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3 injured hares released into the wild after coursing
09 August 2016

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called for a Garda investigation after learning that three hares were released into the wild in an injured state following a coursing meeting in Liscannor, County Clare.

As revealed in an official National Parks and Wildlife Service document obtained by ICABS under Freedom of Information, the injured hares were released on September 28, 2015 - the day after the 2-day Liscannor coursing meeting.

The NPWS conservation ranger's report stated: "No immediately apparent injuries but 3 had injuries on release." The ranger also noted that one of the hares released had cramp. At the coursing meeting, nine hares were struck by greyhounds with one put down as a result of injuries.

In our complaint to the Gardai, we stated our belief that releasing injured hares into the wild is a breach of the Animal Health & Welfare Act.

The matter has been brought to the attention of Arts and Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys, who issues licences for the cruel bloodsport.

In an email message this week, we stated: "Minister, you spoke with great emphasis, during the debate on Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan's Private Member's Bill to ban coursing, about the welfare of the hare, and that vets are in attendance at coursing meetings, yet at Liscannor, three hares were released into the wild in an injured state. Where was the vet in this instance and why were these hares not attended to? Releasing a wild animal in an injured state is utterly callous and cruel, leaving them suffering and at greater risk of predator attack. As for the hare with cramp, this is not surprising, given the fact that hares are crammed into boxes and kept in these boxes for maybe long periods, after capture in the wild, being boxed for hare coursing and during transport."

The Minister was reminded that this isn't the first time that injured hares have been callously discarded by coursing clubs into the wild.

Following a coursing meeting in Murrintown, Co. Wexford, in December 2012, a NPWS ranger noted that 2 hares were "in poor condition" on release, and that at another release site, 3 hares had "injuries so serious they couldn’t move and a fourth limped off". He further described the condition of the hares as "ranging from very poor to almost dead". We made a complaint to the Gardai at the time, but this was not followed up due to "insufficient evidence"!!!

We are appealing to Minister Humphreys to stop licensing hare coursing. We have told her that no amount of licence conditions or "strict regulations" will prevent hares from being terrorised when being captured from the wild, running for their lives, hit by greyhounds, mauled, etc. "The presence of a vet will not mitigate that terror for the hare," we told her.


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

Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing

Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Ban horrific hare coursing cruelty in Ireland

Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Contact Minister Heather Humphreys now and urge her stop licensing hare coursing

Heather Humphreys, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -
Tweet to: @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. I am writing to urge you to refuse a licence to the Irish Coursing Club.

In coursing, hares suffer and die 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.

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

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


Urgently contact An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Frances Fitzgerald. Ask them to ban hare coursing and give permanent protection to hares.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Tweet to: @EndaKennyTD

An Tanaiste, Frances Fitzgerald
Department Of Justice
51 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 1 602-8202 or +353 1 457 7712
Tweet to: @FitzgeraldFrncs

Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture

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

Michael Creed TD
Minister for Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @creedcnw

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

Write to your TDs at: Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.
Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

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Please consider making a donation to ICABS. For more details, please click on the button below or follow this link to find out how to become a campaign supporter. Thank you.

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