Wednesday, 21 March 1990
Dáil Éireann Debate
33. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will consider introducing a ban on live hare coursing on the grounds of the extreme cruelty involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. O'Kennedy): Coursing is controlled by the Irish Coursing Club subject to the overall control of Bord na gCon. I maintain regular liaison with the bord to ensure that they and the Irish Coursing Club exercise proper supervision of coursing meetings and that they take  steps to see that those who are responsible for the organisation and conduct of meetings comply fully with the law.
Cruelty to animals is covered by the Protection of Animals Acts, 1911 and 1965. These statutes, which are administered by the Department of Justice through the Garda Síochána, make it an offence to cause cruelty, or for the owner to permit cruelty to be caused, to any animal whether it is in captivity or not. Anyone who becomes aware of instances of cruelty to animals should, therefore, report the matter immediately to the gardai.
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