Species Protection Unit questioned over coursing licence
9 December 2009
ICABS is calling on the National Parks and Wildlife Service's Species Protection Unit to explain why it recommended that a coursing licence be granted for another season of hare coursing. "Given that coursing results in stress, injury and death to hares, we wish to know how your unit's recommendation fits in with its 'species protection' role," ICABS stated.
The details of the Species Protection Unit's recommendation are contained in a document recently obtained by ICABS following a Freedom of Information request.
A letter signed the unit's Assistant Director, Gerry Leckey, states that: "It is recommended that licences issue to the Irish Coursing Club under the Wildlife Acts to mark hares, capture hares and undertake coursing outside the Open Season Order on 1 March 2010. The licence will cover all clubs affiliated to the Irish Coursing Club."
Referring to a request by the Irish Coursing Club for an extension to the licence, the document states that "We have facilitated the Irish Coursing Club in the past and it is recommended that the ICC be granted this extension."
The extension, which we have learned has been approved by Green Party leader and Environment Minister, John Gormley, is to be granted in the new year and will allow the coursers to extend their blood sport into March 1st 2010.
In a letter to Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe, the director of the NPWS Species Protection Unit, ICABS has enquired about the unit's justification for recommending the issuance of a licence for the 2009-2010 coursing season and a licence to extend the coursing season.
We are continuing to urge Minister John Gormley to revoke the current licence, to cancel the season extension and to put in place permanent protection for the Irish Hare.
Please join us in asking the NPWS Species Protection Unit to explain why it has recommended the licensing of a blood sport that causes massive interference to the Irish Hare species and which results in stress, injury and death to hares.
Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe
SEE ALSO: John Gormley to extend coursing season into March 2010
More information about hare coursing
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