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International protest against hare coursing
January 2006

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is mounting a peaceful protest against hare coursing this Saturday, 14th January, 2006 outside the grounds of the Sevenhouses coursing club, near Danesfort, Co Kilkenny. The protest begins at 12 midday. If possible, please come along and voice your opposition to blood sport cruelty (for anti-coursing posters to print out and display at the protest, please visit our Posters page.

We are being joined on the day by the League Against Cruel Sports (UK), Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe (UK) and Animals 2000 (Germany). Together we will highlight the ongoing abuse that is live hare coursing and the arrival on our shores of UK coursers to take part in coursing events in the wake of the ban on coursing in that jurisdiction.

It has been announced that a contingent of hare coursers from the U.K. are competing at Sevenhouses in a new competition set up to accommodate them. We want to signal to these people that they are not welcome here to abuse our hares and also to convey to our own legislators that it's now high time to outlaw hare coursing in line with the U.K.

We have consistently made a strong case to Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, that licences to net hares from the wild should be abolished, in the interests of stopping unnecessary cruelty and conserving our threatened wild hare population. Yesterday, Mr. Roche was quoted on national TV as stating that the dumping of rubbish was "a crime against the environment". We say to Mr. Roche today that allowing a minority group of animal abusers to snatch thousands of hares from the wild is also a crime against the environment. We call on him to make this the LAST hare coursing season. Mr. Roche is well aware that there is a humane alternative to hare coursing - mechanical lure coursing, which is now used in countries where hare coursing is banned.

Meanwhile, in a grotesque twist, the Irish Coursing Club has called on the 70 or so coursing clubs around Ireland to each supply five or more hares for the national finals in Clonmel next month. As an inducement to these clubs, they have organised a raffle with a prize fund of €2,000. ICABS has lodged a complaint with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.


If you need more details about the location of the protest, please contact us. For driving directions, please visit or

Photos: Coursing Cruelty

Hares in coursing enclosure
A courser looks on as a pair of hares run along the inside of a coursing enclosure. Thousands of Irish hares are incarcerated like this by coursing clubs every year.

Hare being chased by two greyhounds
Greyhounds chase a hare during a coursing meeting. The stress of running for their lives leaves hares vulnerable to the potentially fatal capture myopathy condition. (Photo: Tomas Coppinger)

Hare hit into the ground by greyhound
A greyhound hits a hare head-first into the ground during a coursing meeting. Hares hit in this way can suffer broken bones and fatal internal injuries.

A courser holding a dead hare by its back legs
A courser holds a dead hare by its back legs. Every coursing season sees hares being killed by greyhounds.

Hares in a coursing field next to wire fence
Hares kept captive in a coursing field. After being snatched from the wild, hares are kept in captivity for up to two months before the start of the coursing meeting.

Action Item

Please contact Environment Minister, Dick Roche, and demand an end to coursing in Ireland. Tell the Minister that hares should be allowed to live free from the cruelty of coursing. Please also contact your local TD and urge him/her to work for an end to coursing and all blood sports.

Minister Dick Roche
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House
Dublin 1

Tel: +353 (0)1-8882403
Fax: +353 (0)1-8788640

Coursing: More Information

Photo: Captive hares in coursing enclosure - 18 November 2005

Coursing fixtures list revealed - 13 October 2005

Coursers get licence for 2005-06 season - 14 September 2005

Is Ireland in breach of EU Habitats Directive? - 07 July 2005
Green Party leader, Trevor Sargent, has questioned the Environment Minister about the possibility of Ireland being in breach of the EU Habitats Directive by allowing hare coursing.

Hares and Rabbits Fact Sheet - 24 June 2005
Hares and rabbits have an important place in Ireland's biodiversity. Learn all about these fascinating mammals in a new fact sheet by Mike Rendle of the Irish Hare Initiative.

Animal Voice - June 2005
Special edition focusing entirely on the plight of the Irish Hare. Read on to find out about the growing concern for this "threatened" and "declining" species. Plus a selection of disturbing reports from hare coursing meetings.

The Impact of Enclosed Hare Coursing on Irish hares - 28 April 2005
A report by the Irish Hare Initiative

Species Action Plan - 31 March 2005
The draft version of the Species Action Plan for the Irish Hare.

National Survey of Hares
Tender Specification and additional details

Stress and Capture Myopathy in Hares - 28 January 2005
A report by the Irish Hare Initiative

Coursing: Photos and Video

For photos and video clips showing the cruelty of coursing, please visit our Ban Hare Coursing website.

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