POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland?

POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland?

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The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on the Minister for Arts & Heritage, Heather Humphreys, to reject a licence application for a 2015-16 hare coursing season.

A decision on whether or not to grant the licence is expected in the coming days.

Minister Humphreys has been made aware of the ongoing injuries and deaths of hares in the bloodsport as well as numerous instances of licence breaches last season.

POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland?
Northern Ireland has voted to ban hare coursing, making it the last part of the UK to do so. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

Our “Coursing Cruelty Catalogue” report, submitted to the Minister in May, reveals sickening cruelty – some hares were killed outright by the greyhounds while others later died of their injuries. For example:

At a meeting in Thurles, a hare was suffering a “large injury to the shoulder and front of one of the legs”. At Borrisoleigh, hares died in the paddock before the meeting started and four more died during the meeting.

Hare coursing in Ireland. The events – when dogs are set upon a wild hare – were outlawed in the UK by the Hunting Act of 2004 Rex Features

At the Doon and District meeting, hares were not in good condition with many having sores on their feet. At Nenagh, among the captured hares were two young hares and two heavily pregnant hares.

At Mallow, three hares were struck by greyhounds, one of which was mauled and had to be carried off the field.

Last month, ICABS submitted another report to Minister Humphreys. This detailed breaches of the conditions attached to last year’s licence and comes following an earlier statement from the Minister that further licence breaches would not be tolerated.

In a letter to Minister Humphreys, we outlined that “the 2014-15 breaches include the capture of hares outside the period specified in the licences, failure to cooperate with NPWS personnel, failure to provide particulars of hare captures, the release of hares outside daylight hours, the presentation of inaccurate or incomplete veterinary reports, the failure to carry out post mortems on hares that were killed, etc.

There are also additional suspected breaches relating to the presence of injured and pregnant hares in coursing compounds.”

“Minister, you have previously stated that breaches of licence conditions will not be tolerated,” we stated. “We therefore expect you and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to take the identified licence breaches very seriously by initiating prosecutions against the relevant clubs and excluding them from any further coursing licences.

Given the routine licence breaches, the unenforceability of licence conditions and the ongoing suffering, injury and death caused to hares, we implore you to reject the current licence application for a 2015-16 coursing season.

This would be greatly welcomed by the majority of Irish people who are in favour of a ban on hare coursing.”

Police in the north-east are urging rural communities to help them crack down on the illegal killing of hares. With harvest time fast approaching, police are expecting an increase in hare coursing – and are relying on locals to be their eyes and ears.

The Republic of Ireland is one of the last countries in the world to allow the use of hares as live bait for greyhounds in coursing. It is already illegal in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


We invite you to share your opinion, whether hare coursing should be banned in Ireland? Please vote and leave your comments below:

Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland?

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Thank you for voting.


In the event that you voted to ban hare coursing in Ireland, please sign the petitions:

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing
Save Irish hares from cruel coursing
Ban horrific hare coursing cruelty in Ireland
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Thank you for your support.

 

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