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Urgent appeal to Minister Madigan - Stop licensing cruel hare coursing
17 June 2018

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan will soon be considering a licence application for another season of cruel hare coursing. Please join us in an urgent appeal to the Minister to refuse this licence and give full protection to the Irish Hare - a species which wildlife experts are saying is "in trouble", with numbers having "declined significantly".

With growing fears for the future of the Irish Hare, the species urgently needs protection from all threats, including coursing, hunting and shooting.

Hare coursing - licensed by Minister Madigan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service - is responsible for major interference with the species during seven months of the year (August to February). Thousands of hares are snatched from the wild in nets, held in captivity for months, manhandled, fed an unnatural diet and eventually forced to run for their lives from pairs of greyhounds. Every coursing season, hares are injured and killed on coursing fields and those who survive the ordeal are at risk of later dying as a result of stress-related capture myopathy.

Among those expressing fears for the Irish Hare is ecologist Dr Karina Dingerkus who recently told RTE's Mooney Goes Wild show that "over the last 50 years, numbers have declined significantly." "We know that hare populations do fluctuate naturally but we don't know by how much," Dr Dingerkus stated. "We certainly know that numbers have declined...We don't see very many...Certainly over the past 50 years, we know numbers have dropped dramatically...they're in trouble...we do know that they have been dropping over a long period of time."

Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan noted that "there is an overall trend over the past number of years and that trend is downwards."

This latest acknowledgement that the Irish Hare is in trouble should set alarm bells ringing in Minister Madigan's office and at the NPWS. They should learn from what happened to the curlew, a bird now on the brink of extinction in Ireland. It wasn't until 2012, when its numbers had plummeted by up to 96%, that a ban on curlew shooting was finally put in place.


It is now more clear than ever that the Irish Hare must be given full protection. Urgently contact Minister Josepha Madigan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and demand that they stop licensing hare coursing and prohibit the hunting and shooting of hares.

Minister Josepha Madigan
Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Phone: +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @josephamadigan

John Fitzgerald
Director, National Parks and Wildlife Service
Phone: +353 (0)1 888 3242


See the cruelty of hare coursing on our Youtube channel

(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 2018-19 hare coursing licence.

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 ask him 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:

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

The licence which allows cruel hare coursing

The licence issued by Josepha Madigan last year which allowed coursers to snatch thousands of hares from the wild for use as live lures for greyhounds to chase.

Licence for cruel hare coursing - 2017-18 by Irish Council Against Blood Sports on Scribd

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