Photo: Captive hares in coursing enclosure
18 November 2005
A disturbing scene captured by ICABS during the current coursing season shows dozens of hares in an enclosure on the eve of a coursing weekend. The animals which should be living free in nature are pictured awaiting their fate as lures for greyhounds.
It's a scene repeated at more than 70 coursing meetings around Ireland during the coursing season which runs from September until the middle of February. Thanks to a licence from the Environment Minister, thousands of hares are snatched from the wild every year by coursing clubs around Ireland. The timid creatures are chased into nets and, once trapped, are transferred into wooden boxes and brought to the coursing venue. They are kept in captivity for up to two months.
Hares taken from the wild for use in coursing are at risk of dying before, during and after coursing meetings. Some die while being netted from the wild and others succumb to disease and stress during the weeks in captivity. Injuries sustained during coursing account for even more deaths - being delicate creatures, any hit from a greyhound can result in fatal internal injuries and broken bones. The ones which survive the trauma of being handled, transported and coursed and are finally released back into the wild, continue to remain vulnerable to capture myopathy - a stress-related condition which can claim victims suddenly or days and months later.
Furthermore, coursers have been found to have released sick and injured hares back into the wild whose chances of survival are further reduced. They have also captured and coursed pregnant hares.
Please contact Environment Minister, Dick Roche, and demand an end to coursing in Ireland. Tell the Minister that hares should be allowed to live free from the cruelty of coursing. Please also contact your local TD and urge him/her to work for an end to coursing and all blood sports.
Minister Dick Roche
Tel: +353 (0)1-8882403
Coursing: More Information
Coursing fixtures list revealed - 13 October 2005
Coursers get licence for 2005-06 season - 14 September 2005
Is Ireland in breach of EU Habitats Directive? - 07 July 2005
Hares and Rabbits Fact Sheet - 24 June 2005
Animal Voice - June 2005
The Impact of Enclosed Hare Coursing on Irish hares - 28 April 2005
Species Action Plan - 31 March 2005
National Survey of Hares
Stress and Capture Myopathy in Hares - 28 January 2005
Coursing: Photos and Video
For photos and video clips showing the cruelty of coursing, please visit our Ban Hare Coursing website.