APRIL 2009

Published by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. For campaign news, updates and more action alerts, please visit our website at www.banbloodsports.com

Deer hunted for two and a half hours and captured in river
One of the deer terrorised by the Ward Union last season was chased for two and a half hours before being captured in a river. The disturbing revelations appear in a document obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act.
The deer's cross-country ordeal began just after midday on a hunt which took place on 14th November last. The animal emerged from the hunt's trailer, ran to the bottom of a field of stubble and jumped a ditch. According to a report made by a vet who was monitoring the hunt, the stag "was seen along the Macetown to Edoxtown road for a few minutes by a telephone post, then moved on south east. The stag crossed the Edoxtown to Rathfeigh road, went north of Rathfeigh Old Bridge and took shelter with sheep at Loughanstown." The stag was seen moving around the sheep for 15 minutes, he said, and at this point an attempt was made by the hunt to capture the deer. The animal moved away fast, the report outlines, adding that it travelled through Bellew and Burtonstown before "probably" going in to a wood. Later on during the hunt, the deer was again spotted sheltering among sheep. We are told that the animal was "recaptured in the river at Burtonstown at 14.40". A post-hunt "examination" was carried out by the vet at the side of the Kentstown-Navan road thirteen minutes later. Incredibly, the only comment made about the condition of the deer - which had been hunted for a full two and a half hours and dragged from a river was that it "appeared to be unharmed". ICABS monitors present on the day witnessed the stag jumping onto a road from a gateway at a point where about twenty hunt followers were standing around. The deer looked terrified and nervous as it crossed the road between the mob and went into a field opposite. We have renewed our appeal to Minister John Gormley to stop licensing this hunt.

Minister John Gormley Department of the Environment Custom House, Dublin 1. Email: minister@environ.ie Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640. Dear Minister Gormley: I was horrified to learn that one of the deer terrorised by the Ward Union last season was chased for two and a half hours and ended up in a river where it was finally captured. I urge you to fulfil the Green Party's pre-election promise to ban blood sports and refuse future licences to the Ward Union. Thank you. I look forward to your reply. [ Your Name and Location ]

Ranger narrowly avoids killing Ward Union deer
A National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger has reported that he was forced to "brake hard" to avoid a fatal collision with a Ward Union deer. The ranger who was monitoring the hunt last season (25 November 2008) said he "narrowly avoided killing" the animal. ICABS has renewed its appeal to Green Party Environment Minister, John Gormley, to refuse future licences in the interests of both animal welfare and public safety.
These latest revelations about another near-miss incident surfaced in NPWS documents obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports this week under the Freedom of Information Act. In a letter to Minister Gormley, we stated that deer being chased on to public roads pose a very serious risk to motorists. We have urged the Minister to refuse future licence applications from the hunt before a member of the public is injured or killed during a hunt. While monitoring the same hunt in the past, members of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports had to take evasive action to avoid crashing into a deer which was being chased around a corner into oncoming traffic. Only by braking hard, as the NPWS ranger was forced to do, were we able to avoid a collision with the terrified animal.

Minister John Gormley Department of the Environment Custom House, Dublin 1. Email: minister@environ.ie Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640. Dear Minister Gormley: I was horrified to learn that a representative of your NPWS department was forced to "brake hard" to avoid hitting and killing a deer that was chased on to the road during a Ward Union deer hunt. Such a collision would have resulted in even greater suffering for the deer terrorised by this hunt and could also have led to the serious injury of a member of your own staff. I urge you to refuse future licences to the Ward Union, on the grounds of both animal welfare and public safety. Another reason for you to stop licensing this blood sport is that it is contrary to the Green Party's animal welfare policies and your party's pre-election promise to 'introduce legislation to end blood sports'. Please honour this promise for the animals and for the motorists in Meath and North County Dublin who are being exposed to potential danger. Thank you. I look forward to your reply. [*** Insert Your Name and Location Here ***]

HSE hospital prevents swallows from accessing nest
The swallows that reach Ireland every spring have completed an epic journey. During their 9,500 km flight from South Africa, they travel over three desserts, across the Meditteranean Sea and through showers of bullets from heartless hunters in Southern Europe. Millions die along the way but those who successfully reach our shores in March and April are welcomed as a harbinger of summer and believed to bring good luck to wherever they nest.
Swallows that touched down in Mullingar this month, however, found that they were wholly unwelcome. A nest constructed by the birds in a HSE hospital building has been totally covered by a net. The swallows, seen flying in an agitated state around the grounds of the hospital, have been prevented from accessing their nest. Citing "health and safety", a spokesperson for the hospital told ICABS that the net over the nest would remain in place. A photo showing the net around the nest (which is in a non-patient area) can be seen on the ICABS website

Ann Masterson, Administrator St. Loman's Hospital Delvin Road, Mullingar Co. Westmeath, Ireland Email: ann.masterson@hse.ie;info@hse.ie Tel: 044 9384314 Dear Ms Masterson, I was saddened to learn that your hospital has prevented swallows from accessing their nest at the Lough Sheever Centre at St Loman's Hospital in Mullingar. These birds have completed an epic journey of 9,500 km from South Africa, travelling over three deserts, across the Mediterranean Sea and through showers of bullets from heartless hunters in Southern Europe. Their feat is one of the greatest in nature and they deserve respect and admiration - not a net across their nest. I understand that "health and safety" concerns are being cited as the reason for the net. Perhaps St Loman's would consider showing kindness towards the birds and adopt a more humane approach. If bird droppings are a problem, newspapers could be placed on the ground. Alternatively, a simple wooden platform could be constructed below the nest to catch the droppings. Rubber-backed, non-slip mats could also be placed in the small area where the nest is located. I hope that you can show compassion and act swiftly to have the net removed and allow the birds back in to their nest. Thank you. I look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, [ Your Name and Location ]

Ask Irish MEPs to vote for Canada's seals
(Source: Animal Rights Action Network - www.aran.ie)

A major victory for Canadian seals could be just weeks away if MEPs support a proposed EU trade ban on seal products.
Please ask all of Ireland's MEPs to vote in favour of this ban which would prevent countries like Canada from selling seal skins in Europe. Canada's barbaric killing of thousands of defenceless seals each year is the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world and has prompted many to boycott the country and its products. URGENT ACTION ALERT - SAMPLE LETTER Email your message to all Irish MEPs: liam.aylward@europarl.europa.eu; colm.burke@europarl.europa.eu;briancrowleymep@eircom.net;proinsias.derossa@europarl.europa.eu; avril.doyle@europarl.europa.eu;marian.harkin@europarl.europa.eu;jim.higgins@europarl.europa.eu;marylou.mcdonald@europarl.eur opa.eu;mairead.mcguinness@europarl.europa.eu;gay.mitchell@europarl.europa.eu;sean.oneachtain@europarl.europa.eu;eoin.ryan@e uroparl.europa.eu;kathy.sinnott@europarl.europa.eu Dear MEP, I find Canada's annual slaughter of seals to be an horrific, cruel and unacceptable assault against defenceless creatures. I urge you to show compassion on May 5th and help save seals from this brutality. Please vote in favour of an EU trade ban on seal products. Thank you. [Your name and Location]

Aengus O Snodaigh, TD calls for ban on blood sports
Sinn Fein TD, Aengus O Snodaigh, has asked the Ministers for Environment and Agriculture to "introduce legislation banning all blood sports including hare coursing and fox hunting". Replying, Minister Gormley stated that he does not have a licensing or regulatory responsibility in relation to fox hunting. Minister Brendan Smith, meanwhile, stated that the new legislation will "ensure that animal welfare is properly protected and that penalties for offenders are increased significantly".
Parliamentary Questions and Answers. Question 1004 - Answered on 24th March, 2009 Aengus O Snodaigh: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, in the context of his responsibility for animal welfare and the legal protection of animals from cruelty, he will introduce legislation banning all blood sports including hare coursing and fox hunting. The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: (Brendan Smith) The new Animal Health and Welfare Bill, which is currently being drafted, gives effect to a number of animal health and welfare commitments contained in the Programme for Government. These commitments include the updating of existing legislation to ensure that animal welfare is properly protected and that penalties for offenders are increased significantly. My officials have met with a wide range of organisations that made submissions on the draft summary of the Bill following the public consultation process initiated by me last year. The views expressed are being considered in the context of the drafting of the Bill. Question 401 - Answered on 10th March, 2009 Aengus O Snodaigh: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce legislation banning all blood sports including hare coursing and fox hunting. Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Gormley): My responsibilities under the Wildlife Acts and the Habitats Regulations relate to the conservation of populations of certain wild animals. As foxes are not a protected species under the Wildlife Acts I do not have a licensing or regulatory responsibility in relation to fox hunting. Applications for hunting licences under the Wildlife Acts are processed by my Department. Each licence application is dealt with individually and any conservation impact on the particular species is taken into account in line with the provisions of the Acts. Animal welfare and legal protection of animals from cruelty are the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. A draft Animal Health and Welfare Bill has been circulated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for public consultation. This will, inter alia, update existing legislation to ensure that the welfare of animals is properly protected and that the penalties for offenders are increased significantly.

New Campaign Video: Ban Coursing in Ireland
Check out our new "Ban Coursing in Ireland" campaign video and respond to the related action alert. We would be grateful if you could display the video and action alert on your website. Thank you.
Watch the video now at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58qbzC-GI4 ACTION ALERT Please ask Minister John Gormley (Green Party) to stop licensing hare coursing. Email "STOP LICENSING COURSING" to minister@environ.ie

Ask Spanish town to exclude bullfighting from fiesta
Please join our appeal to the council in Spanish town, Manzanares el Real, to exclude bullfighting from its annual fiesta. Watch our video and respond now to this important action alert.
Watch our campaign video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNgtuFgguMo Print and display our Action Alert Poster: http://banbloodsports.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/manzanares.pdf (pdf, 1.2 Mb)

(With thanks to Maria Lopes - www.iwab.org) Oscar Cerezal, Mayor City Hall Plaza del Pueblo, 1 -28410 Manzanares el Real, SPAIN Tel: 00 34 91 853 00 09. Fax: 00 34 91 853 98 25 Email: ayuntamiento@manzanareselreal.info (With a copy to cartas@manzanareselreal.info) Dear Mayor Cerezal, I understand that bullfighting forms a part of your town's annual fiesta. As one of the millions of people across Europe and the world opposed to this cruel and barbaric activity, I implore you to exclude bullfighting from the 2009 fiesta and from all future fiestas. Manzanares el Real has many positive attractions for tourists but, as long as bullfighting is permitted to take place there, myself and my family will be avoiding your town in favour of the locations in Spain that have declared themselves anti-bullfighting. I hope that Manzanares el Real will show compassion and choose to stop hosting bullfighting. Thank you. I look forward to your positive response. Yours sincerely, [Your name and Location]

en Espanol
Apreciado Alcalde Cerezal, Entendemos que las corridas de toros forman parte de las fiestas anuales de su localidad. Como uno de los millones de ciudadanos europeos contrarios a esta actividad cruel y barbara, le ruego que excluyan las corridas de toros de sus fiestas de 2009 y de las futuras. Manzanares el Real goza de numerosas atracciones positivas para los turistas pero, mientras se permitan alli las corridas de toros, mi familia y yo evitaremos visitar su localidad en favor de aquellas que en Espana se han declarado contrarias a las corridas de toros. Espero que Manzanares el Real muestre compasion y escoja poner fin a las corridas de toros. Gracias. [ Nombre / Direccion ]

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Thank Portuguese municipality for anti-bullfight decision
Source: www.animal.org.pt

The president of the municaplity of Cascais (Portugal) has made the following announcement: "I do not intend to build a new bullring and I also do not intend to authorise spectacles with animals in mobile structures [such as mobile bullrings]." Please thank the president for making this extremely important decision, which will save many animals. ACTION ALERT - SAMPLE LETTER
Mr. Antonio d'Orey Capucho Presidente da Camara Municipal de Cascais Camara Municipal de Cascais Praca 5 de Outubro, 2754-501 Cascais, Portugal Email: gab.municipe@cm-cascais.pt; provedor.municipal@cm-cascais.pt CC: campanhas@animal.org.pt Dear Mr. Antonio d'Orey Capucho I am writing to congratulate you and the Municipality of Cascais for the your decision to refuse authorisation of bullfights on 20th June and to disallow spectacles with animals in mobile structures. I also congratulate you for deciding not to build a bullring in the beautiful city of Cascais. As one of the millions of people in Europe opposed to bullfights, I now hope that Cascais will take the next step forward and declare itself Portugal's second anti-bullfighting city [after Viana do Castelo]. Thank you very much. Yours respectfully, [ Your name and location]

Campaign Quotes
"It's ironic and saddening that Ireland is now the last outpost of a barbaric blood sport inherited from the Brits who themselves have now seen fit to outlaw it, along with fox hunting and deer hunting with dogs. However, with a united effort we can see this cruel practice banned for good. Killing animals for fun is sick and wrong and should be opposed by all right-thinking individuals. I'll finish with this quote from the Dalai Lama, which I feel is quite fitting: 'Killing animals for sport, for pleasure, for adventure, and for hides and furs is a phenomenon which is at once disgusting and distressing. There is no justification in indulging is such acts of brutality.'" (from an article by Aine Downes, An Phoblacht, 12 March, 2009) "The Ward Union Stag Hounds under the able management of Messrs. Alleys with "Charley" as huntsman have had many severe runs and in a few instances we regret to say some first-rate horses have died from the efforts. On Saturday last they had a clipper of sixteen miles enlarging the deer from a field near the seven-mile stone on the Ashbourne road and after a severe run which lasted one hour and twenty-five minutes and (notwithstanding the efforts of "Charley" the quarry was run into and unfortunately killed near St. Catherine's Lucan one five, out of a large field, being up." (from the 1st edition of the Irish Times - 29th March 1859 - reprinted and distributed in March 2009) "A Dublin SPCA veterinary team was forced to euthanise a dog following a shooting in the North Road, off Ashbourne Road in Dublin earlier this afternoon (23 March 09). The dog received a gunshot in the leg at 12:40pm today - the dog was shot in the vicinity of Ashbourne Road and limped terrified and severely injured into a nearby Garden Centre who called the Dublin SPCA and Gardai...Orla Aungier, Communications Manager, Dublin SPCA expressed the society's revulsion: 'This is a barbaric act of cruelty to an innocent, maltreated animal...What kind of individual shoots a dog in the leg - it is a sorry indictment of our society...We would call on anyone who knows anything about this heinous crime to contact Dublin SPCA or the Gardai.'" (from the Dublin SPCA website - www.dspca.ie) "In more recent times, like many packs, this [hunting] country has shrunk and the advent of superior main roads, tourism and new houses has reduced the available covert and the opportunities for unfettered hunting." (The Irish Field, 7th February 2009)

Letters to Editors
Irish Times 150th anniversary
by John Fitzgerald, Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny. Irish Times - 1st April 2009 Madam, - I notice pages from the first edition of The Irish Times from March 1859 feature coverage of hunting and hare-coursing events, including a mention of the now somewhat more controversial Ward Union Stag Hunt. We have moved on in many ways since 1859, but what an indictment of our ostensibly progressive and enlightened society that we still have these hideous cruelties masquerading as "sport" in our midst. They are no more prohibited now in Ireland than they were 150 years ago - though the country that gave us these socially respectable forms of animal cruelty, Britain, has since abolished them. But at least The Irish Times, to its credit, is no longer promoting or publicising the recreational killing of wildlife in its sports pages, a humane innovation yet to be adopted by quite a few national and provincial newspapers. Is it not shameful enough that Ireland still permits the hounding of animals to exhaustion, injury, or death for sport, without also lauding the fact in its news media? - Yours, etc,

Subsidies for horse-racing
by P Cosgrave, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. Irish Times - 1st April 2009 Madam, - In response to Brian Kavanagh's letter (March 30th), I am amazed that we are in agreement: Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) should be funded in line with its peers overseas. The one point Mr Kavanagh has overlooked is that, in the UK, racing receives a grant based on betting turnover on UK racing only. If this model were to be applied in Ireland, HRI would receive approximately 5 million Euro per year (against the 60 million Euro plus a year it actually receives). This is because only 10-15 per cent of off-course betting turnover in this country is on Irish racing. In other words, Horse Racing Ireland receives funding more than 12 times greater than that received by its UK equivalent. It receives tax paid on all non-Irish racing betting - from South African racing to Big Brother, from UK soccer to American politics. In these tight times, this set-up needs to end. Let the wealthy businessmen pay for their own sport. - Yours, etc,

68 million Euro subsidies to the horse and greyhound industries
by John Fitzgerald, Lower Coyne Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny. Dear Editor, I marvel at the news that our cash-strapped government can afford to dole out a staggering E68.128 million to the horse and greyhound industries. What a warped sense of priorities our leaders must have. They see fit to slash compensation to survivors of institutional abuse by two million Euro and abolish the life enhancing Christmas Bonus for hard-pressed citizens including pensioners…while opting to prop up two gambling related-industries. Minister Martin Cullen, in defending the exchequer funding of the nag and doggie crowd, claimed that these industries employ more than twenty-seven thousand people and that Ireland is a world leader in producing the finest of greyhounds and racehorses. This surely raises the question: If the industries concerned are such a terrific money-spinning asset to the country, why does either of them need State handouts? Should they not be contributing handsomely to the exchequer and not helping to bleed it dry? Something is amiss here, and one wonders if the politics of nod and wink might still be thriving in the higher echelons of political power. Apart from what I would consider an atrocious waste of taxpayers' money, I object to a single cent going to support a greyhound industry that depends for its very survival on cruelty to animals of the worst kind: The dogs are routinely ill-treated and callously abandoned when their brief racing careers are over.

Hardly a week goes by without animal welfare volunteers finding dead greyhounds; their ear tags cut off to prevent identification. Dogs are routinely blooded to enhance their performance on the track. And hare coursing, which necessitates exploitation of an endangered species, the Irish Hare, remains an integral part of this industry. Taoiseach Brian Cowen is among the high profile supporters of a "sport" that consists of setting greyhounds after terrified captive hares for fun; a form of entertainment that his Green Coalition partners have in the past pledged to abolish "when in government". I find it sickening that our leaders can even contemplate rewarding such a foul and barbaric activity while at the same time punishing innocent pensioners and institutional abuse victims, people who were in no way responsible for the economic mess that the government and a handful of shady dealers have bequeathed us. Politics is often described as a blood sport. At the next election, the Taoiseach and his party might get a taste of how it feels to be set up as live bait…even if the outcome of the chase (from office, in their case, hopefully) will be nothing near as painful for them as the anguish of a squealing mauled hare at a coursing event.

Recommended TV programme (Channel 5)
Baboon Woman (Documentary). Saturday 25th April, Channel 5, 13:30 - 14:30
Karin Saks is a South African woman who looks after baboons. She has devoted ten years of her life to living and working with baboon troops, and has even learned how to talk to them. When a sick baby baboon is left in her care, can she reintroduce him into the wild?

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

Support a full EU ban on seal products

Stop Killing Homeless Dogs in Armenia

We say NO to Northern Ireland Badger Cull

Alaska's Dead Wolf Pups Demand Justice

Please make a donation to ICABS
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 "Shop" at www.banbloodsports.com for more details or send a cheque to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

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 www.banbloodsports.com.

Let's be friends on Bebo, MySpace, Youtube
Help highlight the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' campaign against hunting and coursing cruelty. Please add us as a top friend on your MySpace, Bebo and Youtube pages and repost our regular bulletins. If you have a website, we would be grateful if you could link to us or display an ICABS banner (For linking options, please click on Links at www.banbloodsports.com and choose Link To Us). Thank you very much.
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Irish Council Against Blood Sports PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland Email: info@banbloodsports.com Website: www.banbloodsports.com ICABS on YouTube: www.youtube.com/icabs ICABS on Bebo: www.bebo.com/banbloodsports ICABS on MySpace: www.myspace.com/banbloodsports ICABS on your mobile: www.banbloodsports.com/wap ICABS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/banbloodsports To receive Animal Voice by email, please send “Subscribe” to info@banbloodsports.com To receive updates to your mobile phone, text the word GO to our textline on 00353 86 0386617 (this is free service). To unsubscribe at any stage, simply text the word STOP to the same number.