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The proposal by Agriculture & Defence Minister Simon Coveney to reform and regulate fur farming rather than ban it is typical of the Fine Gael led government’s "Pontius Pilate" like attitude to animal welfare.
He has all the relevant information on this ghastly practise. He has, like all the campaign groups, seen the disturbing film footage of mink throwing themselves frantically against the sides of their cages in a desperate bid to escape. Mink are creatures of the wild and captivity is wholely unnatural to them.
The Minister has already created so-called “codes of conduct” for hare coursing, fox hunting, and even the depraved practise of “digging out” foxes and cubs that seek to escape underground during a hunt. The wild dogs are dragged to the surface with the aid of terriers and occasionally poles wrapped with barbed wire. One may as well have a “code of conduct” for dog fighting or cock fighting as for such obscenities as these. They are beyond regulating, even if they happen to be amenable to glib whitewashing by their supporters.
The exemptions for fur farming and blood sports make a mockery of our animal welfare legislation, and of Fine Gael’s pre-election pledge to update protection of animals of Ireland.
I wonder if the Minister will calculate the reputational damage Ireland may suffer as a result of allowing fur farming to continue. One need only view the list of more than three hundred major public figures who have petitioned him in the past fortnight for its abolition to be aware of the level of opposition to fur farming in Ireland and the ignominy that attaches to it.
International campaigns will focus increasingly on Ireland’s Charter for the Promotion of Animal Cruelty for Sport and fashion, inaptly and sickeningly miscalled the “Animal Health and Welfare Act”. Those campaigns will shame Ireland in the eyes of decent people everywhere.
The government should stop clothing proven animal cruelty practices with this false “Code of Conduct” garment. Every intelligent person knows the truth; that such coy political euphemisms do not detract in the slightest from the stomach-churning Truth about fur farming and blood sports.
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports
Lower Coyne Street,
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