If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Yes, the hare is a remarkable work of nature — leave it that way

With the hare coursing season in full swing, the Irish Coursing Cub (ICC) has stated on its official website that the Irish hare is “a remarkable work of nature which has thrived for thousands of years on our island, and will continue to flourish only with the assistance of coursing clubs.”

While agreeing with the first part of the statement, I marvel at the ICC’s audacity in claiming that coursing clubs benefit hares.

Do they really believe this? The clubs snatch these gentle creatures from their natural home in the countryside and confine them in holding pens for weeks before setting them up as bait for greyhounds.

Though the dogs are muzzled, they can and do inflict injuries on the hares. The hare is a brittle boned animal, and bone breakages cannot heal.

Even hares that appear to have escaped without obvious injury can die soon afterwards or following release back into the wild. Not to mention the ones that die while being netted or in captivity, from stress-related ailments.

The perverse and perpetually unrequited love bestowed upon this gentlest of creatures by the “sportspeople” continues to exact its toll in suffering and cruelty.

Or could it be that they are right and that anti-blood sports campaigners have been giving them a raw deal?

True, the Arctic Hare is managing quite well to survive and even thrive up there in a freezing hostile environment, to find food and stay a step ahead of predators like the snowy owl, the lynx and the fox.

But would they be happier if they could experience the unique tender loving care that only coursing clubs say they can provide?

Would life be more interesting for them if they could be captured with nets in the snow or along the ice carpeted hills and made to run from hyped-up dogs?

Who knows, maybe they’d appreciate the conservationist expertise of people who could arrange to have them mauled, pinned to the ground, forcibly struck by dogs at high speed, and tossed up into the air like rag dolls?

All these years the Arctic Hares have been getting along in blissful ignorance of a “sport” that the Irish Coursing Club is promoting as beneficial to our iconic Irish hare.

Do they know what they’re missing up there?

John Fitzgerald

Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports


Co Kilkenny

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Readers Blog: Maternity outcomes here not best in world

Readers Blog: Standards and watchdog can help alleviate housing crisis

Readers Blog: Stalinist tactics used in debate on abortion

Readers Blog: Putting the hounds before the hares

Breaking Stories

Gardaí seek help in locating a missing 13-year-old girl

Four people arrested after two men stabbed in Co Kerry

Pig's head and racist graffiti left at Belfast community centre

Gerry Adams calls for DUP to return to powersharing


House cleaning for dummies

Getting clean and lean: James Duigan on the simplicity of changing your food habits

Ask Audrey: You’re 9 on the Crazy Scale, where 1 is sane and 10 is flying with Ryanair

Get out and enjoy: What's on offer for Culture Night?

More From The Irish Examiner