As of 1 August 2022, it is illegal to trespass on another person’s property, if your intention is to hunt for hares with dogs. It is also illegal to equip yourself with articles that could help you carry out this offence. Each offence carries a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment.
If you have been accused of a criminal offence, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We specialise in criminal defence law and can represent you throughout proceedings. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hare hunting with dogs
Hare hunting with dogs has been banned in England and Wales since the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004. Further offences have recently been added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 to cover incidents of trespassing with the intent to search for, or pursue, hares with dogs.
What are the new offences?
Specifically, as of 1 August 2022, it has been illegal to trespass on another person’s land with the intention of:
- Using a dog to search for, or pursue, a hare
- Facilitate or encourage the use of a dog to search for, or pursue, a hare
- Enable another person to observe the use of a dog to search for, or pursue, a hare
It is also illegal to have an article (other than in a dwelling) that will be used in the course of trespassing on another person’s land, with the intention of searching for/pursuing hares.
The primary defence is to prove that there was a reasonable excuse for trespassing.
What’s the punishment
Each offence carries a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment. If convicted, the court may also recover the cost of seizing and detaining any dogs that were used in the commission of unlawful hare hunting.
Hunting – New Offences Introduced
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