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Willie O'Dea TD expresses support for ban on hare coursing
13 October 2015

Limerick TD, Willie O'Dea, has expressed his support for the ICABS campaign for a ban on cruel hare coursing. Responding to an email in which we appealed to him to push for a coursing ban, the Fianna Fail politician stated: "I am happy to support this endeavour."

We are asking Willie O'Dea and all politicians to join us in urging Minister Simon Coveney to remove exemptions for coursing and foxhunting from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill and Minister Heather Humphreys to stop licensing coursing.

Willie O'Dea has previously expressed support for our campaign to get foxhunting and terrierwork banned. A 2009 statement from the office of the then Minister for Defence outlined that he "fully supports" the campaign.

We have thanked Deputy O'Dea for his support.


Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to show compassion for the persecuted Irish Hare and revoke the coursing licence she issued.

Email "Stop the cruelty. Revoke the hare coursing licence" to
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
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(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,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to revoke the licence you issued to the Irish Coursing Club.

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 are documented.

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

Yours sincerely,


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

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.

PREVIOUSLY: Defence Minister "fully supports" ICABS campaign
01 May 2009

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has warmly welcomed a statement from the office of the Minister for Defence, Willie O'Dea, in which we were told that the Minister "fully supports" our campaign.

The heartening response came in reply to a fax sent by ICABS to Minister O'Dea this week in which we appealed for his help with our campaign against cruelty. We asked him to join our calls to the Minister for Agriculture to ban "cruel and barbaric digging out activities and the use of terriers and packs of hounds to harass, attack, injure and/or kill animals".

Our presentation to the Limerick East Fianna Fail TD included a photo of an injured and bleeding Irish fox being held up by a hunter after it was mercilessly dug out of its earth.

Although similar to illegal badger baiting, fox baiting remains legal in this country. It is carried out by what can only be described as thugs and sadists who dig animals out with spades and take pleasure in seeing their dogs inflicting the most savage injuries on them.

Digging out and terrierwork is also an integral part of foxhunting in Ireland. The foxhunters' so-called code of conduct states that "only one terrier at a time may be used to locate the fox except in rocks, stacks of bales or stick piles, etc...Digging shall only be conducted by a small number of experienced people and assistants appointed by the Master or his nominee." It also highlights their desire to keep this appalling act away from the public eye, stressing that "reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure that digging out will not become a public spectacle."

Badger baiting, dog fighting and cock fighting are already illegal in Ireland. Please join our appeal to the government to urgently take the next step and outlaw the heinous practice of fox digging and baiting and all forms of animal cruelty.

Make a donation to ICABS

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