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Hare coursing to be banned in Northern Ireland
23 June 2010

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has welcomed the tremendous news that hare coursing is to be banned in Northern Ireland. Members of the Legislative Assembly voted 23 to 18 in favour of an amendment to the new Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill which will ban the blood sport. The amendment was tabled by UUP members Roy Beggs and Tom Elliott.

"This is a major development in the all-Ireland campaign against hare coursing which we wholeheartedly welcome," responded ICABS spokesperson Aideen Yourell. "It should put significant pressure on legislators in the Republic to follow suit and ban this cruel activity which a majority of Irish people want outlawed. We commend the compassion of the MLAs who supported the amendment. We are now renewing our call on Minister John Gormley to refuse any further licences to the Irish Coursing Club."

The League Against Cruel Sports in Northern Ireland has expressed delight at the development. Spokesperson Louise Robertson said: “This has been a vote for common sense...These blood sports have no place in modern society and the vast majority of the public support this view. We applaud Northern Ireland politicians for taking decisive steps to improve animal welfare legislation.”

Hare coursing is cruel from beginning to end. Thousands of hares are forcefully snatched from the Irish countryside in nets, kept in captivity for weeks and forced to run for their lives in front of muzzled greyhounds. When hit, they suffer agonising life-threatening injuries, including broken bones.

View our coursing gallery which shows the cruelty of coursing


Urge Minister John Gormley to stop licensing coursing. Send a copy to all of your local TDs and encourage them to back a ban on the blood sport

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

Email: [CC An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen]
Tel: 01 888 2403. Fax: 01 878 8640.

Find out the names of your TDs and their email addresses

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

Dear Minister Gormley,

I am delighted to learn that hare coursing has been banned in Northern Ireland. I call on you to ensure that coursing is now brought to an end in the Republic by refusing any further licence to the Irish Coursing Club.

In coursing, hares continue to die at all stages - during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity, during the coursing meetings and also subsequent to their release back to the wild. Such deaths have been documented by your NPWS division. These timid and fragile creatures die as a result of physical injuries or from the stress caused by human handling and being chased by greyhounds.

Please act on the wishes of the electorate who want this activity outlawed. Do not grant any further licences for coursing.

Thank you, Minister.

Yours sincerely,


Campaign Videos: Ban Coursing in Ireland

More ICABS Videos

Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill debate in Stormont

Hare Coursing Gallery - Image 1
In coursing, hares are cruelly snatched from the wild and forced to run for their lives in front of greyhounds.

Further Reading
The Facts About Hare Coursing
Stress and Capture Myopathy in Hares
Irish Hare: "conservation status is poor"
Hares and rabbits factsheet

More information about hare coursing

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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