Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 510 - Answered on 13th March, 2012

Sean Kyne, TD: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill will contain a provision to abolish live hare coursing in view of the demonstrable evidence of the harm, injury and distress that such a sport causes to the wildlife concerned and also in recognition that such a measure would bring Ireland into line with other developed nations including the UK, several other European nations and Australia.

Written Answer. Ref No: [14291/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney): 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, greyhound racing and coursing.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, under section 34 of the Wildlife Act 1976, has responsibility for the issue of an annual licence to the Irish Coursing Club, ICC, and its affiliated clubs to capture live hares.

A Monitoring Committee on Coursing was established in 1993/94 comprising Departmental officials and representatives from both the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) 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. Consequently the Government does not plan to ban hare coursing.

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