Government prioritising horse and dog racing over ill children

27 Mar

Government prioritising horse and dog racing over ill children
Letter to the Editor, Irish Independent, Monday 27 March 2017

We have heard a lot lately about the heart-breaking plight of families battling the Government to secure funding for life-saving cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Distribution of the drug is delayed due to an annual cost of around €80m. This, coincidentally, is the exact amount paid out by the Government this year to horse and greyhound racing, bringing the total handed over in the past 15 years to more than €1bn.

As revealed recently in the Dáil, a significant portion of the horse racing grant goes into prize money for “very rich owners and trainers”, while the €16m for dog racing is propping up a cruel and collapsing industry which the public is overwhelmingly rejecting – evident in a 50pc drop in track attendance and a 58pc fall in sponsorship.

Claims that the industry deserves cash injections because of related jobs are being increasingly challenged, with one politician saying the employment figures are “such an over-estimate, it’s almost laughable”.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has declared that “the greyhound industry employs over 10,300 people” but this month, it emerged that in the Irish Greyhound Board, there is only 128 full-time staff.

In December, as cystic fibrosis patients waited, Health Minister Simon Harris was among the 105 TDs who approved the latest massive racing grants, prompting a distraught parent to ask if dog and horse races are more important than suffering children.

How obscene that politicians enthusiastically squander scarce public money on rotten racing industries, but when it comes to providing vital medication there is suddenly a focus on cost-effectiveness and getting value for taxpayers.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/government-prioritising-horse-and-dog-racing-over-ill-children-35567600.html

Revealed: number of people employed by Irish Greyhound Board

18 Mar

 

In December, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed claimed that the “greyhound industry employs over 10,300 people”.

The figure quoted at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine was ridiculed, with one politician describing it as “more than questionable” and “such a gross over-estimate that it’s almost laughable”.

This month, in response to a Dail question from Maureen O’Sullivan TD, Minister Creed revealed that the number of people actually employed by Bord na gCon/the Irish Greyhound Board is nowhere near 10,300 – https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2017-03-09a.68

“Bord na gCon has informed me that it currently directly employs 128 full time staff and approximately 720 part time staff,” Minister Creed stated.

Minister Creed – who has been involved in greyhound racing and hare coursing (co-owning a greyhound with other Fine Gael TDs) – had presented the 10,300 jobs figure in an attempt to justify the government’s major funding of the industry. This amounts to around a quarter of a billion euro since 2001, including €16 million for 2017.

The greyhound industry has experienced a 50 per cent fall in attendance and a 58 per cent drop in sponsorship over recent years. With the public and businesses rejecting dog racing, it is time for the government to stop squandering taxpayers’ money on what is clearly a dying industry. This latest jobs revelation will surely add to the already growing calls for an end to the government funding.

SEE ALSO – “Almost laughable”: Politicians doubt greyhound industry’s job claims

ACTION ALERT

Demand an end to the government’s funding of the greyhound industry. Greyhound racing should not be funded by the people of Ireland, the majority of whom have no interest in it and are rightly opposed to an industry in which dogs are injured, dumped and killed.

Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, michael.creed@oir.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie

Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance
Email: michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to @creedcnw

Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Email: andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to @ADoyleTD

Contact your TDs and urge them to stop the funding. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

_____________________________________

DAIL QUESTION – Thursday, 9 March 2017
_____________________________________

Maureen O’Sullivan TD (Dublin Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount of the loans, funding and-or payments paid out by Bord na gCon to the Irish Coursing Club or any of its affiliated coursing clubs; and the numbers employed in Bord na gCon and their roles. [12194/17]

Michael Creed TD (Cork North West, Fine Gael): Bord na gCon is a commercial State body, established in 1958, under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry.

Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Bord na gCon has informed me that there are no loans to or from the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) involving Bord na gCon.

Bord na gCon engages with the Sporting Press, which is a national publication for the wider greyhound industry published by the ICC, in placing advertisements in this paper. Bord na gCon also engages with the ICC in respect of DNA samples completed by the ICC on behalf of Bord na gCon plus inspection of meat feeder licenses completed by the ICC for Bord na gCon. The average value of these services would be circa €100,000 including VAT at 23%.

Bord na gCon has informed me that it currently directly employs 128 full time staff and approximately 720 part time staff.

 

Irish dog exported to China now dead

18 Mar

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One of the Irish greyhounds exported to a life of misery at Macau’s Canidrome racetrack has died. Birmingham Greyhound Protection is reporting that 2-year-old High Maintenance, who last raced in Tralee before being sent 10,000km to the infamous deathtrap track, is now dead.

In a Facebook post, Kerry Elliman of Birmingham Greyhound Protection wrote: “One of the Irish dogs sent to the Canidrome in Macau China has been killed. He was sent over there 12 months ago to a life of pure hell on earth. Truly devastating for this boy and all the others still stuck in this hell hole. Like every greyhound lover I’m heartbroken and cried and cried for him and others.”

According to the Irish Greyhound Board website, High Maintenance’s final race in Ireland was at Tralee racetrack on Saturday, 2nd April last year when he finished 5th in the “Jumbos Restaurant Listowel Stakes Semi-Final”. In video footage of the race, the commentator can be heard saying “[High Maintenance] is fading as they go towards the last couple of bends.” He faded from third to fifth and with winnings of “€0.00” on the day, his fate was sadly sealed.

He was one of at least nine Irish greyhounds shamefully sent from Ireland to Macau in 2016. The Irish Greyhound Board lists Wai Lok Chu as the owner of the dogs – Crossfield Simon, Crossfield Leona, Two Stone Tadgh, Ballinulty Show, Ballinulty Star, Crossfield Marie, High Maintenance, Milled Ash and Bellmore Belle. The IGB also listed Wai Lok Chu as the owner of an additional 20 Irish greyhounds whose locations are unknown.

The Canidrome has been condemned by international greyhound group, Grey2K, as the world’s deadliest, with a high level of fatalities on-track and merciless destruction of dogs who under-perform (believed to total 400 per year). According to Animals Australia, “Canidrome is ‘death row’ for greyhounds. Every dog there will be dead within 3 years. While alive, their lives are miserable. Minimal exercise, minimal social interaction and a tiny barren cell to live in.” As highlighted by ICABS last year, greyhounds routinely suffer horrific injuries at the track, including bite wounds, torn hip-supporting muscle, fractured paws, lame legs, swollen legs, inflamed joints, wounded tail, etc.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is renewing calls on the Irish Government to urgently put in place legislation to prevent any more Irish greyhounds being sent to Macau/China and for action to be taken to rescue and rehome the Irish greyhounds currently at the Canidrome track.

ACTION ALERT

Please join us in contacting Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie,taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1-6194020

Please sign and share the petitions

Stop export of Irish greyhounds to China
https://www.change.org/p/prime-minster-taoiseach-enda-kenney-stop-export-of-irish-greyhounds-to-china

Irish Government: Stop Funding Cruel Greyhound Racing Industry
https://www.change.org/p/taoiseach-enda-kenny-irish-government-stop-funding-cruel-greyhound-racing-industry

Shut down the Canidrome, the world’s deadliest greyhound racetrack
https://www.change.org/p/chief-executive-chui-sai-on-stop-hundreds-of-greyhounds-from-being-raced-to-death

Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the greyhound industry).

The Irish government has handed over nearly a quarter of a billion euro of taxpayers’ money to the cruel greyhound industry since 2001, including €16 million for 2017. It’s time for this funding to stop. Greyhound racing should not be funded by the people of Ireland, the majority of whom have no interest in it and are rightly opposed to an industry in which dogs are injured, dumped, mutilated and killed. Please join us in urging the government to stop wasting precious funds on this dying industry.

Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry NOW” to michael.creed@oir.ie, michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie

Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance
Email: michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to @creedcnw

Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Email: andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to @ADoyleTD

Contact your TDs and urge them to stop using scarce public money to fund gambling industries.

Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

Clonmel Park Hotel slammed for supporting cruel hare coursing

18 Mar

Clonmel Park Hotel “welcomes all visitors to the national hare coursing meeting 2017”. SHAME on Clonmel Park Hotel for disregarding the suffering of hares and profiting from an animal cruelty event.

The hotel which describes hare coursing as a sport and those involved as “sports people”, has a full page advert in the booklet for the Clonmel coursing meeting at which hares are being forced to run for their lives in front of dogs. The hotel’s ad conveys a welcome to the coursers and announces that a coursing video is shown daily at the hotel.

One of the hares who suffered at the cruelty festival was filmed by RTE TV being repeatedly hit and mauled by dogs. See video footage below.

 

ACTION ALERT

Make a complaint to Clonmel Park Hotel. If its support for coursing would make you choose an alternative hotel, make this clear in your correspondence.

Clonmel Park Hotel,
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tel: +353 (0)52 61 88 700
Email: info@clonmelparkhotel.com
Leave a comment on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/clonmelparkhotel
Tweet to: @ClonmelPark
TripAdvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Hotel_Review-g212095-d619338-Reviews-Clonmel_Park_Conference_Leisure_Hotel-Clonmel_County_Tipperary.html

Urge Malone’s Galtee Inn in Cahir to stop sponsoring cruel coursing

18 Mar

Shame on Malone’s Galtee Inn in Cahir, County Tipperary for sponsoring the Knockgraffon Open hare coursing meeting at which hares ran for their lives from pairs of greyhounds.

ACTION ALERT

Contact Malone’s Galtee Inn and urge them to stop sponsoring cruel hare coursing.

The Square, Cahir, Ireland
Tel: +353 52 744 1247
Email: galteeinncahir@eircom.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/galteeinn/
TripAdvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Restaurant_Review-g212097-d1408510-Reviews-Malone_s_Galtee_Inn-Cahir_County_Tipperary.html

Urge Tourism Ireland to stop promoting greyhound racing

16 Mar

urge tourism irelnad to stop promoting greyhound racing.jpg

 

Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland are being urged to stop promoting greyhound racing as a tourist attraction.

In the Irish Greyhound Board’s latest annual report, it is stated: “Bord na gCon worked very closely with the domestic and international teams from Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland in promoting a night at the dogs…”

Responding to a recent complaint about the promotion, Failte Ireland stated: “Failte Ireland use greyhound stadiums as part of promoting Ireland to our international visitors and they have enjoyed this immensely. This is a great way of promoting the Irish culture to tourists coming to Ireland…”

Tourism Ireland and Bord Failte have been praised in the past for recognising the cruelty of bloodsports and ending all promotion of foxhunting and hare coursing. Given the suffering inherrent in the greyhound industry, it would be very appropriate for them to also stop promoting greyhound racing. This is an industry in which dogs are injured, killed, mutilated and dumped. Thousands go missing every year, most likely killed if not quick enough to win races.

There is growing opposition to greyhound racing in Europe, America, Australia and all around the world. The greyhound industry is bad for Ireland’s image and should not be promoted by our national tourism bodies. Ireland has so many wonderful tourist attractions – there is no need for Tourism Ireland or Failte Ireland to resort to using greyhound racing as a selling point.

ACTION ALERT

Join us in appealing to Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland to consider the cruelty inherent in the greyhound industry and stop promoting greyhound racing.

Tourism Ireland
Email: corporate.dublin@tourismireland.com
Tel: +353 1 476 3400
Tweet to @TourismIreland

Fáilte Ireland
Email: customersupport@failteireland.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 8847700
Tweet to @failte_ireland

Foxhunt kills 25 dogs

16 Mar

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“The implications of this outbreak are huge. It would be a farce if hunting was allowed to continue while bovine TB is rife.” – the response of the League Against Cruel Sports’ CEO Eduardo Goncalves to news that a fox hunt in the UK has killed off 25 of its own hounds after a bovine TB outbreak http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/top-torys-fox-hunt-kills-9982581

This shocking report from the UK should be a wake-up call for farmers here in Ireland who foolishly continue to allow hunters on to their land.

For years, ICABS has been highlighting the biosecurity risks associated with hunting in which dozens of hunters on horseback, along with packs of hounds, terrorise wildlife across miles of countryside and through multiple farmlands. We urge landowners to keep hunters out, not only due to the obscene cruelty involved in hunting but also because to the damage caused to their farmland, boundary fences and ditches and the risk of disease spread.

Instead of scapegoating the “protected” badger (which actually avoids fields of cows) in a failed bovine TB eradication scheme, Minister Michael Creed and the Department of Agriculture should turn its attention to the fox and hare hunts operating in TB blackspots.

With the animal cruelty, the damage done to Ireland’s international reputation and the negative impact on farming interests, the Irish Government should not hestitate to ban this appalling bloodsport.

ACITON ALERT

Sign our petitions

“Ban Blood Sports in Ireland” petition
https://www.change.org/petitions/ban-blood-sports-in-ireland

Ireland: Stop badger snaring cruelty NOW
https://www.change.org/p/ireland-stop-your-badger-snaring-cruelty-now

Please join us in appealing to the Minister for Agriculture to remove of an exemption for foxhunting from Ireland’s Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to: @creedcnw

Contact the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Frances Fitzgerald and urge them to ban fox hunting.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tweet to: @EndaKennyTD
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/endakennyofficial/

An Tanaiste, Frances Fitzgerald
Department Of Justice
51 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 1 602-8202 or +353 1 457 7712
Email: frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie
Tweet to: @FitzgeraldFrncs
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Frances-Fitzgerald/302584593224671

Appeal to all Irish politicians

Please join us in telling the Irish Government that it is now time to replace foxhunting with the humane alternative – drag hunting.

Drag hunting sees the hounds chasing an artificial lure instead of a live animal. This form of “hunting” is already practised successfully by a few groups in Ireland. In a modern and civilised country like Ireland, there should be no place for foxhunting, particularly when a transition to drag hunting would be simple.

Please contact all your local politicians and ask them to push for a ban on this blood sport. Encourage your friends, family and workmates to contact them too.

Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem

Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.