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Three men charged following hare coursing incidents in the north-east

A brown hare.
A brown hare.

Three men have been charged in connection with a pair of hare coursing incidents in the north-east.

The incidents happened in the Pitmedden area.

PC Jennifer Heritage from Ellon police office said: “I would like to thank the public for their vigilance in reporting these incidents when they occur.

“Wildlife crime is a priority for Police Scotland and while it is often difficult to catch offenders in the act, we continue to investigate these crimes fully.”

Police have asked that anyone who witnesses these crimes taking place or suspects they are happening to call them on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

What is hare coursing?

Hare coursing is a blood sport where dogs are used to chase, catch and kill hares.

It is illegal in Scotland under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The people involved will usually use lurchers, greyhounds or whippets to chase the hares, but the motive is rarely used to take the hare but instead to treat it as a sport.

The practice is also banned in the rest of the UK, but remains legal in Ireland and parts of the western United States.

Last September, politician Paul Murphy put forward a bill to ban hare coursing in Ireland, but previous attempts to change the law have failed.

In December, former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson wrote to Taoiseach Micheál Martin urging him to put a stop to the blood sport.

Pamela Anderson is an honorary director of Peta in the US.

The Canadian actor said: “Hare coursing is reckless – and it’s cruel. Many hares die when they are captured, transported, and held captive before meets.

“Some endure stress-induced heart attacks or other organ damage, or they collapse and die of sheer exhaustion while desperately fleeing from the dogs.

“This blood sport is at odds with the warmth and goodwill that people around the world know and love Ireland for.”

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