Welcome to Ireland – The land of a thousand cruelties

18 Nov
Letter to the Editor in the Irish Indpendent highlights Ireland’s animal cruelty crisis.
 
Welcome to Ireland – The land of a thousand cruelties
Irish Independent, 18th November 2016
 
The seizure of almost 100 puppies in the UK that had been illegally shipped from Ireland again focuses attention on the sickening trade in ‘designer dogs’.
 
Not that it surprises me in the least that Ireland has earned the reputation among animal welfare groups of being the puppy farming capital of Europe.
 
We have a serious credibility problem as a nation when it comes to humane treatment of animals.
 
Yes, we have an animal welfare act, but a badly drafted one that has proved inadequate in tackling a whole range of issues: puppy farming thrives, availing of gaping loopholes in the act; feral cats have virtually no legal protection; badgers are snared and killed openly despite their “protected” status; and the legislation specifically exempts hare coursing from prohibition.
 
Instead of protecting hares – gentle, inoffensive creatures – from a practice banned in many jurisdictions, it protects the “sporting interests” of coursing clubs.
 
Whether it’s subjecting innocent puppies to the misery of vile breeding establishments or having hares mauled, terrorised and tossed about like broken toys, we seem to excel at turning sentient beings into tortured, traumatised or dead ones in the name of fun and greed.
 
It’s a wonder we don’t have a special government department or semi-state agency selling our contempt for animal welfare as a tourist attraction.
 
The slogan could be: Welcome to Ireland – The land of a thousand cruelties.
 
John Fitzgerald
Callan, Co Kilkenny
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