Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 20 - Answered on 18th June, 2015

Clare Daly, TD (Dublin North, United Left)

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her views in relation to whether she is concerned at the fact that National Parks and Wildlife Service officers only visited 17 out of the over 75 coursing events which were held during the 2014/2015 coursing season; her plans regarding same; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys

Hare coursing is administered by the Irish Coursing Club, a body set up under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Under the terms of the Wildlife Acts, licences are required by the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of their affiliated clubs to facilitate the tagging and the capture of hares. Such licences are issued on an annual basis by my Department. Coursing meetings can only take place during the Open Season, between 26 September and 28 February of the following year.

Regional staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department attend coursing meetings, as resources allow, to monitor compliance with the conditions of the licences. Such staff perform a wide variety of functions relating to management of National Parks, the conservation of habitats, the protection of protected species and the enforcement of legislation under national and EU law. Delivering on this work is particularly challenging at a time of constrained financial and staffing resources. Within this context, my Department prioritises its human resources to those areas of most critical demand.

Notwithstanding current staffing constraints, my Department’s officials monitored seventeen coursing meetings during the last season. Veterinary officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine also attend some coursing meetings.

Videos: Ireland's cruel hare coursing

Videos: Drag coursing, the humane alternative to 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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