Lincolnshire Police has received information that there may be a gathering of hare coursers somewhere in the county on Saturday.
A dispersal order has been put in place, giving officers the power to direct people to leave the county if they are suspected of being involved in hare coursing.
Extra officers will be patrolling the county and its rural communities are asked to be extra vigilant and report any suspected hare coursing on 101 or 999 if in progress.
Hare coursing is a cruel and illegal activity where dogs are released by people trespassing in a farmer’s field to chase hares. Often attending in large groups, the ‘hare coursers’ gamble on the event and the aim isn’t for the dog to simply catch the hare – the dogs score points for making the poor animal change direction.
The exhausted hare is eventually caught and savagely killed before being thrown in a ditch to hide the evidence.
Hare coursers are often from outside of our county and there is a fear that they may be involved in other types of crime including the theft of rural equipment, irresponsible and dangerous driving, and driving vehicles unfit for the road.
A police spokesman said: “We recognise this is a growing problem in Lincolnshire and understandably it is causing unrest amongst our farming and rural communities. Farmers are growing increasingly frustrated at damage being caused to their fields and those that do stand up to hare coursers are subjected to extremely threatening and intimidating behaviour, and sometimes violence.
“Lincolnshire Police are using all available legislation to seize dogs, vehicles and arrest offenders where possible, and achieve positive outcomes for victims through prosecutions.”