Hunters banned from owning dogs after sick video of hare being mauled to death

A horrific video has been released showing a dog clutching the body of a dead wild hare in its mouth during an illegal hunting trip.

The clip emerged in court as three men were sentenced for crimes against wildlife after they were spotted in a field by farmers in Brechin, Scotland.

Peter Anderson, Philip Starr and Phillip Wilson, from Macduff, Aberdeenshire, were also ordered to perform 190 hours of unpaid work when they appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court reports the Daily Record.

All three of them were also all banned from owning dogs for a period of two years after they admitted to being involved in hare coursing on February 2, 2020.

Hare coursing is an illegal activity in which dogs are used to chase, catch and kill wild hares.

The men were caught after farm owners noticed that two lurcher dogs were chasing a wild hare.

At this time, one of the men appeared to be filming the barbarity on a mobile phone.

When the group left the scene in a silver vehicle a short time later, they were discreetly followed by the concerned farmers who had called the police.

Police then stopped the car and arrested the men on suspicion of hare coursing.

After their vehicle was searched the trio's dogs were seized.

A mobile phone belonging to Starr within the rear of the vehicle was also seized and sent for analysis.

On it, police found a Whatsapp group with voice messages arranging to meet up to go hare coursing.

There was also a video taken by Starr on February 2 which showed one of the dogs with a dead hare.

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Speaking after the sentencing, Fiona Caldwell, Head of Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit said: "I welcome the sentence of these three men and the message it should send to anyone involved in hare coursing.

"Hare coursing is a cruel and wholly illegal act. The Crown will continue to work to ensure that anyone who hunts hares with dogs is brought to justice.

"We would encourage anyone who may have information on hare coursing to contact the police."

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