Thousands of protected brown hares killed during breeding season

More than 1,300 brown hares were licensed to be killed in Scotland last year during the breeding season, the highest number since the Scottish wildlife regulator took control of the licence scheme seven years ago.

Brown and mountain hares in Scotland are considered game quarry but during their respective breeding seasons cannot be killed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended by The Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011, except under certain circumstances, such as where there is serious damage to timber or for health and safety reasons.

Since the act came into force, the number of brown hares under licence to be taken or killed during the breeding season – 1 February to 30 September – has doubled since 2014.

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