Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (1219)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

1219. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason for lifting the total ban on hare net licences in view of her previous statements regarding the damage the RHD2 disease could potentially inflict on the hare population; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45087/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department issued revised licences for the netting and tagging of hares for coursing last month to allow the netting of hares on a managed and restricted basis and only in areas unaffected by the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD2) virus. Revised licences have issued to the Irish Coursing Clubs with additional conditions permitting netting outside of areas where wild hares and rabbits have tested positive for the virus.

At the same time, it has been decided to carry our field studies at four coursing clubs, which will involve veterinary and virology expertise and input, in order to supplement existing knowledge of the prevalence and nature of RHD2.