Traditional Coursing 

The oldest form of hare coursing involved two dogs chasing a hare with the winner being the dog that caught the hare. Various cross breeds (under the generic term lurchers) have been created such animals may be specifically bred for coursing. Traditional or Informal coursing has long been closely associated with pheasant hunting and poaching, therefore lacking the landowner's permission. Many lurcher clubs  have closed since 2005 with those remaining legally required to have landowner's permission, sometimes using a single lurcher rather than a pair to chase a hare.

Modern Coursing

Modern hare coursing is practiced using a number of sighthounds: these are  mainly greyhounds, but also borzois, salukis, whippets, and deerhounds. The objective of coursing is said to be to test and judge the athletic ability of the dogs rather than to kill the hare, although many hares are killed this way every year. The season runs from October to March and covers the breeding season where many pregnant hares and leverets are killed. Open coursing takes place in the open field and closed coursing (or park or Irish style) takes place in an enclosed area.

Open coursing (also known as run or walked up) where a line of people walk through the countryside to flush out a hare. Driven coursing (such as the Waterloo Cup), where hares are driven by beaters towards the coursing field. In each case a person known as "a slipper" uses a slip with two collars to release two dogs at the same time, in pursuit of the hare that is given a head start, that called "fair law". The greyhounds pursue the hare, and being larger and faster, start to catch up. Hare's do not tend to "go to ground" in the same way as foxes or mink and therefore as they tire, the stamina of the hounds brings about "the kill". Under National Coursing Club rules, the dogs are awarded points on how many times they can "turn the hare" and how closely they "force" the hare's progress. The contest between the greyhounds is judged, usually from horseback and the winning greyhound will proceed to the next round of a knock-out tournament. 

The Burns Inquiry, set up by the UK Government to examine hunting with dogs in England and Wales, which included coursing, concluded that: "We are satisfied that being pursued, caught and killed by dogs during coursing seriously compromises the welfare of the hare. It is clear, moreover, that, if the dog or dogs catch the hare, they do not always kill it quickly” The report continued; “There can also sometimes be a significant delay, in driven coursing, before the picker-up reaches the hare and dispatches it.  "In the case of walked-up coursing, the delay is likely to be even longer". In Britain, Brown and Mountain hares have UKSAP (Species Action Plan) aiming to significantly increase their numbers. Some coursers claim coursing supports conservation because it leads to sporting landowners creating a habitat suitable for hares. Opponents of coursing say this is not correct as coursing takes place where hares live rather than hares living where coursing takes place. Coursers often claim that coursing kills slower, sick and older hares, leaving the younger, faster, stronger hares to breed; a claim dismissed by conservationists who claim that no pre-selection of hares is carried out before the chase.

In Britain, Brown and Mountain hares have UKSAP (Species Action Plan) aiming to significantly increase their numbers. Some coursers claim coursing supports conservation because it leads to landowners creating a habitat suitable for hares. Animal Welfare Campaigners say this is not correct as coursing takes place where hares live, rather than hares living where coursing takes place. Coursers often claim that coursing kills slower, sick and older hares, leaving the younger, faster, stronger hares to breed; a claim again dismissed by the fact that no pre-selection of hares is carried out before the chase.

DON'T REPEAL THE HUNTING ACT - IT IS CRUEL, INEFFECTIVE AND HAS NO PLACE IN THIS CENTURY