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Easter crackdown to protect the brown hare

31/03/2010

PAW Scotland welcomes police efforts to tackle hare coursing

Police have sprung into action in a national crackdown to stamp out illegal hare coursing.

The national initiative is taking place for the second year in succession in a bid to pounce on criminals who exploit these endangered animals which are particularly vulnerable in spring.

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In addition, since early March, Grampian Police has been conducting dedicated patrols throughout the force area to target illegal hare coursing.

Constable David MacKinnon, Force Wildlife Crime Officer for Grampian Police, said:

"Operation Lepus has been a positive initiative to improving our ability to detect and deter those involved in hare coursing in our force area. What many people do not realise is that the people involved are often linked to other crime types such as illegal gambling. By implementing measures to reduce coursing we hope to deter other crimes in our rural communities."

Alan Stewart, Tayside Police wildlife crime officer, said:

"Since we started taking proactive measures to deal with hare coursing in Tayside many farmers and gamekeepers, formerly plagued by this illegal activity, have commented positively on what they see as a reduction in incidents. Nevertheless there have been 13 reports of hare coursing in Tayside since September 2009, which demonstrates that the police and countryside communities must continue to work together to deal with this crime."