Hare coursing reported in Bottesford

Hare coursing ANL-160401-095543001 ANL-160401-095543001

Hare coursing ANL-160401-095543001 ANL-160401-095543001

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Illegal hare coursing has been taking place in fields near Bottesford, according to the area’s Neighbourhood Watch group.

Bottesford Parish Neighbourhood Watch is urging landowners, farmers and villagers to report any signs of the illegal sport to police immediately.

A spokesman said: “The most obvious sign is a group of vehicles parked in a rural area perhaps by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, on a farm track or bridle path. There will usually be estate cars, four wheel drives or vans. They may contain evidence of dogs inside – such as muddy paw prints and dog hair.

“Hare coursers are criminals and give no consideration to landowners’ property and crops. They often have a sophisticated information network and knowledge of the local rural area and they invariably know about vulnerable properties in the area, short cuts and escape routes.

“Violent confrontations can occur when participants are challenged and for this reason the public are advised not to approach them but to report the activity to the police. Vehicle descriptions and registration number are useful if these can be obtained without risk to the public.”

Hare coursing is a blood sport banned under the Hunting Act 2004. Anyone convicted of the offence can be fined up to £5,000 by a magistrates’ court.