The Queen’s gamekeeper is injured after being pelted with stones by illegal hare hunters on the Sandringham estate near the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
- Royal gamekeeper confronted three men who hunted hares with dogs
- He was pelted with stones in his attempt to keep the hare from rushing around Queen’s estate
- The gamekeeper was left with a bruised chest in the attack on Flitcham, Norfolk
A royal gamekeeper was pelted with stones after trying to stop the illegal running of hares on the queen’s estate.
He confronted three men who hunted hares with dogs, who rip their prey apart.
Bets of thousands of euros can be placed on the results. The gamekeeper was left with a bruised chest in the attack on Flitcham, Norfolk.
Cruel: a ‘greyhound’ – who hunts by sight rather than scent – is depicted chasing a hare [File photo]
The attack took place on a freshly harvested field, part of the 20,000 acre estate in Sandringham, near the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s manor house, Anmer Hall.
It is also close to the Queen’s Norfolk home where she and Prince Philip spend a few weeks after leaving Balmoral.
Norfolk police said the game warden called 999 on September 3 and three men were arrested. Although hare coursing was banned in 2004, it is still illegal.
It is most common between September and March when fields are bare with crops, allowing sight-hunting dogs to see their prey.
Competitors bet on dogs, earning points on every turn for catching the hare, plus a higher score for whoever gets the kill.
PC Jon Chandler, of the Norfolk Police Department, said harecoursers were often threatening, adding: ‘The gamekeeper stated that he had seen harecoursing. When he got involved with the people, they threw stones at him and caused him some minor injuries. It’s a cruel sport. ‘
He said 300 incidents of harecoursing were reported each year in Norfolk and Suffolk, 600 in Cambridgeshire and 1,000 in Lincolnshire, adding, “Many other incidents are not reported.”
The attack took place on a freshly harvested field, part of the 20,000 acre estate in Sandringham, near the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s manor, Anmer Hall (pictured above)
The unnamed gamekeeper told police his attackers had fled in a green Subaru. Officers tried to stop a car that matched the description, but it didn’t stop.
A green Subaru was found abandoned nearby and three men in their 30s were arrested on charges of assault, mammal hunting with dogs, and driving violations.
The car and four lurcher-type dogs were also seized by officers.
The men, all from the area of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, were released on bail until September 29.
They were arrested as part of a joint police campaign against hare hunting, usually in East Anglia, called Operation Galileo.