Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Republic should also outlaw cruel hare coursing

Last week marked another milestone in the campaign to outlaw hare coursing on the island of Ireland, as a permanent ban came into effect in Northern Ireland.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said in a statement that "hare coursing events should not take place in a modern, progressive, civilised society".

However, in the Republic, the last bastion of this backwoods barbarism, it's business as usual for the hare coursers, with the licence to net hares issued recently by the minister, Jimmy Deenihan.

The two remaining Northern Ireland clubs, Ballymena and Dungannon, now travel south to be hosted by Tubbercurry and Cavan, putting even more pressure on the Republic's timid hares.

Hare coursers claim the muzzling of greyhounds, introduced in 1992, eliminates the kill from coursing.

However, while preventing the ripping apart of hares, muzzles do not prevent hares from being struck and mauled by greyhounds, resulting in injuries and death.

In any event, hares are terrorised from the time they are snatched from the wild in nets to the day they are used as live lures before greyhounds at coursing meetings. This is unacceptable in what passes for a supposedly civilised country.

Surely the Republic's government should be acting in tandem with the Northern Ireland Assembly in protecting hares on the island as a whole?

AIDEEN YOURELL

Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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