Three men from north Cumbria have admitted taking part in hare coursing – in one case because the man involved said he liked hare stew.
The trio – Brampton man Richard Cartwright, 35, and Workington man Richard Moore, 42, and his 17-year-old son Dean – were caught by police near Annan.
Cartwright, of West View, Brampton, was caught at Cummertrees, near Annan, after police spotted his van going slowly, then speeding up, and they followed it.
As the police car reversed, officers found a trail of seven dead hares on the roadway which had not been there one second previously.
Cartwright and the Workington father and son, from Farmoss, Northside, stood together in the dock and admitted deliberately hunting two hares with two lurcher type dogs on land near Cummertrees in November.
Richard Moore also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice in being the driver of a van which accelerated off on seeing a marked police car in an attempt to escape to dispose of evidence against him.
Cartwright admitted a similar charge by throwing seven dead hares from the rear of the van in an attempt to dispose of the evidence.
The two dogs had been taken into the care of the Scottish branch of the RSPCA and fiscal Pamela Rhodes pressed for their forfeiture and the van and for a ban on the men from keeping dogs.
Solicitors acting for the three said the men claimed the lurchers were family pets along with other dogs and pleaded for their return pointing out that there were youngsters in the households who looked on them as pets.
It was questioned whether a ban imposed in Scotland on keeping animals under the Act would be effective in England.
Sheriff Kenneth Ross continued the case to the end of the month.