Apr 2 2010 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Friday
HARE coursers targeting Stirling are in for a rude awakening this Easter after a special crackdown was announced by the Scottish Government.
The national initiative is taking place for the second year in succession in a bid to pounce on criminals who exploit the endangered animals, which are particularly vulnerable in spring.
The move has been welcomed by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland.
Roseanna Cunningham, environment minister and chair of PAW Scotland, said: “The sight of ‘mad March hares’ boxing in open fields is one of the most potent signs of spring and the hare has long been associated with Easter time.
“Unfortunately, brown hares all too often attract the unwelcome attention of people who set their dogs after them, in the name of so-called sport.
She added: “Operation Lepus aims to target those involved in hare coursing and associated crime and raise awareness of the problem.”
Detective Inspector Brian Stuart, head of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “If anyone witnesses suspicious activity in the countryside, report it to the police immediately.”