Defenders of hare coursing continue to assert that the muzzling of greyhounds has eliminated the kill, but the annual monitoring reports obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act say otherwise.
For example, in the last season, 2010/11, 2 hares died as a result of being mauled by greyhounds, while another was put down at a coursing meeting in Donegal.
At Tradaree, a total of 6 hares died as a result of injuries, while 1 was put down.
At Freshford, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 3 injured and two died from injuries.
At Wexford & District, 2 hares died of injuries.
A vet's report on Liscannor stated that 3 hares were injured, 2 euthanised and 9 hares "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.
At Doon, 7 hares were pinned, 4 injured, 2 of which were put down.
At Tubbercurry, 2 hares were injured, 2 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", according to a vet's report, with one hare "injured in box before release and died".
At Borrisoleigh, 1 hare was put down at the request of a National Parks ranger as it had a broken leg, while a veterinary report for the same meeting noted that 6 hares were "unfit" for coursing over the two days.
At Galbally, a ranger stated that "1 hare did not look well before coursing started and was euthanised."
At Mitchelstown, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 1 put down and 1 found dead in box during release. The vet's report stated that 8 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.
At Loughrea, 2 hares were injured and put down, while another died "in transit to Mayo".
At Glanworth, a vet report stated that 4 hares were injured during coursing and 5 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards.
At Ennis, 3 hares were hit by dogs, 1 injured and put down, and another died from injuries.
At Thurles, 8 hares were hit by dogs, 2 died "overnight" and at Ballyheigue, 3 hares were hit, 1 injured and put down.
Disturbingly, at a coursing meeting in Westmeath, the ranger was concerned that two hares, which were mauled by the dogs and placed in a box, were not receiving veterinary attention. She drew the attention of a coursing official to this after the vet had left the event, and was told that he was "going to bring them up to the vet's surgery".
The ranger decided to follow the official to the vet's surgery, whereupon the vet came out to look at the hares.
According to the ranger, the vet checked the hares' tag numbers and said he thought they seemed fine, although the hares remained in the box during the examination.
The vet kept the hares and said he would release them later if they were all right. The following day, the ranger was told that the vet had released the two hares, and would send on a report, which the ranger never received.
The next day, during the release of hares, the ranger saw a hare limp away, carrying its front left foot.
Contact Minister Jimmy Deenihan now and urge him to stop licensing hare coursing.
Jimmy Deenihan, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
[with a copy to An Taoiseach - firstname.lastname@example.org]
Tel: (01) 631 3802
Fax: (01) 661 1201
(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)
Dear Minister Deenihan,
I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to stop licensing this blood sport and put in place permanent protection for the Irish Hare.
In coursing, hares suffer and die at all stages - during the capture, during the time they are kept in captivity and during the coursing meetings where they run for their lives in front of greyhounds. Among the injuries recorded are broken legs, damaged toes and dislocated hips.
I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and bring coursing to an end in Ireland.
Write to your TDs at:
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