Stop the export of Irish greyhounds to China: Join the demo on Wednesday 4th May

29 Apr


The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is holding a peaceful demonstration outside the Department of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin, on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 from 12.30 to 2.30pm. The demo is to highlight the horrific export of Irish racing greyhounds to China’s infamous Canidrome track at Macau, where more than 30 dogs are killed monthly, according to animal rights activists on the ground there.

The Department of Agriculture vetoed the export of racing greyhounds to China in 2011, citing concerns about welfare standards there, but now in 2016, they are seemingly turning a blind eye, stating there is “no ban on the export of greyhounds to China”.

Please join us to send a strong message to the acting Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, that this is totally unacceptable and that he must move to immediately call a halt to this trade in misery.


Location: Outside the Department of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin
Date: Wednesday, May 4th
Time: 12.30 to 2.30pm
Let us know you’ll be there on our Facebook Event Page


Download Protest Posters

Death row for Irish greyhounds send to China colour
Death row for Irish greyhounds send to China (Black and Red)
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Death row for Irish greyhounds send to China (Black and White)
Death row for Irish greyhounds send to China (Black and White)
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Stop the export of Irish greyhounds to Chinese hellhole colour.jpg
Stop the export of Irish greyhounds to Chinese hellhole (Colour)

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Stop the export of Irish greyhounds to Chinese hellhole
Stop the export of Irish greyhounds to Chinese hellhole (Black and White)

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We are in Macau and we do not want any more greyhounds.jpg
We are in Macau and we do not want any more greyhounds

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China's Canidrome is death row for Irish greyhounds.jpg
China’s Canidrome is death row for Irish greyhounds

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Padraic Pearse would ban hare coursing

27 Mar


In this the year of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the government should honour the names of Padraic and Willie Pearse by bringing an end to this cruel abuse of timid, vulnerable hares by outlawing live hare coursing. In a letter written by Padraic Pearse’s sister, Senator Margaret Pearse, to actor John Cowley (aka Tom Riordan) in 1967, she stated about her brothers, Padraic and Willie: “I am certain that were they alive today, they would be foremost in condemning coursing for the sadistic spectacle it is.”

Senator Margaret Pearse, then 89, and writing from Linden Convalescent Home in Blackrock, said that both brothers, Padraic and Willie, “would have been totally opposed to the inhuman treatment meted out to the innocent little hares at the coursing matches. At all times during their lives, they were kind to dumb animals and Padraic’s writings give many instances of his love for animals and birds.”

It is 50 years since that letter was written, and our government continues to turn a blind eye to the cruelty that Padraic and Willie Pearse and their sister Senator Margaret Pearse would have wanted to see outlawed. If the government wants to pay any kind of meaningful homage to our 1916 patriots, they should, as a mark of real respect, banish hare coursing and indeed all bloodsports from these shores.


Sign the “Ban Blood Sports in Ireland” petition

Contact all your local TDs and urge them to push for a ban on foxhunting and hare coursing. Find out their names and contact details at

Support our campaign with a donation

Portuguese bullfighting “a sad and outdated custom”

23 Mar


“A sad and outdated custom devoid of valour” – a travel writer’s assessment of bullfighting after a recent visit to an Algarve bullring.

In an article posted last month on, Sasha Wood condemned the cruel activity as a “brutal spectacle”.

“My encounter with Portuguese bullfighting was memorable for all the wrong reasons,” she wrote. “Having given El Toro a miss in Seville and in a misguided effort to understand the spectacle much loved by macho Hemingway, I accepted an invitation to the Portuguese version while I was in Albufeira. It was in a fairly large bullring encircled with concrete tiers raised above the pit that felt a bit like the dusty amphitheatre of an ancient Roman outpost. Indeed, what I found was a sad and outdated custom devoid of valour that reminded me of the final scenes in the film Gladiator when the cowardly emperor secretly stabs a defenceless Maximus before they publicly duel.”

Sasha continued: “Matadors mounted on horses chased the bull about the ring and stabbed short spears decorated in streamers into its hind quarters until the bull was in no shape to pose any threat. Only then did the matadors enter the ring on foot and tease him with red rags. On this occasion, the bull did manage to toss a matador into the air on his stumpy horns, and I felt a slight sense of triumph. But realising how at odds I was with this brutal spectacle, I decided to leave.”

You can read Sasha’s full report at

Witness the cruelty of Portugal’s bullfighting in this 1 minute video

If visiting Portugal, Spain, France or other countries that allow bullfighting, please boycott the bullrings.

Family resource group urged to reject donations from foxhunters

23 Mar

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is appealing to Westmeath Family Resource Centre, Cara Phort, to reject donations from foxhunters.

A photograph published in the Westmeath Examiner shows a Cara Phort representative accepting a cheque for €395.45 from members of Westmeath foxhunt. According to the photo caption, “Cara Phort is grateful to Westmeath Foxhounds for this donation.”

The money was raised at a foxhunt at the end of February. A notice posted on the hunt’s Facebook page stated: “Tomorrow’s closing meet at Ballymore gives our members one last shot to put their mark on Westmeath turf and make a final bid for the Westmeath Hunt Slippery Saddle Trophy, kindly sponsored by Genesis Pewter Mullingar. This year’s chosen charity is the Cara Phort Family Resource Centre.”

Cara Phort is one of a network of family resource centres “delivering universal services to families in disadvantaged areas across the country” and working to “combat disadvantage and improve the functioning of the family unit”. Last year, it was allocated €84,910 in funds by the state’s Child and Family Agency.

We are urging Cara Phort to show compassion and disassociate from foxhunters. We are bringing to its attention some of the documented instances of Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty (see below). We are also highlighting a disturbing Westmeath foxhunt video – – in which a hunter can be heard calling his horse a c*** while another can be seen whipping her horse 5 times in quick succession (see 03:00 minute mark).


Please join us in appealing to Cara Phort to show compassion for Irish wildlife and reject donations from foxhunters.

Cara Phort Family Resource Centre
Harbour St
Co Westmeath
Tel: (044) 937 3060

Westmeath Foxhunt cruelty

A 2011 Farmers’ Journal hunting report told of how sixteen mounted followers of the Westmeath hunt, along with 29 hounds, found a fox that was caught and “chopped.” Later on, another fox was “overhauled before he managed to put any distance between himself and them.” Both “chopped” and “overhauled,” in hunting terminology, mean that the fox was caught by the hounds and brutally killed.

In 2007, there was a probe into allegations that a rope was tied to the leg of a fox and that it was pulled out of a burrow and fed alive to the dogs – See Irish Independent report –

A 2008 Irish Field report revealed that the Westmeath Hunt’s hounds chased a fox into the freezing water of the Royal canal and along its banks – the fox and the pack swam across the canal and continued along the banks to the Mullingar/Ballynacargy Road…the fox, with four and a half couple (9 hounds) in pursuit, then swam the canal again before retracing their steps back to Newman’s Bog.” Following complaints, Waterways Ireland moved to contact the hunt and tell them to keep away from the Royal Canal.

The Irish Field of December 1991 documented the obscene ritual of cutting off the tails and tongues of foxes – “Terriers were some time in coming as car followers were the wrong side of the wind for hearing. A quick dig followed and two foxes were dispatched. Eamon had a brush for Clarissa and a fox’s tongue which he intends pickling in vinegar to cure warts and draw thorns.” (Westmeath Foxhounds, Hunt Report)

Cruelty of bloodsports must be recognised

22 Mar

Letter to the Editor in the Irish Examiner

Cruelty of bloodsports must be recognised
Irish Examiner, March 21, 2016

Disturbing photos have surfaced this month which show the desperate measures Irish wildlife is forced to take during hunts.

In the images posted online, a pursued fox can be seen leaping from the bank of a river before falling into the water and splashing towards the opposite shore. Hunt supporters expressed disappointment that death had been delayed for this terrorised creature, with comments including “a shotgun would sort him out”.

It is not known what became of this particular fox after he pulled his drenched body from the river and resumed his frantic run.

Typically, foxes are relentlessly chased until exhaustion slows them down and allows the pack of hounds to close in and attack.

The next government must recognise the cruelty of bloodsports and the damage they do to the country’s image. A ban is long overdue.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports
Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Drag-hunting would save foxes and farmers

22 Mar

Letter to the Editor in the Irish Examiner

Drag-hunting would save foxes and farmers
Irish Examiner, March 22, 2016

Another fox-hunting season has ended and, apart from the suffering inflicted on these beautiful wild dogs, hunts have also been cruel to farmers. The tally-ho brigades continue to encroach on lands that host expensive farm enterprises. Many farmers are eking out a livelihood, and few of them can afford to allow this indiscriminate vandalism of their property.

The excuse offered by hunts is that they merely follow in the fox’s footsteps, and go in the direction of wherever the fox happens to run. A way of avoiding these devastating attacks on farmers would be a switch to drag-hunting.

In addition to providing a humane alternative to the hounding and disembowelling of foxes, this would also enable hunts to avoid lands off-limits by laying a false scent, or trail, accordingly. The hunters could then freely ‘ride to hounds’ without causing havoc to farmers.

John Fitzgerald
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports
Callan, Co Kilkenny

Dept of Social Protection refusing to withdraw foxhunt internship

9 Mar

dept of social protection refusing to withdraw foxhunt internship copy


The Department of Social Protection is disgracefully refusing to withdraw a foxhunting internship.

The Department’s JobBridge scheme is currently offering an internship for a “whipper-in” with the Waterford Hunt. During foxhunting activities, a whipper-in assists the huntsman with the pack of hounds released to chase, catch and tear a fox apart.

Responding to an appeal in which we highlighted the obscene cruelty of foxhunting in Ireland, a Department of Social Protection spokesperson defended JobBridge as enabling jobseekers to “improve their employment prospects by providing them with the opportunity to develop skills”.

In a letter to ICABS today, the Department’s Moyra Carey said: “There are a range of occupations that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another. The Department does not act as an arbiter in these cases, but does, of course, make every effort to ensure that all internships comply with the Terms and Conditions of the scheme and all relevant legislation.”

“The Department does not comment on individual host organisations or internships,” she added. “The purpose of the JobBridge scheme is to assist unemployed people to improve their employment prospects by providing them with the opportunity to develop skills and gain some experience in a working environment – in essence to break the cycle of ‘no experience, no work; no work, no experience’. The scheme is entirely voluntary and is dependent on host organisations providing opportunities that jobseekers feel will enhance their ability to secure a job. The range of potential internships is wide to reflect the diverse skills-base and interests of jobseekers.”

Many citizens will be astounded and appalled that their hard-earned tax euros are going to fund foxhunting, which involves hounding a fox for hours across countryside. If the fox is caught overground, it is torn apart by the pack, and if it does manage to go to earth, terriermen will dig it out, using terriers to fight the fox underground, resulting in horrific injuries to both dog and fox.

It is outrageous that the Department of Social Protection is subsidising animal cruelty. We are calling on the acting Minister for Social Welfare, Joan Burton, to intervene to have Waterford Foxhounds excluded from the JobBridge scheme. By approving the Waterford Foxhounds for the scheme, Social Protection are in effect condoning and promoting the barbaric bloodsport of foxhunting, and encouraging an unemployed person to become immersed in animal cruelty.

According to the description on the JobBridge website: “The intern will gain practical experience in all aspects of venery, hound management, horse management, country preservation and preparation and veterinary care. The intern will receive formal/informal training in the following hound management, whipping in, etiquette. On completion the intern will have attained skills in whipping in and will be positioned well to take up a position in hunt service as a whipper in and continue their training to take up the role of a professional huntsman…Skills Requirements: Appititude [sic] to learn, a passion for hounds and strong horseman skills.”


Please sign and share our petition

Department of Social Protection – Stop offering foxhunting internships

Tell Joan Burton and the Department of Social Protection to immediately exclude animal cruelty groups from its JobBridge scheme.

Email “JobBridge – Stop offering foxhunting internship” to,,,

Phone Joan Burton’s office: 01-6184006 (Dail)

Tweet @welfare_ie



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