Written Answers. - Coursing.

Tony Gregory

Ceist:

113 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Finance if, in view of the fact that (a) the use of sick hares at coursing meetings is in breach of the licence conditions granted to the Irish Coursing Club to net hares and (b) sick and diseased hares were used at the National Coursing Trials in Clonmel, County Tipperary, this year resulting in the killing of 37 hares, he will refuse any further application for a licence from the Irish Coursing Club in view of their serious negligence and irresponsibility in using hares with high levels of worm infestation and coccidiosis for coursing.

I am aware that some hares were found to be infected by worms and coccidiosis following post-mortem analysis but there was no evidence of this prior to the hares being coursed. In view of this I am prepared to consider any application from the Irish Coursing Club for a licence to take hares from the wild under section 34 (3) (b) of the Wildlife Act, 1976.