And in related news to the Florida “penning” ban, one of the last areas of the UK friendly to houndsmen isn’t so friendly any more after coursing game with dogs was officially banned last week.

From this story in the Guardian:
The last part of the United Kingdom to permit hare coursing has now banned the blood sport following a late-night vote in the Northern Ireland assembly. A motion to outlaw the use of greyhounds to chase and kill hares was passed by a narrow majority ˆ 23 to 18 ˆ after a seven-hour debate at Stormontlast night. The ban, proposed by Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) assembly members Roy Beggs and Tom Elliott, has been incorporated into the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Northern Ireland) bill.



_It is expected to come into force after the summer. Hare coursing, in which dogs compete with one another to hunt down a wild hare that has been released into an enclosure, had been curbed in Northern Ireland by recent conservation orders aimed at protecting the endangered Irish hare. “The order was not going to be renewed this year,” Beggs explained today, “so there was a risk that coursing would start up again. There were also loopholes in the restrictions.

“I don’t want to be perceived as some sort of anti-country sports activist, but there’s an issue about catching a wild animal, keeping it in a cage and then releasing it in order that man can enjoy the chase of his greyhound. I am very uncomfortable with that use of wild animals. “There are two hare coursing clubs in the province, one in predominantly nationalist Dungannon and the other in overwhelmingly unionist Ballymena. The votes at Stormont did not split along party lines. The Northern Ireland assembly is also due to consider a private members’ bill introduced by a Green Party representative aimed at banning fox hunting . Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where hunting foxes with dogs is still legal.

The League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the ban on hare coursing. Its deputy head of campaigns, Louise Robertson, said: “This has been a vote for common sense and we are delighted [assembly members] have shown their support to end the cruel and barbaric sport of coursing._