Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland
  • Petitioning Enda Kenny TD

This petition will be delivered to:

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland
Enda Kenny TD
Leader of Sinn Fein Party
Gerry Adams TD
Leader of Fianna Fail Party
Micheal Martin TD
Gerry Leckey
Irish Wildlife Service
Wildlife License authority
Keven Cahillane
Emer McGeough
Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland
Joan Burton
Minister for Arts and Heritage
Ms. Heather Humphreys TD

Petition to Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland

    1. John Fitzgerald
    2. Petition by

      John Fitzgerald

      Kilkenny, Ireland

Live Hare Coursing is a horrific form of animal cruelty that most Irish people want outlawed.

Here is a brief film of hare coursing as practised in Ireland:

  (March 2013) There are renewed calls to politicians to ban hare coursing in Ireland in the wake of the horrific scenes of cruelty filmed at the so-called "Irish Cup" hare coursing event in County Limerick...Here's hoping that Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) will at long last listen to public opinion and BAN this obscenity:   Here is the footage captured at the event...

Recent signatures


    1. Catholic clergy BLESS hare coursing venue!

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      The Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS) has lodged a complaint with the Catholic Bishop of Limerick about the recent BLESSING of a hare coursing field.

      At Glin Coursing club’s official venue (in County Limerick) a priest blessed the new arena where the cruel baiting of vulnerable hares then took place. The coursing club referred in the media to this venue as a “field of dreams”.
      Field of Nightmares would be a more apt analogy!

      That hare coursing is legal in Ireland is bad enough, but the involvement of some members of the clergy in the bloodsport is scandalous.

      ICABS says on its website:

      The identity of the priest is currently unknown, but he is to be seen performing the grotesque blessing with holy water and wearing liturgical garb.

      ICABS has made a complaint to the Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy, pointing out to him that this is a gross misuse of a blessing, and that this priest is in direct contravention of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly states that "it is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer and die needlessly." We also pointed to the part of the Catechism which says that “animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness.”

      "The blessing of a hare coursing field by a Catholic priest is a gross misuse of a blessing and should not be permitted in your diocese," ICABS stated in a message to Bishop Leahy. "It is even more inappropriate, given the fact that this coursing meeting took place last weekend, which not only coincided with World Animal Week but also with the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

      We have also sent a tweet to Pope Francis, asking him to "act to stop clergy involvement in Ireland's cruel hare coursing."

      The hares used at Glin coursing meeting were trapped from the wild in nets, kept captive in compounds and on the days of coursing, used as bait to run before two greyhounds. Hares that are struck by the dogs can be mauled and severely injured, resulting in death. Every year, hares die at coursing meetings from such maulings, and every hare is subjected to stress and terror.

      This priest should be thoroughly ashamed of himself, giving his blessing and that of the Catholic church to this barbarity.

      This is the latest in a long line of Irish clergy association with bloodsport activity.”

      Articles on blessing of hare coursing venue:

    2. Reached 12,500 signatures
    3. Two legs good...four legs bad?

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      Ireland's minister for Arts and Heritage, Heather Humphreys, has a peculiar attitude to the preservation and protection of wildlife.

      On August 13th, she was quoted in the media, and on her department’s official website, as condemning the illegal shooting of a protected peregrine falcon. She stated "It is intolerable for birds of prey and other wildlife to be persecuted, poisoned or shot." She also expressed concern that the incident might impugn our international image as a nation that treasures its wildlife heritage.

      Less than forty eight hours later, Minister Humphreys issued a license permitting the capture of hares for coursing, in which they will serve as live bait for greyhounds. Thousands of the timid creatures will be netted in the Irish countryside. A percentage will die as a result of bone breakages and other internal injuries sustained when they become entangled in the nets and struggle to break free.

      Some hares will die in captivity- an unnatural situation for an animal accustomed to the freedom of the wide open spaces. Others again will be found dead in the small cramped boxes in which they are transported to the coursing venues. And on coursing day a percentage will be mauled or forcibly struck by the muzzled but hyped-up greyhounds.

      The minister issued the hare coursing license despite numerous appeals from animal protection and conservation groups not to do so and several online petitions that attracted thousands of signatures from people around the world. It would appear, to paraphrase one of the characters in Orwell’s Animal Farm, to be a case of “Two claws good, four legs bad” as far as the minister’s attitude to our wildlife heritage is concerned.

      I think I can safely predict that hare coursing will be banned SOME DAY in Ireland. It amounts to a form of deliberate cruelty to animals in the name of “sport” and has no scientific or pest control value. It has already been banned in several jurisdictions that once allowed it, such as Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, England and Wales, and most recently, Northern Ireland.

      I also predict that a future government here, after banning it, will apologise for the fact that such a barbaric practice took so long to abolish. Where would we be without the good old Irish government apology that comes late in the day… when it is safe to render and won’t cost a single vote?

      In the meantime, the hares must continue to run for their lives thanks to our present crop of cowardly politicians.

      Film footage of hare coursing in Ireland:

      Ban hare coursing in Ireland

      Despite a majority of Irish people wanting hare coursing banned, the cruel blood sport remains legal. Every year, thousands of hares are violently netted from the wild and forced to run for their lives in front of muzzled greyhounds. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports is campaigning for a total ban on this blood sport.

    4. Two women ejected from major hare coursing event in Ireland

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      If hare coursing, as the ICC claims, has "nothing to hide", then why this apparent aversion to animal lovers filming the action?

      (* Here is the footage (just uploaded to YouTube) of ICC President Brian Divilly denying the two women the right to film an event that the ICC claims has “nothing to hide.”)

      Those of us who have campaigned for decades against the cruelty of live hare coursing have frequently argued that the organisers of coursing events appear to be terrified of adverse publicity. There have been incidents over the years in which cameras have been confiscated at coursing events, and people filming them subjected to threats or physical assault.

    5. Reached 10,000 signatures
    6. Hare Coursing: Crying out for abolition...

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      Share your latest develAn RTE (Irish TV) reporter heard this while out with a coursing club's netting team...the people who capture hares with nets for the cruel so-called "sport":
      opment here.

    7. Reached 9,000 signatures
    8. "The Gathering" disavows any support for blood sports in Ireland!

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      "The Gathering", a major Irish cultural event, has condemned bloodsports and deleted all references to them from its website!

    9. Reached 7,000 signatures
    10. Pro hare coursing accessories withdrawn from sale!

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      It demonstrates that hare coursing is rejected by most fair-minded people worldwide

    11. Increased media interest in campaign to end hare coursing in Ireland

      John Fitzgerald
      Petition Organizer

      This shows that the petition, among other initiatives, is having an impact and hopefully politicians will respond to this international appeal to protect the Irish Hare from the savagery of live hare coursing.

    12. Reached 2,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Dolores Conroy DUBLIN, IRELAND
      • 2 days ago

      Horrible ,this is NOT sport.

    • Maureen Cawthra STRATFORD, CT
      • 7 days ago

      I want to be proud of my Irish heritage and as a person who loves rabbits I find hare coursing barbaric! !!!

    • Mary Freeborn CANADA, CANADA
      • 8 days ago

      Please sign this petition immediately because MINISTER HEATHER HUMPHREYS needs to withdraw a license she SHAMEFULLY ISSUED FOR THIS ANIMAL ABUSE AND ANIMAL CRUELTY! She also needs to have her name added to the ANIMAL ABUSERS REGISTRY TOO,just for the fact for the horrific crime of issuing this licence to have rabbit hunted down and killed by dogs!! She herself needs to be charged and not own any pets it would apply to her!

      • 11 days ago

      The hare is a beautiful animal and in some areas threatened. We should protect the species and ban cruelty to individual animals.

    • Cynthia Davie SAINT CLAIR, PA
      • 13 days ago



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