Dramatic fall in reports of hare coursing

Reported incidents of hare coursing in the Lothians and Scottish Borders have more than halved, it has been revealed.

By Paul Kelly
Friday, 29th April 2022, 11:39 am
Updated Friday, 29th April 2022, 11:39 am
There's been a crackdown on hare coursing in the Borders.

A multi-agency partnership working approach has helped lead to a 55 per cent fall in the number of incidents reported to Police Scotland between September 2019 and March 2022.

Operation Galileo was carried out across West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders and included patrols and engagement with farmers and the local community.

Wildlife and environmental crime officer, Police Constable Steven Irvine, said: “Hare coursing is a cruel crime where dogs such as greyhounds, salukis and other lurcher types, are used to illegally chase, catch, injure and kill hares.

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“It tends to be carried out by groups of individuals who arrive in a number of vehicles with dogs. The public have a vital role on helping us combat this and we ask anyone who sees anything suspicious to get in touch.

“If you come across evidence of hare coursing, such as vehicles gathering near open fields that are not owned by locals, or a dead hare, then please get in touch on 101 or make a call anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“Police Scotland, in partnership with other agencies, takes wildlife crime seriously and I would encourage members of the public to report any incidents where wildlife crime is suspected.”

Police Scotland is part of the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC), a national partnership unique to Scotland which was formed with a strategic vision of co-ordinating cohesive and sustained crime prevention advice to rural communities.