Dáil Éireann - Volume 531 - 22 February, 2001

Written Answers. - Coursing Meetings.

150. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if licence conditions were breached at the coursing meeting in Abbeyfeale, County Limerick, on 1 January 2001; and the action she is taking in this regard. [5184/01]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): I refer the Deputy to the reply to Question No. 954 of 30 January 2001.

Having received detailed reports on the meeting from conservation ranger staff who were in attendance at Abbeyfeale, there is no evidence that breaches occurred of licences issued under the Wildlife Act, 1976, other than that the hares were held over until 12 January on veterinary advice. I do not consider this decision requires any action on my part.

I understand that the meeting was abandoned following coursing on the first day after it was found that some hares run but not coursed were in poor condition. All hares were then held over and not released until a decision was made by a veterinary officer of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development indicating the hares were fit to be released. The matter has been raised with the Irish Coursing Club and a report requested. This report will be considered at a meeting between my officials and the Irish Coursing Club in relation to the 2000/2001 coursing season and I will then review the matter.