A man hunting game on private land has had his vehicle confiscated and destroyed after a court case.
Mitchel Cannon, 26, was caught by the police on land in Haisthorpe, in Yorkshire’s East Riding.
He was stopped by the Rural Task Force after a tip-off.
Cannon, of Sleights, North Yorkshire, was fined £300 and ordered to pay £119 in costs.
He pleaded guilty.
The court ordered his vehicle be confiscated and destroyed.
Rural Task Force Officer Kevin Jones said:
“This has been a fantastic result thanks to some proactive teamwork in tackling wildlife crime.
“This result sends a clear message to those who are thinking about coming into the East Riding of Yorkshire to commit wildlife crime.
“We will act on every occasion and will look at utilising all the available legislation to prevent, deter and prosecute those who decide to engage in criminality around our countryside.
“Wherever we have the evidence we will prosecute offenders and we welcome the help of our rural communities in letting us know of incidents in their area.
“If people see anything suspicious, they should always call 999 for suspected crimes in progress or 101 for non-emergency incidents.”
Over the last five years rural crime has increased throughout the UK.
The Government has recently brough in new measures to tackle to problem.
Hare coursers now face up to six months in prison as the Government clamps down on the illegal “sport”.
Hares – a declining sight in Britain’s countryside – are chased to exhaustion by dogs – usually lurchers.
Hare coursing is usually associated with rural crime.
People who try to stop hare coursers are often met with personal threats and violence.
New legislation will include unlimited fines and – for the first time – a prison sentence.
The police will be reimbursed for kennelling dogs caught hare coursing and disqualify offenders from owning a dog.
Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance chief executive, said:
“Hare poaching has been ‘a blight on rural communities for far too long.
“Despite their best efforts, police forces across the country struggle to tackle hare poachers and we have long campaigned to give them and the courts additional powers.”
The measures will apply to England.
Coursing causes damage to the farm as coursers illegally break through fences and security features.
Once the chase starts crops are trampled and damaged, livestock spooked, and fields dug up by 4×4 tracks.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
“There are persistent groups who illegally perpetuate hare coursing, creating challenges for the police.
“These new measures will give the police the additional powers to bring prosecutions and confiscate dogs from owners involved in hare coursing.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“Illegal hare coursing has blighted rural communities for too long, resulting in criminal damage, threating violence and intimidation against farmers and landowners.
“Those responsible are often involved in other criminal activities – including drugs and firearms offences.
“I have been a longstanding supporter for essential reforms to our laws to stop hare coursing which is why we will act to prevent more people from suffering as a result of the actions of a law-breaking minority.”