15 cases of hare coursing reported to Lincolnshire Police

Hare coursing is a bloodsport where dogs are used to hunt down and kill hares. Credit: PA Images

Police have received 15 reports of hare coursing in Lincolnshire as a dispersal order remains in place across the county.

Hare coursing is a bloodsport where dogs are used to hunt down and kill hares. It is illegal in the UK under the Hunting Act 2004, and people can be fined up to £5,000 if caught.

Lincolnshire Police issued a second dispersal order on Wednesday (30 December) in response to an increase in the number of reports.

The order, which means anyone caught will be asked to leave the county and can be arrested upon return, will stay in place until 1.05pm on Friday 31 December.

The force said the reports yesterday were in the Boston and South Holland areas.Police are urging the public to report any activity they think may relate to the illegal bloodsport.

What are the signs to look out for?

  • Groups of vehicles parked in a rural area, perhaps by a gateway to farmland, on a grass verge, on a farm track or bridle path.

  • They will usually be estate cars, four-wheel drives or vans. It will be obvious looking inside whether there is evidence of dogs or not.

  • They often travel in convoy, with vans at the front and rear containing minders.

  • They will often use binoculars to spot hares.

  • Coursers will often walk along the edge of a field to frighten a hare into the open.

Police also say that it may help if you can answer any of the following questions when reporting wildlife crime:

  • Are the suspect/s alone or in a group?

  • Are they trespassing?

  • Do they have equipment with them?

  • Do they have dogs or firearms with them?

  • Where are they going?

  • Where have they been?

  • What do they look like?

  • Have they any vehicles?

  • What are the number plates and vehicle models?

  • Can you safely get a photograph?