"Government does not plan to ban hare coursing": Coveney
18 May 2012
Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, has stated that the government has no plans to outlaw hare coursing in Ireland. The statement was made in response to calls for a ban from Labour TD, Patrick Nulty and comes just weeks after ICABS revealed coursing's latest list of casualties. These include a hare crying out in distress, a hare with foot injuries, hares hit and mauled, hares dying from their injuries and hares being euthanised due to severity of injuries.
ICABS is disgusted at Minister Coveney's absurd suggestion that "coursing is run in a well controlled and responsible manner in the interest of animal welfare both for hares and greyhounds."
Please read the text of the Dail Q&A below and respond now to our urgent action alerts. Thank you.
Deputy Nulty's Dail Question and the Minister's disgraceful reply
Question 156 - Answered on 17th May, 2012
Patrick Nulty, TD: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will ensure the banning of hare coursing and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ref No: 24689/12
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (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 of [sic] officials from my Department 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. Accordingly the Government does not plan to ban hare coursing.
Contact Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and demand that the exemptions for coursing and hunting are removed from the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012.
Minister Simon Coveney
Department of Agriculture
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.
Fax: 01-661 1013.
Urgently contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore. Ask them to show compassion for hares and foxes and introduce an immediate ban on bloodsports.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
An Tanaiste, Eamon Gilmore
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Tel: 01 6183566 (Dail) or 01 408 2000 (Iveagh House)
Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for bans on coursing and foxhunting.
If you prefer to post a letter to your TDs, address your correspondence to:
Please also arrange a meeting with your TDs at their local clinics.
Video: Ban Coursing in Ireland
Coursing Cruelty Catalogue 2011/12
04 May 2012
As the Department of Agriculture publishes its new Animal Welfare legislation, exempting hunting wild animals with dogs, we have further evidence of the horrific cruelty of hare coursing, which has also been exempted from prosecution.
Year after year, it's the same story with hares, used as live lures before greyhounds. They are stressed, terrorised, mauled, injured and killed, as revealed by National Parks reports, obtained under Freedom of Information. Today we reveal what can only be described as a Catalogue of Cruelty, gleaned from these reports - please see below. One ranger, atypically, described in human terms, hares being mauled as follows:
"There were 9 hares hit on Day 1. Of these, one hare was tossed and rolled on the ground; another hare was tossed and mauled; another was mauled on the ground by the two dogs and placed in a wooden box; another was hit about five times and mauled on the ground by the dogs. When the dog owners came running in, one of them grabbed the hare and lifted it away from the dogs by its side and then the steward took it from him and handled it in a more appropriate manner. The hare cried with what I presume was distress during this incident. The steward placed this hare in the wooden box. Another hare was tossed and badly mauled by the dogs later in the day. In all, 3 hit hares were retrieved and placed in a wooden box."
Despite the undeniable evidence of cruelty outlined here, our legislators continue to turn a blind eye, and are prepared to exempt this barbarity, just as was done 101 years ago in 1911. Meanwhile, hare coursing has been outlawed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, leaving the Republic the last outpost of a legacy from the Roman amphitheatres. This Fine Gael and Labour Government should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
See video footage obtained by ICABS at the so-called J.P. McManus Irish Cup hare coursing event. The February 2012 footage shows hares being hit, mauled, picked up and handed across a fence www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL741E0B6DA3CBB057
Please join us in appealing to the government to amend the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 to remove the blood sports exemptions. Easily send an email message to all of Ireland's TDs at http://www.contact.ie/contact-national-politicians or visit our Politicians Page to contact them individually.
VICTIMS OF HARE COURSING DURING 2011/12 SEASON
Ennis/Clarecastle, December 10/11, 2011
According to ranger’s report, on day 1, 5 hares were hit, with 3 dying in escape after coursing. On day 2, 7 hares were hit, 2 killed, 4 injured, 1 put down and 2 died from injuries. This amounts to a total of 8 fatalities.
Gorey, 29/30 October, 2011
Over the two days of coursing 16 hares were hit by dogs, with 9 pinned and 7 dying of their injuries, according to NPWS ranger’s report. However, the vet’s report does not cite any hares injured or killed or euthanised.
Listowel, Co. Kerry, Oct 12/13, 2011
7 hares hit by greyhounds, 3 killed, 3 injured and 2 put down because of injuries, plus 1 died in coursing compound, a total of 7 fatalities.
Millstreet, December 30/31, 2012
3 hares were hit by dogs, 3 hares were dead at end of coursing. Ranger noted that “a number of hares (at least 3, probably more) had conjunctivitis, as confirmed by Vet. At least 9 hares had foot injuries.”
Murrintown, Wexford, 26/27 December, 2011
Ranger reported 6 hares hit by muzzled dogs on Day 2, with 6 injured and 2 killed. Meanwhile veterinary report cited 12 hares unfit for coursing, 4 hares injured and 16 “sick or otherwise unfit” after coursing. According to this coursing club’s Hare Capture Return, 86 hares were captured for coursing. However a number of 75 were cited at the start of coursing on day 1, leaving a discrepancy of 11 hares. In a memo from the ranger to his superior, he cited that the club informed him that they had a “break in on their hare paddock” and that “8 hares were missing and 3 killed”.
Tradaree, November 12/13, 2011, 2011
On day 1, 2 hares were hit and 1 killed. On day 2, ranger noted that 4 hares had died overnight and 1 after coursing. Vet’s report stated that 9 hares were “unfit for coursing, 1 injured and 1 unfit after coursing.
Thurles District, 29/30, October, 2011
10 hares hit over the two days, 2 hares killed, 2 injured and 2 died overnight in coursing compound.
Kilflynn, Co. Kerry, October 1 & 2, 2011
12 hares hit by dogs, 3 hares killed, 3 died of “natural causes”, 1 injured and 1 put down because of injuries.
Sevenhouses, Kilkenny, January 14/15
12 hares hit by muzzled dogs, 1 killed, 4 injured and 1 put down because of injuries.
Lixnaw, Co. Kerry, November 4/5/6, 2011
2 hares hit by greyhounds, 1 killed and 1 died of “natural causes”. Veterinary report answers ‘Nil’ to all questions regarding welfare of hares and makes no reference to any hare killed or dying of “natural causes”, despite the ranger’s ticking the yes box to veterinary involvement question.
Parksgrove, North Kilkenny, December 26/27, 2011
13 hares hit by muzzled dogs, 2 killed 2 put down because of injuries, with 2 “escaped”. Veterinary report states 2 hares injured, but no reference to 2 hares that had to be put down. The vet was noted as being “on call”. Who put down the hares, if not the vet?
Mitchelstown, November 5/6, 2011
7 hares hit by dogs, 3 injured and 2 put down as a result of their injuries, plus 1 found dead in escape.
Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry, October 22/23, 2011
6 hares hit by greyhounds, 1 killed.
Limerick City, November 5/6, 2011
10 hares struck by greyhounds, with 4 injured and 1 put down because of injuries, 1 “escaped”.
Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, November 26/27, 2011
7 hares struck by greyhounds with 3 injured. Despite the fact that it was indicated on the ranger’s report that there as veterinary involvement in the meeting, the vet cited nil hares injured at the meeting, so it would appear that these hares were not examined
Balbriggan, November 26/27, 2011
9 hares hit, 1 injured, according to NPWS ranger, with vet’s report stating that 2 hares were injured and 2 “sick or otherwise unfit” after coursing, and ICC control steward stating that 1 died of natural causes, and 1 injured hare released – did this receive veterinary attention?
Westmeath United, October 15/16, 2011
Ranger described coursing as follows: “There were 9 hares hit on Day 1. Of these, one hare was tossed and rolled on the ground; another hare was tossed and mauled; another was mauled on the ground by the two dogs and placed in a wooden box; another was hit about five times and mauled on the ground by the dogs. When the dog owners came running in, one of them grabbed the hare and lifted it away from the dogs by its side and then the steward took it from him and handled it in a more appropriate manner. The hare cried with what I presume was distress during this incident. The steward placed this hare in the wooden box. Another hare was tossed and badly mauled by the dogs later in the day. In all, 3 hit hares were retrieved and placed in a wooden box,” which was subsequently taken away by the vet, who stated in his report that 1 died and 2 were released.
Fermoy, October 19/20, 2011
6 hares hit by muzzled dogs, 1 injured and 1 put down because of injuries, with the ranger being informed that a hare was found dead the morning after in the escape. Vet’s report stated that 5 hares were injured (4 more than ranger stated) with 1 hare euthanised.
Ballyduff, Co. Kerry, November 18/19, 2011
4 hares hit by dogs, and 1 died of “natural causes”. Despite the fact that it was stated that there was veterinary involvement, the vet’s report made no mention of the hare death.
Ballyheighue, Co. Kerry, October 14/15/16, 2011
Ranger didn’t attend on Day 1. 4 hares struck over 2 days, with 1 hare killed and 1 dying of “natural causes”.
Limerick Regional, Clarina, October 15/16, 2012
15 hares hit by dogs, 5 “pinned” and 10 “tipped”, 5 injured and 2 died of injuries. Ranger stated that a post mortem was sought on the hares that died, with his line manager requesting via a note on the form the findings of the post mortem, stating “I presume it was internal injuries rather than muzzles coming off?” Ranger noted “Yes – muzzles did not come off.”
Ballinaboola, New Ross, October 8/9, 2011
14 hares hit by dogs, 14 hares injured, 1 killed and 1 died from injuries. Vet noted just 1 hare injured and 1 “sick or otherwise unfit after coursing”, in contrast to the 14 noted by the ranger. Did vet inspect any injured hares?
Loughrea, October 22/23, 2011
14 hares hit by muzzled dogs, with 3 put down because of injuries. It was noted that 3 hares were “unaccounted for” on release. According to the ranger’s notes, it was realised on release that a hare was injured, and it was then brought to the vet and euthanised.
Glin, Co. Limerick, October 7/8/9, 2011
Ranger stated that 2 hares were killed.
Nenagh, December 17/18, 2011
4 hares hit by muzzled dogs.
Mallow, October 22/23, 2011
9 hares hit by muzzled dogs, and 1 “escaped” from paddock.
Galway & Oranmore, Nov 10 & 11, 2011
10 hares hit, 4 pinned.
Charleville, Oct 29/30,2011
5 hares hit. It was stated that no vet was present, but on call, while the ICC control steward said there was veterinary involvement. The vet completed a veterinary report, despite not being present.
Castleisland, Co.Kerry, October 30/31, 2011
1 hare hit by muzzled dogs.
Castletown-Geoghegan, Co. Westmeath, December 17/18, 2011
6 hares hit by muzzled dogs, with 1 “bad grazing”. Vet stated 2 hares were injured.
East Donegal, December 3 and 4, 2011
Ranger stated 1 hare hit, 1 injured and died from injury.
Please see our recent video footage showing hares being terrorised, hit and mauled:
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