Tag: hare coursing

Brown Hares | Protection at last? We’ve been here before…

An article in a leading national newspaper suggests a “New move to ban shooting of hares in breeding season”. It goes on to say, “The nation’s deep affection for the hare, once a common sight in fields, is recorded in prose, pub names and poetry. Writers including Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll and Ted Hughes have paid tribute to the UK’s fastest land mammal, while any English county will boast at least one pub with the word hare in its name. But now a failure to revive numbers after a century of decline from an estimated four million to under 800,000 has triggered moves to protect hares during their breeding season. Former agriculture minister George Eustice is introducing a private member’s bill that would make it illegal to shoot hares from February to September.” Good news, but before we celebrate too hard haven’t we been promised this before? Yes, we have. And the above quote is actually from an article in The Guardian dated 5th May 2019…

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Petition | Protect Mountain Hares under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981

On March 1st this year Scotland’s Mountain Hares received protection (on paper anyway). Thanks to the efforts of Green MSP Alison Johnstone, new regulations mean that it is ‘illegal to intentionally kill, injure or take Mountain Hares without a licence’ (as we pointed out in Scotland | Mountain Hares are now a protected species the ‘without a licence‘ clause is of course extremely important here. How easy it will be to get a licence and, crucially, how strictly Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH, the licence-issuers) will ensure that licence criteria are adhered to will be a vital measure of how seriously this legislation is taken). The actions in Scotland now leave the isolated populations of Mountain Hares in England and Wales unprotected. Especially unprotected on grouse moors in the Peak District where the hares there survive under the same gamekeeping regime as their Scottish counterparts. Mountain Hares could easily be given adequate protection by an amendment to the Wildlife & Countryside Act, the primary legislation which protects animals, plants and habitats in the UK. Which is exactly what the Hare Preservation Trust is asking for in a new petition launched yesterday.

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Ireland | 1,200 ‘protected’ hares held for coursing released into the wild

1200 wild-caught hares that were being held by coursing clubs have been released back into the wild because covid restrictions mean that coursing has been suspended. What really struck us was a disingenuous platitude quoted in the Irish Times which reports Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage saying that “it formally requested the clubs to release all of the captive hares due to the importance of “the welfare and conservation of a protected species”. Disingenuous? Yes, because guess who is the Minister responsible for licencing the hunting and capture of hares for coursing in the first place? Of course, that would be Minister Darragh O’Brien…

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Sick hunters dump bag of dead rabbits and hare outside school

Well, here’s a headline and a half: “Sick hunters dump bag of dead rabbits and hare outside school”. And (in a rather sad symmetry with yesterday’s post) it’s from Yorkshire again – though this time West Yorkshire rather than North Yorkshire. It’s worth looking at this story. First though, we’ve been criticised for talking about a ‘war on wildlife’, but let’s face it, if dumping a bag of dead animals outside of a school is not at least an indication that wildlife is not valued especially highly by some sections of society then what is (unless these ‘morons’ – and we’re quoting the police here [see below]) – are just anti-school children…)

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Wild Mammal Persecution UK

Wild Mammal Persecution UK (WMPUK) is a small group set up in 2019 to publicise and campaign against the persecution of wild mammals in the UK. The group are entirely self-funded, and as such are restricted in the amount of time they can spend researching. The more information they get about wild mammal persecution the better they are able to draw the attention of the public to the problems.

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Fox Hunts | How Many?!

It seems to have skipped the notice of many of the UK’s many fox/stag/hare hunters that in 2002 Scotland passed the Protection Of Wild Mammals Act and that England and Wales passed the Hunting Act 2004 (which came into force in early 2005). Perhaps there wasn’t enough publicity at the time – or every year since. In fact there are hundreds of hunts still operating, and now, writes Charlie Moores, the League Against Cruel Sports have devised an interactive map to show exaclty where they are.

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Guest post: Ellie Walliker | Hare Coursing in Cambridgeshire

Guest post by Cambridgeshire resident Ellie Walliker. Hare coursing incidents in Cambridgeshire have increased dramatically since 2009. Despite the formation of the police’s Operation Galileo (#OpGalileo), which involves 12 police forces, hare coursing related incidents still happen weekly. Reasons why coursing is so prevalent in this fenland county are that coursers trespass on private land and this can easily go unnoticed, particularly at dusk. Coursers are not renowned for their politeness and gentle nature and their complete lack of compassion is not restricted to those of the furred or feathered variety.

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