Minister Simon Coveney: I have no plans to ban hare coursing

25 Feb

Despite being aware of the cruelty of coursing and the suffering caused to hares, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has insisted that he will not ban the bloodsport.

Responding to a Dail Question from ICABS President, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, the Minister repeated farcical coursing club claims that they adhere to the “highest standards of hare welfare”. He also made reference to an Irish Coursing Club (ICC) seminar relating to “care for hares”, apparently not recognising the absurdity of associating “caring for hares” with an activity based on using hares as bait for dogs.

Disappointingly, Minister Coveney again dismissed a call for live hare coursing to be replaced with drag coursing, in which greyhounds chase an artificial lure pulled along the ground.

“I am informed by the ICC that drag/lure coursing is not a feasible alternative to coursing because coursing greyhounds will not chase a drag/lure indefinitely and that after chasing a drag/lure once or twice the coursing greyhound will lose interest and disengage from the chase,” the Minister declared.

This is in direct contrast to information provided by ICABS to the Minister, as well as footage filmed in Kerry showing greyhounds repeatedly and enthusiastically chasing an inanimate lure. We have previously informed the Minister that in countries where hare coursing is illegal (UK, USA, Australia, etc) drag coursing has been the replacement.

Rejecting calls for a ban on coursing, Coveney concluded: “It is my belief that the systems in place to oversee coursing are effective, proportionate and working well and, accordingly, I have no plans to ban hare coursing.”

Please join our appeals for hare coursing to be banned in Ireland by responding to the action alerts below.


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

Stop Licensing Cruel Hare Coursing

Save Irish hares from cruel coursing

Stop Hare Coursing in Ireland

Urge Minister Heather Humphreys to show compassion for the persecuted Irish Hare and revoke the coursing licence she issued.

Email “Stop the cruelty. Revoke the hare coursing licence” to,,,,,
Tel: (01) 631 3802 or (01) 631 3800
Leave a comment on Facebook –
Tweet to Heather Humphreys: @HHumphreysFG

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

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 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. Every season, hare injuries and deaths are documented.

I ask you to please act on the wishes of the majority, show compassion and permanently revoke the licence.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


Please appeal to the Minister for Agriculture to remove an exemption for hare coursing from the Animal Health and Welfare Act.

Simon Coveney, TD
Minister for Agriculture
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-607 2884 or LoCall 1890-200510.

Contact all your local TDs now. Demand that they urgently push for a ban on hare coursing and all bloodsports. Tell them you are one of the majority who want coursing banned. Remind them that coursing is already illegal in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Urge them to respect the wishes of the majority of the electorate and back a ban.


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