July 9th 2011 Lower Coyne Street,
Phone: (056) 7725543 or (086) 3271179
Re. Please say NO to another season of live hare coursing in Republic of Ireland!
As you may know, live hare coursing is not only legal in the Republic of Ireland but commands the support of some powerful politicians, despite being opposed by a majority of the Irish people according to opinion polls. It is illegal in Northern Ireland, having thankfully been banned in that jurisdiction last year.
Basically, hare coursing (as practised in the Republic of Ireland) consists of competitions in which pairs of greyhounds are set after captive hares within the confines of a wire-enclosed field. There is heavy gambling on the outcome of each race or "course", the dog that is first to "turn" the hare (divert it from its straight run to the opposite end of the enclosure) being declared the winner in each race. Points are awarded for various other aspects of each greyhound's performance in chasing the hare.
Though the intention is not specifically to kill the hare, many of the animals are inevitablly either injured, through mauling or being literally tossed about by the dogs (as shown in the attached pictures) or after the coursing event they may die as a result of Capture Myopathy, a condition that affects a number of wild species, including the Irish Hare.
Each year, coursing clubs capture with nets thousands of hares for these events. Some hares die during capture, becoming entangled in the nets and breaking bones etc. These are either killed because they cannot serve any purpose, being unable to run; or they are used to "blood" greyhounds as part of their training. This involves feeding them live to the dogs.
In captivity, many hares also die, of diseases resulting from the cramped and unnatural conditions (see attached picture) in which they are kept. Hares are solitary creatures, unnacustomed to the "herd mentality".
From beginning to end, hare coursing is immensely cruel and completely against nature...the animals are snatched from their natural habitat and "trained" as the coursing officials call it, to run in a straight line. This in itself would condemn the so-called "sport" even without the actual coursing events at which the hares must then run for their lives so that spectators can gamble and cheer on the competing dogs.
The hare is deemed a mere pawn in the whole game, a plaything that serves as live bait for the dogs. Its terror as it seeks to evade the hyped-up greyhounds is a source of mirth and entertainment to the audience. We provide a link to a brief video showing Irish hare coursing at the end of this appeal.
Each year, the Irish Government must grant a special license that permits coursing clubs to capture hares for this appalling "sport". Without that license, hare coursing would cease. The decision as to whether or not to grant the license must be made before the end of August, as the netting usually begins in September.
We are appealing to the relevant Government Minister NOT to grant the license this year and are asking you to join us in making that appeal. We want him to follow the example of Northern Ireland, which outlawed hare coursing last year.
Please send a brief letter or email to Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts and Culture, Dail Eireann, Dublin 2, Ireland, asking him simply not to issue the license that will permit hares to be captured for another season of live hare coursing in the Irish Republic.
You can email the Minister at:
This is hare coursing as practised in Ireland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58qbzC-GI4&feature=player_embedded
Campaign for the Abolition
Of Cruel Sports
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