In the sort of incisive reporting that we expect from local television stations, a California ABC affiliate has discovered that dogs chase rabbits and hares--and that people watch.
We're talking about "coursing"--the pursuit of jackrabbits, primarily, by salukis, tazis, lurchers, and other "sighthounds." Greyhounds were bred for that activity too. Sometimes the hares escape, but if they are captured, they are cooked and eaten
Some neo-Puritans have weighed in:
This kind of conduct is appauling [sic] and there is no excuse for this barbaric act to take place.
Some of the protestors assume wrongly that capitve rabbits are used.
Steve and Matt at Querencia discuss the story and follow up on it.
But it's an uphill battle against the "fuzzy bunny" ideology, not to mention the "meat is murder" ideolology.
Coursing is an old hunting sport, different from falconry in many ways but plenty enough alike that its detractors need see no difference. In both, one animal pursues and catches another while people watch, partisan and unapologetic for the outcome. It is a hunt, after all: the purposeful killing of animals. Ultimately, that is what's abhorrent to those who now seek to ban coursing and punish those who enjoy it.
If you are any kind of hunter---if you ever eat meat---take note of this.
I don't know and fear to imagine the direction this story might take. But we could ask: Will America could go the way of Great Britain, utterly tamed by misguided anti-cruelty sentiment?