To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will increase the fines permissible within Section 30 of the Game Act 1831 for hare coursing offences.
9 September 2020
There are no current plans to amend the penalties in the Game Act 1831 for hare coursing offences.
The Government takes wildlife crime seriously and is committed to ensuring the protection this legislation offers wildlife is effectively enforced. It recognises the problems and distress which hare coursing causes for rural communities. Poaching (including hare coursing) is one of the UK’s six wildlife crime priorities, which are set by the UK Wildlife Crime Tasking and Co-ordination Group, supported by the Wildlife Crime Conservation Advisory Group, chaired by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. The National Wildlife Crime Unit, funded partly by Defra and the Home Office, assists regional police forces in tackling these crimes by gathering and analysing intelligence, sharing this with the police and assisting police investigations.
A hare coursing roundtable meeting was held on 3 September between Defra, Home Office, police, National Farmers Union and other rural organisations to bring parties together to establish a shared understanding of the barriers to tackling hare coursing effectively and identify potential ways forward.