BASC and the GWCT have released a new code of practice to encourage a balanced population of brown hare in England.
Capable of posing a major agricultural threat where there is suitable habitat and minimal predation, the brown hare’s numbers vary between regions.
Created to help achieve a sustainable population while enabling people to control them as necessary, the new code of practice is backed by the Tenant Farmers’ Association, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, the Moorland Association, the CLA and the Countryside Alliance.
As well as detailing the law regarding brown hare, the code offers advice on best practice for a harmonious balance between conservation, crop damage, and management of them as game animals.
The head of game and gamekeeping at BASC, Glynn Evans, said: “Everyone wants to see a thriving hare population but in areas where conservation and conditions favour hare, they can become a threat to the production of food. This code sets out practical advice for humane control.”
Mike Swan, head of education at the GWCT, added: “The GWCT has been at the forefront of research on hares for over 20 years and managed to achieve a 10-fold population increase on its own research farm over three years.
“We welcome this new code for brown hare management. The hare is a wonderful animal and this advice reconciles the needs of hare conservation and crop protection in a pragmatic, humane and flexible way.”