• Bookmark this page

The Best Guide for the Ely Area

Ely news, reviews and local events in Ely areas including Ely, Littleport, Witchford, and communities in Ely.

Calendar of
Upcoming Events
Port Plumbing

Ely and Cambridgeshire: Calls for specific sentencing guidelines for hare coursing

Author: FarmingUK Published: 12th March 2018 13:11

 Hare coursing often takes place on Cambridgeshire farm land 


Ely and Cambridgeshire: Calls for specific sentencing guidelines for hare coursing

Farmers and rural landowners are calling for specific sentencing guidelines to target criminal gangs betting on the killing of hares with dogs.

Hare coursing, where dogs compete against each other in pursuit of a hare, was outlawed by the 2004 Hunting Act.

However, it now takes place illegally without the permission of the farmer or landowner.

It has also been reported that the crime sometimes involves live streaming to another location where bets often worth thousands of pounds are placed on the outcome.

Following thousands of incidents of hare coursing throughout autumn and winter, the CLA, which represents landowners and farmers, has set out an action plan on how to bring those involved to justice before the start of the next season.

The organisation is calling for tailored sentencing guidelines such as vehicle seizure and compensation paid to the landowner for any damage caused.

Levels of hare coursing increase significantly after harvest when large areas of arable land are cleared, making it easier to travel across fields.

The season typically ends in April and begins again after harvest but any large flat and open spaces can be targeted throughout the year. It usually takes place at dawn or dusk.

'Abhorrent crime'

CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said hare coursing is an "abhorrent crime" that many farmers have been victims of.

Recently, a farm contractor was attacked by a "notorious" group of hare coursers armed with hammers and a baseball bat in Essex.

"Coursers often use threatening and intimidating behaviour, criminal violence and injury, which is wholly unacceptable," Mr Breitmeyer said.

"The crime raises concerns about animal cruelty, damages crops, private property and has a detrimental impact within rural communities.

"Not all police forces and magistrates take it seriously enough. Fines can be as low as £30 while the gambling side of the crime generates thousands so there is no deterrent and perpetrators are getting away with it scot-free."

In Lincolnshire alone, more than 300 incidents of hare coursing was recorded in the space of one month, which was said to be severely impacting local farmers and their livelihoods.

'Daily basis'

A CLA member from Cambridgeshire said incidents of hare coursing on his fields and those of his neighbours have been taking place on a near daily basis for the last three or four months.

"We have had face-to-face conflicts with the coursers, been threatened, had property damaged and seen cars rammed," he said.

"In our experience it is a crime that is on the increase. We have got to take a stand and find a way to combat this crime as it can have a devastating impact on those who live and work in rural communities."

The CLA's action plan for hare coursing is launched by Graham Stuart MP for Beverley & Holderness at an event outside Hull today (9 March).

Mr Stuart said: "Hare-coursing is not only against the law itself, but the lawbreakers who travel into rural areas to carry it out leave a trail of devastation behind them.

"We need to make the countryside a no-go area for these criminals. Farmers find stock disturbed, their crops ruined, fences broken, and farm equipment stolen. I applaud the CLA for focussing on this issue and bringing it to the national stage. I will do all I can to help tackle this unacceptable crime."









Bookmark and Share

Report this article as inappropriate


You need to log in before you can do that! It's only a quick registration process to join the AMA network and completely free.

Sign in or join now to post a comment
Find a Local Business
Back to Top
© Copyright 2005-2018 AboutMyArea

AboutMyArea Privacy Policy

CB6: Ely Home | News | Community | Business Directory | Ely News | Ely Accomodation | Entertainment | Contact Us
AboutMyArea: Home | Site Map | Contact AboutMyArea | Terms & Conditions | Community Guidelines | Business Opportunity | Help

About Cookies