including some extracts from ICABS‘ pages
The Republic of Ireland has become one of the last remaining countries in the world to allow hare coursing. The blood sport has already been banned in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and remains illegal in most civilised nations.
Why have so many countries made this blood sport illegal? Because it’s cruel. And cruelty not only damages the victim, it damages those who participate and the wider community.
Join ICABS in their campaign to ban hare coursing in Ireland – loads of actions you can take to help. Just for starters, they’ve four petitions – good petitions, well thought out and backed up with action:
- Minister Coveney: Save Irish hares from cruel coursing
- Ban horrific Hare Coursing Cruelty in Ireland
- Stop sponsoring hare coursing in Ireland (petition closed)
- Protect the Irish Hare
And there’s more! Check out their campaign page.
While Section 12 of Ireland’s own Animal Welfare Act 2013 lists the crimes of animal cruelty, and the associated punishments, it’s final subsection 11 states –
Nothing in this section applies in relation to anything which occurs in the ordinary course of … coursing a hare …
In other words, the government pretty much admits that this blood sport is cruel, ie. it falls within the initial list of animal cruelty crimes, while at the same time making this particular cruel crime exempt from prosecution and punishment. Or, put another way, the Irish government are admitting that coursing is cruel – but they’re not going to do anything about it. See our earlier comments here.
In a similar anomally, the hare is protected under the 1976 Wildlife Act – but the same Act also protects hare coursing, ie. it is illegal to trap or sell hares other than for the specific purpose of coursing them.
What makes this legalisation of cruelty even more alarming is found in a recent publication Understanding the Link Between Violence Towards Animals and People. The importance of the link ~
• Abuse and neglect of animals, children, and adults is a crime.
• Harm to animals is a predictor crime of harm towards people.
• Harm to animals is an indicator crime of other violence going on in the home.
• Harm to animals destabilizes communities and contributes to overall lack of safety.
Those who understand this linkage of crimes towards animals and people are in a better position to prevent future violence and protect their communities.
Like animal fighting, hare coursing results in ~
• Children and youth watching animals being violently killed;
• Children and youth growing up with violence;
• Children and youth being desensitized to harm and violence;
• Children and youth having lower empathy;
In other words, and as Andrei Voznesensky quotes so eloquently below, studies show violent sport can only provoke more violence, in the home and in the streets – and morally and emotionally damage our children in the process.
Thomas More (1516), Utopia
Thou shouldst rather be moved with pity to see a silly innocent hare murdered of a dog, the weak of the stronger, the fearful of the fierce, the innocent of the cruel and unmerciful. Therefore, all this exercise of hunting is a thing unworthy to be used of free men.
Andrei Voznesensky (1964), Hunting a Hare
The urge to kill, like the urge to beget,
Is blind and sinister. Its craving is set
Today on the flesh of a hare: tomorrow it can
Howl the same way for the flesh of a man.
Robert Frost, The Rabbit Hunter
Bringing him on
The shadowy hare
For him to rend
And deal a death
That he nor it
(Nor I) have wit
- ICABS hare coursing campaign page
- ICABS The Facts About Hare Coursing
- Prohibition on animal cruelty. Oh! Except in blood sports
- Understanding the Link Between Violence Towards Animals and People
- ICABS Petitions