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Irish Left Review
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Stop Animal Cruelty at Least when the Weather is bad

category international | environment | opinion/analysis author Saturday January 12, 2013 01:49author by End Hare Coursing Cruelty Report this post to the editors

A Plea for some compassion from Fine Gael, a party officially backs recreational cruelty to animals!

Photo by John Kelly of hare coursing in snowfall
Photo by John Kelly of hare coursing in snowfall

Ireland’s Minister for Arts and Culture, Jimmy Deenihan, says he will not tolerate any unfair treatment of hares vis a vis their use in coursing events that that are held in adverse weather conditions.

Hopefully he will therefore not tolerate “sport” of the kind captured by photographer, John D Kelly, at one major live hare coursing “National” cruelty festival in 2008.

This hare, like so many others, was baited and terrorised in front of over-fed gamblers, fat-cat property developers, auctioneers, right wing politicians, other assorted thrill-seekers, and visitors from the many countries in which this “sport” is a serious criminal offence.

(Hare coursing remains legal in Ireland, a country that until 1996 permitted the enslavement of single mothers in de facto concentration camps. We tend to be a bit slow about realising as a nation that these things aren’t really acceptable any more)

Minister Deenihan has promised, in reply to a Dail question tabled by Deputy Maureen O’ Sullivan, that he will address the issue of hares facing inclement weather challenges while being baited for “sport”.

He must be held to that pledge. It’s bad enough that Fine Gael politicians (the principal backers of blood sports in Ireland) laud the obscenity of live hare coursing, but it would look even worse for them if they were to be seen to revel in the crass and indefensible torment of these gentle creatures in snowfall... or other hostile environmental circumstances that add to their State-promoted misery.

The "sport" that Fine Gael officially condones and supports
The "sport" that Fine Gael officially condones and supports

Photo by John Kelly of hare being forced to run in terror from dogs at 2008 National Coursing event
Photo by John Kelly of hare being forced to run in terror from dogs at 2008 National Coursing event

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