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RTE classifies coursing as sport: Join our appeal now
14 February 2008

RTE is defending its decision to include hare coursing in a radio sports report. ICABS has urged the station to stop presenting animal cruelty as sport, saying that "many would struggle to comprehend how sport could ever encompass an activity based on greyhounds chasing hares and causing them stress, injury and sometimes death."

Responding to our appeal from earlier this week, a spokesperson for RTE said that the station "neither approves nor disapproves of coursing" but that since it is legal, they will continue to cover it.

Peter Feeney, RTE's Head of Public Affairs Policy, defended this decision on the basis that the blood sport "remains supported by many people in Ireland". This claim has been strongly refuted by ICABS.

In an email to RTE today, ICABS stressed that coursing is very much a minority activity and that many people actually want it outlawed by the government.

"Every survey since the 1970s has shown that most people want it banned," we stated. "The latest opinion poll from Millward Brown (2007) found that 72 per cent of respondents believe coursing is cruel, with a massive 68 per cent favouring a ban. We can assume from this that the majority of licence fee payers would find the portrayal of animal cruelty as a sport to be highly offensive and inappropriate."

ICABS also challenged a suggestion that including coursing in a sports report was consistent with RTE's policy of fairly reflecting all sides.

"We welcome RTE's balanced coverage of this issue on Six One News but the radio report certainly didn't 'reflect fairly all sides'," we stated. "We hope RTE can side with the majority of Irish people and stop giving positive coverage to coursing in the future."


Please join us in urging RTE to keep cruelty out of its sports reports.

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

RTE Radio
Dublin 4

Tel: 01 208 3111
Fax: 01 208 3080

Dear RTE,

I wish to express my great disapproval of RTE Radio's inclusion of hare coursing in a sports report earlier this month. Coursing should never be classified as a sport by your station - it is one of Ireland's worst forms of animal cruelty and a majority of people in Ireland want it banned.

RTE - Please keep cruelty out of your sports reports!

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,


Video: Coursing cruelty


Please contact Environment Minister, John Gormley, and appeal to him to give a commitment that this will be the last ever hare coursing season in Ireland.

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 implore you to firmly reject future licence applications from the Irish Coursing Club. Hare coursing is Ireland's most appalling animal abuse with thousands of hares being ripped from their natural habitat and forced to run for their lives before muzzled dogs. When hit, the injuries are often so severe that the terrified hare has to be destroyed - but only after suffering from stress and severe internal injuries or broken bones.

In its pre-election manifesto, the Green Party pledged to ban blood sports when in government. I am among the confident majority who trust that you will take this historic opportunity, Minister, to spare the hares the suffering caused by coursing and refuse further licences to these heartless destroyers of our wildlife heritage.

Thank you and best wishes.

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).

More information about blood sports

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition
Foxhunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition
Carted deer hunting: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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