COURSING CRUELTY COMPLAINT - NO PROSECUTION
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has described as "astounding" a decision by Gardai not to prosecute a coursing club which released hares back to the wild in conditions "ranging from very poor to almost dead".
Following a coursing meeting in Murrintown last December, a National Parks & Wildlife Ranger noted in his monitoring report that on release by the Wexford coursing club of the hares into the wild after the meet, 2 hares were "in poor condition", and that at another release site, 3 hares had "injuries so serious they couldn’t move and a fourth limped off". He further described the condition of the hares as "ranging from very poor to almost dead". (See ranger’s memo attached).
Meanwhile, a veterinary report accessed under Freedom of Information, stated that 9 hares were considered unfit for coursing, 7 hares were injured, 1 hare died and 17 hares were "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing".
ICABS was informed by the Wexford Gardai that there was "insufficient evidence" of a breach of animal welfare legislation, which we find absolutely astounding, given that the cruelty was clearly outlined in the Wildlife Ranger’s official’s report.
ICABS was also told that it would require a vet to state that the animals were in bad condition, yet the Gardai were also provided with a vet’s report (also accessed by ICABS under FOI - see attached) which stated that 17 hares were “sick or otherwise unfit” after the coursing meeting. Despite the fact that we reminded the Gardai of this vet’s statement, and called for the investigation to be re-opened, we have today been informed that "the decision not to prosecute stands".
Aideen Yourell of ICABS said: “The statement by the ranger regarding the condition of these hares is clear and unequivocal, and is backed up by the vet’s report. We are at a loss to understand why the Gardai will not prosecute what we contend is a clear breach of the 1911 Protection of Animals Act, which states that it is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, and to neglect the suffering of an animal, which would certainly appear to be the situation in this case where these unfortunate animals were abandoned to the wild with “injuries so serious they couldn’t move” and “ranging from very poor to almost dead”.
Every year in Ireland, thousands of hares are violently netted from the wild and used as lures for greyhounds in coursing. These timid, delicate creatures suffer the fear and stress of running for their lives. Those hit by the muzzled greyhounds sustain painful and life-threatening injuries. See our 2013 coursing cruelty catalogue for a list of some of the victims from last season - http://www.scribd.com/doc/
Witness the cruelty of coursing at
IRISH COUNCIL AGAINST BLOOD SPORTS
Tel: 044-934-9848 or 086-263-6265
Irish Council Against Blood Sports
PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland
NPWS RANGER REPORT:
Murrintown, Co. Wexford - December 26/27, 2012
18 hares hit by dogs, 13 injured, 1 "declared killed". Ranger noted in a memo that at a release site, 2 hares were "in poor condition". He further noted that at another release site, 3 hares had "injuries so serious they couldn't move and a fourth limped off", adding: "So while only one hare was declared killed, I am recording at least another 6 were in conditions ranging from very poor to almost dead, therefore a minimum of 7 were in very poor condition."
The veterinary report stated that 9 hares were considered unfit for coursing. 7 hares were injured, 1 died and 17 "sick or otherwise unfit after coursing".