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Pictures: Animal rights protesters think Simon Coveney has 'blood on his hands'

The ARAN animal rights group says the Minister is doing nothing to protect “the most vulnerable in society, the animals”.
Jul 30th 2014, 7:42 PM 9,855 48

AROUND TWO DOZEN protesters took to Kildare Street today to picket the Department of Agriculture.

Carrying homemade signs, soft toys, and – by the looks of it – quite a few jars of fake blood, they insisted Minister Simon Coveney had ‘blood on his hands’ over the Department’s continuing policy of badger culling.

Anne Lawless, from the Navan Road, at today’s protest.

“Since taking office Coveney has done nothing but turn his back on the most vulnerable in society, the animals,” John Carmody of animal rights group ARAN said in a statement.

We are calling on the Minister to step down from his post as Agriculture Minister in light of this reckless plan to slaughter thousands of badgers in a move that is clearly not working.

“It is a lazy, short-sighted effort when there is other more effective humane options available.”

A protester wearing a Simon Coveney mask drips blood on himself.        

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Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland - all photos

The Department regularly carries out culls of the animals as part of its nationwide TB eradication programme, as the disease is present in both badgers and cattle in Ireland.

In an answer to a parliamentary question earlier this month, Coveney indicated that the policy was set to continue for the coming years…

Research conducted over the years by the Department and others has demonstrated that the eradication of bovine TB disease is not a practicable proposition until the issue of the reservoir of infection in badgers, which is seeding infection into the cattle population, is addressed.

The Minister added:

My Department believes that the culling of badgers is cost effective and that it has contributed significantly to the very significant improvement in the disease situation in recent years and, in particular, since 2008, during which period the number of reactors has declined by almost 50% from around 30,000 to 15,600 last year. 

The Department is currently seeking contractors to carry out a cull of around 12,000 of the animals over two years.

Read 5,000 badgers to be killed as cull begins

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Daragh Brophy


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