RHD2: Minister urged to refuse a 2020-21 coursing licence

3 Sep

rhd2 minister darragh obrien urged to refuse licence copy

Minister Darragh O’Brien is being urged to refuse a 2020-21 coursing licence, not only because of the cruelty involved but also due to the threat posed to the Irish Hare species by RHD2 – a highly contagious disease which the National Parks and Wildlife Service has confirmed can be spread on coursing nets and boxes.

The deadly RHD2 virus is continuing to spread across Ireland. The Irish Times recently reported that more cases have been confirmed in wild rabbits from Clare and Cork, and in hares from Wexford and Kildare.

The article quoted Heritage Minister Macolm Noonan as saying that Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease should be treated at the “same level of caution for our Irish hare population as we do with Covid”.

He warned that the storage of hares for prolonged periods in coursing parks would increase the risk of the virus spreading and said he has written to the secretary general of his department outlining his concerns about RHD2.

“It’s a highly contagious, easily transmissible and fatal virus that could decimate the Irish mountain hare; a protected species under the Wildlife Acts,” he stated. “The reporting of new cases in both rabbits and hares on the island of Ireland is a cause for deep concern and should be a determining factor in the decision to issue netting licences this year.”

Previously, the then Minister for Culture and Heritage, Josepha Madigan acknowledged that the virus “has the potential to wipe out the hare population completely”. Responding to a Dail Question, she said that “netting and collecting hares for coursing meetings has been identified as a SIGNIFICANT RISK FACTOR in spreading the [RHD2] disease”.

A statement from her Department described the horrific consequences of the disease for affected animals – “It causes death within a few days of infection with sick animals having swollen eyelids, partial paralysis and bleeding from the eyes and mouth. Most distressingly, in the latter states close to death, animals exhibit unusual behaviour emerging from cover into the open and convulsing or fitting before dying.”

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland last September, Dr Ferdia Marnell, Head of Animal Ecology at the National Parks and Wildlife Service said that the disease is “very resilient and very easily transferable”. He confirmed that it “can be passed on soil, on nets and boxes [used by coursers to catch and transport hares] and on shoes and clothing”.

This followed a statement from the NPWS which warned that the disease could prove “catastrophic” and that “the catching of hares in nets [by coursers], their transportation in boxes and the collection and holding of hares in confined areas can all be considered to increase the risk of disease spread”.

deadly rhd2 virus spreads animation dob


HELP THE HARES: Please urgently contact Darragh O’Brien TD – the Minister who is likely to be making the imminent decision on the licensing of hare coursing. Appeal to him to REFUSE a 2020-21 coursing licence and pave the way for a permanent ban on coursing.

Minister Darragh O’Brien
Tel: (01) 618 3802 OR (086) 251 9893
Email: darragh.obrien@oireachtas.ie; minister@housing.gov.ie
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DarraghOBrienTD
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DarraghOBrienTD

Urge Green Party Ministers Malcolm Noonan (who has responsibility for the National Parks and Wildlife Service) and Catherine Martin (who has responsibility for wildlife) to act to ensure that no licence is issued for coursing.

Malcolm Noonan TD
Heritage Minister
Tel: (01) 6183148
Email: malcolm.noonan@oireachtas.ie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/votemalcolmnoonan1/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/noonan_malcolm

Catherine Martin TD
Culture and Heritage Minister
Tel: (01) 618 3018
Email: catherine.martin@oireachtas.ie
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Catherinemartingreen/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cathmartingreen

Witness the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland

With a RED C opinion poll confirming that a 77 per cent majority of Irish citizens want hare coursing banned (with just 9 per cent 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 https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/tds/?term=/ie/oireachtas/house/dail/33

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
Email: micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie; info@fiannafail.ie
Phone: +353 (0)1–618 4350 or +353 (0)21-432 0088
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michealmartintd/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@MichealMartinTD

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar
Telephone: +353 (0)1-704 3630 OR +353 (0)1-640 3133
Email: leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie; finegael@finegael.ie
Tweet to: http://www.twitter.com/@LeoVaradkar
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoVaradkar

Contact Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Green Party, Sinn Fein and Labour Party TDs and urge them to back a ban on cruel hare coursing.

Fianna Fail TDs

john.mcguinness@oireachtas.ie; niamh.smyth@oireachtas.ie; brendan.smith@oireachtas.ie; aindrias.moynihan@oireachtas.ie; michael.moynihan.td@oireachtas.ie; micheal.martin@oireachtas.ie; michael.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie; Charlie.McConalogue@oireachtas.ie; sean.haughey@oireachtas.ie; jim.ocallaghan@oireachtas.ie; darragh.obrien@oireachtas.ie; jack@jackchambers.ie; anne.rabbitte@oireachtas.ie; eamon.ocuiv@oireachtas.ie; james.lawless@oireachtas.ie; sean.ofearghail@oireachtas.ie; sean.fleming@oireachtas.ie; barry.cowen@oireachtas.ie; willie.odea@oireachtas.ie; niall.collins@oireachtas.ie; Robert.Troy@oireachtas.ie; dara.calleary@oireachtas.ie; thomas.byrne@oireachtas.ie; marc.macsharry@oireachtas.ie; jackie.cahill@oireachtas.ie; mary.butler@oireachtas.ie; james.browne@oireachtas.ie; jennifer.murnaneoconnor@oireachtas.ie; cathal.crowe@oireachtas.ie; james.oconnor@oireachtas.ie; padraig.osullivan@oireachtas.ie; christopher.osullivan@oireachtas.ie; paul.mcauliffe@oireachtas.ie; john.lahart@oireachtas.ie; cormac@cormacdevlin.ie; normafoley1@eircom.net; joe.flaherty@oireachtas.ie; Stephen.Donnelly@oireachtas.ie

Fine Gael TDs

JohnPaul.Phelan@oireachtas.ie; Heather.Humphreys@oireachtas.ie; joe.carey@oireachtas.ie; david.stanton@oir.ie; colm.burke@oireachtas.ie; michael.creed@oireachtas.ie; Simon.Coveney@oireachtas.ie; joe.mchugh@oireachtas.ie; richard.bruton@oireachtas.ie; Eoghan.Murphy@oireachtas.ie; Paschal.Donohoe@oireachtas.ie; Alan.Farrell@oireachtas.ie; emer.higgins@oireachtas.ie; neale.richmond@oireachtas.ie; josepha.madigan@oireachtas.ie; colm.brophy@oireachtas.ie; leo.varadkar@oireachtas.ie; jennifer.carrollmacneill@oireachtas.ie; Ciaran.Cannon@oireachtas.ie; hildegarde.naughton@oireachtas.ie; Brendan.Griffin@oireachtas.ie; bernard.durkan@oireachtas.ie; Martin.Heydon@oireachtas.ie; charles.flanagan@oireachtas.ie; kieran.odonnell@oireachtas.ie; Patrick.O’Donovan@oireachtas.ie; peter.burke@oireachtas.ie; fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie; alan.dillon@oireachtas.ie; michael.ring@oireachtas.ie; helen.mcentee@oireachtas.ie; damien.english@oireachtas.ie; frank.feighan@oireachtas.ie; paul.kehoe@oireachtas.ie; Simon.Harris@oireachtas.ie

Green Party TDs

Eamon.Ryan@greenparty.ie; catherine.martin@oireachtas.ie; patrick.costello@oireachtas.ie; francisnoel.duffy@oireachtas.ie; neasa.hourigan@oireachtas.ie; brian.leddin@oireachtas.ie; steven.matthews@oireachtas.ie; malcolm.noonan@oireachtas.ie; joe.obrien@oireachtas.ie; marc.ocathasaigh@oireachtas.ie; roderic.ogorman@oireachtas.ie

Sinn Fein TDs

john.brady@oireachtas.ie; pat.buckley@oireachtas.ie; Sean.Crowe@oireachtas.ie; david.cullinane@oireachtas.ie; Pearse.Doherty@oireachtas.ie; dessie.ellis@oir.ie; kathleen.funchion@oireachtas.ie; martinkennysf@gmail.com; MaryLou.McDonald@oireachtas.ie; denise.mitchell@oireachtas.ie; imelda.munster@oireachtas.ie; eoin.obroin@oireachtas.ie; donnchadh.olaoghaire@oireachtas.ie; aengus.osnodaigh@oireachtas.ie; louiseoreillysf@gmail.com; maurice.quinlivan@oireachtas.ie; Brian.Stanley@oireachtas.ie; mark.ward@oireachtas.ie; chris.andrews@oireachtas.ie; martin.browne@oireachtas.ie; matt.carthy@oireachtas.ie; sorca.clarke@oireachtas.ie; roseconwaywalsh@eircom.net; reada.cronin@oireachtas.ie; pa.daly@oireachtas.ie; paul.donnelly@oireachtas.ie; mairead.farrell@oireachtas.ie; thomas.gould@oireachtas.ie; johnny.guirke@oireachtas.ie; claire.kerrane@oireachtas.ie; padraig.maclochlainn@oir.ie; johnny.mythen@oireachtas.ie; ruairi.omurchu@oireachtas.ie; darren.orourke@oireachtas.ie; patriciaryan975@gmail.com; pauline.tully@oireachtas.ie; vwynne@gmail.com

Labour Party TDs


Please sign and share the petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

Ireland – Ban cruel hare coursing

Sinn Fein: Support a ban on cruel hare coursing

Irish Government: Stop Giving Millions of Euro to Cruel Greyhound Racing


The Minister for Culture and Heritage has said that “netting and collecting hares for coursing meetings has been identified as a SIGNIFICANT RISK FACTOR in spreading the [RHD2] disease” which threatens the future of the Irish Hare species https://www.facebook.com/banbloodsports/posts/2425492090899668

The Irish Times is reporting today that the deadly and highly contagious RHD2 virus which has been found in hares and rabbits “is likely to allow two Green Party Ministers avoid making a highly embarrassing political decision to allow hares be captured for coursing”.

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