Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (286)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

286. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to initiate an investigation into whether myxomatosis has already been found in hares by coursing club personnel, veterinary personnel that attend some coursing meetings, wildlife rangers attached to the National Parks and Wildlife Service or by other persons involved with wildlife conservation or hunting activities; and the veterinary or other measures that will be implemented to protect hares here from myxomatosis. [44414/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The outbreaks of myxomatosis reported in the UK are in Brown Hares, a species we do not have in Ireland. The Irish Hare, a subspecies of the Mountain Hare, is a related but different species. No cases of myxomatosis in Mountain Hares have been reported in the current UK outbreak. My Department has had no reports of myxomatosis or any other cause of increased mortality in Irish Hares. My Department's Regional Veterinary Laboratories (RVLs) have been in contact with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and I understand that NPWS has made contact with their coursing contacts to raise awareness of the UK incidents, to increase vigilance for the disease, and to ensure that both NPWS and coursing clubs are aware that RVLs will investigate any suspect cases free of charge.