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Call to revoke reckless hare netting licence
15 August 2018

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is calling on Minister Josepha Madigan to immediately revoke a licence she has recently granted to hare coursing clubs to cruelly net hares from the wild to be used as live bait for greyhounds at coursing meetings, which will take place around the country from September till the end of February.

View a copy of the licence at:

The hare netting licence is effective from August 10th, so the coursers will be out with their nets snatching timid hares from the wild for their grotesque cruelty. If Minister Madigan doesn't care about the undoubted fear, stress, injury and death suffered by hares in coursing, she should at least be mindful of the fact that the wildlife experts have signalled back in March of this year that the Irish hare is in trouble. Ecologist Dr. Karina Dingerkus, who appeared on the RTE Mooney Goes Wild show, stated that over the last 50 years, (hare) numbers have declined significantly, adding that "we certainly know that numbers have declined" and that "they're in trouble ....we do know that they have been dropping over a long period of time".

However, it appears that despite this dire warning from a renowned wildlife expert, Minister Madigan has recklessly gone ahead and issued yet another licence for the trapping of hares from the wild for the barbaric "sport" of hare coursing, an activity that has been outlawed by our near neighbours in 2010. In fact, prior to the Northern Ireland ban in 2010, hare coursing had been suspended for a number of years because of an identified decline in the hare population there. Hare coursing has also been outlawed in England, Scotland and Wales since 2005.

Sadly, we have only to look at how the plight of the curlew was ignored by successive Ministers with responsibility for wildlife, until the bird all but disappeared, with hunting of the curlew only outlawed in 2012, when it was on the brink of extinction, so it's no surprise that a blind eye is being turned to the plight of one of our most iconic mammals, the Irish hare.


With warnings from wildlife experts that the species is in trouble, 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 revoke the 2018-19 hare coursing licence.

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 demand that you revoke the 2018-19 hare netting licence that has shamefully been issued.

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

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

The licence which allows cruel hare coursing

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

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