Man fined after being convicted in connection with hare coursing - Fife
Police Scotland welcomes the sentencing of a man who has been convicted of a hare coursing incident in Fife.
Jackie Stewart, 41, was fined £1,000 at Dundee Sheriff Court on Wednesday, 1 September, 2021, after pleading guilty to the offence on 17 June 2020.
Hare coursing is a wildlife crime where dogs such as greyhounds, salukis and other lurcher type dogs are used to illegally chase, catch, injure, and kill hares.
Police launched an investigation after being alerted to video footage on a Facebook profile which showed hare coursing taking place in North East Fife on New Year’s Day 2020.
Further enquiries established that the saluki type dog pictured in the footage belonged to Stewart.
Officers executed a Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 search warrant at Stewart’s home address on 30 January 2020, resulting in Stewart being arrested, interviewed and reported to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with hare coursing.
Stewart also pled guilty to a further incident at a farm in North East Fife on 28 April 2020, where he was found in suspicious circumstances with his lurcher type dog. After being asked to leave the farm, Stewart made threats towards to the landowner.
Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer, Detective Constable Ben Pacholek based in Fife, said: “Wildlife crimes, such as the illegal hunting of wild mammals with dogs has no place in Scotland. It is a cowardly, cruel and barbaric act that often has a far reaching impact on farming and rural communities.
"We welcome this conviction and hope that this sends a clear message to those who commit these kind of offences, whether that be against wildlife or members of the rural community, that we will investigate such acts and work with partners to seek prosecution.
"This incident clearly shows the key role members of the public can play in combatting wildlife crime by contacting the police and reporting criminality to us.
"Police Scotland’s year-long wildlife campaign, Operation Wingspan, is currently focussing on hare coursing and poaching and officers are keen to speak to anyone who has information about this type of crime.
"I would also encourage members of the public to contact police by calling 101 if they have any suspicions that someone in their community is involved in any kind of wildlife criminality. Reports can also be made to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”