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Human Rights in Ireland
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Voltaire Network
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Heeding the hare's pitiful cry

category international | animal rights | opinion/analysis author Sunday January 29, 2023 17:12author by John Fitzgerald Report this post to the editors

The so-called national hare coursing festival will be held held next week...

Last week an ex-hunter recalled how a hare’s screech, when he shot the animal, turned him against shooting.
He is typical of many “conversion” cases I’ve heard of.

A pheasant shooter for example who felt revulsion when forced to finish of a bird he’d failed to kill outright and was struck by the magnificence of its multi-coloured plumage as it gasped for breath, its life-blood dripping into the snow; and a hunter who “turned” after befriending a fox that came mooching into his garden.

I find the child-like screaming of a hare in distress heart-rending, having heard it many times at coursing events. When a hare is forcibly struck by a pursuing dog it emits what sounds like an unearthly plea for help.

Sadly, its cry seems never-ending in Ireland. A few days ago the Citizens Assembly on Biodiversity Loss rapped up its deliberations, and one hopes that the government will act on its recommendations.

How anomalous that within less than a month of this high-profile attempt to safeguard what remains of our decimated wildlife heritage the three day so-called national coursing festival will be held.

We should heed the hare’s cry and ask our TDs to outlaw this obscenity.

John Fitzgerald,
Callan, Co. Kilkenny

* A peaceful protest will be mounted outside the National hare coursing festival at Powerstown Park, Clonmel, on Sunday February 5th, from 12 noon to 2 pm. All welcome at protest. Still battling to end this activity that continues thanks to the vice-like grip that coursing clubs have on our politicians. But as in other countries that once permitted coursing, we'll eventually prevail.

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