The draft of the Irish Department of Agriculture's recently published Animal Health and Welfare Bill shamefully exempts

hare coursing and the hunting of wild animals with dogs. Here we present further evidence of the suffering caused to hares by coursing - cruelty which the new legislation must outlaw. Year after year, it's the same story with hares, used as live lures before greyhounds. They are stressed, terrorised, mauled, injured and killed, as revealed by National Parks and Wildlife Service reports, obtained under Freedom of Information. Our catalogue of cruelty is based on data from these reports. Please note that the NPWS only monitor a small percentage of coursing meetings so the injuries and deaths recorded here represent only a proportion of the total figure. Also not represented here are the hares that are injured or die during the netting process nor those who succumb to stress-related capture myopathy in the days and weeks after being released back to the wild. Despite the undeniable evidence of cruelty outlined here, our legislators continue to turn a blind eye, and are prepared to exempt this barbarity, just as was done 101 years ago in 1911. Meanwhile, hare coursing has been outlawed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, leaving the Republic the last outpost of a legacy from the Roman amphitheatres. This Fine Gael and Labour Government should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Earlier this year, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports obtained disturbing video footage at the so-called JP McManus Irish Cup hare coursing event. Our footage shows hares being hit and mauled into the ground by greyhounds. Watch the videos at or Please join us in appealing to the Irish Government to amend the Animal Health and Welfare Bill 2012 to remove the blood sports exemptions. Urgently phone or email all your local TDs and demand that they support amendments to the bill which aim to outlaw coursing, hunting and other unacceptable acts of cruelty. Click on the Politicians at for more details.


Ennis/Clarecastle, December 10/11, 2011 According to ranger's report, on day 1, 5 hares were hit, with 3 dying in escape after coursing. On day 2, 7 hares were hit, 2 killed, 4 injured, 1 put down and 2 died from injuries. This amounts to a total of 8 fatalities. Tradaree, November 12/13, 2011, 2011 On day 1, 2 hares were hit and 1 killed. On day 2, ranger noted that 4 hares had died overnight and 1 after coursing. Vet's report stated that 9 hares were "unfit for coursing, 1 injured and 1 unfit after coursing.

Millstreet, December 30/31, 2011 3 hares were hit by dogs, 3 hares were dead at end of coursing. Ranger noted that "a number of hares (at least 3, probably more) had conjunctivitis, as confirmed by Vet. At least 9 hares had foot injuries." Mitchelstown, November 5/6, 2011 7 hares hit by dogs, 3 injured and 2 put down as a result of their injuries, plus 1 found dead in escape. Fermoy, October 19/20, 2011 6 hares hit by muzzled dogs, 1 injured and 1 put down because of injuries, with the ranger being informed that a hare was found dead the morning after in the escape. Vet's report stated that 5 hares were injured (4 more than ranger stated) with 1 hare euthanised. Mallow, Co Cork October 22/23, 2011 9 hares hit by muzzled dogs, and 1 "escaped" from paddock. Charleville, Oct 29/30,2011 5 hares hit. It was stated that no vet was present, but on call, while the ICC control steward said there was veterinary involvement. The vet completed a veterinary report, despite not being present.

East Donegal, December 3 and 4, 2011 Ranger stated 1 hare hit, 1 injured and died from injury.

Balbriggan, November 26/27, 2011 9 hares hit, 1 injured, according to NPWS ranger, with vet's report stating that 2 hares were injured and 2 "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing, and ICC control steward stating that 1 died of natural causes, and 1 injured hare released - did this receive veterinary attention?

Loughrea, October 22/23, 2011 14 hares hit by muzzled dogs, with 3 put down because of injuries. It was noted that 3 hares were "unaccounted for" on release. According to the ranger's notes, it was realised on release that a hare was injured, and it was then brought to the vet and euthanised. Galway & Oranmore, Nov 10 & 11, 2011 10 hares hit, 4 pinned.

Listowel, Co. Kerry, Oct 12/13, 2011 7 hares hit by greyhounds, 3 killed, 3 injured and 2 put down because of injuries, plus 1 died in coursing compound, a total of 7 fatalities. Kilflynn, Co. Kerry, October 1 & 2, 2011 12 hares hit by dogs, 3 hares killed, 3 died of "natural causes", 1 injured and 1 put down because of injuries.

Lixnaw, Co. Kerry, November 4/5/6, 2011 2 hares hit by greyhounds, 1 killed and 1 died of "natural causes". Veterinary report answers 'Nil' to all questions regarding welfare of hares and makes no reference to any hare killed or dying of "natural causes", despite the ranger's ticking the yes box to veterinary involvement question. Abbeydorney, Co. Kerry, October 22/23, 2011 6 hares hit by greyhounds, 1 killed. Ballyduff, Co. Kerry, November 18/19, 2011 4 hares hit by dogs, and 1 died of "natural causes". Despite the fact that it was stated that there was veterinary involvement, the vet's report made no mention of the hare death. Ballyheighue, Co. Kerry, October 14/15/16, 2011 Ranger didn't attend on Day 1. 4 hares struck over 2 days, with 1 hare killed and 1 dying of "natural causes". Castleisland, Co.Kerry, October 30/31, 2011 1 hare hit by muzzled dogs.

Sevenhouses, Kilkenny, January 14/15 12 hares hit by muzzled dogs, 1 killed, 4 injured and 1 put down because of injuries. Parksgrove, North Kilkenny, December 26/27, 2011 13 hares hit by muzzled dogs, 2 killed 2 put down because of injuries, with 2 "escaped". Veterinary report states 2 hares injured, but no reference to 2 hares that had to be put down. The vet was noted as being "on call". Who put down the hares, if not the vet?

Limerick City, November 5/6, 2011 10 hares struck by greyhounds, with 4 injured and 1 put down because of injuries, 1 "escaped".

Limerick Regional, Clarina, October 15/16, 2012 15 hares hit by dogs, 5 "pinned" and 10 "tipped", 5 injured and 2 died of injuries. Ranger stated that a post mortem was sought on the hares that died, with his line manager requesting via a note on the form the findings of the post mortem, stating "I presume it was internal injuries rather than muzzles coming off?" Ranger noted "Yes - muzzles did not come off." Glin, Co. Limerick, October 7/8/9, 2011 Ranger stated that 2 hares were killed.

Thurles District, 29/30, October, 2011 10 hares hit over the two days, 2 hares killed, 2 injured and 2 died overnight in coursing compound. Nenagh, December 17/18, 2011 4 hares hit by muzzled dogs.

Westmeath United, October 15/16, 2011 Ranger described coursing as follows: "There were 9 hares hit on Day 1. Of these, one hare was tossed and rolled on the ground; another hare was tossed and mauled; another was mauled on the ground by the two dogs and placed in a wooden box; another was hit about five times and mauled on the ground by the dogs. When the dog owners came running in, one of them grabbed the hare and lifted it away from the dogs by its side and then the steward took it from him and handled it in a more appropriate manner. The hare cried with what I presume was distress during this incident. The steward placed this hare in the wooden box. Another hare was tossed and badly mauled by the dogs later in the day. In all, 3 hit hares were retrieved and placed in a wooden box," which was subsequently taken away by the vet, who stated in his report that 1 died and 2 were released. Castletown-Geoghegan, Co. Westmeath, December 17/18, 2011 6 hares hit by muzzled dogs, with 1 "bad grazing". Vet stated 2 hares were injured.

Gorey, 29/30 October, 2011 Over the two days of coursing 16 hares were hit by dogs, with 9 pinned and 7 dying of their injuries, according to NPWS ranger's report. However, the vet's report does not cite any hares injured or killed or euthanised. Murrintown, Wexford, 26/27 December, 2011 Ranger reported 6 hares hit by muzzled dogs on Day 2, with 6 injured and 2 killed. Meanwhile veterinary report cited 12 hares unfit for coursing, 4 hares injured and 16 "sick or otherwise unfit" after coursing. According to this coursing club's Hare Capture Return, 86 hares were captured for coursing. However a number of 75 were cited at the start of coursing on day 1, leaving a discrepancy of 11 hares. In a memo from the ranger to his superior, he cited that the club informed him that they had a "break in on their hare paddock" and that "8 hares were missing and 3 killed". Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, November 26/27, 2011 7 hares struck by greyhounds with 3 injured. Despite the fact that it was indicated on the ranger's report that there as veterinary involvement in the meeting, the vet cited nil hares injured at the meeting, so it would appear that these hares were not examined Ballinaboola, New Ross, October 8/9, 2011 14 hares hit by dogs, 14 hares injured, 1 killed and 1 died from injuries. Vet noted just 1 hare injured and 1 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing", in contrast to the 14 noted by the ranger. Did vet inspect any injured hares?

Blood Sports
Irish Council Against Blood Sports PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Email:

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