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Tell the Irish Government to End Cruel Hare Coursing

Update (9 June 2023):
A new bill that would effectively ban hare coursing in Ireland has been introduced by Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore. When introducing the bill, Whitmore criticised the Irish government for allowing this shockingly cruel practice even though hares are a protected species in Ireland and coursing is banned in many other countries. The Protection of Hares Bill 2023 would remove licences for capturing hares and provide these animals with full protection under the Wildlife Act. Tens of thousands of PETA supporters have urged the taoiseach to ban this disgusting bloodsport so far, but we must keep up the pressure. Speak up for hares by taking action below.

Original post:
Each year, thousands of sensitive hares – a protected species in Ireland – are caught in nets by Irish Coursing Club members, tagged, transported together in boxes, made to endure training sessions, and ultimately, forced to run for their lives from dogs, usually greyhounds or lurchers.

Every aspect of this ordeal is terrifying for the hares, who are gentle, solitary animals. Many die or are injured as a result of the netting process and during transport.

Those who survive are held in captivity and put through training sessions to get them used to the field where coursing meetings take place and to teach them to run up the centre of it. During training, they’re kept crammed together in an enclosure. This is completely unnatural and extremely stressful for them.

At course meetings, dogs are made to compete against each other in pursuit of each hare. The petrified hares run for their lives, desperate to evade the dogs. The dogs are muzzled, but this does little to reduce injuries and fatalities, as they can still forcibly strike the hares, pin them to the ground, and toss them in the air – breaking brittle bones, dislocating hips, fracturing spines, rupturing organs, and causing internal bleeding. Hares are extremely sensitive animals, and the fear and stress of the chase can also cause heart failure. If they can’t find the escape holes or routes at the end of the field, they may be chased for so long that they die from stress or exhaustion if they’re not caught and mauled to death first.

The dogs involved are also victims. Often subjected to intense training, they’re treated not as cherished members of the family but as money-making machines. They’re usually kept in concrete outdoor kennels, repeatedly used for breeding, and abandoned when they get injured or are deemed too slow for coursing and therefore are no longer profitable.

Hare coursing is cruel, outdated, and deadly. Take action to end this bloodsport!

The government granted hare-coursing licences for the 2022/23 season despite the cruelty involved and the potential environmental impact.

The situation is urgent – hare coursing must be stopped. Tell Taoiseach Simon Harris (the Irish prime minister) to support this bill banning hare coursing altogether.

Demand that the Irish government end hare coursing by sending the taoiseach a message.

Take Action Now

Demand that the Irish government end hare coursing by sending the taoiseach a message. Edit our e-mail template and include your own personalised polite message to make a bigger impact.

The Government of Ireland

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