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Northern Sound interview: ICABS highlights coursing cruelty
05 June 2015

In an interview on Northern Sound Radio, ICABS spokesperson, Aideen Yourell, discussed the cruelty of hare coursing and renewed a call on Minister Heather Humphreys to stop issuing licences for the bloodsport.

Thank you to Julie Anne Sheridan / Northern Sound Radio for giving us an opportunity to highlight the cruelty of coursing.


Carlow | Cavan/Tyrone | Clare | Cork | Donegal | Dublin | Galway | Kerry | Kilkenny | Limerick | Louth | Mayo/Westmeath | Sligo | Tipperary | Wexford |


Co. Carlow - 7, 8, 9 November, 2014

Coursers state 3 hares "required assistance" and 3 examined by vet. 1 hare noted to have died between 9 and 11 November, but no post mortem carried out.


Cavan/Dungannon, Co Cavan/Tyrone - 14, 15 16 November, 2014

Coursers state 3 hares "required assistance" and 3 examined by vet. Coursers also state that 1 hare died after it "hit post while being reboxed for release". No post mortem carried out on this hare.


Tradaree, Co. Clare - 10, 11 December, 2014

NPWS report records 12 hares hit by dog, 75 hares at start of meeting "+ 1 dead". Meanwhile coursers report 3 hares "requiring assistance" and vet's report stated that 2 hares were "unfit for coursing" 1 injured and 1 "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing. No reference to treatment of hares, and no post mortem on dead hare referred to by NPWS ranger.


Mallow, Co Cork - 22, 23 October, 2014

NPWS ranger stated that 3 hares were struck, "1 of which mauled and had to be carried off) on day 1, and 1 hare hit on day 2. Ranger noted that hares were run down during lunch from escape to boxing area, a sign that hares may have been recoursed on same day. Coursers in contrast stated that just 1 hare "required assistance" over the 2 days.

Macroom, Co Cork - 15, 16 January, 2015

Coursers state that 2 hares "required assistance" and 1 died. This hare was described as "killed" by vet.


East Donegal - 20, 21 December, 2014

Ranger stated that 2 hares were hit by dogs and noted on his report that "2 hares dead in the enclosure on day no. 2. May have died from injuries on day 1." Coursers did not record any hares struck and claimed 2 hares died of "natural causes". Vet recorded no hares treated and no deaths. No post mortems carried out on dead hares.


Balbriggan, Co Dublin - 22, 23 November, 2014

Coursers state 3 hares "required assistance" and 3 died and 2 "escaped". Vet report cites nil hares treated for injuries and does not refer to 3 hare deaths or post mortem.


Galway & Oranmore (held at Glin) - 4, 5, 6 November, 2014

NPWS ranger stated 6 hares hit by dogs on day 1 (3 hits and 3 pins), 1 hare put down because of injuries on day 2, according to vet, and on day 3, NPWS recorded 5 hits (3 hits, 2 pins). Meanwhile coursers stated that 6 hares "required assistance" over the 3 days of coursing, in contrast to the 11 noted by ranger for 2 days of coursing attended.

NPWS ranger noted that there was heavy rain all night on the night of the 5th and all day on the 6th and that the area in front of the escape became very poached as the day progressed, and that it was evident that towards the last few courses the hares were reluctant to run through the poached up mud.


Lixnaw, Co Kerry - 28, 29, 30 November, 2014

Coursers state that 3 hares "required assistance", 1 treated by vet and 1 put down by vet because of injuries.

Co. Kerry - 26, 27 December, 2014

Coursers state 4 hares "required assistance" and 4 examined by vet, with 2 dying. Vet states on his report that 1 hare was "dead in box" and 1 hare "dead in escape". No post mortems were carried out


North Kilkenny - 20/21 December 2014

Ranger report cited 6 hares injured by dogs, while coursers cite 5 hares "requiring assistance" and "examined by vet". Discrepancy in number of injuries. To the question "were hares coursed more than once on any day", the ranger ticked Yes. He also ticked that there was no veterinary involvement, with vet on call only on day 1. Ranger also noted that 1 hare was "in season" on both days of meeting.

He noted that there were 74 hares available on day 1 of the meeting, but 79 courses run, so hares must have been recoursed as ranger ticked on day 1, a certain breach of the licence. However, the coursers stated that just 64 coursers were run on day 1 and 48 on day 2, as opposed to the ranger with 79 on day 1 and 59 on day 2.


Doon & District, Co Limerick - 29, 30 November, 2014

Coursers state that 2 hares "required assistance" and 2 examined by vet, who noted that he treated 12 hares with antibiotics, but offered no explanation as to why the hares needed this treatment. Coursers claim that 2 hares "escaped on 2 day during coursing and one after being boxed". (How could it escape from box?).

Meanwhile, NPWS official, Stefan Jones, stated in an email to NPWS HQ that Doon coursing club appeared to be in breach of Section 34 of the netting licence as they could not produce details on their members who were certified to catch hares on their behalf.

Also, according to the NPWS official, Doon released 3 hares without consulting the ranger - another breach of Section 34.

NPWS official also commented on the husbandry of hares as follows: "Issues include the provision of sheaf oats, more sallys and shelters and better foot baths. Some of the hares were not in good condition or fit to course, according to vet. Many had sores on their feet."


Dundalk & Dowdallshill, Co Louth - 26, 27 December, 2014

Coursers state that 8 hares "required assistance" and 3 were euthanised by vet as a result of their injuries.


Westport/Castletown-Geoghegan, Co Mayo/Westmeath - 12, 13 14 December, 2014

Coursers state 5 hares "required assistance", 5 examined by vet and 1 died of "natural causes". Vet makes no reference to this hare death and no post mortem carried out.


Tubbercurry/Kilcreevin/BallymoteBallymena, Co Sligo - 9/10/11 Jan, 2015

Coursers stated that 9 hares "required assistance" with 1 being euthanised by vet and 4 died, 3 in pen and 1 in a box. No post mortem carried out on any of these hares by vet.


Cashel, Co Tipperary - 11, 12 October, 2014

Coursers state 1 hare "required assistance" 1 examined by vet and 1 euthanised by vet. No post mortem.

Thurles, Co Tipperary - 25, 26 October, 2014

Coursers state that 4 hares "required assistance" and 4 were examined by vet, with 1 being treated by vet. Coursers claim that 2 hares escaped. Meanwhile, the NPWS ranger in a memo to NPWS HQ, regarding an injured hare, stated: "I did not notice the hare on the Saturday. I don't take the hares out of the boxes but check their status by looking at them and feeling their backs. If I notice something unusual, I take it out or ask the club to take it out. What caught my attention on the Sunday was the smell coming out of the box. When I took the hare out, I noticed a large injury to the shoulder and front of one of the legs. I asked the attending vet to check the hare. He said it wasn't too bad, would give it some antibiotics. I did ask should it be put down right there but he disagreed. He later approached me in the day and said that he had given the hare a long acting antibiotic (3 days) and a steroid for pain and that the injury appeared worse than he initially thought. He said to bring the animal to a vet in 3 days. I did that and the vet I brought it to recommended it be put down."

NPWS officials cited other problems at this meeting, including a suspicion that hares were coursed twice in one day, a breach of the licence conditions, and also that not all hares were released in daylight, another breach.

Nenagh, Co Tipperary - 8, 9 November, 2014

NPWS ranger reported 4 hares hit by dogs. Ranger also noted that on visiting the grounds on 8 November, there were 2 young hares and 2 heavily pregnant hares. Ranger stated that coursers expressed concerns that given the wet ground, hares might not run as well as they could. Coursers stated that 3 hares "required assistance".

Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary - December 26, 27, 2014

In an internal email from a National Parks official, it was stated that "F---- (figure blanked out) died in the paddock before the meeting and four more hares died in the paddock between day one and two, but no post mortem carried out." The Borrisoleigh coursers stated that 5 hares "required assistance" and 5 were examined by vet, with 3 dying, but no post mortem carried out by vet. Coursers had 71 hares at start of meeting and released 64, stating that 4 hares had escaped. Meanwhile, the conservation ranger stated that Borrisoleigh had 6 hares hit by dogs on day 1, with 4 dying overnight, most likely from the injuries they received the previous day.

The ranger also stated that she had a problem with the muzzling, stating: "there may be a problem with the current muzzles they are using."


Enniscorthy, Co Wexford - 22, 23 November, 2014

NPWS ranger stated 6 hares struck by greyhounds, 1 injured and 1 put down because of injuries. Coursers state 6 hares "required assistance" and 1 died. Vet did not refer to any dead hare nor was a post mortem carried out.

Wexford & District - 26/27 December, 2014

NPWS ranger stated that 4 hares pinned over the 2 days, with 1 hare injured and 1 put down because of injuries. Meanwhile coursers stated that 4 hares "required assistance" with 1 being euthanised by vet.


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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