TWO men have been fined after being caught illegal hare coursing with dogs in the Isle of Axholme.
The incident involving two Doncaster men took place in January at a farm in Sandtoft.
Felix Buller Boyling, 47, and Ambrose Watson, 43, both pleaded guilty to separate charges of hunting a wild mammal with a dog, at North Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court in Scunthorpe.
Boyling, of Belle Vue Avenue, was ordered to pay a £200 fine with a victim surcharge of £15 plus £85 prosecution costs. He was disqualified from driving for 28 days, and the court seized his car.
Ambrose Watson of Chequer Avenue, Hyde Park, was also handed a £200 fine, with £20 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
The cruel sports of hare coursing and deer hunting with dogs are a priority for wildlife officers in the Isle and throughout North Lincolnshire. But poaching with dogs is a growing issue nationally, say campaigners.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “With regards to incidents of poaching with dogs – we would urge anyone with information to contact the police in the first instance, who have the powers to deal with these kinds of incidents.
“There has, historically, been a number of cases in the Isle of Axholme and North Lincolnshire area.
“A special unit has now been set up to try to control the problem.”
Gangs behind illegal hare-coursing and deer hunting activity also damage farmers’ land, and have been known to steal equipment.
The Hunting Act 2004 means that anyone found guilty of hare coursing is liable on conviction to a fine of up to £5,000.
Anyone with information about illegal hare coursing or other forms of poaching should contact Humberside Police or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.