Hare coursing: a timeline of our lobbying work

First published: 01 February 2022

An image of a hare in a field

See how we've been campaigning for tougher measures on hare coursing over the past five years.

Hare coursing – a timeline

July 2017

Then-NFU Deputy President Minette Batters meets Chief Constable Dave Jones, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead on rural crime, the first high-level meeting between an NFU officeholder and a national police lead.

July 2017

The NFU’s Combatting Rural Crime Report is launched in the House of Commons.

December 2017

The NFU holds its first Hare Coursing Summit to overcome inconsistencies in hare coursing sentencing across police force and CPS areas. The NFU hare coursing video is also launched.

April 2018

NFU President Minette Batters presents at the Chief Constable's Council on rural crime and hare coursing.

June 2018

NPCC rural crime lead, Craig Naylor, and Chair of the National Rural Crime Network, Julia Mulligan, present to NFU Council.

June/July 2018

The NFU is the sole farming organisation at the Rural Crime All Party Parliamentary Group, briefing the current Home Office and Ministry of Justice ministers.

July 2018

Hare coursing legal guidance is produced by the CPS as a direct result of the NFU’s Hare Coursing Summit.

July 2018

The NPCC Rural Affairs Strategy is launched to increase the level of awareness of poaching and hare coursing as serious wildlife crimes and build better trust and relationships between law enforcement agencies and local communities.

August 2018

A hare coursing roundtable is hosted by NFU Sugar Board chair Michael Sly in Cambridgeshire.

June 2019

The NFU establishes a hare coursing coalition alongside the Countryside Alliance and the CLA.

October 2019

Then-Defra Minister Lord Gardiner talks about hare coursing on farm in Dorking.

August 2020

The coalition writes to Defra and the Home Office suggesting the government adopt its action plan on hare coursing. Their reply says there are no plans to amend the Game Act.

September 2020

The NFU presents at a government roundtable discussion on hare coursing.

December 2020

The NFU provides a briefing to Gordon Henderson MP ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on hare coursing.

May 2021

During the Queen’s Speech, the government announces legislation changes on hare coursing as part of its Action Plan for Animal Welfare. Following this announcement, the NFU's chief land management adviser Sam Durham begins fortnightly meetings with the Defra team drafting the legislation.

June 2021

Richard Fuller MP tables the Private Members Bill on hare coursing after ongoing discussion with the coalition.

June 2021

Sam Durham presents to the Defra hare coursing roundtable hosted by minister Rebecca Pow. Robert Goodwill MP tables amendments at the committee stage of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in the House of Commons.

September 2021

 The NFU supports Crimestoppers' rural crime campaign with a focus on hare coursing.

November 2021

The Bishop of St Albans tables similar amendments to the PCSC Bill when it moves to the House of Lords.

November 2021

The coalition writes a letter to Peers.

January 2022

The government sets out plans to strengthen powers and penalties available to tackle hare coursing through the PCSC Bill.

January 2022

The House of Lords votes in favour of government amendments and the Bill will go back to the House of Commons before Royal Assent.

April 2022

The Bill receives Royal Assent.

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