Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Question 744 - Answered on 14 September 2011

Joan Collins, TD: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food his policy on hare coursing; his plans to ban this practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Written Answer. Ref No: 22881/11

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 the Environment, Community and Local Government Under section 34 of the Wildlife Act 1976 also 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. Both wildlife rangers (NPWS) and a veterinary inspector attend coursing meetings on a random basis in an observer capacity and report on their findings. The Monitoring Committee also arranges to have any complaints or reported incidents investigated. As a result, the situation is kept under constant review.

This Department monitors the situation 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.

To find out about the cruelty of coursing, visit our Ban Coursing Campaign Page

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