Thursday, 9 May 2019
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
175. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to develop a strategy to phase out hare coursing here in view of the NPWS report that four hares died of injuries sustained at a fixture (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20185/19]
The control of live hare coursing, including the operation of individual coursing meetings and managing the use of hares for that activity, is carried out under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. My responsibility relates to the conservation status of the hare.
In August last year, my Department issued licences under the Wildlife Acts to the Irish Coursing Club, covering its affiliated coursing clubs, to capture and tag hares for use at regulated hare coursing meetings for the 2018/19 season, which extends from the end of September 2018 to the end of February 2019. Officials of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department monitored some 34 coursing events during the last season including the coursing meeting in question. All reports in relation to the season, including the matter raised by the Deputy, will be considered in the context of the application by the Irish Coursing Club for licences for the 2019/20 season.