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Hares injured and killed at cruel coursing "rehearsal"
25 October 2017

The first victims of the 2017-18 hare coursing season have been revealed. During coursing activities in Kilflynn, County Kerry, a total of 7 hares suffered injuries when hit by greyhounds. According to a National Parks & Wildlife Service report obtained by the Irish Council Against Bloodsports, two of the hares were so badly injured that they were put down on the advice of a vet.

The injuries and deaths occurred on 23rd September during "coursing trials" held the week before the first coursing meeting of the season in Kilflynn. In a letter to Minister Heather Humphreys' secretary, these trials - which add to the immense suffering of captured hares - were referred to by the Director of the National Parks as "a rehearsal for coursing meetings".

"It is understood that the purpose of such trials is apparently to assess the greyhounds," he said.

The NPWS report reveals that during the trials, 10 hares were hit by the dogs, 7 hares were pinned to the ground and injured, and 2 hares "had to be put down as a result of the injuries".

The coursing club had 99 hares in its possession, according to the NPWS, and 77 trials took place, meaning that on the day, 77 hares were forced to run for their lives. The surviving hares were subjected to the same ordeal the following Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Kilflynn coursing meeting. They were again terrorised and traumatised as the coursers used them as live bait for their dogs to chase.

It is an outrage that the Irish Hare is continuing to be subjected to this appalling persecution. It's time for Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks & Wildlife Service to bring the curtain down on these shameful "rehearsals" and on the entire coursing season. Our timid and vulnerable hares should be spared this cruelty and afforded the long overdue protection they deserve.


Contact Minister Heather Humphreys now and demand a withdrawal of the 2017-18 hare coursing licence she issued.

Heather Humphreys, TD
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
23 Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook -
Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below)

Dear Minister,

I am one of the majority who want hare coursing outlawed. I am writing to urge you to revoke the licence you issued to the Irish Coursing Club.

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 end this cruelty.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


Tell the National Parks and Wildlife Service to stop facilitating animal cruelty and refuse any further licences to the Irish Coursing Club.

Gerry Leckey
Wildlife Licensing Unit
National Parks & Wildlife Service
Ely Place, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 888 3289

The Irish Hare is a protected species but an exemption for coursing in the Animal Health and Welfare Act means coursers are not liable for prosecution for their cruelty. Join us in our call to the government to remove the exemption and provide full and permanent protection to this cherished species.

Contact An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and An Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Frances Fitzgerald and ask them to ban hare coursing and give permanent protection to hares.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
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Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share the petitions

Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

See video filmed by ICABS last season exposing the cruelty of coursing. Our footage shows hares being hit and mauled at coursing meetings around Ireland.

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