, or other weapon, instrument or device capable of being used for hunting a wild bird or a wild animal.

If trespass occurs, ascertain the name of the hunt and the person in charge. Have the damage independently assessed and contact your solicitor with a view to seeking compensation. Avoid accepting an informal apology from the hunt or "off the record" payment as this is unlikely to stop further trespass.

Find out more on our Farmers/Landowners page.


10. Nursing home connected to cruel hare coursing

A nursing home in County Kerry is connected to hare coursing, ICABS can reveal.

Details of the Kilflynn coursing meeting include references to "Lystoll Lodge Nursing Home 3 Course Duffer" and "Lystoll Lodge Nursing Home 3 Course, All-Age Bitch Stake".

The references to the nursing home appear on the Irish Coursing Club website beneath a disturbing image of a hare running for his life in front of a greyhound.

In an email to the management of the Listowel nursing home, ICABS expressed disappointment at its association with "an activity which causes fear, stress, suffering, injury and death to defenceless creatures."

"Nursing homes should exclusively embrace compassion and firmly reject any form of cruelty," we stated, pointing out that coursing is based on forcefully removing hares from their natural habitat and using them as live bait for dogs. "We urge you to show mercy for the hares running for their lives and disassociate from this shameful activity."

We highlighted the suffering and death caused to hares during Kilflynn coursing meets. These include hares hit and killed by greyhounds, hares dying of so-called "natural causes" and hares put down due to the severity of their injuries. At one meeting, hares were also found to be "sick or otherwise unfit after the coursing event".

Lystoll Lodge is a member of Nursing Homes Ireland. It provides long-term residential/continuing care and short-term convalescent and respite care.


Join us in urging Lystoll Lodge Nursing Home to disassociate from cruel hare coursing.

Johanna Horgan
Lystoll Lodge Nursing Home
Skehenerin, Listowel, Co. Kerry.

Tel: 068 24248


11. Veterinary Nurse acting as judge at coursing meeting

A veterinary nurse acted as a judge at a hare coursing meeting earlier this month.

Details on the Irish Coursing Club website show that Orlaith Farrelly was to be a mounted judge at the Westmeath United coursing meeting on October 10th and 11th.

The details appear below a photo of a hare running for his life from a greyhound.

According to the website of Kells- and Navan-based small animal clinic "Advanced Pet Care at Smith and Foley Vets", Veterinary Nurse Farrelly "enjoys training greyhounds in her spare time and has had many successes on the track."

During coursing, pairs of greyhounds are unleashed to chase dozens of hares. Hares hit and mauled by greyhounds are at risk of being killed or suffering painful, life-threatening injuries. Among the past victims of hare coursing at Westmeath United coursing meeting are:


12. Ask Simon Coveney to ban digging-out - to save foxes and badgers

Last month, three hunters were in court for disturbing a badger sett. The men had Patterdale terriers - dogs typically used in the illegal practice of badger baiting - but they claimed they weren't hunting badgers but foxes.

Sadly, using dogs to terrorise and brutally kill foxes remains perfectly legal thanks to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney who refused to outlaw the digging out of foxes and so-called terrierwork.

In court, Ciaran Buckley, testified that the men had several dogs and a Patterdale, the dog of choice for fighting badgers, but agreed it was possible that they could be used for foxhunting. The judge said that as there was a doubt as to whether they were hunting badgers or foxes, he could not convict them of hunting badgers. However, they were convicted of interfering with the habitat of a badger.


Please join us in renewing our appeal to Minister Simon Coveney to ban the digging out of foxes.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @simoncoveney


13. Three hunters fined for disturbing badger sett with killer dog

Three men fined for disturbing badger set with dog ‘bred to kill’, 25th September 2015
By Tom Tuite

Three Dublin fox-hunters have been fined but spared jail sentences for disturbing a badger's set with a dog described as "bred to kill".

Gavin O'Dowd, 27, of Lambay Drive, Ballybrack, along with 28-year-old Dean and Gavin Fitzpatrick, 22, both of Coolevin, Ballybrack appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday /today (FRI) where they pleaded guilty to two charges under the Wildlife Act.

The three men admitted that they "wilfully interfered with" a badger's breeding or resting place during the incident in the Cabinteely area in Co. Dublin on October 22nd last year. They also admitted they were not entitled to be at the named location and that they had spades and shovels as well as an electronic device "emitting sounds for tracking dogs hunting underground capable of being used for hunting wild animals". However, they were cleared of hunting a badger.

The charges can result in a fine of up to €1,000 as well as a sentence of up to three months.

The three unemployed men claimed they been hunting foxes and one of their dogs ran down a hole into the active badger set when they were approached by conservation ranger Ciaran Buckley.

Mr Buckley said they had spades and a large hole had been dug. They also had several dogs including a Patterdale terrier which he said was "bred to kill" and, based on his experience, was favoured by people hunting badgers. However, he agreed it was possible they could be used in fox-hunting.

Father-of-one Dean Fitzpatrick had 25 previous convictions from 2007 and 2008 including criminal damage, theft and motoring offences. He was fined €250 and also received a two-month sentence which was suspended on condition he keeps the peace for 12 months.

Gavin Fitzpatrick had no prior criminal convictions received fines totalling €500 which has to be paid within four months or he will be jailed for a week in default.

Father-of-two Gavin O'Dowd had 36 prior criminal convictions, the latest of which was in 2010, for a criminal damage, entering a building with intent to commit an offence, interfering with a motor vehicle, assault and failing to comply with a garda's direction.

He was also fined €250 and received a two-month sentence suspended on condition he keeps the peace for the next year.

Judge O'Neill heard that all three men are looking for work and he noted they had pleaded guilty to two of charges.

He dismissed the remaining charge, which the three men had contested, for unlawfully hunting a badger which is a protected animal. On that charge, he said he had the benefit of hearing evidence from all three men who claimed they had been fox hunting when the conservation ranger came upon them.

They all had the same explanation that they had been chasing a fox and one of their dogs had led them to the hole. They did not know it was a badger's set and the conservation officer, along with a garda, left the scene happy they going to go away, the court heard.

Their barrister had argued that the ranger did not remain at the location to verify the three men's account. Judge O'Neill said that this was the missing piece of the jig-saw and he could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt to convict on that charge.


14. Horrific blooding incident in Tullamore - rabbit torn apart by dogs as children watch

The Sunday World has exposed an horrific blooding incident in Tullamore, County Offaly.

The incident, filmed and posted online, shows a hunter goading lurcher dogs with a live rabbit before releasing the unfortunate animal for the dogs to chase.

"You know how to slip a dog," he says to a young boy holding on to a dog by a lead. "Slip" is a coursing term, meaning to release dogs to chase a live lure.

The dogs are released and the rabbit desperately tries to escape but is unable to do so as the field is surrounded by a fence. The rabbit is recaptured next to the fence and thrown to the dogs. The dogs tear the terrified rabbit apart, biting into the body and pulling fur and entrails onto the grass. This all happens as members of the group, including young children - happily watch on and film.

ICABS can reveal that the blooding took place in broad daylight in a field next to Scoil Bhride primary school in Tullamore. We have reported this shocking incident to the Gardai and are urging them to take appropriate action.

The video may be viewed on the Ban Hunting With Dogs Facebook page
(Warning: graphic content)


Elmer Thug - Brute's web video sparks outrage
Twisted hunter lets his dogs rip rabbit to shreds as children watch
October 4th 2015, by Eamon Dillon

A gloating hunter lets young kids watch as two hounds rip a trapped rabbit to shreds.

The creature is held in the callous brute's hands as the dogs strain at the leash to get at their quarry.

He teases the animals, holding the rabbit just inches from the dogs.

Incredibly, it is not illegal to hunt rabbits this way in Ireland, although it is an offence to kill animals in a 'cruel' fashion. [ICABS Note: We have no doubt that this blooding is in breach of animal welfare legislation].

It emerges that it's not just the dogs being blooded, with the young boys also being schooled on using their animals.

"Show your pup," one of the men tells a youngster holding a pointer-type dog.

It's soon apparent that the rabbit has no chance of escape because the field is surrounded by a chain-link fence. Although it manages to dodge the dogs, the chase is over after 20 seconds and the rabbit is found hiding near the fence.

"They have him, Johnny, they have him," one of the men comments.

The stunned animal is taken back into the field where it is then thrown to the dogs and its grisly fate. The excited animals immediately pounce on the hapless rabbit.

As they fight over the carcass and a third dog is unleashed, a man says: "Let him have a taste."

The animal is literally pulled apart; its entrails strung out across the grass. The pair were lambasted by the anti-hunting Facebook community, Ban Hunting With Dogs, where the video was recently posted. The campaigners named the teenager who filmed and posted the video, as well as the man holding the rabbit in Tullamore, County Offaly.

"How dreadfully sad that this monster is involving children in his sick interest," commented one person.

One hunter even went on to the page to comment that people in the video were "scum".

"I may be in enemy territory, I do legally hunt for pest control, but this video is not what respectful hunters do," he wrote.

The teenager who posted the original video has since deleted his Facebook page.

[Anti-] blood sports campaigner, Aideen Yourell, this week told the Sunday World she will be asking the Gardai to investigate the video.

"That is truly horrific," she said. "I can't believe that they would put this up on Facebook where the guy can be clearly identified and also the location," she added.

"It's without doubt in breach of the animal welfare legislation, and most certainly is blooding. We will be certainly calling for a Garda investigation."


15. Limerick TD asks why a hunter's licence was delayed

Fianna Fail TD, Niall Collins, has intervened on behalf of a disgruntled hunter to investigate why there was a delay in issuing him with a hunting licence.

The pro-bloodsports Limerick TD considered the matter so important that he elevated it to Ministerial level.

In a 22 September Dail Question aimed at Arts and Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys, Collins asked "the reason for the delay in the issue of a deer hunting licence for a person in County Limerick; when it will be issued; and if she will make a statement on the matter."

In her response, the Minister assured Collins that "a deer hunting licence was issued to the person concerned on 16 September 2015."

In the past, Niall Collins has complained about the ban on the Ward Union carted stag hunt, asking "will the government be introducing legislation to reverse the ban?". In 2008, he called for the urgent granting of hare coursing licences and said ICABS "don't understand and value the traditional and cultural elements of this greyhound sector [coursing]." He has also moaned about a Minister "scaring people in coursing clubs and shooting clubs".

The latest figures from the Department of Arts and Heritage show that in 2013, a total of 4,563 deer hunting licences were issued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Despite the NPWS being "stretched to the limits" due to a lack of funding, hunters are issued the licences free of charge. The cost of processing and issuing the licences is covered by the taxpayer.

Find out the view of councillors, TDs and Senators - click on "politicians" at


16. Minister Humphreys performs opening ceremony at hunting fair

Three weeks after issuing a licence which allows coursers to net thousands of hares for use as live bait for greyhounds, the Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys made her way to Birr Castle in County Offaly to attend a game fair which celebrates the killing of Irish wildlife.

Minister Humphreys, who has refused to meet groups campaigning against bloodsports, was more than happy to perform the opening ceremony at an event which attracts those who blast wildlife to death, unleash lurchers and terriers to attack and kill foxes, use packs of hounds to terrorise and tear foxes apart and send ferrets underground to catch and injure rabbits.

The Minister with responsibility for our Wildlife Act was photographed at last weekend's Birr Game Fair which promotes itself as being of interest to "the most discerning" hunters and shooters.

Minister Humphreys was a "VIP Guest" of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) whose members are responsible for the shooting of tens of thousands of foxes, deer, birds and other creatures.

In a caption beneath the photo of Minister Humphreys, NARGC described the event as "another great Country Fair" but it seems not everyone was so impressed. Among the negative feedback was:

- "Someone tell me what was good about it. Taut [sic] it was the worst yet" (this comment has since been deleted)
- "Not worth the money very disappointing,"
- "[Ticket prices] a bit steep considering all that was on show"

"Overall it was a huge disappointment for me," said another who complained about a certain trader no longer having a trade stand at the fair. The reason for this, claimed a man who responded, is that "it's very hard to watch the stands as there's a lot of thief's [sic] about - that's the reason he stopped coming."

A person from Kilkenny was even more scathing: "I was at ur fair Saturday it was very poor, loads of stalls missing, everything priced too high, food stands pure rip off, entry fee too high and there was not as many people there as ya think. It was very poor Saturday. A friend of mine was never at it before Saturday and he said he won't be seen at it again."

Apparently prompted by the negative feedback, the fair organisers posted this message: "Could we remind people that while we welcome discussion please keep it within the bounds of good manners. Swearing will definitely will [sic] not be tolerated in any circumstance."

In an email to the Minister's office, ICABS once again highlighted the appalling cruelty involved in fox hunting, digging-out and terrierwork. We included images showing the suffering caused to animals by hunters.

"I have written to the Minister asking to meet her to discuss [hare coursing cruelty] and the problem of gangs roaming the countryside with lurchers and killing hares, but so far I haven't had a response," ICABS director Aideen Yourell stated. "It seems that while the Minister is happy to meet with the bloodsports enthusiasts, she has set her face against meeting with those of us campaigning for better protection of Ireland's wildlife."

View the photo of Minister Humphreys posing next to hunting representatives.


17. Two new wildlife stamps from An Post

An Post have launched attractive new postage stamps featuring two of Ireland's favourite wild mammals.

The 70 cent national postage stamp features a red fox while the €1.05 international stamp now sports an otter. The stamps display the names of the animals in English and Irish below the scientific titles - "Vulpes vulpes, Sionnach, Red Fox" and "Lutra lutra, Madra Uisce, Otter".

Available in all good post offices or you can order online at


18. "Animals need to be protected" says Minister who facilitates Ireland's worst cruelty

"Animals need to be respected and protected in Ireland," declared Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney during a TV3 news report about a dog brutally attacked in Cork. A remarkably hollow and hypocritical statement from a politician who facilitates the country's worst acts of cruelty.

Thanks to Minister Coveney's refusal to ban foxhunting, foxes are terrorised across the countryside with packs of hounds and ripped apart when caught. Hares are netted and used as live bait for greyhounds, due to his failure to outlaw coursing. In 2013, he had an historic opportunity to save wildlife from bloodsports barbarity but instead, he moved to ensure that the cruelty continued. His Animal Health and Welfare Act contains an exemption for foxhunters and hare coursers which allows them to carry on without fear of prosecution.

He must also take some responsibility for the pain inflicted by terriermen - sadists who find fun in sending terriers underground to attack cornered foxes. Although initially condemning this bloody horror as "unacceptable", the Minister later did a U-turn and announced he wouldn't be banning it.

He also made it clear that he has no intention of banning fur farming. Every day, thousands of mink can be seen throwing themselves against the bars of their cages in futile attempts to get free. Rather than following other countries and phasing out this shameful industry, Simon Coveney presented a farcical code of practice which advises fur farmers to "be respectful of the mink". Respectful as they pull the squealing creatures from the cages, gas them to death with carbon monoxide and tug the fur from their bones.

Despite being a "protected species", badgers are victims too. Coveney and his Department are behind the cruel snaring of thousands of these animals as part of a failed TB Eradication scheme. The badgers struggle frantically in the snares until a Department operative arrives and, with the blessing of Minister Coveney, shoots them in the head.

Ireland's animals certainly do need respect and protection. Primarily from a merciless Minister and his compassionless cohorts in government.

Watch our campaign video


Contact Minister Simon Coveney today and urge him to remove exemptions for hare coursing and foxhunting from the Animal Health and Welfare Act. Urge him to immediately act to ban terrierwork, digging-out and fur farming and end his department's shameful badger snaring scheme.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @simoncoveney


Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Minister Coveney: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Ban digging-out and terrierwork

Ban fur farming in Ireland

Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Agriculture Minister: Please Ban Extremely cruel practices under Animal Welfare Law


19. Death of anti-bloodsports councillor, Seamus O’Boyle

ICABS is sad to learn of the untimely death of People Before Profit County Councillor, Seamus O’Boyle.

Seamus died suddenly at the age of 57 after suffering a suspected heart attack while driving in Sligo town.

Compassionate Seamus was among a growing list of politicians expressing opposition to Ireland's cruel bloodsports. In a text message to ICABS in December, he stated: "I am against foxhunting and all bloodsports."

A vocal anti-water charges campaigner, Cllr O'Boyle was elected to the council in 2014 and served as deputy mayor on the newly established Sligo Municipal District. He also served on the board of the Model, Sligo Harbour Advisory Committee, and the Regional Health Forum West.

Paying tribute, Sligo Municipal Mayor Thomas Healy stated: "He will be sadly missed by his community where he was loved and respected."

Sligo County Council Cathaoirleach, Rosaleen O’Grady, described him as a “committed and hardworking representative for his community", adding that he would be "sorely missed by his family and many friends".

In a statement, People Before Profit praised him as "a working class hero".

"His life was a testament to everything good in the human spirit," they said. "Seamie had it hard growing up. He was born an orphan in the 1950s and spent many nights on the streets. For some people this start in life would understandably have been too much, but Seamie came to a political conclusion – life is not fair but it can be changed with courage, honesty and human decency. Seamie had all of these qualities in bucket loads."

"We salute a fallen friend and comrade. The fight goes on for a fairer Ireland and Seamie will be there with us every step of the way. Rest in peace comrade – our future struggles will be made in your memory."

ICABS extends sympathy to his family and friends. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.


20. Stolen defibrillators used to 'blood up' fighting dogs

Stolen defibrillators used to 'blood up' fighting dogs
Anglo Celt, 30th September, 2015

A shocking claim that stolen life-saving medical devices are being to be used to “blood-up” animals before cruelly pitting them against each other in illegal dog fights was made at the September meeting of Cavan County Council.

Fianna Fáil’s Shane P O’Reilly made the startling comments in the context of the recent thefts of community-funded Automated External Defibrillators (AED) from three locations across the east of the county earlier this year.

Last July, two defibrillators were taken from St Mary’s Church at Clonaphillip, Cuchulainn’s Sports Complex and the community hall in Cross. A fourth theft of an AED also took place near Kells.

Speaking in the Council chamber last month, Cllr O’Reilly informed his fellow members that he had been made aware that in cases, such as the thefts locally, the devices were being “used in a very undesirable manner”.

“Illegal dog-fighting rings, is what I’ve been told. They hook them up to the animals and it bloods them up. It sends the animals wild and then they tear each other apart,” he told the monthly meeting. Cllr O’Reilly added: “To those who stole them, I sincerely hope you’ll never need one,” noting that their loss to the community and to those who may potentially need them in effect, “amounted to a stolen life”.

The Mullagh-based councillor once again appealed to the public and anyone with information regarding the thefts to contact the Gardaí or community members. “There’s no harm done if they’re left back but right now it’s a very unsettling thing for a community that if someone took ill this evening, that those defibrillators are missing.”


21. IFA's calls for deer cull are branded "misguided"

The pro-bloodsports president of the Irish Farmers Association is continuing to put pressure on the government to cull deer.

On RTE News on 1st June, Eddie Downey said the level of TB in Wicklow cows is "four times higher than the rest of the country" before going on to claim that "the reason for that - the most identifiable reason - is the deer population."

The RTE report outlined that 103 deer have already been shot and killed as part of a Department of Agriculture study.

Last month, Downey (said to be "a great supporter of hunting, shooting and fishing") told the Sunday Independent that "a cull is needed." "The deer have come down from the uplands and once they get a taste for young sweet grass they tend to hang around," he was quoted as saying.

Deer are the latest animals to be blamed by the beef and dairy industry for the spread of bovine TB. The industries are already behind the Department of Agriculture's merciless badger cull which has, shockingly, resulted in an estimated 100,000 badgers being cruelly snared and killed. This despite a lack of scientific evidence to link the badger to the spread of TB. The cull - part of a failed TB Eradication Scheme - continues despite new research showing that badgers actively avoid fields of cows and buildings with cows inside.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has strongly criticised the government's scapegoating of wildlife and urged it to reject the IFA's "misguided calls" for a deer cull.

The group describes as "manifestly false", a claim by Eddie Downey that the Department of Agriculture study "shows the level of TB in deer is a significantly higher multiple than in cattle and justifies the implementation of a programme similar to the existing wildlife control programme".

Remarking that the IFA's interpretation of the study "highlights their challenging relationship with logic", the IWT states that "the study does not link TB in deer to cattle, nor does it provide any evidence whatever that the TB in deer is the cause of high TB levels in cattle."

Wildlife Trust Campaigns Officer, Padraic Fogarty says that "Cattle-to-cattle transmission is still the biggest source of transmission and one that is being ignored in favour of the easy option: culling wildlife."

"All mammals can carry TB and can potentially transmit the disease from one animal to another, this includes badgers, deer, cattle, people and the farm cat," the IWT outlines in a statement. "Despite 30 years of badger culling, we are no nearer to an eradication of TB in cattle. When the cull began in the 1980s the ESRI stated clearly that 'badgers are not the sole or, indeed, primary source of bovine TB.' Yet, in the intervening decades, the blame has shifted squarely on wildlife, especially badgers, but now also deer. While there has been a long-term decline in TB prevalence in cattle, there has never been any evidence that badger culling is responsible for this decline. The fact that a quarter of cattle are found to have lesions in the slaughter house, as opposed to the on-farm testing regime, highlights the huge holes in the current detection system."

The IWT points out that the bio-security section of the Department of Agriculture’s website "mentions nothing about the importance of simple farm measures such as good housekeeping or maintaining stock-proof hedges to minimise contact with neighbouring herds."

"Badgers have paid a high price for being the TB scapegoat," they state. "Over 100,000 have been shot and snared and the population is shrinking as a result. Coveney’s mantra that the wildlife is responsible, even after 30 years of the same failed policy, shows the level of group-think in his Department, not to mention industry influence. It's time for him to stop boasting about Ireland’s ‘green credentials’ and bring this cull to an end. Furthermore, he must resist calls from certain quarters to embark on a futile cull of deer”.

About IFA President, Eddie Downey: According to a foxhunting website: "Eddie is a great supporter of hunting, shooting and fishing." At a hunt in Co Meath, he was photographed shaking hands with hunters and thanking them for their support. As deputy president of the IFA in 2010, Downey was one of the speakers at a RISE gathering in Waterford which protested against the Green Party's work to ban carted deer hunting. In a statement headed "Pro-hunting campaign welcomes farming support", RISE stated at the time that "Vice President of the Irish Farmers’ Association, Eddie Downey, has given his organisation’s support to the campaign. Mr Downey said the campaign to defend hunting and other traditional rural sports was an integral part of the wider battle to defend rural Ireland." He is also on record as saying "I meet people outside farming all the time who live, work and enjoy the countryside. Many of these people are involved in rural pursuits such as walking, fishing and hunting. Many people visit farmland as guests to enjoy their field sports such as walking, fishing or hunting."


Sign our petition
Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW

Demand an end to the Department of Agriculture's cruel snaring of thousands of badgers and a rejection of calls for deer to be culled.

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

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

Minister Heather Humphreys
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

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


22. How local authorities are benefiting from Ireland's puppy farming

Ireland holds the shameful title of "puppy farm capital of Europe". At least 2,216 female dogs are confined in puppy farms around the country and are used to breed thousands of puppies every year.

The horrendous conditions endured by dogs was revealed after a registered puppy farm in Carlow was raided. Over 200 dogs were rescued, including one who did not have her back feet and another who had tendon damage. Both were among the dogs being used for breeding. As well as removing live dogs from the puppy farm, shocked rescuers also took away skeletons and bones.

Those who wish to set up a puppy farm must apply to their local authority. There is apparently an incentive for the authority to approve these facilities - in the form of an annual payment to the authority.

According to Section 14 of the Dog Breeding Establishments Act 2010, local authorities which approve a facility receive between €400 (if the puppy farm contains 18 breeding bitches) and €3,000+ (if 200 or more bitches are involved).

Among those exempt from paying the charge are hunts and greyhound breeders. The Act states "This section shall not apply to the operator of a dog breeding establishment if...the operator of the establishment is a hunt club...the dog breeding establishment is used solely for the purposes of the management and training of greyhounds for reward..."


23. Fedamore GAA Club asked to keep foxhunters out

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is urging a GAA club in Limerick to keep foxhunters off its grounds.

Responding to a hunting report last season which outlined that the "[Limerick Harriers] meet had been moved from the village to the local GAA field to facilitate parking...", ICABS urged Fedamore GAA Club to make its grounds off-limits to hunters.

The report outlined that from the GAA field, the hunters went on to terrorise foxes in the surrounding area. A dog fox was chased from a "small thicket on the river bank" while another was pursued by the pack of hounds until he "crossed the river by a farm bridge and disappeared in some old earths on the bank of river".

In an email to the club, we explained that foxhunting involves terrible cruelty to animals: "Foxes are disturbed from their habitat and chased by a pack of hounds. Foxes caught by the hounds are knocked off their feet, bitten, mauled and torn apart. Foxes who try to find refuge underground are typically dug out and killed, after a terrier is sent below ground to attack and corner them."

"Most members of Fedamore GAA Club would surely be sympathetic to the plight of the fox and oppose this animal cruelty," we added. "We therefore appeal to your club to make your grounds off-limits to foxhunters."


Appeal to Fedamore GAA Club to stop allowing foxhunters to use its grounds as a meeting point and parking lot.

Maria Fanning
PRO, Fedamore GAA Club
Tweet to @FedamoreGAA
Leave a comment on Facebook

Limerick Harriers Cruelty

Crassly described as "vulpine suicide", an Irish hunting report has described how a pair of foxes perished after desperately trying to get away from the pursuing pack of hounds. The Irish Field of February 3rd, 2007 included a disturbing account of the horrific deaths. The following is an extract from the report. "[The Limerick Harriers huntsman] told of twice this season when a good hunt had been spoiled by the fox committing the equivalent of vulpine suicide. As his hounds were pressing their quarry in one hunt, it turned to the road for sanctuary, only to be run over by a car. On another occasion hounds had pressed their fox hard and were not very far behind him when he jumped into a slurry pit and drowned."

"Foot followers stayed with the three couple of hounds and got a great view of a smashing red fox as he crossed the Cullenagh Road. He wasn't exactly rushing and took a minute to look back to see where the hounds were. Little did he know that they had accounted for [killed] one of his relations on the way and now had him in their sights." (Report on the Limerick Harriers Hunt, Irish Field, 21st February 2004).

Mary Cooke from Ballyclough said she [is] deeply upset at the death of a 13-year-old cat called Amy, who she claims was killed by hounds belonging to the Limerick Harriers who were hunting in the area on St Stephen's Day. Amy was a domestic pet owned by Ms Cooke's neighbours, who weren't aware that a hunt would be in progress on the day. "I am very upset. The hounds went into a private garden. The cat was very old and her hind legs were gone and she couldn't run. I am hardly able to sleep at night thinking about it. It is revolting," said Ms Cooke, who often looked after Amy when her neighbours were away. She said that neighbours witnessed the cat being killed by a hound. Ms Cooke said that many of her neighbours are concerned for the welfare of young children who may be playing in gardens and faced with a pack of hounds. Limerick Leader report, 12 January 2007


24. Ask to remove bullfighting from online guides

Please join us in our appeal to to remove cruel and barbaric bullfighting from its online travel guides.

On its website. HotelTravel…

– recommends “one of the best places in northern Spain to witness a bullfight”, – tells tourists “you will be able to catch a bullfight as this is bullfighting season”, – highlights where bullfight tickets may be purchased, – says that bullfighting “can be an exciting form of entertainment”, – suggests a visit to a bullfight for those seeking “cultural excitement”, – tells visitors to Bogota to “catch a bullfight [and] experience the excitement”.

The website also shockingly recommends a trip to a bullfight as an activity for youngsters – in the “children’s activities” section of its Spain page, it presents bullfighting as “a must see for the culture-vulture and their kids”

“Bullfighting is an extremely cruel and violent activity in which bulls are terrorised, tortured and killed,” ICABS stated in an email to the company. “By suggesting tourists visit bullfights, you are helping to fill seats in the blood-soaked bullrings. Please show compassion and stop including cruel and barbaric bullfighting in your online travel guides.”


Contact now and urge them to remove all references to bullfighting from their online travel guides.
27/180 Chok Thip Villa,
Moo 8, Chao Fa Rd, Chalong
Phuket, Thailand 83130

Tweet: @HotelTravel Please remove cruel and barbaric bullfighting from your online travel guides

Tel: +66-76-282-808 -Thailand
Tel: +1-646-360-1678 – United States and Canada
Tel: +44-845-528-0496 – United Kingdom
Tel: +61-289-994-263 – Australia and New Zealand


25. Travel Channel removes bullfighting from "Why We Love the Spanish" gallery

The Travel Channel has responded to an Irish Council Against Blood Sports appeal and removed bullfighting from its "Why We Love the Spanish" gallery.

The online slideshow featured an image of a matador waving a red cape at an injured, bleeding bull. The caption beneath the image stated: "We love the spectacle of a bullfight" and "We enjoy sitting on the edge of our seat to watch a traditional bullfight".

In an email to the Travel Channel, ICABS highlighted the cruelty involved in bullfighting and the fact that many tourists lured in to watch bullfights are left feeling disgusted and upset at the bloody violence.

"In promoting bullfighting, the Travel Channel is very much out of step with public opinion on bullfighting," we stated. "Millions in Spain and around Europe and the world are opposed to bullfighting and want it banned. Opinion polls have shown that most Spanish people have no interest in bullfighting."

We also pointed out that more and more travel companies are disassociating from bullfighting - including the UK’s largest travel association, ABTA, which now considers bullfighting and bullrunning to be "unacceptable practices". ABTA tells its members not to promote them.

While we welcome this positive response from the Travel Channel, it must be noted that other bullfighting related content remains on its website.

This includes:

"You won't want to miss bullfights...when you visit this vibrant Spanish region"

Get the quintessential Spanish experience in Seville, where you’ll find flamenco and bullfighting

Don't miss the encierro, or bull run

Every year from July 6-14, all eyes are on the city of Pamplona, Spain, which comes alive with the Festival of San Fermin -- made famous by the annual running of the bulls


Thank the Travel Channel for removing bullfighting from its "Why We Love the Spanish" gallery. Encourage the company to remove all pro-bullfighting/bullrunning content from its website.

Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to @travelchannel
Email (Mr Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer)


26. Minister questioned about bait digging and crabbing on Bull Island

Clare Daly TD has asked Arts and Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys, if action is being taken to stop the ongoing practices of bait digging, shellfish collecting and crabbing on Bull Island which result in the destruction of a protected EU Annex 1 habitat.

Question 270 - Answered on 25th June, 2015

Clare Daly, TD (Dublin North, United Left): To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the action the National Parks and Wildlife Service is taking to cease the ongoing practices of bait digging, shellfish collecting and crabbing on Bull Island, North Dublin which result in the destruction of a protected EU Annex 1 habitat and the removal of invertebrates which are an important food source for birds.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys: Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU nature and biodiversity policy. It is an EU-wide network of nature protection areas established under the 1992 Habitats Directive. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.

It is comprised of special areas of conservation (also referred to as sites of community importance in the EU context) designated by Member States under the Habitats Directive and special protection areas which are designated under the 1979 Birds Directive.

The establishment of this network of protected areas also fulfils a Community obligation under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Bull Island is contained within the North Dublin Bay special area of conservation. It is also the focal point of the North Bull Island special protection area, formally designated in 2010 by Statutory Instrument (S.I. 211 of 2010). It is also recognised as a UNESCO biosphere by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. This biosphere designation has now been extended to Dublin Bay.

In accordance with the provisions of this Statutory Instrument, harvesting marine species, unless regulated by another public body or unless for personal use, may only be undertaken on the site with my consent, as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The site has been monitored by officials from my Department and I understand that bait digging is recognised as a management issue. However, I am advised there are significant operational challenges associated with the regulation and management of such activities that require careful consideration in the context of the overall ecological requirements of the site.


Contact Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Arts/Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys and urge them to provide funding for at least one wildlife ranger and dog warden to be assigned exclusively to Bull Island. Remind them that Bull Island is an important and internationally recognised nature reserve and that it is imperative that the wildlife is protected.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048
Tweet to: @EndaKennyTD
Leave a comment on Facebook

Arts/Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to @HHumphreysFG


27. Minister Humphreys allowing threatened birds to be shot out of the skies

Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are allowing the killing of bird species identified as being "threatened" and "of conservation concern".

From September 1st, hunters armed with shotguns were free to blast out of the sky red-listed birds whose populations are in worrying decline.

A National Parks and Wildlife Service notice, published by the Department of Arts & Heritage, presents the animal and bird species which hunters can target. These include species which have been hit with "dramatic" declines, a threatened species with "high priority conservation status" and a species with less than 50 breeding pairs remaining and a wintering population of just 760 birds.

Many of the birds included in the government's open season are flagged as red-listed and amber-listed in "Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 2014–2019" - an all-Ireland report by Bird Watch Ireland and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Download the report (pdf file)

"Red-listed species are those of highest conservation priority, being globally threatened, declining rapidly in abundance or range, or having undergone historic declines from which they have not recently recovered," the report states. " Amber-listed species have an unfavourable status in Europe, have moderately declined in abundance or range, a very small population size, a localised distribution, or occur in internationally important numbers."

Below are details of the hunting seasons alongside information from the "Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 2014–2019" report. After reading, please respond to the action alert.

Golden Plover - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
The breeding population has experienced a 52% decline in the past 10-15 years, while the non-breeding population has fallen by a massive 66% in the past 25 years. "From an Irish perspective, the red-listing of these species is an essential recognition of their threatened and high priority conservation status on the island."

Red Grouse - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from September 1st to 30th
"Surveys of Red Grouse in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, have highlighted the impact that land-use changes in upland habitats have had on a once widespread species with recent population estimates of no more than 2,500 pairs across all-Ireland. This is half that of previous highest estimates, reflecting the huge range contraction..."

Gadwall - Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
There are less than 50 breeding pairs in Ireland and an estimated 760 birds wintering here.

Greylag Goose - Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 15th October countrywide and from 16th October to 31st January at Lady's Island Lake in Wexford and at Gearagh East and Gearagh West in Cork.
This wintering bird has an estimated all-Ireland population of just 4,790

Wigeon - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
Less than 6 breeding pairs, nearly 63,000 non-breeding wintering birds. Now red-listed due to a long-term decline of over 50% in wintering population.

Pintail - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
Only 1+ breeding pair thought to be remaining here and just 1,800 wintering. There has been a long-term 66% decline in the wintering populations in Ireland.

Shoveler - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
Less than 40 breeding pairs remaining. Large wintering population decline of 62%, with a wintering population of just 2,910 birds.

Scaup - Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
Just 6,300 birds wintering around Ireland

Tufted Duck - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
This diving duck has experienced a "dramatic" short-term decline in non-breeding populations, estimated to be 52%. The species has been in decline since the 1980s.

Pochard - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
There were less than 5 breeding pairs of pochards between 2007-11. The wintering population is estimated to be 16,030 but "wintering declines in Ireland have been so dramatic". The short term decline has been 59% in the last 25 years.

Goldeneye - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
Over the past 25 years, there has been a 52% fall in the population of this diving duck. There has been a dramatic decline in the numbers wintering here, with the figure believed to now be just 6,040

Woodcock - Red-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st November to 31st January.
There are conservation concerns around the Woodcock due to its long term decline in breeding range (greater than 70%).

Jack Snipe - Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January

Teal - Amber-listed
May be killed during a hunting season from 1st September to 31st January
"Information on range and abundance is far from comprehensive."


Instead of facilitating the killing of birds, Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service should be doing everything possible to protect these vulnerable species. Contact them now.

Email "Stop facilitating the killing of threatened birds" to,,,, Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG


28. 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 is Republic's shame
Belfast Telegraph, 24th August 2015

In renewing a licence for hare coursing, Minister Heather Humphreys in the Republic and the National Parks and Wildlife Service have condemned thousands of hares to a season of suffering.

Their disgraceful decision to facilitate such cruelty means coursing clubs are again free to go into the countryside to net hares and use them as live bait for greyhounds.

This so-called sport is attended by many people from Northern Ireland.

All these hares will suffer the fear and stress of being violently snatched from their habitats. They will be heard crying out as they become helplessly entangled in nets and crammed into boxes.

After months in captivity, the creatures will be forced to run for their lives in front of pairs of dogs. Hares hit and mauled on the coursing fields will sustain painful injuries, such as broken bones and dislocated hips. Some will die on the spot, while others will later be euthanised due to their injuries.

It is to Ireland's great shame that hare coursing continues.

The lack of empathy and refusal to stop a bloodsport that is illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions, reinforces Ireland's growing reputation as an animal cruelty blackspot.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Blood on their hands
Irish Daily Mail, 7th September 2015

How many more people have to die before Spanish Tourism ends its shameful promotion of bullrunning?

"If you come, in some places you can take part in bullrunning," it states on its website. "At these events, crowds of people run with the bulls through the streets to the bullring."

There is no warning that you risk being impaled by a tormented bull and sent home in a body bag.

This invitation to join a bullrun has remained in place all summer, despite a mounting death toll.

Among those who have lost their lives so far this year are a 66-year-old gored in the chest, a man who died when hit by an infuriated bull with fireworks tied to his horns and another who suffered massive blood loss from a 12-inch stomach wound.

And let's not forget the plight of the bulls.

They are hit with sticks and electric shock prods, have their tails pulled and when they slip and fall, they sustain painful bruises and broken bones.

Their final destination is the local bullring where the agony of torture awaits.

By allowing bullrunning to continue and encouraging tourists to participate, the Spanish Government and its tourism body have blood on their hands.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports
Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Bull fighting shamed
Irish Times, August 21st, 2015

Sir, – The goring to death of several people this summer in Spanish bullrings, and in the course of bull-running events in that country, has again highlighted a most horrific form of organised animal cruelty that endangers man and beast.

By contrast, a woman courageously leaped into the fighting pit at Malaga last week in a desperate bid to comfort a dying bull. The resulting barrage of verbal abuse from spectators almost drowned out the crying of the tortured animal.

The romantic image of the corrida no longer fools as many people as it once did. We know that the sight of the swashbuckling matador, swishing his cape to taunt a mighty opponent is an illusion. The animal is weakened before entering the ring by being restrained and beaten over the kidneys and by having Vaseline rubbed into its eyes to impair its already poor sight. And then, prior to the matador’s supposedly brave final showdown with the bull, the animal is subjected to repeated stabbing. The exhausted creature is bleeding from numerous wounds with razor-sharp lances dangling from its flesh as the “heroic” costumed performer prepares to plunge his sword into its quivering pain-wracked body.

The argument that this is a cultural event in Spain and therefore none of our business is flawed, as one could make a similar bogus case for any depraved spectacle citing culture or tradition: bear baiting or cock fighting for example.

That such a practice is still legal within the EU is mind-boggling, but an even greater scandal is that EU subsidies (tax-payers’ money) to breeders of fighting bulls are helping to keep the blood sport alive.

Last year, a European Parliament motion on ending this indirect financial backing for animal cruelty was narrowly defeated. When the issue comes up for debate again I hope compassion will prevail and that MEPs, including Irish ones, will give the thumbs down to bullfighting. – Yours, etc,

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Cecil death highlights at-risk wildlife
Irish Examiner, Thursday, August 6th, 2015

If ever an animal could be said not to have died in vain, it was poor old Cecil the Lion. His sad death, at the hands of a wealthy hunter, has focused attention on the plight of endangered wildlife.

The recreational killing of wildlife has come under the spotlight, as people vent their outrage at the sadistic, calculated way that Cecil was made to suffer for ‘sport’. In Spain and some South American countries, animals are stoned to death at fiestas, goats are thrown off high buildings, and the horns of bulls set alight (that’s if there isn’t bull fighting to amuse blood-sport fans). Bears are still baited in Pakistan and Afghanistan, dogs ripping into their flesh and inflicting a slow death in scenes that Shakespeare would have been familiar with in Elizabethan England. Here, in Ireland, we are less than two months away from another hare-coursing season. An animal whose conservation status is deemed poor and who has all but vanished from many parts of the country is forced to serve as bait for pairs of competing greyhounds. The hares get mauled or tossed about like broken toys on rain-sodden and wind-swept fields from Cork to Donegal.

None of these animals deserves to be tortured to death or mutilated or terrorised for a laugh or a wager, or to be mounted as a grizzly trophy on the wall of some wealthy connoisseur of carcasses. Now, the spectre of Cecil, lying dead and headless and with a smiling hunter posing beside him, hangs over all blood sports.

From the mighty lion to the brooding bear, the wily fox to the humble hare, these creatures form part of the world’s imperilled wildlife heritage. Thanks to Cecil, these animals may yet survive man’s inhumanity.

John Fitzgerald
Callan, Co Kilkenny

There is no law allowing hunts on private land
Irish Examiner, October 17, 2015

Media coverage of rural crime has emphasised criminal elements that terrorise rural communities within a vacuum of light-touch judicial application.

Overlooked is another stream of rural terrorism, which is legal in nature and arrogant by breeding.

Every hunting season brings the visit by the local hunt, on horseback or on foot, to rural areas, causing distress, damage and assaults by those who refuse to acknowledge that their activity is not welcome in the area and that access to private property is denied to them.

Contrary to popular belief, hunts do not have any special rights to cross lands, as and when they please. Hunts have no rights to enter or cross the vast majority of land and/or property in this country.

The fact that they can do so, under legal cover of recreational hunting, renders the statement that nobody is above the law in Ireland a pile of bovine droppings.

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


29. Campaign Quotes

"The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies." ~ Albert Schweitzer

"Fox Hunting is not about pest control. It's about dressing up and enjoying a terrified animal being ripped apart. Sadistic thrill seeking." Ricky Gervais in a tweet on 10th July 2015.

"I am strongly opposed to the cruel and barbaric 'sport' of hunting wild animals with dogs" - Sir Patrick Stewart, Actor and Honorary Associate of Protect Our Wild Animals

"During the rut, male deer antlers will often become entangled in electric tape fences. Fences with a double strand wire on top are a major killer of deer as they act as a snare trapping deer by the back leg and resulting in slow painful death." from the Facebook page of deer hunting group, Wild Deer Association of Ireland.

"I've always supported a ban on fox hunting and hare coursing. My views have not and will not alter." Offaly County Councillor, Sinead Dooley (Fianna Fail)

“A friend of mine saw them holding a cat by the tail and running up to the dogs with it. It’s sick. I don’t know what to say or think" - from Gang of youths ‘laughed and cheered’ as they set two dogs on a kitten,, October 16th -


30. Petitions - Please sign and share

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland Now

Minister Humphreys – Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing

Stop cruel hare coursing in Millstreet Town Park

Minister Coveney: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Irish Government: Save foxes and dogs from horrific cruelty

Minister Simon Coveney: Ban ALL Tail Docking – No Exemptions

Ireland: 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

Spanish Tourism - Stop promoting cruel bullfighting

Petition to EU Commission against Bullfighting and Blood Fiestas Subsidies

Limerick Racecourse: Stop hosting cruel hare coursing

Coillte – Ban hunters from your forests

European Parliament, ban glue traps from Europe

Primrose: Stop selling extremely cruel glue traps

Ban Fur Sales on eBay

Stormont Assembly: Ban Fox and Stag Hunting in Northern Ireland

Ban Torturous Hanging of Greyhounds in Spain

Arts Council of Ireland: Stop funding animal circuses

Petition – Add “Report Animal Abuse” option on Facebook

End Bullfighting in France

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.

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Make a donation to ICABS

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

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