Farmers reveal impact of hare coursing in new Yorkshire Agricultural Society survey

Troubling new insights into the impacts of hare coursing have been provided in a survey carried out by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:46 pm
Hare coursing incidents were highest in North and East Yorkshire.
Hare coursing incidents were highest in North and East Yorkshire.

The highest number of hare coursing incidents were reported from farmers in North and East Yorkshire.

In most cases the crime is a reoccurring problem. The survey found that in 82% of cases the same farm had been targeted at least three times since the start of last year.

Farmers also reported inconsistent responses when reporting the crime was taking place.

Charles Mills, a farmer near York and Show Director of the Great Yorkshire Show, said: “Hare coursing clearly continues to be a reoccurring problem on many farms, and farming families are paying a heavy price, both in terms of their sense of safety and wellbeing being compromised, and the costs of repairing damage and installing deterrents.

“The survey results tell me that hare coursing is not being driven out of the countryside anywhere near effectively enough. This needs to change.

“Farmers also need more consistent communication from police forces to reassure them that this crime is being taken seriously and to ensure that this crime does not go underreported.”

The findings have also been shared with the Country Land and Business Association and the National Farmers Union to help inform national efforts by a coalition of countryside groups to secure legislative change.

CLA North Adviser Libby Bateman said: “We regularly hear anecdotal evidence of the problems associated with hare coursing, and it is incredibly useful to now have some empirical data to spotlight the scale of the problems.

“The Yorkshire Agricultural Society should be highly commended for the effort that has been put into developing and delivering this survey and the presentation of its finding.”