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The decision of a court in Yorkshire to fine a hare poacher £1,000 has been welcomed by the National Gamekeepers? Organisation (NGO) as a sign that police are taking the crime seriously, reports Will Finch.

Melvyn Howard, 26, was found guilty by magistrates in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire of taking part in daytime poaching. He had been part of a group of men who were seen hunting hares with lurchers on private land in Barton, on Christmas Eve 2009.

The NGO?s Yorkshire chairman Chris Wild said: ?It?s good to see that the police are enforcing these criminal acts and that people are being prosecuted. Poaching is now being taken seriously as an offence in the countryside.

?I would encourage keepers and the countryside police to work together to help catch these criminals. The course the NGO runs for the police makes them more aware of country crimes, including poaching, and explains to them what they should be looking for.?

The rest of this article appears in 2nd March issue of Shooting Times.

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