Police tackle illegal hare coursing on moorlands near Doncaster

Police have been targeting people taking part in illegal hare coursing on moorland near Doncaster.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 9:08 am

Officers from South Yorkshire Police's Off Road Team carried out patrols on areas of open land around Thorne, Hatfield and Auckley.

A spokesman said: “We were on the eastern most edge of the county, patrolling the vast amount of open flat land that borders with Lincolnshire, as part of Operation Galileo, a national operation to combat hare coursing.

"It still takes place illegally in farmers fields. Often live streamed over the internet from the field, bidding takes place over the phone.

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Off road police have been tackling hare coursing in Doncaster.

"If you see a couple of blokes running their long dogs from a layby on the M18/M180 have a closer look if they are not in fact coursing.

"It was made illegal around 15 years ago.”

Hare coursing is the pursuit of hares with greyhounds and other sighthounds, which chase the hare by sight, not by scent.

It is a long-established hunting technique, practiced historically in England, especially with greyhounds or sighthound breeds, or with lurchers which are crossbred sighthounds.

The sport grew in popularity in Europe during the 19th century, but has since experienced a decline due in part to the introduction of greyhound racing with betting, and animal welfare legislation.

In recent decades, controversy has developed around hare coursing, with some viewing it as a cruel bloodsport. Hare coursing is illegal in the United Kingdom. In other countries, including the Republic of Ireland, Iberia, and the Western United States, it is a regulated and judged, competitive sport.