Police have issued a stark warning to would-be hare coursers in rural areas as the new season looms.
Hertfordshire’s rural operational support team has warned it will not tolerate the activity, which involves catching hares with greyhounds and carries a fine of up to £5,000, and even a prison sentence.
Sgt Jamie Bartlett said: “Not only do illegal coursers and poachers trespass on private land, damage crops and property, but there is also the matter of animal cruelty, frequent illegal gambling, and driving stolen vehicles.
“We will be putting on extra patrols in areas where hare coursing is likely to take place.”
Anyone who has suspicions about hare coursing should call 101. If you witness the activity in progress, dial 999.