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Deadly Disease in Rabbits & Hares Could be Catastrophic to Irish Wildlife

Hare coursing is to come to a halt as new disease has been detected in Ireland

There won’t be any hare coursing in Kilkenny or Carlow for the foreseeable.

It’s been suspended around the country because of the outbreak of a highly contagious disease that kills rabbits and hares.

A deadly disease found in the animals has led to the suspension of Irish Coursing Club Licences by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease, or RHD, has been confirmed in the wild in Ireland for the first time. There has been three cases detected so far, the latest on Friday in Wexford.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is warning that the Irish hare is native to Ireland and found nowhere else so, should this disease prove as infectious & lethal here as it has done elsewhere in Europe, the impact on the hare could be catastrophic.

They’re also warning of serious knock-on consequences since rabbits and hares are eaten by other animals in the wild.

The disease can’t be contracted by humans but it can be spread by them.

It’s because of this that the Department has decided to suspend all coursing licences for the 2019/2020 period until the full extent of the spread emerges.