Nollaig shonasach agus athbhliain shuaimhneach!
Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

We thank you for all your support throughout the year and wish you and all at Quaker Concern for Animals a very happy Christmas and all the best for the new year.

The article below is included in our December newsletter.

Philip Kiernan

07. Quaker Concern support calls for bloodsport ban

Quaker Concern for Animals ( has joined calls for an Irish ban on digging out and terrier work.

Group spokesperson Marian Hussenbux reminded Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore about a 2011 manifesto commitment that his Labour Party “will ensure that animal welfare is enhanced and protected, and will strengthen legislation on animal cruelty.”

ICABS thanks Quaker Concern for Animals for their support.

QCA note: The Tanaiste is the deputy to the Taoiseach, the first minister in the Irish government.

A place for the fox

John Fitzgerald, a Co Kilkenny member of ICABS, writes in the Irish Independent, December 20 2012:

While the presence of animals at the birth of Jesus may be a myth, I hope this Christmas tradition will continue.

My favourite crib is the one at the Dominican Church in Limerick. This has an additional guest: a fox effigy, recalling a legend concerning the holy family. One of the three wise men is supposed to have given Jesus a fox cub as a gift.

By the time Herod had ordered the killing of the child, the cub had grown to maturity. The fox, according to the story, threw Herod’s hounds off the scent, enabling the holy family to escape.

It’s just a legend, of course, but I have to say I prefer it to the grim reality of how the fox is treated in present-day Ireland. Though a treasured part of our wildlife heritage, it has no legal protection.

Ladies and gentlemen of leisure hunt the wily creature with packs of hounds. Then, after the pack has cornered and eviscerated it, the hunters hack its brush (tail) off and smear their faces with its blood.

I suggest that our Government take a cue from the friars at that Limerick church and give the long-suffering fox a break. As the song says: “All God’s creatures have a place in the choir.”

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