Farm groups call for urgent government reform of ‘inadequate’ hare coursing law
Farming organisations alongside rural Police and Crime Commissioners have written to the Secretaries of State for Defra and the Home Office calling for the reform of out-dated hare coursing legislation.
An illegal activity, hare coursing has huge implications for rural communities from farmer intimidation, damage to farmland to cruelty inflicted on native wildlife.
The letter has called for ‘simple’ amendments to the 1831 Game Act to give the police and criminal justice systems enhanced powers to tackle this growing crime.
Full seizure and forfeiture powers for dogs and vehicles, removal of existing penalty limits and recovery of kennelling costs from offenders were among the suggested amendments.
In a joint statement, the coalition said: “It is clear to us, our members and the police that relying on legislation that is nearly 200 years old is simply inadequate and in need of urgent reform.”
The organisations also called for better information and guidance for magistrates and prosecutors and support for more effective approaches from police.
They added: “As a coalition, we will continue to raise this issue with Government at the highest level and ensure they recognise the importance of tackling crime in rural communities up and down the country.”