Controversy Follows Plans for British Dogs to Compete in Irish Coursing Contests

In 2004, hare coursing was outlawed in England, so what are coursing dog owners to do? Some of them are taking their dogs to Ireland where coursing is still legal.

Half of the 32 places at Ireland’s Seamus Hughes International coursing tournament in Sevenhouse, Co Kilkenny, are reserved for British dogs and the National Coursing Club is advertising the event on its website according to The Times Online.

And, of course, where there are British coursing dogs there are inevitably British animal rights protesters.

Activists are also making the trip, with Fight Against Animal Cruelty In Europe’s Tony Moore one of a number of British animal rights activist who will make the trip to Ireland to make their view on coursing known.

Moore told the Times Online,

Whlie there is a natural link between the countries because of the strong Irish connection to coursing in England, this seems wrong. Ireland doesn’t need the problems that these hunting people bring. I don’t think the farmers over there want them either.

The Times Online also quoted Aideen Yourrell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports who is organizing a protest against the competition,

This is very worrying. We have heard that more than 300 people are traveling to attend the event. This is like a consolation prize for them losing the Waterloo Cup (a British coursing event held since 1836), but English coursers coming over here puts extra pressure on our hare population. Coursing has been suspended in Northern Ireland already because studies there have shown a shortage of hares.

According to Kilkenny Today, however, “greyhounds in Ireland which compete in coursing meetings are muzzled to protect the hares.”


War against hare coursing crosses the water to Ireland. Mark Tighe, The Sunday Times, January 1, 2006.

Stand-off looms at Sevenhouses. Kilkenny Today, January 4, 2006.

Group Fights Against Aquariums

Tony Moore of Fight Against Animal Cruelty In Europe said in march that his organization and other animal rights groups would oppose a proposed large aquarium to be built as part of a revitalization project in Southport, England.

Moore, whose group opposes aquarium projects on principle, claims that aquariums stress animals and are the equivalent of “peep shows”. He told The Liverpool Daily Post,

There is no justification for an aquarium, when we have such wonderful video footage of marine life. [Apparently Moore is unconcerned about the stress caused by camera crews in the seas]. Aquariums take many of their animals out of the wild and there is a constant need to replace them. Not only does this bring stress to the animals, surely this [aquarium] must be the least appealing out of all the proposed uses of the site.

. . .

It would be like a peep show. I thought I had better do something about it now before it really gets going, because I would not want something like this on my own doorstep. I do not want it to get to the point where they accept it.

Responding to Moore’s claims that the aquarium would place stress on the animals, John Pugh, member of Parliament for Southport, told The Liverpool Daily Post,

It is a bit premature to come to a judgment when one doesn’t know what kind of environment the marine life would be kept in. Some marine life can be kept in an aquarium quite well without any accusations of stress or abuse involved.

But not from animal rights activists such as Moore. The Fight Against Animal Cruelty In Europe web site maintains that (emphasis added),

A captive environment can never provide all that a wild animal needs. . . . Why not get a new idea instead of an old one especially one that abuses sentient beings.


Steamy Water Babes and Husky Hunks delight the crowds in London’s hot tourist spot. Press Release, Fight Against Animal Cruelty In Europe, August 2, 2004.

Animal rights group protest over resort’s aquarium plans. Graham Davies, The Liverpool Daily Post, March 9, 2005.