The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed that a new law banning hare coursing events in Northern Ireland came into effect last week.

The permanent ban, which is part of last year?s Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill, makes it an offence for someone to organise, participate in or attend a hare coursing event, or to net, transport or be in possession of hares for the purpose of a hare coursing event.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: ?Hare coursing events should not take place in a modern, civilised society. We all have a responsibility to protect our wildlife and certainly I want to do everything in my power to do that.

?While hare coursing events in Northern Ireland have been prevented for a number of years on a temporary basis, the ban I am introducing is a permanent one and a positive step forward.?

However, the Countryside Alliance Ireland said that they believed that a ?sustainable and productive use of our natural resources?, of which hare coursing was a part, was vital in sustaining Northern Ireland?s rural communities.

The rest of this article appears in 24th August issue of Shooting Times.

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