Gardai clamping down on 'lamping' saying it allows 'opportunistic activity'
Gardai in Kerry say they want to clamp down on 'lamping rabbits' and have issued an appeal to the public, particularly elderly people in rural areas, to report sightings.
Those who were genuinely trying to get rabbits need have nothing to fear and would have no problem with Gardai approaching them, the Gardai said.
Lamping of rabbits takes place at night and involves lurcher dogs and is conducted under cover of darkness. Winter, with its long evenings, is a peak time for it.
A meeting between senior Gardaí, farmers concerned about interference with fencing and livestock, as well as official hare coursing representatives, took place in Tralee some months ago amid concern that some of those involved were interfering with livestock, wildlife and may have intentions other than seeking out rabbits with torches.
Gardai say it is “an opportunistic activity” in that it provides an excuse for people to trespass onto lands, allowing some to use the excuse they were looking for their dog.
“It gives people good scope to look around,” Garda Marcus Twomey of Tralee Gardaí said.
“We question the motives of some of the individuals involved in this,” Garda Twomey said.
Rabbit lamping was particularly popular in north Kerry, he added.