David Ford said: “Each year the Department for the Environment spends nearly £33,000 on renewing the temporary protection for the Irish hare. But I believe that Sammy Wilson could save this money by granting permanent protection for the Irish hare.
“There is a clear case for giving the Irish hare full protection under the forthcoming Wildlife Act. The number of Irish Hares fluctuates, but we have heard that the figure is near an historic low for the species.
“With a lot of media attention focused on each department struggling to meet their 3% efficiency saving, does Sammy Wilson not believe that saving £33,000 a year would help towards meeting his targets?”