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Man fined €500 for illegally hunting hares in Wexford reserve

The man was fined at a hearing at Wexford District Court on 30 September.

Image: Shutterstock/Colin Edwards Wildside

A MAN HAS been fined €500 after being convicted of illegally using dogs to hunt hares without a licence in Co Wexford.

The man was tried at Wexford District Court on 30 September, when gardaí and officials with the National Parks and Wildlife Service gave evidence of witnessing hares being hunted with lurcher dogs at the North Slob reserve on 26 November, 2017.

The man told Judge Brian O’Shea that he was hunting foxes on that date.

However, John Griffin, Conservation Ranger with the NPWS, provided evidence into the different hunting methods used for hares and foxes, along with the habits and habitats of both species.

The judge found the individual guilty of illegal hare lurching and fined him €500.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service works with gardaí to tackle the illegal hunting of hares. They say it is an issue of concern for the department, which says that such actions can lead to the decline of hare populations.  

In a statement, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said that the North Slobs, where the conviction was secured, is an important location and a reserve for hares, where hunting of hares is not legal under any circumstances.

Last month, five other people were also ordered to pay a fine of €600 each for the possession of a dead hare in Co Mayo.

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