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Hares are not as lucky as Freeway and Barney

I NEVER cease to be amazed at the contradictions in our treatments of animals.

We had a heartwarming scene the other day involving the rescue of a kitten from the M50 Motorway. Gardaí and DSPCA people acted with great skill and sensitivity to ensure that Freeway was conveyed to safety.

A few days before that, a homeless man jumped into the Liffey to save his pet rabbit, and Barney was similarly snatched from the jaws of death.

How sad then that up to 7000 hares, animals with an equal sensitivity to pain and terror as Freeway or Barney, will be subjected to the organised cruelty of enclosed hare coursing.

Minister Jimmy Deenihan is considering whether to grant a license to the country’s coursing clubs to net the hares. If they get the green light, they will, as in previous years, snatch the hares from their little homes in the countryside, hold them in captivity, and then force them to flee in terror from pairs of hyped-up greyhounds.

Many of these gentle, inoffensive creatures will be injured and many more will have the living daylights frightened out of them. All for a gamble and a laugh.

Freeway the kitten and Barney the rabbit, it seems, were the lucky ones, while the innocent Irish hare remains at the mercy of a ghoulish pastime.

John Fitzgerald

Lower Coyne Street

Callan

Co Kilkenny

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