Irish Government Ministers claim that muzzling of greyhounds has “eliminated the cruelty” from hare coursing, but these extracts from NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) reports for the 2010/2011 season show the savagery continues. Further evidence, if such were needed, that this appalling blood sport must be banned in Ireland, as it has been in Australia, Scotland, England, Wales, and; most recently, Northern Ireland.
These reports were obtained by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports under the Freedom of Information Act:
At Tradaree, a total of 6 hares died as a result of injuries, while 1 was put down.
At Freshford, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 3 injured and two died from injuries.
At Wexford & District, 2 hares died of injuries.
A vet's report on Liscannor stated that 3 hares were injured, 2 euthanised and 9 hares noted to be "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing.
At Doon, 7 hares were pinned to the ground by the dogs, 4 injured, 2 of which were put down.
At Tubbercurry, 2 hares were injured, 2 found to be "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", according to a vet's report, with one hare "injured in box before release and died".
At Borrisoleigh, 1 hare was put down at the request of a National Parks ranger as it had a broken leg, while a veterinary report for the same meeting noted that 6 hares were "unfit" for coursing over the two days.
At Galbally, a ranger stated that "1 hare did not look well before coursing started and was euthanised."
At Mitchelstown, 6 hares were hit by dogs, 1 put down and 1found dead in box during release. The vet's report stated that 8 hares were "sick or other-wise unfit" after coursing.
At Loughrea, 2 hares were injured and put down, while another died "in transit to Mayo".
At Glanworth, a vet report stated that 4 hares were injured during coursing and 5 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit" afterwards.
At Ennis, 3 hares were hit by dogs, 1 injured and put down, and another died from injuries.
At Thurles, 8 hares were hit by dogs, 2 died "overnight" and at Ballyheigue, 3 hares were hit, 1injured and put down.
At a coursing meeting in Westmeath, the ranger was concerned that two hares, which were mauled by the dogs and placed in a box, were not receiving veterinary attention. She drew the attention of a coursing official to this after the vet had left the event, and was told that he was "going to bring them up to the vet's surgery".
The ranger decided to follow the official to the vet's surgery, whereupon the vet came out to look at the hares. According to the ranger, the vet checked the hares' tag numbers and said he thought they seemed fine, although the hares remained in the box during the examination.
The vet kept the hares and said he would release them later if they were all right. The following day, the ranger was told that the vet had released the two hares, and would send on a report, which the ranger never received. The next day, during the release of hares, the ranger saw a hare limp away, carrying its front left foot.
Bear in mind that wildlife rangers from the NPWS attend only a small number of the hare coursing events in Ireland over each season. Yet, hares were seen to suffer the stress and terror of this so-called “sport” at almost all events monitored.
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