Operation Galileo, Lincolnshire Police’s fight against illegal hare coursing, has received a boost from the RSPCA in the form of new microchip scanners.
Hare coursing occurs when groups of people, usually from outside the county, descend on Lincolnshire fields and set their dogs to illegally chase and kill hares.
The RSPCA have donated seven microchip scanners so that police officers can quickly check whether a dog is microchipped. Under the Microchipping of Dogs regulations it is compulsory for dogs over eight weeks old to be fitted with a microchip.
Since April 2016, dogs must be chipped and their owner or keeper’s contact details kept up to date. Failure to do so may result in a criminal prosecution and a £500 fine.
RSPCA Chief Inspector John Lawson said: “This will make it easier for the police to find the owners or keepers of abandoned dogs. If the dog is not chipped or if the contact details are out of date, the owner or keeper will be served with a notice to put this right within 21 days. Non-compliance of this notice can result in a £500 fine plus associated costs.”
Chief Inspector Jim Tyner from Lincolnshire Police said: “We are extremely grateful to the RSPCA. We already work closely on issues of animal welfare and RSPCA Inspectors also join us on Operation Galileo patrols. Dogs involved in hare coursing are sometimes abandoned in a bid to get away from police patrols. The new scanners will make it easier for us to link dogs involved in hare coursing with their owners.”