Minister confirms all hares held captive by cruel coursers will be released “forthwith”

29 Jan

minister confirms all hares to be released copy

All hares held captive by cruel coursers will be released, the Heritage Minister has confirmed.

Minister Darragh O’Brien was responding to a Dail Question from Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore (Wicklow) who asked “if he will call for the immediate release of any hares currently in captivity in view of the fact that coursing meetings are not permitted to take place during current Covid-19 restrictions and in view of the animal welfare issues related to holding wild animals in captivity.”

Minister O’Brien told Deputy Whitmore that “the Irish Coursing Club has informed my Department that all hares currently held in captivity by coursing clubs will be released forthwith.”

“I welcome this decision,” he added.

A big THANK YOU to Jennifer Whitmore TD and all who contacted Minister O’Brien to urge him to order the release of all hares in captivity. The Minister has previously acknowledged that “hares are a protected species, and are better off being in the wild rather than being held in captivity in large groups.”

Replying to a Dail question from Deputy Whitmore last week, Minister O’Brien had outlined that “my department understands from the Irish Coursing Club that all hares which had been held in captivity by clubs affiliated to the ICC were released back into the wild in November 2020 on foot of a request to the ICC to do so” but that “some hares netted in late December may remain in captivity”.

The Irish Coursing Club was unsuccessful this week in its shameful bid to secure a High Court injunction to allow coursing to resume during the current Covid-19 restrictions.

ICABS has urged Minister O’Brien to ensure that all hare releases are monitored by National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers. We have also renewed our appeal to him to refuse any further licences for the bloodsport which 77 per cent of Irish citizens want banned.


Urge Minister Darragh O’Brien to refuse any further licences for cruel hare coursing.

Minister Darragh O’Brien (Fianna Fail, Dublin Fingal)
Tel: (01) 618 3802 OR (086) 251 9893

With a RED C opinion poll confirming that a 77 per cent majority of Irish citizens want hare coursing banned (with just 9% wanting it to continue), 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

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
Phone: +353 (0)1–618 4350 or +353 (0)21-432 0088

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar
Telephone: +353 (0)1-640 3133
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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;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Fine Gael TDs;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Patrick.O’;;;;;;;;;

Green Party TDs;;;;;;;;;;;

Sinn Fein TDs;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Labour Party TDs;;;;;

Please sign and share the petitions

Ban Blood Sports in Ireland

Ireland – Ban cruel hare coursing

Witness the cruelty of hare coursing in Ireland

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