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Anti-blood sport group hits out at East Donegal hare coursing event
15 January 2019

Donegal News has reported on renewed calls for a ban on cruel hare coursing, following a two day coursing meeting in East Donegal on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day...

Anti-blood sport group hits out at East Donegal hare coursing event
Donegal News, 11 January 2019
By Conor Sharkey

A leading anti-blood sport group has branded a hare coursing event staged at East Donegal over the festive season as “barbaric”.

The meeting was held over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and it is not yet clear if any hares were killed.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has, however, slammed the holding of the two day event and says hare coursing should be banned altogether.

Opposition to coursing has been rapidly growing across Europe in recent years and Ireland is now one of only three EU member states, along with Spain and Portugal, to still allow it.

Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland have all moved to ban the sport but as of yet, the Irish Government has resisted calls for it to be outlawed.

Coursing involves dogs, usually greyhounds, pursuing hares over a set distance. Since 1993, coursing dogs have been muzzled but according to Irish Council Against Blood Sports spokesperson Aideen Yourell, hares still suffer significant trauma during the pursuit.

Ms Yourell said, “The muzzles have not stopped hares being killed at meetings. I’m not saying all die but they still get hit, they are thrown into the air and some do die.

“It’s just barbaric and we object to the whole idea of taking hares out of the wild and putting them into these compounds for this so called sport. It is the last remnants of Roman blood sport, that is where it originated, during the days of the Roman empire, and that is how barbaric we are talking here.”

Details of how many hares have been killed as a result of coursing in East Donegal in recent years are sketchy. But documents provided to the National Parks and Wildlife Service show that vets were called to carry out post mortems in the county on at least two occasions during the 2017/18 season.

Aideen Yourell added, “We can’t believe we are still talking about hare coursing in 2019. It is a shame and a disgrace that in Ireland, a supposedly progressive and forward moving country, we are still allowing this dreadful practice to take place.”


Join the "Ban Hare Coursing" protest in Clonmel on 3rd February 2019.

When: Sunday, 3rd February 2019 from 12pm to 2pm
Location: Outside Powerstown Park, Clonmel, Co Tipperary (Powerstown Road / N24)
Find location on Google Street
GPS Co-ordinates: 52.36279443752316,-7.683886589718633 or 52° 21? 46.06”,-8° 18? 58.01”

Visit the Event Page to let us know you will be there 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 and end all forms of hare persecution.

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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