Coursing club dismisses film as 'fake'


A VIDEO containing images of “distressing” animal cruelty at a Clonmel hare coursing event has been denounced as a fake and referred to gardaí.

The short film, which was posted on the YouTube website this week, purports to depict “behind the scenes” at a greyhound hare-coursing event.

The video, placed on the internet by the Irish Association of Hunt Saboteurs, lasts for 3 minutes, 46 seconds and includes footage of a hare “wriggling and dying” in an enclosure.

The association claims “the clip was filmed by undercover activists at the Clonmel national coursing final on February 3rd, 2010”.

The Irish Coursing Club have referred the matter to gardaí in Clonmel.

They deny that hare coursing is a cruel blood sport and say the greyhounds are now muzzled.

The coursing club said an examination of the footage and “veterinary experts” proves the film was a deliberately orchestrated effort to discredit the club’s “hare welfare policies and practices”.

They point out that the film reveals the hare is restrained by a wire around its neck and was likely to have been poisoned or partially sedated for effect.

Chief executive DJ Histon said the club “completely and unreservedly condemns and rejects the claims of the video and most strongly denies the authenticity of the subject matter itself”.

He said the makers of the video were the ones who had, in fact, been guilty of having “inflicted animal cruelty”. He encouraged “anyone with additional evidence or observation” to contact the club or Garda.­

Bernie Wright, a spokeswoman for the Irish Association of Hunt Saboteurs, said “the clip was filmed by undercover activists” in Clonmel and “clearly shows the callous nature of hare coursing in Ireland”. She denied the claim that the video was a fake.