Today marks another milestone in the campaign to outlaw hare coursing on the island of Ireland, as a permanent coursing ban comes into effect in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Minister for Environment, Alex Attwood, said in a statement to the media today that "hare coursing events should not take place in a modern, progressive, civilised society."
However, here in the Republic, now the last bastion of this backwoods barbarism, itís business as usual for the hare coursers, with the licence to net hares issued recently by the Minister for Arts, Jimmy Deenihan.
The two remaining Northern Ireland clubs, Ballymena and Dungannon, now travel south to be hosted by Tubbercurry and Cavan, putting even more pressure on our timid hares.
Hare coursers claim that the muzzling of greyhounds, introduced in 1992, eliminates the kill from coursing. However, while preventing the ripping apart of hares, muzzles do not prevent hares from being struck and mauled by greyhounds, resulting in injuries and death. This is borne out in National Parks monitoring reports obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports annually.
In any event, hares are terrorised from the time they are snatched from the wild in nets to the day they are used as live lures before greyhounds at coursing meetings. This is unacceptable in what passes for a supposedly civilised country.
Surely our government should be acting in tandem with the Northern Ireland Assembly in protecting hares on the island as a whole.
Welcoming the ban, Mary Friel of the League Against Cruel Sports Northern Ireland said: "The League is delighted that the Northern Ireland Assembly has finally and permanently banned the barbaric sport of hare coursing. This historic decision is a huge step forward in eradicating cruel blood sports and we look forward to the Assembly making more improvements to animal welfare such as banning the use of snares."
ICABS congratulates all the campaigners and politicians in Northern Ireland who helped achieve this historic ban. May it not be long before the whole of Ireland can celebrate an end to coursing and permanent protection for the hare.
Contact Minister Deenihan now and urge him to follow the example of Northern Ireland and permanently ban coursing in the Republic.
Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
[with a copy to An Taoiseach - firstname.lastname@example.org]
Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)
Dear Minister Deenihan,
I am one of the majority of Irish citizens who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to express my great disappointment that you chose to license another season of this animal abuse. Please stop licensing coursing and follow the excellent example of your counterpart in Northern Ireland who has announced a permanent ban there.
I urge you to act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and bring this blood sport to an end in the Republic.
Write to your TDs at:
More information about hare coursing
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