To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if her attention has been drawn to an incident on 26 November 2016 (details supplied) during which a number of dogs were put down after breaking into the club compound and killing a number of hares; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Clare Daly.
Ref No: 38358/16
R E P L Y
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Ms. Heather Humphreys, T.D.):
My Department is aware of the occurrence of a recent incident relating to hares captured and in captivity for the meeting in question. It is understood that the meeting was scheduled to take place on 10 and 11 December but that, following the incident, the coursing club has proposed that it be rescheduled for next January.
While full details are not clear at this stage, I have asked for a comprehensive report on the incident from the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) from both the perspective of the ICC and of the local coursing club. Officials of my Department are separately investigating the matter locally and have visited the club on several occasions over recent days.
In the meantime, pending completion of investigations and full consideration of the matter, I have directed the ICC, without prejudice, that the rescheduled meeting should be suspended and that no further hares should be captured for the meeting.