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Minister Humphreys shamefully licenses another coursing season
19 August 2015

ICABS has learned that Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service have shamefully licensed another season of cruel hare coursing.

They have disregarded appeals from Ireland and around the world for this outdated activity to be stopped.

Their disgraceful decision to facilitate cruelty means coursing clubs are again free to go out into the countryside with nets to violently capture thousands of hares and use them as live bait for greyhounds at coursing meetings.

All the animals will suffer the fear and stress of being removed from their habitat, thrown into boxes, kept in captivity for months and forced to run for their lives in front of dogs. Hares caught and mauled by the dogs will suffer broken bones or other painful injuries. Some will die on the coursing fields while others will later be euthanised due to the severity of their injuries.

A report highlighting the injuries and deaths last season was submitted to Minister Humphreys but she clearly didn't feel moved to save the hares.

It is to Ireland's great shame that hare coursing is permitted to continue with the blessing of the "Arts & Heritage" Minister and the government. Their lack of compassion and refusal to stop a bloodsport that is illegal in all our neighbouring jurisdictions condemns thousands of timid hares to another season of suffering.


Express your disgust to Minister Heather Humphreys about her licensing of another season of hare coursing cruelty.

Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG

Gerry Leckey
Wildlife Licensing Unit
National Parks & Wildlife Service
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: 01 888 3289

Hare Coursing Cruelty Licences - 2015-2016 by Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Minister Humphreys urged to refuse hare coursing licence
12 August 2015

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on the Minister for Arts & Heritage, Heather Humphreys, to reject a licence application for a 2015-16 hare coursing season.

A decision on whether or not to grant the licence is expected in the coming days.

Minister Humphreys has been made aware of the ongoing injuries and deaths of hares in the bloodsport as well as numerous instances of licence breaches last season.

Our "Coursing Cruelty Catalogue" report, submitted to the Minister in May, reveals sickening cruelty - some hares were killed outright by the greyhounds while others later died of their injuries. For example:

Last month, ICABS submitted another report to Minister Humphreys. This detailed breaches of the conditions attached to last year's licence and comes following an earlier statement from the Minister that further licence breaches would not be tolerated.

In a letter to Minister Humphreys, we outlined that "the 2014-15 breaches include the capture of hares outside the period specified in the licences, failure to cooperate with NPWS personnel, failure to provide particulars of hare captures, the release of hares outside daylight hours, the presentation of inaccurate or incomplete veterinary reports, the failure to carry out post mortems on hares that were killed, etc. There are also additional suspected breaches relating to the presence of injured and pregnant hares in coursing compounds."

"Minister, you have previously stated that breaches of licence conditions will not be tolerated," we stated. "We therefore expect you and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to take the identified licence breaches very seriously by initiating prosecutions against the relevant clubs and excluding them from any further coursing licences. Given the routine licence breaches, the unenforceability of licence conditions and the ongoing suffering, injury and death caused to hares, we implore you to reject the current licence application for a 2015-16 coursing season. This would be greatly welcomed by the majority of Irish people who are in favour of a ban on hare coursing."

The Republic of Ireland is one of the last countries in the world to allow the use of hares as live bait for greyhounds in coursing. It is already illegal in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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 stop licensing cruel coursing.

Email "Stop the cruelty. Refuse a 2015-16 hare coursing licence" 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.)

Dear Minister,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed in Ireland. I am writing to urge you to reject a licence application for a 2015-16 coursing season.

In coursing, hares suffer at all stages - during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity and during the coursing meetings where they run for their lives in front of greyhounds. Among the injuries recorded are broken legs, damaged toes and dislocated hips. Every season, hare injuries and deaths occur.

I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and refuse to issue the licence.

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

Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for a ban on hare coursing and all bloodsports. Tell them you are one of the majority who want coursing banned. Remind them that coursing is already illegal in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Urge them to respect the wishes of the majority of the electorate and back a ban.

Find out their contact details
Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.


Ireland's Hare Coursing Cruelty Catalogue 2015 by Irish Council Against Blood Sports

Videos: Ireland's cruel hare coursing

Videos: Drag coursing, the humane alternative to hare coursing

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