Friday 9 December 2016

Watch: 'Barbaric' videos show terrified hares chased and mauled by dogs in Irish courses

*Warning: some may find the footage distressing*

Published 01/11/2016 | 11:11

A series of videos shot by an animal welfare organisation show terrified hares attempting to flee from muzzled dogs in Irish courses.

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The clips were filmed by the Irish Council Against Blood Sports in Offaly last weekend using a long distance lens.

One video shows two muzzled dogs chasing a hare around a course, while another appears to show a dog savaging another hare.

The organisation is hoping these videos will bring animal cruelty to public attention, according to council spokesperson Aideen Yourell.

“We want a complete ban on hare coursing. We've seen hares get mauled, battered and internally injured," she told Independent.ie.

"Hares are still getting killed. Hares are a very timid animal. It’s very stressful and terrorising for them."

Earlier this year, a bill proposing a ban on hare coursing was rejected by the Dáil.

Before the vote, Rural Affairs Minister Heather Humphreys called for the Dáil to reject it, arguing that hare coursing is strictly regulated, and banning it would drive the sport underground.

Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan, who brought the bill forward, called the sport cruelty.

"The hare doesn't know that the greyhound is muzzled and it's not going to kill it," she said at the time.

"The hares are mauled. They're tossed in the air. Their bones are broken. We have the documents of them having to be put down after coursing meetings."

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