On Christmas Eve, the Government decided not to include coursing as an exempted activity without any explanation as to why we are the only activity removed from SI 650 of 2020.There appears to be little appreciation of what resources and organising is involved in preparing for a coursing meeting. The ICC set out clearly the reasons why coursing should continue similar to other comparable activities in terms of Covid-19 but we are unaware of any objective proportionate reasons as to why other comparable activities are permitted and coursing is not.
This is clearly disconcerting for clubs in the first instance and greyhound owners secondly, that have complied fully with all Covid-19 protocols after enduring limited opportunity to run their greyhounds since the commencement of the season. The ICC is self-funding and it appears there is little appreciation of this fact and that we are not in a position to offer a care package similar to other State Bodies. As an interim measure, the Executive Committee decided to waive coursing mating cert fees and coursing litter declaration fees as part of a more comprehensive suite of measures to be announced going forward.
Currently, we are left with the unanswered question as to why coursing was removed from the statutory instrument that is permitting other comparable activities. The much-anticipated St Stephens Day coursing meetings, due in no small part to the herculean effort by club members, are now in abeyance, as are those due to commence over subsequent days. Coursing has been let down in a serious way and this is not to belittle the current rise in Covid-19, it is merely to highlight that the risks associated with the continuance of coursing are no greater than other comparable sports, more particular, when we only have nine weeks remaining until the end of the season.
The Executive Committee is invoking all means possible to remedy the matter on your behalf.
I will update you further on Tuesday.