Men charged with hare coursing in Scottish Borders

Hare coursing is one of the most common wildlife crimes in the Borders. Credit: PA

Three men have been arrested and charged with hare coursing crimes in the Scottish Borders, and other parts of Scotland.

A 35-year-old, from Edinburgh, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday 10 March in connection with five hare coursing offences committed between 21st October 2015 and 3rd February 2016.

One of the offences allegedly took place in the Duns area of the Scottish Borders.

Two offences took place in the North Berwick area, and one in the East Fortune area of East Lothian.

A further offence took place in the Pathhead area of Midlothian.

Two men, aged 31 from Airdrie and 47 from Musselburgh, have also been charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal under the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) in connection with the offences in Pathhead and Duns.

Hare coursing is a barbaric act and a terrifying death for an animal.

It is currently the most prevalent form of wildlife crime in the Lothian’s and Scottish Borders, and we are committed to pursuing offenders regardless of the times and distances involved.

Perpetrators are willing to travel considerable distances to take part in hare coursing and may be involved in other forms of criminality, such as the theft of agricultural machinery or equipment.

The presence of a number of dogs and off-road vehicles can also risk the safety of local livestock, as well as damaging the land.

With the assistance of our communities and partners, we can bring offenders to justice. I’d urge the those who live, work or visit the countryside to continue to report any suspicious behaviour to us as soon as possible.”

– PC Jamie Hood, Divisional Wildlife Liaison Officer