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Gormley's coursing extension criticised in Independent
24 September 2008

In a letter to the editor published in the Irish Independent this week, ICABS Campaign Director Aideen Yourell has criticised Minister John Gormley, not only for granting a licence for another season of hare coursing but also for allowing the coursers to extend their blood sport activities into the month of March.

A copy of the letter appears below.

hare coursing cruelty
A hare is mauled into the ground by a muzzled greyhound during a coursing meeting. Minister Gormley's latest licence means hares will have to suffer yet another season of coursing cruelty.

Keep the hare coursers out
by Aideen Yourell, Irish Council Against Bloodsports
Irish Independent, 23rd September 2008

Despite the fact that Environment Minister John Gormley issued a stark warning last May that the conservation status of the Irish hare is "poor", he went ahead and issued a licence for the netting of up to 7,500 hares from the wild for use as live lures before greyhounds at coursing meetings up and down the country, from October to mid-February. And, as an added bonus, he granted an extension of their cruelty season into March.

Meanwhile up North, recognising that the hare population is under threat, Sammy Wilson, Minister for the Environment, renewed the hare hunting suspension in place since 2003.

So across the border, our hares get the protection they desperately need, while down south it's a free-for-all for coursers, beaglers and other assorted hare hunters, plus the disaffected Northern hare hunters and coursers who travel south.

Mr Gormley recently stated that his role in hare coursing is conservation and that he has no responsibility for what happens at coursing meetings. So it would seem that he doesn't have to concern himself about hares that are struck, mauled, injured and killed by greyhounds, or die of stress-related diseases, as revealed by National Parks Rangers' monitoring reports.

Last season, for example, 26 hares were hit and 14 mauled at Tubbercury, while at Wexford & District 16 were hit and eight injured. At Dundalk seven hares were killed, while five died at Gorey, and that's just a small sample of the cruelty catalogue of 34 coursing meetings.

The coursing gangs will be out with their nets up and down the country for the next six months. The fact that they have a licence from the Environment Minister doesn't give them the right to enter privately owned lands. So we appeal to farmers and landowners, who are the real custodians of Ireland's wildlife and who, in the main, value the presence of wildlife on their lands, to keep the hare snatchers out.


Appeal to the Environment Minister

Please write to Minister John Gormley and demand that he stop licensing hare coursing.

Minister John Gormley
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Custom House, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 888 2403.
Fax: 01 878 8640.

Appeal to the Minister for Agriculture

Please appeal to Minister Brendan Smith (he is responsible for animal welfare and the Protection of Animals Act) to intervene to end hare coursing.

Minister Brendan Smith
Department of Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.

Please also contact your local TDs/Senators and urge them to put pressure on the Environment Minister to ban hare coursing and to protect the precious hare species from all forms of persecution.

Write to your TD at:
Dail Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 337 889.

Write to your Senator at:
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-618 3000 or 1890 732 623.

For the names and contact details of politicians, please visit the Irish Government Website at:

Farmers: Please help the Irish Hare
17 September 2008

Attention all farmers and landowners: Please help the Irish Hare by downloading, laminating and displaying copies of our new poster - "Hare Sanctuary - No Coursing, No Netting, No Hunting" - and keeping hare coursers, netters and hunters off your land. Use your power as a custodian of Ireland's wildlife heritage to protect this vulnerable species from persecution. Thank you very much.

Download the poster now
(pdf, 92kb)

For more information about how you can help protect Irish animals from blood sports cruelty, please visit our Farmers page

Video: Coursing cruelty

More information about hare coursing

Coursing: Leaflet | Photos | Videos | Petition

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