Tuesday, 16th January 2018
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Recent ban on wild animals in circuses very welcome but is only a start

a chairde,

The ban on the use of wild animals in circuses announced by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed is a welcome milestone in the battle to protect sentient creatures from willful cruelty and mistreatment.

Yet I can't help but baulk at the double standards of the government in its alleged "commitment to animal welfare", and the Minister's statement that "The use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in circuses can no longer be permitted."

Last year, the Minister and his government colleagues led the charge against TD Maureen O'Sullivan's Bill to ban hare coursing, a practice which also involves taking wild animals from their natural environment, confining them in unnatural captivity, and then forcing them to perform for the amusement of voyeuristic human beings.

If anything, hare coursing is crueler than circuses. The captive hares serve as live bait. They are subjected to contrived chases within the confines of a wired enclosure. Some of them are mauled, battered into the ground, or flung skyward like broken toys by the dogs against a background of cheering and laughter. Gamblers decked out in snug winter gear mark their cards as the jewel in the crown of Ireland's wildlife heritage is terrorized for kicks.

Even hares that escape physically unscathed can succumb to death from heart failure or other ailments arising from the deeply stressful ordeal inflicted on them for "sport".

This nightmarish blood sport was among the games hosted in the coliseum for the edification of depraved tyrants and blood crazed mobs. It belongs in that shameful past, not in our allegedly more enlightened 21st century.

So, yes, I applaud the fact that elephants, giraffes, camels and other exotic species will no longer be exploited, humiliated and abused in circuses…but let's follow up this progressive measure with a complete ban on the Roman Circus of live hare coursing.

Sincerely,

John Fitzgerald

Fun Race Night

A fun Race Night will be held In aid of De La Salle FC Schoolboy

Development on Friday 24th November in The Mansion House, Johnstown. Admission is free and all are welcome.

The first race is off at 9pm and there will be seven races on the card. Tote facilities will be available. Come along and support this very worthy cause and enjoy a great night out. Adrian Flanagan MC for the night!

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