Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Animal Welfare

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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113. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to improve the monitoring of coursing meetings by National Parks and Wildlife Service officers, in view of the fall in the numbers of such inspections and the lack of sufficient scrutiny of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46777/14]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Licences were issued by my Department in August 2014 under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club on behalf of their affiliated clubs to facilitate the tagging and capturing of hares for the purpose of hare coursing for the 2014/15 coursing season.

Regional management staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department, who have a wide range of functions in protecting and conserving wildlife under both Irish and EU legislation, monitor compliance with the conditions of the annual licences issued to the Irish Coursing Club, as resources allow. During the 2013/14 coursing season some 37% of meetings were monitored by officials from my Department. I am not in a position, at this stage, to indicate how many of the coursing meetings will be monitored during the current season, however, such monitoring will continue into 2014/15.

I should also point out that veterinary staff from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carry out some monitoring inspections during the coursing season to verify compliance with the rules governing animal welfare.


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