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Letters to the Editor: No more mink farms in Ireland as historic ban passes final stage

April 9th, 2022 3:10 PM

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EDITOR – Fur farming will be banned in Ireland following the passage of a bill through the final stages in the Seanad.

The Green Party has long called for a ban on fur farming with the support of many animal welfare groups and the representative body for veterinary surgeons in Ireland, Veterinary Ireland.

I am delighted to see this progressive and historic development come to pass. The Green Party has campaigned on this issue for many years and I believe it has the support of the vast majority of the public.

Banning fur farming is a vital step in the protection of animal welfare and puts us in line with similar legislation being implemented across Europe.

These farms cannot provide for the five freedoms of animal welfare, particularly in relation to the need to express normal behaviours – no welfare standards or inspection regimes can prevent welfare problems being encountered regularly on fur farms.

There are currently three active farms in the State that breed and rear mink for the purposes of pelting for the fur industry, which will be closed under the new plan.

The bill includes a compensation scheme for mink farming operators for losses resulting from a ban.

Animal welfare is an issue which has always been at the heart of Green Party policy, and the ban on fur farming is one of a number of key policies which would help to protect animals in Ireland and improve their treatment in a tangible way.

The Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021, which also introduces an exemption to forestry licences for the planting of small native woodlands, will be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins in the coming weeks.

Pippa Hackett,

Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity,

Green Party,

16/17 Suffolk Street,

Dublin 2.

Are we fiddling while Ukraine is burning?

EDITOR – As I looked to my television screen and see the destruction of cities and the massacre of civilians in Ukraine, to be followed by ‘pacifist’ politicians talking of the great Irish neutrality, I said to myself – have they learned nothing from the history books?

Appeasement of dictators did not work with Hitler, nor will it work with Putin. Putin has poisoned opponents abroad.

He is morally bad. He only respects force when it is met with force. Should Ireland fiddle while Rome burns?

Michael Hallissey,

Mayfield, 

Bandon.

Will Smith was right to defend his wife

EDITOR – The incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock has been the subject of comment and controversy.

In my opinion, Chris Rock was completely out of order to comment on a lady in the audience in a manner which could be construed as demeaning/humiliating or insulting.

This is, in my opinion, pure sexism and inappropriate.

Each person has a duty/responsibility and indeed a right to protect himself/herself, his/her family members.

My only criticism of Will Smith is that he should have punched Chris Rock rather than slap him.

For those who say ‘violence is not the answer’ – I say tell that to the Vladimir Putin and the people of Ukraine.

Over the course of many years here in Ireland we were told (and I have no idea who initiated such directions) if criminals broke into our residence homeowners should not offer resistance but withdraw to another area.

Such a recommendation, I suggest, would be considered a source of encouragement to criminals. Each person has a basic human right to defend oneself, family and property.

I suggest any action against Will Smith could be a violation of his basic human rights.

I welcome comments!

Michael A Moriarty,

Rochestown.

Cork.

Shame of the mother and baby homes

EDITOR – The mother and baby homes must be one of the greatest scandals ever in this State of Ireland.

We are no longer the island of saints and scholars.

The crimes committed against innocent women and babies by this State are unforgivable, to say the least. It’s estimated that 9,000 of our citizens died in these homes throughout the country.

The clergy of this country had a lot to do with all of this and had too much power over communities.

Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were in power throughout this period and had a duty of care which they utterly failed to honour.

We have heard far too many belated apologies, like the one given to Joanne Hayes.

It took her over 30 years to get an apology and compensation for her and her family over false statements pressured from her and nobody ever convicted for what she and her family went through.

The focus should be on achieving real justice in a timely and appropriate way for this and all other scandals and not sweep them under the carpet, hoping things will go away. They will not – ever.

Noel Harrington,

Kinsale.

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