Oige Ghlas (Irish Young Greens) ran our first ever national campaign this spring. We were campaigning for a complete ban on fur farming in Ireland. Fur farms have already been banned in the UK since 2002.
On these fur farms the animals, mainly fox and mink, are kept in horrible conditions. They live in wire cages with very little room to move; basically this is factory farming of foxes. We all felt that it was a very cruel practice and wanted to do something to help stop it. There was a Green Party Bill in Parliament at the time calling for the banning of fur farms so it was a current green issue.
We teamed up with Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) who have been working on this cause for some time. A speaker from them came round to most of our colleges and gave a talk and video presentation.
Seeing the footage of these beautiful animals in their tiny cages was Very upsetting. Another animal rights group, Alliance For Animal Rights (AFAR) had been collecting petitions asking for a ban on fur farming for some time. We also collected petitions in our colleges and lots of people signed. We organised a civilised protest outside the Dáil Éireann (House of Represent atives). This was a lot of fun and we handed in our petitions to the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Also this was the day of our first press release. It was a day of lots of firsts and I think we learned a lot, as well as it being a success. We are looking forward to our next national campaign in the autumn, which will be on trying to get more recognition in this country for same-sex unions.