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Irish hares being persecuted by hunters, coursers and shooters
07 May 2015

The Irish Hare, a supposedly protected species, is not only under threat from licensed hare coursers during seven months of the year but also from shooters during six months.

A licence granted by the Department of Arts and Heritage and the National Parks and Wildlife Service allows hare coursers to use nets to cruelly capture hares from the wild for their bloodsport during the months of August, September, October, November, December, January and February.

But hares are also targeted by those who get their kicks from blasting wildlife to death. Hares may be legally shot during six months of the year – from the end of September and throughout October, November, December, January and February.

Those taking out shotguns to gun down these defenceless creatures do not even need to apply for a licence to do so.

According to a “Government Notice” on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website, “The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht would like to inform all game hunters of the following important information with regard to hunting licences. Under the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2012, all holders of a valid Firearm Certificate issued for a shotgun on or after 1 August 2009 are deemed by law to be the holders of a Hunting Licence under the Wildlife Acts for the purposes of hunting game bird and hare species.”

In a table headed “Hunting seasons for wild birds and hares”, the notice states that hares may be shot between 26th September and 28th February.

The document also presents killing dates for other species including Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Red Grouse, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Golden Plover, Snipe, Jack Snipe, Red-Legged Partridge, Cock Pheasant, Woodcock, Woodpigeon, Ruddy Duck, Red Deer, Sika Deer, Fallow Deer and Muntjac Deer.

Hares are also under threat from hunters using packs of hounds as well as from those involved in illegal hunting and coursing using greyhounds and lurchers.


Get in touch with all your local TDs now and urge them to back a ban on hare coursing, hare hunting and hare shooting.

Visit the Oireachtas website for names of TDs and their email addresses

Email TDs online at -

Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share petitions

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing
Save Irish hares from cruel coursing
Ban horrific hare coursing cruelty in Ireland
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to show compassion for the persecuted Irish Hare and end the hunting, coursing and shooting of the species.

Email "Save hares from hunting, shooting and coursing" to
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG

(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 Humphreys,

The Irish Hare is under severe pressure from hunters, shooters and coursers. Under licence from your Department, the creatures may be netted from the wild during seven months of the year for use as live bait for dogs in coursing. During six months of the year, your Department allows hares to be blasted to death by shooters who take pleasure in destroying our wildlife heritage.

Hares urgently need protection. I urge you to act to give permanent, year-round protection to this species.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture

Please appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for hare coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and ask him to back a ban on hare coursing.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048

Videos: Ireland's hare coursing cruelty

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