Aylesbury Vale braced for rise in hare coursing

Hare coursing is predicted to increase in the coming months
Hare coursing is predicted to increase in the coming months

The Country Land and Business Association are advising residents to be vigilant ahead of what is described as the prime season for hare coursing.

Hare coursing is a rural crime where dogs are used to chase, catch and kill hares, with gambling on the outcome common practice.

The Fir Cup, an illegal hare coursing event, is reported to have prize money of £6,000 and is organised secretly on WhatsApp, according to Thames Valley Police.

The crime becomes more prevalent at this time of year, following harvest when large areas of arable land are cleared of crops.

CLA regional director Robin Edwards said: “Every year following harvest farmers and landowners across our region brace themselves for a rise in hare coursing.

“We appreciate that police have a range of significant pressures but we want to ensure that tackling hare coursing remains a priority.

“Those involved in hare coursing are hardened criminals – often using threats, intimidation and in some cases violence against anyone who questions or challenges their actions.

“These criminals don’t think twice about trespassing on land, damaging crops and property and give no consideration to the animal welfare of the hares involved.”