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ICABS responds to vet's defence of cruel coursing
13 October 2009

ICABS has responded to a veterinary surgeon who openly defended hare coursing. In a letter to the editor published in the Irish Examiner, we challenged the vet's claim that coursers “hold the welfare of the Irish hare very close to their hearts”.

In his letter of October 6th, Vet Tommy Kearney also said that when he attended a coursing meeting in Glin, Co Limerick, he was "immediately struck by the importance of this event in the community" and that he would "urge anybody to make a point of attending a meeting." You can read Mr Kearney's letter in full at

Responding, ICABS described the claim as wrong and commented that it was horrifying that a vet would defend the blood sport. Please scroll down to read our reply in full.

Time for the curtain to come down on coursing
Letter to the Editor, Irish Examiner, 10 October 2009

IT was horrifying to see an actual veterinary surgeon defending cruel coursing (Letters, October 6). Tommy Kearney’s claim that coursers “hold the welfare of the Irish hare very close to their hearts” is just plain wrong.

Veterinary Ireland clearly defines welfare as “a state of well-being in which an animal ... is not subjected to unnecessary pain, fear or suffering”. In coursing, hares are subjected to all three.

Over the years, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports has uncovered just some of this suffering: hares squealing in distress after being caught by muzzled dogs, pregnant hares forced to run for their lives, a hare with a fractured femur and another in agony with its leg “almost completely broken off”.

When I attended a meeting at Glin some years ago, I was immediately struck by the sickening scenes of suffering. I saw a hare pummelled into the ground and another hit so hard that it was certainly left with broken bones.

There is no justification whatsoever for subjecting animals to this abuse. The time has come for the curtain to come down on coursing.

Philip Kiernan
Irish Council Against Blood Sports
PO Box 88
Co Westmeath

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