Men seen killing mountain hares with dogs

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Police are seeking information after three men were photographed hunting mountain hares with lurchers.

Derbyshire police have released pictures of the men with lurchers which were killing mountain hares on Shelf Moor near the Snake Pass summit on Friday January 12.

PC Karl Webster fo the Derrbyshire Rural Crime Team based at Matlock said: “It is unfortunate that people derive pleasure from this illegal activity, but fortunate that on that particular afternoon there happened to be a group of wildlife photographers out on the moor and, consequently, the evidence is of extremely good quality.

“Following a very active response through social media the men are in the process of being identified, with one having already been interviewed and reported. However, any further information is welcomed.

Using dogs to hunt wild mammals, and also coursing hares, has been illegal since the Hunting Act 2004 made it so.

PC Webster added: “This kind of activity also has wider implications for the ecology of the area. The southern Pennines are precious environments with enough existing challenges to deal with, without the additional difficulties brought about by these people.

“To anyone who spends time in the countryside, please report incidents like this to the police.

“This particular case is an exceptional example where the witnesses were in a tremendous position to gather evidence, and also had the wherewithal to photograph the cars parked at the Snake Pass summit. In most cases we would expect to work with much less evidence, but we’re always keen to deal with these people as robustly as the law allows.”