Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (369)

Catherine Martin

Question:

369. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the definition of the term "areas unaffected" in respect of designation of areas impacted by the RHD2 virus; if this is exclusively on a county basis; and if not, if there are other divisions of classification. [47881/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

Since the initial reports of the RHD2 virus in  August this year, RHD2 has been confirmed in five hares found in Dublin and Wexford and in 21 rabbits found in counties Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kildare, Leitrim, Meath, Offaly, Tipperary, Wexford and Wicklow.

In relation to hare coursing, I recently issued revised licences to allow the netting and tagging of hares but there are specific restrictions and conditions explicitly attached to the issue of those licences. The capturing of hares and coursing activity is prohibited in areas within a 25 kilometer radius of where wild rabbits or hares had tested positive for the virus. New zones will be added on an ongoing basis if further positive tests arise and, in these new zones, the capturing of hares will have to cease immediately and coursing will only be possible with already captured hares, where the hares are certified in writing by a veterinary surgeon as being healthy, and such hares will only be released on foot of further such certification.