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Hare-brained idea of a sport

DJ Histon of the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) tells us how wonderfully concerned he and his colleagues are about the welfare of hares (Letters, September 24).

They will go to any lengths to ensure that the hares have a better chance of not coming to grief when these creatures are set up as live bait for greyhounds at coursing events. But we know that hares can and do get struck by the muzzled dogs, sustaining painful injuries.

The ICC says it doesn't want to see any hares killed or injured in coursing.

Why then will it not switch to drag coursing, in which a mechanical lure is used and no hares have to run for their lives in terror from the dogs?

After all, the contest in each course is between the two competing greyhounds, with the hare, as the coursing people state, being incidental to the process. And I would like to know what the Green Party is doing about hare coursing. In opposition it pledged itself repeatedly to a ban on the bloodsport and included in its election manifesto a commitment to abolish coursing if the party got into government.

Not only have the Greens failed to honour that pledge, their leader, the Environment Minister John Gormley, is the man who recently signed the order giving the go-ahead to nationwide netting of hares for another season of coursing cruelty.

With "friends" like the Irish Coursing Club and the Yellow Greens, the gentle Irish hare doesn't need any enemies.

Chris Morris
Loughboy, Kilkenny

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