Leverets born in captivity in hare coursing compound: Renewed calls for ban

9 Nov


Pregnant hares who gave birth were among the hares held captive for cruel coursing in Glin, County Limerick, it has emerged.

According to a National Parks and Wildlife Service document obtained by ICABS under the Freedom of Information Act, five leverets were born in the “escape” area of the Glin coursing compound. The baby hares were spotted by wildlife rangers among the hares captured for a coursing meeting held at the beginning of last month.

The NPWS report says that the rangers were unable to identify the mothers of the leverets and so they “organised care for and release of the 5 leverets” – “Hares which were born in escape were held back for 2 weeks. Agreed by ranger. All to be released back to the wild, supervised by ranger.”

Pregnant hares giving birth at a bloodsport venue adds to concerns about the plight of hares used in this shameful activity.

According to the NPWS report, “It raises the issue of leverets being born to female hares in captivity in August. Our Section 34 licence timing changed approx 5 years ago to allow catching [hares] a month earlier and I would have concerns that this may have resulted in more leverets being born in captivity, with the consequent issues.”

There are not only fears for the welfare of leverets born in captivity but also those left orphaned in the wild when their mothers are cruelly netted for use in coursing. These vulnerable, dependent creatures are almost certainly doomed to die without their mothers.

There is some acknowledgement of this in the NPWS report which states: “It is possible that some females are now being caught in August, with their leverets left behind alone…As August is firmly part of the main hare breeding season, I recommend that the dates are changed back to September.”

It goes on to add that leverets were not only found in Glin this season but also “at an early Kerry club meeting”.

These are not the first times that leverets have been born in captivity. For example, it was noted by a National Parks ranger, who monitored a meeting in Tubbercurry in December 2016 that there were three pregnant hares in the coursing compound, one of which gave birth to two leverets. We brought this to the attention of Minister Heather Humphreys and pointed out that it is contrary to the flimsy licence conditions to take pregnant hares – however, there was apparently no sanction for that breach

The idea of a pregnant hare – or indeed any hare – in a coursing compound is truly appalling. These animals should all be in the wild where they belong, not in a bloodsport venue to be used as live bait for dogs in a grotesque and anachronistic activity.


Please join us today in renewing our appeal to Heather Humphreys, Leo Varadkar and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to withdraw the 2017-18 coursing licence and put in place permanent protection for hares.

Email “Stop the suffering – Withdraw the hare coursing licence NOW” to Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie, ministers.office@ahg.gov.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, wildlifelicence@ahg.gov.ie, Gerry.Leckey@ahg.gov.ie, John.Fitzgerald@ahg.gov.ie

Phone Minister Humphreys: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800

Leave a comment on Facebook:

Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG @campaignforLeo


Cruel Coursing: Hares running for their lives in Galway

8 Nov

Hares are running for their lives today and tomorrow in Galway and Oranmore as Ireland’s cruel coursing season continues.

In previous years, hares hit and pinned by the dogs have suffered injuries and died.

The cruelty is allowed to take place thanks to a licence shamefully issued by Arts and Heritage Miniser Heather Humphreys and the National Parks and Wildlife Service who, instead of protecting the Irish Hare are facilitating those who take pleasure in persecuting the species.

The licence allows coursers to round up hares in nets, keep them in captivity for weeks/months and use them as live lures for greyhounds to chase as a merciless mob gambles on the outcome.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who voted against a ban on coursing in 2016, is disregarding appeals for him to intervene to save the hares from suffering.


Please join us today in renewing our appeal to Heather Humphreys and Leo Varadkar to withdraw the 2017-18 coursing licence and put in place permanent protection for hares.

Email “Stop the suffering – Withdraw the hare coursing licence NOW” to Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie, ministers.office@ahg.gov.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, wildlifelicence@ahg.gov.ie, Gerry.Leckey@ahg.gov.ie
Tel Minister Humphreys: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook:
Tweet to: @HHumphreysFG @campaignforLeo


Latest video evidence of Ireland’s coursing cruelty

Seagull Senator supporting cruel greyhound industry

8 Nov


The dying greyhound industry has attracted support from a Fianna Fail politician who claimed in 2015 that seagulls are “endangering society”. On Saturday, at a greyhound race in Cork’s Curraheen Park track, Senator Denis O’Donovan was listed as a sponsor of the “Mc Nulty Cabs & Senator Denis O Donovan 550” race. Senator O’Donovan is shamefully supporting the greyhound industry, despite ongoing revelations about injuries, doping, dumping and killing of dogs.

In the past, the Cork politician – who is currently the Leas-Chathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann – has expressed support for hare coursers and gun club members – see quotes below…

Senator Denis O’Donovan (Fianna Fail): “Members are now witnessing over-regulation in the greyhound industry at the coursing level or otherwise. I must confess that I have never attended a coursing meeting in my life. The amendment tabled by Fine Gael seeks to address such over-regulation.” Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009: Report and Final Stages. Note: This amendment was declared lost.

Senator Denis O’Donovan is in the doghouse after voting against the Government on the proposed “Dog Breeding Establishments Bill”. In the Seanad on Wednesday, June 16 last, Senator O’Donovan said he ‘took a stand for rural Ireland’ and opposed the Bill, which was introduced by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr John Gormley. After meeting more than 150 people involved in coursing and gun clubs, who have expressed concerns about over-regulation and the number of litters a breeding bitch can have in a two-year period, Senator O’Donovan decided to oppose it on the basis that some amendments were needed. From Denis in the Doghouse, Southern Star, 26 June 2010.

“Irish senator Denis O’Donovan has demanded a cull of the ‘vicious’ seabirds [seagulls]. Because of fish shortages in the sea, the winged scavengers have taken to ‘invading’ towns and villages, where they ‘attack’ children’s fish and chips, the parliamentarian said. ‘I think it is coming to the stage where they are endangering society,’ he told the Seanad, the upper house of parliament in Dublin. Mr O’Donovan insisted it was a ‘serious enough issue’ and has called for the Dublin parliament to have a debate on dangerous seagulls after the summer recess.” Irish Independent, July 20 2015.


Contact Senator O’Donovan about his support for cruel hare coursing and greyhound racing.

Senator Denis O’Donovan
Seanad Éireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-6183079 / 087-2543806
Email: denis.odonovan@oireachtas.ie

Protestors renew calls for ban on fur farming in Ireland

8 Nov

Protestors gathered outside Ireland’s largest fur farm to renew calls for an end to the cruel industry. The protest took place on 4th November at the gates of Vasa fur farm in Laois where 50,000 permanently caged mink are killed every year for their fur.

A ban on cruel fur farming is long overdue in Ireland. Please respond to the action alert below and share.

The fur farm protest was organised by National Animal Rights Association (NARA). Find out more about their anti-fur campaign at https://www.facebook.com/NARAcampaignsIRELAND/


Sign and share our petition – Ban fur farming in Ireland


Demand a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Contact Taoiseach Leo Varadkar now.

Email “Ban fur farming NOW” to Leo.Varadkar@oir.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, AnimalHealthAndWelfareAct@agriculture.gov.ie

Phone: +353 (0)1 6194000

Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/

Tweet “Ban fur farming NOW” to: @campaignforleo

GAA club in Naas urged to reject greyhound track fundraising

3 Nov
Another GAA club urged to reject greyhound track fundraising
Another GAA club is being urged to show compassion for dogs and say NO to greyhound track fundraising.
Coill Dubh Hurling Club in Naas, County Kildare – which is due to hold a fundraiser at a local track this week – has been told about the cruelty of the greyhound industry, i.e. dogs are injured, doped, mutilated, dumped and killed.
Fundraisers at greyhound tracks are helping to keep this cruel industry afloat – the track takes a significant commission from ticket sales (30-40 per cent) and also profits from gambling and food/drink sales on the night.
In a message to Coill Dubh Hurling Club, we highlighted that while sports clubs are forced to fundraise, the Irish Government is giving massive grants to the greyhound industry – nearly a quarter of a billion since 2001, with another €16 million earmarked for 2018.
The GAA and its affiliated clubs should join the growing calls on the government to stop funding the dying greyhound industry and instead direct the money to sports clubs and other worthy causes. In the meantime, clubs should reject greyhound racing and choose a fundraising method which does not involve animal exploitation.
Tel: 086-383 0995 (Club Chairperson, Trevor Carew)
Email: secretary.coilldubh.kildare@gaa.ie
Tweet to @coilldubhGAA @officialgaa

Hares injured and killed at cruel coursing “rehearsal”

27 Oct


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

Email: Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie, ministers.office@ahg.gov.ie, taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie, wildlifelicence@ahg.gov.ie, Gerry.Leckey@ahg.gov.ie
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 3802 or +353 (0)1 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/heather.humphreysfg
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
Email: wildlifelicence@ahg.gov.ie,Gerry.Leckey@ahg.gov.ie


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 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Prime Minister) and Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald (Deputy Prime Minister) 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
Email: taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie, leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie,frances.fitzgerald@oir.ie
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
Leave a comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/campaignforleo/


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.

Track vet offering to kill injured greyhounds

27 Oct

Tweet 'My greyhound broke her hock in the race. The first reaction of the track vet was to offer to euthanise her' Irish greyhound trainer


‘My greyhound broke her hock in the race. The first reaction of the track vet was to offer to euthanise her’ ~ Irish greyhound trainer.

Dogs who are injured, retired or too slow to win races are mercilessly killed in Ireland’s cruel greyhound industry.

If you love dogs, don’t go greyhound racing.