Tuesday 23 April 2019

"Cruel hare coursing in Millstreet must stop and is morally wrong"

Hare coursing in Millstreet town park
Hare coursing in Millstreet town park


Over 100 years of "the killing of hares" in Millstreet must end. That was the view of Bernie Wright of the Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland.

She told The Corkman that while hare coursing is not illegal but, in the 21st century it is "morally wrong."

She said she has been contacted by up to four local people who are "very angry" that their Town Park is being used for coursing.

The annual Millstreet Hare coursing event will take place on January 3 and 4, 2015.

She said: "This cruel spectacle actually takes place on a GAA pitch in the local town park. The park, which is a favourite with locals and dog walkers, but it's disrupted for four weeks a year. There is a rusty dump of an enclosure to permanently hold the netted hares in place for the coursing two day event in January."

She said: "This antiquated and brutal pastime started in 1914 and its demise is long over-due. What was acceptable then is not acceptable now."

At the coursing event last January, she outlined that 10 hares were hit, five were pinned and the ranger noted that one hare died shortly after release. It also noted that one hare died when it escaped overnight and other died after being coursed. No post-mortems were conducted on these hares. This information is according to the National Parks and Wildlife Services.

Ms Wright said it is her intention to set up an international petition to stop hare coursing in Millstreet.

"Animal abuse should not be allowed to continue," she said.

When asked if she and her companions would undertake a public protest in January against the hare coursing, she said they would not.

"It's out aim that this will be stopped before January," she said.

She said that she has been highly involved in preventing animal abuse since the 1980s and also rescues dogs and horses from mistreatment.

"In this day and age, I do not think it is acceptable that hares should suffer as they do," she said.

Meanwhile, the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports (CACS) is calling on the committee of Millstreet Town Park to not allow the hare coursing event this year.

John Fitzgerald of the CACS said: "Sections of the Park are closed to the public for between four and seven weeks leading up to the two day hare baiting session." He said that hares are captured and transported to the Park in crates and then are held in "unnatural captivity" prior to baiting.

"On coursing day, the animals are forced to run from pairs of greyhounds to be terrorised, mauled, struck, tossed about like broken toys, or otherwise injured within the confines of a wired enclosure in the park. Other hares die after the event from stress-related ailments," he said.