Call for Hare Coursing ban in Ireland as Dungannon coursers travel to activity ‘outlawed’ in north

Hares a protected species in Irish Republic but are still caught in wild for use in coursing
Hares a protected species in Irish Republic but are still caught in wild for use in coursing

The Irish Council of Cruel Sports has hit out at a Dungannon Coursing Club it says is travelling to Cavan to take part in a Hare Coursing event this weekend.

In a statement to the Times it said: “Dungannon coursing club will travel south to engage in a cruel activity that is outlawed in Northern Ireland - live hare coursing.

“The Dungannon coursers will be hosted by Cavan coursing club on Saturday and Sunday [Nov 14/15], when hares will be used as live bait before greyhounds.

“And in January, 2016, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, will host Ballymena at their coursing meeting.

“Despite the greyhounds being muzzled, hares can be struck, mauled and injured, with hares dying afterwards or being put down because of their injuries,” a spokesperson added.

“Hares are snatched in nets from the wild courtesy of a licence granted by Arts & Heritage Minister [in the Republic of Ireland], Heather Humphreys.

“It is an absolute travesty that the hare, while being rightly protected from this cruelty in the north of Ireland, is subjected to this cruel abuse in the south.

“And this despite the Irish hare, a unique sub species, being designated as a highly “protected” under the Irish Wildlife Act.

“The government of this Republic should hang their heads in shame for continuing to allow this barbarity,” they added.

The group is calling on Ireland’s politicians to follow the “good example of Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales and rid the south of Ireland of this appalling animal abuse for once and all”.