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Ladies football club urged to scrap greyhound track fundraiser

19 Apr

galway ladies gaelic football club greyhound fundraiser may 2017.jpg

A ladies football team in Galway is being urged to show compassion for dogs and scrap an upcoming fundraiser at a greyhound track.

Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club says it is “looking forward to” a Night at the Dogs fundraiser on May 6th.

In a letter to the club, the Irish Council Against Bloodsports said it was inappropriate to expose youngsters  to a gambling venue and to an industry which involves animal cruelty and killing.

We referred to an RTE Prime Time report – https://youtu.be/PIUkAGa708s – earlier last month in which chairperson of Limerick Animal Welfare, Marion Fitzgibbon conveyed some of the greyhound industry’s horrors. She stated: “We believe there are probably 10,000 greyhounds put to sleep every year. They can be killed in all sorts of fashions. We’ve had so many instances of finding them shot, ears cut off, drowned.”

According to the Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland, greyhounds are expected to live to 14 years on average but in the greyhound industry, the lifespan is just 3-4 years. Many of these dogs are either euthanised, abandoned or end up in local authority pounds. GRAI also notes that in 2014, it was reported that there were 717 injuries to greyhounds, arising from dogs skidding and crashing on the surfaces of tracks, and that that 3-4 dogs are euthanised at each operational racing track every Saturday.

While we understand the importance of fund-raising to sports clubs, we are asking Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club to consider the plight of thousands of dogs and choose an alternative method of raising funds. Fundraisers at greyhound tracks are helping to keep this cruel industry alive, because the track takes a significant commission and also profits from food and drink sales on the day.

Once again, we same shame on the Irish Government for handing over a quarter of a billion euros of public funds to greyhound racing over the past 16 years, while genuine sports clubs around Ireland struggle for funds. Funding for the collapsing greyhound industry saw an increase in 2017 while funding for sports was cut.

ACTION ALERTS

Contact Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club and politely ask them to stop fundraising at a greyhound track and choose fundraisers that don’t involve exploitation of animals.

Chairman Paul Gannon
Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Club
Email: treasurer.galway@lgfa.ie
Comment on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/galwaylgfa/
Tweet to @GalwayLgfa

Please sign and share the petitions

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
https://www.change.org/p/irish-government-stop-giving-millions-of-euro-to-cruel-greyhound-industry

Stop sponsoring cruel greyhound racing
https://www.change.org/p/stop-sponsoring-cruel-greyhound-racing

Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the cruel greyhound industry).

Urge the government to stop wasting precious funds on this cruel and collapsing industry and instead give the money to schools, health groups and sports clubs. Email “Stop funding the greyhound industry” to michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, michael.creed@oir.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie

Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance
Email: michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to @creedcnw

Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Email: andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to @ADoyleTD

Contact your TDs and urge them to stop using scarce public money to fund gambling industries. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses 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: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

Irish Greyhound Board chairman in photo next to handler banned for blooding

14 Apr

sporting press crop chirs connolly.jpg

A man banned from greyhound racing in Australia after he was filmed at a “barbaric and inhumane” live animal baiting session appears on the front page of this week’s Sporting Press newspaper alongside Irish Greyhound Board chairman, Phil Meaney.

Chris Connolly, who was disqualified in Victoria until 2020, is photographed with a greyhound who won a race at Limerick greyhound stadium last weekend. Also in the photo with Connolly and the IGB Chairman is JP McManus who sponsored the race.

Footage of the horrific greyhound blooding was broadcast on RTE’s Prime Time last month. It showed greyhound handler Chris Connolly (then 21 years old) with a “greyhound trainer of the year”, Darren McDonald, at an animal baiting session. The November 2014 undercover footage, originally aired on Australian investigative news programme Four Corners, captured the moment the men remove muzzles from two greyhounds before the dogs proceed to attack a piglet who had been tied down and pulled in front of them. The piglet’s screams of agony can be clearly heard.

As reported on the Greyhound Racing Victoria website on 12th June 2015, “The independent Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) heard the matter of Mr Christopher Connolly today. Greyhound Racing Victoria Stewards laid 6 charges against Mr Connolly in respect of allegations of live baiting at the Tooradin Trial Track on 18 November 2014. The charges were for serious offences contrary to Local Rule 18.5 and GAR 86(af). Mr Connolly did not appear before the RADB. Greyhound Racing Victoria understands that Mr Connolly returned to Ireland in February. Upon consideration of the matter and the submissions on behalf of the Stewards, the RADB found Mr Connolly guilty on all charges and imposed a penalty of life disqualification for the charges that Stewards sought a penalty on.”

At a hearing of the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal last May (2016) – Connolly V Greyhound Racing Victoria Stewards – this life disqualification was appealed. The outcome was that the life disqualification was reduced to “an order that the applicant [Connolly] be disqualified for a period of 10 years as from 13 February 2015 with five years of that period of disqualification to be suspended subject to the Applicant remaining of good behaviour during that total period of disqualification.” The effective period of disqualificaiton was set at 13th February 2015 until 12th February 2020.

In a document relating to the tribunal hearing, it is stated that “the practice of live baiting is understandably forbidden by the rules applicable in the greyhound racing industry. It is a practice which would be regarded as abhorrent by any right thinking member of our community.”

The tribunal noted details of the live baiting as follows: “[Greyhound trainer] McDonald produced a hessian bag containing a live piglet which he and Mills [who conducted the Tooradin Trial Track facility] then secured by leather straps to the greyhound lure device. The surveillance video showed the Applicant [Connolly] and McDonald to sequentially trial three pairs of greyhounds after the greyhound lure had been baited with the piglet. The surveillance video contained distressing material including audio where the piglet’s terrified squealing could clearly be heard. It was most distressing to view. I did not observe the Applicant at any stage handle the piglet or assist in it being secured to the lure.”

The tribunal heard that Chris Connolly “left home at age 16 to work full-time with Mr Pat Buckley of Tipperary, Ireland, a greyhound trainer.” He worked with Pat Buckley as an assistant trainer and in an affidavit, stated: “Pat Buckley has many top class and expensive racing greyhounds in his care.”

In the affidavit, Connolly went on to state: “I have been refused an International Kennel Handler’s Licence by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain which Pat Buckley applied for to enable me to travel with his dogs to England to contest in the English Derby. I understand the attitude of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain is that while I am banned in Australia I will be banned in Great Britain.”

In his findings, tribunal vice-president Judge Dyer concluded: “I do accept in this case, on the balance of probability, that the role played by the Applicant was a lesser one than that by McDonald and Mills. Nevertheless any involvement in such a barbaric and inhumane activity such as live animal baiting is abhorrent, vile and horrific. It is truly offending of a most serious nature.”

Judge Dyer went on to say that “the fact that no attempt was made by the Applicant [Connolly] to expose this appalling treatment of a sentient being, and no comment was offered to the Chief Steward when the Applicant was first approached, weighs against a finding that a person is expressing true remorse and contrition for their own participation. The Applicant’s involvement requires a harsh penalty and the concept of denunciation must be given much weight in indicating that conduct of this type involving the torture of a sentient being for the sake of potential financial gain will simply not be tolerated.”

In outlining the period of disqualification, Judge Dyer said that while the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to order disqualification or suspension from activities involved with greyhound racing conducted outside of the State of Victoria, “it is the intention of the Tribunal that the orders proposed by it should be acknowledged by the parties as expressing the firm intention of the Tribunal that the Applicant [Connolly] will not be involved professionally in the greyhound racing industry in other states of the Commonwealth of Australia or its territories where greyhound racing is legally conducted, nor within the United Kingdom, the member states of the European Union or the United States of America.”

The photograph of Chris Connolly in this week’s Sporting Press features a greyhound trained by the aforementioned Pat Buckley.

This is not the first time that Irish Greyhound Board chairman Phil Meaney has posed for a photograph alongside Chris Connolly. In June 2016 (the year after the live baiting scandal was first aired on Australian TV), both men appeared in a Kerryman newspaper photograph taken after a Boylesports-sponsored race.

According to the Irish Greyhound Board website, Christopher Connolly’s last recorded race as a greyhound owner was on 24th March 2017 when his greyhound, Ballymoney Lass (trained by Pat Buckley) finished second at Limerick greyhound track.

Political Focus: Joan Burton, TD (Labour Party, Dublin West)

29 Mar

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In June 2016, Joan Burton was among the 114 TDs who voted against Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan’s bill which sought to ban cruel hare coursing.

In December 2016, she 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 March 2013, Joan Burton voted against amendments to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to secure a ban on some of Ireland’s worst acts of cruelty to animals – foxhunting, hare coursing, digging out, terrierwork, ferreting, badger culling, fur farming and the use of animals in circuses.

“There are a range of occupations, including those in the hunt sports sector, that some people may find objectionable for one reason or another. Other examples include aspects of the meat or fishing industry, or those related to gambling. In these cases, as long as the occupation is valid, the activity is not illegal and the internship offered complies with the general terms and conditions of the JobBridge scheme, the Department cannot preclude it from availing of the JobBridge.” Minister Joan Burton, 22 March 2016, in response to Dail questions from Ruth Coppinger TD and Clare Daly TD calling from Joan Burton to stop foxhunts from using the JobBridge internship scheme.

ACTION ALERT

Contact Joan Burton TD and urge her to reconsider her stance on animal cruelty issues. Ask her to support future legislation which aims to ban foxhunting, hare coursing, fur farming, wild animal circuses, etc

Email: joan.burton@oireachtas.ie
Tel: 01 6184006
Tweet to @joanburton
Comment on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Burton/300073646806

Government prioritising horse and dog racing over ill children

27 Mar

Government prioritising horse and dog racing over ill children
Letter to the Editor, Irish Independent, Monday 27 March 2017

We have heard a lot lately about the heart-breaking plight of families battling the Government to secure funding for life-saving cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Distribution of the drug is delayed due to an annual cost of around €80m. This, coincidentally, is the exact amount paid out by the Government this year to horse and greyhound racing, bringing the total handed over in the past 15 years to more than €1bn.

As revealed recently in the Dáil, a significant portion of the horse racing grant goes into prize money for “very rich owners and trainers”, while the €16m for dog racing is propping up a cruel and collapsing industry which the public is overwhelmingly rejecting – evident in a 50pc drop in track attendance and a 58pc fall in sponsorship.

Claims that the industry deserves cash injections because of related jobs are being increasingly challenged, with one politician saying the employment figures are “such an over-estimate, it’s almost laughable”.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has declared that “the greyhound industry employs over 10,300 people” but this month, it emerged that in the Irish Greyhound Board, there is only 128 full-time staff.

In December, as cystic fibrosis patients waited, Health Minister Simon Harris was among the 105 TDs who approved the latest massive racing grants, prompting a distraught parent to ask if dog and horse races are more important than suffering children.

How obscene that politicians enthusiastically squander scarce public money on rotten racing industries, but when it comes to providing vital medication there is suddenly a focus on cost-effectiveness and getting value for taxpayers.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/government-prioritising-horse-and-dog-racing-over-ill-children-35567600.html

Revealed: number of people employed by Irish Greyhound Board

18 Mar

 

In December, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed claimed that the “greyhound industry employs over 10,300 people”.

The figure quoted at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine was ridiculed, with one politician describing it as “more than questionable” and “such a gross over-estimate that it’s almost laughable”.

This month, in response to a Dail question from Maureen O’Sullivan TD, Minister Creed revealed that the number of people actually employed by Bord na gCon/the Irish Greyhound Board is nowhere near 10,300 – https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2017-03-09a.68

“Bord na gCon has informed me that it currently directly employs 128 full time staff and approximately 720 part time staff,” Minister Creed stated.

Minister Creed – who has been involved in greyhound racing and hare coursing (co-owning a greyhound with other Fine Gael TDs) – had presented the 10,300 jobs figure in an attempt to justify the government’s major funding of the industry. This amounts to around a quarter of a billion euro since 2001, including €16 million for 2017.

The greyhound industry has experienced a 50 per cent fall in attendance and a 58 per cent drop in sponsorship over recent years. With the public and businesses rejecting dog racing, it is time for the government to stop squandering taxpayers’ money on what is clearly a dying industry. This latest jobs revelation will surely add to the already growing calls for an end to the government funding.

SEE ALSO – “Almost laughable”: Politicians doubt greyhound industry’s job claims

ACTION ALERT

Demand an end to the government’s funding of the greyhound industry. Greyhound racing should not be funded by the people of Ireland, the majority of whom have no interest in it and are rightly opposed to an industry in which dogs are injured, dumped and killed.

Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, michael.creed@oir.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie

Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance
Email: michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to @creedcnw

Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Email: andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to @ADoyleTD

Contact your TDs and urge them to stop the funding. Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses 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: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

_____________________________________

DAIL QUESTION – Thursday, 9 March 2017
_____________________________________

Maureen O’Sullivan TD (Dublin Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount of the loans, funding and-or payments paid out by Bord na gCon to the Irish Coursing Club or any of its affiliated coursing clubs; and the numbers employed in Bord na gCon and their roles. [12194/17]

Michael Creed TD (Cork North West, Fine Gael): Bord na gCon is a commercial State body, established in 1958, under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958, chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry.

Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Bord na gCon has informed me that there are no loans to or from the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) involving Bord na gCon.

Bord na gCon engages with the Sporting Press, which is a national publication for the wider greyhound industry published by the ICC, in placing advertisements in this paper. Bord na gCon also engages with the ICC in respect of DNA samples completed by the ICC on behalf of Bord na gCon plus inspection of meat feeder licenses completed by the ICC for Bord na gCon. The average value of these services would be circa €100,000 including VAT at 23%.

Bord na gCon has informed me that it currently directly employs 128 full time staff and approximately 720 part time staff.

 

Irish dog exported to China now dead

18 Mar

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One of the Irish greyhounds exported to a life of misery at Macau’s Canidrome racetrack has died. Birmingham Greyhound Protection is reporting that 2-year-old High Maintenance, who last raced in Tralee before being sent 10,000km to the infamous deathtrap track, is now dead.

In a Facebook post, Kerry Elliman of Birmingham Greyhound Protection wrote: “One of the Irish dogs sent to the Canidrome in Macau China has been killed. He was sent over there 12 months ago to a life of pure hell on earth. Truly devastating for this boy and all the others still stuck in this hell hole. Like every greyhound lover I’m heartbroken and cried and cried for him and others.”

According to the Irish Greyhound Board website, High Maintenance’s final race in Ireland was at Tralee racetrack on Saturday, 2nd April last year when he finished 5th in the “Jumbos Restaurant Listowel Stakes Semi-Final”. In video footage of the race, the commentator can be heard saying “[High Maintenance] is fading as they go towards the last couple of bends.” He faded from third to fifth and with winnings of “€0.00” on the day, his fate was sadly sealed.

He was one of at least nine Irish greyhounds shamefully sent from Ireland to Macau in 2016. The Irish Greyhound Board lists Wai Lok Chu as the owner of the dogs – Crossfield Simon, Crossfield Leona, Two Stone Tadgh, Ballinulty Show, Ballinulty Star, Crossfield Marie, High Maintenance, Milled Ash and Bellmore Belle. The IGB also listed Wai Lok Chu as the owner of an additional 20 Irish greyhounds whose locations are unknown.

The Canidrome has been condemned by international greyhound group, Grey2K, as the world’s deadliest, with a high level of fatalities on-track and merciless destruction of dogs who under-perform (believed to total 400 per year). According to Animals Australia, “Canidrome is ‘death row’ for greyhounds. Every dog there will be dead within 3 years. While alive, their lives are miserable. Minimal exercise, minimal social interaction and a tiny barren cell to live in.” As highlighted by ICABS last year, greyhounds routinely suffer horrific injuries at the track, including bite wounds, torn hip-supporting muscle, fractured paws, lame legs, swollen legs, inflamed joints, wounded tail, etc.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is renewing calls on the Irish Government to urgently put in place legislation to prevent any more Irish greyhounds being sent to Macau/China and for action to be taken to rescue and rehome the Irish greyhounds currently at the Canidrome track.

ACTION ALERT

Please join us in contacting Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie,taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1-6194020

Please sign and share the petitions

Stop export of Irish greyhounds to China
https://www.change.org/p/prime-minster-taoiseach-enda-kenney-stop-export-of-irish-greyhounds-to-china

Irish Government: Stop Funding Cruel Greyhound Racing Industry
https://www.change.org/p/taoiseach-enda-kenny-irish-government-stop-funding-cruel-greyhound-racing-industry

Shut down the Canidrome, the world’s deadliest greyhound racetrack
https://www.change.org/p/chief-executive-chui-sai-on-stop-hundreds-of-greyhounds-from-being-raced-to-death

Don’t attend greyhound races or community fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the greyhound industry).

The Irish government has handed over nearly a quarter of a billion euro of taxpayers’ money to the cruel greyhound industry since 2001, including €16 million for 2017. It’s time for this funding to stop. Greyhound racing should not be funded by the people of Ireland, the majority of whom have no interest in it and are rightly opposed to an industry in which dogs are injured, dumped, mutilated and killed. Please join us in urging the government to stop wasting precious funds on this dying industry.

Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry NOW” to michael.creed@oir.ie, michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie

Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance
Email: michael.noonan@oireachtas.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6764735

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie
Tweet to @EndaKennyTD

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelcreedtd
Tweet to @creedcnw

Andrew Doyle TD
Minister of State, Dept of Agriculture
Email: andrew.doyle@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to @ADoyleTD

Contact your TDs and urge them to stop using scarce public money to fund gambling industries.

Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses 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: +353 (0)1-618 3000 or 1890 337 889. Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

Clonmel Park Hotel slammed for supporting cruel hare coursing

18 Mar

Clonmel Park Hotel “welcomes all visitors to the national hare coursing meeting 2017”. SHAME on Clonmel Park Hotel for disregarding the suffering of hares and profiting from an animal cruelty event.

The hotel which describes hare coursing as a sport and those involved as “sports people”, has a full page advert in the booklet for the Clonmel coursing meeting at which hares are being forced to run for their lives in front of dogs. The hotel’s ad conveys a welcome to the coursers and announces that a coursing video is shown daily at the hotel.

One of the hares who suffered at the cruelty festival was filmed by RTE TV being repeatedly hit and mauled by dogs. See video footage below.

 

ACTION ALERT

Make a complaint to Clonmel Park Hotel. If its support for coursing would make you choose an alternative hotel, make this clear in your correspondence.

Clonmel Park Hotel,
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tel: +353 (0)52 61 88 700
Email: info@clonmelparkhotel.com
Leave a comment on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/clonmelparkhotel
Tweet to: @ClonmelPark
TripAdvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ie/Hotel_Review-g212095-d619338-Reviews-Clonmel_Park_Conference_Leisure_Hotel-Clonmel_County_Tipperary.html