I’m very pleased to see the new, tougher measures to tackle hare coursing, which I have called for over a number of years. The current legislation dates back to the early 1800s so these proposals to simplify and strengthen the law are very welcome. We know this barbaric activity does take place in our constituency, causing damage to crops and farm property as well as being very cruel to animals. There is also a close association with other criminal activities such as theft, violence and intimidation.The new powers will see unlimited fines, up to six months in prison, and a ban on offenders keeping dogs, as well as two new criminal offences. Plans for the new legislation were announced on Tuesday and it’s hoped they will be introduced in time for this year’s harvest. I’m sure farmers, wildlife campaigners, police and residents will back these measures, which should have a significant impact on a crime that in particular impacts rural communities.