Independent Media Centre Ireland

Three more mutilated Greyhounds

category limerick | animal rights | opinion/analysis author Wednesday June 03, 2009 16:36author by John Fitzgerald - campaign for the Abolition of Cruel sports (CACS)author email jfitzge3 at eircom dot netauthor address callan, co kilkennyauthor phone 0567725543

Stop Grants to Greyhounds and Horse racing

The finding of three mutilated greyhound carcasses this week at a popular seaside resort (Kilteery Pier in County Limerick) shows just how expendable these animals are deemed by their owners once their performance days are over.

The likelihood that they were greyhounds bred for hare coursing, judging from their build, should serve as yet another reminder that we are one of the few remaining countries that still permit this depraved and viciously cruel blood sport.

Stop funding the Greyhound Industry
Stop funding the Greyhound Industry

The dumping of a coursing greyhound, after killing it and slicing off its ears to prevent identification (ID numbers are tattooed on the ears), is but the culmination of a cycle of abuse and savagery that commences when a coursing club sets off into the countryside to net hares.

The wild creatures are snatched from their natural home in the countryside, many of them suffering injury or death in the process. The ones that survive netting are confined in cramped and unnatural conditions (the hare is a solitary creature, lacking the herd mentality), and then subjected to unnatural “training” to run in a straight line down a coursing enclosure.

At the coursing events, the greyhounds, which have been transformed into virtual killing machines via “blooding” (being fed live rabbits or cats-hares are now too scarce in many parts of Ireland to “waste” as training fodder) are unleashed upon the hares to terrorise all of them and inflict injury or death on those that fail to reach the escape hatch in time.

Big cheers for the dogs that perform well; hugs for the winners, and drinks all round in the pubs and hotels afterwards. But when the slick, turbo-charged killing machines turn soft and no longer rise to the challenge set by the coursing clubs, the “sportspeople” who ludicrously claim to love both dogs and hares with equal affection have no further use for the animals they have so eagerly exploited for animal baiting.

Hence the kind of incident that revolted holiday-makers at Kilteery Pier, and the many other ugly scenes of cruelty and abandonment that result from this callous disregard for greyhounds and hares alike that is the hallmark of the Irish hare coursing scene.

And to think that the present government is STILL pouring huge amounts of taxpayer’s money (in the middle of a recession!) into an industry that encompasses this barbarism, notwithstanding the Green Party’s policy commitment to a ban on hare coursing.

For how long more will our country be disgraced by this obscenity?

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