Calls for action against hare coursers after death of pets

08:30 04 September 2014

Archant

Whaddon animal-lover Rebecca Aloneftis wants to start a petition after she found a neighbour’s cat dead. She believes it was killed by the dogs of coursers hunting hares for sport.

Hare coursing involves the pursuit of a hare with dogs and usually ends with the hare being killed. It has been illegal in the UK since 2005.

Miss Aloneftis said: “Each year around this time, we are subjected to the horrific and illegal sport of hare coursing, which occurs in the rural areas just outside Royston.

“Individuals engage in this blood sport without remorse for the consequences to the local community.

“My neighbour has recently lost a much loved pet, which must have suffered a horrific death by these hounds. There is no consolation in our hearts for this cruelty suffered by animals if people continue to engage in this blood sport so close to our homes. We no longer want to live here in fear for our pets.”

The 40-year-old said she does not allow her pet cat to roam around after dark in fear that it would be attacked.

“I let it out during the day, but at night it is confined to the home.”

In a separate incident near Cardiff Place, Bassingbourn, a pet cat was found dead in a field having apparently been attacked.

Bassingbourn resident Simon Hathaway said he had seen a pick-up truck with bright lights going across fields near his home the night before the cat’s body was found, and had alerted the police.

He said: “This is not the first time these coursers have been around these fields. Last year we had the unpleasant experience of shots being fired late at night by them, as well as the extremely bright lights being shone into our windows from the trucks.

“It seems they know all the easiest and quickest escape routes into and out of the fields because by the time the police, if they do turn up, arrive when they are long gone.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “We received reports of poaching in land off Cardiff Place, Whaddon. Officers attended but no offenders were found. We would urge people to report suspecting poaching and hare coursing by calling 101 or 999 if it is a crime in action.”

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