ABCD media (archive)

30 December 2020

Read full letter here

22 December 2020

We’re being encouraged to think about moving away from the Ham and Turkey dinner at Christmas and consider a vegan option! Gerry Boland is from the Animals Behind Closed Doors group and he says that we need to consider a kinder alternative to Turkey.
He spoke to Fran on Tipp Today this morning….

15 December 2020


Pigs are highly intelligent, extremely sociable animals. Together with the broiler chicken, 50 billion of which are slaughtered, globally, each year, they are the most exploited animal on the planet. If you are born a pig – in China, in the US, in Ireland – there’s a 99% chance that you’ll never see the light of day and that you’ll be slaughtered when you’re about six months old. Unless, that is, you have the misfortune to be a breeding sow, in which case your life will be longer but considerably more stressful before a premature slaughter at the age of three or four.

‘The future for pigs is not looking good,’ says Gerry Boland, founder of and spokesperson for Animals Behind Closed Doors, a new campaign organisation established to highlight what the organisation regards as ‘the horrors of factory farming’. ‘Here is a glimpse into the future of pig production. In March of this year, construction began on a large site in rural China on what will be the largest pig utility in the world, twenty-one multi-storey buildings housing 84,000 sows and their offspring. Mega farms such as this can house five times as many pigs as a regular farm on the same area.

‘These new factory farms employ fewer people and use more technology, such as intelligent feeding systems, manure cleaning robots, and infrared cameras to detect when pigs have a fever. Inside the pig housing, air is filtered, and thermal imaging cameras are being trialled to check pigs’ body temperatures.

‘The density of these animal factories carries huge risk,’ says Gerry Boland. ‘Diseases including swine fever is still circulating in China. There is no vaccine or cure available, and mortality rates are 100%. An estimated 200 million pigs have been culled in an effort to contain the spread of swine flu.

Will Ireland import the mega, multi-storey model?
‘It’s highly likely,’ says Gerry Boland. ‘The intensive pig industry functions on the basis of cramming as many animals as possible into as small a space as possible and rearing them in the shortest time possible.

‘The industry treats pigs as a commodity. It ignores the fact that pigs are sentient animals with a complex range of emotions and an ability to experience pain and distress in the same way that a dog can. It’s an industry that has lost any sense of a moral compass,’ Gerry Boland concluded.

Click HERE to download the full statement

14 December 2020

Gerry Boland from Animals Behind Closed Doors joined Joe Finnegan on Shannonside Local Radio on Monday’s show. He wanted to encourage people not to have turkey this Christmas.

11 December 2020


Christmas approaches and the mass killing of billions of farm animals is already under way. This, then, is an apt time for meat eaters to consider a conundrum: How is it that we are horrified by the thought of anything nasty happening to our companion animals, yet we see nothing wrong or contradictory in killing vast numbers of pigs, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese and pheasants to celebrate the festive season?

The hypocrisy surrounding our relationship with animals is deeply embedded. We are capable of becoming emotionally involved with our pet dog while at the same time we tacitly support the inhumane treatment of farm animals in a daily act of condonement: eating them.

A system of production that denies basic rights to billions of animals deserves to be held up to intense scrutiny, yet here we are, once again at Christmas’s door, and instead of radical reform of a cruel and exploitative industry, welfare standards are being driven down in the race to produce as many animals as possible, as cheaply as possible, in the shortest time possible.

Globally, around 650 million turkeys are slaughtered each year. The typical turkey for sale in an Irish supermarket, if it’s an import, will almost certainly have been housed for its short life in an indoor factory farm. A mass-commodity product that has a short, miserable and unnatural life, it has been selectively bred to have a large body and fragile bones, much like the broiler chicken. The majority of Irish-raised turkeys will have lived out their short lives in a shed or a barn, having never seen the light of day before the day of slaughter.

What are we doing, celebrating the birth of the icon of compassion by indulging in a slaughter-fest, in order that we can celebrate the season of peace and goodwill? If Jesus were alive today, it is reasonable to assume that he would be deeply affected and saddened by the seasonal slaughter that takes place in his name.

All animals are complex, sentient beings, yet we treat them as if they had no rights at all. A vegetarian kitchen is the ethical choice for the compassionate Christmas celebrant.

Click here to download the full document

04th December 2020



The announcement by the UK Environment Minister that it is the intention of the UK government to end live animal exports for slaughter and fattening is both unexpected and welcome news,’ Animals Behind Closed Doors founder and spokesperson, Gerry Boland, has said.

‘Animal welfare and animal rights organisations across Europe have been campaigning to end the live export trade for decades,’ says Gerry Boland. ‘In Ireland, any criticism of the trade is met with outrage and hostility. Farming organisations claim live exports is an economic necessity, while for farmers, it’s a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’, despite their tiresome and empty platitudes to the effect that they love their animals and that Ireland has the highest welfare standards in the world.

How high are Ireland’s welfare standards? 

Does sending by cargo thousands of young bulls on a 10-day journey to Libya or to Turkey qualify for high welfare standards? Does transporting unweaned calves, pigs, cattle and sheep across Europe in crowded lorries seem like high welfare standards? 

The sad fact is that live animals are routinely transported by road, rail, sea or air across countries and continents. Millions endure journeys of hundreds, and often thousands, of kilometres, only to be slaughtered on arrival or be fattened in frequently inhumane conditions.

Exhaustion and dehydration are the norm on these journeys. The animals can be in transit for days, suffering extremes of temperature and often without sufficient food, water or rest. Some may die before they arrive at the slaughterhouse. DAFM does not record or report on mortality on these journeys.  

When animals are exported from Europe to countries outside the EU, they are no longer protected by EU law. Investigations have shown that they face terrible abuse during transport and at the time of slaughter.

EU legislation is very specific when it comes to the requirement to provide rest and water during long-distance transport, yet it is commonplace for these regulations to be ignored, leading to situations in which animals can go without rest or water for 24 and more hours, including unweaned calves. 

‘Animals are sentient beings and feel pain and stress just like we do,’ Gerry Boland says. ‘Long distance transport is not compatible with good animal welfare practice and should be ended as soon as possible, and not just in the UK.’

ANIMALS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS has been established to prise open the doors of the secretive, factory farming industry and in so doing, offer people the opportunity to see for themselves what goes on behind the closed doors of these industrialised animal factories.

Click HERE to download the full statement

24th November 2020

Gerry Boland speaks with Maurice O’Connor on Community Radio Kilkenny City .. Listen to the podcast here .

18th November 2020

Gerry Boland speaks passionately to Joe Finnegan on Shannonside Radio. They discuss many issues including the impact of Covid and other viruses on animals and the secretive industry and the intensification of Factory Farming in Ireland..

Please click here for a link to the podcast

10thNovember 2020



An animal rights lobby group–Animals Behind Closed Doors–has called for the urgent closure of all fur farms in the Republic.

‘The ending of fur farming is in the current Programme for Government, Animals Behind Closed Doors spokesperson, Gerry Boland, has said. ‘It was also in the previous government’s legislative agenda. There can be no procrastination on this issue any longer: the animal rights issue is reason enough to close the industry down. With the outbreak of a strain of coronavirus in Denmark and the anticipated cull of the country’s 17 million mink, we now we have another compelling reason to legislate this industry out of existence.

’According to a mission statement on the group’s website,the campaign group has been established with a view to––‘prising open the doors of these cretive, factory farming industryand in so doing, offerpeople the opportunity to see for themselves what goes on behind the closed doors of these industrialised animal factories.’‘Mink in the wild live near water and are excellent swimmers, spending a considerable amount of their time in and out of the water,’explained Gerry Boland. ‘They have a range of about 2 km along rivers….

Click here to download the full document