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Coursing: hare had leg "almost completely broken off"
17 November 2006

A hare spotted suffering in a coursing enclosure was found to have a leg which was "almost completely broken off", ICABS was disturbed to learn. The gruesome detail appears in a report filed by a National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger who monitored the Westmeath United Coursing Club meeting in October 2005. The report was sent to ICABS this week in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Other sickening details revealed in the documents include:

  • A muzzled greyhound grabbing a hare's leg, prompting the ranger to question the effectiveness of muzzling.
  • A small hare (a leveret?) being chased by a greyhound.
  • A rabbit within the coursing grounds being mauled by a greyhound.

According to the documents, the three day coursing meeting at Killucan saw 15 hares being hit by greyhounds; four of these were listed as being injured. The hare with the broken leg was subsequently destroyed.

In the Summer 2004 edition of Animal Voice, we revealed how a wildlife ranger expressed "serious reservations" about the Westmeath United club's coursing of pregnant hares and hares which had just given birth. More recently, the club was found in August 2006 to be in breach of its licence to net hares.


Please contact Minister Dick Roche today and urge him to take immediate action to ban hare coursing in Ireland. Tell him that as long as hares are used as lures in coursing, animal suffering is inevitable. Demand an end to this cruel blood sport.

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

Please also contact your local TDs/Senators and urge them to work for an end to coursing and all blood sports.

Write to your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website at:

(Please compose your own personal letter if possible. If you do not have time to do this, please send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

Dear Minister Roche,

Documents obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports reveal more disturbing details about the suffering caused to hares in coursing.

I refer in particular to a hare which was found with a leg which was "almost completely broken off". The unfortunate creature was discovered by a NPWS ranger who was monitoring the meeting.

This is just one example of what our hares have to endure in this appalling blood sport. I wish to ask you, Minister, how you can continue to licence this activity when you are aware of the cruelty associated with it.

I implore you to withdraw the latest licence you have granted to coursing clubs to net hares from the wild and to insist that the only coursing that is permitted in Ireland is drag coursing. This, as you know, is a perfectly viable alternative.

Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,


Greyhound mauling hare
A hare is mauled into the ground by a muzzled greyhound during a coursing meeting. This is one of the thousands of hares cruelly captured in the Irish countryside every year for use in the blood sport.

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