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Irish personalities calling on Dept to block IGB involvement in China
12 May 2011

Brendan Gleeson and other stars from the world of entertainment are among a group of 37 who are urging the Department of Agriculture to block plans by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB/Bord na gCon) to help establish greyhound racing in China.

In a letter published in today's Irish Times, the musicians, actors, comedians, designers, etc condemn the IGB's proposal as "cynical", "sinister" and "ominous".

While welcoming the Department of Agriculture's rejection of an IGB attempt to export Irish greyhounds to China, they go on to point out that the IGB in China would have to get greyhounds from elsewhere. Regardless of the origin of the dogs, the grave welfare concerns remain the same.

"They will have to get greyhounds from somewhere for this cruel sport...In China, there is a massive amount of well-documented evidence of dogs and cats being thrown alive into boiling water, and then skinned, alive, to eventually end up for sale in open markets," the 37 outline in their letter. "The Department of Agriculture may sign off on this new proposal. Now they need to take responsibility for deciding whether or not Ireland’s reputation is worth more than the money that may be generated by this ominous project."

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports commends all who signed this letter and who are speaking up loudly for the welfare of animals. You can see the full text of the letter below or by following the link to the Irish Times website.


Actor Brendan Gleeson, one of 37 compassionate individuals highlighting the cruelty in greyhound racing.

Greyhound racing in China
Irish Times, May 12, 2011

Madam, – While we are relieved that Bord na gCon was denied permission to export Irish greyhounds to China, we remain alarmed that they are nevertheless going to attempt to develop and manage racetracks there. This is not just a cynical move, but a sinister one. They will have to get greyhounds from somewhere for this cruel sport.

Unlike other breeds, greyhounds tend to be portrayed as commodities. But they are not machines. They are creatures who feel. Yet their lives are so undervalued, they are regularly subjected to neglect and abuse all over the world. In China, there is a massive amount of well-documented evidence of dogs and cats being thrown alive into boiling water, and then skinned, alive, to eventually end up for sale in open markets.

The Department of Agriculture may sign off on this new proposal. Now they need to take responsibility for deciding whether or not Ireland’s reputation is worth more than the money that may be generated by this ominous project.

Lately we have seen how Irish society has been shot to pieces by State and semi-State bodies abdicating themselves from responsibility and by overbearing greed and arrogance running rough-shod over sense and compassion. We have seen that those who try to speak out against the establishment, for whatever reason, are often ridiculed as fools or worse. And we have seen how Ireland has fallen in terms of our pride and reputation.

Irish people are compassionate. Very recently, we spoke out loud and clear on the issue of cruelty to Irish greyhounds. This outcry shouldn’t be seen by those making this important decision as ending with the welfare of Irish dogs. This extends to all greyhounds, no matter where they come from. At this point in our country’s affairs, let us dispense with greed in favour of humanity. – Yours, etc,

Brendan Gleeson; Christy Moore; Paul Brady; Louis Walsh; Damien Rice; Imelda May;
Darrel Higham; Damien Dempsey; Andrea Corr; Paddy Moloney; Louis Copeland; Eleanor Shanley;
Ian Dempsey; Linda Martin; Declan O’Rourke; Luka Bloom; Luan Parle; Donal Lunny; Mundy; Frances Black;
Lucia Evans; Barry Murphy; John Reynolds; Mary Black; Liam Ó Maonlaí; Lenny Abrahamson; Mark Rowlands;
Glenda Gilson; Jerry Fish; Ciara Sidine; Gavin Friday; Tommy Tiernan; Jack Lukeman; Pat Shortt;
Jon Kenny; Sharon Shannon; Geraldine Murphy.

IGB scraps deplorable plan to export greyhounds to China
04 May 2011

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that following a meeting yesterday, the Irish Greyhound Board has agreed to "modify its proposal to exclude the export of greyhounds from Ireland [to China]". The U-turn came amid growing international opposition and fears for the welfare of greyhounds.

The positive development came to light yesterday in response to a Dail Question from Labour Party TD, Joe Costello who called on the Agriculture Minister to "clarify his policy regarding the export of Irish greyhounds to the People's Republic of China".

"The proposal of Bord na gCon to set up a racing franchise and export Irish greyhounds to the People's Republic of China has given rise to considerable concern among animal rights and welfare groups and ordinary dog owners," the Dublin Central TD stated. "I am sure the Minister of State and every Deputy will have received numerous letters and e-mails on the issue in recent days raising concerns about the possible export of greyhounds to a country which has no animal welfare legislation and no regulation, supervision or mechanism for protecting such animals. There is no ban on the killing of dogs there and we are all aware that some dogs are regularly eaten or are on the menu in China. Obviously, there is considerable scope for abuse under the circumstances."

Responding, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Shane McEntee, TD said: "The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is aware that Bord na gCon is exploring possible business opportunities in China and has been in contact with the Department in this regard. Today I met the chairman and chief executive of Bord na gCon to discuss the proposal. I made it clear that I am not in a position to approve the project as presented. It was agreed that Bord na gCon would modify its proposal to exclude the export of greyhounds from Ireland but would continue to explore possibilities of developing the proposal to assist in the management of greyhound racing in China."

Thank you to everyone from Ireland and around the world who made their voices heard and saved Irish greyhounds from a "dire and unthinkable" future in China.

 ACTION ALERT 

Please contact the Minister for Agriculture again to welcome this development. Urge him to order the IGB to completely abandon the proposal and play no role whatsoever in establishing greyhound racing in China.

Minister Simon Coveney
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Tel: 00353 (0)1 618 3753
Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
(CC: Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture)


Thumbs up to Labour Party TD, Joe Costello, who highlighted "considerable concern" about a proposal to export greyhounds to China.

ICABS calls for IGB to abandon China plan
05 May 2011

ICABS has called on the Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, to urge the Irish Greyhound Board to abandon a proposal to help establish greyhound racing in China.

In a letter to the Minister today, we welcomed the news that plans to export greyhounds to China have been scrapped but expressed concern that the IGB is continuing to consider associating with China.

"The many people in Ireland and around the world who opposed the idea of Irish greyhounds being used in China would almost certainly be equally opposed to the use of greyhounds from anywhere, given China's poor animal welfare record," we told the Minister. "We believe that if the IGB helps establish greyhound racing in China, and animal cruelty is subsequently exposed, it will reflect very badly on Ireland."

 ACTION ALERT 

Please email the Minister now. Urge him to order the IGB to completely abandon the proposal and play no role whatsoever in establishing greyhound racing in China.

Minister Simon Coveney
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Tel: 00353 (0)1 618 3753
Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
(CC: Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture)

Ricky Gervais says NO to export of Irish greyhounds to China
26 April 2011

Comedian and Hollywood star, Ricky Gervais, has condemned plans by the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) to send thousands of greyhounds to China, where they face a "dire and unthinkable" future.

In a front page Irish Sunday Times report at the weekend, Mr Gervais said he is "extremely concerned for these dogs”.

“It is bad enough that many greyhounds are killed and injured through commercial racing in the UK and Ireland and other parts of the world," he said. "Now the Irish greyhound racing industry wants to expand and send greyhounds to China.”

According to the Dublin SPCA, Irish greyhounds could face a "dire and unthinkable" future if sent to China. "It is clear that this initiative is being pursued with no consideration for the welfare of greyhounds," it says in a statement on its website, expressing fears that the welfare of dogs would be "severely compromised".

The authors of a petition on the Care2 petition site echo this, saying they are "horrified that the IGB would even consider conducting business in a country with such a terrible record for animal abuse - where dogs are both skinned alive for their fur and killed for human consumption".

They go on to highlight the appalling abuse and neglect that greyhounds already suffer in Ireland:

"Each year the industry breeds between 20,000 and 30,000 dogs with no statutory provi­sion for welfare and it is estimated that 8,000 greyhound puppies - either too slow or which will not chase the mechanical lure - 'disappear down a black hole' before even reaching the Irish tracks. Despite the strenuous efforts of greyhound rescue groups in Ireland - every year many thousands of healthy young greyhounds are callously killed by their breeders/trainers or dumped in pounds - where as 'hand ins' they are put to sleep almost immediately. In 2008 County Clare dog pound destroyed 273 and County Kerry dog pound destroyed a further 259 greyhounds - a total of 532 in just two of Ireland's 26 counties.

A big thumbs up to Ricky Gervais for speaking out against the IGB's deplorable plan and bringing it into the international spotlight. Please follow his good example by signing the petition today and responding to the action alert below. Thank you.

 ACTION ALERT 

Urgently contact the Department of Agriculture and demand that they block any move to export Irish greyhounds to China. Please send a copy to all your local TDs.

Minister Simon Coveney
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Tel: 00353 (0)1 618 3753
Email: minister@agriculture.gov.ie
(CC: Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture)

SAMPLE LETTER
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter.)

Dear Minister Coveney,

I am contacting you to express my total opposition to the IGB's plan to export thousands of Irish greyhounds to China.

I share the fears of animal welfare groups in Ireland, the UK and around the world that this move would pose a severe threat to the welfare of our greyhounds.

Several countries refuse to sell greyhounds to China, a country where animal abuse horrors include the skinning of dogs alive. Any move by Ireland to export dogs to China would prove highly detrimental to our country's international image.

I hope that as well as blocking this horrendous export plan, you will prioritise tackling the cruelty which already exists within the greyhound industry in Ireland, e.g the killing and abandonment of thousands of greyhounds every year, the blooding of greyhounds on live animals and the use of hares as lures for greyhounds in coursing.

Thank you. I eagerly await your prompt and positive reply.

Yours Sincerely,

[Name / Location]

Please send a copy of your letter to all your local TDs and urge them to intervene on your behalf.

Find out the name of your TDs and their Email addresses.

Posting a letter? Write to your TDs at:
Dail Eireann
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2.

Petition: Sign and say NO to Irish greyhound export

Please sign the petition now and pass link on to friends
Say NO to Greyhound Exports to China
[www.thepetitionsite.com/3/say-no-to-greyhound-exports-to-china]

Animals Asia calls on Irish Government to halt greyhound export

The Irish Times has reported that the Animals Asia group has written to the Irish Government, calling for a stop to plans to export Irish Greyhounds to Spain.

Suki Deng of Animal Asia is quoted as saying: "There are a lot of animal welfare issues, and in China there is no law to protect animals. So we are trying to collect signatures to support us, and then we will write to Irish Government to let them know that, not only Irish people or English people are against this, but that we Chinese also against this brutal racing."

The paper reports that "many online commentators in China find the practice of greyhound racing abominable". "This kind of game is there to feed a person’s abnormal interests, we should not allow the dogs or racing be successfully imported to China, otherwise it’ll mean bad luck for a lot of dogs in the future," wrote Xianaier on the Wenxuecity bulletin board.

Thanks to the Irish Times for highlighting this. You can read the full report at www.irishtimes.com

Read a letter sent by Animals Asia and the Born Free Foundation to the Irish Greyhound Board, calling for the export plans to be stopped.

Protest: Take a stand for Irish greyhounds

Please attend a demonstration at the Department of Agriculture, this Thursday, 28th April from 12.30-2pm. Assemble outside Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin.

For more details, visit the website of Limerick Animal Welfare


Help save greyhounds like this from a "dire and unthinkable" future in China. Respond to the action alert and make a special effort to attend the demo in Dublin. (Photo: Limerick Animal Welfare)

Opinion Poll: 99 per cent say NO to export of dogs to China

A Dublin SPCA opinion poll is showing that a vast majority are against the exportation of Irish greyhounds to China. The poll asks: "Should the Irish Government allow greyhounds to be exported from Ireland to China?" The current result stands at 99 per cent voting NO to the plan. Cast your vote now!


The current result of a DSPCA opinion poll. ICABS has emailed this to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, and Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

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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