Police crack down on hare coursing

A SCOTTISH police force is planning a crackdown on hare coursing.

The illegal sport, which involves the hunting of brown hares using dogs, normally lurchers, was banned in Scotland in 2002 and carries a fine of up to £5,000 and six months’ imprisonment.

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Grampian Police yesterday urged farmers to be vigilant for an anticipated rise in hare coursing in the coming weeks.

And the force announced that, as part of “Operation Lepus”, its Wildlife Crime Unit would be mounting targeted patrols.

Andy Turner, the force’s wildlife crime education officer, said: “Although the animals involved are not rare, they can suffer a cruel death at the hands of the poachers… Many modern poachers are part of organised criminal gangs.”