Animal welfare group renews call to ban coursing

The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has reiterated its call for a ban on hare coursing. The animal welfare group has obtained statistics for the number of hares killed at coursing meetings around the country under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents relate to the 2014-15 coursing season. Hare At a three day meeting last November in Lixnaw three hares required assistance, one was treated by a vet and one was put down because of its injuries. A second Kerry meeting the following month saw four hares requiring assistance and four examined by a vet with two dying, no postmortems were carried out. The CEO of the Irish Coursing Club D.J. Histon says there are 8 regulated clubs in Kerry and the main concern is the welfare and conservation of the Irish Hare In Kerry last season a total of 767 hares were netted and 764 (99.60%)were released back to the wild to ensure the proliferation of the breed. At the conclusion of this season 99.49% of all hares were released back to the wild by all clubs in Ireland. Mr Histon says the biggest threat to the Irish hare is the ever increasing activity of illegal hunting that goes largely unreported on a 12 month basis. He adds that a call for a ban is short sighted and fails to offer an alternative conservation strategy.