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14 hares hit, 3 dead at Edenderry coursing field
28 November 2017

14 hares were hit by dogs at the recent Edenderry coursing meeting and three were later found dead, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports is disgusted to learn.

The plight of these hares sparked fresh calls for a ban on coursing last month after ICABS video footage of the captive creatures, filmed on the eve of the coursing meeting, was viewed over 110,000 times on Facebook -

A National Parks and Wildlife Service monitoring report - obtained by ICABS under Freedom of Information - has revealed the suffering and deaths of the hares.

The conservation ranger noted in his report that 14 hares were struck by greyhounds over the three days of coursing in Edenderry, and when he arrived at the coursing field on 24th October to supervise the release of the hares back to the wild, he discovered the three dead hares lying in the enclosure. A further four were "missing".

Subsequent post-mortems revealed that two of the dead hares had pre-existing conditions. One hare was underweight with dermatitis, dehydration, ulceration of its gum and an abscess in its jaw, while the other hare had "below average body condition and was diagnosed as having "chronic pleuropneumonia and hepatitis". A post-mortem on another dead hare queried whether it was older as it was "noticeably grey around muzzle".

The licence which allows cruel coursing to continue is shamefully issued by Arts & Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys. It is a breach of the conditions of this licence to take sick hares from the wild to be used as live bait for greyhounds, and it is clear that two of the hares who died were indeed sick and compromised, yet they were taken and forced to run for their lives. The trauma of their ordeal, and that of the aged hare, no doubt hastened their deaths.

It is bad enough that healthy hares are used, but subjecting sick and aged hares to this barbarism is a new low for the coursers.

As for the four "missing" hares - it was claimed that they "jumped over the wire", with the coursers showing the National Parks ranger an area of wire that appeared to be "leaning a bit". This gives rise to a very obvious question - if this was indeed the escape route for the four hares, why didn't a lot more hares escape, and why indeed did those particular hares very conveniently, for the coursers, choose to make good their escape only after the coursing was all over.

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is again calling on Arts & Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to withdraw the 2017-18 coursing licence which allows coursers to snatch thousands of defenceless hares from the wild for this utterly shameful activity. It is way past time that live hare coursing was outlawed here in line with our neighbours, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Please join us in a fresh appeal to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Irish Government to put in place a permanent ban on hare coursing.

Email "Stop the cruelty - Ban hare coursing NOW" to,,

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Contact Minister Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and demand an immediate withdrawal of the current coursing licence.

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

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

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

Video: Ireland's hare coursing cruelty

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