Protesters urge ban on 'immoral' coursing
A WAR of words erupted yesterday over fresh attempts to have hare coursing banned, as the year's biggest coursing event drew to a close.
Dozens of people representing four anti-coursing organisations protested outside finals day at the National Coursing Meeting in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
The event was attended by about 20,000 spectators over three days.
One campaigner, Bernie Wright of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said hare coursing was a form of "animal abuse" and was therefore "equal to child abuse, morally".
Ms Wright added that she was in favour of bans on hare coursing, greyhound racing and horseracing.
The Irish Coursing Club's chief executive, DJ Histon, countered that recent research had indicated hares were 18 times more likely to be found on land managed by coursing clubs than on unmanaged land.
Claiming that coursing was "misrepresented and sensationalised", Mr Histon said the introduction of greyhound muzzling had "taken the kill out of it".
He added: "The hare is well adapted to the chase and if he wasn't, he probably wouldn't have survived all these years."
Report and results: Sport