POLICE have arrested three men at Claughton on suspicion of illegal hare coursing.
The three, understood to be from the Chorley area, were arrested at Lydiate Lane, Claughton, following reports that people had been seen hunting hares with dogs in a wooded area.
Their vehicle, dogs and mobile phones were seized by police following the early morning tip-off and a dead hare was taken as forensic evidence.
The suspects have been released on police bail until September 29.
The arrests follow on from a high profile investigation into hare coursing in Garstang and Over Wyre in December when police raided homes in Heysham and Lancaster.
Wildlife officers and RSPCA officials revealed that illegal hunting with dogs, including fox hunting, hare coursing and badger baiting, is rife in the Garstang area.
Hare coursing and other rural ‘sports’ involving hunting with hounds are banned under the 2004 Hunting Act.
The raids followed calls to police from farmers in Out Rawcliffe and Winmarleigh.
Lancashire Police Wildlife Officer PC Duncan Thomas said: “The Garstang area contains wide expanses of quality, flat farmland which provide perfect conditions for a variety of wildlife, including hares.
“Unfortunately, it also makes it a prime spot for illegal hare coursing and we are aware of people travelling some distance to the Garstang area to commit these crimes.”
PC Dave Kerfoot of Garstang police said: “Lancashire Constabulary remains committed to preventing and detecting this crime which is of significant interest to the local community and wish to extend their thanks to the members of the community who reported and assisted with this incident.”