Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 450 - Answered on 24th September, 2013

Sean Kyne, TD (Galway West, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will consider encouraging the take-up of drag coursing as an alternative to live hare coursing; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Simon Coveney: (Cork South Central, Fine Gael):

Under the provisions of the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 the regulation of coursing is chiefly a matter for the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) subject to the general control and direction of Bord na gCon, which is the statutory body with responsibility for the improvement and development of the greyhound industry. The ICC has an established system of regulation in place to underpin animal welfare standards in coursing.

A Monitoring Committee on coursing was established during the 1993/1994 coursing season comprising of officials from my Department and representatives from both the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the ICC to monitor developments in coursing and in that regard the situation is kept under constant review to ensure that coursing is run in a well controlled and responsible manner in the interest of animal welfare both for hares and greyhounds alike.

Statistics compiled by the ICC show that a very high proportion (98.09%) of the hares captured for hare coursing were returned to the wild at the end of the 2012/2013 season.

The promotion of drag/lure “coursing” is an activity that falls outside my area of responsibility.

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