Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 364 - Answered on 18 July 2013

Clare Daly, TD (Dublin North, United Left):

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will exclude all of the coursing clubs found to have trespassed on lands while netting hares in the previous coursing season from the license for the 2013/14 season; if he will exclude all of the coursing clubs found to have breached any of the other license conditions last season from netting hares for the forthcoming season and from holding any coursing fixture in the forthcoming season; if he will add a requirement to the license for the 2013/14 season that coursing clubs seek written permission from landowners before netting hares on their property (details supplied).

The Minister, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan: (Kerry North-West Limerick, Fine Gael):

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 475 of 2 July 2013 where I stated that my Department issued a licence to the Irish Coursing Club to capture live hares under the Wildlife Acts for the 2012-13 season. The licence states that it does not authorise any person to enter any land without the permission of the owner or occupier of the land. The licence also provides that the Licensee and its members must comply with Section 44 of the Wildlife Acts which relates to unlawful hunting and entry on land.

The conditions of the license will be reviewed for the 2013-2014 season. In that context, I am mindful of the provisions of Section 44 which already confer considerable powers on the owners or occupiers of land to protect their property from unlawful hunting. While under section 44, it is open to aggrieved owners and occupiers of land to take summary proceedings where persons enter on land without permission for the purpose of hunting, where resources allow, my Department will investigate a number of allegations, which were recently brought to my Departmentís attention, in relation to the unlawful capturing of hares by coursing clubs during the 2012-13 season.

Video: Ireland's Hare Coursing Cruelty

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