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We work to expose and end the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of sport

A letter to BBC Complaints

Posted 12/08/2010 by League Campaigner

BBC Complaints
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.

Yours sincerely

Steve Taylor
Head of Campaigns amp; Communications

Add your comment



  • susan plowman

    12/08/2010 02:08

    Hare coursing is barbaric and has no place in a civilized society

  • Helen Griffiths

    12/08/2010 02:55

    I am absolutely disgusted to learn that the BBC have actually given the impression that this sort of thing (ie hare coursing) is fine. Just because it is in Ireland does not make it any more acceptable than if it were bull fighting in Spain. Yet again I am a licence payer who is funding overpaid arrogant idiots not getting their facts straight and airing such bad taste in a manner unbecoming.

  • P Dulling

    12/08/2010 03:55

    When will all this rot end? , i wouldn't like to think that anyone could sensualise hare coursing whether the dogs are muzzled or not it is unnecessary cruelty for reasons said in the article

  • dennis

    12/08/2010 03:57

    To capture and confine a hare and then release it to waiting dogs is a babaric practise and, as I understand law, illegal under the wildlife and countryside act. As you rightly state the hare would be in unfamiliar surroundings and under huge stress that would probally be enough to kill it if the dogs dont ......they are such a timid animal.

  • J Smith

    13/08/2010 01:53

    Hare coursing represents animal cruelty. Whether the animal is actually killed, or 'merely' damaged/traumatised (certainly the case even if it eventually escapes), the concept of the deliberate organisation of animal cruelty for the pleasure of humans is speciesism of the highest order and is not to be condoned. The BBC failed to recognise the serious nature of this, and may have implied that, by muzzling the dogs, that this then became acceptable. It most certainly does not. A more balanced and contemporary view should be broadcast. The BBC failed to accept its responsibility in informing people accurately. I belive that the BBC has a duty to highlight speciesism, recognise it, and to lead the way in not accepting this as in any way appropriate. Reportage of unacceptable activities, whether towards human or animal victims, should be done in the context of recognising the unacceptability of such activities.

  • kate gaunt

    14/08/2010 09:38

    human beings have an obligation and a duty of care and protection in respect of all other species. The League Against Cruel Sports and other national and international organisations must continue to protest,to educate the ignorant, and thereby advance animal welfare and conservation.

  • ian

    25/08/2010 08:28

    Hare coursing is legal in ROI. The dogs are muzzled, and I do not believe that any hares are actually killed. I have never attended a hare coursing event and I suspect no one who had commented has either, but I have been told that by someone who was at the ROI hare coursing championship in Clonmel recently that not a single hare was killed.

  • Dominik

    20/09/2015 09:19

    HelloThose are really wofdrenul photographs.I like that personality of Buzzard.Its a nice click.Mountain Hare looks so cute and innocent.I must say that you have done a good job.Thank you very much for showing these fantastic photographs.

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