Animal raids: man released

A 22-year-old man arrested in animal raids in the district on Monday has been released without charge.

POLICE raided two addresses in Lancaster and Heysham on Monday as a result of a joint investigation by Lancashire Constabulary and the RSPCA.

The investigation began into offences of hunting wild mammals with dogs after several people came forward and reported incidents of suspected hare coursing in the area.

Police and RSPCA seized two lurcher dogs, a substantial amount of money and several rabbit carcases from an address in Barley Cop Lane. A lurcher puppy was also taken from the address by the RSPCA after being found in appalling conditions. They also arrested a 22-year-old man and seized a vehicle at the second address in St Patricks Walk, Heysham.

Force wildlife officer Duncan Thomas said; " Lancashire Constabulary and its partners are working together to tackle all wildlife crime head on and are committed to bringing offenders to justice. Wildlife crime often has links to much more serious and organised crime and is classed as such itself and I would strongly encourage people who may have any information about or may have witnessed this type of crime to contact police."

RSPCA Insp Simon Small said " Hare coursing causes untold suffering to the animals involved and is an ongoing problem in north Lancashire .

" The RSPCA is working shoulder-to-shoulder with Lancashire Constabulary to fight wildlife crime in our area. This operation sends out a clear message that crimes like these will not be tolerated. Hunting wild animals is cruel and unacceptable and has no place in modern society."

The Constabulary urges anybody who may witness any wildlife-related criminal activity to contact their local police or by calling 08451 25 35 45. Calls can always be treated in confidence.