Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (475)

Maureen O'Sullivan


475. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the action that will be taken in relation to the clubs that have breached section 44 (details supplied) and the licence conditions; if he intends to add an additional licence condition that would help protect landowners from persons entering their lands to net hares without permission including a condition that would require the coursing club to get written permission from the landowner and to make this information available along with hare capture return forms at the end of the coursing season; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32186/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

My Department issued a licence to the Irish Coursing Club to capture live hares under the Wildlife Acts for the 2012-13 season. The licence states that it does not authorise any person to enter any land without the permission of the owner or occupier of the land. The licence also provides that the Licensee and its members must comply with Section 44 of the Wildlife Acts which relates to unlawful hunting and entry on land.

The conditions of the licence will be reviewed for the 2013-2014 season. In that context, I am mindful of the provisions of Section 44 which already confer considerable powers on the owners or occupiers of land to protect their property from unlawful hunting. While under section 44, it is open to aggrieved owners and occupiers of land to take summary proceedings where persons enter on land without permission for the purpose of hunting, where resources allow, my Department will investigate the allegations identified by the Deputy in relation to the unlawful capturing of hares by coursing clubs during the 2012-13 season.