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Gormley ignored appeal from RSPCA Vice-President
17 September 2009

Green Party leader John Gormley ignored an appeal from an RSPCA Vice-President to stop licensing hare coursing. In a 14 September letter, Dr Caroline Lucas - who is also a Green Party MEP for South East England - urged Minister Gormley to "carefully consider the detrimental effect of hare coursing with regard to conservation and animal cruelty."

Dr Lucas condemned the use of hares in the activity, saying that "a practice which relies on large numbers of hares being captured, many of them pregnant and forced to give birth in captivity, to then be pursued by dogs, possibly pummelled to the ground or to die on release back into the wild cannot possibly be classed as a sport."

In a direct appeal to the Green Party leader, she stated: "I would urge you to do your utmost to continue pressing for an end to such blood sports in Ireland and, in the meantime, to refuse to renew any hare coursing licences for this coming season."

John Gormley ignored this plea, as well as countless others from Ireland and around the world, and issued a licence to the Irish Coursing Club for the 2009-10 season. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has condemned his decision.

Spokesperson Aideen Yourell said: "We are astounded that a 'GREEN' Minister would issue such a licence, not only because of the inherent animal cruelty but also due to the fact that hares in the wild are in decline. It is absolutely incredible that while our Northern Ireland neighbours are taking measures to protect the hare population, our 'GREEN' Minister is recklessly allowing the exploitation of our vulnerable hares by coursers and other assorted hare hunters. He should have acted in concert with our close neighbours to protect the hare as part of an All-Ireland plan, and placed a temporary ban as they have done."

ICABS thanks Dr Lucas for supporting our ongoing campaign against this cruel activity. Please see below for more information about this award-winning champion for animals.

About Caroline Lucas: A Vice-President of the RSPCA, Dr Caroline Lucas is widely respected as one of the European Parliament’s most active animal welfare campaigners. In 2007, she was voted Politician of the Year by Observer readers in their annual Ethical Awards and in 2008 was judged one of the Guardian’s top “eco-heroes”. Find out more at:

Dr Caroline Lucas
Dr Caroline Lucas: Thanked for joining appeals to Minister John Gormley to stop licensing animal cruelty.

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