latest news

Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan: “I’m calling for a ban on cruel greyhound racing and hare coursing”
05 February 2021

"I'm calling for a ban on cruel greyhound racing and hare coursing" - A big thank you to Downton Abbey actor and animal rights activist Peter Egan for joining calls for a ban.

Peter, who has played Hugh ‘Shrimpie’ MacClare in the hit drama, and whose TV and film credits include Unforgotten, After Life 2, Chariots of Fire and Death at a Funeral, is among a growing list of actors, singers, directors, writers calling for a ban on coursing and greyhound racing

Hares suffer and die in coursing - last season, the victims included hares who died with a spinal injury and a broken back and another with "an apparent leg injury". Other hares have suffered broken legs, damaged toes, dislocated hips, etc. All the hares used in coursing suffer the fear and stress of being netted from the wild, transported in boxes and held in captivity for weeks or months before being forced to run for their lives from muzzled dogs. Those released back to the wild are at risk of later dying from stress-related capture myopathy.

Greyhound racing, meanwhile, is responsible for the deaths of thousands of dogs every year. A damning report which the Irish Greyhound Board attempted to hide, revealed that around 6,000 greyhounds are killed every year in Ireland because they are not fast enough to win races. The report’s contents were featured on the award-winning “RTE Investigates: Greyhounds Running for Their Lives” documentary, which can be viewed at

The report estimated that a total of 17,962 greyhounds were culled in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They were killed for “failure to produce qualifying times”, “failure to produce desired entry level times” and for an “unacceptable decline in performance”.

Peter, a vegan activist and ambassador for Animals Asia, has previously condemned greyhound racing as a “cruel and disgusting practice” which should be “consigned to the history books”.

A vocal campaigner against fur farming, he said in 2018 that he was "horrified to see that fur farming still happens in Ireland," adding that “absolutely nobody who is involved with fur farming cares about animal welfare - it is the cruellest, most despicable, most horrible thing I’ve ever encountered.”

In the past he has signed a petition which asks the Irish Government to outlaw hare coursing, fox hunting and digging-out/terrierwork and urged his followers on Twitter to sign it too

The petition set up by the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports states: “Please tell our government to outlaw, as a matter of urgency, a number of extremely cruel practices that make life a living hell on earth for animals in Ireland. Three of the worst practises are 1) Fox hunting, 2) Hare coursing, and 3) possibly the worst obscenity, the use of half-starved terriers and cross-bred dogs in ‘unearthing’ foxes that seek refuge underground from pursuing hounds and hunt followers.”

He was also among those urging the Irish Government to end the export of greyhounds to China, a country with no animal welfare laws where dogs are beaten, boiled alive and hung on hooks at meat markets.


Urge Minister Darragh O’Brien to refuse any further licences for cruel hare coursing.

Minister Darragh O’Brien (Fianna Fail, Dublin Fingal)
Tel: (01) 618 3802 OR (086) 251 9893

With a RED C opinion poll confirming that a 77 per cent majority of citizens want hare coursing banned (with just 9% disagreeing with a ban), it is now time for politicians to consign this nasty bloodsport to history. Join us in contacting all TDs and urging them to act to ensure that a ban is urgently introduced. Visit the Oireachtas website for contact details for TDs

Urge Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tanaiste Leo Varadkar to respect the wishes of the majority and ban hare coursing and all bloodsports.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin
Phone: +353 (0)1–618 4350 or +353 (0)21-432 0088

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar
Telephone: +353 (0)1-640 3133
Tweet to:

Contact Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Green Party, Sinn Fein and Labour Party TDs and urge them to pledge support for the Animal Health & Welfare (Ban on Hare Coursing) Bill 2020.

Click Here to Email Fianna Fail TDs;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Click Here to Email Fine Gael TDs;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Patrick.O';;;;;;;;;

Click Here to Email Green Party TDs;;;;;;;;;;;

Click Here to Email Sinn Fein TDs;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Click Here to Email Labour Party TDs;;;;;

Please sign and share the petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

Ireland – Ban cruel hare coursing

Please support our campaign with a donation

Find us on Twitter and Instagram

Make a donation to ICABS

Please consider making a donation to ICABS. For more details, please click on the button below or follow this link to find out how to become a campaign supporter. Thank you.

News Menu | Join | Top | Home