Falkirk police issue wildlife crime warning
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According to Police Scotland, Wildlife Crime is any illegal act in Scotland affecting certain birds, animals, and plants including their habitats.
It includes the illegal disturbance, destruction, theft, and sale of animals and plants both in the countryside and urban areas, and also the damage and destruction of protected habitats.
Wildlife Crime poses significant harm to the species targeted by the criminals, as well as the communities who rely on wildlife for employment and tourism.
Hare coursing is one example of a wildlife crime.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Hare coursing is the deliberate hunting of hares with dogs and has been banned in Scotland since 2002. Hare coursing is a criminal offence and permission of the landowner is irrelevant.
"Hare Coursing occurs all year round however is most prevalent between August and April when crops are cut short, enabling dogs and their handlers the ability to observe the hares. Hares are hunted using dogs, causing a cruel and painful death and damaging rural environments and economies.
“Hare coursers will often travel large distances to carry out this illegal act, meaning there are usually vehicles involved, or parked close by.
“Police Scotland urge those living in, working in and traveling to our countryside to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity. This could be descriptions of locations/people/dogs and vehicle registration numbers. Do not approach or engage with anyone.”
Anyone with information regarding Hare Coursing should contact Police Scotland on 999 or 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.