I believe that the so-called "sport" of live hare coursing in Ireland should end. I can see no justification for taking hares out of their natural habitat, confining these wild animals for weeks, and then using them as bait for greyhounds so the human spectators can stand around and watch them being terrororized.
I know all about the muzzling of dogs brought in back in 1993 in response to Tony Gregory's efforts to have coursing banned via a Private Members Bill, but this has not achieved its stated objective: though hares are not pulled asunder between the competing dogs as prior to 1993, the dogs still maul them, pin them down, and toss them into the air like playthings.
There is also the condition know as Capture Myopathy, a stress-related ailment that affects some wildlife species, including the hare. It arises from any deeply stressful experience, of which hare coursing is certainly an example. The animal can die within hours of the experience, or may linger for a few days. Even hares transported from one wildlife perserve to another for conservation purposes have succumbed to this condition owing to the stress caused by capture and transporation, so the effects of the coursing ordeal can be imagined.
Hare coursing is banned in the UK, Northern Ireland finally banned it eariler this year. The last Australian state to permit it (South Australia) banned it in 1985.
It was replaced in Australia by drag coursing, in which a mechanical lure is used. This re-creates almost all the elements of a live coursing event, except the cruelty.
Tony Gregory's Bill was defeated by a whopping 104 votes to 16, which shows how powerful the pro-coursing lobby has been.
But maybe a similar move right now might elicit more support right now. I look forward to the day when this gentle creature is protected from one of the worst examples of man's inhumanity to animals.
Here's a brief video showing what goes on at these "sporting" events.
One of the campaigners against hare coursing has written a book about it also which is free to read online: