Re. Bad Hare Days
I would like to tell you about a book I have written and had published on the controversial subject of live hare coursing in Ireland and the campaign to protect the Irish Hare. It’s called Bad Hare Days and in it I recount the ups and downs of campaigning on the issue over three decades.
BAD HARE DAYS IS NOW AVAILABLE AS A FREE E BOOK at this link: http://banbloodsports.files.wordpres...hare-days2.pdf
In addition to exploring the nature of hare coursing from my own perspective as an animal protection campaigner, I also describe the social and psychological impact on campaigners of engaging in a difficult and tension-wrought campaign aimed at changing public opinion on this and other animal protection issues.
As I lack the resources to mount a huge promotional drive of the kind one associates with celebrity authors, I am doing what I can to “spread the word” about the book.
Anyone interested can read a review of the book and some further details at the following link:
> Ireland, and this book reinforces its right to be protected.
>Hare Coursing in Ireland- One of the world's most Barbaric Sports
Hare coursing in Ireland consists of terrorising hares (better known as Jack Rabbits in North America) by setting trained and “blooded” greyhounds in pursuit of them in a large, wired-off enclosure.
The so-called “sport” revolves around forcing captive hares to run for their lives in the enclosures…each hare being pursued by two greyhounds. Every coursing event has about eighty “courses”, with that many hares being baited by pairs of greyhounds.
The aim is to see which greyhound will be the first to “turn” the hare…to divert it from its straight run to an escape hatch at the opposite end of the enclosure.
The dog that causes the hare to run sideways is declared the winner. If the hare manages to reach the escape hatch, it survives to run again, later in the day at the same coursing event…or at another coursing fixture elsewhere in Ireland. But many hares do not make it to the escape hatch, instead getting struck or mauled by the greyhounds.
Though the dogs at official coursing events are muzzled, they still routinely kill or injure the hares. It is regular sight to see hares being tossed into the air by the competing dogs. Because it is a brittle boned creature, the hare cannot recover from the wounds and bone breakages inflicted.
Gamblers, greyhound owners, hunters, and other coursing fans laugh and applaud as the hares are forced to perform for their amusement.
Coursing involves playing a kind of “Russian Roulette” with the hares…a hare might escape death or injury…or might not. That element of uncertainty is what seemingly “turns on” the fans. But the hare that survives today may come to grief later when re-coursed.
In parts of Ireland where hares are scarce, and insufficient numbers are available for coursing, the ones captured are used repeatedly until their luck runs out.
At pre-coursing “trials” (dress rehearsals for the official events) at which no rules apply and the public is kept away, un-muzzled greyhounds are unleashed against hares, resulting in live tug-of-war spectacles in which the animals are literally torn asunder.
The hare’s plight begins even before coursing day. Its suffering commences about a month before the day it is taken to the coursing (baiting) venue to be coursed. This is when the coursing clubs scour the countryside in search of hares for their baiting sessions.
They use large nets to capture the animals. Many hares are injured while being netted. This renders them unsuitable for coursing. These injured hares are commonly used in a training method called “blooding”, a viciously cruel practise in which hares and rabbits, and occasionally cats, are fed live to greyhounds to give them a taste for blood and thus boost their performance in the coursing arena.
There are seventy-eight coursing clubs in Ireland, all committed to this organised cruelty to animals masquerading as “sport”. Approximately 10,000 hares are coursed each year, with an unknown number of these being killed, mauled, or injured in the process.
Independent marketing surveys show that a majority (75%) of the Irish people oppose hare coursing and want it banned, as Britain has already outlawed it. Yet the government, yielding to pressure from the powerful coursing clubs, permits this barbarism to continue.
Not only are coursing clubs allowed to abuse this beautiful and inoffensive creature… they actively encourage visitors to Ireland to attend their sickening events and promote hare coursing as a “tourist attraction”.
They attract like-minded people from nations where the blood sport is banned or does not exist, in much the same way that bullfight organisers promote their form of animal cruelty.
I have been involved for more than three decades in the campaign to have the innocent hare protected in Ireland. I have written a book, Bad Hare Days, a memoir focusing on the ups and downs of that campaign, and how campaigners as well as the hares have suffered at the hands of the coursing fraternity. Those who inflict pain and suffering on animals are more than capable, I have discovered, of subjecting their fellow human beings to bullying and violence.
I have also, in the book, recalled the small triumphs along the seemingly never-ending path to success…the milestones that hopefully point the way towards the end of the hare’s sad plight.
I hope the book will bring closer the day when this nightmarish cruelty is banned from our beautiful countryside. I believe it is a stain on our image as a nation and, like all forms of “sport hunting”, an affront to civilised values.
For further information on the campaign to abolish hare coursing and other blood sports in Ireland, please visit www.banbloodsports.com
The link to my free e book is
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