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Police plan major seizure of hare coursers' dogs

PUBLISHED: 14:42 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 November 2019

Police are planning to 'significantly' increase the number of coursers' dogs they seize  Picture: MichaelHall

Police are planning to 'significantly' increase the number of coursers' dogs they seize Picture: MichaelHall

Archant

Police are planning to up the stakes in the battle against hare coursing - by seizing hundreds of dogs.

Rural crime officers from across the region join forces under the banner of Operation Galileo.

Today Lincolnshire police revealed on social media: "For 2020/21 we want to significantly increase the number of hare coursing dogs seized across the 12 #OpGalileo forces.

"We're looking for organisations who can assist/advise. Maybe 200-plus dogs nationally. Currently gathering intelligence. DM us if you can help."

Large areas of East Anglia's countryside, particularly remote parts of the Fens, are vulnerable to the fast-moving illegal bloodsport.

Coursers pull onto fields in 4x4s and search for hares. When an animal is found two greyhounds or lurchers are released.

Big sums of money can be better on the dogs, as they compete to score points by turning the hare. While the objective is not to kill the animal, large numbers are caught and mauled to death by the dogs.

Coursing was banned as part of the 2004 hunting act. But so called rough or walk-up coursing continues and police believe an illegal knock-out competition called the Fir Cup takes place in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire each winter, with the winning dog earning thousands for its owner.

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