Letter: Coursing is no 'sport' for the hare

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The Independent Online
From Mr John Bryant

Sir: Janet George of the British Field Sports Society defended the three- day Waterloo Cup hare coursing event on Merseyside on the same day the Liverpool Echo published the result of a poll showing that 96 per cent of local people favoured a ban on this event.

A national poll by Gallup in 1990 revealed that 85 per cent of the public oppose hare coursing. In the mid-Seventies, the House of Commons passed a Bill to outlaw hare coursing by a majority of more than 100 - only for it to be blocked in the unelected House of Lords.

For large coursing events, hares have to be netted in other areas and transported to the coursing estates, which do not hold sufficient numbers of "native" hares to ensure completion of the heats. For instance, on the first day of this year's Waterloo Cup, 13 hares were killed - no doubt some of them pregnant or nursing young.

As one cannot transport hares to an estate and then claim they are "pests", the only purpose of hare coursing is "sport".

The Waterloo Cup takes place at the end of February, thus leaving any orphaned leverets to die from starvation or predation. In the interests of animal welfare, wildlife conservation and not least democracy, hare coursing should be outlawed.

Yours sincerely,

John Bryant

League Against Cruel Sports

London, SE1