Coursing is not good for hares: Irish Times Letter

25 Jan

“Coursing is not good for hares, not in terms of conservation, and certainly not in terms of their welfare”: Read ICABS Campaign Director Aideen Yourell’s Letter to the Editor in today’s Irish Times

Coursing not good for hares
25 January 2019

Sir, – Michael Viney’s article “Can coursing be good for Irish hares? The strange answer is yes” (Weekend Review, January 12th) refers to a study carried out by Queen’s University Belfast (2010), which found that there were 18 times more hares where there were coursing clubs. It relied on hare numbers supplied by just one coursing club out of 76. The hare coursers counted the hares in their own “preserves”, and supplied the numbers.

If it’s the case that there are 18 times more hares in so-called coursing “preserves”, why, for example, did members of Doon coursing club, Co Tipperary, travel to Lough Boora Parklands, Co Offaly, to net hares in breach of the Wildlife Act, for which it was convicted in 2015? And what of Dundalk & Dowdallshill Coursing Club, which had to limit the number of courses it ran in 2017, due to a shortage of hares?

Irish hare numbers have been declining over the last century.

Coursing is not good for hares, not in terms of conservation, and certainly not in terms of their welfare.

How on earth can it be “good” for these timid, defenceless creatures to be cruelly snatched from the wild in nets, shoved into boxes, transported away from their habitat to a coursing compound to remain there for weeks on end, and then callously used as live bait for greyhounds?

As a republic that considers itself civilised and progressive, we are light years behind our neighbours in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, who have long since banned this barbarism. – Yours, etc,

Irish Council Against Blood Sports,
Mullingar, Co Westmeath.



Please attend the “Ban Hare Coursing” protest in Clonmel on Sunday February 3rd, 12 – 2pm outside Powerstown Park

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 – no hare coursing, no hare hunting, no hare shooting. 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

(If you have time, please compose your own personal letter. Otherwise, feel free to send the short sample letter below)

Dear Minister Madigan,

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,


Contact An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and ask him to ban hare coursing and give permanent protection to hares.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo Tweet to @campaignforLeo
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