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COPFS

North Yorkshire man sentenced for hare coursing

A 27 year old has been fined £5000 after admitting using dogs to hunt wild hares.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court, Ryan Spence was told he’ll also be disqualified from having custody of dogs for five years.

He’d earlier admitted the offences which were carried out in January of this year.

Two other men, Anthony Webster from Suffolk and Stuart Brunt from Derby, have already been convicted and sentenced for the same offences.

The incident happened at a remote area on the Tollishill Estate, Lauder, in the Scottish Borders region on 29 January.

The accused were seen using four lurcher type dogs in a field.

Spence, when stopped by police, had fresh blood on the right sleeve and on the front of his jacket and was in possession of a rucksack with fresh bloodied fur inside.

One of Webster’s dogs had fresh blood on its paws and no sign of any fresh injury.

Seven dead hare were recovered. They were lying in the heather about 20 metres from where the group had been stopped. The hare were all still warm with fresh injuries.

Sara Shaw, Head of the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit said:

"I welcome today’s sentence and the message it should send to anyone involved in hare coursing in Scotland.”

“Hare coursing is a cruel and wholly illegal act and the Crown will continue to work with Police Scotland to ensure that anyone who hunts hares with dogs is brought to justice.

"We would encourage anyone who may have information on hare coursing to contact the police."