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Coursers get go-ahead from Minister
7 September 2007

Dead hare

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has expressed disappointment at the news that Minister John Gormley has issued another licence to the Irish Coursing Club. The licence will allow coursing clubs around Ireland to snatch thousands of hares from the wild to be used as live lures. A decision has not yet been made on the licensing of the Ward Union but ICABS remains hopeful that this will become the first of our blood sports to be banned.

ICABS is saddened to think of the hares that will be removed from their habitats in the coming weeks and months and forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds. As highlighted to the Minister in the weeks leading up to his decision, hares continue to suffer appalling injuries on the coursing fields. Some are so severely mauled that they drop dead or have to be put down. Sickening examples include:

  • A hare "squealing in distress" after being caught by a muzzled dog
  • A hare suffering with "a badly broken hind leg"
  • A hare "carrying a hind leg"
  • A hare with "a damaged hind toe"
  • A coursed hare with a "badly broken hind leg [which] seemed to be in great distress"
  • A hare in agony in a coursing enclosure with its leg "almost completely broken off".
Despite our disappointment, the campaign against coursing continues from today. With your help, we will continue to press Minister Gormley to ban this shameful blemish on the Irish countryside. Please follow our action alert below and share our confidence that the day is coming when Irish animals will be spared the cruelty and inhumanity of blood sports.

Hare Coursing Gallery - Image 1
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.


Please contact Environment Minister, John Gormley, and appeal to him to reconsider his decision to licence hare coursing. Urge him to stand firm against the Ward Union and refuse a licence for their abuse of deer.

Sample Letter
(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.)

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 888 2403.
Fax: 01 878 8640.

Dear Minister Gormley,

I am writing to express my great disappointment at your decision to licence hare coursing in Ireland. This licence not only disregards the awful animal cruelty of coursing but also the wishes of the majority of Irish adults who want this barbarism banned. I hope that you will find a way to urgently bring coursing to an end in Ireland.

I understand that you will be considering the licensing of carted deer hunting in the coming weeks. I implore you to stand firm against the Ward Union and refuse this licence.

In its pre-election manifesto, the Green Party pledged to ban blood sports when in government. You now have the opportunity to fulfil this promise and end the suffering of deer and hares.

Yours sincerely,



Please contact your local TD and Senator and ask them to make an appeal to Minister Gormley on your behalf.

For the names of your TDs, please click on your county on the Irish Government website

Contact your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337889 (1890 DEPUTY).

For a list of Senators, please visit the Irish Government website

Contact your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623 (1890 SEANAD).

Videos: The cruelty of hare coursing and carted deer hunting

Hare coursing Carted deer hunting

More information about blood sports

Carted deer hunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

Foxhunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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