If the Bill, proposed by independent members of parliament, is passed, the horrific blood sport in which hares (better known as Jack Rabbits to North Americans) are used as live bait for greyhounds will become illegal and the long suffering Irish Hare will be protected from this organized cruelty.
In Ireland, up to eighty hare coursing events are held each year. The so-called “sport” is cruel from beginning to end. Wild hares are captured by gangs roaming the countryside with nets. Some hares become injured during capture as a result of entanglement in the nets and these animals are discarded or killed.
A coursing event involves setting pairs of greyhounds after the captured hares within the confines of a wire-enclosed field or race course. Each hare has to run towards an escape hatch at the opposite end of the venue. Though the dogs are muzzled, they can maul the hares, pin them to the ground inflicting injury, or toss them into the air like playthings. Many hares are subjected to painful injury and have to be killed as a result. The injuries include bone breakages that cannot heal and leg parts getting ripped off.
Even hares released from captivity after a coursing event have not escaped the ordeal. Many of these succumb to a condition called Capture Myopathy, a stress-related ailment that may kill them, meaning that they literally “die of fright”, the entire unnatural experience including captivity having proved too much for them.
As if this were not bad enough, hares are also used to “blood” greyhounds. Hares that are ill or injured are routinely fed LIVE to the dogs to enhance their performance in coursing. The aim is to give greyhounds a thirst for blood and encourage them to run faster in pursuit of the hares at the official coursing events.
Hare coursing is illegal in Scotland, England, and Wales since 2004 and was banned in Northern Ireland in August of last year. The last Australian State to permit it was South Australia, which outlawed the practice in 1985.
We are appealing to anyone who cares about the protection of animals to consider sending a brief message to the two most powerful politicians in Ireland, the Prime Minister (Taoiseach in Irish), and Deputy Prime Minister (Tanaiste in Irish), asking them to allow a FREE VOTE in parliament on the forthcoming Bill to ban hare coursing and to set an example by supporting the Bill themselves.
Even a very short message will suffice, simply requesting that all members of the Irish parliament will be permitted to support the anti hare coursing Bill if they so wish.
We suggest that people write to, or email Mr. Kenny with a copy of your message to Mr. Gilmore.
Their contact details are as follows:
An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny
Department of the Taoiseach,
Upper Merrion Street,
Dublin 2 , Republic of Ireland
An Tanaiste, (Deputy Prime Minister)
Office of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
80 St. Stephen’s Green,
Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland.
For anyone unfamiliar with hare coursing as practiced in Ireland, here is a brief film:
The campaign to abolish hare coursing in Ireland has been in progress since 1966. Campaigners have faced many seemingly crushing obstacles along the way, but we continue to lobby for change in the hope that the politicians will enact a law protecting the innocent and beautiful Irish Hare from the horrors of coursing. Among the challenges confronting us was an attempt by politically well connected hare coursing fans backed by elements within the police force to silence our campaign by harassment and intimidation of activists. Further information on that episode can be gleaned from the following sources: