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FALSE: ICC suggestion that all hares are released
11 August 2010

ICABS has described as false a suggestion by the Irish Coursing Club CEO that "all captured hares" are released back to the wild after coursing. In a letter published in the Daily Mail, we highlighted some of the victims from last season that died in captivity. Please scroll down to read the letter.

Daily Mail Letter

Hare-raising horror
The Daily Mail, Aug 9, 2010

A recent suggestion by Irish Coursing Club chief, DJ Histon that 'all captured hares' are returned to the wild following their ordeal in captivity is false.

The hares that died from their injuries in Co. Wexford last season certainly didn't make it back to the wild. Neither did the hares found dead in a coursing enclosure in Borrisoleigh, nor hares at Rathcormac that were hit so hard that they had to be put down.

Some of the hares caught for the Loughrea/Westport meeting would also never see the open countryside again - one was euthanised after being struck by greyhounds, two others were found dead in a paddock. Deaths were also recorded at coursing events in Galway and Oranmore, Castleisland, Kilflynn, Lixnaw, Listowel, Millstreet, Templetuohy, Abbeydorney and Ballyheigue.

Among the terrorised animals that did make it back to the wild were three injured at a meeting in Co. Cork. According to the wildlife ranger present, one of these unfortunate creatures had a 'damaged leg' that 'could be broken'.

Mr Histon claims regulations and conditions attached to the licence issued by Minister John Gormley were 'written with the welfare of the hare in mind'.

Tell that to the hare with the dislocated hip after the Ardpatrick and Kilfinane coursing meeting. Or to those that died 'from knocks sustained during coursing' at Thurles.

Coursing is now banned in England, Scotland, Wales and in the North. A majority want it outlawed here, too.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has restated that the status of the hare is 'poor', partly due to persecution by hunters.

The time couldn't be better for Minister Gormley to grant permanent protection to this precious species and call a halt to coursing cruelty.

PHILIP KIERNAN Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.


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

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Custom House, Dublin 1.
[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 is to be 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

Slideshow: the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland

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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