The union has called for a joined up approach from the Government, police and justice system.
Thirty-one police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) took to the NFU this week to help lead the fight on hare coursing.
The teams joined the union on Tuesday (December 19) as it ramped up efforts to rid the countryside of the illegal activity after reports increased nearly 40 percent in Cambridgeshire, where hare coursing has been deemed a 999 call for immediate response.
NFU deputy president Minette Batters said whilst there had been a more general increase in rural crime, hare coursing caused ‘incredible cost and damage’ to farm businesses.
She said a rise in threatening behaviour, violence and intimidation had led to a culture of underreporting to police.
“In our recent Rural Crime Report, we laid out how important a joined up approach is from all aspects of the Government, police and justice system to tackle these issues,” Mrs Batters said.
“Six months on, this remains the case.
“It is critical for farm businesses that there is consistency in both policing and sentencing and the NFU will continue to push for this as the path forward.”
In the meeting, Mrs Batters prompted the need for a dedicated rural police team in each force and a Government cross-departmental rural crime task force to provide more consistent policing and sentencing and avoid ‘criminal tourism’.
Cambridgeshire police community support officer Sandra Warren added: “You have to have all your evidence, so not only is it where they catch the hare coursers, but follow ups of statements, any photographic evidence and witnesses we may have, and then the guys have to put their files together.
“That all has to go to the CPS to see if they are going to run with it, and if they do then it goes to court.
“The fines are pathetic really.”