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Irish taxpayers funding foxhunt events

1 Dec

taxpayers funding foxhunt events

Two weeks after claiming that foxhunters don’t get any money from his Department, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has admitted that hunts are this year benefiting by over 2 MILLION EURO in funding from Horse Racing Ireland – a body financed by his Department. The hunts are using the massive handouts of taxpayers’ cash to run point-to-point race meetings and as prize money for races.

After the Irish Council Against Blood Sports highlighted last month that the Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association was stating on its website that the Department of Agriculture was one of its “Partners”, TDs Clare Daly and Tommy Broughan questioned Minister Creed about this partnership.

In reply to their 14th November questions, Minister Creed said: “My Department does not provide any financial support to the organisation in question. Nor does my Department have any partnership arrangement with the organisation.”

However, in a follow-up Dail Question answered yesterday, 30 November, Minister Creed confirmed that foxhunts are indeed benefiting from money paid out by the Department of Agriculture.

The hunts are receiving the payouts from Horse Racing Ireland which gets millions every year from the Department of Agriculture. Since 2001, HRI has been given €894 million of taxpayers’ money, including €64 million for this year. And Minister Creed is poised to hand over an additional €64 million for 2018.

In his reply to Clare Daly TD, the Minister outlined the true extent of funding making its way into the hands of hunts for their point-to-point races.

“Horse Racing Ireland provides funding annually to point to point racing of circa €2.1 million which comprises grants to hunt clubs to assist with the cost of staging these meetings (€678,000), grants for prize money at Point to Points (€688,000) and grants to the INHS [Irish National Hunt Steeplechase] Committee of the Turf Club to cover the regulation of Point to Points (€714,000),” Minister Creed stated.

Asked about “his views on the fact that public funds are channelled to hunt clubs via Horse Racing Ireland to meet the cost of providing doctors at each point to point – a cost which was previously borne by point to point organisers”, Minister Creed replied: “From 2017, the funding provided to the Turf Club / INHS Committee for Point to Points includes the cost of providing one suitably qualified medical officer at every Point to Point. This is to ensure that the appropriate level of care and attention is available for riders in the event of injury.”

On the Horse Racing Ireland website, fox hunts are invited to apply for “Point-to-Point Grant Payments” – “In order for a hunt to receive payment, they must follow the conditions/requirements and complete the grant application form.” Earlier this year, Horse Racing Ireland announced details of a major funding increase for point to points. “Recognising the difficulties faced by the handlers and hunt clubs, we have significantly increased our allocation to the point-to-point sector in further support of the grassroots of the industry,” HRI said in a statement. “In conjunction with the INHS Committee, there will be a significant increase in funding for point-to-point racing of €728,000 giving a total allocation of €2.2 million including integrity costs of €745,000. Grants for hunts staging point-to-points will increase by €2,000 to €6,500 per meeting and minimum prize-money for races other than four-year-old and five-year-old maidens will increase from €800 to €1,200 per race.”

It is an absolute outrage that the government is channelling scarce public funds into the hands of hunters, and entirely galling that while sick and infirm citizens are languishing on waiting lists for vital treatment, these hunts have the exclusive benefit of paid-for doctors at their races. These racing events are a major fundraiser for foxhunting. The money from the Department of Agriculture/Horse Racing Ireland is effectively propping up many hunts and supporting what is one of the country’s worst forms of cruelty to animals. In foxhunting, foxes are pursued by a pack of hounds and chased to exhaustion. When caught, the foxes are knocked to the ground, bitten, disembowelled and pulled apart. Foxes who try to find refuge underground are pursued by hunt terriers, dug out of the ground and thrown to the pack of hounds. See video at http://banbloodsports.com/camp-fh.htm

Instead of giving financial support to foxhunts, the government should be outlawing this shameful activity.

ACTION ALERT

Politicians are poised to hand over another €64 million in funding to Horse Racing Ireland and €16 million to the Irish Greyhound Board for 2018. This month, TDs will have an opportunity to vote on the payment of this latest grant via the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2017. It is vital that you contact your local TDs and demand that they vote against this outrageous funding.

Find TD names and contact details at http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem

Contact Minister Michael Creed and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and demand an end to the funding and an immediate ban on foxhunting.

Telephone: +353 (0)1-6072000 (Michael Creed)
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020 (Leo Varadkar)
Email: michael.creed@oir.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie, simon.coveney@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @creedcnw @campaignforLeo
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Dail Questions – Answered on 30 November, 2017

QUESTION 178: To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine further to parliamentary question numbers 354 and 359 of 14 November 2017, his views on the fact that public funds are channelled to hunt clubs via Horse Racing Ireland’s point to point grants in view of the fact that Horse Racing Ireland receives public funding through the Horse and Greyhound fund administered by his department. – Clare Daly T.D.

QUESTION 179: To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine his views on the fact that public funds are channelled to hunt clubs via Horse Racing Ireland to meet the cost of providing doctors at each point to point a cost which was previously borne by point to point organisers. – Clare Daly T.D.

REPLY

Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine Michael Creed: Horse Racing Ireland is a commercial state body responsible for the overall administration, promotion and development of the horse racing industry. The Point to Point sector is the backbone of national hunt racing in Ireland and acts as a nursery for the development of horses, riders and trainers.

Approximately 115 Point to Points are staged annually throughout the island of Ireland and these are organised and run by hunt clubs. They are community based events with much voluntary input going into the staging of the meetings. While they have less formality than on track racing, Point to Points are highly competitive and serve as an important shop window for trade in national hunt horses. In particular they are a strong source of equine exports to Great Britain.

Horse Racing Ireland provides funding annually to Point to Point racing of circa €2.1m which comprises grants to Hunt Clubs to assist with the cost of staging these meetings (€678k), grants for prize money at Point to Points (€688k) and grants to the INHS Committee of the Turf Club to cover the regulation of Point to Points (€714k).

The recently published Deloitte Report estimated the expenditure associated with Point to Points at circa €37m per annum and that during the 2015 / 2016 racing season in Ireland and Britain, 1,127 races were won by graduates of the Irish Point to Point sector.

From 2017, the funding provided to the Turf Club / INHS Committee for Point to Points includes the cost of providing one suitably qualified medical officer at every Point to Point. This is to ensure that the appropriate level of care and attention is available for riders in the event of injury.

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Crover House Hotel in Cavan sponsoring cruel hare coursing

28 Nov

Crover House Hotel in Cavan is shamefully sponsoring cruel hare coursing.

The booklet for this month’s Cavan coursing meeting shows that the hotel “kindly sponsored” the “Derby Trial Stake”.

The hotel also later hosted presentations to owners of winning dogs. A notice in the booklet stated: “For presentations after coursing join us in Crover House Hotel”.

See the latest ICABS footage exposing coursing cruelty


ACTION ALERT

Contact Crover House Hotel and urge them to stop sponsoring cruel coursing.

Crover House Hotel
Lough Sheelin, Co. Cavan.
Tel: +353 (0)49 854 0206
Email: reservations@croverhousehotel.ie
Leave a comment on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/croverhousehotel/

Greyhounds not quick enough to win races are killed

26 Nov

 

In the cruel greyhound racing industry, dogs not quick enough to win are KILLED. This includes greyhounds being shot dead. Greyhound racing has been condemned as the only racing with a “finishing gun”. Don’t support this deplorable industry. Don’t go greyhound racing.

THE SHAMEFUL SHOOTING OF DOGS IN THE GREYHOUND RACING INDUSTRY…

“I’ve seen dogs being shot. It has to be done as there’s too many of them to rehome” – Irish greyhound trainer.

“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.” Limerick Animal Welfare’s Marion Fitzgibbon in an interview on RTE’s Prime Time, March 2017

“We do know that there are people who are getting rid of their dogs, who are shooting their dogs, who are using bolt guns, who are selling their dogs to countries where there aren’t adequate welfare legislations in place to deal with those dogs.” Una Jansen, Greyhound Rescue Association of Ireland speaking at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture (2nd May 2017)

Just under 3,000 [greyhounds] were destroyed in Irish dog pounds between 2010 and 2014 but the Greyhound Rescue Association Ireland [GRAI] believes thousands of others don’t make it to the pounds. “They’re brought to the vet to be put down or else we know there are unscrupulous owners and trainers who take other measures, such as the greyhounds that were shot in Limerick four years ago,” GRAI spokesman Richard King said. (from “38 greyhounds are being put down a month in Ireland”, TheJournal.ie, 23 May 2016)

Gardai are investigating the discovery of at least six greyhound carcasses found dumped at a disused quarry in Limerick. It is believed the dogs, found in Ballyagran, were shot in the head. (from “Greyhound carcasses found dumped in Limerick quarry”, RTE News, 13 April 2012)

Earlier this year in April, multiple greyhounds were discovered shot and dumped into an abandoned quarry on private property. The ear registration numbers allowed a tracing back to the registered owners of these dogs. After much persistence by Marion Fitzgibbon, Co-Founder of the American European Greyhound Alliance and Director of the Limerick Animal Sanctuary and her staff, both media and police attention resulted in action on the case…It’s the same old story. Someone needed to get rid of their extra and ‘useless’ greyhound. Perhaps a dog no longer an asset as breeding stock, a failures on the track or past their prime of two or three years old. The dog was only another mouth to feed in tough economic times. Maybe on disposal day each dog got a clean shot to the head or maybe not so lucky and not so clean a shot. Then kicked, like garbage, over the edge onto the pile below to join other dogs from other days of killing. (American European Greyhound Alliance, 2012)

“The owner of greyhounds that were shot and dumped in a quarry in County Limerick refused to tell Gardai who killed the animals, a court has heard. Six greyhounds were found dumped in undergrowth in Ballyagran on April 10, 2012, and two of the dogs were subsequently traced back to John Corkerey, aged 54, of Love Lane, Charleville. Mr Corkerey was fined at Newcastle West Court after pleading guilty to offences under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act (2011). The court heard that Mr Corkerey had arranged for a third party to destroy the dogs after they failed to show promise at racing trials, and that he had “no problem” with the animals being shot.” from “Greyhounds shot and dumped in Limerick quarry after poor trials”, Limerick Leader, 2 May 2013

In 2006, there was a national outcry over the treatment of racing greyhounds after The Sunday Times reported that more than 10,000 healthy greyhounds had been shot and buried in a mass grave in County Durham over a period of 15 years. from “The mystery of the 1,000 greyhounds who retire and then vanish”, Independent (UK), 25 October 2014

ACTION ALERT

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

The Irish Government has handed over nearly a quarter of a billion euro to the cruel greyhound industry since 2001. It is poised to pay out an additional €16 million in funding for 2018. 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. Next month, TDs will vote on the payment of the latest grant via the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2018. It is vital that you contact your local TDs and demand that they vote against it. Find TD contact details at http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=32&disp=mem

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/

Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Email: paschal.donohoe@oireachtas.ie, minister@per.gov.ie
Phone: +353 (0)1 6045810
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaschalDonohoe/
Tweet to @Paschald

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

Please sign and share our petition
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

“In my perfect world, there would be no such thing as coursing”

26 Nov

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Ireland’s top celebrity vet, Pete Wedderburn, has this week spoken out against cruel hare coursing.

On the Pat Kenny radio show on Thursday, “Pete the Vet” said: “I don’t approve of coursing at all. I can’t understand why people want to chase sentient creatures for fun. I don’t get it at all.”

Responding to a comment from Pat Kenny that even though the dogs are muzzled, “the hare is terrified”, Pete agreed, saying “The hare doesn’t know the dogs are muzzled. As far as they are concerned, they are being chased to their death. They have the same fear.”

“In my perfect world, there would be no such thing as coursing,” he added.

Dr Wedderburn has previously condemned coursing and foxhunting. In a tweet to ICABS in 2015, he stated: “I would support your calls for a ban. Can see no justification for blood sports.”

As well as being a practising vet, Pete Wedderburn is also a Telegraph and Evening Herald columnist, the author of three books and the resident vet on TV3’s Ireland AM programme.

A big thanks to Pete for expressing support for an end to cruel bloodsports. Find out more about him at http://www.petethevet.com

Tennent’s Lager urged to stop sponsoring greyhound racing

26 Nov

The Tennent’s Lager company is being urged to stop sponsoring the cruel greyhound industry.

The recent “£5,000 Tennent’s Gold Cup” at Northern Ireland’s Drumbo Park is among the greyhound racing events sponsored by the company.

Ahead of the same event last year, Tennent’s Brand Manager Victoria Brown stated: “Traditionally the Grand Final of the Tennent’s Gold Cup is one of the most thrilling race nights of the year and one of the glitziest nights for race-goers as everyone gets into party mood. Expect high octane energy from the crowds as well as the dogs, as everyone screams encouragement for their personal favourite and enjoys the legendary craic. The Grand Final will be over in less than 29 seconds – these are some of the fastest dogs in the country, after all – but the celebrations and fun just keep on running.”

“Great nights out are synonymous with both Tennent’s Lager and Drumbo Park and we’re delighted to be part of the venue’s continuing success story,” she added.

Tennent’s Lager is owned by drinks company, C&C Group (whose other brands include Bulmers, Magners, Tipperary mineral water and Finches soft drinks). As highlighted previously by ICABS, an Irish Greyhound Board report outlined that “a national pouring rights agreement with C&C Group Plc, was implemented during 2015 which has resulted in a sizeable cash contribution to support the industry annually over the course of the three year agreement.” The deal means C&C has an “exclusive drink supply agreement” with the Irish Greyhound Board.

In an email to C&C, ICABS highlighted the appalling cruelty inherent in the greyhound industry, including dog injuries and deaths at tracks, the mutilation and dumping of dogs who aren’t quick enough to win, the doping and blooding of dogs and the “disappearance” of thousands of greyhounds every year.

Greyhounds can live up to 14 years on average, but the life-span of a racing greyhound in Ireland is just 3-4 years – when they are no longer winning on the tracks and coursing fields, many are executed. Others, considered not good enough to win here, are exported to countires with little or no animal welfare legislation.

See Tennent’s/Greyhound racing photos at https://bammag.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/tennents-gold-cup-greyhound-races-coming-soon-to-drumbo-park/

ACTION ALERT

Urge Tennent’s/C&C to show compassion for the dogs and end its sponsorship of the cruel greyhound industry.

Stephen Glancey
CEO, C&C Group
Bulmers House, Keeper Road,
Crumlin, Dublin 12
Tel: +353 (0) 1 5063900
Email: Company.secretary@candcgroup.ie, stephen.glancey@candcgroup.ie,
Leave a comment on Facebook http://facebook.com/tennentslager
Tweet to: @TennentsLager

Leverets born in captivity in hare coursing compound: Renewed calls for ban

9 Nov

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Pregnant hares who gave birth were among the hares held captive for cruel coursing in Glin, County Limerick, it has emerged.

According to a National Parks and Wildlife Service document obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act, five leverets were born in the “escape” area of the Glin coursing compound. The baby hares were spotted by wildlife rangers among the hares captured for a coursing meeting held at the beginning of last month.

The NPWS report says that the rangers were unable to identify the mothers of the leverets and so they “organised care for and release of the 5 leverets” – “Hares which were born in escape were held back for 2 weeks. Agreed by ranger. All to be released back to the wild, supervised by ranger.”

Pregnant hares giving birth at a bloodsport venue adds to concerns about the plight of hares used in this shameful activity.

According to the NPWS report, “It raises the issue of leverets being born to female hares in captivity in August. Our Section 34 licence timing changed approx 5 years ago to allow catching [hares] a month earlier and I would have concerns that this may have resulted in more leverets being born in captivity, with the consequent issues.”

There are not only fears for the welfare of leverets born in captivity but also those left orphaned in the wild when their mothers are cruelly netted for use in coursing. These vulnerable, dependent creatures are almost certainly doomed to die without their mothers.

There is some acknowledgement of this in the NPWS report which states: “It is possible that some females are now being caught in August, with their leverets left behind alone…As August is firmly part of the main hare breeding season, I recommend that the dates are changed back to September.”

It goes on to add that leverets were not only found in Glin this season but also “at an early Kerry club meeting”.

These are not the first times that leverets have been born in captivity. For example, it was noted by a National Parks ranger, who monitored a meeting in Tubbercurry in December 2016 that there were three pregnant hares in the coursing compound, one of which gave birth to two leverets. We brought this to the attention of Minister Heather Humphreys and pointed out that it is contrary to the flimsy licence conditions to take pregnant hares – however, there was apparently no sanction for that breach

The idea of a pregnant hare – or indeed any hare – in a coursing compound is truly appalling. These animals should all be in the wild where they belong, not in a bloodsport venue to be used as live bait for dogs in a grotesque and anachronistic activity.

ACTION ALERT

Please join us today in renewing our appeal to Heather Humphreys, Leo Varadkar and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to withdraw the 2017-18 coursing licence and put in place permanent protection for hares.

Email “Stop the suffering – Withdraw the hare coursing licence NOW” to Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie, ministers.office@ahg.gov.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, wildlifelicence@ahg.gov.ie, Gerry.Leckey@ahg.gov.ie, John.Fitzgerald@ahg.gov.ie

Phone Minister Humphreys: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800

Leave a comment on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/heather.humphreysfg
https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/

Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG @campaignforLeo

Cruel Coursing: Hares running for their lives in Galway

8 Nov

Hares are running for their lives today and tomorrow in Galway and Oranmore as Ireland’s cruel coursing season continues.

In previous years, hares hit and pinned by the dogs have suffered injuries and died.

The cruelty is allowed to take place thanks to a licence shamefully issued by Arts and Heritage Miniser Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service who, instead of protecting the Irish Hare are facilitating those who take pleasure in persecuting the species.

The licence allows coursers to round up hares in nets, keep them in captivity for weeks/months and use them as live lures for greyhounds to chase as a merciless mob gambles on the outcome.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who voted against a ban on coursing in 2016, is disregarding appeals for him to intervene to save the hares from suffering.

ACTION ALERT

Please join us today in renewing our appeal to Heather Humphreys and Leo Varadkar to withdraw the 2017-18 coursing licence and put in place permanent protection for hares.

Email “Stop the suffering – Withdraw the hare coursing licence NOW” to Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie, ministers.office@ahg.gov.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, wildlifelicence@ahg.gov.ie, Gerry.Leckey@ahg.gov.ie
Tel Minister Humphreys: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/heather.humphreysfg
https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/
Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG @campaignforLeo

 

Latest video evidence of Ireland’s coursing cruelty