Ireland referred to EU Commission over ‘breaches’ of animal transport regulations

12 Jul
Ireland referred to EU Commission over ‘breaches’ of animal transport regulations – “concern that the Irish Department of Agriculture appears to have approved the journey logs in advance knowing that they were in breach of EU transport regulations”. Read Sharon Ní Bheoláin’s report on the RTE News website…
Ireland referred to EU Commission over ‘breaches’ of animal transport regulations
RTE News, 10 Jul 2018
By Sharon Ní Bheoláin
A formal complaint has been lodged to the European Commission by four animal welfare organisations over what they claim are systematic failures by Ireland regarding compliance with EU legislation on the protection of animals during transport.
The commission has been urged by the animal welfare organisations to institute infringement proceedings against Ireland because of the recurrent nature of breaches in animal transport regulations dating back to 1999.
Eyes on Animals, a Dutch NGO and animal welfare charity, claims the latest alleged breach came to light after it followed two- to four-week-old calves transported from Ireland by sea to Cherbourg in northern France and then on elsewhere in Europe.
The group says serious animal welfare concerns arose out of breaches of EU Council Regulation 1/2005 which sets out mandatory rest times and periods where these very young animals must be given access to liquids/food/water during transit.
The regulation makes clear that after 18 hours of travel by sea, unweaned calves must be unloaded from the truck, rested and fed.
If the 18-hour limit is exceeded while the calves are at sea, they must be unloaded for at least 12 hours on arrival at the port of destination or in its immediate vicinity.
Eyes on Animals contends that this did not happen in the case of a number of Irish calf trucks.
On arrival in Cherbourg, a ferry journey of some 19 hours, they claim some trucks were observed continuing their journey by road, driving a further five hours before unloading their calves for rest and sustenance.
According to Eyes on Animals, the driver of one truck confirmed the calves in his care had been confined to his truck for over 32 hours – more than 13 hours above the maximum time allowed by EU transport legislation.
This, they say, would have seriously compromised the calves’ welfare as they would have been extremely hungry and thirsty.
The letter to the commission also highlights alleged breaches regarding access to water and the number of attendants on the ferry; just three drivers remained on board to care for between 4,000-5,000 animals says NGO and charity Compassion in World Farming.
In the letter CIWF expresses particular concern that the Irish Department of Agriculture appears to have approved the journey logs in advance knowing that they were in breach of EU transport regulations.
The Department of Agriculture, in response, points to extreme weather conditions earlier this spring – this placed pressure on transport arrangements to the continent.
It acknowledges in circumstances where resting and feeding stations were full they did issue permission to transporters to drive on.
In the cases documented by Eyes on Animals, however, there was capacity for the Irish calves at the nearer Cherbourg station but trucks chose to drive on.
The department has confirmed that those transporters have been penalised following a full investigation.
They say from 2019 they will be insisting that all calf exporters use the rest and feeding stations nearest the port of Cherbourg, adding it will no longer be acceptable to avail of the rest and feeding station used in this investigation situated some five hours’ drive away.
They say these new instructions are currently being communicated to all livestock exporters.

Tommy Broughan TD calls for end to hare coursing, hunting and shooting

11 Jul



Dublin Bay North politician, Tommy Broughan TD (Independent), has called on the Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht to refuse a 2018-19 hare coursing licence and stop all hunting and shooting of hares.

In his Dail Question to Minister Josepha Madigan, Deputy Broughan referred to “warnings from wildlife experts that the Irish hare numbers have declined significantly”.

Please respond to the action alert below and join calls for an end to hare coursing, hunting and shooting.


Contact Minister Josepha Madigan now and urge her to refuse a 2018-19 hare coursing licence and stop all hare hunting and shooting.

Josepha Madigan TD
Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Phone: +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @josephamadigan

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below)

Dear Minister,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to refuse a 2018-19 hare coursing licence.

In coursing, hares suffer and die at all stages – during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity and during the coursing meetings where they run for their lives in front of greyhounds. Among the injuries recorded are broken legs, damaged toes and dislocated hips.

I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and stop licensing this cruelty.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,



Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share the petitions

Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland


Urgently contact An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and appeal to him to ban hare coursing and give permanent protection to hares.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
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Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: +353 (0)1-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: +353 (0)1-661 1013.
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Tweet to: @creedcnw


Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses

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.



Tommy Broughan TD: To ask the Minister for Culture; Heritage and the Gaeltacht if a 2018/2019 hare coursing licence will be refused and all hare hunting and shooting stopped in view of warnings from wildlife experts (details supplied) that the Irish hare numbers have declined significantly; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) on RTE’s Mooney Goes Wild show (25 March 2018),


Minister Josepha Madigan: EU Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive) requires Ireland to make a detailed report every six years on the conservation status of all listed species, including the hare. Ireland’s most recent report in 2013 included a comprehensive assessment of the range, population status, habitat and threats for the Irish hare. The report can be downloaded at The next report is due in 2019.

The 2013 report stated that the Hare is found throughout the country from coastal habitats to upland heath and bog. The Hare is widespread and common in Ireland with a broad habitat niche. None of the identified threats are considered likely to impact on its conservation status in the foreseeable future and the Overall Conservation Status was assessed as Favourable. My Department is not aware of any expert reports which indicate a national decline in the population of hares.

In addition to the reporting requirements of the EU Habitats Directive, data on the distribution of the hare is being collected continuously by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the recent Atlas of Mammals in Ireland 2010-2015 provided a summary of the species’ range, demonstrating that it remains widespread across the country.

My Department recently commissioned a new assessment of the status of hare’s population in Ireland. The survey work to inform this population assessment has already begun with the main survey work to occur over the 2018/19 winter period. The final report is due in mid-2019.

In relation to hare coursing meetings, the recent 2017/18 hare coursing season finished at the end of February last. All reports in relation to the season will be considered in the context of licenses for the 2018/19 coursing season.

Letter: Campaigning on behalf of animals

11 Jul

We will, in time, make further progress in our efforts to make the world a less cruel place for animals – Read John Fitzgerald’s Letter to the Editor in the Sunday Independent…

Campaigning on behalf of animals
Letter to the Editor, Sunday Independent July 8th 2018

Fiona O’ Connell’s column is always a pleasure to read, with her breezy undemanding style and a passion for the natural world that calls to mind the poet Wordsworth. Her latest article (Sunday Independent, July 1) was a timely reminder of how campaigners for the welfare of animals can be misunderstood and characterised as “unbalanced” or “fanatics”.

I know from personal experience that taking up the cause of our dumb friends can be a thankless task, one that can make life difficult…sometimes almost unbearable. Seeing how animals suffer is distressing, in itself; but when you encounter powerful and seemingly invincible opposition to one’s efforts to ease their plight you wonder sometimes if it’s worth the bother. Campaigners, being only human, often throw up their hands and say: “Nobody cares” or “The politicians will never listen”.

But on calmer reflection we know this is not true. I have been involved in various animal welfare campaigns since the early 1980s. Success never comes easily or quickly, but there have been victories. In 1990, the long campaign for the abolition of otter hunting ended when the Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat government took heed of mounting opposition to the hounding of those aquatic creatures in the waterways and along our riverbanks. The license permitting the cruel sport was withdrawn and has not been re-issued since. In 2010, the Fianna Fail/Green coalition banned stag hunting, meaning that these majestic animals would no longer be chased by hunts people and packs of hounds until they collapsed from exhaustion, their bodies ripped and bleeding. The same government was set to ban fur farming but fell before the law could be enacted. Earlier this year, the use of wild animals in circuses was banned by the present government.

So, despite misunderstandings and the unfair stereotyping of campaigners, we have been vindicated repeatedly in our stance and will, in time, make further progress in our efforts to make the world a less cruel place for animals. Hare coursing and fox hunting remain, stains on Ireland’s reputation that await consignment to the same page in our statute book reserved for “field sports” like otter-hunting, badger baiting, stag hunting and dog fighting. We will continue to advocate for the protection of sentient beings, domestic, agricultural and wildlife.

John Fitzgerald,
Callan, C. Kilkenny

Fine Gael councillor urged to stop sponsoring greyhound racing

10 Jul
Councillor Gerard Farrell
A Fine Gael councillor is being urged to stop sponsoring greyhound racing at a track where dogs suffer and die.
Longford County Councillor, Gerard Farrell, sponsored the “The Cllr Gerard Farrell, Lanesboro S3-S4 Veterans 330” race at Longford track on Friday.
In an appeal to Cllr Farrell, we have highlighted that in the past three years at Longford track, 44 dogs suffered injuries and 22 were killed. In the same period, over a thousand greyhounds suffered injuries and 385 were destroyed at tracks around the country.
Join us in urging Cllr Farrell to end his support for the cruel greyhound industry.
Phone: 086-8745180
The cruel and crumbling greyhound industry has received nearly a quarter of a billion euros of taxpayers’ money since 2001 (including €16 million for 2018). Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to end funding to the greyhound industry and instead direct the money to charities and other deserving causes. Email “Stop funding the cruel greyhound industry” to,,,
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Paschal Donohoe TD
Minister for Finance
Phone: +353 (0)1 6045810
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to @Paschald
Please sign and share our petitions
Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Industry
Stop supporting the cruel greyhound industry

Irish greyhound “CUT AND BRUISED” at UK race

3 Jul

cut and bruised

A 2-year-old Irish greyhound was left “CUT AND BRUISED” after crashing into a trackside rail during a race in the UK yesterday.

A report on the Irish Greyhound Board website reveals that greyhound, Innocent Times, “appeared to be the worst sufferer as he crashed into the outside plastic rail” at Nottingham track.

The son of the greyhound owner was quoted as saying “He is cut and bruised and feels sorry for himself but he has been well looked after by Nottingham. We won’t know if he has any fracture until he has had an x-ray.”

Another greyhound who also fell during the race was “reported to have a sore, swollen wrist”.

These two dogs are among the many victims of greyhound racing. Greyhound Board of Great Britain figures show that over 1,000 greyhounds died or were killed at UK tracks in 2017 and that greyhounds suffer almost 5,000 injuries every year.

Here in Ireland, more than a thousand greyhounds suffered injuries and 385 were killed by track vets in the past three years. In 2017, 357 greyhounds were injured at Irish tracks and 124 were killed.


Say NO to the greyhound industry – don’t attend races or fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks (these are a significant source of funding for the greyhound industry). Distribute our “6 reasons to say NO to greyhound racing” leaflet outside greyhound tracks to encourage people to show compassion and boycott greyhound racing.

You can download the leaflet at or order copies by emailing

Encourage your local animal protection groups to join calls for an end to greyhound racing, given the cruelty and killing involved.

PETITION: Urge Pope Francis to condemn Catholic bull burning events

3 Jul

Untitled-21 copy

Petition urging Pope Francis to condemn Catholic bull burning events in Spain…

Please sign and share

Hundreds of horses are dying at races around Ireland

29 Jun

Hundreds of horses dying at races around Ireland copy

Hundreds of horses are dying at races around Ireland, shocking new statistics reveal.

The damning “equine fatality” figures – released for the first time ever this month – finally lift the lid on the appalling level of suffering and death in horse racing.

Further to a Dail Question from Clare Daly TD, Horse Racing Ireland has revealed that 779 horses have been killed at races here in the past six years. That includes 116 horse deaths since the start of 2017.

Out of the 779 fatalities, 562 occurred at racecourses and 217 at point-to-points (races organised by foxhunts).

Horse deaths at Irish racecourses

2017: 88
2016: 83
2015: 89
2014: 99
2013: 121
2012: 82

Horse deaths at point-to-point races

2017-18: 28
2016-17: 32
2015-16: 36
2014-15: 30
2013-14: 42
2012-13: 49

Horse Racing Ireland did not release pre-2012 death data, saying it “was collected in a different fashion and may not be verifiable”.

Irish horses are not only dying in Ireland but also in the UK. As reported by ICABS earlier this month, 44 Irish thoroughbred horses have already died in the UK so far this year.

On its “Race Horse Death Watch” website, Animal Aid has revealed that 79 horses lost their lives on racecourses around the UK since January 1st, with over half of them from Ireland. Irish horses have died at races in the UK every month this year and every month last year. In 2017, at least 83 Irish horses lost their lives at UK races.


The Irish horse racing industry has received €900 million of taxpayers’ money since 2001, including €64 million in funding for 2018. The government’s squandering of scarce public money on horse racing is particularly deplorable at a time when our country’s health and housing is in crisis and so many worthy causes are crying out for funds. Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to end the funding.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
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