Wednesday, June 22, 2016

First Draft of a Referendum for Ireland's Animals sent to the brilliant TDs Maureen O'Sullivan & Clare Daly

Dear Maureen,
Please find to follow the first draft of what I am calling an 'Animal Referendum for Ireland'.
In this season of referendums, I believe that the following live issues deserve to be looked at together for the first time and for the people of Ireland to be asked to consider and cast their vote on them. As many will not be aware I have sought to briefly outline and reference each. In addition, I hope it will give you further support in presenting your Ban on Hare Coursing bill tomorrow and some more ammunition as to the spending of public money on the exploitation of animals. I also send my eternal gratitude.

Yours sincerely, Frances Micklem

Animal Laboratories - Yes? No?

Ireland is the Animal Experimentation ‘capital of Europe’? Do you want this? Laboratory testing on animals has increased 800% in the last 5 years in Ireland. 80% of the tests are commercial for products rather than medical. Even medical testing is just to pass pharmaceutical products as safe.

Puppy Farms Yes? No?
Do you think dog breeding and puppy farming should be banned? 

In Finland, it is illegal to buy a dog while there are any available in shelters. 

Here, dogs are bred for laboratories and for racing and as 'pets'. Stray dogs go to government pounds run by a Latvian company called the ACS – an animal collection service founded to dispose of dead animals for body parts. (Ref. Naimh Griffin, Irish Mail On Sunday found on Companies House that the private firm - Four Seasons Promotions t/a ACS are registered in Latvia. She interviewed director John Shovlin who refused to comment but the company then pulled out of the Carlow/Kilkenny Dog Pound tender process on August 6th 2015)
Council pounds to be run by animal welfare services? Yes? No?

Do you want stray dog and horse services run by private companies, paid by public money? Currently, stray horses are collected at a cost to your council of €980 per horse. They are not afforded any welfare or rehoming service and the ACS have a 100% kill rate. Rescue services argue that they could offer a much better service for that money or less. This is a live issue as DAFM, ACS and gardai work together, all on public money, to seize horses. Even when ordered by court to return them, the ACS refused and they were all found to be dead. 
Should all the abbatoirs in Ireland be closed? Yes? No?

Abattoirs serve the purpose of facilitating food companies and people’s habitual eating of meat. Up to a million animals are taken to a factory every month in Ireland and electric prodded into a machine that cuts their throat and then hangs them up in front of the next and the next to bleed to death. Would you prefer to go vegetarian and let the farm animals live? Their muck could produce the organic matter to improve Irish soil for organic crop production. This would move Ireland towards its environmental goals. The Animal Kill Counter << ADAPTT :: Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow

Intensification of Farming Yes? No?
Do you agree with the intensification of farming in Ireland? There is a goal of ‘doubling the national herd’ by 2020 and applications to open factory farms for pigs – 99% of which are already ‘reared’ in individual crates. This goes directly against environmental necessity; to stop animal agriculture. This is because it uses 15,000 litres of fresh water to produce 1kg of beef and the animals themselves contribute to green house gases through methane via digestion and muck run off.

Ireland is already over-producing, the farmers heavily subsidized showing that it is not even viable in business sense. The only thing it does is build an export market, profiting very few. The cost of unchecked milk production since the end of the milk quota has already brought the value of milk down. Those in the meat processing industry meet every Friday to cap the amount they will offer farmers for their animals. In one meeting, a cut of 40% in the value of each animal was decided. At another meeting it was decided that animals should be killed within 14 months rather than 24. Also all these animals are fed on imported grain, some genetically modified ‘Round Up Ready’ crops and some simply sprayed repeatedly with it. Either way, it arrives in the food chain in high doses. 

Protecting pollinators and human health. Do not import anything grown using chemicals that are banned for use here.
Do you believe that if farmers can’t spray a chemical on their crops, that Ireland should not allow any import of products on which that chemical has been used? If legislation is put in place to stop the import of sprayed products, it won’t give the unfair advantages of good weather, earlier harvests and the use of any toxic chemicals they want, to foreign markets, leaving our farmers with no advantage. Indeed with no incentive to grow anything.

Community Supported Agriculture for Ireland Yes? No?
Would you commit to two hours a week to a local farmer to support a shift from chemically-protected carcinogenic crop production to community-supported, chemical free crop production? This can all be done through the Community Garden Network. There can be Horticulture qualifications and skills taught, as they are already, through the BTEI and ETB and CGN to equip old and young alike. The implementation of more help to farmers has to be quick though, to help with weeding and pest control. This is in order to decrease their dependence on chemicals but keep a good yield from their land through the transition to chemical-free. Shift the adult education focus from health care – to care for all the prematurely sick people from a poisoned diet – and pig farm management – 500 new places offered this year…to Horticulture and Organic Crop production – so soil can be improved by the manure of farm animals but they are no longer bred to be killed.

The Chairman of the Community Garden Network has agreed in principle to bring community gardens into farms, if they will stop spraying and direct the volunteer support to healthier food production and food security.

Should Male chicks die in egg industry Yes? No?
Current practice is to throw them into a grinder alive. Second practice is bagging them up in dustbin bags while still alive. Do you think the grinding alive of male chicks should be banned in Ireland? It has just been banned in Germany.

Pigs. Do you think individual crates on slatted concrete are acceptable. Yes? No?
Do you think the chopping off of testicles, tails and teeth without anaesthetic is acceptable?
It is illegal by EU law to do tail docking on pigs although it is routinely still done here.  

Fur farms Ban them? Allow them?
There are still 3 fur farms in Ireland. Mink. Having never seen daylight, hundreds of mink are briefly gased and then skinned. Often they are still alive. The same with rabbits. Do you think this industry is acceptable of should be banned? 90,000 mink in each fur farm.

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