Ireland’s new Deputy PM and Culture Minister support bloodsports

21 Dec

Ireland’s new Deputy Prime Minister, Simon Coveney, has shamefully participated in foxhunting, voted against a ban on hare coursing, refused to outlaw the digging-out of animals despite acknowledging that it involves “undue cruelty” and also dismissed calls for a ban on cruel fur farming, saying “we will not ban it”. In the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, Coveney included specific exemptions for foxhunting and hare coursing to allow both activities to continue despite the appalling cruelty involved.

Meanwhile, the new Arts and Heritage Minister, Josepha Madigan (who replaces Heather Humphreys TD) is on record as saying that hare coursing is “an integral part of the sporting year” and that a ban on the cruel bloodsport would have a “detrimental impact on rural Ireland”. This despite receiving an ICABS report which detailed the hare injuries and deaths caused by coursing.

See relevant quotes below.

ACTION ALERT

Please join us in contacting both politicians now to demand a ban on foxhunting, hare coursing, digging-out and fur farming.

Simon Coveney TD
Tanaiste/Deputy Prime Minister
Phone: +353 (0)1 408 2000
Email: simon.coveney@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @simoncoveney
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SimonCoveney

Josepha Madigan TD
Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Phone: +353 (0)1 631 3800
Email: josepha.madigan@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @josephamadigan

 

ANIMAL QUOTES: Simon Coveney and Josepha Madigan

Simon Coveney TD (Fine Gael, Cork South Central):
In June 2016, Simon Coveney was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In February 2015, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney admitted that he has participated in the shameful bloodsport of foxhunting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SEDI-fYX3Y During a Dail in which he defended the cruel activity, Simon Coveney revealed: “I have hunted”. Despite acknowledging that he is “sure” that foxes get pulled apart by packs of hounds during foxhunts, he refused to ban the activity. “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.

“For the sake of clarity, this section does not apply to activity occurring during the normal course of hunting, fishing or coursing…We have done a separate review on fur farming, the details of which I can give to the Deputy. We will not ban it…” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 19th, 2012.

“It is not appropriate to simply outlaw hare coursing and hunting when they are pursued according to the codes of conduct drawn up by clubs. Considerable numbers of people are passionate about these pursuits and my job is to ensure that standards are met rather than simply outlawing practices.” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage, Dail Eireann, September 20th, 2012.

“We went to great lengths to ensure we were not doing anything that would prevent people from continuing to participate in field sports as they would have in the past, as long as that is in a way that is consistent with the codes of conduct enshrined in those sports, including coursing, hunting and fishing. The measure applies only if there is undue cruelty such as the digging out of animals when they have gone to ground, which is unacceptable. In the legislation I am not banning coursing and hunting through the back door. We are trying to get the balance right between facilitating field sports and ensuring the codes of practice agreed for those sports are respected. If people begin to operate outside these codes, that is a different issue.” Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael) Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage, 22 May 2012 Watch on Youtube

“I have probably answered Deputy Colreavy’s arguments on whether fur-farming and coursing are absolutely necessary. They are not. When something is not necessary for people to live and eat, it is a judgment call whether that means one should ban activities such as coursing and fur-farming, whether or not one likes them. It is my judgment that we should regulate rather than ban them.” Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012: Committee Stage (Resumed) (Continued), 22 November 2012

“I am trying to get balanced legislation that takes account of farming and hunting practices in a reasonable way, but also provides appropriate protection for animals to ensure that we do not have either wanton or accidental cruelty because neither is acceptable.” Dail Eireann Questions and Answers, 10th May 2012

 

Josepha Madigan TD (Fine Gael, Dublin Rathdown)
In June 2016, Josepha Madigan was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, voted in favour of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2016 which granted €80 million of taxpayers’ money to the horse and greyhound racing industries.

In an email to a constituent ahead of June 2016’s Dail Eireann vote on the bill to ban coursing, Josepha Madigan claimed that hare coursing is “an integral part of the sporting year” and that a ban on the cruel bloodsport would have a “detrimental impact on rural Ireland”. Despite having received an ICABS report which details the hare injuries and deaths caused by coursing, the Dublin Rathdown politician also made the outrageous claim that the monitoring of coursing meetings by National Parks and Wildlife Service staff “has proved effective in ensuring that the welfare of the hare is protected”. Our report detailed hares hit, mauled, injured and killed by greyhounds on coursing fields around the country. It also includes information on hares injured so severely, they had to be treated or put to sleep by vets. Read Josepha Madigan’s full statement at http://www.banbloodsports.com/ln160909.htm

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