Bedfordshire Police secures highest fine for hare coursing
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A man from Luton has been convicted and has received the highest fine for an individual person that Bedfordshire Police has ever secured for this type of crime.
Brian Fury, 45, of St Thomas’s Road, was convicted of trespassing in pursuit of game on 16 November and was fined just over £1,800.
He was also given a seven-county community protection notice warning which means he is on the hare coursing radar across the eastern region.
PC Stu Grant from Bedfordshire Police’s Wildlife and Rural crime team said: “Hare coursing is a barbaric poaching offence which is committed solely for human gratification and gambling.
“This type of offending can cause significant damage to farmers crops and the offenders often threaten landowners or farmers who involve the police or attempt to stop them.
“We are a team dedicated to prosecuting wildlife and rural crimes or disrupting those who commit these disruptive and distressing crimes. We continue to work with Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent to combat this cruel sport regionally.”
It is illegal to hunt hares using dogs; it’s been illegal to trespass on land in pursuit of game (including hares) for 192 years now. The 2004 Hunting Act reinforces the fact that hare coursing is illegal as you cannot (except for a few exemptions) hunt wild mammals with dogs.
Hare coursing negatively affects brown hare populations here in the UK and numbers of brown hares are significantly decreasing; this is why they have been listed as a species of principle conservation importance.
If there is a wildlife crime is being committed, then contact police by reporting a crime online.
If a crime is happening or someone is in danger, call 999. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service.
You can also report wildlife crime anonymously to Crimestoppers,by calling 0800 555 111.