Disturbing Westmeath Foxhunt video emerges

11 Mar

A disturbing video showing the Westmeath Foxhunt in action at the end of last month has emerged.

The video, filmed in Dysart Mullingar, provides an insight into the deplorable attitude hunters hold towards animals. At the beginning of the video, one of the hunters can be heard calling his horse a c***.

In another scene, a female rider whips her horse 5 times in quick succession (see 03:00 minute mark)

The video which was posted on Facebook and shared on the Westmeath Foxhunt’s page, shows mounted hunters forcing horses to jump a wide and difficult ditch. The animals are clearly reluctant to jump and several land awkwardly and dangerously. In one upsetting scene, a horse can be seen landing on his front leg and tumbling backwards into the ditch (see 3 minute 25 second mark).

There has been much negative comments left in response to the video, including: “This made me sick…especially when the horse ended up in the ditch at the end”, “I don’t know much about horses but clearly none of them were very keen on jumping that ditch. People shouldn’t do that”, “Can’t stand seeing this! Poor horses”, “Can’t watch any more”, “unnecessary, pointless and stupid”.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has brought the video to the attention of Loreto College Mullingar as part of a renewed appeal to management to disassociate from a Westmeath Foxhunt-organised “charity ride” fundraiser planned for this weekend.

“We are sure that the vast majority of students and staff at Loreto would find this treatment of horses and the use of such vulgar language to be obscene and unacceptable,” we stated in a message to Loreto College principal, Marese Bell. “We are confident that most would also abhor the cruelty to wildlife perpetrated by foxhunts. Are these the type of people Loreto College Mullingar management is happy to associate with for a fundraiser?”


Urge Loreto College to disassociate from the Westmeath Foxhunt and instead organise an alternative fundraiser which is compatible with the institution’s image and values.

Email “Loreto College – Please reject cruel foxhunt’s fundraiser” to loretooffice@eircom.net,loretoeducationcentre@eircom.net

Phone +353 (0} 44 93 42055.

Sign the Petition: Loreto College Mullingar – Please reject foxhunt’s fundraiser

Minister Simon Coveney admits to participating in cruel foxhunting

27 Feb

coveney i have hunted copy

The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, has admitted that he has participated in the shameful bloodsport of foxhunting.

During a Dail debate this month in which he defended the cruel activity, Minister Coveney revealed: “I have hunted”.

Despite acknowledging that he is “sure” that foxes get pulled apart by packs of hounds during foxhunts, Coveney is continuing to refuse to ban it.

“When I have hunted, I have never seen a fox being pulled apart,” he said. “I am sure, however, that it happens and I am not saying it does not.”

Dismissing an impassioned appeal from Irish Council Against Blood Sports president, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, to embrace drag hunting and outlaw the hunting of live animals with packs of dogs, Coveney outlined that he and his colleagues are aiming to accommodate those who get their kicks from cruelty.

“Our policy decisions try to strike a balance for those who derive great enjoyment from hunting,” he said.

This included inserting an exemption into the Animal Health and Welfare Act which gives fox hunters immunity from prosecution for what would otherwise be an offence of animal cruelty.

In his Dail speech, Minister Coveney went on to demonise foxes and make a false claim that the animals “do significant damage to farm animals, poultry and so on”. This is completely untrue. Foxes are not a significant agricultural pest. Regarding lambs, the top causes of mortality are abortion, still-birth, infectious disease, exposure and starvation. Wildlife experts agree that if a lamb is taken by a fox, it is most likely to have been already dead when the fox arrived. The National Parks & Wildlife Service have confirmed this, saying “No matter what people think, foxes seldom kill and eat young lambs.” Many farmers consider foxes to be, not a pest, but a beneficial ally as they keep down the numbers of rabbits and rodents as part of their natural diet.

Minister Coveney has in the past condemned terrierwork and the digging out of foxes as involving “undue cruelty” and therefore “unacceptable” but now seems to accept it. The u-turn came after a meeting with terriermen in which the Minister was apparently convinced that sending terriers underground to corner and attack foxes (encounters which leave both foxes and terriers with horrific injuries) is somehow acceptable, despite being unquestionably cruel.

Referring to a plan to introduce “rules and codes of conduct” – which will do nothing to eliminate the inherent cruelty – Minister Coveney ludicrously claims that he is trying to “make sure foxhunting will be as acceptable as possible from an animal welfare perspective.” The only way this could ever be achieved would be to ban foxhunting.

“There was a time when we were hunters and gatherers and had to hunt animals for food, but we do not have to do this anymore,” Deputy O’Sullivan told Minister Coveney during the exchange. “It is a shame on us as a nation that we tolerate barbarity and cruelty to animals in the name of what is supposed to be a sport. It is hard to believe we continue barbaric practices.”

Due to the cruelty involved, foxhunting is an illegal activity in England, Scotland and Wales.


Contact Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, and demand that he removes an exemption from the Animal Health and Welfare Act which currently allows hunting with packs of dogs.

Simon Coveney, TD

Minister for Agriculture

Agriculture House,

Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Email: Simon.Coveney@oireachtas.ie

Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.

Fax: 01-661 1013.

Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SimonCoveney

Tweet to: @simoncoveney

Witness the cruelty of foxhunting in Ireland


“A great deal many allegations of lamb killing are based on insufficient or even non-existent evidence. When interviewing farmers, I found that in some cases, a dead, unwounded animal or the mere disappearance of a lamb were attributed to the work of the fox.” Professor James Fairley (Zoology, UCG) in “An Irish Beast Book”

“I’ve worked at fox dens in all areas covering every aspect of prey possibilities. I’ve observed what adult foxes have brought in, I’ve analysed countless numbers of scats or droppings, and also the stomach contents of many animals. Game birds were insignificant, and so too were poultry, and the only two lambs I’ve ever found at dens were already dead before they were carried in. They were in fact carrion mutton.” Zoologist, Dr AD Scott, BSc PhD MBOU

“No matter what people think, foxes seldom kill and eat young lambs.” National Parks & Wildlife Service

“Starvation/exposure is the main cause of perinatal lamb deaths (accounting for 57% of losses in the first week of life). The important factors include sick ewes, exhausted ewes, lack of milk, mastitis, desertion, weak lambs after a difficult birth, under and overweight lambs and exposure to cold, wet and windy weather.” Teagasc

“There is no evidence that foxes need to be controlled…no method of fox control has had an impact on the fox population.” Professor Stephen Harris, Bristol University

“The pro-hunting argument that fox hunting is an essential form of pest control has been completely shattered. This new research proves what we have said all along – that fox hunting is essentially carried out for recreational purposes. It is cruel and unnecessary.” John Rolls, RSPCA

Madonna and stylist trivialise cruel bullfighting

27 Feb

After being pulled to the ground at the Brit Awards last night, “Matador Madonna” may be nursing a bruise today but it’s nothing compared to the bullring suffering she is shamelessly trivialising.

Choosing a bullfighting theme for her ill-fated performance of Living for Love, the pop icon disgusted animal lovers by assuming the role of a matador and singing among dancers with horns on their heads.

Earlier this month, after Madonna donned a similar matador-inspired outfit at the Grammys, B Akerlund the stylist behind the cringeworthy costumes declared: “I think the whole relationship between the matador and the bulls is something that we find a beautiful relationship, and we played on that – how she’s killing off the bulls and she’s the matador standing in the end.”

And there was more nonsense from Akerlund as she added: “There’s a beautiful story for why the matadors fight the bulls and that also reflects life.”

To describe what happens in a bullring as beautiful, Akerlund clearly doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, about the ugly reality.

Madonna is certainly aware of the cruelty. At the end of her promo video for “Living for Love”, she includes a quote from Friedrich Nietzche – “Man is the cruelest animal. At tragedies, bullfights and crucifixions, he has felt best on earth.”

Far from being beautiful, bullfighting is brutal, barbaric and bloody.

Claiming the lives of thousands of bulls every year, it subjects each of its victims to the most horrific of suffering. Each bullfight involves the slow torture to death of six or more bulls and the terror starts behind the scenes, before the fight, when the bull is severely handicapped. Cotton wool is stuffed into its nose to hamper breathing, vaseline is smeared into its eyes to blur vision and its horns are often painfully filed down to distort its sense of direction.

The worst is yet to come however. Once in the arena, horseback riders weaken the bull by stabbing its neck and shoulders with long, sharp lances. Then, to make it lower its head into the typical charging pose, six hooked spears are forcefully driven into the bull’s neck muscles. The cruelty culminates with a fatal stabbing through the heart with a sword. Afterwards, the bull’s ears and tail are cut off and thrown to the crowd. Horses are also victims, often being gutted, gored and killed.


Join us in urging Madonna and B Akerlund to ditch the matador costumes and stop trivialising one of the world’s worst acts of animal cruelty.

Tweet to @Madonna @BAkerlund Ditch the matador costumes and stop trivialising one of the world’s worst acts of animal cruelty
Leave a comment on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/madonna

Former farm leader has cruelty sentence suspended

27 Feb

john deegan cruelty

Former farm leader has cruelty sentence suspended
RTE NEWS, 13 February 2015

The former head of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has had a jail sentence for animal cruelty suspended.

John Deegan Snr, from Shillelagh in Co Wicklow, had been sentenced to five months in prison last summer after pleading guilty to animal cruelty at his farm.

He appealed and today at Carlow Circuit Court the sentence increased from five to six months but was suspended on the basis that he looks after his animals properly.

Afterwards, Mr Deegan said he was happy to see the matter now concluded.

Barbara Bent of the ISPCA had described the cruelty as one of the worst cases she had seen in her 45 years involved in animal welfare.


Warning graphic content: Former farming leader jailed for “appalling” animal cruelty
Irish Independent, 26/07/2014
by Jim Cusack

John Deegan snr, 74, former president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, pleaded guilty at Carlow District Court to neglect of a large number of cattle, sheep, horses and donkeys on his farm in County Wicklow last year.

Some of the images of dead animals in possession of the Sunday Independent are too horrifying to be published.

The treatment of the animals was described as “appalling” by Judge Eamon O’Brien after he viewed pictures of emaciated animals and dire conditions on Deegan’s farm at Barnacashel, Crablane. He sentenced Deegan to five months’ imprisonment.

Garda Chris Murray gave evidence of the neglect of dozens of animals when he visited the farm with animal welfare officers last year.

Inspectors from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said after sentence it was one of the worst cases of farming cruelty they had ever dealt with.

Barbara Bent of the Society said: “Waterford SPCA received a call and visited the farm with Garda Murray on the 24th of April last year.

“There were some 75 horses, many pregnant and emaciated, some with last year’s foals in a most dreadfully poor state and two horses’ carcases were present, one of which was there quite a time.

“One tiny new pony foal was struggling to keep with its mum around what was an old jeep with hay in the back. Horses were clamouring over the rusty bonnet to get at the feed. We had to immediately remove this vulnerable little one to a safe place. There were also donkeys in urgent need of hoof care present.

“Further up the fields we found three dead sheep and then about ten more, hard to be accurate about numbers as the foxes had eaten them and also loads of bits and bones all over the place.

“The ten suckler cows present were very poor and grass was very scarce due to the farm being extremely over stocked. There was a downer cow, still alive in an old shed but in a bad way.

“At Mr Deegan’s second farm we were totally shocked at the condition of the suckler cows. They were in a most awful condition, emaciated, calving on slats with slurry underfoot, giving calves little chance of survival. We have never seen cows kept is such a state. It was unbelievable, totally unacceptable and we hope never to see animals in such conditions again.”

The ISPCA revisited the farm in May last year and found conditions had not improved.

Ms Bent said: “Many foals had been born and there was still far too many animals present, but on finding a ewe with a little lamb at foot and another dead one hanging out of her we made a great effort to catch both only to see Mr Deegan pick up the little lamb and fling it into the back of his van with such force we were speechless. Naturally it bleated in pain and struggled out towards the door only to be given the same treatment again, certainly not the behaviour of a ‘good shepherd’.”

Deegan was elected president of the 8,000-member ICSFA for a year’s term in March 2003. He previously served as Sheep Committee chairman and Leinster vice-president.

Deegan has some 300 acres of mostly hilly and reclaimed land. At the time the inspectors visited he had three expensive race horses which were in “top class” condition.

It is understood he is appealing the jail sentence.

Urge Loreto College to reject foxhunt’s fundraiser

25 Feb

loreto college petition

We would be grateful if you could sign and share this important petition




Email “Loreto College – Please reject cruel foxhunt’s fundraiser” to loretooffice@eircom.net or phone +353 (0} 44 93 42055.

Suggest a readathon as an appropriate fund-raiser for the school’s library.

Companies asked to stop selling bullfighting tickets

25 Feb

Companies helping to keep Spain’s blood-stained bullrings in business by selling bullfight tickets are being urged to disassociate from the bloodsport. Ticketmaster, supermarket chain Carrefour and department store group El Corte Ingles are being asked to stop profiting from the brutal torture of bulls.


Please ask Ticketmaster, Carrefour and El Corte Ingles to show compassion for the tortured bulls and stop selling bullfighting tickets.

Sign and share our petition and get in touch with the companies using the contact details below.

Petition: https://www.change.org/p/ticketmaster-carrefour-el-corte-ingles-stop-selling-bullfight-tickets


Email: clientes@elcorteingles.es,servicio_clientes@elcorteingles.es
Leave a comment Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elcorteingles?v=wall
Send a tweet to @elcorteingles


Email: michaelrapino@livenation.com (Michael Rapino, CEO, Live Nation Entertainment) Or email from: http://ticketmasterus.custhelp.com/app/askNoTabs
Leave a comment Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Ticketmaster
Send a tweet to @Ticketmaster @TicketmasterES


Mr Georges Plassat
CEO, Carrefour
Email: georges_plassat@carrefour.com
Leave a comment Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carrefour
Send a tweet to @CarrefourES @GroupeCarrefour Por favor, dejar de vender boletos corrida #Crueldad

10 Reasons to Keep Hunters Off Your Land

25 Feb

1 Hunters, whether on foot or horseback, are a major threat to the biosecurity of your farm. Dozens of farms may be crossed during the course of a hunt. Diseases can be carried long distances on the clothing and footwear of hunters, on horses’ hooves, on the hounds and on hunt vehicles.

2 Hunts scatter sheep and cows when they come through your farm with their horses and hounds. The result can be stressed animals, miscarriages, injuries and death. Fields of crops are also at risk.

3 If hunters have no insurance or insufficient insurance, you may be held liable for injuries they sustain while on your property. Saying yes to hunters could prove extremely costly.

4 When horseback hunters plough through your farm boundaries, or leave gates opened behind them, the result may be livestock escaping into neighbouring farms or on to public roads.

5 Pastures are very vulnerable to poaching and not just when they are wet. According to an article in the Irish Farmers’ Journal, “plots that had been severely damaged in the autumn produced over 70 per cent less grass the following spring compared to plots that were not damaged.”

6 Wildlife experts, the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, all agree that foxes do not pose a significant threat to farming interests. The major threat comes from the hunters who get their kicks from chasing and killing wildlife on your property. Most farmers recognise the fox as a friend who helps keep down the numbers of rabbits and rodents.

7 Farm dogs and pets are at risk during hunts. Among the victims are a sheep dog in Galway which suffered injuries to its hind quarters, back and paws after being attacked by a pack of foxhounds. Beloved farm pets have also been attacked by hounds and ripped apart.

8 Hunts pose a risk to children on your farm. In 2009, the Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Family and Child Protection called on the Minister for Agriculture to ban hunting with hounds. Referring to hound attacks on pets and public fears for child safety, Kathy Sinnott, MEP said she was “greatly concerned that, if action is not taken, such attacks could result in the death of a child.”

9 Hunters are responsible for horrific cruelty to animals. Foxes, hares and rabbits are chased to exhaustion and ripped apart. Foxes that try to escape underground are dug out and thrown to the hounds. The use of ferrets can leave rabbits blinded and mauled before they’re killed.

10 Struggling farmers are exploited by wealthy, money-grabbing hunters. Did you know that hunts charge participants up to 150 Euro each for a day’s hunting. They take the financial benefits while you endure the risks to your livelihood. Please read on to find out how to make your land off-limits to hunters.

How to keep hunters off your land

In advance of the hunt season, send a warning-off letter by registered post to all hunt masters in your area. You may also wish to put a notice in your local newspaper to highlight that your land is strictly off-limits. These are both optional – hunters have no right to enter lands without permission and it is unacceptable for them to claim that they didn’t know that your lands are private and preserved.

Immediately contact the Gardai if members or followers of the hunt trespass on your land. Under the Control of Dogs Act, dogs must be kept “under effectual control” so if hunt hounds come on to property where they do not have permission to be, the Gardai should be notified. Try and take photos or video footage as evidence.

Contact the Gardai also if there is a breach of Section 44 of the Wildlife Act. This makes it an offence for any person who is not the owner or occupier of land to carry onto that land, without permission, any firearm, net, or other weapon, instrument or device capable of being used for hunting a wild bird or a wild animal.

If trespass occurs, ascertain the name of the hunt and the person in charge. Have the damage independently assessed and contact your solicitor with a view to seeking compensation. Avoid accepting an informal apology from the hunt or “off the record” payment as this is unlikely to stop further trespass.


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