Wiltshire Police are on the look out for an illegal hare coursing competition taking place today – known as the ‘Fir Cup’.
The ‘Fir Cup’ is potentially worth tens of thousands of pounds to the winner in breeding rights – as it is likely other hare coursers would want to breed from the winning dog.
A statement released by Wiltshire Police reads: “Should hare coursers choose the county as their venue, our experienced Rural Crime Team are ready to respond working with officers from across the county, the Police Drone Unit, the local rural community and neighbouring forces.
“As part of Operation Artemis, the Force’s response to poaching across the county, our Rural Crime Team have been working with our local farmers, gamekeepers and landowners to implement anti-poaching measures across the county. These include extensive anti-poaching ditching to prevent vehicle access, securing access to land and putting measures in place to make life difficult for any potential poachers.”
Superintendent Phil Staynings said: “Operation Artemis has always made clear hare coursing is not tolerated in Wiltshire. We continue to work closely with our local rural communities to share intelligence around this cruel sport and are fully committed to prosecuting those who break the law.
“Hare coursing is a barbaric sport committed by people with little respect for the animals they hunt, the dogs they use and is often closely linked to violence and intimidation. You are not welcome in Wiltshire.”
Anyone with information about this event is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.