Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Questions 388 and 389 - Answered on 14th October, 2014

Clare Daly, TD (Dublin North, United Left)

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of hare coursing meetings the National Parks and Wildlife Service intend to monitor in 2014.

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason no post-mortem evidence has been supplied to the National Parks and Wildlife Service to confirm the number of hares cited as dying from natural causes at coursing meetings.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys

I propose to take Question Numbers 388 and 389 together.

Licences were issued by my Department in August under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of their affiliated clubs to facilitate the tagging and capturing of hares for the purpose of hare coursing for the 2014/15 coursing season.

The control of live hare coursing, including the operation of individual coursing meetings and managing the use of hares for that activity, is carried out under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Hare coursing is administered by the Irish Coursing Club, which is a body set up under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958.

Where resources allow, officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department attend coursing meetings, on a spot-check basis, to monitor compliance with conditions on the licences granted by my Department. Veterinary officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine also attend some meetings on an annual basis.

To assist my officials in the monitoring of these events, my Department also receives reports from the Irish Coursing Club Control Stewards and Veterinary Surgeons in attendance on the day of hare coursing meetings.

It is a licence condition that a qualified veterinary surgeon should be in attendance during all coursing meetings and that a signed report on the general health of the hares and on any injuries or deaths of hares that occur during the meeting should be submitted to my Department. While I understand that post-mortem examinations are carried out at coursing meetings in certain circumstances, it is not a licence condition that reports on these examinations are submitted to the Department. I have asked my officials to consider the issue of obtaining post mortem reports in advance of the 2015/2016 season.


Sign and share our petition - Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing

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

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing
Save Irish hares from cruel coursing
Ban horrific hare coursing cruelty in Ireland
Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland

Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to show compassion for the persecuted Irish Hare and revoke the coursing licence she issued.

Email "Stop the cruelty. Revoke the hare coursing licence" to Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/heather.humphreysfg
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

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 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. Every season, hare injuries and deaths are documented.

I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and permanently revoke the licence.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture

Please appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for hare coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Email: Simon.Coveney@oireachtas.ie
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and ask him to back a ban on hare coursing.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2
Telephone: 01-6194020
Fax: 01-6764048
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie

Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for a ban on hare coursing and all bloodsports. Tell them you are one of the majority who want coursing banned. Remind them that coursing is already illegal in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Urge them to respect the wishes of the majority of the electorate and back a ban.

Find out their contact details
Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.

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