It's that time of year again when blood sport enthusiasts take to the hare coursing finals for their three day outing in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. But for the last number of years we have been there to give them a not so warmly welcome. This year a team of campaigners staged a low-key "TRAPPED" demonstration directly opposite the entrance to the coursing finals as cars passed and people entered the coursing fields. Click here to see the action and hear some interviews with the activists. The Irish Examiner reports thousands of hare coursing supporters attending the final day tomorrow. This should send a very clear message out to people who support the animal rights cause, we need your active involvement, we cannot do this alone. Other media outlets that covered the campaign include The Irish Times and station 2FM discussed the issue.
There's hope on the horizon. We're delighted with the news that Irish TD's Clare Daly and Maureen O'Sullivan will be working on legislative efforts to bring hare coursing to an end, and we have today thanked them for doing so considering the huge opposition they will be up against. We stand by ready to support efforts to bring this shameful, cruel, "sport" to an end, and to bring Ireland in line with our neighbors in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.
But what is wrong with hare coursing? The "sport" is inherently cruel from beginning to end. Hares are snatched from the wild by netting them in their thousands, kept captive in coursing compounds for weeks on end, and then forced to run for their lives. Although the greyhounds are muzzled, hares continue to be struck, tossed into the air and mauled into the ground, which can result in severe injury, broken bones, heart attacks and death. Considering that Northern Ireland has banned the cruel practice, there should be no reason why Ireland continues to cling onto this most shameful, cruel spectacle. Defenders of hare coursing continue to assert that the muzzling of greyhounds has eliminated the kill, but the annual monitoring reports seen by ARAN under the Freedom of Information Act say otherwise.