The minister ordered to refuse his candidacy
A number of appeals have recently been made to the Dáil for the Irish Coursing Club’s hare course license application for the coming season to be denied.
In recent weeks, the request has been made by independent TD, Joan Collins; Cian O’ Callaghan and Jennifer Whitmore of the Social Democrats; and People Before Profit-Solidarity TD, Mick Barry.
Additionally, Paul Murphy, People Before Profit-Solidarity TD, questioned the Minister on how hunting could impact the conservation status of the Irish hare.
And he asked about the trend in recent years for running clubs to extend their events from two days to three days, to allow repeat runs in cases where insufficient numbers have been scored by a club for their match .
Housing, Planning and Local Government Minister Daragh O’Brien has confirmed that an application to catch and tag hares for the 2022-2023 season is currently being considered by his ministry and a decision will be made. taken in due time.
Protection of the Irish hare
The Irish hare is protected by the Irish Wildlife Acts and may only be captured, tagged or killed under licence. The hare is also listed in the Habitats Directive (Annex V), which obliges Member States to manage the hare in a sustainable way. The Habitats Directive also requires Ireland to produce a detailed report every six years on the conservation status of all listed species, including the hare.
Commenting on the status of the Irish hare, the Minister referred to a 2019 report, which highlighted that the hare is widespread and common in Ireland with a wide range, and found throughout the country from coastal habitats to moorland and upland bogs.
“The report highlights some concerns about loss of habitat quality due to agricultural intensification and reforestation, but overall the species was considered to be in favorable conservation status” , did he declare.
Responding to concerns about the impact of rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD2) on hares, following its detection in the wild in recent years, the minister said:
“Only two positive records were recorded in 2021 – a hare and a rabbit – and a rabbit in 2022.
“Nevertheless, my department’s National Parks and Wildlife Service, together with colleagues from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Sea, continue to monitor RHD2 in the wild in Ireland.”
The control of live hare coursing, including the organization of individual coursing meetings and the management of the use of hares for this activity, is carried out under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958, which is the responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine.