Hare coursing and the Hunting Act 2004

At first blush one may view the Hunting Act as a resounding success.

After all, the statistics are, on one view, quite impressive. Since it came into force in 2005, and with a success rate in the region of 70%, there have been in the region of 500 convictions (although it is worth noting that this figure includes convictions for ‘hunting’ and ‘hare coursing’ which are 2 distinct offences).

Notwithstanding the fact that both are clearly serious, it is the latter that has been grabbing the headlines in recent months, particularly in the South of England. Cambridgeshire Police recently publicised over 800 complaints between October 2016 and January 2017 and Officers in Essex recently launched ‘Operation Galileo’ as a means of tackling this problem. Politicians are also offering their backing, with the MP for Salisbury calling for tougher penalties as recently as this month

Why is hare coursing seemingly on the rise?What can be done about this and can I be held liable as a landowner?

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.