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May 23, 2012

Accessories Condoning Hare Coursing Withdrawn From Sale

Humane Society International/UK

HSI UK was appalled when the availability of cufflinks and other accessories bearing the words "I love hare coursing" was brought to our attention. These items were being sold by a company called Sven Licht Manufactury of Berlin, and were being advertised on Amazon’s UK and International websites.

Hares are an iconic mammal whose numbers have declined dramatically, by approximately 80 percent, in the United Kingdom over the last century. Heavily persecuted, hares urgently need better protection.

In collaboration with other like-minded organisations, HSI UK immediately wrote to the Berlin company highlighting the cruelty of hare coursing, and pointing out that the items appeared to be designed to incite support for a practice which is illegal in many of the jurisdictions in which they were being offered for sale. We copied the letter to Amazon.

Within days, we received a response from Amazon’s UK and International teams to say that the items were no longer being offered on their websites.

HSI UK understands that the Berlin manufacturer of the accessories was inundated with letters and calls protesting against the items, and that the company made a decision to withdraw them from sale.

Hare coursing

The "sport" of hare coursing involves the setting of pairs of dogs (usually greyhounds or lurchers) onto an individual hare with the aim of chasing it down and making it change direction, judges award points to the dogs and heats are held to decide the overall winner. If caught, the hare can become trapped in a brutal tug-of-war between the dogs' jaws.

Hare coursing represents a deliberate act of extreme cruelty that was outlawed in United Kingdom by the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, the Hunting Act (England and Wales) 2004, and the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. Sadly the practice continues in the Republic of Ireland and some other parts of the world.

Public opinion in the UK is very much against this terrible practice, with 85 percent of the population saying hare coursing should remain illegal.

HSI UK is pleased to see that a motion to ban hare coursing in the Republic of Ireland is being prepared by Members of the Irish Parliament.

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