National Parks and Wildlife Service secures successful prosecution for illegal hunting of hares with lurchers in Mayo
The Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, through its National Parks And Wildlife Service, secured a successful conviction brought under the Wildlife Acts relating to illegal hare lurching. The Irish hare is a protected animal under the Wildlife Acts.
The case came to a conclusion at Belmullet District Court on 11th September before Judge Lydon. Five individuals were summoned for hunting hares illegally with dogs and also for being in possession of a dead hare in the Mullet Peninsula, Co Mayo on 9 January 2018. Conservation ranger Leonard Floyd of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department outlined to the court how on the day he and other NPWS officials, who were accompanied by members of the Gardaí, stopped a van where one dead hare and a number of lurcher dogs were found.
Judge Lydon, ordered that each of the five defendants who all pleaded guilty to possession of the dead hare would pay the sum of €600 to the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to be paid within 5 months. Failure to pay the amounts within that period would incur a fine of €750.
The illegal hunting of hares is an issue of concern and can lead to declines in hare populations locally. The NPWS of the Department continue to work with An Garda Síochána in tackling this illegal activity around the country.