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Animal Voice Issue 7 2012

Animal Voice Issue 7 2012

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Click on NEWSLETTERS at www.banbloodsports.com to read this on our website
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Published by: Irish Council Against Blood Sports on Aug 08, 2012
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11/06/2012

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 ____________________________________________________ 
Animal Voice, Issue 7, July 2012
 ____________________________________________________ Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS)PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, IrelandVisit our campaign website: www.banbloodsports.comFollow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/banbloodsportsFollow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/banbloodsportsICABS Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/icabsMobile website: www.banbloodsports.com/mobile
In this month's edition...
01. Deputies Daly and O'Sullivan call for the protection of hares02. Former Tanaiste Dick Spring was nominator of doped dog03. Garda investigation into doping of coursing greyhounds04. Senator Power: I hope Minister will consider a coursing ban05. An Taoiseach reminded of his opposition to coursing06. Photos: Protest against coursing sponsor, BoyleSports07. Coveney considering fur farming submissions report08. Minister is asked why illegal traps were not seized by NPWS09. ICABS President enquires about number of NPWS prosecutions10. FF TD, Robert Troy, wants stag hunt ban rescinded11. Widespread disgust over donkey photo12. Fund fencing, not killing: Maureen O'Sullivan TD13. Matador removed from Speak Spanish webpages14. Brennan Group of hotels asked to disassociate from coursing15. JP McManus asked to end coursing sponsorship16. Complaint to Council of Europe about Irish badger cull17. Renewed appeal to anti-coursing Taoiseach and Tanaiste18. SUCCESS: Trip Advisor removes cruel bullrun from "Quirky Festivals" list19. Rally for Animals - August 26th 201220. Volunteers needed for bat survey!21. Protest against bullfighting promotion during football final22. Parliamentary Questions and Answers23. Letters to Editors24. Campaign Quotes25. Petitions
 
 ____________________________________________________ 
01. Deputies Daly and O'Sullivan call for the protection of hares
 ____________________________________________________ 
A big thank you to Deputies Maureen O'Sullivan and Clare Daly for standing up for hares during a Daildebate in July. Their comments in support of protection for hares were featured on RTE's OireachtasReport programme which can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoLKC6MwqRU
You can read Clare and Maureen's speeches below or read the full text of the debate athttp://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2012/07/18/00005.asp
Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second and Subsequent Stages
Wednesday, 18 July 2012Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan: It is appropriate that, even though they relate to the remits of two Ministers, we aredebating the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2012 in advance of dealing with the Animal Health and Welfare Bill2012. The Bill before the House is technical in nature and deals with the current hunting licence provisionsrelating to the shooting of wild birds and hares during open season. In the hunting of birds there is a need to put in place a protocol on the numbers of certain species hunted in order that we might monitor the impact. We mustensure changes in the level of hunting pressure are monitored and I wonder how it is proposed to do this. There isalso a need to review the listed species of birds which are hunted in open season, particularly as some of these areof concern, both nationally and on an EU basis, in terms of their conservation. Wildlife in Ireland is a goodindicator of the impact of environmental changes and, therefore, the question of monitoring is significant. We areaware that some species such as the breeding curlew and other breeding wader species are suffering a seriousdecline in numbers.I will deal with the poor hare. I do not know what the hare has ever done to Irish society to justify the treatmentmeted out to it, first, as a result of many years of coursing and now by virtue of the fact that people will be able toshoot it. The Minister referred to open season which, for hares, will be five months long. However, open seasonfor hares lasts all 12 months of the year.My predecessor, the late Tony Gregory, was associated with a number of causes in combating illegal drugs andcrime, promoting the interests of street traders and obtaining housing for people. Animal welfare was another cause central to his philosophy. It was one of his deep regrets that more had not been done to progress the issue of animal welfare before he died. In particular, he was concerned about the treatment of animals such as the hare, thefox, the badger and the stag. I am absolutely appalled to think the ban on stag hunting may be rescinded. Thatwould be a retrograde step.Tony Gregory was honoured to serve as vice president of the Irish Council Against Bloodsports when the lateHugh Leonard was its president. He used various mechanisms of parliamentary procedure to highlight the causeof animals and issues of cruelty. As the Minister is aware, in 1993 he sponsored a Private Members’ Bill onwildlife. When he was introducing the Bill, he paid tribute to the democratic process for allowing an IndependentMember to take that course of action. He considered that wildlife was a matter of immense public concern andinterest and referred to "the welfare of the vulnerable and defenceless in nature’s creation." He hoped his Billwould help to end the "mediaeval barbarity of live hare coursing." He acknowledged the pressure Membersrepresenting rural constituencies would be under to oppose the Bill. He also acknowledged that coursing clubsformed a very powerful lobby in some rural areas. Given that he came from Dublin Central, he was not under  pressure from any lobby. However, he asked that Members be allowed to decide for themselves whether there wasa need to change the cruel practice of coursing. This did not happen and, therefore, coursing was not banned in1993. Many hares have suffered a cruel end as a result. I take the opportunity to state I object to the term "sport" being applied to coursing. There is no sport involved in either coursing or, as proposed in the Bill, shooting hares.Tony Gregory was not the first person to try to have hare coursing banned in Ireland. The first attempt was madein November 1975 when the current President, Mr. Michael D. Higgins, then a Senator, tried to have legislation
 
relating to wildlife being dealt with in the Upper House amended in order to have coursing declared illegal. Hisefforts in this regard were backed by another former President, Mrs. Mary Robinson, then a Senator, and the lateDr. Noel Browne. During the Committee Stage debate on the Wildlife Bill 1975 he stated, "My view is that the barbaric practice of hare coursing should be stopped immediately." One of the Senators of the day who was infavour of coursing made the following comment, "There is scope for escapes. Those hares are properly trainedtoday." I wonder for what they were being trained. Another Member of the Upper House stated, "Coursing isfundamental to our greyhound industry." I do not agree with that assertion. There are only three countries,including Ireland, in which coursing is legal and other countries which have banned it have thriving greyhoundindustries. One of the Senators to whom I refer and who was in favour of coursing also stated, "The hares areadequately and perfectly cared for, both prior to the coursing meeting concerned and afterwards." I was bemused by the use of the word "afterwards", particularly as the former Senator in question was speaking prior to theintroduction of muzzling. In such circumstances, I am not too sure how many hares would have survived coursingmeetings and required care afterwards.Mrs Mary Robinson said, "Coursing is a very cruel sport" and referred to "the principle of trying to preventunnecessary and deliberate cruelty to animals." The late Dr. Noel Browne referred to the hare as "one of thegentlest of God’s created animals" and the fact that very fast greyhounds were used to inflict "inevitably andinvariably, unnecessary pain on this tiny animal." He also described coursing as a barbaric practice. It isinteresting that at the time in question the British House of Commons had just passed legislation to abolish harecoursing. As Deputies are aware, a high percentage of MPs in the House of Commons would have believed in blood sports. However, they passed an Act to ban the practice of coursing.During the debate to which I refer the late Dr. Noel Browne commented, "Speaking as a psychiatrist, it is worthexamining the kind of people who indulge in this masochistic practice." He also wondered about the emotionalmake-up of those to whom he referred in the context of their enjoying "the sound of an animal screaming to death, being torn to pieces." He associated that kind of enjoyment which what would have then been obtained in "themore disreputable night spots in Soho." I do not think one would have to go to Soho to obtain such enjoymentnowadays because I am sure it is available much closer to home. I should note that all of the points made in the1975 debate came prior to the Irish Coursing Club being forced to muzzle dogs at enclosed coursing meetings.The next political push to have hare coursing banned was initiated by the current Minister for Justice andEquality, Deputy Alan Shatter.Let us consider what the supposedly humane practice of muzzling has done for the hare. About one month beforeeach meeting club members go out into the countryside to collect hares in a process known as "netting". Thisinvolves a gang of supporters shouting and yelling to herd hares into nets which have been strategically placed.The hares are then put into boxes for transport to the coursing venue. These are another two instances of cruelty, but the Bill does not go into much detail on this aspect. The next stage of the process involves training hares.Perhaps the animals have a better chance of survival if they are the subject of coursing rather than being pursued by hunters with guns. However, that is debatable. Releasing a wild hare into a coursing field produces whatcoursing supporters see as very poor sport because it would not know where to run. During the training weekshares are kept herded together in a enclosure. This adds considerably to the stress suffered by the hares which aresolitary creatures and keep to themselves in the wild. They do not live together in groups. In captivity, therefore,they are very prone to disease which can spread more easily when they are kept together in an enclosure.As a result of the level of secrecy relating to coursing and other blood sports, it is difficult to obtain accuratestatistics for them. It is also difficult to know who to believe. We are informed that on coursing days each hareshould only be coursed once. However, it is important to note in this regard that coursing clubs are monitored bycoursing officials, not by an independent body.It is clear that the practice known as "blooding" is widespread. I know this for a fact because many greyhoundowners state their animals must be blooded before they can take part in coursing. They use rabbits and kittens for this practice to enhance the performance of the greyhound. The owners of greyhounds who want to race their dogson tracks must first register them with the Irish Coursing Club. This represents an enforced subsidy in respect of coursing.

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