Overblog Follow this blog
Administration Create my blog
April 17 2012 3 17 /04 /April /2012 01:42

Received this message today (April 17th) from ECOTERRA re the “I Love Hare Coursing” trinkets being made and sold by a Berlin-based company, presumably for the UK/Irish market:

 

BERLIN FIRM PROMOTES ANIMAL CRUELTY VIA AMAZON.COM
BERLINER FIRMA VERHERRLICHT TIERQUALEREI UEBER AMAZON.COM

I LOVE HARE COURSING - is sold as motto on keyrings and cuff-links worldwide.
ICH LIEBE HASEN-HETZE - wird als Motto auf Schluesselanhaengern und Manschettenknoepfen weltweit verkauft.

PLEASE ACT AGAINST THIS NONSENSE
BITTE HELFT MIT DAS SOFORT ZU STOPPEN

Ruft an !
People in Europe and especially Germany could call directly:
Sven Licht
LICHT MANUFAKTUR BERLIN GmbH
Stresemannstrasse 15
10963 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
phone: +49-30-25299400

Rightly, also the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports calls for your support:

Dear Friends,
We wonder if you could help us. We have discovered that Sven Licht Manufactory of Berlin, Germany is producing for sale a series of trinkets (key chains, cufflinks, bracelets etc) bearing the message "I Love Hare Coursing".
Here is how the items are promoted on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/b005y36uhu/mitrasites-20
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cufflinks-Love-Hare-coursing-Links/dp/B005ZTOHRS
 
Hare coursing is a horrific practice in which hares are set up to terrorized, mauled and subjected to agonizing injuries by greyhounds. We include a link below to a brief film showing exactly what happens in hare coursing. Most countries that once allowed hare coursing have banned it, such as Australia, Britain, and most of Europe.
Hare coursing is still practiced in the Republic of Ireland and a number of animal protection groups are campaigning to have it outlawed here.
That is why we are concerned about these promotional items that Sven Licht Manufactory is selling. These items lend credibility and appeal to the savage cruelty of hare coursing.
Could your organization contact Sven Licht Manufactory and ask the company to withdraw the “I Love Hare Coursing” trinkets?
This can be done by leaving a message on its Amazon page under the “Start a discussion” heading or by appealing directly to the company.
Here is a brief film of hare coursing…the practice being promoted via the Sven Licht Manufactory trinkets:
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58qbzC-GI4&feature=player_embedded
Thanking you,

Campaign for the Abolition

of Cruel Sports

And boycott any purchase until such unethical promotion of cruelty is stopped.
Und kauft nichts bis diese ethisch verwerflichen Angebote aus dem Handel sind.


ECOTERRA Intl.
SURVIVAL & FREEDOM for PEOPLE & NATURE

----------------------

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
February 11 2012 7 11 /02 /February /2012 11:11

Glad to say that Bad Hare Days is now available on Kindle, so I hope to spread the message further that the cruel practise of hare coursing is still legal in Ireland, supported by certain politicians and backed by  a powerful pro-blood sports lobby.

 

The book tells the story of the campaign to abolish hare coursing in Ireland from my own perspective, focusing on a sinister politically motivated attempt by a police “Heavy Gang” to suppress opposition to the blood sport in the 1980s.

 

The Kindle edition contains additional text and photographs, taking account of such developments as last year’s ban on hare coursing in Northern Ireland.

 

With another push against hare coursing approaching (Deputies Clare Daly and Maureen O’ Sullivan will shortly move a Bill in the Dail- Ireland’s parliament- seeking its abolition), I hope this book will assist in bringing closer the day when the hares of Ireland will be protected from organised cruelty dressed up as “sport”.

Here are the links to the Kindle edition. Anyone with a Kindle can download the book.

For Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Hare-Days-ebook/dp/B0077D1BC4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1328887255&sr=8-2

<http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Hare-Days-ebook/dp/B0077D1BC4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1328887255&sr=8-2>

 

For Amazon USA:

http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Hare-Days-ebook/dp/B0077D1BC4/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1328887653&sr=1-2-catcorr

<http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Hare-Days-ebook/dp/B0077D1BC4/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1328887653&sr=1-2-catcorr>

 

cover of bad hare days

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
January 4 2012 4 04 /01 /January /2012 22:04

Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports

Lower Coyne Street, Callan, County Kilkenny

Phone: (056) 7725543 or (086) 3271179

 

Protest against 3-day “National Hare Coursing” event.

 

Location: The Department of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin.

Date: January 30th 2012.

Time: 1 pm to 2 pm.

 

To coincide with the opening day of the three-day so-called “National Coursing Festival” in Clonmel, County Tipperary, the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (CACS) and Association of Hunt Saboteurs (AOHS) will jointly organise a peaceful protest outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.

The National Coursing event is the culmination of the hare coursing season, the “All-Ireland Finals” of this barbaric and utterly discredited blood sport in which hares and dogs alike are exposed to the risk of serious injury or death.

Last year, a normally pro-coursing leading vet slammed the appalling treatment of greyhounds in Clonmel, where a number sustained injuries, as well as attacking the use of weak hares.

More recently, FOI reports revealed that hares were mauled or otherwise horribly injured at coursing events nationwide over the past two years. (Details below)

We chose the venue for our protest for a specific reason: Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney will shortly be introducing the government’s long promised animal welfare bill. Though he has pledged that the bill will address many animal protection issues, we are concerned at the government’s refusal to say whether hare coursing will be one of them.

We suspect that hare coursing will once again be exempted from our animal cruelty laws as it has in the past.

We welcome members of the public and anyone concerned about ill-treatment of animals to join our protest on January 30th.

Please join us on the day and say NO to organised animal cruelty dressed up as “sport”!

 

Protest runs from 1pm to 2 pm at Dept of Agriculture building, Kildare Street, Dublin, on Monday January 30th

 

A brief video of hare coursing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58qbzC-GI4&feature=player_embedded

 

Further Evidence that Ireland’s hare coursing cruelty continues despite muzzling of dogs!

 

Irish Government Ministers claim that muzzling of greyhounds has “eliminated the cruelty” from hare coursing, but these extracts from NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) reports for the 2010/2011 season show the savagery continues. Further evidence, if such were needed, that this appalling blood sport must be banned in Ireland, as it has been in Australia, Scotland, England, Wales, and; most recently, Northern Ireland.

 

These reports were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act:

 

At Tradaree, a total of 6 hares died as a result of injuries, while 1 was put down.

 

At Freshford, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 3 injured and two died from injuries.

 

At Wexford & District, 2 hares died of injuries.

 

A vet's report on Liscannor stated that 3 hares were injured, 2 euthanised and 9 hares noted to be "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.

 

At Doon, 7 hares were pinned to the ground by the dogs, 4 injured, 2 of which were put down.

 

At Tubbercurry, 2 hares were injured, 2 found to be "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", according to a vet's report, with one hare "injured in box before release and died".

 

At Borrisoleigh, 1 hare was put down at the request of a National Parks ranger as it had a broken leg, while a veterinary report for the same meeting noted that 6 hares were "unfit" for coursing over the two days.

 

At Galbally, a ranger stated that "1 hare did not look well before coursing started and was euthanised."

 

At Mitchelstown, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 1 put down and 1found dead in box during release. The vet's report stated that 8 hares were "sick or other-wise unfit" after coursing.

 

At Loughrea, 2 hares were injured and put down, while another died "in transit to Mayo".

 

At Glanworth, a vet report stated that 4 hares were injured during coursing and 5 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards.

 

At Ennis, 3 hares were hit by dogs, 1 injured and put down, and another died from injuries.

 

At Thurles, 8 hares were hit by dogs, 2 died "overnight" and at Ballyheigue, 3 hares were hit, 1injured and put down.

 

At a coursing meeting in Westmeath, the ranger was concerned that two hares, which were mauled by the dogs and placed in a box, were not receiving veterinary attention. She drew the attention of a coursing official to this after the vet had left the event, and was told that he was "going to bring them up to the vet's surgery".

 

The ranger decided to follow the official to the vet's surgery, whereupon the vet came out to look at the hares. According to the ranger, the vet checked the hares' tag numbers and said he thought they seemed fine, although the hares remained in the box during the examination.

 

The vet kept the hares and said he would release them later if they were all right. The following day, the ranger was told that the vet had released the two hares, and would send on a report, which the ranger never received. The next day, during the release of hares, the ranger saw a hare limp away, carrying its front left foot.

 

NPWS Wildlife rangers attend only a small number of hare coursing events in Ireland over each season. Yet, hares were seen to suffer the stress and terror of this so-called “sport” at almost all events monitored. 

 

...End of FOI extracts...

 

Thanking you,

John Fitzgerald,

Campaign for the Abolition

Of Cruel Sports

 

ghc-01

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
December 28 2011 4 28 /12 /December /2011 23:02

 

Irish Government Ministers claim that muzzling of greyhounds has “eliminated the cruelty” from hare coursing, but these extracts from NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) reports for the 2010/2011 season show the savagery continues. Further evidence, if such were needed, that this appalling blood sport must be banned in Ireland, as it has been in Australia, Scotland, England, Wales, and; most recently, Northern Ireland.

 

These reports were obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports under the Freedom of Information Act:

 

At Tradaree, a total of 6 hares died as a result of injuries, while 1 was put down.

 

At Freshford, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 3 injured and two died from injuries.

 

At Wexford & District, 2 hares died of injuries.

 

A vet's report on Liscannor stated that 3 hares were injured, 2 euthanised and 9 hares noted to be "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.

 

At Doon, 7 hares were pinned to the ground by the dogs, 4 injured, 2 of which were put down.

 

At Tubbercurry, 2 hares were injured, 2 found to be "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", according to a vet's report, with one hare "injured in box before release and died".

 

At Borrisoleigh, 1 hare was put down at the request of a National Parks ranger as it had a broken leg, while a veterinary report for the same meeting noted that 6 hares were "unfit" for coursing over the two days.

 

At Galbally, a ranger stated that "1 hare did not look well before coursing started and was euthanised."

 

At Mitchelstown, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 1 put down and 1found dead in box during release. The vet's report stated that 8 hares were "sick or other-wise unfit" after coursing.

 

At Loughrea, 2 hares were injured and put down, while another died "in transit to Mayo".

 

At Glanworth, a vet report stated that 4 hares were injured during coursing and 5 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards.

 

At Ennis, 3 hares were hit by dogs, 1 injured and put down, and another died from injuries.

 

At Thurles, 8 hares were hit by dogs, 2 died "overnight" and at Ballyheigue, 3 hares were hit, 1injured and put down.

 

At a coursing meeting in Westmeath, the ranger was concerned that two hares, which were mauled by the dogs and placed in a box, were not receiving veterinary attention. She drew the attention of a coursing official to this after the vet had left the event, and was told that he was "going to bring them up to the vet's surgery".

 

The ranger decided to follow the official to the vet's surgery, whereupon the vet came out to look at the hares. According to the ranger, the vet checked the hares' tag numbers and said he thought they seemed fine, although the hares remained in the box during the examination.

 

The vet kept the hares and said he would release them later if they were all right. The following day, the ranger was told that the vet had released the two hares, and would send on a report, which the ranger never received. The next day, during the release of hares, the ranger saw a hare limp away, carrying its front left foot.

 

Bear in mind that wildlife rangers from the NPWS attend only a small number of the hare coursing events in Ireland over each season. Yet, hares were seen to suffer the stress and terror of this so-called “sport” at almost all events monitored. 

 

***

 ghc-06

 

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
December 24 2011 7 24 /12 /December /2011 00:45

  

fox.jpg

 

 

Following is a statement from the Irish Council Against Blood Sports that features on its website (www.banbloodsports.com):

A hunting group has acknowledged that bloodsports continue to be "very much under threat" in Ireland. A spokesperson for the Hunting Association of Ireland said that hunting activities are in danger even though the Green Party is no longer represented in government.

In a 2011 newsletter, HAI chairman, Donal Boyle, stated: "Many may feel with the demise of the Green influence in government that the danger has receded, but nothing could be further from the truth."

He stressed that hunting is "very much under threat from those who oppose our sport".

Please continue supporting the ICABS campaign and helping to increase the threat to hunting until it is finally banned.

How you can increase the threat to hunting

Get active today and help bring hunting to an end in Ireland.

  • Demand that your local Dail representatives act to bring blood sports to an end. If your local TD is pro-bloodsports, tell him/her that you will not be voting for them at the next election.
  • If you are a landowner, make your land strictly off-limits to hunts. Encourage all your neighbours to do the same. Find out more on our Landowners page. If a hunt trespasses on your land, contact the Gardai.
  • Write a letter to your local newspapers to highlight the cruelty of hunting
  • Support ICABS - make a donation now by clicking on the Paypal button at www.banbloodsports.com
  • Set up a local wildlife group to educate others about the beauty of wildlife and the need for it to be protected
  • Boycott any company that associates with hunting
  • Monitor hunts in your area and provide us with any photographs or video you capture
  • Set up an information stand at your school/library/youth group/adult group to highlight the cruelty of blood sports
Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
December 3 2011 7 03 /12 /December /2011 16:03

My book Bad Hare Days, about the anti-hare coursing campaign in Ireland and how it impacted on campaigners, is now available as a free e book. It can be read online or downloaded at this link:

 

http://banbloodsports.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/bad-hare-days.pdf

 

 

cover-of-bad-hare-days.jpg

 

 

 

Aticle-in-KR.jpg

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
October 31 2011 2 31 /10 /October /2011 14:41

The first attempt by an Irish politician to ban hare coursing occurred in November 1975 during the Senate debate on the Wildlife Bill. Michael D Higgins (recently elected Ireland's President, was the Senator who attempted to have the bill amended to have coursing declared illegal. He was backed by Senators Mary Robinson and Noel Browne, two other giants of Irish politics…

(The next political push against hare coursing came in 1984 when Fine Gael deputy Alan Shatter tried to persuade the Oireachtas all-party committee on legislation to adopt a motion calling for an investigation into the practise with a view to having it banned.

The last attempt was in 1993 when Deputy Tony Gregory introduced his Private Members Bill to outlaw the practise)

Following is an extract from the relevant Senate debate from 1975. I've highlighted a few interesting quotes. The full debate can be accessed on the Oireachtas (Irish parliamentary) website:

 

Ceapacháin Rialtais. - Wildlife Bill, 1975: Committee Stage.

Wednesday, 26 November 1975

Mrs. Robinson:    If the Minister is not prepared to go so far as to eliminate coursing, would he not feel that it would be appropriate to at least regulate coursing to prevent cruelty and abuses in connection with it? For example, the present law against cruelty to animals is the Protection of Animals Acts, the later one being in 1965. This legislation applied to wild animals and did not stop, for example, hares being kept in a shed for a long period of time before being coursed and being cruelly treated in relation to that.

Mr. M.J. O'Higgins:    I was going to suggest to Senator Higgins it is agreed [58] that we should rise at 5.30 p.m. and it does not seem to me that the Senator would finish within a minute. Possibly he would like to report progress.

Mr. M.D. Higgins:    I must pay tribute to the perception of Senator O'Higgins nothing that I will not finish within a minute. I am very grateful to Senator Robinson for having taken up this amendment, which I regard as being extremely important, and I shall resume on it. I now formally report progress.

Business suspended at 5.30 p.m. and resumed at 6.30 p.m.

Mr. M.D. Higgins:    I seek the support of the House for this amendment. The effect of this amendment will make coursing illegal. Subsection (7) states:

...nothing in this section shall make unlawful,

(i) the taking and killing of hares by coursing at a regulated coursing match which is held both during a period specified as regards hares in a hares order and in a place to which such order applies.

The Act would give a very minor level of control. The Minister has suggested that in the future attitudes towards wildlife may change. My view is that the barbaric practice of hare coursing should be stopped immediately. If this amendment is carried, then that will be the position.

Mr. Dolan:    I have not many observations to make. Coursing seems to have been a time-honoured pastime right down through the centuries in this country. Ancient histories and annals tell us that during certain months of the year people indulged in this sport. In recent times it has become commercialised and it provides employment for many people. I fail to see how, by introducing an amendment or making a law, one can prevent what is the ordinary cycle of one animal killing another. In coursing and bloodsports it is well known that the hare will get killed. It is inevitable that accidents will occur. I would not like to see hares hunted which had been kept in confinement [59] for two or three days. The natural instinct of greyhounds is to hunt the hare and the natural instinct of the hare is to get out of the way as fast as he can. So far as animal nature and bird life is concerned, I do not think we can be blamed for it.

Mr. P. Browne:    There is nothing wrong with hare hunting. There is keen competition attached to it. People involved in hare hunting will not attend meetings which are not properly organised. There is scope for escapes. Those hares are properly trained today. The greyhound industry is in the same position as our horse industry in that it is highly commercialised.

Mr. W. Ryan:    I am surprised at Senator Higgins's amendment. The Senator comes from a well-known coursing county. I was against coursing years ago when hares were killed very frequently. But that day is gone. The Irish Coursing Club have gone a long way to see that that does not happen any more. Any coursing club that does not have strong hares or does not care for the hares properly should not get a licence from the Irish Coursing Club for the following year.

While none of us likes to see a hare being killed at a coursing meeting, I believe the number that are killed now is much reduced on what it was in previous years. I would ask Senator Higgins not to pursue the prohibition of coursing. If it is prohibited, a lot of people will miss a sport they enjoy and, as a result, many people will be out of employment.

Mr. Cowen:    I, too, am a bit surprised that Senator Higgins is bringing this amendment before the Seanad. There are claims by minority groups that coursing is a very harsh sport. On the other hand, we have to take into consideration that coursing is fundamental to our greyhound industry. The Irish Coursing Club are doing an excellent job in the preservation of the hare species, irrespective of what those minority groups say. The coursing club see to it that [60] the hares are allowed to roam free through the country when coursing is completed.

There are people who claim that the hares are ill-treated prior to coursing meetings. I attend coursing meetings and I have never seen evidence of this at any coursing meeting, but quite the opposite. The hares are adequately and perfectly cared for, both prior to the coursing meeting concerned and afterwards. I would advocate that coursing be maintained in its present form.

Mrs. Robinson:    I am fascinated listening to the contributions to this amendment which I have the pleasure of supporting. I find it interesting. We are now on amendment No. 51 of this Wildlife Bill and I did not hear a squeak out of this side of the House until we started to discuss an amendment to abolish coursing. I have been told that there is a very strong procoursing lobby in this country and I now see evidence of it. I believe that coursing is a very cruel sport. It is cruel in its intent and cruel in the way it is applied. I would accept that certain improvements have been made in the past few years but I do not think they meet the principle of trying to prevent unnecessary and deliberate cruelty to animals. I do not think any safeguard which may have been mentioned would be sufficient to take away the essence of what this is all about—coursing a hare: trials where a number of hares are killed, the cruelty of the whole matter.

Curiously enough, as a member of the Joint Committee on the Secondary Legislation of the European Communities, I had the pleasure of going on a deputation to the Westminster Parliament. We met various members of the House of Commons Committee who had stayed up until 4 a.m. the night before to pass a Bill to abolish coursing. Here we have an opportunity, by supporting this amendment in the name of Senator Higgins, of not staying up until 4 a.m. but of achieving the same result.

Dr. N. Browne:    I should like to support Senator Higgins's amendment. Like Senator Robinson, I am fascinated [61] by the capacity of the Senators who have spoken in favour of coursing to minimise the total barbarity of this concept, which they support, of using two very fast animals, greyhounds, which are trained exclusively for this particular purpose, to hunt, to tear apart and to kill probably one of the gentlest of God's created animals, inflicting, inevitably and invariably, unnecessary pain on this tiny animal. I know most of the Senators who have spoken here well enough to know that they are kindly and gentle people, who would not go out of their way to harm or to hurt anything or anybody. I am totally astonished at this extraordinary blockage, which quite obviously they have about this acceptance of this barbaric practice of using extremely skilled, fast greyhounds to kill a little animal of this kind. They cannot be unmoved by the fact that, as Senator Robinson has said, the British House of Commons—in which there is such a high percentage of the kind of people who believe in these types of sports— passed an Act ending this kind of thing. They obviously appear to have much more civilised beliefs on this subject of killing little animals, painfully, deliberately and, above all, most shamefully enjoying the spectacle. What kind of human being can indulge in this kind of sport and enjoy it?

A Senator talked about the cat killing the mouse, an animal hunting in the ordinary way and killing painfully in the ordinary way. But these are animals; we are meant to be higher creatures altogether with the capacity to reason, to examine, and to project our own feelings into the experience of other people or other animals. Surely there is no individual here who would get up and try to defend these things: that to be hunted is heavenly, to be hunted is a happy experience, to be hunted is something which is great sport. To be hunted by two animals with this wonderful apparatus of the powerful jaws and the teeth, who, if they catch you, will tear you apart until you are painfully dead— that this could be considered to be a sport by any mature adult human beings defies my comprehension.

As I said, cats follow mice. All right. [62] Do we accept that this is a natural activity on the part of the cat? Do we then put ourselves on the level of cats, of the lion, the leopard and the tiger? Are we no higher than these animals? Have we no capacity to understand pain and suffering in others? Do we necessarily respond to our most primitive instincts: to kill and to enjoy killing?

How can these kinds of attitude be reconciled with any kind of civilised behaviour? The whole movement in the world is against this kind of thing — the imposition by human beings of unnecessary and avoidable pain on one another and particularly on innocent animals who are doing absolutely nothing. It is understandable that the lion that is terrorising the herd of sheep or pigs, or whatever it might be, in Africa or India might create resentment and anger on the part of the people who suffer as a result of the loss of their stock. But the hares are doing nothing to us. They are running away as fast as they can from us; they are trying to avoid any contact with us at all. We have to catch them and then, as somebody suggested, train them to accept that they will be killed painfully and enjoy it and give us sport in watching their horrible death. Surely for us this is a totally shameful pastime—“pastime” and “sport” are the words being used. We in Ireland will be the last outpost of this barbarous sport. We will have all these other half-savages from Britain, denied in their own country the spectacle of watching these little animals being tortured and killed painfully, flooding in here in order to get the enjoyment, the thrill, the excitement, the pleasure denied to them by the civilised decision of the House of Commons to stop them doing these terrible things to little animals.

Frankly, speaking as a psychiatrist, it is worth examining the kind of people who indulge in this masochistic practice. What is wrong with you people that you enjoy this kind of thing? Have you ever wondered about your own emotional makeup that makes you enjoy the sound of an animal screaming to death, being torn to pieces, bleeding to death, being hunted, frightened, [63] running away? Do the Senators ever wonder why they enjoy this kind of grotesque and horrible state? This is the kind of thing that one gets in the more disreputable night spots in Soho—this kind of pleasure. What is wrong with the Senators who enjoy this kind of thing? What happened to them on their way up what they have emotionally become so totally disturbed that they get pleasure from watching tiny animals killed painfully?

One of the Senators suggested that it has been commercialised. Yes, indeed, it has been commercialised. What is worse is that it is going to be further commercialised in order to give the English barbarians the pleasure of joining with the Irish barbarians in the pursuit of this particular pleasure. That, of course, adds to the moneys involved. Clearly, as a race, we will do anything for money. This is one of the dangers that the Minister has to face. What kind of protection has he given in this Bill except the protection of those with a vested interest in seeing that it is expanded and extended as rapidly as they possibly can extend and expand it, irrespective of the consequences to these unfortunate animals?

Evidence has been produced to show that the Irish Coursing Club have not supervised carefully the way in which these animals are, what is so euphemistically and misleadingly called, trained. One has visions of the gladiators entering the arena in ancient Rome who were trained to fight the lions before being torn to death. “Trained.” How we can misuse the word. How can a tiny little, five or six inch high, animal, terrified out of its life, become trained in order to prevent two greyhounds trained to catch it and kill it from catching and killing it? Surely it is completely disgraceful that you should attempt to mislead the House, even if you are misleading yourself into believing that you do not know quite well what you are doing in your advocacy of this cruel, horrible, revolting spectacle known as greyhound coursing, racing, or whatever you like to call it.

[64]Mr. W. Ryan:    I just want to reply to Senator N. Browne. The Senator accused us of misleading the House. If there is anybody misleading the House about coursing it is Senator Browne. I should like to make it very clear that nobody in this House gets any pleasure from seeing a hare killed at a coursing meeting. We get pleasure and enjoyment if the hare escapes. Ninety per cent of the hares escape at coursing meetings. In any sport there are bound to be casualties. Very few are taking place now on our coursing fields. Senator Browne seems to think that we will have an invasion from Britain because coursing is prohibited in Britain. As far as I know coursing is not prohibited in Britain yet. It has been passed through the House of Commons but it is not law yet and I do not believe that it will be law in England. I should just like to assure the Senator once again that we get no enjoyment from the killing of hares. Thank God very few hares are killed at coursing meetings today. This is due to the steps taken in recent years by the Irish Coursing Club.

Mr. Deasy:    I could not agree with Senator N. Browne. The man has gone a bit hysterical. He is seeing us all as barbarians just because we support coursing. He is being unfair to the Irish Coursing Club. The Senator does not give them due credit for the improvements they have brought about in recent years and the efforts they have made to eliminate cruelty at coursing meetings.

The greyhound industry contributes millions of pounds to this country and the abolition of coursing would eliminate this valuable source of revenue.

During the Second Reading of this Bill it was stated that frequently hares which had been coursed at a meeting were then sold off to another coursing club. I am informed that this is not so, that it is illegal, and that action is taken by the controlling board against any individual, or any club, who might do this. It may have been done in the past, but it is a practice which has been largely eliminated.

A coursing club is paid £5 for each [65] hare which it releases after a coursing meeting. Surely this is a tremendous incentive towards abolishing cruelty and giving the hare a fair chance. Hares are not sold by one club to another. They are let go free. I fail to see the consistency of people who support this amendment. Why do this pressure group not advocate that cruelty to other animals, which is far more widespread and far more cruel, should be eliminated? Why do they not protest against other forms of cruelty? The leading zoologist in this country has assured me that a fish which is caught on a hook, be it a salmon, a mackerel, or any other fish, suffers as much as if it were a human being. Surely this is considerably more cruel than the fate of a hare which dies within seconds of being caught by a greyhound or two?

Dr. N. Browne:    Which way would the Senator prefer to be killed?

Mr. Deasy:    Senator Browne made no reference to any of these forms of cruelty. I am sure Senator Browne eats fish. He probably also eats lobsters and crabs which have to be boiled alive. I cannot imagine any more excruciating form of pain than to be boiled alive, yet we condone this practice. I have never heard an objection to it. Let us be consistent.

Many people go out shooting. I am sure more birds are grievously injured than are actually killed. I am sure there are thousands of birds flying around with a considerable amount of buckshot in their posteriors and suffering grievously. There has been no mention of this from anyone. As Senator William Ryan has pointed out, Senator Browne made a very incorrect statement in saying that coursing followers enjoy the spectacle of seeing the hares killed. This is untrue. They do not enjoy it. They are delighted if the hares escape and go free after the coursing meeting. There is widespread publicity whenever hares are killed at a coursing meeting. This is spotlighted and given large headlines. There was nothing in the newspapers about a coursing meeting held in Donabate two weeks ago when no hare was killed. Surely that [66] should have been commented upon. There is none so blind as him who will not see. They did not want to take note of this.

It is not true to say that coursing has been abolished in Britain. The Bill outlawing coursing was passed in the House of Commons. It was not passed in the House of Lords. I believe the Bill has died and will not be brought forward again. Coursing is continuing in Britain and it looks as if it will continue for many more years. I definitely oppose this amendment.

Mr. McAuliffe:    I also oppose the amendment. People from the rural areas are completely opposed to this amendment. It is marvellous to have a hare in a hunt. Why was the hare created? The hare was created because greyhounds were created. If hares are not hunted and are allowed to stay together in large numbers, they become inbred in a very short time. Everyone knows that an inbred hare is nearly blind and will die in a short time. No pair of dogs will ever kill a good black hare. Inbred hares are good for nothing. Coursing clubs are doing a very good job by releasing hares in different parts of the country at meetings. If hares are properly fed with oats, turnips and cabbage they will not be killed.

As previously stated, there was a coursing meeting recently in Donabate and not one single hare was killed at it. Our greyhound industry is one of our greatest industries and we will not have a greyhound industry unless we have hares. We will not have good greyhounds unless they hunt hares. For these reasons I am totally opposed to the amendment.

Mr. Russell:    It is important to keep a sense of proportion in this debate. It is a debate that can be easily coloured by emotive phrases by Senators who give me the impression that they have never been to a coursing meeting and who got most of their knowledge from articles in magazines written by the anti-coursing fraternity. I am not a member of either the pro-coursing or the anti-coursing lobby. It is many years since I attended a coursing meeting, [67] although I live very close to one of the most famous meetings in the world, the Irish Cup at Clounanna.

As Senators said, it is true that all sportsmen who go to coursing meetings go to see the dogs. It is a contest between the dogs and not between the dogs and the hare. Everybody regrets when a hare is killed. I notice that none of the abolitionists has produced any statistics, but statistics have shown over the years that there has been a steady decline in the number of hares killed, particularly in long coursing, which is now the most usual type of coursing in Ireland.

The greyhound industry is a very valuable one. Every sportsman regrets the killing of any animal, whether it is a fox killed in the hunt, or a hare killed by beagles, or by dogs, but the basic industry is so large and has so many ramifications that any amendment put down without going fully into all the aspects of it should be considered very carefully before it is supported. I see no reason for supporting it. I acknowledge the concern of those who see only the hare being killed or maimed. They should remember that the hare is a necessary ancillary factor in the sport of coursing. The main thing is the dogs. People bet on the dogs and watch them coursing and applaud when a hare escapes.

It is also well to remember that the number of hares killed after a coursing meeting, outside the course itself, by youths or itinerants with guns, is generally far greater than the number of hares killed at a coursing meeting. As has been stated, hares who escape at a coursing meeting are not destroyed. They are resold. All coursing clubs prohibit the shooting of hares within their own confines. It would have been more helpful if somebody had suggested methods by which the rate at which hares are being killed could be decreased. That would have been a constructive proposal, but to try to demolish a valuable industry by one sweeping amendment is something which this House should not countenance.

[68]Mr. M.D. Higgins:    I want to make a few points perfectly clear. Dr. Shirley Summerskill, when she was speaking on the Bill which was introduced in the House of Commons—I am referring to the Official Report, Volume 893, No. 137, of Friday 13th June, 1975—quoted from a speech by the Leader of the House in which the following was said justifying why her Bill should be taken: “It is always right to spend time trying to get rid of cruelty whether to human beings or to animals. That is what we are doing.”

I hope to have time to deal with other forms of cruelty, cruelty to children, and so on, in whatever time I am allowed in public life. This is just cruelty to hares. The point is that in that debate in the House of Commons no one justified this practice. We should be unemotive about this matter. Senators said that statistics were not used correctly. Where are the objective statistics which show that 90 per cent of the hares escape? We know that does not happen.

Anybody who has studied instincts —I have studied instinctual behaviour in human, sub-human and extra-human life—will know there is no necessary connection between the instinct to chase and the instinct to kill. There is no proof whatsoever that the greyhound industry is at risk. There is not one whit of evidence for that. It is inaccurate to say the greyhound industry is at stake. I had hoped this matter would not be controversial and that the different parties would not disagree on it.

An important point was made by Senator Dolan, for whom I have the greatest respect. He is a sensitive teacher in a rural area. There are many ways of encountering life, wildlife in particular. On Second Stage I asked Senators to recall their experience as children of holding an injured bird or animal in their hand. They respected it and wondered at it. It is a terrible reflection on them that as educated adults they find it necessary to go coursing for entertainment.

I did not mislead the House. If amendments Nos. 51, 61, 111 and 112 were accepted there would be an end [69] to this barbaric practice. The facts are there. There will still be greyhounds, but the circumstances of an encounter between a small animal like the hare and those who pursue it will have changed. People can look at hares, photograph them, and admire them, but they will not be able to be present at the spectacle of a hare being torn apart. That is what the amendments are about. As someone who wants to eliminate cruelty in life generally, even on this very minor case of a hare, I could not withdraw those amendments.

 

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
October 1 2011 7 01 /10 /October /2011 19:09

Intriguing article in Ireland's phoenix-article-44yy.jpgPhoenix Magazine about internal affairs of the Irish Coursing Club...

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
July 10 2011 1 10 /07 /July /2011 23:56
 
 
 
 

 

Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports

 

 

 

July 9th 2011                                                                          Lower Coyne Street,

                                                                                                  Callan,

                                                                                                   Co. Kilkenny,

                                                                                                     Ireland

 

 

Phone: (056) 7725543 or (086) 3271179

 

 

Re. Please say NO to another season of live hare coursing in Republic of Ireland! 

 

 

  

Dear Friends,

  

As you may know, live hare coursing is not only legal in the Republic of Ireland but commands the support of some powerful politicians, despite being opposed by a majority of the Irish people according to opinion polls. It is illegal in Northern Ireland, having thankfully been banned in that jurisdiction last year.

  

Basically, hare coursing (as practised in the Republic of Ireland) consists of competitions in which pairs of greyhounds are set after captive hares within the confines of a wire-enclosed field. There is heavy gambling on the outcome of each race or "course", the dog that is first to "turn" the hare (divert it from its straight run to the opposite end of the enclosure) being declared the winner in each race. Points are awarded for various other aspects of each greyhound's performance in chasing the hare.

  

Though the intention is not specifically to kill the hare, many of the animals are inevitablly either injured, through mauling or being literally tossed about by the dogs (as shown in the attached pictures) or after the coursing event they may die as a result of Capture Myopathy, a condition that affects a number of wild species, including the Irish Hare.

  

Each year, coursing clubs capture with nets thousands of hares for these events. Some hares die during capture, becoming entangled in the nets and breaking bones etc. These are either killed because they cannot serve any purpose, being unable to run; or they are used to "blood" greyhounds as part of their training. This involves feeding them live to the dogs.

  

In captivity, many hares also die, of diseases resulting from the cramped and unnatural conditions (see attached picture) in which they are kept. Hares are solitary creatures, unnacustomed to the "herd mentality".

  

From beginning to end, hare coursing is immensely cruel and completely against nature...the animals are snatched from their natural habitat and "trained" as the coursing officials call it, to run in a straight line. This in itself would condemn the so-called "sport" even without the actual coursing events at which the hares must then run for their lives so that spectators can gamble and cheer on the competing dogs.

  

The hare is deemed a mere pawn in the whole game, a plaything that serves as live bait for the dogs. Its terror as it seeks to evade the hyped-up greyhounds is a source of mirth and entertainment to the audience. We provide a link to a brief video showing Irish hare coursing at the end of this appeal.

  

Each year, the Irish Government must grant a special license that permits coursing clubs to capture hares for this appalling "sport". Without that license, hare coursing would cease. The decision as to whether or not to grant the license must be made before the end of August, as the netting usually begins in September.

 ghc-01 

We are appealing to the relevant Government Minister NOT to grant the license this year and are asking you to join us in making that appeal. We want him to follow the example of Northern Ireland, which outlawed hare coursing last year.

  

Please send a brief letter or email to Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts and Culture, Dail Eireann, Dublin 2, Ireland, asking him simply not to issue the license that will permit hares to be captured for another season of live hare coursing in the Irish Republic.

  

You can email the Minister at:

  

ministersoffice@tcs.gov.ie

  
For anyone who wishes to send a message to ALL members of Ireland's parliament (the Dail) about this, here are all the email addresses in a block:
  

  This is hare coursing as practised in Ireland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58qbzC-GI4&feature=player_embedded

  

Thanking you,

 

John Fitzgerald

PRO,

Campaign for the Abolition

Of Cruel Sports

ghc-06

 ghc-16

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment
April 9 2011 7 09 /04 /April /2011 14:36

Campaigners for humane treatment of animals have lost a valued friend with the recent passing at age 84 of Richard Power, a profoundly spiritual man who played a special part in advancing the cause of animal protection in Ireland. He had resided at Boherload House, Ballyneety, in County Limerick.

 

Richard was the last surviving founder member of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, an organization he helped to initiate in 1966, along with such well known people as comedienne Maureen Potter, and actors Desmond Perry and John Cowey, household names in their day who starred in RTE’s series Tolka Row and The Riordans respectively.

 

Richard was born in Monaleen, Casteltroy, Co. Limerick in 1927 of Patrick and Nora Power, nee Noonan. He was educated at Monaleen National School before attending the Jesuit-run Crescent College, and later Mungret College, a boarding school also managed by the Jesuits.

From an early age Richard developed a keen sense of appreciation of the need to treat animals humanely.

He was inspired in his own personal acts of compassion towards animals by Christian teaching. In the weeks leading up to the feast days of saints who emphasized the importance of kindness to animals, such as Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Aidan of Ferns, and Saint Eustace, he would never fail to contact fellow campaigners to remind them of these great exemplars of compassion and ethical behavior in our dealings with the animal kingdom.

 

In essays for animal welfare magazines, and in correspondence with the newspapers, he drew attention to early Synods and Councils of the Christian Church that denounced animal cruelty. Richard underlined in his writings that while God gave dominion of his creatures to man, our dominance over them is not absolute; that it requires respect for the integrity of creation.

 

He contributed articles to The Ark, the publication of the UK-based Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, a society whose scholarly and educational approach to counteracting animal cruelty he embraced with enthusiasm.

 

When an Irish branch of the  society was formed, Richard assisted with the writing of an excellent booklet setting out how the Christian saints exemplified kindness to “the brute creation” and detailing words from scripture pertinent to man’s relationship with animals. He welcomed publication of the updated Catechism of the Catholic Church with its clear teachings on ill-treatment of non-human sentient beings.

 

Another influence to which he attributed his concern for animal welfare was the pioneering work of Richard Martin, the 19th century MP for Galway who sought to have the blood sports of bull baiting and bear baiting banned, and whose parliamentary crusade led to the formation of the world’s first society to protect animals from cruelty.

 

As a dairy and dry stock farmer, Richard worked with animals all his life. In his latter years, he fed foxes that strayed unto his farm, a practice he happily defended to those who questioned his kindness to an animal often portrayed as the wily rogue of the countryside.

 

Richard’s tolerance of the fox went back to his early manhood.  He had accompanied his wife Carmel to a number of hunt meets. One afternoon in the mid 1950s he was observing a hunt in full flight from his vantage point on a hill close to the family farm. He saw the fox run outside the farm boundary, making a speedy U-turn in its bid to elude the pursuing pack of hounds.

 

But the exhausted creature slowed down and the dogs caught up with it, tearing it to piece. What disturbed Richard about the incident was that the fox in question had been released from a sack for the hunt. He also recoiled from the spectacle of the hunt followers smearing the fox’s blood on their faces.

 

While mindful of the welfare of lambs and poultry, Richard concluded that foxhunts often posed a greater risk to livestock and farm property than the fox itself, and produced a wealth of evidence in support of this contention.

He attended his first coursing meeting at the age of nine. He recalled that he always felt something was “wrong or inappropriate” at these events, but kept his doubts to himself initially.

 

In the 1950s, nobody was prepared to speak out against blood sports in Ireland, or to voice even the mildest criticism of activities deemed to be hallowed traditions of the Irish countryside. Watching hares being chased down and savaged by greyhounds upset him, and he found support for this practice difficult to fathom.

 

One incident that remained fixed in his mind was hearing a coursing club official advising a dispatcher to turn his back to the crowd when finishing off a dying hare, as this might, according to the official, turn some people off the sport. Richard was haunted by the child-like screams of the hares, and baffled as to why nobody he met, or conversed with; in those early days was prepared to openly challenge the cruelty.

 

But in 1966, he attended a meeting of like-minded people who felt that an organization was needed to give expression to the view that the terrorizing or cruel killing of animals in the name of sport was unethical and objectionable in a civilized society. Hence the formation of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports.

 

Richard was a valued adviser to ICABS from day one, and whenever a campaigner wondered what a particular saint, bishop, or religious historian had to say about any issue relating to animal welfare or blood sports, he was the man to ask. If he didn’t have the exact information to hand, availing of his phenomenal memory, he knew where to find it.

 

He was in celebratory mood the day he noticed that a fox effigy had been included in the crib of the Dominican church in Limerick. This set him on the research trail and he re-discovered the story of how, according to legend, a fox had saved the Holy Family by throwing Herod’s bloodhounds off the scent.

 

In the run-up to the June 2010 parliamentary debate on stag hunting, Richard reminded campaigners and TDs (members of the Irish Parliament) alike that Saint Eustace had been an avid stag hunter prior to being converted to Christianity, after which the future saint renounced both persecution of Christians and the hunting of stags with hounds. And Richard loved reciting the story of how Saint Patrick rescued a fawn from a deer hunt in the Sixth century.

 

Richard was a loving father to his sons Martin and Pat and his daughters Mary and Cora, who survive him, and a friend to his grandson, sister and members of his extended family. His solicitude manifested in a determination to continue helping out on the farm in the years following his own retirement.

 

He assisted with the feeding of livestock and other farm chores, and drove a tractor in all seasons, even after a complicated quadruple by-pass operation that would have slowed down or deterred the most committed farmer in Ireland.

 

The grievous sense of loss felt by campaigners for animal protection will surely be offset by the gain to the world beyond this one of Richard’s passing.

 

I have no doubt but that he is now in the best of company “somewhere up there” and that Heaven’s gates opened wide to welcome this true friend of the animals.

 

-John Fitzgerald






















 

Repost 0
Published by banharecoursinginireland.over-blog.com
write a comment