FOUR men have been sentenced for hare coursing offences in the Stirling and Borders area.

The group were arrested in April 2020 after being stopped by officers near to Kippen Roundabout in an intelligence lead operation.

They were arrested and charged with hare coursing offences throughout Stirling and the Borders while their car and dogs were seized.

On Monday, February 6, the men were sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

It resulted in a driving ban, disqualification from owning dogs as well as community payback and compensation orders totalling 720 hours and £1,300.

PC Laura Robertson, wildlife crime officer based at Dunblane Police Station, said: “Hare coursing is a barbaric 'sport' which involves a range of offences including animal welfare, damage to property, road traffic offences, violent and threatening behaviour.

“I would encourage the public that if they suspect hare coursing is taking place to call 101 or 999 if an incident is ongoing.

“Also, if anyone has information regarding individuals whom they suspect of being involved in hare coursing, you can provide this anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Hare coursing is a wildlife crime which sees dogs, sighthounds and lurcher types, illegally used to chase, catch, injure and kill hares.