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Hares running for their lives during cruel coursing in Limerick
23 November 2018

Sickening scenes of animal cruelty filmed at the weekend (17/18 Nov 2018) at Bulgaden, near Kilmallock, County Limerick. At a coursing meeting held by Ardpatrick & Kilfinane coursing club - one of approximately 70 that take place around Ireland up until the end of February - dozens of hares were used as live bait for dogs to chase.

The terrorised creatures were seen frantically running for their lives as pairs of greyhounds were unleashed in front of a merciless mob comprising men, women and children. Some of the hares were hit hard, their delicate bodies sent tumbling or flying into the air. Others ran from one side of the field to the other and around in circles, sometimes leaping over the dogs, to try and escape.

The coursers know how unacceptable their vile pastime is to the majority of decent people in Ireland and are desperate to keep it from the public view. At Ardpatrick & Kilfinane, a pathetic attempt was made to interfere with filming by shining a bright light directly at the video camera and the woman operating it. She was undeterred by this intimidation and successfully documented the plight of the hares.

How appalling that our government, in 2018, continues to allow this obscene bloodsport to continue. It is particularly shameful that Minister Josepha Madigan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service issued licences for this latest season of coursing, given the recent warnings from wildlife experts that the hare is in trouble, with numbers declining.

The Irish Hare should be afforded every protection to safeguard its future but instead, our politicians are pandering to the small minority who consider it entertaining to snatch hares from the wild, release them into an enclosure and watch as they run from dogs.

The hares at Ardpatrick and Kilfinane are just some of the thousands of victims of coursing. All suffer fear and stress - they don't know the dogs are muzzled and so are effectively running for their lives. Hares who get hit by the dogs are at risk of sustaining painful life-ending injuries. Hares who survive the ordeal may later die from the stress-related condition known as capture myopathy which can claim lives in the days, weeks and months after coursing. Every coursing season, hare injuries and deaths are recorded.

This depraved practice has no place in modern Ireland; it should have been banned decades ago. It is time for the majority who love and value our wildlife heritage to unite to demand a long overdue ban on coursing. Please help bring coursing to an end by responding to the action alert below.


With warnings from wildlife experts that the species is in trouble, it is now more clear than ever that the Irish Hare must be given full protection. Urgently contact Minister Josepha Madigan and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and demand that they revoke the 2018-19 hare coursing licence and end all forms of hare persecution.

Minister Josepha Madigan
Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Phone: +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @josephamadigan

John Fitzgerald
Director, National Parks and Wildlife Service
Phone: +353 (0)1 888 3242


See the cruelty of hare coursing on our Youtube channel

(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 demand that you revoke the 2018-19 hare netting licence that has shamefully been issued.

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,


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 ask him 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
Leave a comment on Facebook:

Express your support for a ban on coursing. Sign and share the petitions

Ireland: Ban cruel hare coursing

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

The licence which allows cruel hare coursing

The licence issued by Josepha Madigan which allows coursers to snatch thousands of hares from the wild for use as live lures for greyhounds to chase.

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