Maureen O’Sullivan TD questions Minister about breaches of coursing licences

17 Nov

Maureen O'Sullivan TD Stop the cruelty ban coursing

Thank you to Maureen O’Sullivan TD who this week questioned the Minister for Culture and Heritage about the ongoing breaches of coursing licences and called for licences to be revoked.

It is completely unacceptable that Minister Josepha Madigan continues licensing cruel coursing, particularly as fears grow for the future of the Irish Hare, with one leading ecologist warning that the species is in trouble, with numbers dwindling. Please help the hares – scroll down for urgent action alert.

Dail Question and Answer
Thursday, 15 November 2018
Hare Coursing Regulation

Maureen O’Sullivan TD (Dublin Central, Independent): To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her attention has been drawn to reports of continued breaching of licences by coursing clubs; and her views on whether harsher consequences in the form of licensing being revoked need to be taken to combat serious breaches of existing legislation in the capturing of hares for use in blood sports. [47406/18]

Josepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael): The control of live hare coursing, including the operation of individual coursing meetings and managing the use of hares for that activity, is carried out under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. My responsibility relates to the conservation status of the hare.

In August last year, my Department issued licences under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club, covering some 87 affiliated coursing clubs, to capture and tag hares for use at regulated hare coursing meetings for the 2018/19 season, which extends from the end of September 2018 to the end of February 2019. Those licences contained a total of 25 conditions which have been developed and refined over the years.

Where resources allow, local National Parks and Wildlife Service Conservation Rangers from my Department attend coursing meetings, on a spot-check basis, to monitor compliance with licences issued to the ICC and its affiliated clubs. All issues arising from reports of NPWS staff will be reviewed and considered in the context of any licence application for the 2019/20 coursing season.


With warnings from wildlife experts that the Irish Hare is in trouble, it is now more clear than ever that the species 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 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

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