Not convinced over concern for the welfare of our wildlife
AT first sight, it might seem that those that are concerned about animal welfare should be pleased by Caroline Wilson's article, headed "Illegal hare coursers in the sights of Galileo", published in the Sleaford Target on September 18.
The sub-heading proclaims that there is a "Special team of officers on the trail of criminal gangs driving around our countryside causing damage and threatening landowners all in the name of barbaric sport".
I am concerned about animal welfare, and I condemn the damaging of others' property and the use of threats. However, I am not convinced by this article.
A police vehicle that has been moving around the Sleaford area for the past few weeks is prominently marked "Wildlife Crime Officer" (that might be "Team", rather than "Officer"). Are the officer and his managers, and the relevant law, really concerned with the interests of wildlife? Isn't the concern actually with the interests of property owners?
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Hares, which are a threatened species, are routinely snared on farms that I know. Everything and anything that can be caught in the snares dies as well as the hares; that includes domestic animals as well as anything that those who see a distinction might consider more deserving of cruel treatment. Are we really to assume that those who set these snares, or condone it, send the police after hare coursers out of concern for the welfare of animals?
The claims of the police officer about the amounts of money involved and the harecoursers' lifestyles do not seem to me to be impartial. They are anecdotal and sensational, and I doubt that they are representative of the bigger picture here.
Paul Fox Address supplied