Cases in 1996

Man gets jail on angel dust charges.
Irish Times, 22/10/1996.
A Beef farmer with 200 acres in Co. Tipperary has been sentenced to six months imprisonment for possessing angel dust and other illegal hormones on dates between September, 1993, and February, 1995. see more

₤1,500 fine for vet drugs

Evening Herald, 6/12/1996

A distributor of veterinary products has been fined ₤1,500 for possession of illegal animal drug promoters. Patrick O’Dea, Oakfield Estate, Oranmore, Co. Galway pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to having a veterinary medicine, Trenbolone Acetate, a prohibited substance, at his home on November 12th 92 and bottles of the antibiotic Oxytetracyline on his business premises at Waterslade, Tuam.

Man gets jail on angel dust charges

Irish Times, 22/10/1996

A beef farmer with 200 acres in Co. Tipperary has been sentenced to six months imprisonment for possessing angel dust and other illegal hormones on dates between September, 1993, and February, 1995.

Ronald Armitage, Uskane, Borrisokane, had pleaded guilty to 12 charges of possessing the banned drugs at his Tipperary farm and on a rented farm at Croghan, Co. Roscommon. He was one of the five farmers dealt with at a special sitting of Athlone District Court yesterday, when fines totalling £29,000 were imposed on summonses relating to illegal animal drug abuse. Armitage was fined £12,000 by Judge Mary Fahy. Mr. Declan Holms, a Department of Agriculture inspector, said he carried out the Croghan search, where Armitage had rented land on September 30, 1993. The two summonses arising from this search related to the possession of Clenbuterol, commonly known as Angel Dust. He also took part in a raid at Borrisokane on October 11, 1993, where a substantial quantity of illegal substances in the form of a hormone “cocktail” was among items found in a cemetery adjacent to his farm. There was a cattle crush built in the ruins of a church and, he said, the substances had been thrown out the window of the church into an adjoining cemetery. A raiding team found bottles on the defendant’s farm, on September 30, 1993 which contained a hormone cocktail and also an implant cartridge containing illegal hormones was found. The farm was searched again on the 13th of February 1995 when Clebuterol and illegal hormones were found.

Sick trade in cruelly bred pups

Evening Herald, 28/05/1996

It’s the nightmare cruelty case which has horrified every dog-lover in the country.  see more

Officials put down 22 dogs at ‘hellhole’ puppy farm

Irish Independent, 27/05/1996

Animal cruelty officers uncovered a “hell-hole” for dogs and had to put down 22 animals after a raid on an outhouse in a Dublin garden.  They were appalled at the gruesome discovery in which the dogs were kept in cage like boxes. A pigeon loft was also discovered which housed 60 birds. They had to be released into the air.

  Therese Cunningham, director of the DSPCA, described the case as one of the most appalling she had ever come across.  She said:”This raises the question about the possibility of this being a puppy farm. It sounds like at some stage the dogs were being bred for sale.”

  Under present Irish laws anyone could have a puppy farm in their backgarden, she said.

  The society initially acted on Saturday after receiving a tip off. The raid involved Inspector John Dunne of the DSCPCA and dog warden John Boylan.  The house occupant was not there at the time, but the officers succeeded in getting into the back garden. What they were confronted with there horrified them.

  Some of the cages could not be opened and one had to be forced open. Dogs were found chewing through the box-like cages. One dog got into another garden had was scavenging through a rubbish bag in desperate search of food.

Put to sleep

A leaking water pipe in the outhouse was pouring down water on the suffering animals. The dogs were mainly Yorkshire terriers. Two were cross bred fox terriers. One animal had no hair left.

  The officers reported that about 60 pigeons were kept in a filthy loft which was built in such a way that it could not be cleaned out.  Inspector Dunne described what he saw as a “hell-hole for dogs”.  Vet Garrett Freyne, who was called in, said some dogs were put down on Saturday and the rest on Sunday. A further visit to the premises yesterday uncovered two more dogs. In all 12 female and 10 male dogs had to be put down.

  “They had no human contact or kindness given to them,” the vet said. “They were terrified, cooped up in a crazy situation.” He said one dog had starved to death. She was attacked by others because she was in season.

  He told how he had to wade through urine and faeces. There was no ventilation in the outhouse which was stinking. The dogs were infected with fleas and lice and covered in mange. One animal had jaundice.  Ms Cunningham: “I am absolutely disgusted by the whole story.”

  The DSPCA now plan a full and speedy prosecution.  She added: “We should have legislation like in Britain, where people can’t open a kennel without planning permission. It should cover standards and the need to have a licence.”

ISPCA dog pounds ‘barbaric and cruel’

Sunday Tribune, 13/10/1996

The ISPCA has been accused of cruelty to animals at some of its dog pounds throughout the country.  The allegations have been made by an animal welfare group.  The Irish Trust For The Protection And Care for Animals (ITPCA), which has condemned the ISPCA’s policy of putting down dogs using a bolt gun.

  The ISPCA says that conditions and practices at dog pounds in Sligo, Kerry Ennis and Roscommon amount to cruelty to the animals there.  Following visits to the pounds two weeks ago, which they filmed, the Trust called on the ISPCA to “monitor animal shelters in rural areas or withdraw from the dog warden service.”

  The ISPCA told The Sunday Tribune that it was aware that conditions at some pounds “were not up to scratch.  We are currently trying to persuade local authorities to upgrade standards.”

  The Trust claims that chloroform and bolt guns are used regularly in the Kerry pound.  “These have no place in animal welfare,” said Robert Doyle, a director.  “It is a barbaric, outdated and cruel practice.”  He criticised the lack of veterinary input into the killing of animals.  The shootings were usually carried out by dog wardens “who should not be the arbitrator between the life and death of an animal,” he said.  The ISPCA acknowledged that bolt guns were used but denied it was a cruel way to kill animals.

  Doyle’s film of the Ennis pound showed dogs of all ages in an enclosed room with no outdoor area and, apparently, no natural light.  One of the dogs was continually scratching and seemed to have an eye lesion.  There were also faeces littering the room and many of the dogs appeared bloated suggesting, said Doyle, that they had worms.

  In Kerry,  Doyle said the pound was situated “next to a slaughter house where pigs are killed on a daily basis.  We would consider this to be inappropriate and causes stress to the dogs,” he added.

  Mr Doyle said he had called the gardai to the Roscommon pound when he noticed a dog tied in a kennel “and in danger of strangulation.”  The dog was standing in water but “the rope around its neck was too short and did not allow the animal to lie down without getting wet.  The inside of the building was almost dark and a greyhound appeared to me to be in need of veterinary treatment.”

  The Trust has called for the closure of the dog pounds in Roscommon and Sligo, where it claims conditions for animals are also poor.  It also wants an end to the use of bolt guns which it described as a “form of cutprice dog control.  That euthanasia is necessary at all is distressing.  To have animals shot in the head – a shot that has no guarantee of success – by an organisation that is supposed to prevent cruelty is beyond belief.”

  The ISPCA’s chief executive Ciaran O’Donovan rejected these claims, arguing that “new keneels are to be built in Sligo which will create a lot of extra space for the animals.  I am aware of the problems in Roscommon but the local authority there has included money in its estimates for a new pound so that problem should be sorted soon as well.”

  Conditions at most pounds were excellent, he said.  “It would be nice to hear the Trust praise those as well as criticising the minority of pounds where conditions are poor.”