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Irish Fur Farms, Press Release, 18 November 2011

Posted in General news by ALib on the November 18th, 2011

Minister McEntee tries to stop Irish fur farm ban? Part 1

Press Release | 18 November 2011.
From: ALiberation.
Contact: Jim Walsh.
Ph: 086 3203643.
Email:

Minister of State Shane McEntee appears to be trying again to make life worse for animals in Ireland. The question is will government coalition partners Fine Gael and the Labour Party go along with him.

Minister McEntee, who states that he is “currently in the process of having a new Animal Health and Welfare Bill drafted” [1], has a huge influence over whether or not fur farming will be banned in Ireland.

The Minister told the Seanad recently that “It is crucial that we have that meeting and that the fur farmers get the guarantees they are looking for” [1]. What guarantees is Minister McEntee giving fur farmers?

In the same speech 3 weeks ago, Minister McEntee stated that “The Minister, Deputy Coveney, has established a group within my Department to review all aspects of fur farming and I expect this review to be completed shortly.” [1]

Yet a notice from the Department of Agriculture titled “Fur Farming Review” appeared in newspapers yesterday looking for submissions


from the public with “a closing date for receipt of submissions of 31st December 2011.” [7]
How can both things be said and still have the Minister remain credible? Has he already made up his mind to block the ban on fur farming in Ireland?

Minister McEntee has become known for obstructing Animal Welfare legislation and for his close ties with lobby groups who are anti-animal.

Liam Cahill is the leader of the mis-named hunting lobby group RISE! (Rural Ireland Says Enough!) but is also currently working for Minister McEntee in the Department of Agriculture.[2] The Minister is also reported to have a RISE! sticker on the back of his chauffer driven state car. [3]

During last year’s debate on the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010 which tried to impose a ban on Stag Hunting, the hunting of farmed deer by packs of hounds, the Minister opposed this legislation and consistently heckled those in favour of the Act.

Stag Hunting is the cruel pass-time of only one hunt in the country, the Ward Union Hunt, but this hunt is also in the Minister’s constituency.
Recently Minister McEntee stated that “the time is coming shortly when the Ward Union will be back under the legislation introduced by Michael D. Higgins in 1996.”[1] This would effectively scrap the ban brought in under the Wildlife Amendment Act 2010. However Minister McEntee was embarrassed when his Fine Gael Party leader Enda Kenny ruled out such a move. [4]

Both Fine Gael and the Labour Party voted against this ban on Stag hunting last year. To finally ban fur farming in Ireland now is the perfect opportunity to redeem both parties.

And this is easy to do and will stop the annual exploitation of over 200,000 minks and foxes each year. The process is already in place to add this ban into the upcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill. The fur farmers were already told that they have till the end of 2012 to stop.
The vast majority of people in Ireland support a ban on fur farming. Our closest neighbours Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales have already banned fur farming.


Fur farming is cruel and is a rights violation and is seen as such. Animals are caged for life in tiny wire mesh cages, with their needs constantly suppressed, resulting in self mutilations, cannibalism and a condition if seen in humans would be described as psychotic.

The most comprehensive study into fur farming carried out by the European Commission concluded that “The typical mink cage with a nest box and wire mesh floor impairs mink welfare because it does not provide for important needs” and “The typical fox cage does not provide for important needs of foxes.”[5]

Both Fine Gael and the Labour party have previously voted to ban fur farming in Ireland. [6]

So what will Fine Gael and the Labour Party now do?

Spokesperson for ALiberation, Edmund Long said “We are very concerned about what Minister McEntee and his PR advisors are intending. The Minister is talking as if he has already made up his mind to block a ban on fur farming and the notice for submissions appears to be an afterthought. What guarantees is the Minister giving the fur farmers?”

References:
1) Seanad debates: www.kildarestreet.com.

2) The Liam Cahill Consultancy: www.liamcahill.com

3) Dogs Bill is first out of the traps for Michael D: www.irishtimes.com

4) Kenny rules out reversing stag-hunt ban: www.independent.ie

5) The welfare of animals kept for fur production: ec.europa.eu

6) Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill 2004: Second Stage (Resumed): www.kildarestreet.com

7) Irish Independent, 16/11/2011, “Fur Farming Review”.

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