Coursing Campaign


The Gloves Are Off - ARAN Announces New 2010 Harecoursing Campaign

Dear ARAN Members and Supporters;

That’s right, the gloves are off indeed! As hare-coursing enthusiasts arrived for the finals of their coursing fixtures – the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) – Ireland’s national animal rights group, announced in light of the recent proposed ban on stag hunting and fur farming that hare coursing is next on our agenda. During today’s lively protest which was co-organized by ARAN and other groups including our colleagues at the Irish Council Against Bloodsports (ICABS). Activists were flanked by giant banners that read ‘Ban Bloodsports in Ireland Now’ and ‘Ban Hare Coursing’, members of Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) and campaigners from various groups today called for an end to coursing cruelty. Press coverage for the event was good, for ARAN’s part we conducted radio interviews on i102fm, Beatfm, Tipperary Fm and the popular Last Word on Today FM with Matt Cooper and done interviews with the Irish Times and Independent newspaper. See some short footage from today’s event by clicking here.

“Hare-coursing stands for cruelty in our book, says Stephan Wymore, Researcher for ARAN. The wheel is finally turning for those that get sick kicks from bloodsports, today we’re announcing that our gloves are off and that hare-coursing is next on our agenda, let the game begin.”

What is wrong with hare coursing? Hare-coursing is inherently cruel from beginning to end. Hares are snatched from the wild, kept captive in coursing compounds 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 and death. Not a coursing season goes by without such incidents taking place, as confirmed by Department of Environment reports obtained under FOI. In just the first three weeks of the 2008 / 2009 season, Minister for the Environment John Gormley admitted that 22 hares had died. All of this horrendous cruelty takes place, compliments of a license granted to the Irish Coursing Club by Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, which allows for the snatching of approximately 7,500 hares from the wild in nets for use as live lures for the greyhounds. Last May Minister Gormley himself issued a report on the Status of EU protected habitats and species in Ireland, in which he rated the conservation status of the Irish hare as ‘poor’, with citing loss of habitat, increased urbanization, and hunting as the causes. Minister Gormley subsequently granted coursers an extension of their cruelty season into March. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, recognizing that the hare population is under threat, Minister for Environment, Sammy Wilson, renewed the now five year hunting suspension in that jurisdiction, resulting in two northern coursing clubs travelling south to be hosted by coursing clubs here, putting even more pressure on our beleaguered hare population. In fact, evidence of a shortage of hares has emerged with one coursing club in Co. Offaly admitting last year (source: FOI) that they found it difficult to capture hares for coursing, stating that more man hours were spent looking for hares, and yet the number caught were low.

Please get active with Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) to help put an end to cruelty to animals.

Thank you for your ongoing support and for all that you do to help animals in heartbreaking situations, from us all here at ARAN.

‘Fighting for Animal Rights Across Ireland’

From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann