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New legislation to crack down on illegal hare coursing now in force !


Glossop Police SNT - Hare Coursing !

What is hare coursing and why is it illegal?

Hare coursing – an illegal activity where dogs are used to chase, catch and kill hares – is a serious problem in some rural areas. Not only does it involve cruelty to wild animals, it is also associated with a range of other criminal activities, including theft, criminal damage, violence and intimidation.

New legislation to crack down on illegal hare coursing now in force

Tougher sentencing and improved powers introduced under the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 to tackle the cruel practice of chasing hares with dogs.

Tough new measures to tackle the cruel practice of hare coursing come into force today (1 August 2022). Anyone caught hare coursing will now face an unlimited fine and up to six months in prison.

Brown hares are widespread across the UK but numbers are declining and are now estimated at less than half a million in England. An iconic sight in the British countryside, they are known for their long, black-tipped ears and fast running - reaching speeds of 45mph – and are most commonly found on arable land and open grassland. Brown hares face a range of threats, including poaching and habitat loss.

These new measures strengthen law enforcement for hare coursing by increasing the maximum penalties for convictions under existing legislation, introducing new criminal offences and new powers for the courts to disqualify convicted offenders from owning or keeping dogs.

They include:

Increasing the maximum penalty for trespassing in pursuit of game under the Game Acts (the Game Act 1831 and the Night Poaching Act 1828) to an unlimited fine and introducing the possibility of up to six months’ imprisonment.

• Two new criminal offences: trespass with the intention of using a dog to search for or pursue a hare; and being equipped to trespass with the intention of using a dog to search for or pursue a hare. Both are punishable on conviction by an unlimited fine and/or up to six months’ imprisonment.

• New powers for the courts to order, on conviction, the reimbursement of costs incurred by the police in kennelling dogs seized in connection with a hare coursing-related offence.

• New powers for the courts to make an order, on conviction, disqualifying an offender from owning or keeping a dog.

 

 

 

Please Report Hare Coursing to Derbyshire Constabulary - should you see this or supsect this activity is taking place - let us know by 999 if the crime is being committed at the time or on 101 or on line if preferred.

To contact us online, please use our social media channels, forms or live chat function on our website:

Facebook: Send a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary

Twitter: Send a direct message to @DerPolContact

Website: Visit www.derbyshire.police.uk

 


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