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Wildlife Service outrageously claims capturing hares not an animal welfare issue
24 August 2017

The National Parks & Wildlife Service's Wildlife Licensing Unit has outrageously claimed that capturing hares again and again for cruel coursing "is not considered an issue from an animal welfare viewpoint".

In a report relating to Galway and Oranmore coursing meeting last year, it is noted that a wildlife ranger had expressed concerns that hares may have been captured at the same location for a number of years, resulting in the same hares being used as live lures in coursing year after year.

The report signed by the Wildlife Licensing Unit's Gerry Lecky dismissed the concerns, saying: "It would be the case the most coursing clubs would capture hares in the same locations for coursing meetings for years with the result that it would be possible that the same hares may have been captured on more than one occasion. However, given that the average life span of a hare is 2 to 3 years, this is not considered an issue from an animal welfare viewpoint."

It is an absolute outrage that the National Parks and Wildlife Service - which should be working to protect the Irish Hare from cruelty and killing - continues not only to issue licences for cruel hare coursing but is shamefully suggesting that taking hares from the wild and using them again and again as live lures for dogs to chase is "not considered an issue from an animal welfare viewpoint."

A total of 66 hares were netted from Galway Bay, Kinvara, Oranmore, Claregalway, etc and transported to Glin in County Limerick for the 2-day Galway and Oranmore coursing meeting. On Day 1, four hares were hit by greyhounds and one hare was pinned to the ground - one of these hares suffered injuries according to a NPWS monitoring report. On Day 2, one hare was hit and another was pinned to the ground by a dog.

These were just some of the thousands of hares cruelly netted from the wild and terrorised on coursing fields around Ireland - all thanks to a licence from the NPWS and Minister Heather Humphreys. It is time for this disgusting activity to be stopped. Join us now in demanding a ban.


Tell the National Parks and Wildlife Service to stop facilitating animal cruelty and refuse any further licences to the Irish Coursing Club.

Gerry Leckey
Wildlife Licensing Unit
National Parks & Wildlife Service
Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 888 3289

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 revoke the licence you issued 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 end this cruelty.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


The Irish Hare is a protected species but an exemption for coursing in the Animal Health and Welfare Act means coursers are not liable for prosecution for their cruelty. Join us in our call to the government to remove the exemption and provide full and permanent protection to this cherished species.

Contact An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and An Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Frances Fitzgerald and ask them to ban hare coursing and give permanent protection to hares.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:

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

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

Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

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