PO Box 1922
Dear Sir or Madam
Coast, series 5 episode 5, Galway to Arranmore Island
A report on the ‘thriving’ population of Irish hares on Oyster Island featured at approximately 39 minutes into the above programme. In the voiceover, the reporter says that, in hare coursing “…the dogs are muzzled to minimise injuries, and after competitions, the hares are released back to where they came from.”
We believe this to be inaccurate and misleading and would like to see an urgent correction on a future edition of the programme.
Hare coursing was banned in England and Wales in 2004 and in Northern Ireland a ban was agreed by the Assembly earlier this year.
Before major hare coursing events hares are captured from other areas and held in the area of the event. During the event hares are driven from the holding area into the coursing arena where two dogs are waiting. As the hare passes the dogs they are released and the course begins. The hare is in unfamiliar territory, but the hare will use its speed and its ability to turn sharply to avoid the dogs. As the hare tires the dogs will inevitably catch up with it and if the dogs are muzzled they will basically batter it to death.
Even if the hares escape they will be severely traumatised and in a strange territory and so they are unlikely to survive. The idea of hares returning home unscathed is total fantasy.
In the interests of accurate and balanced reporting, we would ask you to correct these errors as a matter of urgency.
Head of Campaigns & Communications