Irish Press Releases and Campaign News
Below are exclusively CAFT Ireland / N.A.R.A. related press releases, as well as campaign updates and other Irish animal rights news items.
3rd April 2012
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3rd April 2012***
NATIONAL ANIMAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION (NARA) - www.naracampaigns.org
Contact Spokesperson: Laura Broxson at 086 8729 444 for further comment.
Activists call for Courtney Brother's Circus elephants to be handed over to sanctuary
"We are calling for the Courtney Brother's Circus to hand over their 5 elephants to a sanctuary immediately" says Laura Broxson, spokesperson for the National Animal Rights Association
"From the recent escape attempt by 'Baby' the elephant, and the trampling of a circus trainer on Saturday, it is clear that these elephants are unhappy and are starting to snap."
"We have been told, by confidential sources, that the 5 elephants currently in the 'Courtney Brother's Circus' were ex-working elephants bought in Morocco, and are extremely psychologically damaged from years of abuse at the hands of humans. The incidents in the last few days are just the beginning signs of the stress and fear these elephants are experiencing." she continued
"Due to the successful release of 'Anne' the elephant from 'Bobby Roberts Circus' in the U.K. to Longleat Safari Park, we are calling for the 'Courtney Brother's Circus' to do the right thing and hand over their clearly troubled elephants to this rehabilitation centre at once."
"It is absolutely disgusting to see these majestic animals forced to endure a life performing mindless acts for the brief amusement of people. They have suffered enough at the hands of their captors, it's time for them to have a happy ending to their abusive lives."
"Animals don't belong in circuses - it's an archaic and cruel form of 'entertainment' and we look forward to the day when Ireland enacts a total ban on animal acts in circuses. Thankfully for the animals, more and more people are realising how barbaric it is, and are choosing to attend animal-free shows instead such as the world-famous 'Cirque du Soleil'."
"Our message to the public is: If you love animals, don't go to animals circuses." she said
The 'Courtney Brother's Circus' have had a history of scandal and name-changing. They were formally known as 'Daredevil Circus', 'The Royal Russian Circus', 'The Great European Circus', 'Electrifying Dreamland', 'Circus Chicago', 'Circus New York', 'Big Top Circus', and 'Circus Vegas'. For more details see: http://www.irishcircuses.org/circus-vegas and http://www.irishcircuses.org/library
Anne the Elephant arrives at Longleat: http://www.longleat.co.uk/news/anne_the_elephant_2
'Baby' escapes in Cork: http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0328/elephant-escapes-from-cork-circus.html
Circus trainer trampled: http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/elephant-tramples-circus-trainer-in-cork-545768.html
3rd January 2012
"On Friday 30th December, the ALF struck the Fingal Harriers in North County Dublin.
An unattended jeep had it's front tyre slashed, and the word 'scum' scratched deep into the paintwork on the bonnet.
These murderers have gotten away with what they've done for far too long - and this was just a token gesture to give them a taste of what's to come.
Until all are free,
19th October 2010
Police probe 'kangaroo drink death'
Detectives have questioned a circus owner about allegations that a wallaby died after being plied with ecstasy and drink at a birthday disco.
The marsupial was let loose among more than 150 revellers dancing at the Clarion Hotel in Liffey Valley, west Dublin, to the theme tune of Australian television show Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.
Outraged animal welfare campaigners sparked an official garda investigation when they passed on complaints about the alleged mistreatment of the animal.
Alexander Scholl, owner of Australian Super Circus Sydney, sited 500 metres away from the hotel, told officers he had two wallabies - Skippy and Sydney - but rubbished claims either of them was used in the incident.
"They think it was one of my wallabies but it definitely was not. I would never lend them out to a nightclub with all the noisy music," he said.
"Someone told them the wallaby was given an ecstasy tablet and now it is dead. I said if it is dead then it is not one of my wallabies. I showed them Skippy and Sydney."
Officers launched an inquiry after complaints were passed on from a witness at the 30th birthday celebrations and others who saw a video uploaded to Facebook.
They have been handed CCTV footage from the hotel.
"There is no evidence at this stage of a body, or evidence to suggest it is dead," said a garda source.
Hotel manager Garret Marrinan said a duty manager became suspicious when he noticed a commotion around the dancefloor in a hired function room at around 11pm on Saturday.
3rd October 2010
COALITION TO ABOLISH THE FUR TRADE - IRELAND
***PRESS RELEASE: MINK FARM RAID IN DONEGAL***
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT CAFT Ireland spokesperson: Laura Broxson – 086 8729 444 – www.naracampaigns.org
“The recent release of mink from ‘Rolf Anderson’s Mink Farm’ in Donegal has resulted in a frenzied mass hysteria over the claimed ‘dangers’ of mink on the loose. We want people to step out of this lunacy and actually think logically about the situation” says spokesperson for CAFT Ireland, Laura Broxson
“Whoever liberated these mink from their cages had good reason to do so – fur farming is a barbarically cruel industry, and we fully support what has happened. These animals would have been turned into coats, and now they are free. If you were a mink, which life would you choose?”
“This fur farm, even compared to the others in the country, is of a particularly sub-standard condition. By the farmers’ own admission in recent media interviews, they still illegally keep 5 mink per cage – even though 1 mink per cage barely has enough room to turn around in. We have reported this to the Dept. of Agriculture and are eagerly awaiting their response on the matter.”
“The claims that sheep, horses – and even children – are at risk of a mink attack are just ludicrous. It is actually frightening how grown men and women can believe such uneducated nonsense.”
“Mink are part of the otter family – do people run in fear of otters too? No. So why are mink portrayed as invincible, man-eating beasts? It’s ridiculous.”
“Unfortunately for mink, they seem to have also become the scapegoats for the decline of certain native species in Ireland – even in areas where there have never been fur farms. If there were no mink in the country, perhaps officials would have to acknowledge that pollution, destruction of habitats, hunting, and the over-use of pesticides are actually to blame for species failing to flourish.”
“What is also disturbing is peoples’ eagerness to play ‘God’, by deciding which species they feel should live, and which should be killed – as shown by the Government’s recent decision to sanction a mink cull. Who says mink are less important, or more of a threat to other animals, than any other species in the country? The U.K. has a wild mink population of about 40,000 – and it’s not an issue. Nature always balances itself, it’s humans who create problems.”
“The most conveniently forgotten fact in all of this is that fur farms should not exist in the first place. Animals are kept in horrendous conditions, they are fed liquefied fish organs which they have to lick through the bars of their cages, and when they are 6months old, they are gassed to death – 50 at a time, which results in many being merely unconscious, not dead, when they are skinned.”
“As a society, we have long since moved on from our neanderthal, knuckle-dragging ways – it’s time the fur industry recognised that. They are a blood stain on this country that needs to be removed immediately.”
“The new programme for government has agreed to a phase-out ban on fur farming, set for completion in 2012 – but this is too far away. They need to be shut down now.”
29th Sept. 2010
ALF RAID DONEGAL MINK FARM
"Rolf Anderssons mink farm in Ardara, Killybegs, was raided by the ALF.
Huge hole cut through the fencing, making it an easy escape route for the 4000 mink liberated from their cages.
The message to fur scum: close down now or more raids will come.
8th July 2010
Animal Welfare Bill passed comfortably
08/07/2010 - 18:57:43
The Government’s latest piece of animal welfare legislation was comfortably passed in the Dáil today after it was altered to secure the support of the greyhound industry and pro-hunt lobby.
RISE! (Rural Ireland Says Enough) and the Irish Greyhound Board said it would no longer oppose the planned controversial dog breeding laws after it was passed by more than 40 votes.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Government Chief Whip John Curran met with RISE representatives yesterday where promised amendments to the Bill were agreed.
“Up until yesterday, when the Hunting Association of Ireland met the Taoiseach they had not been afforded a meeting with any member of the Government to discuss this legislation other than going into a minister’s clinic,” RISE spokesman Liam Cahill said.
“So this was the first time across the table.
“People would be quite happy, as was proved yesterday, if they are brought in to talk about the stuff, their objective will be to create good regulations that would work for everyone.”
Amendments to the Dog Breeding Establishment Bill 2009 included allowing dogs in hunt clubs to continue to be traced using tattoos instead of microchips.
The body said it hoped its concerns would be taken on board when regulations were drawn up from the Bill.
The Irish Greyhound Board said it would also support the proposed laws as separate legislation governing the industry would be amended to legislate for welfare provisions, thereby exempting it from the Dog Breeding Bill.
A planned protest by RISE outside the Dáil today was called off.
Under the Bill, a facility breeding six to 18 bitches capable of breeding and over six months old would pay a fee of 400 euro, while places with less than six would not be affected.
The Bill was passed with more than 40 votes as the Labour Party weighed-in behind the Government. Fine Gael and Sinn Féin opposed the legislation.
In a joint statement, animal welfare groups including the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dogs Trust, Irish Blue Cross and ISPCA said it was vital the legislation was passed.
The body claimed the Bill was never about the rural/urban divide but ensuring that dogs were bred in humane conditions in accordance to European best practice.
Prior to the vote being taken, the coalition group said: “In the face of an extensive, well-resourced lobbying campaign, which sought to muddy the waters at every juncture, we hope that the minister will succeed in passing this long-overdue, much-needed piece of legislation today thus ensuring that Ireland will bring its canine welfare legislation into the modern age and lose the shameful badge of being the ’puppy-farm capital of Europe’.”
Rebel Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath was expelled from the parliamentary party last week for voting against a controversial ban on stag-hunting.
The stag hunting legislation, which sparked furious rows in the Dáil over recent weeks, was narrowly pushed through by a majority of 75 to 71 votes.
The Dáil now enters its 12-week summer recess, not due to return until September 29. It sat for 100 days between September last year and today.
The Seanad will continue in session next week while Oireachtas Committees will sit throughout the recess, with 88 meetings due to be held.
Cork South West Fianna Fáil TD, Christy O'Sullivan, who had previously voiced strong concerns about the legislation, welcomed the amendments.
“I’m happy with the text of the legislation that has now gone through the Dáil and that is why I supported it,” he said.
“There were a lot of changes needed to the previously published Bill, however following a meeting with the Taoiseach, officials from his Department and the Department of the Environment as well as a delegation from the Hunting Association of Ireland (HAI), we have now reached a fair outcome.”
29th June 2010
Government wins vote on Wildlife Bill - STAG HUNTING BANNED!
The Government has won the vote on the controversial Wildlife Bill, which bans stag hunting.
The result was 75 votes to 72 but the Opposition called for a walk-through vote, which resulted in a 75-71 win for the Government.
Fianna Fáil backbencher Mattie McGrath voted against the Bill, he had abstained in the first vote. He again abstained in the walk-through vote.
His colleague Christy O'Sullivan, who also abstained in the first vote, voted for the Government in the second, and in the walk-through.
Earlier, Fine Gael's Bernard Durkan claimed the Bill amounted to an attack on rural life, and represented its gradual erosion, while Fianna Fáil TD Mary O'Rourke said she and her party would not accept further inroads into rural pursuits.
Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae and Tipperary TD Michael Lowry said they would vote against the Bill.
Mary Wallace, Fianna Fáil TD for Meath East, voted with the Government. She issued a statement that said she 'decided, in the national interest not to be instrumental in the fall of this Government.
'Despite my strong objections to this Bill, I believe a General Election would be wrong for the country and indeed for my community', she added.
Minister Gormley this evening put forward an amendment to the Bill, to ensure that there will be no interference with those who, with a licence, are stalking deer on foot, with the aid of dogs.
He said it had never been his intention to restrict deer stalking.
He revealed that about 4,000 licences a year are issued to deer stalkers.
28th June 2010
***PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NATIONAL ANIMAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION***
***Report on an Animal Holding Area/Breeding Unit in TCD***
For further comment, contact N.A.R.A. spokesperson: Laura Broxson - 086 8729 444
"The below report, put together by a student, gives us a small glimpse into the world of animal testing in Trinity College." says spokesperson for N.A.R.A., Laura Broxson
"Vivisection is scientific fraud - it simply doesn't work. You cannot predict how a substance is going to react in a human, by testing it on an animal. This exact act of lunatic science is what caused the thalidomide disaster."
"However, even if animal testing was of benefit to humans, it would still be morally unacceptable to subject any creature to this sadism"
"Much more information is still needed, but we are confident that other students - and staff - will come forward with what they know, in time." she added
Report on an Animal Holding Area/Breeding Unit in TCD
· The animal breeding facility/one of the animal holding areas in TCD is currently located in Luce Hall, soon to be moved to a different area.
· This facility holds small animals: mice, rats, rabbits.
· One of the rooms contains cages with mice, and other cages containing rats.
· The cages/containers which hold the mice weren’t very tall or spacious especially considering the fact that there are 3 or 4 mice in each. Food containers were attached to the cages. The director of bio-resources said that it’s the quality of the environment created in the cages that matters rather than the size.
· The rats were in larger containers (however they were small considering the fact that there were many rats per container). Rats are used frequently for psychology experiments.
· Another room is located off to the right from this one and at the moment contains rabbits. The rabbits are kept in larger enclosures with a few rabbits in each. I was told that animal carers apparently spend time with the rabbits. The rabbits had been operated on because an experiment is taking place to test if certain substances can fill in areas where pieces of bone have broken off (for example people who have been in accidents). Anaesthetics and pain killers were given to these rabbits. The rabbits cannot be re-homed because they "have to" be killed to see the effect of the substances in replacing missing areas of bone.
· When dogs are being used they are kept in similar enclosures to the ones that the rabbits are kept in.
· Pigs are currently being used in experiments at TCD, however there were no pigs in this animal holding area.
· Sadly none of the animals ever get brought out into the fresh air. According to the director of bio-resources, the animals have been bred in the same indoor conditions (as if to say they cannot miss it because they’ve never known what it’s like to go outdoors), and it wouldn’t be publicly acceptable to walk animals outdoors because it would be likely to cause anger.
· There is another room in this area which is used for carrying out experiments. It contains operating tables, sinks etc.
· I was unable to get an answer on whether or not dissections are still permitted even though these are easy to replace. The director of bio-resources doesn’t know if these are still taking place, but feels that they are necessary for people studying biology and doesn’t see the problem in using animals for dissection because they are already dead.
6th June 2010
NATIONAL ANIMAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE
"ABUSE AND SECRECY AT CHARLES RIVER ANIMAL LABORATORIES IN MAYO"
Contact spokesperson for N.A.R.A., Laura Broxson: 086 8729 444
N.A.R.A.'s Charles River Campaign Page: http://www.naracampaigns.org/charlesriver.html
"As a result of our 'Charles River Awareness Day' last week in Ballina - in which over 2000 of our special campaign leaflets were distributed - we have received a number of calls from people in the area giving us insider-information, and wanting to get involved with our campaign" says spokesperson for N.A.R.A., Laura Broxson
"Charles River's days of operating in secrecy are coming to an end, the people of Mayo want the truth - and, more importantly, want to help us stop the use of animals at these laboratories"
"The information we received came from reliable sources, but we are honouring our promise of complete confidentiality and anonymity by only revealing the information - which we hope will make more people comfortable with coming forward with what they know about these animal torture labs" she said
HERE IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TOLD ABOUT CHARLES RIVER LABS IN MAYO:
Species used in the Ballina Lab: mice, rats, cats, dogs, snakes, some horses - but in general, smaller animals.
Species used in Glenamoy Lab: cattle, horses - bigger animals in general.
Once mice and rats go under a certain weight, they are killed. They are supposed to be “humanely euthanized” but most of the time staff just break their necks.
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of cats are killed every year in clinical trials. The trials are repeated every 6 weeks with new cats. By the end of each trial, the cats are so weak and in so much pain, they can’t even stand up. They are then killed.
A lot of lost/stolen dogs and other animals end up in the Charles River laboratories. Apparently dog wardens are secretly responsible for this, and are being paid to do so. There was an incident in 2008/2009 in which a dog was taken, put in local pound, and then given to the Charles River lab in Ballina. The owner of the dog managed to discover this, and had to call the Gardai to help get the dog back.
Veterinarians run both labs, and are now directors. They receive huge payments from pharmaceutical companies for tests. This is one of the biggest kept secrets at Charles River.
Every tueday - blood is taken from horses, and then transported all around the country - particularly to hospitals. The purpose for this is currently unknown.
Secrecy inherent when it comes to working at Charles River - most staff are not allowed mix with eachother or know the details of what their colleagues' jobs entail.
Most of the activity (transport of animals, experiments etc) at both laboratories happen at night - the reason for this is for maximum secrecy.
"This is what has been going on at Charles River for the past 30 years - all behind closed doors. It's time they were exposed as the animal-abusing monsters they are. If all that information we were given came as a result of one 'Awareness Day' in Ballina, imagine how much more the campaign is going to grow over the next few months"
"Animal testing is unethical, unscientific, and we will not stop until it is completely abolished" Ms. Broxson added
20th April 2010
Bill to ban stag hunting published
New legislation to ban deer hunting with dogs is expected to be introduced before the Dail rises for summer, Minister for the Environment John Gormley has said.
Mr Gormley today published the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill, which will prohibit deer hunting with packs of dogs and will increase the maximum fines for other wildlife related offences.
The Co Meath-based Ward Union Hunt will be the only group affected by the ban.
“The Government has decided that this particular hunting practice should cease for animal welfare and public safety reasons,” Mr Gormley said. He said he believed the Bill would have large public support and said it would have no implications for other country pursuits such as fox-hunting, hare-hunting, hare coursing or deer stalking.
Fines under the Wildlife Acts are being increased from €500 to €1,000 for a first offence on summary conviction, from €1,000 to €2,000 for a second and from €1,500 to €5,000 for a third or subsequent offence.
The maximum fine for conviction on indictment would be doubled from €50,000 to €100,000. These fines were last increased in 2000.
There are no changes in maximum times of imprisonment terms, which range from three months for a first offence up to a term not exceeding two years for those convicted on indictment.
Pro-hunt supporters Rural Ireland Says Enough (Rise) today vowed to fight the ban and continue lobbying TDs and Senators.
Rise spokesman Liam Cahill said Mr Gormley still had a long way to go before the Bill becomes law. “He has many legislative hurdles to overcome and we’ll be vigorously resisting it at every step,” Mr Cahill said.
Mr Cahill said there were more deer killed by motorists in Phoenix Park than in the hunt. He also said every hunt conducted has been closely monitored by Government inspectors and no animal welfare issues have arisen.
However, Irish Council Against Blood Sports campaign director Aideen Yourell welcomed the publication of the Bill and said it "marks a historic day in the campaign against blood sports in Ireland".
The banning of the Ward Union will be welcomed by the compassionate majority who abhor cruelty and the terrorisation of animals for "sport", the organisation said.
21st February 2010
Revealed: the scale of trade in rare animals
February 21, 2010
Revealed: the scale of trade in rare animals
The young man who drove into the car park of the Outlet shopping centre in Banbridge, Co Down, last Friday morning may have looked like a typical shopper, but he was there to sell, not to buy.
Richard Potter, a pet-shop owner who has a lucrative sideline selling rare and endangered species, had arrived to seal his latest deal.
The focus of investigations by law-enforcement agencies in Ireland, Britain and other European countries, Potter had arrived to meet a “client” who had agreed to buy four lemurs, an endangered primate native to the tropical jungles of Madagascar.
Potter, who describes himself as an animal broker, did not suspect that the client, by whom he expected to be paid €6,146, was a Sunday Times journalist. A deposit of €116 had already been paid.
“Here they are,” he said, opening the door of his van. Inside were two dirty pet carriers each containing a pair of rare lemurs that cowered in the darkness.
“I gave you the worst pet carriers I had, as I knew I wouldn’t be getting them back,” said Potter. He refused to reduce his asking price and produced documents that he claimed entitled him to sell the animals.
Before the deal was concluded, Potter was approached by animal-welfare inspectors and members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), who surrounded his van. He did not try to leave, but remained calm. A check of his “paperwork” by the Ulster Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Uspca) revealed that it was irregular, allowing the police to confiscate the lemurs.
Jungle World, a pet shop in Ballymena, Co Antrim, which Potter uses to trade in endangered species, was among the premises raided afterwards. When a search party entered a converted shed at the rear, which Potter calls a “jungle park”, they found another lemur, a young ring-tailed specimen.
The menagerie of exotic creatures astounded officials. A family of pygmy African mongooses was found living in an empty aquarium. A small colony of marmosets screeched when the police came too close. Other cages contained meerkats, spider monkeys, skunks and sugar gliders, tiny marsupials from Indonesia.
Inside a black bin-liner, the search team found a dead Asian short-clawed otter. The animal, which Potter had offered to sell for £1,000 (€1,360) the previous day, had climbed out of its cage and strangled itself on a cable.
Unlike the lemurs, many of the animals found in Potter’s shop are not listed as “endangered”, so the police had no powers to seize them. Instead, Potter will be asked to show where he bought them. If he cannot produce receipts, the menagerie may be seized. If he can produce receipts and prove their origins, he will be free to sell the animals.
How is it that endangered and dangerous wild animals, including species protected by international law, are being sold from the backs of vans to buyers in Northern Ireland and the republic? And is Ireland a destination of choice for unscrupulous animal dealers?
THE scale of the trade in endangered species in Ireland has been uncovered by the Sunday Times, after an investigation in which a reporter posed as an animal collector seeking dangerous and rare wildlife.
It found a secret but vibrant trade in vulnerable species in contravention of international and European legislation.
Potter is known as by far the biggest player in the burgeoning trade. He is among a handful of wildlife dealers who can source some of the world’s rarest creatures from zoos, animal parks and private collectors in Britain, mainland Europe and farther afield.
It is a highly profitable business for Potter, who boasts that he can obtain most species for the right price. Nothing is off-limits.
As he walked between the cages in his “jungle park”, which the public can visit, Potter pointed to a selection of primates that he is selling, among them a pair of large spider monkeys, before discussing the possible sale of an exotic cat.
“We can get anything. I have been offered prides of lions in the past,” said Potter, who let three macaque monkeys out of their concrete cage to run free along the roof of an adjoining building.
“The guys I work with give me commission on the price that you pay,” he said, adding that he could arrange delivery to any location, north or south of the border. The apparent ease with which Potter could source a large cat was impressive. Two days after the first meeting, he sent an email offering a selection of exotic, but dangerous, felines.
“There is an albino tiger at £15,000, a white lion, price unknown, pair of pumas, awaiting price, and some ocelots and servals,” he wrote.
Days later, in another email, he offered to supply a pair of European lynx, a threatened species of large cat that is native to the forests of northern Europe.
He wrote: “Female 08 and male 09. Are in Europe, but you could have them by this weekend. £6,500 delivered. Unbelievable price. Hope you will give this your immediate attention. Many thanks, Richard.”
To proceed, he asked for a 50% deposit upfront and 50% on delivery. In an attempt to secure the sale, he said the purchase of a lynx, which had been sourced from a dealer in Belgium, could be profitable should they produce young in the spring.
“If they breed, you’d be sitting on a small fortune if they had a litter of kittens. You would be able to sell them off, no problem,” he said. Other species offered included a variety of primates, Asian otters and skunks.
So how does a pet shop owner import and sell rare and dangerous creatures like a lynx.
THE trade in endangered wildlife is governed by the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
In the European Union, it works by impsoing strict conditions on the trade in creatures that are facing extinction in the wild. The import, export, and sale of all species covered by the convention is regulated through a licensing system that is enforced throughout the EU.
Species that are particularly vulnerable are listed on three appendices, known as Cites I, II and III, according to the level of protection needed.
The two species of lemurs seized from the back of Potter’s van last week, are at the top of the Cites list on its appendix I, as they are endangered, so dealing in wild specimens is banned. But few realise that dealing in captive-bred lemurs, can be permitted if a Cites permit, known as an article 10, is issued.
These allow zoos and animal sanctuaries to sell and exchange captive-bred animals for use in breeding-programmes once they have been registered with a Cites authority, usually a government department in the animal’s country of birth, and implanted with a microchip, the details of which are listed on the specimen’s own article 10 certificate.
Most EU countries pride themselves on the strict enforcement of Cites, but the system is open to abuse. Article 10 permits can be faked, doctored, switched or duplicated.
In Potter’s case, some of the lemurs were found to have no microchip implanted. Some of the article 10 papers that Potter produced when confronted by the police were irregular.
Rob Parry-Jones, the regional director of Traffic Europe, a wildlife trade-monitoring group, said document fraud of this kind was one of the biggest challenges in regulating the wildlife trade.
“Traffic is aware of a number of instances where reptiles have been imported with documentation claiming they were bred in captivity, when in fact they were collected from the wild,” he said.
“In other instances, permits have been used to import specimens legally, but are then copied and used to launder smuggled specimens,” he said.
The number of lemurs and other protected species that Potter has sold is unknown. In one conversation, he admitted to supplying six white-fronted brown lemurs, which are unique to the rainforests of eastern Madagascar, to a collector in Cork and a ring-tailed specimen to another “customer” from the republic.
In Northern Ireland and Britain, the purchase and sale of such animals is governed by the Dangerous Wild Animals (DWA) Act. It was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2004 to stop people keeping dangerous species such as lemurs and lynx in their gardens after several big cats were seized from “private keepers”, but pet shops, zoos and circuses were exempted from the law.
Potter appears to use the exemption afforded to his pet shop to import dangerous creatures and sell them to customers south of the border, no questions asked.
A loophole in the law permits him to register dangerous animals in his own name, but sell them on without having to alert the authorities. “It’s all above board,” he said.
When he offered to supply the Sunday Times with a lynx, he offered to register the animal in his own name with the Belgian authorities if they asked for details of the person buying the cat.
“No one would know that you have it, just me, you and the wall,” he said.
As there is no legislation in the republic, the owners of dangerous or protected species are not required to register them with any authority.
Stephen Philpott, the Uspca’s chief executive, said the exemption afforded to Potter made a “mockery” of laws designed to protect the public from dangerous animals.
“The DWA exemption to pet shops is best described as a joke,” he said. “This man is importing all types of dangerous animals and endangered species and selling them to the highest bidder, particularly to people in the republic, where it’s legal to keep a tiger in your back garden.”
Will Travers, the chief executive of the Born Free Foundation, which campaigns against the trade in wildlife, said exotic animals required special care, as such creatures retained all the necessary “aggression, fear and behavioural characteristics” that would allow them, potentially, to exist in the wild.
“Many of these animals have extremely complex environmental and social needs that are impossible to meet in a private or domestic environment. Without a complex physical environment, the welfare of these animals is always compromised,” he said.
Potter’s activities are now the subject of a full investigation by the police, the Uspca and Cites enforcement agencies in Europe.
Yesterday, the Uspca and police continued to search for a number of lemurs which they suspect are in the hands of unlicensed keepers in Northern Ireland.
The whereabouts of lemurs and other animals sold to collectors from the republic are likely to become the focus of investigation in the coming weeks.
30th November 2009
New technology could end animal testing
Monday, 30th November 2009
A chip that could bring about the end of animal testing is being unveiled at the launch of the first ever Nanoweek.
Toxichip, which was developed at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, is capable of monitoring how cells behave and interact with drugs, chemical pollutants in the environment and toxic substances in food and beverages.
Cell-based biosensors, developed and made at Tyndall, integrated in the Toxichip platform also have the potential to replace animal testing currently used in toxicity screening.
Already two companies, one in Ireland and a second in France, are seeking to invest in and apply this new technology.
The first Nanoweek is running from 30 November to 4 December.
Of the €150bn in goods and services exported by Ireland in 2008, it is estimated 10% were enabled by nanoscience and related nanotechnologies.
Nanoweek is an initiative of The Nanoscience Network and will involve school visits in Cork, Limerick, and Galway, as well as workshops, conferences, exhibits and debates aimed at educating the public of the importance of nanoscience and its application.
19th November 2009
***NATIONAL ANIMAL RIGHTS ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE***
ACTIVISTS TO RETURN TO CHARLES RIVER ANIMAL TESTING LABORATORIES
WHEN: Tuesday 24th Nov. First protest from 12noon - 2.30pm outside Charles River in Carrentrila, Ballina. Second protest outside Charles River in Glenamoy, from 4pm - 6pm approx.
Contact N.A.R.A. spokesperson: Laura Broxson - 086 8729 444 - www.naracampaigns.org
2 months after they organised Ireland’s first ever protests outside these laboratories, activists from the National Animal Rights Association are returning, as promised. They will be joined by other groups this time, such as Donegal Veg and Animal Rights Northern Ireland, as well as activists travelling all the way from the U.K.
“These animal testing laboratories are one of the biggest bloodstains on our country” says spokesperson for NARA, Laura Broxson
“They have been in operation since 1976, then known as “Biological Laboratories Europe”. In 2002, then-owner Leonard Moran, sold the facilities to the company “Charles River”, for 28million euro.”
“For almost 34years, animals have been bred, experimented on, abused, sold, and killed here - every single day. In their short lives, they never experienced a moment without pain and fear. Anyone who can do this to an animal a seriously sick individual. Animal abusers will not be tolerated, and our campaign will not end until this barbarity is stopped.” she said
“Although our main focus on the day will be the Charles River labs, we will also be targeting the “Ovagen” plant, which is located beside the laboratory in Ballina. Ovagen, which was also developed by Leonard Moran, is another animal testing laboratory.
They breed “germ free” chickens, who produce “germ free” eggs - an ingredient used in vaccines. The chickens in this plant aren’t even allowed to lay eggs normally. They are put in an isolation box, and the eggs are removed from them by caesarean operation. So we certainly won’t be ignoring this disgusting company on the day.”
“It’s horrifying to think how one person can create such suffering and death, all for the sake of profits. Anyone involved in any of these laboratories has blood on their hands, and should have to answer for what they have done.”
“If every person in Ireland was allowed to see what goes on behind the closed doors of these laboratories, they would be shut down immediately.” she added
*Charles River Laboratories, which is one of the biggest animal testing companies in the world, have two research facilities in Ireland. They are located in: Carrentrila, Ballina, Co. Mayo and Glenamoy, Co. Mayo.
They are a contract testing business, which means they will test anything, on any animal, for a price. They conduct painful, live experiments on animals for the Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Medical Device, Biotechnology and Food Industries in Ireland.
Thousands of animals are experimented on in these labs every year. Their torturous lives are full of pain, fear, suffering and misery. Any animal that manages to survive an experiment, is killed shortly afterwards.*
Vivisection is the live experimentation and dissection of animals.
112, 835 animals were experimented on last year in Irish laboratories.
Although a lot of animal testing goes on in colleges and universities, there are 9 independent, commercial laboratories in this country.
Animal research has been shown time and again to hold back medical progress for people. Here are just a few examples:
Arthritis painkiller Vioxx, which was withdrawn in 2004, caused over 140,000 strokes and heart attacks (almost 60,000 fatal), even though it appeared safe when tested on animals.
In the 1980s, thousands of people were given HIV-contaminated blood, which was deemed safe as it did not affect chimpanzees (as chimpanzees are essentially immune to HIV).
Blood transfusions were delayed by 200 years and corneal transplants delayed by 90 years, as a result of animal studies.
22 drugs to treat spinal cord damage were developed on animals - all failed when applied to humans.
The notoriously dangerous drugs thalidomide and DES were tested in animals and released for human use. Tens of thousands suffered and/or died as a result.
In 2006, TGN1412, a new drug for leukaemia, cancer, multiple sclerosis and arthritis, caused disastrous side effects in the first human volunteers - even though it had passed tests on monkeys who were given doses 500 times greater than those given to the volunteers.
Rats and mice are the animals primarily used in cancer research. They never get carcinomas, the human form of cancer, which affects membranes (e.g. lung cancer). Their sarcomas affect bone and connecting tissue: the two cannot be compared.
Even a former director of Huntingdon Life Sciences (which is one of Europe’s largest animal testing facilities) admitted that animal tests only correctly predict effects in humans 5-25% of the time. Compare that to the fact that human cell culture tests have proven to be 80% accurate.
10th October 2009
CAFT Ireland - Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade
3 YEAR PHASE-OUT BAN FOR FUR FARMING IN IRELAND
Contact CAFT Ireland spokesperson: Laura Broxson, 086 8729 444.
Saturday 10th October marked an historical victory for anti-fur campaigners across Ireland. Green Party members voted in favour for a new programme for government, which will see fur farming banned in Ireland within 3years.
"Our greatest goal for our fur farm campaign was to get fur farming banned - we are absolutely thrilled that this dream has now become a reality" says spokesperson for CAFT Ireland, Laura Broxson
"We have lobbied for this for so many years. Campaigning week-in, week-out - from leafleting outside government buildings, to fur farm protests, there is nothing we haven't done in the fight to get this barbaric industry abolished" she said
"There are fur farms that have been operating here for over 30years, it is disgraceful that they weren't banned years ago - but we are glad that the Green's finally came through, for this issue at least, in the end. There is a lot more that needs to be done in terms of animal rights though, we would consider this to be just the first step"
"For the thousands of mink that will be killed over the next 3 years, a phase-out ban simply isn't good enough, which is why we will continue protesting the fur farms until the day they close"
"Then we can turn our attention to banning the importation of fur in Ireland. The campaign will not end until we make this country completely fur-free" she added
CAFT Ireland - The History behind the Campaign:
Ireland’s Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) was set up in 2005, based on CAFT UK, and has been campaigning against the country's fur trade ever since.
Every week since 2006, we have protested and leafleted outside of the Department of Agriculture (as they were responsible for licensing these death camps), keeping the pressure on the Irish government to ban fur farming in Ireland .
Every second Saturday we also have very visual and noisy protests outside shops and stores in Dublin that sell real fur, resulting in many fur-free successes (for more details, see: http://www.naracampaigns.org/furcampaign.html).
Since 2005, we have:
Organised over 400 demonstrations
Given out over 200,000 leaflets
Distributed over 300 anti-fur information packs
Organised annual Fur Farm awareness days and protests outside Ireland's largest fur farm, Vasa Ltd., in Co. Laois
In 2009, for the first time in the history of Irish anti-fur campaigning, we organised a 'Fur Farm Exposé Tour', in which we traveled to every fur-farming county to leaflet the towns and protest outside the actual farms. This was a very effective tool in highlighting the issue, resulting in a lot of newspaper and radio coverage.
Produced a campaign video on the issue, thanks to anonymously received footage exposing Irish fur farms, which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/naracampaigns
Sent out 109 fur farm exposé packs to to various TD's, Ministers, SPCA's, radio stations and newspapers. This resulted in a number of Irish politicians getting onboard with the campaign, and an investigation on the fur farms being launched.
14th September 2009
Animal-rights protests planned for Mayo labs
Monday, 14 September 2009
ANIMAL-rights activists from across the globe are expected to travel to
Mayo next week – for a day-long protest at Charles River Bio
Laboratories in both Ballina and Glenamoy.
The laboratories, located at Carrentrilla outside Ballina and Glenamoy –
specialising in biological studies and locally referred to as ‘rat
factories’ - have been named as the location for a protest next Tuesday,
September 22, headed up by the international organisation Stop
Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC).
Confirming the protest, SHAC said: “We’ll be protesting at both Charles
Rivers’ facilities on the day, and will also be distributing special
‘whistle blower’ leaflets while we’re over there.”
A campaigner with SHAC outlined that the Mayo laboratories have been
chosen as their parent company is one of the biggest animal testing
companies in the world.
Arguing that the company is a ‘contract testing business, which means
they will test anything, on any animal, for a price’, members of SHAC
have also accused such labs of conducting ‘painful, live experiments on
The activist added: “Thousands of animals are experimented on in these
labs every year. Their torturous lives are full of pain, fear, suffering
and misery. And any animal that manages to survive an experiment, is
killed shortly afterwards.”
The campaigner even insisted it was ‘disturbing’ that many local people
casually refer to the Mayo plants as ‘rat factories’.
However, when contacted by The Mayo News a spokesperson Charles River
Labs defended its commitment to animal welfare, stating: “Charles River
has a deep commitment to animal welfare, and we make every effort to
exceed national standards for the care of the animal models under our
The company also made reference to its ‘essential’ role in bio medical
research. “The survival rates for major diseases are at an all-time high
thanks to the discovery of new drugs. Charles River’s work is an
essential component of the research that has led to these discoveries
and has played a vital role in medical advances for humans as well as
9th September 2009
Anger as boy buys sick horse for £6
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Animal protection officials have spoken out after the purchase of a sick horse by an 11-year-old at Dublin's monthly Smithfield Horse Fair – for just £6 (€8).
Dublin SPCA inspectors were in attendance at the market and the child brought the pony to them to take back to the shelter.
On examination at the Dublin SPCA shelter the pony, aged about 15 years, was found to be in severe pain – and it is uncertain whether the animal can be saved.
Liam Kinsella, inspector with the Dublin SPCA questioned the kind of society where an 11-year old-child can purchase an ill and suffering animal for €8 in a public market contrary to Control of Horses Act – which forbids the sale of horses to those under the age of 16.
“It is appalling to think that someone allowed her to get into that condition and then offloaded her for less than the price of a packet of cigarettes.
“There are no words left to describe my anger and frustration at the current situation regarding equine in this country,” he said.
Ireland is in the midst of an equine crisis, as a number of factors cause more and more horses to suffer, according to the DSPCA.
Reckless breeding during the Celtic Tiger years means the country is awash with unwanted equine. Added to the problem are the increasing cost of fodder and the diminishing value of equine, it says.
Jimmy Cahill, General Manager at the Dublin SPCA said; “We have witnessed a number of horrific cases of cruelty to horses that originated at the Smithfield market which is unlicensed, unregulated, and completely unsuitable for horses. “Typically the Dublin SPCA rescues approximately 40 horses a year, by end of August 2009 we are approaching 90.”
2nd September 2009
Fota ostrich flock put down in Avian TB fear
Wednesday September 02 2009
The entire flock of ostriches at Fota Wildlife Park have had to be put down because of concerns about Avian TB.
The park confirmed that it humanely put down their entire ostrich collection after an imported bird apparently introduced Avian Tuberculosis.
The move -- which was described as regrettable but necessary -- was taken amid concerns the disease could be transmitted to Fota's other wild bird species which include guinea fowl, macaws, ducks, geese and an eagle.
Dr David Gibson said that Avian TB is extremely common in wild birds. One ostrich was confirmed as having the disease -- and the other three birds that were in contact with it were also put down.
However, given the concerns over further transmission of the disease, the decision was taken to put down the entire ostrich flock. Fota is now disinfecting all areas where the ostriches were kept -- but said they had vowed to have the giant bird species back on display for the 2010 season.
"The plan is to source some eggs, probably from the UK, and raise the chicks here at Fota so that we have them ready to go on public display next year," Dr Gibson said.
- Ralph Riegel
16th August 2009
Number of animals tested doubles in year
John Downes, News Investigations Correspondent
Concerns have been expressed that Ireland is becoming an international centre for animal testing.
Latest government figures reveal that the total number of animals used in experiments almost doubled to over 112,800 last year.
The unpublished Department of Health figures show there were increases in the number of dogs, rabbits, pigs, and fish used in experiments during 2008.
The number of cattle used in experiments almost doubled to 4,019, while the number of mice used almost tripled to 71,224 when compared to the previous year.
Overall, 557 dogs, 456 sheep, 224 pigs, 91 guinea pigs, 68 hamsters, 204 rabbits, and 23,198 fish were subjected to scientific procedures, all of which represented an increase on the previous year, the figures reveal.
Among the few categories to buck the trend were cats (down to 295 from 421 during the previous year), birds (582 compared to 1,016 in 2007) and horses, donkeys and crossbreeds (144 versus 153).
Animal welfare campaigners say these figures are still too high, and point out that the total of 112,835 animals used in research last year represents by far the highest number recorded over the 18-year period since 1990.
But supporters of scientific testing on animals argue it is necessary to develop treatment for many human illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and arthritis.
According to a more detailed breakdown of the statistics, all of the cats and the vast majority of the dogs (547) came from registered Irish breeders or supplying establishments.
This has prompted the Irish Antivivisection Society (IAVS) to reiterate its concerns that these animals are effectively being "bred to die".
Most of the dogs (543) and all of the cats were also used in experiments which did not involve anaesthesia, the figures show.
IAVS spokeswoman Yvonne Smalley, who obtained the figures, said she was "horrified" to learn that the number of animals used in experiments here has almost doubled in the space of a year. She questioned whether companies have been "wooed to Ireland" on the basis that they can conduct "any amount" of animal experiments on limitless numbers of animals.
"Six new commercial companies have been licensed to experiment on animals in the last couple of years, bringing the total to nine," she said.
"Poisoning animals for commercial advantage is unethical and should have no place in this country's stated policy to encourage the latest scientific research and testing technologies to flourish in Ireland."
One of Ireland's most celebrated authors John Banville has in the past strongly criticised the use of animals for experiments in universities such as Trinity College Dublin, which he said was "morally indefensible".
This followed the publication of figures in this newspaper showing that TCD had spent more than €600,000 over a period of three years procuring 41 live beagle dogs, 69 pigs and over 16,000 mice for medical or scientific research.
The new figures show that none of the cats and just 14 of the dogs used in scientific experiments last year were licensed to universities and colleges. By comparison, all 295 cats and 455 dogs were approved for use in commercial establishments.
Almost 18,500 mice, 7,900 rats, 120 rabbits, 357 cattle and 34 horses, donkeys and crossbreeds were licensed for use in universities and colleges last year, while a further 50,759 mice, 3,108 rats, 84 rabbits, 99 horses, donkeys or crossbreeds and 91 cattle were licensed to commercial establishments.
Under current regulations, private companies or colleges that wish to conduct research using animals must apply to the department for a licence. The figures reflect the number of occasions on which they made such applications in 2008.
10th August 2009
"On monday morning a hunting and fishing shop in lucan was spray painted and had its locks glued shut. The message read 'A.L.F.: STOP SELLING DEATH' and the ALF symbol was done too! For The Animals!"
29th July 2009
"FUR FARM EXPOSÉ TOUR REPORT"
CAFT Ireland launched the country's first ever 'Fur Farm Exposé Tour' on Saturday 4th July. This was to highlight the recent undercover exposé on Irish fur farms, which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/naracampaigns
We travelled to every county that has a fur farm, tabled and leafleted in the major town near each farm, and protested outside all 5 mink farms - something that has never been done before, and something that we pledge to keep doing on a regular basis.
WHAT WE DID:
PART 1 - Sat. 4th - CO. LAOIS: An information table and display was set up Portlaoise, and all the shops in the town were given bundles of leaflets for their customers. We then had a protest outside Ireland's largest fur farm, Vasa Ltd. (Vicarstown, Stradbally, Co. Laois), where 45,000 mink are murdered every year. This is the 4th time we have protested this fur farm, and as with most years, a worker had to stop at the gates to drive passed us into the farm, as we 'named and shamed' him for the blood on his hands. Vasa Ltd. is owned by Una & Michael Heffernan.
PART 2 - Sat. 11th - CO. SLIGO: An information table and display was set up in Sligo Town, and as there was an arts/street performance festival happening while we were there, our display generated a lot of interest. All the shops in the town, including those in a popular shopping centre, were given bundles of leaflets for their customers. Then we went to North West Fur Farms Ltd. (Rhue, Tubercurry, Co. Sligo), owned by Kieran Lundy. Due to the fact that the Lundy's reside right in front of their death camp, this was one of the most direct protests we've had on the tour - there was no way they could ignore us.
PART 3 - Sat. 18th - CO. KERRY: For this event we teamed up with local group, 'Fur or Against?', in Tralee. We set up a table and display together, and both groups leafleted the town and shops. Afterwards we headed to Willow Herb Ltd. (Dromkeare, Waterville, Co. Kerry), which is owned by Stefan Kolon. The gardai didn't let us get as close to the entrance of the fur farm as we would have liked to be, but the Kolon family were left in no doubt as to why we were there.
PART 4 - Sat. 25th - Co. Donegal: For the finale of our tour, we spent 2 days in Donegal, where we teamed up with the Donegal Vegan group in Letterkenny. An information table was set up, and the whole town was leafleted. Out of all the places we've been to, Letterkenny was one of the most receptive - with all but one shop eager to take bundles of leaflets from us. When we finished there, we went to protest Tazetta Ltd. (Drumnalough, Glenties, Co. Donegal), which is owned by Sven Sjoholm. Sven, his wife Monica, and a number of workers watched us throughout the entire protest - they even used a camcorder on us and spent a lot of time taking pictures. We didn't care, but still found it quite strange! What are they so worried about, I wonder?
Anyway, after that, we went to Rolf Andersson Mink Farms Ltd. (Ardara, Killybegs, Co. Donegal), which is owned by Rolf Andersson. This is the farm you see at the beginning of the exposé video, with 5 mink to a cage, and faeces covered cages. The farm is the most hidden one we've been too, it's completely surrounded by trees. And they don't even stop at mink when it comes to abusing animals - they have an Alsatian chained up at the entrance of the farm. Rolf was just as uptight as Sven when he saw us, with camcorder in hand. I'm sure after decades of murdering animals went unnoticed, they assumed no one would ever stand up against them.
The following day, we leafleted Letterkenny again, and then a smaller group of us drove back to Tazetta Ltd. for a quick protest before heading back to Dublin.
By organising this tour, we weren't just representing our group, we were representing the whole country. It is time these farmers knew that the Irish people will no longer tolerate what they are doing.
We distributed literally thousands of leaflets in each town, and we've had a fair amount of media coverage for the tour too. Local newspapers published pieces on the campaign, and I've done a number of radio interviews as well. I even had a live debate with Sven Sjoholm on Highland Radio Station this week.
Our campaign is not about improving welfare standards, such giving them bigger cages - we are fighting for empty cages. It is unacceptable for fur farming to continue in this country. Just because it is currently legal, doesn’t make it morally acceptable. Everyone involved in this barbaric industry has blood on their hands and should be ashamed of themselves. There is absolutely no justification for wearing real fur.
We are not asking for an end to fur farming - we’re demanding it. The Department of Agriculture better be listening, because we will not let this barbaric industry continue, and we will not accept a phase-out ban.
For the millions who have died at the hands of these barbarians, we will never stop until justice is served.
086 8729 444
CAFT Ireland / National Animal Rights Association
19th July 2009
"2 trucks and 5 cars spray painted and locks welded. 1 van treated with paint remover."
16th July 2009
"Two anglers vehicles in the south east of Ireland had their locks glued tight as they were hauling bodies from the water.
Fish feel pain too."
14th July 2009
See link for pics: http://www.sligotoday.ie/details.php?id=5041
Protest to close Sligo fur farm
Members of Ireland's Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) held a double protest in Sligo at the weekend. It was the first time the organisation protested in Sligo and was part of a national programme of 'awareness' being highlighted in every county in July.
On Saturday afternoon the protesting group gathered at Sligo’s main Post Office to distribute information leaflets and gather signatures for a petition before continuing on to Tubbercurry where Sligo's only fur farm is located.
Speaking to Sligo Today, Laura Broxson, spokesperson for CAFT said, "This is the first time this fur farm has been demonstrated against. They kill thousands of mink every year and we want them to know that as long as they continue to murder animals for profit, we’re going to be there fighting for those animals’ lives.”
When asked what prompted this action, Ms Broxson responded: “An exposé on Irish fur farms was recently released, which documents the horrendous cruelty involved in Ireland’s fur trade. In it, you can clearly see the filthy conditions in which these poor animals were forced to live in. On some farms, no food or water is available, and on a farm in Donegal, they put 5 mink at a time in 1 standard size cage. I really don’t know how these ‘people’ lives with themselves. We’ll have copies of the DVD to hand out on Saturday, so I really hope people will take a look at it”
Speaking exclusively to Sligo Today, Kieran Lundy, the owner of North West Fur Farm in Tubbercurry explained that his farm is run under the tightest of regulations imposed by European Law and is fully licensed by the Department of Agriculture.
He dismissed all the claims by CAFT because his farm receives non-notified spot-check visits by departmental veterinary surgeons. He emphasized that all his stock are humanely killed by lethal injection, which is also supervised by vets. He said that he had spent hundreds of thousands of euro on his farm and had followed best practice standards learned on his frequent visits to state-supervised fur farms in the US.
Mr.Lundy missed the protest on Saturday as he was away from the farm at the time.
Laura Broxson concluded, “Fur farming is Ireland’s secret shame – if more people knew about them, the quicker they would be closed down. But as long as people are being kept unaware, the Department of Agriculture are happy to keep these death camps in business, by licensing them. We cannot stress enough how important that people voice their objections to this disgusting industry, whether it’s joining out campaigns, or writing to the Minister of Agriculture, something needs to be done – now.
“We campaign on a weekly basis to close Ireland’s fur farms, and for the next month we will be travelling to every fur farming county in Ireland – so if anyone would like to get involved with our campaign, please get in touch: www.naracampaigns.org” she added.
Do you have an opinion? send your comments to email@example.com
14th July 2009
Tubber fur farm protest
MEMBERS of Ireland's Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) - part of the National Animal Rights Association - held a ‘Fur Farm Awareness Day’ in Sligo on Saturday, July 11.
The day, the first of its kind in Sligo - was held as part of an official anti-fur tour organised by CAFT, to highlight the recent exposé on Irish fur farms. An information table and visual display was set up in Sligo town from 1.30-3.30pm. And at 5pm a group of 12 anti fur activists held a protest outside North West Fur Farms, in Rhue, Tubbercurry.
“Fur farming is Ireland’s secret shame - if more people knew about it, the quicker it would be stopped. But as long as people are being kept unaware, the Department of Agriculture are happy to keep these death camps in business, by licensing them.” said CAFT spokesperson Laura Broxson.
14th July 2009
"Duffy's Circus in Dublin was targeted. Trucks and cars were sabotaged, wires cut, locks glued and property was damaged. A clear message was painted for them, so they would know the reason behind this attack: STOP USING ANIMALS.
This has been their first warning. If they decide to ignore it, more economical damage will be inflicted.
UNTIL THEY ARE ALL FREE."
3rd June 2009
Mutilated remains of greyhounds dumped at popular pier
The carcasses of three dead greyhounds have been dumped at one of the most popular bathing areas in the Mid-West.
The shocking discovery was made by officials from the Environment Department of Limerick County Council last Thursday.
Water Officer with the Council, John Considine was on a regular inspection of the county's two main bathing areas, at Glin in east Limerick and at Kilteery, on the border with Co Kerry.
While speaking with staff at Kilteery he noticed what appeared to be the remains of the dog in the water below the pier.
On closer inspection, Mr Considine discovered two recently dumped greyhounds and the skeletal remains of a greyhound which had been dumped some time ago.
The ears of all dogs had been cut off in an apparent attempt to avoid identifying the owner of the animals -- all greyhounds have an identification number tattooed behind their ears.
The matter has been reported to the gardai, while Bord na gCon has also been advised of the find.
The board is anxious to have a hair taken from each of the two most recently dumped dogs in an attempt to identify the animals by DNA.
Judging from the build of the dogs, there are indications that they have been bred for coursing rather than greyhound track racing.
Mr Considine said: "There are just no words for a person who would do a thing like that. We have made a huge effort to develop this into an amenity area to be enjoyed -- and then this happened.
"I haven't seen anything like this in 20 years in this job and the fact that all that remains of one of the dogs is skeletal suggests that somebody is making a habit of this.
"There are also clear indications that the other two dogs were put down by a vet before being dumped here in this way. We are pursuing this matter in every way we can".
The remains of all three animals have since been removed from Kilteery pier.
- BRIAN McDONALD
11th May 2009
Course accused of 'cold-hearted complacency' as six horses die in one day at Killarney
Posted 11 May 2009
Killarney racecourse has been accused of ‘cold hearted complacency’ by Animal Aid, Europe’s largest animal rights organisation. The group’s attack comes after the death of six horses in one day at the racecourse was dismissed by a senior course official as ‘just the law of averages’. Sunday’s carnage is thought to be unprecedented in modern times in Ireland, and matches the death-rate seen during a single day at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival – a notorious occurrence that prompted a full-scale inquiry by British racing’s regulatory body.
As well as the six dead, four other horses were injured during the opening day of the three-day Killarney meeting.
Animal Aid is calling for a prompt and thorough inquiry by the Irish Turf Club, as well as an independent review of horse deaths on all Irish racecourses.
The horses who perished on Sunday at the Killarney course were Panther Creek, Robin Bu Bois, Imperial Hills, Wishwillow Lord, Sonorra and, it is believed, Tusa An Fear.
In response to the deaths, Racing Post quotes Clerk of the Course, Brendan Sheridan, as declaring: ‘All the jockeys said the ground today was perfect. It's just the law of averages.’
Said Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler:
‘To pass off the deaths of six horses in a single day’s racing as a statistical blip amounts to cold-hearted complacency. The Irish racing industry claims it cherishes and cossets its Thoroughbreds but the official response to Sunday’s carnage proves that these horses are seen by some as mere disposable commodities.
‘Animal Aid’s revelations and campaigning in relation to British racing has put the national regulatory body – the British Horseracing Authority – under strong and growing pressure. A recently tabled House of Commons Motion, which calls on the government to act decisively to tackle racecourse deaths, has already attracted the support of 80 MPs. Killarney racecourse and the Irish Turf Club will find themselves under similar pressure to ditch their do-nothing complacency and take seriously their legal obligation to protect the welfare of horses.’
Notes to editors:
Of the approximately 18,000 horses bred each year by the closely related British and Irish racing industries, only around 40% go on to race. Many of the uncommercial animals end up slaughtered for meat, while those who do enter racing suffer a high level of fatal injuries and stress-related illnesses, such as gastric ulcers and bleeding lungs. Around 6,000 British Thoroughbreds leave racing each year, yet very few are properly provided for when racing ends.
View our powerful 90-second web film
View our undercover footage of horse slaughter
For full background and interviews, contact Andrew Tyler or Dene Stansall on 01732 364546.
ISDN line available for broadcast-quality interviews.
Images are available on request.
5th May 2009
Growth in dog fighting rings sparks appeal for crackdown
ANIMAL rights activists have appealed to the public for help in their attempts to clamp down on a suspected dog-fighting ring operating across the south of the country.
A recent spate of abandoned, injured dogs has prompted fears that dog-fighting is becoming more organised and is occurring more frequently, with thousands of euros wagered on the outcomes of the illegal bouts.
Dog fights -- typically between variations of Staffordshire or Pit Bull terriers -- usually involve a fight to the death, with the animals suffering horrific injuries.
Meanwhile, tamer dogs such as greyhounds are often used as "bait" during the training phase of a fighting-dog's career, giving the animal a taste for blood and some practice in fighting.
Two abandoned, severely-injured greyhounds, found in the last week in the Clonmel area are thought to have been used as training material for fighting dogs. Gardai and the Tipperary SPCA are currently investigating the discoveries.
"One dog was quite literally torn open," said Mark Hickey of the TSPCA. "It was still alive when we found it but had to be put down by the vet because the injury was so bad. It [the tear] started below the rib cage, and continued down into the dog's side and into the groin."
Another greyhound/whippet, aged about five, found around the same time had up to 80 puncture wounds -- consistent with being repeatedly attacked by a fighting dog. "He was also brought to the vet but died of shock," said Hickey.
The first dog, thought to have been between two and three years old, was originally a racing greyhound as it had an official tattoo, and the SPCA have asked Bord na gCon for help in tracing its owners.
"I know there's dog fighting going on in the area," said Mark Hickey, "but these fellas are so organised that it's impossible to get near them."
- CONOR KANE
2nd May 2009
Gardai hunt youths who beat and tortured sheep
By Anita Guidera
Saturday May 02 2009
A GARDA investigation is under way after a sheep was allegedly beaten to near death by a gang of youths in a housing estate.
The animal's injuries were so severe that it had to be put down by a local vet who was contacted by gardai.
The incident, which took place in Crana View in the Cockhill housing estate on the outskirts of Buncrana last Wednesday morning, was allegedly filmed by mobile phone and circulated.
Neighbours in the estate awoke to a disturbance at around 2.30am and witnessed a number of young men, not from the locality, on the street.
According to local reports, a group of youths in their late teens had earlier stolen the sheep from a nearby hill and brought it to the estate where they allegedly beat and tortured it, in public view.
One local person contacted gardai who called in a local vet but the animal's injuries were so bad it could not be saved.
Buncrana-based superintendent Paul Glynn confirmed yesterday that the matter was under active investigation.
"We are looking into all the circumstances surrounding this incident. There are rumours and information that something happened to the sheep which would be of great cause for concern. We are very anxious to find out what happened," he said. He added that gardai expected there would be criminal prosecutions arising out of the incident.
There have been a spate of attacks in the region in recent weeks.
A man in Derry's Waterside reported a half-dead calf that was tied to the roof of a car with a Donegal licence plate, and just last month a pig was found slaughtered in an estate close to where the sheep died.
ISPCA inspector Kevin McGinley said he believed the sheep had suffered "substantial injuries" after being beaten, and the fact that "it was brought there suggests that it was premeditated".
- Anita Guidera
20th April 2009
Rhinos relocated by zoo after accidental zebra death
By Allison Bray
Monday April 20 2009
A WHITE rhinoceros has been moved to her own enclosure at Dublin Zoo after killing a zebra.
Eight-year-old rhinoceros Zanta and the other rhinos are now segregated from animals at the new savannah enclosure following the incident.
It happened a week before the new exhibit was officially opened by President Mary McAleese.
The April 2 incident was sparked by a pair of mischievous zebras who playfully nipped at Zanta's rear end.
The rhino chased after the culprits but another zebra, called Killarney, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught in the rumpus, said assistant zoo director Paul O'Donoghue.
"The rhino didn't mean to kill the zebra; our staff witnessed what happened," he said.
"Zanta chased two zebras which had annoyed her by biting her rear end and accidentally hit Killarney during the chase.. The zebras ran into an indoor shelter. We assumed that she wasn't seriously injured but she died a short time later."
The impact of the collision was enough to send Killarney several centimetres into the air and would have been akin to being struck by a speeding lorry, he added.
To make matters worse, she wasn't even one of the instigators, he said.
"She had nothing to do with it. She was running to get back to the group of zebras when their paths literally crossed," he told the Irish Independent.
"It's bad enough when an animal dies but especially when she was totally innocent," he added.
But zebras can also be a bit mischievous, he added.
The rhinos will be temporarily kept in their own fenced-off area in the enclosure before allowing them to mix again with the general savannah population.
"It's just a question of mixing them again but doing it very slowly," said Mr O'Donoghue. "But there are no guarantees when you're dealing with wild animals."
19th April 2009
Zebra killing rocks Dublin Zoo project
Sunday Times April 19, 2009
Animal dies after 'collision' with white rhino in new African enclosure
Dublin Zoo’s new African savanna enclosure, which contains a mixture of indigenous African species, lived up to its claims of authenticity when a zebra was killed by a white rhino the week before it was officially opened by president Mary McAleese.
Zanta, an eight-year-old female rhinoceros, fatally wounded Killarney while chasing two other zebra which had bitten its rear. The animals had been allowed to mix in the new enclosure, which also contains giraffe, ostrich, and scimitar-horned oryx. The rhinos have now been removed.
Paul O’Donoghue, an assistant director at the zoo, said the species had been mixing together for several days before the incident occurred on the afternoon of April 2.
“The rhino didn’t mean to kill the zebra; our staff witnessed what happened,” he said. “Zanta chased two zebra which had annoyed her by biting her rear end, and accidentally hit Killarney during the chase. The zebra ran into an indoor shelter. We assumed that she wasn’t seriously injured, but she died a short time later.”
The white rhino, usually a placid animal, is said to have raised the zebra several centimetres off the ground in the collision. The impact would have been similar to being hit by a speeding truck.
A post-mortem examination carried out on the dead zebra by a vet at University College Dublin confirmed the death was caused by the rhino’s horn.
“Rhino and zebra usually intermingle in the wild, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be kept together in zoos,” said O'Donoghue. “In fact, we acquired Zanta from a South African game park where she was kept with other species including zebra.
“We have segregated the rhinos from the other savanna species since the accident. We are going to place a fence between them for another while before allowing them to mingle again. It might be a good idea to let the rhinos get used to having other animals wandering around before we take down the fence.”
White rhinos, which can weigh 3,600kg and grow to four meters in length and 1.8 meters in height, are slightly bigger than black rhinos, but generally have a less volatile temper.
White rhinos are endangered in Africa, where about 17,000 are left, many of them living in nature reserves and game parks where they are protected from poachers by armed guards. The species are illegally hunted for their horns, which are used in traditional Far Eastern medicines and to make dagger handles in the Middle East.
Small populations of the species, the world’s largest land mammal after African elephants, survive in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland and Mozambique.
Dublin Zoo has enjoyed some success in breeding white rhinos. Last June, one cow gave birth to a female calf, the first born in Dublin in 14 years.
Dublin Zoo’s African savanna exhibit, which covers 22,000sq meters, was built on land which was part of the neighbouring estate of Aras an Uachtarain. Its construction involved the excavation and movement of 5,000 tonnes of sandstone boulders transported from Donegal, and 6,000 cubic metres of sand.
“What happened to Killarney was a tragedy but we plan to press ahead with the savanna project,” said O’Donoghue. “It was an accident. Zanta is a placid animal.”
3rd April 2009
IRISH FUR FARM EXPOSE - UPDATE
Just to let you know, after sending out over 100 "Irish Fur Farm Expose Packs" to various TD's, Ministers, SPCA's, radio stations and newspapers, we are finally getting some results!
I have been doing a number of radio interviews (one of which was a live debate with a fur farmer in Donegal!) and newspaper interviews as well, so at least it's now getting properly highlighted. A number of TD's have gotten back to me too, getting on board with the campaign and even lobbying Minister Brendan Smith themselves. As a result, I can confirm that the Dept. of Agriculture will now be investigating the matter.
We can also confirm that fur farming will be included in the new Animal Welfare Bill, though at this early stage we can not guess as to what extent. So please keep writing in to the Dept. of Agriculture, demanding a complete and immediate ban of fur farming in Ireland.
I'll keep you all posted with any further updates and progress.
For the animals,
086 8729 444
CAFT Ireland / National Animal Rights Association
31st March 2009
Hunters 'smuggling dog-sized deer for shooting'
By Grainne Cunningham
Tuesday March 31 2009
DEER are being smuggled into Ireland purely for the purpose of being shot by hunters, wildlife experts claim.
Chairman of the Irish Wildlife Trust Padraic Fogarty confirmed that there had been sightings of the muntjac, a deer about the size of a large dog, in Wexford.
The muntjac are not native to Ireland and cannot be imported legally. Because of their small size, they pose an additional risk to trees as they may be able to slip through fencing designed to keep out our own deer species, Mr Fogarty said.
Meanwhile, Peter Cosgrove, from the Scottish-based environmental consultancy Envirocentre, said insiders had warned him about the problem of smuggled deer.
He urged border officials to be more vigilant, as he feared Scottish deer were being brought illegally to Ireland.
"We have people who have their ear to the ground who are concerned about it and they are getting more and more worried," he said.
"We have had several different people saying this is going on and that it's becoming a problem. Nobody has yet been caught in the act.
Mr Cosgrove added that if the non-native species of deer start breeding in Ireland they could wreak havoc -- damaging forests by overgrazing and out-competing native animals.
The animals could also spread diseases from mainland Britain to Ireland. Usually, animals transported from one country to another must spend time in quarantine.
It is illegal to introduce an alien species into the wild in the Republic and in the North. There is a policy to kill on sight any of the non-native deer that are spotted.
Muntjac were first introduced from China to Bedfordshire in the early 20th century and spread across England, Wales and the Scottish Borders.
A common name for muntjac is "barking deer", resulting from the repeated, loud noise they make when under threat.
- Grainne Cunningham
29th March 2009
Sharp rise in cases of medical experiments on cats and dogs
John Downes, News Investigations Correspondent
March 29, 2009
Almost 900 cats and dogs were subjected to medical and scientific research procedures in Ireland during 2007, an increase of more than 400 in one year, the Sunday Tribune has learned.
The as yet unpublished figures obtained from the Department of Health show it issued licences to companies and universities to undertake research on 421 cats and 477 dogs that year.
This is more than twice the number of cats used in 2006, while 180 more dogs were also used.
The figures have prompted animal-welfare activists to express concern that animals are being "bred to die" here.
They claim there is little or no independently verified information about what happens to the animals once the tests have been completed and suspect many of them are either reused in other more harmful experiments, or simply destroyed.
According to the statistics, there was an overall decrease of 9,400 in the number of animals used for research purposes in 2007, when compared with a year earlier.
However, this is largely accounted for by a decrease of over 15,000 to 20,519 in the number of fish used, and a decrease of more than 2,500 to 2,152 in the number of cattle used.
By comparison, the number of mice used climbed by almost 5,000 to 26,111, the number of rats increased by 2,400 and the number of birds increased by almost 1,000.
Elsewhere, the figures reveal 43 rabbits, 153 horses and donkeys, 190 pigs and 370 sheep were used in 2007.
Under current regulations, private companies or colleges which wish to conduct research using animals must apply to the Department of Health for a licence to do so.
The new figures reflect the number of occasions on which they made such applications in 2007.
Yvonne Smalley, spokeswoman for the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS), which obtained the figures, said all of the cats and dogs came from "registered breeding or supplying establishments" within Ireland. Just under 190 were classified as "reused" animals.
"The IAVS is extremely concerned to learn that there are now nine commercial establishments licensed to carry out animal experiments in Ireland. This number has increased from three in 2006," she said.
"Using cats and dogs in laboratories to safety-test commercial products does not represent the latest in scientific endeavour."
She said the organisation had established that the private Charles River laboratory in Mayo breeds its own animals for research purposes.
"It is unethical for commercial companies to be licensed to conduct experiments on animals in pursuit of profits.
"Furthermore, commercial protection allows these companies to conduct animal experiments in secret."
A spokeswoman for Charles River declined to respond when asked whether its laboratory in Ireland breeds animals specifically for research purposes.
28th March 2009
La Mere Zou Restaurant Stops Serving Foie Gras!
I am delighted to announce that La Mere Zou restaurant (22 St. Stephens Green, Dublin 2), after only a small number of protests, has decided to stop serving foie gras!
Upon arriving there yesterday, a member of staff was outside changing the menus, and informed us that they have now stopped serving it, have even made new menus, and won't be getting foie gras in again.
He told me that they initially didn't want to admit defeat, but that we will have no need to protest their restaurant over foie gras anymore - and he even invited me to come back and confirm this with the manager during the week, if I wished.
So I would like to say a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who took part in this campaign, we did it!!!
086 8729 444
National Animal Rights Association
22nd March 2009
Badger baiters could face jail
Plans to introduce tougher laws in reformation of 'outdated' animal welfare legislation
March 22, 2009
The government is to introduce legislation to tackle animal cruelty in Ireland and to impose stiffer penalties on people involved in organising illegal blood sports such as badger baiting.
Trevor Sargent, the junior agriculture minister, said the prevailing law is outdated and in need of reform. The Animal Health and Welfare bill, to be published this summer, aims to provide greater protection for animals.
“The government wants to send a clear message to those involved in illegal blood sports that such barbaric practices will not be tolerated,” said Sargent. “I believe that custodial sentences should be introduced for people who engage in animal cruelty. This option is under consideration.
“I continue to be shocked by what some people regard as sport. It sullies the name of sport for all of us.”
The proposals, similar to legislation passed by the Scottish parliament in 2006, aim to update a regime that dates back to 1911.
“Most of the offences covered in the Protection of Animals Act (1911) and a number of other acts that cover animal welfare have low penalties,” said Sargent. “ We plan to significantly increase the penalties and introduce laws that would allow the gardai to intervene if a case of cruelty is brought to their attention.”
The legislation would also improve conditions for farm animals, including pigs and chickens which are reared intensively.
“We are looking at best international practice, taking into account the interest the public has in sourcing food which has a high animal-welfare production system at its heart.”
It is also proposed to give the Department of Agriculture more powers to slaughter animals after outbreaks such as foot-and-mouth.
Orla Angier, a spokeswoman for the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: “If this legislation is passed, it will be our opportunity to stamp out animal cruelty and give the various agencies involved in protecting animals the power to take action.”
Stephen Philpot, the chief executive of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA), said: “The republic is generally regarded as a safe haven for people who want to abuse animals, be they badger baiters or puppy farmers. There is no enforcement of the existing laws.”
However, he added: “I don’t know why the Irish government has opted to replicate the Scottish legislation, when the British government has just introduced radical new legislation that is light years ahead.”
21st March 2009
On the legality of fur farming – Housing Regulations
by Alan Donoghue
Since 2000, statutory law has required that mink and fox be housed according to their behavioural needs, under the heading “Freedom of Movement.” The following wording originates in the 1976 European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes, repeated verbatim in EC 98/58, S.I. 127/2000 and S.I. 14/2008:
“Where an animal is continuously or regularly tethered or confined, it must be given the space appropriate to its physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.” (Ethological = Behavioural)
- The Department of Agriculture & Food is obliged to interpret and apply statutory welfare legislation, typically through standing committees.
- To date, there is no record of any committee discussions on how mink/fox should be housed. Instead, the European Standing Committee’s 1999 minimum cage size recommendations are used, which were found to be inadequate two years later.
- Article 1 of the European standing committee’s recommendations for fur farming states: “No animal shall be kept for its fur if the animal belongs to a species whose members, despite these conditions being met, cannot adapt to captivity without welfare problems.”
- Article 23 obligates each country to carry out research on various welfare aspects of fur farming. Ireland has not conducted any research into fur farming.
The European Scientific Committee report on the welfare of fur-farmed animals (2001) found the current caging system “impairs mink welfare,” and “the typical fox cage does not provide for important needs of foxes.”
- This welfare report was brought to the current minister’s attention in 2005 but he dismissed the report on the false grounds that “ongoing research is required,” and further stated his “belief that the condition of an animal’s coat is a key indicator of its well-being,” contradicting the report’s explicit denial of this myth.
- The licensing system requires that mink be kept in escape-proof cages and is not subject to any specific welfare conditions being met. No license at all is required to farm foxes in barren cages.
European Standing Committee regulations on fur farming (1999):
S.I. 127/2000 (Protection of Animals kept for farming purposes):
The Welfare of Animals kept for fur production (2001):
Minister’s dismissal of welfare report, (Page 1219)
11th March 2009
Green Party Senator and Dublin Candidate for the European elections,
Deirdre de Burca, has welcomed the recent introduction of an EU ban on
testing cosmetics on animals.
According to Senator de Burca Wednesday 11th March marks the banning of
cosmetics testing on animals
within the European Union, which she claims will 'potentially save
thousands of animals from appalling suffering every year'.
"The EU ban on testing cosmetics on animals is here at last" said Senator
de Burca. "This also means that no products tested on animals abroad can
be imported into the EU. "The 7th amendment to the Cosmetics Directive
means that from
11 March 2009 it becomes illegal to test cosmetic ingredients on animals
anywhere in the EU, irrespective of
whether there is a non-animal alternative method available. It is also now
illegal to sell or import into the EU cosmetics ingredients or products
where they have been animal-tested after 11 March 2009, with the exception
types of test which have an extended deadline until 11 March 2013"
Green Party Cllr Ruairi Holohan, an active campaigner on animal welfare
issues says "for decades animal welfare groups have been campaigning,
lobbying and protesting over the barbaric practise of clinical testing of
cosmetics on animals. Now gone are the days of exposing animals eyes, skin
and stomachs to cosmetics to test their toxicity."
The Green Party is appealing to women to only purchase cosmetics which have
the 'leaping bunny logo', which is the worldwide symbol signifying that the
product has never been tested on animals.
For further information please contact;
Senator Deirdre de Burca 086 8061450
Cllr Ruairi Holohan 086 6087416
6th March 2009
Dog's 'disgusting death the tip of the iceberg'
Published Date: 06 March 2009
This "shocking and disgusting" picture reveals a dog trussed up in a potato sack which had been thrown in the River Foyle to die.
The animal's carcass was then washed ashore in a quiet Derry suburb where it still lies on the riverbank.
In an illfated fight for survival the animal was able to force its hind legs' through the sack but was unable to escape.
This, according to Joanne Mullan, a volunteer at the Rainbow Animal Shelter who attended the scene, displays a level of animal cruelty described as 'the tip of an iceberg in the North West'.
Remarkably the pictures were taken by Ms. Mullan while investigating a totally separate case of animal cruelty on the Bay Road Industrial Estate.
Having first received a call concerning a cat trapped in a hamster cage, Ms. Mullan found: "to my horror, the cats back legs were badly injured before the animal was caged and abandoned in the middle of the Bay Road."
There was nothing anyone could do and a veterinarian was called who had no choice but to put the animal to sleep. It is believed the cat was a household pet.
"This is something I have never seen in my life before," said Joanne who has worked at the animal shelter for the last ten years.
It was while attending to the cat that a passer by informed her of the dead dog on the riverbank.
"It was a horrible day and it was clear that this dog was still alive when dumped in the river, as it pushed its legs through the sack. Although badly decomposed I believe it to be a greyhound carcass.
"This animal died a horrific horrendous death. This is totally inexcusable and absolutely disgusting but probably is just the tip of the iceberg."
22nd February 2009
Dogs seized in police raids on badger baiters
The Sunday Times
February 22, 2009
Ulster officers took action against blood sports enthusiasts following a Sunday Times investigation
An international network of badger baiters has been exposed following an under-cover investigation by The Sunday Times.
The inquiry, run in conjunction with the Ulster Society (for the) Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA), prompted a series of police raids yesterday on the homes of blood sports enthusiasts in Ulster. Six dogs, including three pit bull-type terriers, were seized at one location in Co Armagh. More raids are planned for today.
Authorities in the republic are unable to mount similar raids on the homes of badger baiters identified in the six-month investigation. There is no provision in Irish legislation to allow the seizure of abused animals from private property.
Until now, the existence of organised badger baiting was considered something of an urban myth. But a Sunday Times journalist infiltrated an international blood sports network operating between Ireland, Britain, France and America.
Dog breeders were secretly recorded offering to sell terriers that had been bred specially to bait badgers. Footage of wild badgers being dug from their setts and baited in Co Down was also obtained.
The inquiry also uncovered a lucrative trade in terriers used in the illegal blood sport. A prized fighting terrier exported from Ireland to America last January was sold for €10,000.
The investigation has prompted renewed calls on the government to introduce further legislation to protect animals and to stop illegal blood sports. Stephen Philpott, the USPCA’s chief executive, said the joint investigation revealed that badger baiting was a more organised pastime than previously thought.
He said the network may have thought it was untouchable, but the information gathered during the investigation would enable police and USPCA inspectors to raid homes and kennels. “We have identified the people behind this bloodsport in Ireland and their cohorts in Europe and further afield,” he said.
Badger baiting networks have traditionally proved difficult to penetrate due to the secrecy involved in the underground sport, which involves pitting fighting terriers against badgers, a protected species.
Orla Aungier, a spokeswoman for the Dublin SPCA (DSPCA), said her organisation was powerless to take action. “We are currently dealing with a legislative fiasco whereby the authorities cannot take any action to seize dogs from people involved in this type of crime because gardai cannot enter property and seize animals that have been ill-treated,” she said.
18th February 2009
REPORT OF FUR FARM EXPOSE LAUNCH PROTEST
Yesterday, Tues. 17th February, almost 20 members of CAFT Ireland officially launched Ireland's newest expose of Irish fur farms, outside the Dept. of Agriculture - as they are responsible for licensing these death camps..
We set up a large visual display, with banners and placards - and members held our new graphic posters, with photos taken inside the fur farms. Many passers-by stopped to take leaflets and sign the petition, all of whom spoke of their full support of our campaign.
With two megaphones at full volume throughout the protest, it was very hard for the Dept. of Agriculture to ignore us! Even people from across the street had to stop and listen!
Before we finished the protest, we had a representative of the Department come out to us, so we could hand in our expose pack and petitions to Minister Brendan Smith.
Even though we had been advertising and publicising this for over a week, for some reason, we unfortunately didn't get any media coverage for the protest. But, we will be sending out additional press releases today.
The official campaign video of the expose will be posted beside the slideshow soon - we'll let you know when it's up!
HISTORY OF THE CAMPAIGN:
As this country's leading anti-fur group, CAFT Ireland has been leafleting, and organising protests outside the Department of Agriculture every week for almost 3 years now.
Hundreds of thousands of leaflets have been handed out, and thousands of petitions have been collected.
We do regular radio and press interviews on the issue, and get a huge amount of support for our campaign from the public.
This new expose has come at a perfect time, and we feel it has a great potential in helping us ban fur farming due to the documented evidence of breaches in welfare legislation.
We want as many people as possible to see this dvd, and will now be making them available to distribute at protests and information tables.
We will be sending official "Expose Packs" to various SPCA's around the country, as well as too TD's, government officials and the media. Should this prove unsuccessful, we will be seeking advice from a legal team on taking this further, thanks to a very kind member of our group.
In the coming weeks and months, we will also be organising more "Fur Farm Awareness Days", with protests outside the actual fur farms.
Finally, we would like to say a big 'thank you' to everyone who made yesterday's event a huge success. And if anyone would like more copies of the dvd, just let us know!
For the animals,
086 8729 444
CAFT Ireland / National Animal Rights Association
17th February 2009
Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (Ireland)
NEW UNDERCOVER EXPOSE ON IRISH FUR FARMS TO BE REVEALED BY ACTIVISTS OUTSIDE THE DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE
*COPIES OF THE DVD WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE PROTEST*
WHEN: 1.30pm - 2.30pm, Tuesday 17th February 2009
WHERE: Department of Agriculture, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
SPOKESPERSON for CAFT Ireland: Laura Broxson - 086 8729 444
Ireland's leading anti-fur group, CAFT Ireland, anonymously received a video recently, containing footage taken inside 4 of Ireland's fur farms. It clearly showed the barbaric truth of this industry, which fur farmers are so eager to hide. Mink can be seen crammed into tiny cages (one farm had 5 mink per cage), in absolutely appalling, filthy conditions, many with no food or water available. A lot of the mink also exhibited the stereotypical behaviour of repetitive movements - a sign of extreme stress.
"We were able to get this footage made into a campaign video, which we will be releasing on Tuesday 17th February. As the Department of Agriculture are responsible for licensing fur farming - which they call a "legitimate farming activity" - we will be launching the video release there, with a big, noisy protest." says spokesperson for the group, Laura Broxson
"A copy of the video will be handed in to the Department of Agriculture, as well as a letter and a report documenting the obvious breach of welfare legislation seen in the footage. A bundle of petitions collected recently, with over 2000 signatures on them, will also be given in."
"We will be giving a copy of this shocking dvd to every member of the press that comes, as well as to anyone who attends the protest, in hopes of getting this footage the coverage it deserves. Everyone in Ireland needs to see this video." she said
"How can the Irish government let over 150,000 animals be murdered here every year, purely for fashion? How can they ignore the passionate pleas of the Irish people, and allow this injustice to continue for the sake of 6 farmers? Fur farms have no place in Ireland, and we want them banned - immediately.
We never give in, and we always win - a fact which the Dept. of Agriculture obviously aren't familiar with." she added
15th February 2009
Slow racehorses fed to the lions in Dublin zoo
Ken Foxe Public Affairs Correspondent
One hundred horses a week slaughtered at Kilkenny factory, writes Ken Foxe
February 15, 2009
FAILED racehorses and other unwanted animals are being butchered and fed to lions and tigers at Dublin Zoo, the Sunday Tribune has learned.
The unwanted horses are sent to an abattoir in Co Kilkenny, where they are slaughtered and sold on to Dublin Zoo, pet food producers and restaurants in other EU countries.
Dublin Zoo has confirmed that it sources significant quantities of horse meat from B&F Meats, a factory based in Thomastown.
A spokeswoman said: "I have spoken to the Stores Manager in relation to your questions about what meats are fed to the animals ... he looks after buying all the animal food. He informed me that we use a selection of high quality meats, which are mainly pork, horsemeat, lamb, chicken and fish. They are sourced from a range of reputable companies.
"You specifically asked where the horsemeat is sourced from; it is bought from B&F Meats. All meats which are used are suitable for human consumption."
It is understood that horsemeat is considered particularly suitable for big cats, because it resembles the food they would eat in their natural habitat.
The number of horses going for slaughter has increased sharply in recent months according to a director of B&F Meats, Michael Farrell.
He has said that poor prices were forcing owners to cull even young stock in an attempt to reduce their numbers and cut costs.
October and November are considered the peak months for slaughter as old mares and those unlikely to foal again have been weaned from their offspring.
Factory prices for the animals range from just €100 to €400. However, owners usually send horses for slaughter not for profit but rather to cut running costs at their own stables.
It is understood that B&F Meats currently slaughters around 100 horses a week.
One owner admitted: "A horse is a very expensive animal to keep and if they can't race or jump and can't reproduce, then they are not much use to anybody.
"It may seem cruel to people, but this is one of the day-to-day realities of the equine industry in Ireland."
The recession has hit the horse industry and racing syndicates and families who could previously afford to pay the high fees needed to maintain a horse are now struggling with payments.
The lowest priced animals are generally used for pet food and for feeding large carnivorous animals at Dublin Zoo. However, some of the produce is sent to countries such as France and Holland where horsemeat is still considered a delicacy.
13th February 2009
Coaltion to Abolish the Fur Trade
Anti-Fur Activists to Protest China's Cat and Dog Fur Trade
WHEN: 1.30pm - 2.30pm, Friday 13th February 2009
WHERE: Embassy of the People's Republic of China
40 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
SPOKESPERSON: Laura Broxson - 086 8729 444
Members of the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade will be protesting outside the Chinese Embassy, as part of a Global Day of Action to highlight the cruelty of the cat and dog fur trade in China.
Over 2 million cats and dogs are killed in China every year for their fur. There are no regulations governing these fur farms - farmers can house and slaughter animals however they see fit - meaning miserable lives and excruciating deaths for these innocent creatures.
When undercover investigators made their way onto Chinese fur farms, they found that many animals are still alive, and struggling desperately, when workers flip them onto their backs - or hang them up by their legs or tails, to skin them. When workers on these farms begin to cut the skin and fur from an animal's leg, the free limbs kick and writhe. Workers stomp on the necks and heads of animals who struggle too hard to allow a clean cut.
When the fur is finally peeled off over the animals' heads, their naked, bloody bodies are thrown onto a pile of those who have gone before them. Some are still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly.
Some of the animals' hearts are still beating five to 10 minutes after they are skinned. One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on the heap of carcasses who had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and stare into the camera.
On these farms, other animals such as foxes, minks and rabbits suffer just as much as cats and dogs. They pace and shiver in outdoor wire cages, exposed to driving rain, freezing nights, and, at other times, scorching sun. Mother animals, who are driven crazy from rough handling and intense confinement and have nowhere to hide while giving birth, often kill their babies after delivering litters. Disease and injuries are widespread, and animals suffering from anxiety-induced psychosis chew on their own limbs and throw themselves repeatedly against the cage bars.
THIS HAS TO STOP! We are calling upon the Chinese government to do the right thing, and ban these fur farms immediately!
5th February 2009
Benetton & Sisley Fur Free by 2010
Over the past few weeks we have been contacting Benetton and Sisley regarding fur-free policies (as their stores in Dublin were selling real fur items over christmas).
We have just received a response from the Benetton Group (below) and I am pleased to say they will be fur free by their Spring/Summer 2010 collections.
However, we would ask that you all continue to boycott the stores until their fur-free policy is actively in place.
CAFT Ireland / N.A.R.A.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Dear Ms. Broxson,
In answer to your letter, I kindly would like to clarify our position regarding the use of fur in Benetton and Sisley garments.
First of all, I would like to emphasise that the Benetton Group has always been a responsible company with strong ethical and social values, as the firm's industrial and communication track record clearly testifies.
We are a casualwear company, not part of the luxury sector, and as such we produce clothes for everyday life. Our use of fur inserts has always been minimal. Indeed, this material has never been a characterizing element in the collections of our brands.
In any case, in line with our company's ethical and social policy, we are gradually eliminating fur details from all our garments, and this process will be completed next year, with the spring/summer 2010 collections.
I thank you very much for your attention and send you my kind regards.
Media and Communication
Tel. +39 0422 519959
Fax + 39 0422 515060
14th January 2009
Cruel circuses that use wild animals are banned
By Geraldine Gittens
Wednesday January 14 2009
Circuses could be facing a ban from more Dublin areas after South Dublin County Council called for an end to permit circuses which use wild animals.
In light of the well-documented evidence of suffering endured by the animals involved in circuses, councillors unanimously voted to support the introduction of bylaws which would ensure that circuses which use wild animals are prohibited from performing in any part of South Dublin County.
Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire County Council and Cork county council have all passed similar motions.
Cllr Tony McDermott (GP) said: "There is still a large presence of wild animals in circuses despite public opinion."
He said he'd seen the "whole danger of mixing wild animals within societies and urban areas in the last three years.
"A woman and her daughter were killed on the road in Galway two or three years ago, when some wild animals came loose," he said, stating that seven children have been injured in recent years because of wild circus animals.
Cllr Therese Ridge (FG) said: "I think that most parents bring their children to circuses for the clowns and acrobats.
"I have a particular recollection of being in the country on holidays and a local donkey was used as fodder for the wild animals.
Cllr Eamonn Maloney (Lab) said: "The relevant minister should have no difficulty in banning activity such as circuses with wild animals."
In a written response to Cllr McDermott, the council said a review was undertaken in 2005.
"It was concluded that it was not appropriate for the council to host circuses which made use of wild animals on council lands," it was said. "In 2006 preference was given to circuses that did not make use of wild animals."
"The companies now submitting expressions of interest for the sites on South Dublin County Council lands no longer contain acts using wild animals.
"This measure is considered to have dealt with the matter as far as council land is concerned and it is not considered necessary to introduce bylaws."
- Geraldine Gittens
31st December 2008
Stag escapes from Meath hunters by swimming river
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
THE WARD Union Hunt said yesterday that its stag hunt in Co Meath passed off successfully with the stag eventually escaping by swimming across the river Boyne.
The Ward Union, the only remaining stag hunt in Ireland, has been the subject of much controversy in recent years and has clashed with Minister for the Environment John Gormley over its licence
The leader of the Green Party has said he is personally opposed to hunting but that, in his role as Minister, he must consider applications for hunting licences.
The Ward Union mounted a High Court challenge last February to what it claimed were over-restrictive terms.
Yesterday, some 50 huntsmen and huntswomen on horseback, in addition to some Ward Union staff, participated in the chase, accompanied by a pack of hounds.
The hunt was monitored by two members from the National Parks and Wildlife Service in addition to a veterinary surgeon.
The licence under which the hunt operates was granted by Mr Gormley in September. In all there are 34 conditions attached.
One stipulation requires the deer to travel for a distance of at least two kilometres, or for a time span of 30 minutes, before the hounds are released.
In addition, the deer must not be confronted with the hounds at close quarters.
The hunt is required to withdraw to a distance of at least 150m in those instances.
At the time, the licence was issued, Mr Gormley said that the conditions were included to protect the stag from undue stress.
However, the licence restored the right of the hunt to allow its pack to pick up the scent of the deer.
Christy Reynolds, of the Ward Union, said the hunt had been a success and that the stag had escaped by going into the Boyne.
He said that the new licensing arrangement was working well.
Last year, the union said that onerous conditions attached to the licence, especially in relation to the hounds, made it impossible for it to hunt.
That formed the basis of the court case it took last February.
The previous year, in 2006, the hunt caused controversy, and led to calls for a ban, when a stag chased by hounds jumped into a primary school in Kildalkey and scared children.
3rd December 2008
*** Sugar Babe - success! ***
After a series of heated discussions with the management of Sugar Babe (G.P.O. Arcade, Dublin 1), I am delighted to say that Elayne was able to confirm today, that all the fur items have now been removed!
So that's one more off the list! Still having trouble sorting out Lanidor, Sisley and Bennetton though, but I'll keep you posted.
If you see any shop selling real fur, please let us know.
086 8729 444
CAFT Ireland / NARA
28th September 2008
***CAFT IRELAND PRESS RELEASE***
ACTIVISTS VISIT CO. LAOIS TO PROTEST IRELAND'S LARGEST FUR FARM
Contact CAFT Ireland spokesperson: Laura Broxson - 086 8729 444
Yesterday, Saturday 27th September, over a dozen members of Ireland's Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) organised another successful "Fur Farm Awareness Day" in Co. Laois.
"We started off the day by setting up an information table and visual display in Portlaoise, which gathered a lot of support from passers-by. We also had teams of people leafleting all around the town - and we received huge support from local shops and restaurants, who took bundles of our leaflets for their customers to take." says CAFT spokesperson, Laura Broxson
"We then headed to Stradbally, to protest Ireland's largest fur farm, Vasa Ltd (which was recently raided by the Animal Liberation Front). They murder over 45,000 mink on this death camp every year - so we weren't about to go easy on them. We spent over an hour and a half shouting on megaphones, leaving them in no doubt as to why we were there. Employees of the farm kept coming down to briefly look at us, and even people driving by stopped to watch. It was a very successful day." she said.
"Fur farming is Ireland's secret shame - if more people knew about them, the quicker they would be closed down. But as long as people are being kept unaware, the Department of Agriculture are happy to keep these death camps in business, by licensing them. We cannot stress enough how important that people voice their objections to this disgusting industry, whether it's joining our campaigns, or writing to the Minister of Agriculture, something needs to be done - now.
We campaign on a weekly basis to close Ireland's fur farms, and we have now committed to making these awareness days in Laois more frequent, so if anyone would like to get involved, please get in touch: www.naracampaigns.org " she added.
Ireland currently has 6 mink farms and at least 1 fox farm, where a total of 150,000 animals are murdered every year.
Mink are kept in cages with a floor space equivalent of just 2 shoe boxes. They are usually gassed to death by carbon monoxide - 40 mink at a time are put into the killing box. Gassing often doesn't work, many are skinned alive.
Foxes are kept in cages just 1 metre square (2 fox per cage). They are killed by electrocution - utilising a 12 volt car battery with a transformer of 200 volts. Electrodes are clamped to their mouth while rods are inserted into their rectum and an extremely painful death ensues.
22nd September 2008
Misrepresenting Animal Rights:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Although Irish organisations and individuals have sought to care for nonhuman animals for many years, animal rights advocacy ~informed by rights-based theory~ is a very recent development in Ireland. Grassroots animal rights advocates in Ireland intend to defend animal rights from the threat of neo-welfarism.
The Literary and Historical Society at UCD are hosting a debate next Wednesday (24th) entitled "The Animal Rights Debate", featuring Mr. Bruce Friedrich of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA). We believe that Mr. Friedrich will be contacting the media in Ireland to publicise this event and PeTA in general. He will characterise himself as an animal rights advocate even though he and his employers reject and marginalise animal rights theory.
We, the grassroots animal advocates of Ireland, we who take rights, animal rights, and animal rights philosophy seriously, are furious about PeTA's distortion of animal rights, and we want no part in it. PeTA is not an animal rights group even though it claims to be (it claims to be the largest AR organisation in the world). This is misleading: PeTA do not promote animal rights beyond using the term as a rhetorical label and they purposely act against animal rights philosophy.
PeTA are inspired and influenced by animal welfare ethicist Peter Singer (author of the famous non-rights text, Animal Liberation).
Instead, they deliberately misname Singer as an animal rights advocate (see "why Animal Rights?" http://www.peta.org / – the 'learn more' tag links to Animal Liberation, a utilitarian text by a leading utilitarian philosopher. Animal rights is based on deontological ethics).
Laura Broxson, spokesperson of Dublin-based National Animal Rights Association, said: "We are just beginning to make a mark for animal rights in Ireland. The last thing we need is for people to believe that PeTA's childish stunts  and sexist campaigning  have anything to do with genuine animal rights campaigning. PeTA cheapen and trivialise animal rights. The message from Ireland: we don't want PeTA's silliness".
Speaking about NARA's philosophy, Laura Broxson said: "We say clearly and openly on our web site that we are opposed to rights violations. Animal rights is more than reducing suffering. It is a vegan position on human-animal relations that says we humans should not use nonhuman animals but respect them as a matter of justice. We at NARA feel we are making headway with our rights-based campaigns and the Irish public are beginning to understand that animal rightists believe that nonhuman animals are rights bearers who rights are frequently and routinely violated. We also would never engage in sexist campaigning like PeTA do".
Asked to comment, Dr. Roger Yates, sociologist and social movement theorist at UCD, said: "It probably would be a serious blow to rights advocates in Ireland if PeTA muddy the waters here with their rhetorical version of animals rights. From the perspective of effective advocacy, it seems logical that it is best for animal rights to be represented by those genuinely committed to rights-based philosophies about human-nonhuman relations. I doubt that Irish animal rights advocates will think that gassing millions of chickens, PeTA's latest 'victory' in Canada in partnership with KFC, has anything to do with animal rights. It is far from certain that such initiatives have much to do even with animal welfare".
"There has been a long standing belief within the animal protection community, at least among animal advocates in the USA and Britain, that animal rights and animal welfare are compatible ideas about the use and treatment of other animals. However, there is growing evidence supporting the contention that traditional animal welfarism and its newer formulations ('new welfarism' - represented by organisations such as PeTA) are antithetical to the aspirations of animal rights advocates", he added.
Laura Broxson, spokesperson for NARA – 086 8729 444
Roger Yates (UCD) – 01 716 8586 [mobile 0863912018]
 Ingrid Newkirk, president of PeTA, endorsed Peter Singer's 2006 collection, In Defense of Animals: The second wave (Blackwell), thus: 'Peter Singer's writings changed my life. I have waited for this book a long time, a quarter of a century in fact...'
 http://www.thestar.com/ article/497890
 http://www.peta.org/feat/abc- striptease/index.asp
17th September 2008
---------------National Animal Rights Association (N.A.R.A.) PRESS RELEASE---------------
***17yr old ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST ASSAULTED and THREATENED BY THE GREAT EUROPEAN CIRCUS***
Contact N.A.R.A. Spokesperson: Laura Broxson, 086 8729 444
On the evening of Wednesday 17th September, a member of the National Animal Rights Association was assaulted and threatened while peacefully leafleting outside the Great European Circus (which is also known as the Royal Russian Circus), where they are currently staying on the Trim Road in Navan, Co Meath.
"Shortly after arriving, the activist - who is only 17years old - was greeted with verbal abuse by members of the circus" says Laura Broxson, spokesperson of N.A.R.A.
"A man from the circus then came out and grabbed his arm, held it behind his back, and proceeded to shove him onto the road"
"The activist was then told that they would 'kill him if he ever came back' "
"This is just typical of the type of people involved in animal circuses. If this is how they react to one compassionate young man leafleting, just imagine how they must treat the animals used in the circus. What they did was totally unacceptable, and we will be legally pursuing the matter as far as it will go. We have already been in touch with Navan Garda Station" she added.
This circus has been investigated before by CAPS (for more info see www.irishcircuses.org).
"Animals don't belong in circuses - a fact which should be obvious to most people. But sadly, hundreds of animals continue to be enslaved in these travelling menageries every year.
Examples of the animals used include elephants, tigers, rhinos, horses, giraffes, llamas, camels, wallabies, alligators and snakes - all of whom have been used in circuses touring Ireland. They are abused and beaten into submission, and through fear are forced to perform mindless acts - all for the entertainment of people.
Is it normal for an elephant to stand on its head? Or for a tiger to jump through a ring of fire? Or for horses to walk around on their hind legs 'dancing' to music? These are all unnatural and painful acts which animals should not be forced to do. They should be free, and in their natural habitats.
Circus animals, who in the wild would spend the majority of their days travelling and exploring new areas, spend 22 hours a day locked up in cages and pens so small, that they barely have room to turn around. This, coupled with their constant state of fear leads them to exhibit the stereotypical psychosis found in all captive animals. They self-mutilate and display repetitive behaviour, such as swaying back and forth.
Animal circuses should be a thing of the past. The animals wouldn't be suffering if people weren't still paying for it to continue. By attending these 'shows', you are directly responsible for letting this cruelty exist.
You can help these animals and take a stand against cruelty - BOYCOTT THE CIRCUS!" - National Animal Rights Association
7th September 2008
FUR NEWS UPDATE - 'ROUGE'
As you all know, we had planned to demonstrate outside Rouge yesterday, as a result of the owner's refusal to even discuss the fur items in her shop with us.
When we arrived there, the owner came out to talk to me, declaring that ''the fur had been removed''. I asked her if she'd be adopting a fur free policy, to which she replied that she ''wouldn't agree to anything''. I explained to her that we wouldn't cancel the protest, if she was just going to put the fur back on display as soon as we left. She said that we could ''come back anytime, any day, and there would be no fur there''. So we decided to move on.
We can't claim this as a complete victory yet, as they will not sign a fur-free agreement (though we see this more as saving-face, and not wanting to concede defeat on their part, rather than them wanting to continue selling real fur in the future). We will be keeping an eye on this shop though, and will be back protesting if we see any offending item in there again.
Thanks again to Justine, who brought this shop to our attention! If anyone knows of any other shop/store selling real fur, please let us know.
086 8729 444
CAFT Ireland / N.A.R.A.
30th August 2008
They are the latest celebrity accessory, but tiny 'handbag' dogs are being bred in conditions of horrific cruelty
8th August 2008
Militants pushing meatless, petless society, seminar told
8th August 2008
IFA chief not going to forum on animal rights movement
8th August 2008
***PROTEST AGAINST ANTI-ANIMAL RIGHTS SEMINAR***
WHEN: 7.30am, Friday 8th August
WHERE: Ballsbridge (Berkeley) Court Hotel
Contact National Animal Rights Association Spokesperson:
Laura Broxson - 086 8729 444
"We were given information that the Hunting Association of Ireland were organising a seminar, titled "The Vegan, Animal Rights Agenda" - which basically aims to unite animal-abusing groups and companies, in the hopes of silencing us.
Almost every company/group attending this conference has been protested by us within the last year - and they have even hired an ''expert on animal rights activists" from the U.S. to speak at this event, to help them figure out how to combat us." Says spokesperson for NARA, Laura Broxson
"By trying to deny us our right to protest, they are trying to defeat the reality that animal rights is becoming in this country. The very fact that they feel the need to organise this conference, must mean that we are having an effect. So we are here today to show that we cannot be silenced, and that no matter what they do, we will never stop fighting for justice for the animals." she said.
- Gavin Duffy, of the Hunting Association of Ireland, is responsible for organising the event, through his communications consultancy business, Dorland Training Ltd.
- The seminar aims to bring together Ireland's most notorious animal abusers, their groups and companies - in the hopes of silencing those of us who speak out against the wrongs and injustices that are inflicted upon animals every day in this country.
- Representatives from animal circuses, furriers, anglers and hunting groups, butchers and meat processors, greyhound and horse racing industries, animal-testing universities and pharmaceutical companies (such as GlaxoSmithKline), and even fast-food chain McDonald's will be present on the day.
- The 'guest speaker' of this disgusting event is U.S. Lt. Col. Dennis Foster, who, when not spending his time hunting defenceless animals, gets paid to give farcical talks against animal rights.
- Also in attendance will be Padraig Walshe, president of the Irish Farmers Association - an organisation that we (the National Animal Rights Association) recently registered official complaints against (with both the ISPCA and the Gardai) for animal cruelty.
The only thing these people and their companies care about is money, not animals. The very fact that they feel the need to form an alliance, to try to stop those of us who aren't afraid to be a voice for the voiceless, speaks volumes about their unbelievable desire to oppress, control and exploit.
Animals have rights - rights which are violated on a daily basis by every person who attends this seminar, and nothing they can do will ever deter us from fighting for justice. The truth can never be hidden, and we will never be silenced.
1st August 2008
Bodies of mutilated dogs found in river
Friday, August 1, 2008
14th July 2008
Councillors requested to back animal circus ban
By Cormac Murphy
Monday July 14 2008
22nd June 2008
"the Irish ALF struck again on the night of 21st June '08' targeting a well known animal circus 'Tom Duffy's circus' posters. this particular circus tours Ireland with 6 Bengal tigers, horses, dogs, llamas and advertises on it's posters a zoo that is held after each show. roughly 30 posters were either spray painted or slashed apart with a knife for every animal suffering inside duffys circus
until next time,
20th May 2008
Animal welfare group opposes election poster
The Irish Times
THEY'VE BEEN used to sell everything from PG Tips to Pepsi - but using chimpanzees to sell a No vote in the Lisbon Treaty is stirring up controversy.
The eye-catching poster by the Dublin-based group Cóir features three chimpanzees with the slogan: "if you say Yes to Lison, you'll see nothing, hear nothing and have no one to speak for you". However, it has drawn sharp criticism from the Captive Animals Protection Society.
"The political posters featuring chimps in different poses are of animals in captivity, likely kept and trained specifically for use in commercials," says Craig Redmond, the society's campaigns manager.
"Their use not only helps continue the use of animals for commercial purposes but also diminishes their status as an endangered species requiring protection."
But Cóir was unrepentant yesterday. Its spokesman Richard Greene defended the poster, saying the campaign was trying to make a serious point about the effects of the Treaty.
"I'm against animal cruelty. In fact, I'm a former Green Party councillor," Greene said. "If anything, these chimpanzees are helping to save democracy, which is a lot more than can be said for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the others."
18th May 2008
The Pearl Brasserie restaurant hoses and threatens peaceful anti-foie gras protesters
Contact National Animal Rights Association Spokesperson: Laura Broxson 086 8729 444
On Saturday 17th May, members of the National Animal Rights Association held a peaceful demonstration outside the Pearl Brasserie restaurant, on 20 Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2. This was to protest the fact that this restaurant currently serves foie gras, which is made from the forcibly enlarged livers of ducks and geese - a 'delicacy' produced so barbarically, that the production of it is banned in many E.U. States, including Ireland.
"Within minutes of starting the protest, we were sprayed with a hose by the staff of the restaurant, leaving many of us soaked - including a 16year old. The Pearl Brasserie staff found this very amusing - they stood at the windows laughing." Says spokesperson for the group, Laura Broxson
"Then the Patron/Head Chef, Sebastien Masi, came out and started threatening us. Even stating that he'd 'do to us' what is done to the ducks and geese"
"We called the police, and they had to explain Irish law to him - that we've every right to protest, and that he has no right to threaten us" she said.
"The incident hasn't put us off though, it has just revealed to us what type of people we're dealing with. We're more determined than ever to get foie gras out of Ireland, and we will be back to protest the Pearl Brasserie again" she added.
National Animal Rights Association website: www.naracampaigns.org
Foie Gras Facts:
Foie gras is made from the forcibly enlarged livers of ducks and geese. Only males are used for foie gras, because they produce larger livers. Females are killed upon hatching, by being either drowned, beaten or crushed to death.
A long metal pipe is rammed down the throats of these ducks and geese, 2 - 3 times a day, to force-feed them a total of 7lbs of grain. This soon results in their livers swelling to up to 10 times their normal size - which is actually a serious disease called hepatic lipidosis.
The metal pipe sometimes ruptures the oesophagus, causing many birds to die, choking on the blood that then fills their lungs. The amount of feed pumped down their throats causes enormous internal pressure, causing some birds to literally burst. Others become so weak that they are unable to move or die a slow, painful, and premature death by suffocating on the inhalation of regurgitated feed. In fact, because of the massive toll taken on the birds during the force-feeding process, the average pre-slaughter mortality rate is up to twenty times higher than on other poultry factory farms.
In addition to enduring force-feeding, the ducks and geese also suffer the same neglectful and abusive treatment of other factory-farmed animals such as overcrowding and mutilations (their beaks are cut off). They are kept in either group or individual cages, made solely from wire or plastic-mesh. Unable to feel the sun on their backs or ground beneath their feet, their cages are so small that they cannot fully stand or stretch their wings. To make matters worse, they are housed without access to swimming water even though ducks need to be able to immerse themselves in water to remain healthy. Access to water on these farms is so limited that they cannot clean their nostrils and eyes, which can lead to blindness. They have no chance to carry out any of their natural instincts, which include interacting in social groups, keeping themselves clean, nurturing their young, and exploring their surroundings.
After living an unbelievably horrific and painful life, they then have to go through a violent death by having their throats slit whilst hung upside-down.
8th May 2008
'Dog rescuer' guilty of animal cruelty
By Dara deFaoite
Thursday May 08 2008
4th May 2008
Abusers Targeted in Dublin
"the irish ALF struck local targets again on the night of may 3rd in Dublin city, Ireland. local fur shops such as sydney vard furriers and 'barnardos' were spray painted with slogans such as 'FUR IS MURDER', 'FUR SCUM' and of course 'A.L.F.' and the locks were glued while 'rohu' furs had their locks glued. 'La Cave' restaurant who sell the cruel 'fois gras' duck/goose liver dish was also targeted with spray paint. Trinity college, openly enact in vivisection, had their science entrance sprayed with 'vivisection is scientific fraud', 'free the animals', 'vivisection-lies' and, 'ALF'. also, a local tattoo parlour, who up until recently before being sold to a new, loving home held a python snake in a small tank and cruel conditions in their studio, had their front window spray painted and their locks glued as pay back for the snake."
17th April 2008
CAMPAIGNING NEWS - FUR FREE SUCCESSES!
During the week, one of our dedicated comrades, Elaine, spotted some real fur-trim items in Sharpsville clothing shop (Fownes Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2).
She informed the staff and the manager/owner about the cruelty of the fur industry, and as a result, the offending items were immediately removed.
This means that Sharpsville, Flip, HelterSkelter and The Real McCoy - clothing shops which are all located on Fownes Street in Temple Bar - are now fur free (as they are all owned by the same person).
Thanks to Elaine's swift action, there are now 4 more shops in Dublin that say 'No' to the fur trade.
For a fur-free Ireland,
CAFT Ireland / National Animal Rights Association
16th April 2008
Councillor proposes ban on circus animals (Dun Laoghaire)
4th April 2008
A "mass grave" of more than 40 animals has been discovered on a County Down farm.
3rd April 2008
1st April 2008
From the Captive Animals Protection Society:
1 April 2008
Cork City Council bans animal circuses!
Thank you to all of you who yesterday contacted Cork City Councillors, asking them to support the vote last night to ban animal circuses.
We are pleased to report that the vote went well and the motion was passed.
This makes Cork City Council the latest council to ban animal circuses from using council-owned land.
Thank you to members of CAPS' e-mail list who alerted us to this vote. If you are aware of any councils meeting to vote on this issue please do let us know as soon as possible. The more time we have the greater the opportunity that we can provide all councillors with up to date and detailed information on animal circuses in Ireland.
Although CAPS is based in the UK we work closely with animal protection organisations throughout the whole of Ireland and are the major source of information on the issue.
Our campaign website www.irishcircuses.org will be updated this week with the news on Cork council's vote.
Thanks for your support.
The Captive Animals' Protection Society
PO Box 4186, Manchester, M60 3ZA, UK
Tel: 0845 330 3911
26th March 2008
Irish animal rights group calls for closure of fur farms
SEÁN Mac CONNELL, Agriculture Correspondent
22nd March 2008
N.A.R.A. receives communique from ALF on Fur Farm Raid
Contact Spokesperson/Press Officer: Laura Broxson, 086 8729 444
The National Animal Rights Association has today received the official communique regarding the recent raid on Vasa Ltd. Fur Farm in Co. Laois (see below for the report). We were also told that there will be photos sent to us - which we will release as soon as we receive them.
"This is a great victory for animal rights in Ireland" Says spokesperson for N.A.R.A., Laura Broxson
"As a result of the action, 300 mink now actually have the chance to live out the rest of their lives - they're finally free.
The fur farming industry is Ireland's secret shame, we find it absolutely disgusting that there are such ''farms'' in this country.
The liberation that occurred has come at a great time too - the Government is currently drafting an Animal Welfare Bill, which could finally put an end to fur farming here, so what happened will certainly highlight the issue.
Our group doesn't encourage people to break the law or engage in any illegal activity whatsoever, but we fully support the ALF and those who are brave enough to risk their lives, and freedom, to help animals." she said.
"Animals are no different from people - they are living, breathing, sentient beings who deserve the right to life and freedom as much as we do. And I think a lot of the Irish public are finally starting to see this. There are a lot of compassionate people in this country, so we are not surprised at all by the action that took place" she added.
Last weekend, the Irish Animal Liberation Front visited Ireland's largest fur farm - Vasa Ltd, in Co. Laois.
The ALF made their way through the locked gate in a matter of seconds, and then the real fun started...
A quick scan of the area showed that the sheds were enclosed in an area secured by corrugated steel. No problem - a huge hole was then cut into this, the wire mesh behind it snipped, and the hedgerow behind that was then cleared - to allow the Mink easy access to the river running beside this concentration camp.
Graffiti was sprayed all around the place, including the signature ''ALF'' calling card.
300 breeding cards were removed from one of the sheds, and then destroyed.
Moving onto the next shed, 300 Mink were liberated and were then guided to freedom, before the ALF disappeared into the darkness. It was unbearable to have to leave the others behind.
Una and Michael Heffernan are responsible for murdering over 45,000 Mink on this death camp every year. It's time to make them pay for this.
The ALF will be back, Una and Michael - and don't think that the cows and horses you keep locked up too were unnoticed.
Until all are free,
20th March 2008
Irish Mink farm targeted by animal rights group
By: Joe Barrett
13th January 2008
The guilty in pursuit of the innocent
From hunting to battery farming, it is in all our hands to end the torture of defenceless animals, writes Andrea Smith:
12th January 2008
New Anti-Fur Campaign Launched Against Monica John!
The CAFT Ireland/N.A.R.A. Team launched a new campaign against fur-selling store Monica John today.
We have spoken to the managers and have handed in information packs before - but to no avail.
As a result, we decided it was time to start an active campaign against them.
Over a dozen activists were present on the day - and for an hour and a half we chanted, handed out hundreds of leaflets and informed the public of Monica John's dealings with the fur trade.
The demonstration was a huge success, and we received a lot of support from passers-by. A great start to a new campaign!
Below are some photos from the day:
10th January 2008
CAFT Ireland Report: Another fur-free success!
Flairline Fashion Group, who operate 14 stores in Ireland (including Pamela Scott and Richard Alan outlets - the latter of which sells Escada items), will be adopting a fur-free policy!
A fur-free date is still to be confirmed, as they are consulting with a legal team for advice (in regards to issuing a statement), but a policy will come into action very soon.
The campaign started in the beginning of October, when we handed in information packs to their Pamela Scott and Richard Alan stores in Dublin.
At that stage, they weren't interested in going fur-free, so we started up an active campaign against them. We protested and organised leafleting sessions outside their premises twice a week.
We then proceeded to enter into discussions with Flairline Fashions again, and despite some hiccups along the way, they agreed to talk with us. We spoke at length with them about the cruelty of the fur industry, in particular about the rabbit-fur trade (as they were happy enough selling rabbit fur because of the 'by-product' claim). This resulted in a request made by them for additional information, to which we were happy to oblige.
We sent them another pack which contained information primarily on the rabbit-fur industry. We included CAFT UK's new rabbit fur DVD and factsheets in this, so we'd like to take this opportunity to thank them for their wonderful work in highlighting the issue, and for making the material available for groups to use.
The pack led to more discussions with Flairline Fashions, and they finally agreed to commit to adopting a fur-free policy.
We would also like to note that the group ALiberation recently held a demonstration outside Pamela Scott, and at Richard Alan in Dublin as well. So thanks goes to them too for their help with this, we appreciate it.
Well done to everyone involved, it's another great achievement for animal rights activism in Ireland.
And thanks so much to all of our members for their continued support and effort throughout this campaign - it couldn't have been done without you.
We will let you know when we receive the fur-free agreement, and we intend on issuing a press release when we do.
086 8729 444
10th December 2007
BROWN THOMAS GOING FUR FREE!
You may recently have heard that Brown Thomas will be going fur free in February 2008. We can now confirm that this is true, and, as a good faith gesture, have decided to stop organising demonstrations outside their premises.
We started campaigning against Brown Thomas 3 years ago now, and this is a tremendous victory for all those involved. Which include other activist groups such as ALiberation, AFAR and ARAN.
We would like to say a big 'thank you' to all of our members for their support throughout this campaign! Whether you took part in our weekly protests, leafleted, wrote letters or even just boycotted the department store, you made a huge difference - and it's because of your efforts that this victory was achieved.
Thanks so much,
086 8729 444
CAFT Ireland / N.A.R.A.