Animal Voice, Issue 1, 2016
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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01. Ireland is "a long way from being progressive in animal welfare"
02. Newly elected animal-friendly TDs
03. "Foxes are lovely animals": 10-year-old calls for ban on foxhunting
04. Fox desperately jumps over river during Wexford hunt
05. Irish army blasted for supporting animal cruelty
06. Victim impact statement of farmer assaulted by foxhunt supporter
07. Family resource group urged to reject donations from foxhunters
08. Seanad nominating bodies include greyhound/shooting groups
09. Sports Travel Guru thanked for removing bullfight suggestion
10. Foxhunting post removed from JobBridge website
11. TDs urge Minister to prohibit hunts from using JobBridge
12. Padraic Pearse would ban hare coursing
13. Fears that badgers could be extinct by 2020
14. Mullingar Cllrs pass motion calling for end to wild animals in circuses
15. Disgust at continuation of bloodsport blessings
16. Order of Malta ignores calls to stay away from cruel coursing
17. Anti-coursing exhibit forms part of new Dublin hare trail
18. Foxes continuing to run during Duhallow hunt
19. Vixen attacked and killed after "pretending" to be dead
20. Sportsfile photo agency profiting from animal cruelty images
21. Ticket company Ticketbis urged to stop listing bullfight tickets
22. Mexican state Coahuila prohibits bullfighting
23. TicketsMarket UK removes links to bullfighting tickets
24. Portuguese bullfighting "a sad and outdated custom devoid of valour"
25. Donedeal urged to reject adverts for real fur
26. Campaign Quotes
27. Letters to the Editor
28. Petitions - Please sign and share

01. Ireland is "a long way from being progressive in animal welfare"

Newly re-elected TD, Maureen O'Sullivan, has told a packed Dail Eireann that Ireland is "a long way from being progressive in animal welfare". The Dublin Central politician, and president of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, was speaking during the first sitting of the thirty second Dail on March 10th.

Her efforts to secure a ban on hare coursing, fox hunting, fur farming, animal circuses and badger snaring are clearly set to continue after the formation of a new government.

During the "Nominations for Ceann Comhairle" speech, Maureen also took the opportunity to tell the assembled TDs that "we have major challenges regarding climate and the environment."

"Tá seans againn rudaí a dhéanamh i slí dhifriúil. Caithfimid é sin a dhéanamh anois. Tá sé riachtanach," she added. "We have a chance to do things differently. Let's do it now. It's essential."

Her speech received a huge round of applause from the TDs.


Sign the "Ban Blood Sports in Ireland" petition

Contact all your local TDs and urge them to push for a ban on foxhunting [and all forms of cruelty to animals]. Find out their names and contact details at


02. Newly elected animal-friendly TDs

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports congratulates all the animal-friendly TDs who have been re-elected to Dail Eireann, including Maureen O'Sullivan (ICABS President), Clare Daly, Finian McGrath, Tommy Broughan, Joan Collins, Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger, Richard Boyd Barrett, Noel Grealish, John Halligan, Seán Kyne, Roisin Shortall, Aengus O Snodaigh, Sean Crowe, Jan O'Sullivan, Willie O'Dea, Michael Ring, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and Mick Wallace.

Newly elected TDs (not in the previous Dail) who have expressed opposition to bloodsports and/or other forms of animal cruelty include: Kathleen Funchion, Mick Barry, Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony, Eamon Ryan, Gino Kenny, Catherine Martin, Bríd Smith, Katherine Zappone, James Lawless, Shane Cassells and John Brady. See below for comments from these new TDs.


Please join us in urging TDs to push for a ban on foxhunting, hare coursing, fur farming, animal circuses, etc. Find out their contact details at

Kathleen Funchion TD (Sinn Fein, Kilkenny County Council)
“I think like most people, I deplore the abuse of animals and cruelty to animals. It is something that is quite a passionate issue for many of our members locally and I think of it as an issue which deserves more airtime in our national and local discourse. Sinn Fein has opposed all bloodsports in Ireland and some of our members even went as far as stopping a hunt in Westmeath several years ago. Their position filled me with great pride and I have always tried my best to remain consistent in that view. A big issue in Kilkenny in the mistreatment of horses on the roads by some members of the community. That situation is abhorrent and can not continue. Should I be elected to Kilkenny County Council, it would be a great disappointment to me if the issue of animal welfare locally was still as prominent an issue at the end of the council term. I have always considered it an idea to create a register of animal abusers to make it more difficult for offenders to continue to own animals. I know that would only be the start of tackling the wider problem.” from an email to ICABS, May 2014.

Mick Barry TD (Socialist Party/Anti Austerity Alliance, Cork North Central)
"I am opposed to blood 'sports' and 'sports' that involve cruelty to animals. I am also opposed to wild animal circuses and favour a Council ban on them. I am equally opposed to foxhunting and hare coursing." from an email to ICABS, May 2014.

Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD (Fianna Fail, Cork South West)
Fianna Fail councillor Margaret Murphy O’Mahony also leant her support to the [anti-circus] motion, pointing out it was not natural for animals to be forced to dance or sit on chairs. “It’s the threat of physical punishment which makes them do it,” she said. (Source: Irish Examiner, June 10, 2014)

Eamon Ryan TD (Green Party, Dublin Bay South)
"I am firmly opposed to the current practice of fox hunting and hare coursing in the country which I feel cannot be defended on the grounds of preserving rural traditions or indeed any other conservation or rural development arguments.

Gino Kenny TD (People Before Profit Alliance, South Dublin County Council)
"I'm against any type of blood Sport which wantonly hurts any animal. I hope one day soon that blood sports in Britain and Ireland are a relic of the past."

Catherine Martin TD (Green Party, Dublin Rathdown)
"Absolutely!!" in response to an ICABS tweet asking "are you in favour of a ban on cruel hare coursing and foxhunting?". 12th August 2014.

Brid Smith TD (People Before Profit Alliance, Dublin City Council)
"I am with you on blood sports. They should be banned." from a tweet to ICABS, 29 March 2014. "I love animals and would be passionate if elected as a TD in supporting Animal Welfare and Animal Rights. I am totally opposed to fox hunting, coursing and fur farming." in reply to Maynooth University's Animal Rights Society.

Katherine Zappone, TD (Independent, Dublin South West):
"I oppose fur farming, and all blood sports such as hare coursing and fox hunting, I believe we need better legislation and more resources to enforce the existing legislation to improve animal welfare in Ireland and I will pledge my support if elected for further legislation in this area." from an email to ICABS, February 2016.

James Lawless TD (Fianna Fail, Kildare County Council)
"Totally opposed to hare coursing." from a text message to ICABS, November 2014.

Shane Cassells TD (Fianna Fail, Meath West)
ICABS thanked Cllr Shane Cassells in 2010 for being one of only 3 Meath County Councillors who voted against a pro-blood sports motion. "I firmly believe that the majority of Meath people are in favour of seeing the pursuit of live deer banned...I was very pleased to speak out against the mistruths which the RISE campaign are using to try and advance their cause."

John Brady TD (Sinn Fein, Wicklow)
"As an animal lover and someone that works continuously on animal welfare issues, I totally oppose all forms of 'blood sports' I think the practice of killing or maiming animals for someone's enjoyment is wrong and should not be even considered as a sport." from an email to ICABS, June 2015.


03. "Foxes are lovely animals": 10-year-old calls for ban on foxhunting

A kind-hearted 10-year-old is calling on members of the next government to finally outlaw foxhunting. Shocked by the sight of a hunt in her area, compassionate Ciara Lawlor composed an open letter to the politicians who have the power to bring bloodsports to an end.

In the letter, she wrote: "Dear government, can you please stop the fox hunting. They are nice animals like we are humans. They [the hunters] trespass, they hunt. Foxes are lovely animals. I was nearly crying in the car going by the horses. The horses block the road and they don't let any thing by the road."

Ciara ends her powerful letter with an appeal to TDs to "Please Stop the Hunt".

Ciara's mother, Linda [who manages the Native Woodland Trust], outlined to ICABS the background to the letter - "We were coming through Kilteel village in County Kildare on our way home when about 50 people on horses blocked the road. Ciara asked what was going on and I explained. Her eyes immediately welled up and she said: 'Mam, how can they be so cruel.' When we got home, without me saying anything, she drafted that letter."

Foxes are indeed lovely animals and they should be allowed to live free from cruelty. Please join Ciara in calling for an end to foxhunting in Ireland.


Sign the "Ban Blood Sports in Ireland" petition

Contact all your local TDs and urge them to push for a ban on foxhunting [and all forms of cruelty to animals]. Find out their names and contact details at


04. Fox desperately jumps over river during Wexford hunt

A fox running for his life during a hunt in Wexford desperately tried to jump across a river in a bid to escape.

A disgusting sequence of photographs, captured by a hunt follower and posted online, show the animal leaping from the river bank, falling into the water and clambering up the opposite bank.

The "hunted fox" was photographed earlier this month during a West Wexford Harriers hunt in Dunmain.

Devoid of sympathy for the plight of the fox, hunt supporters delighted in seeing the animal "flying" through the air. Among the comments left were: "You shouldn't make photo. You should shoot him!", "Shotgun would sort him out" and "Isn't it a shame the bastard diddnt drown".

There is no mention of the fate of this unfortunate fox. It remains unclear if the pack of hounds swam across the river and eventually caught and killed him.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports will be pushing the next government to recognise the cruelty of foxhunting and the damage it does to Ireland's international reputation and put in place a long overdue ban. We appeal to landowners in Wexford and around the country to show compassion for wildlife and make their land off-limits to hunts.

See the images at


05. Irish army blasted for supporting animal cruelty

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is outraged that the Irish Army hosted a foxhunt at their Curragh Camp HQ. According to a report in the Irish Field, a number of Army officers took part in the barbarism and officers in army fatigues were pictured with the foxhunters.

According to the report in the Irish Field, it was stated that “the Irish Army were out in force for the Kildare Foxhounds meet at the Curragh Camp,” and that personnel were involved in the organising of the hunt. Given that foxhunting was very much a British tradition, Eamonn Ceannt, one of the signatories of the 1916 Rising, would no doubt have been turning in his at grave at the sight of horse-boxes arriving in Ceannt Square at the Curragh Camp, and the foxhunters indulging in finger food and refreshments at the officers’ mess. Ironically, Britain has over a decade ago outlawed foxhunting, leaving Ireland as the last outpost of barbarism in these islands.

The Irish Field report went on to detail how foxes were pursued by hounds and “marked to ground” which indicates that they would have sought refuge underground. We can only speculate as to what happened these foxes after this, but generally terriermen, who are an integral part of the hunt, arrive with spades and terriers to dig down to the fox, using the terriers to flush it out, resulting in underground battles with fox and terrier, and the ultimate death of the fox.

As we commemorate 1916, it is an absolute disgrace that the Irish Army would be involved in such a barbaric bloodsport. One hundred years after they laid down their lives for our country, the Irish Army taking part in a foxhunt is hardly what our 1916 patriots would have envisaged.

In a 1967 letter to founder member of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, actor John Cowley (aka Tom Riordan of ‘The Riordans’), Senator Margaret Pearse – sister of Padraic Pearse – wrote from her nursing home, aged 89, that both of her brothers, Padraic and Willie, would have been opposed to animal cruelty. Senator Pearse stated: “all bloodsports are repugnant to me and I think that they have a debasing effect on all those who take part in them”.

Out of respect for the martyrs and patriots of 1916, and for the vast majority of Irish people who oppose cruel bloodsports, we call on the Irish Army to cease their involvement in this barbaric activity.


Call on the Irish Army to prohibit animal cruelty on its property

Defence Forces Headquarters
Ceannt Barracks,
Curragh Camp,
Co Kildare
Tel: 045 44 5306
Leave a comment on Facebook
Tweet to @defenceforces


06. Victim impact statement of farmer assaulted by foxhunt supporter

Victim impact statement of Kilkenny farmer Norman Daniels who was assaulted by foxhunt supporter, John O'Reilly in November 2013. O'Reilly was fined €2,250 at Kilkenny District Court on 15th March, having pleaded guilty to the assault of Norman and his brother Hubert.

Victim Impact Statement by Norman Daniels

The incident of 5 November has completely changed my life. Prior to that afternoon I was a healthy fit man.

I have been farming all my working life. I can no longer do manual labour work on the farm, due to the handicap in my wrist.

I applied to the Injuries Board for compensation for my injuries to my wrist caused by the defendant John O Reilly. He refused to allow the Injuries Board assess the damage and the Board informed me of this on 8 October 2014.

The extreme physical pain associated with my injuries and the stress and trauma I suffer is devastating.

Because of this assault I underwent a life threatening surgical operation under full anaesthetic in Waterford Regional Hospital, where a metal plate and eight screws had to be implanted into my wrist to hold and keep the broken bones in place. (See image).

I cannot rest. I have continual flashbacks to the day of the assault when foxhunter John O’ Reilly struck me a single blow punch from behind with force which knocked me to the ground at speed, breaking my right wrist...the hand I used to make my living on the farm.

I must now face the rest of my life with this handicap.

Norman Daniels

Watch video footage of the assault

Read the Irish Independent report


07. Family resource group urged to reject donations from foxhunters

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is appealing to Westmeath Family Resource Centre, Cara Phort, to reject donations from foxhunters.

A photograph published in the Westmeath Examiner shows a Cara Phort representative accepting a cheque for €395.45 from members of Westmeath foxhunt. According to the photo caption, "Cara Phort is grateful to Westmeath Foxhounds for this donation."

The money was raised at a foxhunt at the end of February. A notice posted on the hunt's Facebook page stated: "Tomorrow's closing meet at Ballymore gives our members one last shot to put their mark on Westmeath turf and make a final bid for the Westmeath Hunt Slippery Saddle Trophy, kindly sponsored by Genesis Pewter Mullingar. This year's chosen charity is the Cara Phort Family Resource Centre."

Cara Phort is one of a network of family resource centres "delivering universal services to families in disadvantaged areas across the country" and working to "combat disadvantage and improve the functioning of the family unit". Last year, it was allocated €84,910 in funds by the state's Child and Family Agency.

We are urging Cara Phort to show compassion and disassociate from foxhunters. We are bringing to its attention some of the documented instances of Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty (see below). We are also highlighting a disturbing Westmeath foxhunt video - - in which a hunter can be heard calling his horse a c*** while another can be seen whipping her horse 5 times in quick succession (see 03:00 minute mark).


Please join us in appealing to Cara Phort to show compassion for Irish wildlife and reject donations from foxhunters.

Cara Phort Family Resource Centre
Harbour St
Mullingar, Co Westmeath
Tel: (044) 937 3060

Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty

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

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

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

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


08. Seanad nominating bodies include greyhound/shooting groups

Did you know? Among the official list of bodies that may nominate candidates in the upcoming Seanad election is a greyhound breeding group and an organisation whose members are responsible for the shooting of tens of thousands of foxes, deer, birds and other creatures every year.

In the "Agricultural Panel" list of nominating bodies are the Irish Greyhound Owners and Breeders Federation and shooting group, National Association of Regional Game Councils.

No groups representing animal issues feature on the list.

The Seanad is made up of 60 members. Eleven are nominated by the Taoiseach, six are elected by graduates of Trinity College Dublin and the National Universities of Ireland and the majority - 43 - are elected from five special panels of nominees.

Getting to be a nominee for a Seanad panel requires a nomination from one of the select groups or from four TDs or outgoing Senators.

View the complete list of nominating bodies at

Find out more about the Seanad election at


09. Sports Travel Guru thanked for removing bullfight suggestion

A big thank you to holiday deals company, Sports Travel Guru, for removing from its website a suggestion to attend a bullfight.

Responding to an appeal from the Irish Council Against Blood Sports in which we highlighted the cruelty of bullfighting, the Kent-based company swiftly responded to say it would "happily remove all content relating to bullfighting".

Thumbs up to Sports Travel Guru for this compassionate response. Find out more about its current sports deals at

Sports Travel Guru joins a growing list of companies which have responded positively to ICABS appeals and removed references to bullfighting or bullrings. These include American Airlines, EasyJet, Jet2holidays, Marriott International, Hilton Hampton, Ebookers, Club Travel, Abbey Travel, Sunways, Low Cost, Travel Department, Cancun Holidays Information Center, Co-op Travel, Ultimate Travel, No Fly Cruising, City Breaks 101, Original Travel, Escape Trips, Charter Travel, NY.T.Roma Hotel, Exclusive GP, Just Resorts,, Burleigh Travel, Abercrombie & Kent, Holiday Transfers, Iglu Cruise, Oliver's Travel's, StagWeb, Joe Walsh Tours, Budget Travel, Osprey Holidays,, Hays Travel, Le Boat, Holiday Hypermarket, Pack Your Bags, USIT Travel, Euroventure, Netflights,, LateDeals and Stagit.


Please sign and share our petitions

Spanish Tourism - Stop promoting cruel bullfighting

Stop selling bullfighting tickets

"Ticketmaster: Stop selling bullfighting tickets" Stop publicising cruel bullfighting events

Fodors Travel Guides: Stop directing tourists to bullrings

If you choose to holiday in a bullfighting country (Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela), please do not visit bullfighting arenas or museums. Avoid purchasing any bullfight-related souvenirs. Join the international campaign against bullfighting. Please register your opposition to this horrific blood sport with the governments and political representatives of bullfighting countries as well as to the local ambassadors.


10. Foxhunting post removed from JobBridge website

Fox-hunting post removed from Job Bridge website
Munster Express, March 24th, 2016
By Michelle Clancy

The Department of Social Protection has removed the listing of a JobBridge internship for the position of ‘First Whipper In’ with the Kilmacthomas-based Waterford Hunt Foxhounds from its website.

Over 2,500 people had signed an online petition calling for the removal of the internship from the website, following an initial statement from the Department that there were a ‘range of occupations that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another’.

The position first appeared on the Department of Social Protection’s Job Bridge website earlier this month, noting that the intern would ‘gain practical experience in all aspects of venery, hound management, horse management, country preservation and preparation and veterinary care’.

‘On completion the intern will have attained skills in whipping in and will be positioned well to take up a position in hunt service as a whipper in and continue their training to take up the role of a professional huntsman’, the ad continued.

The €52.50 per week position would involve being an assistant to the huntsman, keeping the fox hounds organised and focused.

The Irish Council Against Bloodsports (ICABS) launched an online petition last week over the JobBridge posting, asking people to contact the Department of Social Protection and ask them to remove the post.

Over 2,500 people had signed it by the time the internship was removed. “Many citizens will be astounded and appalled that their hard earned tax euros are going to fund this horrific animal cruelty, which involves hounding a fox for hours across countryside”, the ICABS wrote on its website.

“By approving the Waterford Foxhounds for the scheme, Social Protection are in effect condoning and promoting the barbaric bloodsport of foxhunting, and encouraging an unemployed person to become immersed in animal cruelty.


ICABS is endeavouring to clarify if the foxhunt position is gone from the JobBridge website due to complaints or as a result of the position being filled. In the meantime, please sign and share our petition and contact the Department to urge them to reject any future applications from animal cruelty groups.

Petition: Department of Social Protection – Stop offering foxhunting internships

Tell Joan Burton and the Department of Social Protection to immediately exclude animal cruelty groups from its JobBridge scheme.

Email “JobBridge – Stop offering foxhunting internship” to,,,

Phone Joan Burton’s office: 01-6184006 (Dail)

Tweet @welfare_ie


11. TDs urge Minister to prohibit hunts from using JobBridge

Dail Questions - 22nd March 2016

Ruth Coppinger (Dublin West, Anti-Austerity Alliance) To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection to prohibit hunt organisations from using the JobBridge scheme to fill roles in hunting activities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4727/16]

Clare Daly (Dublin Fingal, United Left) To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection to ensure that no JobBridge vacancies or internships are offered to organisations which engage in animal cruelty (details supplied) in County Waterford. [4729/16]

Joan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour) I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 9 together.

There are a range of occupations, including those in the hunt sports sector, that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another. Other examples include aspects of the meat or fishing industry, or those related to gambling, In these cases as long as the occupation is valid, the activity is not illegal and the internship offered complies with the general terms and conditions of the JobBridge scheme the Department cannot preclude it from availing of the JobBridge.


12. Padraic Pearse would ban hare coursing

In this the year of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the government should honour the names of Padraic and Willie Pearse by bringing an end to this cruel abuse of timid, vulnerable hares by outlawing live hare coursing. In a letter written by Padraic Pearse’s sister, Senator Margaret Pearse, to actor John Cowley (aka Tom Riordan) in 1967, she stated about her brothers, Padraic and Willie: “I am certain that were they alive today, they would be foremost in condemning coursing for the sadistic spectacle it is.”

Senator Margaret Pearse, then 89, and writing from Linden Convalescent Home in Blackrock, said that both brothers, Padraic and Willie, “would have been totally opposed to the inhuman treatment meted out to the innocent little hares at the coursing matches. At all times during their lives, they were kind to dumb animals and Padraic’s writings give many instances of his love for animals and birds.”

It is 50 years since that letter was written, and our government continues to turn a blind eye to the cruelty that Padraic and Willie Pearse and their sister Senator Margaret Pearse would have wanted to see outlawed. If the government wants to pay any kind of meaningful homage to our 1916 patriots, they should, as a mark of real respect, banish hare coursing and indeed all bloodsports from these shores.


Sign the "Ban Blood Sports in Ireland" petition

Contact all your local TDs and urge them to push for a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing. Find out their names and contact details at


13. Fears that badgers could be extinct by 2020

Irish Times columnist Michael Viney has highlighted the ongoing assault on Ireland's badger population by the Department of Agriculture.

"The Government’s culling programme in areas of TB outbreak has so far killed about 100,000 badgers," he wrote in his March 26th column.

Also reported were fears that the badger could become extinct in Ireland in the near future - "Scientific estimates of their total national population have fallen successively: 148,000 in 1995, 84,000 in 2009, to 60,000 in 2012 – a trend that could suggest extinction by 2020."

Read the full article at

Sign our petition - Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW


14. Mullingar Cllrs pass motion calling for end to wild animals in circuses

A motion calling for an end to the use of wild animals in circuses has been passed at a meeting of Mullingar Municipal District.

The motion, presented by Cllr Una D'Arcy (Sinn Fein) was passed by three votes to two. The councillors who supported Una D'Arcy's motion were Ken Glynn (Fianna Fail) and Sorca Clarke (Sinn Fein). The two councillors who voted against the motion were the Labour Party's Mick Dollard and Fine Gael's Frank McDermott. In rejecting the motion, Dollard asked: "How can a circus operate without wild animals? What harm do they do?"

Thumbs up to Cllrs D'Arcy, Glynn and Clarke for getting this motion passed. Full details below in the Westmeath Examiner report...

A circus 'cannot operate' without live animals: Cllr
Westmeath Examiner, March 26th 2016
by Rodney Farry

The question of whether circuses should be banned from using wild animals certainly divided opinion at the March 12 meeting of Mullingar Municipal District.

Cllr Una D'Arcy asked the council to support the ISPCA's The Big Stop campaign, which is calling for a complete ban on the use of wild animals such as lions and elephants in circuses.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr D'Arcy said that using wild animals for our entertainment "belongs to a different time".

She also said that video footage and photographs of a Dutch circus parading three elephants through the centre of Mullingar last month generated "very bad publicity for the town" and created a "huge backlash".

"Animals are not here to entertain us, there is no conservation or educational benefit to using wild animals in circuses," she said.

Cllr Ken Glynn supported Cllr D'Arcy's proposal. He said there "was absolute uproar" after the circus walked the elephants through Mullingar to promote its shows.

However, Cllr Mick Dollard was one of a number of councillors who disagreed with Cllr D'Arcy, noting that the council has "more important issues" to deal with.

"How can a circus operate without wild animals. They operate all over the world, what harm do they do?"

Cllr Frank McDermott, who also said that he didn't agree with Cllr D'Arcy's viewpoint, said that generations of rural children would never have seen an exotic wild animal if it wasn't for circuses.

The new chairman of Mullingar Municipal District, Cllr Andrew Duncan, said that the members present would have to vote on whether the council should publicly support the ISPCA's campaign.

Cllr's D'Arcy, Glynn and Clarke voted in favour, while cllrs Dollard and McDermott voted against.

Cllrs Duncan, Penrose, Shaw and Whitney abstained from the vote which was passed three to two.


Thank the three councillors for supporting the motion

Úna D'Arcy (Sinn Fein)
Tel: 087 9058792 Facebook:

Ken Glynn (FF)
Tel: 087 2362680 Facebook:

Sorca Clarke (Sinn Fein)
Tel: 086 1072342 Facebook:

Complain to the two councillors who voted against the motion

Michael Dollard (Labour)
Tel: 087 6802976

Frank McDermott (FG)
Tel: 0866023868

Express disappointment to the four councillors who abstained

Andrew Duncan (FG)
Tel: 087 9068186 Facebook:

Johnny Penrose (Labour)
Tel: 087 9501495

John Shaw (FF) Email:
Tel: 087 7602355

Avril Whitney (FF)
Tel: 087 9533590 Facebook:

Sign the ISPCA's Big Stop petition


15. Disgust at continuation of bloodsport blessings

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is disgusted to note that the practice of priests blessing foxhunts is continuing.

A photo has surfaced which shows an unidentified priest holding a bible and sprinkling holy water over a pack of hounds. The sickening image was taken during the 2015-16 hunting season at a meeting of the West Wexford Harriers foxhunt.

This is the same hunt which this month posted photos on its Facebook page of a terrorised fox desperately trying to jump across a river in a bid to escape the hounds. The animal leaped from the river bank and fell into the water before clambering up the opposite bank. It is unclear if he managed to escape or was later caught and torn apart by the pursuing dogs.

ICABS has brought the photograph to the attention of the Irish Bishops Conference who have in the past said that the bishops "would not condone the practice of priests blessing foxhunts".

According to the Catholic Catechism, "It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly...Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence, they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St Francis of Assisi or St Philip Neri treated animals."


Urge the President of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference to act to finally stop hunt blessings.

Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
President, Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference
Ara Coeli, Armagh BT61 7QY
Tel: +44 (0)28 3752 2045
Tel: 048-3752 2045 (from the Republic)

Send a tweet to Eamon Martin and Pope Francis
@ArchbishopEamon @CatholicBishops @Pontifex Foxhunting is cruel. Please act to stop hunt blessings in Ireland.


16. Order of Malta ignores calls to stay away from cruel coursing

First aid group, Order of Malta, has shamefully ignored calls to stay away from the Clonmel hare coursing crueltyfest. An Order of Malta ambulance was spotted inside the grounds of Powerstown Park on January 31st and was later seen driving past protesters gathered outside the venue.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports had appealed to Order of Malta to show compassion for the Irish Hares netted from the wild and used as live bait for dogs to chase. Over 1,100 people signed a petition urging the group to stop attending events involving cruelty to animals.

In an email to the Order of Malta's Dublin headquarters, ICABS praised the organisation's valuable work across the country but pointed out that volunteering at an animal cruelty event at which defenceless animals are forced to run for their lives is surely contrary to the Order of Malta's ethos of compassion and alleviating suffering.

"The coursing meeting in Clonmel is the culmination of a season of animal cruelty," we stated in our letter. We brought to their attention photographs taken at Clonmel which show hares desperately running for their lives in front of greyhounds.

"Every coursing season, hares are hit and mauled, resulting in painful injuries and deaths," we added. "Injuries include bruises, broken bones and dislocated hips. This is not the type of activity the Order of Malta should be associating with."


Please sign and share our petition: Order of Malta - Stop attending cruel hare coursing festival

Please join us in urging the Order of Malta to stop providing volunteers to the national hare coursing meeting in Clonmel.

Order of Malta Ireland,
St John's House,
32 Clyde Road,
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Tel: 01-6430000


17. Anti-coursing exhibit forms part of new Dublin hare trail

A 3-foot tall Irish Hare highlighting the victims of cruel coursing is forming part of a major art initiative in Dublin.

The Jack and Jill Foundation's "Hares on the March" project - "the country's largest ever Hare Trail" - features 110 unique hare exhibits created by artists from around Ireland. They are on display throughout the capital before being auctioned to raise funds for the charity's work for families of babies with brain damage.

Hare exhibit #93, by Kilkenny-based artist Ross Stewart, is entitled "Never a Sport" and it stands as a striking ambassador for a species yearning for life free from persecution.

In a description of his beautiful creation, Ross (who has previously worked on Oscar-nominated films “Song of the Sea” and "The Secret of Kells") says: "The Irish hare is a national treasure; one of our native animals that we might be lucky enough to see running free across open mountain sides or watching us from coastal meadows. It is such a national shame then, that our government allows and actively finances the torture and killing of these magnificent creatures in coursing clubs around the country."

"I have decorated my hare with concentric circles and lines, reminiscent of Celtic symbols, reminding us of our long shared history on this island home and also suggesting the fur and anatomy of the hare," he explains, adding that "Small text is interspersed throughout the design. This text details the injuries and deaths of hares at various coursing clubs in Ireland. We, as a nation, must put an end to this wilful persecution of our treasured native animal, the hare."

A big thank you to Ross Stewart for creating this powerful artwork which is sure to inspire many more people to join growing calls for a ban on hare coursing.

Outlining why the hare was chosen as a central focus of its exhibition, the Jack and Jill Foundations comments: "The Irish hare is indeed special – not because it is only found in Ireland but because it is also possibly our longest established native mammal – it was even here during the Ice Age. The Hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, Life, Creative Potency, Regeneration, Fertility, and Eternity. The symbolism is manifested in associations with Springtime, the Dawn, the Moon and Sacred Fire, the Egg, the Circle and the Infinity symbol, Marriage, Madness, Genius and Inspiration (both which seem to go hand in hand)."

If you would like to place a bid to purchase "Never a Sport", visit

Find out more about Hares on the March at


18. Foxes continuing to run during Duhallow hunt

A beautiful photograph of a fox running across a field in County Cork. Beautiful until you realise that the image was captured during a recent Duhallow foxhunt and posted to a Facebook gallery alongside shots of hunters on horseback behind their pack of killer hounds.


The fate of this fox is currently unknown. During hunts, foxes are typically chased to exhaustion before the hounds catch them, knock them off their feet and bite and maul them to death. Wildlife with the life cruelly and painfully drained away.

ICABS has previously highlighted the persecution of foxes by the Duhallow Foxhounds. Last January, we reported on a fox who was chased for over 13 miles during a pre-Christmas Duhallow Hunt. The unfortunate animal was pursued by 37 hounds across fields, over a bog and through a wood. His ordeal lasted for 13.2 miles (8 miles of which were covered in one hour and 40 minutes) before he was "marked to ground" near a golf club.

Foxes will continue to suffer in this way until our government finally outlaws this shameful activity.

Sign our "Ban Blood Sports in Ireland" petition

Please join us in contacting Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to demand the removal of an exemption for foxhunting from Ireland's Animal Health and Welfare Act.

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

Contact the Taoiseach and Tanaiste. Ask them to show compassion for foxes and hares and ban hunting and coursing.

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

An Tanaiste, Joan Burton
Office of the Tanaiste
Iveagh House,
80 St. Stephen’s Green,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail)
Tel: 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)
Email Enda Kenny and Joan Burton:,

Previously: Fox pursued by 37 hounds for over 13 miles
16 January 2015

A fox was pursued for over 13 miles during a hunt in County Cork last month, it has been revealed. According to an Irish Field report about a pre-Christmas Duhallow hunt, the unfortunate fox was disturbed near Churchtown and chased through a bog and a wood before being “marked to ground” near a golf club.

In foxhunting, “marking to ground” refers to the point when the pack of hounds chase the exhausted fox into an earth or drain. This is typically followed by the arrival of a terrierman who sends a terrier down the hole to attack and corner the fox until the clay is dug away from above, before the fox is killed.

The Irish Field report refers to the persecuted fox as “a smashing dog fox who set his mask for the Bog of Annagh”. The pack of 37 dogs chased the fox through Ardglass Wood and towards Dromina village “before swinging back and marking their fox to ground near Charleville Golf Club”.

The report outlines that the fox’s ordeal lasted for a distance of 13.2 miles, eight miles of which was covered in one hour and 40 minutes.

It goes on to detail how during a Scarteen hunt after Christmas, a pack of hounds “absolutely flew” after a fox over a distance of 6 miles in 35 minutes.


19. Vixen attacked and killed after "pretending" to be dead

A vixen who "pretended to be dead" in a bid to save her life was brutally attacked and killed by a hunting dog.

According to a disgusting report in hunting magazine, Earth Dog Running Dog, the lurcher dog chased after the fox and was later found standing over her body.

When the Ireland-based hunter caught up with the dog, the vixen was seen stretched out on the ground, apparently dead.

A photograph of the unfortunate vixen shows her lying helplessly on the ground looking up at the lurcher. After an initial attack, a bloody wound is visible on the side of her head.

"I got the camera, took a few shots and congratulated the lurcher while doing so," the hunter wrote. "As I stood up, the dog turned towards me and the fox got up and ran."

The lurcher ran after the vixen again and caught her in a briar hedge. The report continued: "the lurcher caught the fox on its back end as it was the only place she could and the fox swung round and got her by the muzzle! Did she scream? You bet she screamed, but neither of the two would give up first."

When a second hunting dog arrived "baying like a bloodhound", the lurcher "got a better grip and it was all over, there would be no more pretending to be dead."

A photograph showing the vixen being attacked can be viewed at

This is one of the many foxes who suffer horrific deaths in the Irish countryside. Their pain and suffering will continue until our government finally outlaws this shameful activity.

Please help push for a ban on this and all bloodsports. Question general election candidates about where they stand on animal cruelty issues and make your vote count for the animals.


20. Sportsfile photo agency profiting from animal cruelty images

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has expressed disgust to Dublin-based photo agency, Sportsfile, which is profiting from images of hares running for their lives during cruel coursing.

We are calling on Sportsfile - which describes itself as 'Ireland's number one sports photography agency' - to recognise that hare coursing is animal cruelty, not sport. The call comes after Sportsfile tweeted images of hares being chased by greyhounds on a coursing field in Abbeyfeale, Limerick -

One photograph shows a hare in mid-air, desperately trying to get away from the dogs. In its tweet, Sportsfile describes the sickening scenes as "great action".

Sportsfile is shamefully trying to make money off the backs of the terrorised hares, selling the appalling photos for between €25 and €65 each -

"It is very disappointing that Sportsfile is happy to profit from images of cruelty to animals," ICABS stated in our appeal. "In coursing, hares forcefully netted from the wild, are used as live bait for greyhounds to chase in an activity that is already illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions. Hares suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives; those hit and mauled by the dogs sustain painful injuries. Every coursing season, hare injuries and deaths occur."


Join us in appealing to Sportsfile to recognise that hare coursing is animal cruelty, not sport, and to reject the activity.

Patterson House,
14 South Circular Road,
Portobello, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Tel: +353 (0)1 4547400
Leave comment on Facebook
Tweet to @sportsfile


21. Ticket company Ticketbis urged to stop listing bullfight tickets

"Thanks to Ticketbis you can finally attend one of the most popular sports in the world," the company declares on its website, alongside a photo of a matador tormenting a bleeding bull. "Bullfighting tickets are available right here at Ticketbis, so don't hesitate and get hold of your Bullfighting tickets here and now! Ticketbis has a range of Bullfighting tickets available, so if you have ever fancied seeing the Hispanic tradition live from the arena, look no further! The blood thirsty event has been around since the eighteenth century and is one of the longest-standing customs of many Hispanic countries along with the south of France. So experience a real bull fight and get your Bullfighting tickets here!"

In an email to Ticketbis, ICABS stated: "Bullfighting is an extremely cruel and violent activity in which bulls are terrorised, tortured and killed. By facilitating the sale of bullfighting tickets, your company is helping to fill seats in these blood-soaked hellholes."


Please join us in urging Ticketbis to put compassion before cash and stop selling bullfighting tickets.


Send a tweet: @Ticketbis @TicketbisUK @andermichelena Stop selling tickets to cruel and bloody bullfights

Sign and share our petition
Stop selling bullfighting tickets


22. Mexican state Coahuila prohibits bullfighting

The Mexican state of Coahuila has prohibited bullfighting and becomes the third state in Mexico with a ban. The voting took place in the Congress of Coahuila, with 16 votes in favour and 5 against the prohibition.

The bill was an initiative of governor Rubén Moreira Valdéz (PRI) who said that the initiative was a response to the request made by the United Nations to Mexico to keep children away from the violence of bullfighting.

More and more municipalities and states are deciding to abolish bullfighting. In Mexico. Sonora and Guerrero have already prohibited bullfighting and there are also 7 municipalities against bullfighting. Worldwide, 132 municipalities have declared pronounced anti-bullfighting.

Source: CAS International


23. TicketsMarket UK removes links to bullfighting tickets

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has thanked ticket price comparison company, TicketsMarket, for removing links to bullfighting tickets.

Responding to an appeal in which we highlighted the cruelty of bullfighting, a TicketsMarket spokesperson stated: "We also think it isn't appropriate to promote this 'sport' and will therefore remove these tickets from our site(s)."

Among the tickets removed were for bullfighting in Ronda and Madrid.

Thumbs up to TicketsMarket / Tixor for this compassionate response. Find out more about its ticket price comparison service at


24. Portuguese bullfighting "a sad and outdated custom devoid of valour"

"A sad and outdated custom devoid of valour" - a travel writer's assessment of bullfighting after a recent visit to an Algarve bullring.

In an article posted last month on, Sasha Wood condemned the cruel activity as a "brutal spectacle".

"My encounter with Portuguese bullfighting was memorable for all the wrong reasons," she wrote. "Having given El Toro a miss in Seville and in a misguided effort to understand the spectacle much loved by macho Hemingway, I accepted an invitation to the Portuguese version while I was in Albufeira. It was in a fairly large bullring encircled with concrete tiers raised above the pit that felt abit like the dusty amphitheatre of an ancient Roman outpost. Indeed, what I found was a sad and outdated custom devoid of valour that reminded me of the final scenes in the film Gladiator when the cowardly emperor secretly stabs a defenceless Maximus before they publicly duel."

Sasha continued: "Matadors mounted on horses chased the bull about the ring and stabbed short spears decorated in streamers into its hind quarters until the bull was in no shape to pose any threat. Only then did the matadors enter the ring on foot and tease him with red rags. On this occasion, the bull did manage to toss a matador into the air on his stumpy horns, and I felt a slight sense of triumph. But realising how at odds I was with this brutal spectacle, I decided to leave."

You can read Sasha's full report at

Witness the cruelty of Portugal's bullfighting in this 1 minute video

If visiting Portugal, Spain, France or other countries that allow bullfighting, please boycott the bullrings.


25. Donedeal urged to reject adverts for real fur

Classified ads website, Donedeal, is continuing to accept ads for real fur. Adverts on the site have included garments containing the fur of foxes, seals, rabbits, minks, squirrels, chinchillas, muskrats and raccoons.

The company's policy on fur is that it does not accept ads for new fur but will accept ads for second-hand fur as "we believe that it is preferable to purchase a second hand or vintage item of this nature rather than purchase new."

However, in an appeal to the company, ICABS pointed out that second-hand fur was once new fur and that all fur is based on cruelly confining and killing animals. We also stated that the buying and selling of second-hand fur stimulates the fur trade.

Animals in the fur industry suffer a life of misery in cages before being gassed to death or anally electrocuted.

To its shame, Ireland continues to be a part of the global fur industry with an estimated 200,000 mink killed on fur farms here every year. The animals are pulled from the filthy cages after six months of permanent captivity, thrown into a box and poisoned to death with carbon monoxide gas. Mink are semi-aquatic and highly evolved physiologically to hold their breath. They are able to detect a lack of oxygen in their blood and are prone to hypoxia, which means that they can suffer particularly during gassing.

Witness the cruelty of fur farming in Ireland


Appeal to Donedeal to prohibit all ads for items containing real fur. Email "Donedeal - Please reject adverts for real fur" to

Sign anti-fur petitions

Ban fur farming in Ireland

EU: ban fur farming in the European Union

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 - 10 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". Email:,,


26. Campaign Quotes

"The barbaric practice of hare coursing has no place in today's world - time to put a stop to it!" from a tweet by IEN, the Irish Environmental Network (a network of 34 environmental NGOs that work individually and jointly to protect the environment), 2nd February 2016.

"It is such a shame that as a country, we step up to the mark when it comes to showing kindness and compassion to nations and people in plight; we are proud to show our big hearts and dig deep into our pockets whilst at the same time, we are let down by laws and the people that enforce them when it comes to animal welfare. These laws are not synonymous with the kindness and compassion of the majority of Irish people and it is shameful that archaic practices such as hare coursing are still allowed. " Maria/Cork

"Blood sports including coursing or hunting are not promoted in any Fáilte Ireland publications." from the Failte Ireland website.

"There is no shortage of well-fed foxes in the Westmeath countryside, and every covert held, so it was action from start to finish with the huntsman finding two and a half brace but they were content to run only short distances before going to ground... As the hounds were hacking up the Castletowngeoghegan road, they were taken aback to meet a fox was travelling down the same road towards them. After the pack and the fox took a moment to focus on each other, the fox, not surprisingly, took the initiative and fled over a straight line of stone walls before he headed underground too." from a report on the Westmeath Foxhounds hunt, Irish Field, 22nd January 2016.

"A Donegal man has pleaded guilty to an animal welfare offence after he failed to seek prompt veterinary attention for his collie dog when it was run over by a van and trailer. Joe McBride, with an address at Murleog, Downings, Co Donegal, was fined €200 and ordered to pay costs of €152 to the ISPCA after admitting an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 at Letterkenny district court on Thursday." Irish Farmers' Journal, 2nd March 2016.

"Three horses were killed – in the worst death toll for four years – on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival after suffering horrific injuries. Seven-year-old mare The Govaness – ridden by champion jockey elect Richard Johnson – was tiring badly when she crashed to the ground after failing to jump the final hurdle in the two-and-a-half mile mares’ race. Novice chaser Pont Alexandre broke a leg in the notorious National Hunt Chase, run over approximately 4 miles, and the final victim was five-year-old gelding Rezorbi who was killed in the last race of the day." Animal Aid, 15th March 2016.


27. 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.

'Duck truce' showed decency
Irish Independent, 31 March 2016

There has been a tendency over the years to poke fun at the unofficial truce observed by both sides during the 1916 Rising to allow for the feeding of the ducks in St Stephen's Green, with at least one recent newspaper article alluding to is as "a descent into farce".

I would see it rather as a commendable example of simple human decency in the midst of bloody conflict.

The park-keeper, James Kearney, deserves enormous credit for ensuring that his feathered friends were looked after despite the dangers that surrounded him on that fateful week.

I only wish that this compassionate attitude towards the welfare of non-human creatures was more prevalent among today's politicians, who claim to honour the men and women who struck for freedom a hundred years ago.

The unofficial 'truce' was certainly consistent with Padraic Pearse's love of nature, as evidenced by his poetry and expressed views.

In his poem 'The Wayfarer', he spoke of the joy he felt...

"To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,
Or a red ladybird upon a stalk,
Or little rabbits in a field at evening,
Lit by a slanting sun…"

A century after the 'duck truce', blood sports continue to shame our nation, their legal status a testament to man's perennial inhumanity.

Though one might blithely say "sure, they're only animals", just as the quacking beneficiaries of that lull in the firing a hundred years ago were 'only ducks', they do feel pain - and their plight is an indictment of our failure to protect wildlife from recreational cruelty.

John Fitzgerald
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Cruelty of bloodsports must be recognised
Irish Examiner, March 21, 2016

Disturbing photos have surfaced this month which show the desperate measures Irish wildlife is forced to take during hunts.

In the images posted online, a pursued fox can be seen leaping from the bank of a river before falling into the water and splashing towards the opposite shore. Hunt supporters expressed disappointment that death had been delayed for this terrorised creature, with comments including “a shotgun would sort him out”.

It is not known what became of this particular fox after he pulled his drenched body from the river and resumed his frantic run.

Typically, foxes are relentlessly chased until exhaustion slows them down and allows the pack of hounds to close in and attack.

The next government must recognise the cruelty of bloodsports and the damage they do to the country’s image. A ban is long overdue.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports
Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Drag-hunting would save foxes and farmers
Irish Examiner, March 22, 2016

Another fox-hunting season has ended and, apart from the suffering inflicted on these beautiful wild dogs, hunts have also been cruel to farmers. The tally-ho brigades continue to encroach on lands that host expensive farm enterprises. Many farmers are eking out a livelihood, and few of them can afford to allow this indiscriminate vandalism of their property.

The excuse offered by hunts is that they merely follow in the fox’s footsteps, and go in the direction of wherever the fox happens to run. A way of avoiding these devastating attacks on farmers would be a switch to drag-hunting.

In addition to providing a humane alternative to the hounding and disembowelling of foxes, this would also enable hunts to avoid lands off-limits by laying a false scent, or trail, accordingly. The hunters could then freely ‘ride to hounds’ without causing havoc to farmers.

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

Belle of the hunt and chasing foxes
Irish Independent, 3rd January 2016

Sir - Last Sunday Independent's front page (December 27) included a picture of a young woman, dubbed "the belle of the hunt" and her "splendid Irish hunter" all set for a day's foxhunting with the Meath hunt. We were told that this is a "rich tradition" with the "stirrup cup" being served before the hunt headed out into the Meath countryside to spend a couple of hours hounding an unfortunate fox with a pack of dogs.

This image of the "belle of the hunt" is indeed in stark contrast to the horrific cruelty routinely meted out to foxes chased by a pack hounds to exhaustion for many miles across country, the persecution lasting for anything up to three hours or more.

If the fox does find refuge underground, it is mercilessly dug out by the spade and terrier brigade, who use terriers to flush it out, oftentimes resulting in horrific injuries to both dog and fox. The fox is supposed to be "humanely" dispatched, and then thrown to the pack to be ripped to shreds. If the fox is caught over ground by the hounds, it is ripped to shreds while still alive. What a "rich tradition" indeed!

Aideen Yourell, Irish Council Against Blood Sports, PO Box 88, Mullingar

Sir - How nice to see the pretty picture of the wonderful horse and sexily posed girl in her riding outfit on your front page (December 27). What a shame it was all to do with a hunt, a traditional hunt at that with stirrup cups and no need to worry that bad weather could interfere in the fun.

What fun faces defenceless animals scared out of their wits for so called sport on a Christian holiday. Instead of the girl why not show the bloody mess her friends actually cause.

Paul Lees,
Clondalkin, Dublin

Lucinda lost when she promoted foxhunting
Irish Daily Mail, March 2nd 2016

There has considerable media analysis as to why Renua sank without trace in the election. One contributory factor has been overlooked. That was Lucinda Creighton’s appalling statement in the course of a Dail debate on the Horse Racing Bill last November when she called for the promotion of fox hunting as a tourist attraction. When animal welfare groups contacted Renua afterwards, seeking clarification and asking if this were Ms. Creighton’s own personal view or official party policy they received no replies from the Renua leader and contradictory ones from various party candidates: Some were pro-fox hunting and others were against it, but nobody could say where the party stood on the issue.

The Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports and other groups launched a campaign on social media calling on Ms. Creighton and Renua to abandon any plans to pursue a pro blood sports policy, posting graphic pictures of what happens during and immediately after a foxhunt. These included video footage and still images of hunt “dig-outs” which showed foxes that escaped underground being unearthed with spades and terriers and tossed live to the waiting packs.

There was a hostile reaction on many Facebook pages to Ms. Creighton’s stated position on blood sports, a stance on her part that could hardly be described as “pro-life”, a term she was fond of flaunting in her parliamentary career.

Hopefully, other parties will avoid hitching their political fortunes to support for practises that involve setting animals against each other for entertainment. Politics may be a blood sport, but the real thing is far worse for the gentle hare and the wily fox.

Politicians that back such practises deserve to be run to ground and unearthed, though I wouldn’t like to see them tossed to the pack. That would be too cruel.

John Fitzgerald,
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports


28. Petitions - Please sign and share

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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