We, the Association of Hunt Saboteurs (AOHS) are calling on the Irish Coursing Club to retract their claims that our group was in any way responsible for the manipulation or staged set- up of the ‘dying hare’ video contents.
We now request a retraction and immediate apology to our group regarding their accusations in a press release dated 31-3-2010.. See txt below.
Their accusations were carried in the Irish Times articles on 2nd, 3rd and 9th April 2010.
We ask the ICC to answer the following questions:
· Where is the proof that the video incident was set up.[as they claimed]?
· Has anyone come forward to claim the 20,000 euro?
· Why was an animal left to die at the ICC showpiece event?
We also stress that the focus should be on the ICC instead of on animal activists or film-makers .The event happened on THEIR LAND in THEIR ENCLOSURE at THEIR EVENT.
The AOHS requested a full Gardai Investigation when the video was handed in to Gardai Headquarters by us on 6thApril 2010. Preceding that date two Garda stations, Finglas and Clonmel said that no investigation was in progress.
The Department of the Environment was also supplied with the film and asked to investigate a breach of Coursing lisence conditions.
Why was an animal left to die at the ICC showpiece event?
The hare recorded in the released video endured horrific suffering for the sake of somebody’s fun and entertainment. Along with thousands of other hares who are taken from their habitat in the wild, hares are stressed, mauled and killed as they are chased down by large speeding dogs at every coursing meet. Their brittle bodies are battered by plastic muzzles as the dogs try to catch them.
We now await the ICC‘s reply and apology.
Press Officer AOHS.
Please click. http://www.vimeo.com/11314627
On Tuesday, 30 March 2010, a disturbingly engineered video purporting to have recorded a “dying hare” at the National Coursing Meeting, February 3, 2010 was released to the Youtube website by the Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland. It was also distributed to all TDs as “evidence of the brutality” of hare coursing. The video begins with coursing footage from the National Meeting and ends with its subject matter, the “dying hare”.
The ICC completely and unreservedly condemns and rejects the claims of the video and most strongly denies the authenticity of the subject matter itself.
A second inspection of the video by ICC officials and members as well as IT and veterinary experts exposes it as a deliberately orchestrated effort to discredit the hare welfare policies and practices of the ICC.
Beside it being patently impossible for the “dying hare” portion to have taken place during the National Meeting, in several frames it most disturbingly reveals the hare is restrained by a wire around its neck (and possibly one limb), the wire then extending to the right of the hare, intermittently being pulled. It is also worth noting that the camera often pans to the left but never to the right, the direction from which the wire is coming from. This observation is supported by the fact that the hare’s head never moves from its original position in spite of convulsing and desperate attempts to free itself. The hare is highly likely to have been poisoned or partially sedated for effect.
The location and number of paddock stewards, staff, and 24 hour security personnel during the National Meeting make it virtually impossible for the “dying hare” portion of the video to have taken place at the claimed time, and there are numerous inconsistencies with the video. Differences in the quality of the video between the coursing footage and the “dying hare” footage are obvious, and the PA system background sound from the coursing portion is completely absent from the “dying hare” sequence. In addition, any further claims that this did take place during the National Meeting and the hare was not intentionally restrained are met with the hard fact that it was more important for the person with the camera to “get the shot” than try to relieve the hare’s suffering and seek the help of the on-site veterinarian or paddock stewards.
A break-in to the hare compound was discovered on a day previous to the National Meeting, and was reported to and is on record with the Gardai. The location of the damage to the fencing from the break-in is in immediate proximity to the angle of the camera and the direction from which the wire around the hares neck is being pulled.
Further claims of greyhounds breaking into the hare compound during the National Meeting are completely without basis, and these and other details point to people who will go to any lengths to achieve their aims and have no reservations whatsoever of sacrificing one hare to do so. It is a desperate and deplorable agenda. This is a shocking and disgraceful attempt to discredit the dedicated organising committee of the National Meeting and the ICC from a group of people who allege to oppose animal cruelty. Minister Gormley is notified of our findings, given he was provided this footage to investigate the matter. It is well documented how animal rights activists have “sacrificed” animals in the furtherance of their cause. It is worth noting that the alleged authors of this video are claimed to be Polish and therefore difficult to trace or interview; it is unusual at best that it took two months to “launch” their production on the unsuspecting public. The timing of the controlled release of this video was clearly designed to generate impact at an opportunistic time. These are the actions of treacherous people who will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda and must be exposed to the greater public, our elected representatives and the decent people of Ireland.
Legal counsel is being sought, and the video and all other supporting information will be left with the Gardai today, who have already been so notified of this serious matter of inflicted animal cruelty and trespass. Additional confidential evidence and detail will be provided to the Gardai to assist with their investigation. The targeted TDs and other government officials will also be so informed, and we encourage anyone with additional evidence or observations to contact the ICC immediately.
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'Based on the evidence contained in the film, we are strongly of the opinion that a breach of the conditions attaching to the licence granted to the ICC by the Minister for the Environment occured. The hare, we suspect, could have been injured by hitting the escape hatch pole, or else it was being kept to be used in a blooding exercise . A snare or restraining device appears to be attached to the hare, but an expert evaluation from the original tape is needed'.We reject outright any suggestion by the ICC that AOHS members were responsible for interfering with the hare in any way. This incident was filmed entirely inside the enclosure at
We have also lodged a strong and comprehensive letter of complaint with the Gardai, requesting an investigation into the Swedish students footage of the dying Hare, with a view to establishing if breaches of the Protection of Animals Acts and/or the Wildlife Act occurred in this instance.
The complaint was formally made on Tuesday 6th APRIL at 13.17pm when AOHS handed the DVD along with a statement from the Swedish film makers in to the Gardai commissioner in the Phoenix Park headquarters asking for a full investigation.
We strongly suspect a breach of animal protection legislation from what the film reveals. The hare, we feel, could have been injured by either hitting the escape hatch pole or was being kept to be used in a blooding exercise . A snare or restraining device appears to be attached to the hare but an expert evaluation from the original tape is needed.
We are optimistic that those responsible for the demise of the dying hare will be brought to justice. We now await the results of this investigation and will, in the meantime, continue to expose cruelty to animals by blood sports supporters.
We are currently seeking legal advice on the personalised harassment by the coursing fraternity in relation to the film.
Following are the facts concerning this ongoing controversy:
THE CONTROVERSIAL HARE VIDEO TAKEN IN POWERSTOWN PARK ON 3RD FEBRUARY
· · The film was made by two Swedish students who came to Ireland to investigate Ireland’s dog Pound Situation. Greyhounds were just part of their interest.
· · Irish animal rights groups were contacted by the film-makers to help them with information and they asked us to allow ourselves to be interviewed. This we did.
· · They heard the Coursing final Demonstration was on but did not travel down or back with those of us who organised the demonstration. They travelled independently.
· · The original film tape is still in Sweden. But we now have copies of the full segment they filmed in Clonmel.
· · There is No Gardai investigation into this video. (We offered the film to two Gardai stations who stated that there was NO investigation, and they refused to accept the film due to this reason.}
· · The film was taken openly by the students who paid into Clonmel, they were carrying a large camera which they used.
· · The film shows the footage was obtained from public pathways that anyone had access to, in the Powerstown Park Hare Coursing Club.
· · The film shows the full compound, left and right from zooming through the wire from the outside. This confirms with video evidence that no break-in or damage was done by the students.
· · A dispute has arisen as to whether the dying hare was restrained or not. Observing the video we cannot be sure if it’s a twig or something tied to the hare. A hunting expert has said something called a black snare, was possibly on the hares neck. [We were unaware of this term]. Only those directly responsible for the hares welfare in Clonmel can answer this question, is the hare tied? , snared? or caught on something ? Obviously, we can only guess at this .Some people claim they see a restraint some do not.
· · Those who filmed the hare did not see any wires on the day they filmed.
· · The hare was lying in the compound, and appeared dead when they left the area.
· · A call on the intercom for a Vet led them to believe this hare was getting attention according to the students.
· · They also filmed Ladies day, a number of hare- courses , the stands, and the prize giving and press photographers [openly] on that day .One person waves to the camera.
· · The original sounds are on the full video, the music was added just for the segment that was posted on youtube by Irish activists.
· · A second video of the dying hare, a doctored version of the students one is now also on youtube. This appears to be connected to the RISE group as their logo appears there at the start, and at the end with their contact details .This was posted by the person using the ‘SONYABHOY’ alias.
· · A statement has been issued by the students .[with their phone numbers for Press.]
· · Legal representation is being sought by those libelled by the ICC statement by DJ Histon, the RISE video and by Greyhound Forum comments.
FILM MAKERS STATEMENT:
\\Kalmar, Sweden 2 April 2010
We’re Emelie and Patrick, two students from Sweden. We were in Ireland for two weeks.
We heard about the hare coursing in Clonmel wednesday, 3rd of February 2010. We have never been at hare coursing before so we went there to see what it was.
We saw the hare coursing. Dogs chasing hares over a field and then it looks like the hares run out in the woods afterwards. We got curious and that’s why we went to see where the hare goes. We didn’t do any break in. We could easily see the hare enclosure from the other side of the fence. Anyone could see the hares from there. We filmed through the fence. We had no intention of filming a dying hare. We did not see any wires around the hares neck that some people claims. Just grass and branches on the ground.
We thought the hare was dead when we left the hare area and shortly after, they shouted out in the speakers that a veterinary should come to the hare area so we thought they'd found the hare.
And they claim that we should have reported to someone about the dying hare. They're trying to say that we're responsible for the dying hare when they should have people controlling the health of the hares after the races. If we hadn't filmed the dying hare nobody would probably have heard about it. It would probably not have reached the media and people wouldn't know that there are hares dying because of hare coursing.
It’s the same camera that’s being used when we’re filming the hare coursing and when we’re filming the dying hare and the other hares in the enclosure. It’s a Panasonic DVX 100B with an external microphone. It’s a big one so anyone could have seen us filming, we didn’t hide it from anyone. We were filming in the open so if they would have had people working in the enclosure they would have seen us from the other side of the fence.
Emelie Wiberg, Patrick Shakarchi
Xxxxxxx Phone numbers handed to Gardai.
Press Release 30/3/2010
VIDEO FOOTAGE THAT PROVES MUZZLING DOES NOT ELIMINATE CRUELTY TO COURSED HARES.
We are now releasing film footage which will prove beyond a doubt that Live Hare Coursing is still inherently cruel despite attempts by the ICC to claim otherwise. This clip, filmed for the first time from BEHIND the escape hatch/enclosure, clearly shows the callous nature of Hare coursing in Ireland.
We ask the ICC
How can an injured hare be left dying?
How can the Greyhound just duck into the escape enclosure after the hare?
How can the ICC say this practise is regulated?
Does nobody monitor the coursed hares?
This clip was filmed by undercover activists at the Clonmel National coursing final on 3rd February 2010.The clip shows
· An injured hare wiggling and dying in the hare enclosure. No one comes to his assistance and so he dies a slow and distressing death , he cannot stand up ,having been tossed around by the two dogs. This hare obviously ran in fear to the escape hatch despite already sustaining bone breaks and internal injuries.
· A greyhound enters the hare enclosure during a course. This shows the slip to be too high, allowing the chased hares no sanctuary. A greyhound follows the hare into the so –called escape.
· The greyhounds colliding and tumbling at full speed in pursuit of the hare. At such speed, they must sustain multiple injuries too.
We have handed this film to the Minister of the Environment John Gormley to ascertain if licence rules have been breached by the ICC. He has agreed to fully investigate this if the licence conditions are breached.
HARE COURSING FINAL 2010 FOOTAGE of dying Hare.
HARE COURSING FINAL 2010 FOOTAGE of dying Hare.
Hare Coursing footage taken at Powerstown Park coursing final 3-2-2010.This shows a wounded hare slowly dying in the escape enclosure. No one helps the hare to stop his suffering.
AOHS PRESS OFFICER. Bernie Wright. 0872651720
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