Why you should say NO to greyhound track fundraisers

1 Dec

Fundraising charities, community groups, sports clubs and schools are being urged to stay away from greyhound tracks. Fundraisers at tracks directly support the cruel greyhound industry in which dogs are injured, mutilated, drugged, dumped and killed. The tracks take a significant 30-40% ticket commission for themselves and also, on the night, profit from gambling and food and drink sales.

With the general public increasingly avoiding greyhound racing – evident in a 50 per cent drop in track attendance – the industry is desperately pursuing charities, GAA clubs and schools to organise fundraisers at tracks. Join our appeal to these to show compassion for the dogs and fundraise elsewhere.

Please send a link to this video to any group organising a greyhound track fundraiser and urge them to change the venue. Tell them that the greyhound industry has received another €16 million in Budget 2018 and that they should join calls on the government to scrap this massive grant to a cruel and dying industry and instead give the money to the deserving causes that are being forced to fundraise.


Courser’s dog dies after suffering shoulder injury

1 Dec

A greyhound owned by the president of the Irish Coursing Club is one of the latest victim of the cruel greyhound industry.

Crafty Trivago – described by the Irish Greyhound Board as a “star racing bitch” – died after suffering a shoulder injury at Dublin’s Shelbourne Park stadium.

She stumbled leaving the traps during a race at Shelbourne Park and during a trial at the same track, she fell and sustained the shoulder injury.

Crafty Trivago was owned by courser Brian Divilly of Claregalway-based Crafty Kennels. A video posted on the kennel’s Facebook page earlier this year caused outrage and disgust – it showed around 20 greyhounds chained to a rotating device repeatedly walking around in circles.

A notice posted on the Irish Greyhound Board website stated that Crafty Trivago “stumbled leaving traps in the Oaks first round last week and Noelle Divilly gave her a trial at Shelbourne yesterday in advance of the Shelley Fennelly Memorial Bitch Stake at Curraheen. She fell at the opening bend and damaged a shoulder. She was due to have an operation on the shoulder this morning but she had passed away overnight.”

Outlining the Divilly Family’s reaction to the death, the report adds: “A hugely disappointed Noelle [Divilly] yesterday broke the news and said that the whole family was devastated as they were looking forward to breeding her.”

Since May 2016, Crafty Trivago was used in 24 races around Ireland and in the UK.

In March, ICABS highlighted how several greyhounds bred, trained or previously owned by Brian Divilly ended up in Pakistan. Video footage posted online shows a dog identified as “Crafty Barrazo” chasing a rabbit/hare during a coursing meeting in Pakistan. Records indicate that the breeder of Crafty Barrazo is Brian Divilly, with the Irish Greyhound Board website listing the owner as the Divilly Family Syndicate. At least 17 greyhounds bred, owned or trained by Divilly are said to have ended up in Pakistan. Among these are Crafty Ratio (who was used in hare coursing at the Grange and Fermoy coursing meeting in 2012), Crafty Nasko, Crafty Who (used in coursing in Edenderry in 2014), Crafty Alfresco, Crafty Antonio, Crafty Burro, Crafty Lobato, Crafty Torino and Crafty Perlico (previously used for coursing in Glin). Greyhounds owned by the “Divilly Family Syndicate” are also listed as being in the Asian country. These include Crafty Benzo (who was used for coursing in Kilflynn, Galway and Dublin), Crafty Astro and Crafty Denso (used for coursing in Liscannor, Gorey and Faisalabad).

Brian Divilly is the individual who, in 2014, forcibly dragged two women out of a hare coursing venue in Clonmel. The ICABS Campaign Director and a colleague were filming the cruel coursing when Divilly approached them and said there was to be no filming of the event before dragging them from the grounds. Divilly was caught on camera saying that he would have the women “removed”. See footage at https://youtu.be/xrU088Qz3RI

More victims of Ireland’s cruel greyhound industry

1 Dec

More victims of Ireland’s cruel greyhound industry. Three greyhounds used for racing, and registered with the Irish Greyhound Board, found emaciated in Waterford…

Farm labourer pleads guilty to neglecting racing greyhounds
Dungarvan Observer, 3rd November 2017

A County Waterford farm labourer pleaded guilty in the Circuit Criminal Court last week to neglecting three “racing greyhounds” which were emaciated to such an extent that one had to be put down.

David Kirwan (47) of Currabaha East, Kilmacthomas, admitted neglecting the dogs contrary to the Animal Welfare Act on March 5, 2015.

The court was told by Noel Whelan BL, for the DPP, that the Waterford ISPCA called to Mr Kirwan’s address in response to a report about two severely under-weight dogs. Two of the greyhounds were living in an outside grass pen and one was in a separate inside pen. The hounds had lesions on their legs and were emaciated with their ribcages visible. One hound had pressure sores, he said.

ISPCA Inspector Alice Lacey said the poor condition of the dogs was due to being malnourished and lack of a proper diet. Two other dogs, a Rottweiler and an Alsatian, were also on the premises and both were in thriving condition.

The hounds were seized and brought to the Veterinary surgeon and on his decision one was euthanized. The other two were given specialist food and transferred to a shelter. Both made a recovery and were subsequently re-homed.

Barrister Elaine Morgan, for the defendant, said the ISPCA had to contact Sergt Alan Kissane in order to gain entry to the property and a note was left for Mr Kirwan, who acknowledged responsibility for the animals and later that day contacted Inspt Lacey. He handed over the care of the dogs to the Dog Shelter. The dogs had been wormed but they were not thriving or taking their food.

When asked for her opinion on the condition of the greyhounds in comparison to the other two dogs, Inspt Lacey said the Rottweiler and Alsatian were “pets” whereas the greyhounds had a history of racing, which was evidence from their racing tattoos and they were registered with the Irish Greyhound Board.

Sergt Alan Kissane, Kilmacthomas, said he advised the defendant to make a statement after caution in April that year. In July he arrived with a statement prepared with the help of his solicitor. The statement claimed that there was some fighting going on between the greyhounds and one had to be separated from the other two. All the dogs were fed with “racer dog nuts” and bread and were treated for fleas and dosed for worms. One had body sores because it slept on a rubber mat and not on straw. when he “signed over” the hounds he believed that would be the end of the matter, he said.

“All my life I treated my dogs with concern and respect,” he said when he broke down and wept in the Garda station.

Ms Morgan said her client was born and reared in Kilmacthomas and he lost his mother at an early age. He had no previous convictions and was engaged with an Adult Centre to deal with literacy issues. He suffered heavily from the burden of the case and presented in a distressed state throughout the process.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly said the defendant had a negative insight and at no stage did he say in his statement that he was neglectful of the animals. The offence took place in March and the statement was made in July.

It was clearly a “difficult case” and the animals suffered. It was difficult to understand how a man who kept animals professionally would allow three out of five dogs to get in such a condition, said the Judge.

Adjourning the case to January next, Judge O’Kelly said it would give the defendant time to come up with a suitable contribution to the ISPCA.

Treacys West County Hotel sends “best wishes” to coursers

1 Dec

Shame on Treacys West County Conference and Leisure Centre in Ennis for conveying “Best Wishes” to a hare coursing club.

An advert in the booklet for the Ennis-Clarecastle coursing meeting showed the hotel’s logo along with the message “Best wishes from Treacys West County Conference and Leisure Centre”.

It is appalling that any business would chose to support an activity in which hares are snatched from the wild and used as live lures for dogs to chase. In coursing, hares suffer the fear and stress of running for the lives and those caught and hit by the dogs sustain painful injuries such as broken bones and dislocated hips.

Join us in complaining to this hotel about its coursing booklet advert.

Treacys West County Hotel,
Limerick Road,
Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
Tel +353 (0)65 686 9600
Email: info@treacyswestcounty.com
Leave a comment on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TreacysWestCounty
Tweet to @westcountyennis
Tripadvisor https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Hotel_Review-g186597-d6670384-Reviews-Treacys_West_County_Conference_Leisure_Hotel-Ennis_County_Clare.html

False animal cruelty claim by Andrew Doyle TD

1 Dec

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle TD has farcically thanked the Irish Greyhound Board for “their valuable contribution to animal welfare” and made the outrageous claim that the government “does not tolerate any instance of animal cruelty”.

Deputy Doyle’s claim is false and won’t fool anyone who is aware of the government’s shameful refusal to outlaw hare coursing, foxhunting, digging-out/terrierwork, fur farming, puppy farming, etc. His reference to Bord na gCon and animal welfare is similarly laughable given that the greyhound industry is inherently cruel, with an estimated 10,000 greyhounds destroyed every year when found to be too slow to win races. Recent revelations in the media have also highlighted the cruel doping of dogs, injuries to dogs at tracks and the appalling export of greyhounds to countries with no little or no animal welfare.

In his speech, Deputy Doyle attempts to present foxhunting and hare coursing as activities which “avoid wilful or unnecessary cruelty” – again, contrary to the facts which are that both of these bloodsports are intrinsically cruel. Foxes are chased to exhaustion and ripped apart by packs of hounds. Foxes who try to find refuge underground are attacked by hunt terriers, dug out of the ground and thrown to the pack of dogs. In hare coursing, hares are forcefully snatched from the wild in nets, kept in captivity and used as live bait for greyhounds to chase. Foxhunting and coursing are so undeniably cruel that the government had to specifically exempt them from the Animal Health and Welfare Act to allow those involved to continue their animal abuse without fear of prosection.

Transcript of Andrew Doyle’s speech:

Andrew Doyle TD (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

I welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter of animal welfare in the House. First, I wish to emphasise the Government’s commitment to animal welfare and to reiterate that this Government does not tolerate any instance of animal cruelty. There is no doubt that there is greater engagement than ever by the public at large with issues relating to animal welfare. This public interest has been given concrete expression in the Animal Health and Welfare Act which was adopted by the Oireachtas following extensive and positive debate. The Act provides a modern and robust framework for dealing with animal welfare-related issues. I want to focus tonight on the significant progress that has been made in recent years in the area of the welfare of animals.

In particular, I am very glad that the Deputy’s motion acknowledges the progress that the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 has brought about. That Act updated and replaced around 40 items of primary legislation in the area of animal welfare and health back to over 100 years. The Act changed the basis upon which animal owners must treat their animals. It enshrined the principles of the five freedoms for animals. They are freedom: from hunger and thirst, from discomfort; from pain, injury and disease; to exhibit natural behaviour; and from fear and distress. These requirements are a fundamental shift in the way that this issue is dealt with under the Irish legal system. The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 is designed to allow intervention in a much wider range of cases than previously possible. As a result, minor cases can be tackled before they escalate and the Act is a vehicle to encourage and educate animal keepers. In the past, the Protection of Animals Act 1911 was the only recourse available and could only be used where significant suffering had occurred. This new approach means that we will be be able to tackle problems while they are relatively minor, making the risk of escalation much lower.

Enforcement is a complex issue and one which needs to be examined in detail. This is another progressive aspect of the Act, in that it does not just focus on prosecution, which is only appropriate in cases where there have been serious welfare issues that can be clearly demonstrated to the courts. The new enforcement approach reflects the need to intervene as early as possible in animal welfare situations. The Act provides for animal health and welfare notices to be issued by authorised officers. This means that minor situations can be addressed at an early stage and that encouragement, guidance and best practice are introduced rather than just punishment. In terms of actual prosecutions, 35 cases have been successfully prosecuted in recent years, with a further 26 in various stages of preparation with a view to prosecution. Furthermore, the Act contains provisions whereby individuals who are convicted of serious animal welfare offences the courts may ban them from keeping animals, or indeed restrict the numbers of animal they may keep. In some cases, welfare issues are due less to innate cruelty than to the animal owners’ capacity to care for his or her animals being overwhelmed. This provision therefore allows for cases where an individual’s mental well-being is best protected by allowing them to continue to keep a fewer amount of animals.

The provisions of the Act are enforced by authorised officers of my Department, An Garda Síochána, Customs and Excise, the ISPCA and the Dublin SPCA. This co-operation with other organisations has been a major departure under the Act and the arrangement has been working well. Individual officers of the Turf Club and Bord na gCon have also been authorised by the Act. I would like to express my thanks to these bodies for their valuable contribution to animal welfare.

The Animal Health and Welfare Act has been well received both upon enactment and as it has been rolled out and implemented. All of our major animal welfare NGOs and stakeholders have seen it as a major progressive improvement in the area. In addition, the Act sets out clear legally enforceable parameters relating to activities such as hunting and coursing which must occur in a lawful fashion that avoids wilful or unnecessary cruelty.

The actions taken by my Department to protect animal welfare go beyond mere legislation, however, notwithstanding how progressive and flexible that legislation may be. For example, the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council, is a multi-stakeholder group that meets on a national and regional basis and includes representatives of farmers, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and animal welfare organisations. This advisory council has been very successful, in its regional forum, in acting as an early warning system. Similarly, where natural and weather events have led to problems in certain locations, my Department has acted quickly and effectively to bring about emergency supplies of feed to particular premises where feed has been an issue. Since 2011, over €11 million in total has been provided in ex gratia payments, reaching approximately 140 animal welfare organisations throughout the country annually.

Monitoring of animal welfare has been raised in this debate. Such monitoring occurs on a number of levels and forums. On the farm side, cross-compliance inspections by the Department flag up welfare issues and departmental veterinary staff carry out regular inspections. In the context of monitoring, the increased awareness of animal welfare means that the issue is something that can be raised whenever it occurs and this has been facilitated, in particular, by the animal welfare helpline that my Department has had in place for some years now. This helpline, lo-call 0761 064408, along with a dedicated email address, AnimalWelfare@agriculture.gov.ie, facilitates the reporting by members of the public of any suspicion of poor animal welfare or animal cruelty taking place whether within the realm of a farming situation, a sporting or recreational activity or indeed, in a public place or an urban setting. All calls received are treated in confidence and are followed up by authorised officers. Similarly, there are a variety of people involved with animals, all of whom are aware of welfare issues and who can flag them up, as and when they arise. Officers of my Department, officers of the ISPCA and the Dublin SPCA, local authority vets, dog wardens in dog pounds, and of course members of the public and animal welfare NGOs all play a role.

I am also bringing forward a new greyhound industry Bill in the autumn which addresses the governance of Bord na gCon, strengthens regulatory controls in the industry, modernises sanctions and improves integrity with a view to building a reputation for exceptional regulation in the sector. The draft general scheme of the Bill has already progressed through the pre-legislative scrutiny phase and a memorandum will go to the Government in the coming weeks requesting approval to publish the updated general scheme and to submit it to the Office of Parliamentary Counsel for drafting.

In conclusion, there is a great deal of agreement on this issue. Animal welfare is an important issue. There have been huge improvements in the legislative and non-legislative regime that have brought about a change in attitudes in this country. The few individuals who do neglect and abuse animals find themselves more likely to be punished than ever before, which is as it should be. Early education, understanding and awareness continue to improve and raise standards of animal welfare in this country. In view of the many positive developments taking place in the area of animal welfare, I commend the Government’s amendment to the House.

Read a full transcript of the debate at

Watch the full 2-hour Dail debate at

Minister questioned about illegal doping of greyhounds

1 Dec

Thanks to Dublin Central politician, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, for questioning Agriculture Minister about illegal doping of greyhounds in cruel greyhound industry…

ICABS President, Maureen O’Sullivan TD has questioned the Minister for Agriculture about illegal drugging of dogs in Ireland’s cruel greyhound industry…

In her 3rd October Dail Question, Deputy O’Sullivan (Dublin Central) asked Minister Michael Creed “the way in which he plans to deal with the cases of illegal doping of dogs, particularly greyhounds; and his plans to apply transparency on doping in the greyhound industry, for example publishing the details of OOC tests and supporting unannounced visits.”

Minister Creed’s reply sheds light on why a greyhound who tested positive for cocaine three times in the summer was allowed to be raced again last weekend – i.e. despite a greyhound testing positive for a prohibited subtance, a trainer/owner is free to use that dog for racing again as soon as “a further test is undertaken which yields negative results”.

Minister Creed’s reply in full…

“Bord na gCon has informed me that it has carried out an extensive review of procedures for regulatory control with many new standard operating procedures either finalised or close to finalisation. New secondary legislation is now in place with the result that any adverse analytical finding from a greyhound tested for prohibited substances after October 1st 2015 will be published and the greyhound immediately banned from racing until a further test is undertaken which yields negative results. In addition the findings of all new cases initiated after the October 1st 2015 and coming before the Control Committee and the Control Appeals Committee which, adjudicate on any possible breaches of regulation, will be published as will the reasons for their decision.

“A Scientific Committee on Doping and Medication Control has been established. Its task will be to advise Bord na gCon on an ongoing basis on scientific matters relating to doping and medication control in greyhounds. In particular it will review the current list of substances which are prohibited or controlled and, where applicable, their associated thresholds or limits, and it will advise Bord na gCon on any changes considered necessary from a scientific point of view.

“Also an intelligence lead testing regime has been developed targeting its resources at the areas of greatest risk. Targeted testing has included testing in competition, at trials and also at greyhound sales. Bord na gCon has confirmed that it has also adopted an inter-agency cooperation strategy in its anti-doping and medication control policy, insofar as legislation permits, to ensure intelligence-led mechanisms with other enforcement agencies are in place to police this area of risk for the industry whilst making the best use of the limited resources available.

“I intend to introduce a new Greyhound Industry Bill in the autumn which addresses the Governance of Bord na gCon, strengthens regulatory controls in the Industry, modernises sanctions and improves integrity with a view to building a reputation for exceptional regulation in the sector.The draft General Scheme of the bill has already progressed through the pre-legislative scrutiny phase and a memorandum will go to Government in the coming weeks requesting approval to publish the updated General Scheme and to submit it to the OPC for drafting.”

A growing list of the latest “adverse analytical findings” – dogs which tested positive for drugs – is published on the Irish Greyhound Board website at http://www.igb.ie/Resource/adverse-analytical-findings/


Don’t support the cruel greyhound industry. Never attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the cruel greyhound industry).

The Irish Government is continuing to prop up the dying greyhound industry with millions of euros of taxpayers’ money. Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie, michael.creed@oir.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie

Please sign and share our petition
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry

“What you’re doing is morally reprehensible”: Foxhunters confronted in Wexford

1 Dec

“What you’re doing is morally reprehensible”: Fox hunters setting out for a day’s bloodsport were strongly challenged in County Wexford on Saturday.

As they departed the village of Blackwater with a pack of hounds to terrorise and kill foxes, one local resident made her voice heard to condemn their “shocking behaviour”.

“There is no need to hunt foxes,” she called out. “They don’t do any harm. All you’re doing is playing a sadistic game. You’re killing animals for fun.”

The sadistic game involves hunters bringing out a pack of hounds to chase foxes to exhaustion. When caught, the foxes are knocked to the ground, bitten, disembowelled and pulled apart. Foxes who try to find refuge underground are pursued by hunt terriers, dug out of the ground and thrown to the pack of hounds. A ban on this shameful activity is long overdue in Ireland.


Please join us in a renewed appeal to Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and the Irish Government to save foxes from this cruelty and outlaw fox hunting.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie, frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/


Sign our “Ban Blood Sports in Ireland” petition


Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to give wild animals the same protection that is given to domestic animals. Demand the removal of an exemption for fox hunting from Ireland’s Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House, 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


Appeal to all your local TDs to back a ban on fox hunting

Find their names and email addresses at 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.