Sunday 23 July 2017

Hare today and gone tomorrow

Sir -- I write in response to the article "Let the hare sit, and survive", appearing in your paper on July 11. As CEO of the Irish Coursing Club, I wish to offer some additional insights into the activity of coursing which is repeatedly misrepresented.

The author of the article begins with the announcement of a Northern Ireland decision to ban coursing.

I was present at Stormont for that debate, and can see there are four very important facts which are absent from the article: 1) this proposed amendment, though voted on, is not yet a "done deal"; 2) the amendment was surreptitiously (though quite legally) submitted just minutes before the deadline for amendment submissions effectively avoiding counter amendments; 3) the decision was made in spite of evidence from Government-funded research which details the very real conservation threat to the Irish hare in areas where organised coursing does not exist; and 4) no alternative suggestions were made for the conservation of the Irish hare, a decision based on emotion rather than facts.

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