By Alice Simmons @CGazetteAlice

An investigation has been launched by the RSPCA after the bodies of seven hares were found dumped near Langport in Somerset.

RSPCA animal welfare officer Alison Sparkes has launched an investigation and is appealing for information on what may have happened to the hares.

Ali said: “I fear these hares could be the victims of coursing in the area.

“I collected four dead hares from a grass verge, and three who had been thrown over a low stone wall outside Immacolata House Care Home near the A378 just outside Langport. It is thought they were left there at some point overnight on Thursday, September 5 into Friday, September 6.

“The bodies of the hares have been taken to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre and have been seen by a wildlife vet. One hare was found to have obvious injuries which are thought to have been caused by a dog, while the others are believed to have internal injuries such as broken necks and spines.

“We’d urge anyone with any information about what happened to these poor animals to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. "We’d very much like to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area.”

Read more: Farmers warned to look out for hare coursing vehicle in Frome

Hare coursing involves dogs being set upon hares as a so-called ‘sport’.

Ali added: “Hare coursing is horrific in terms of animal welfare. Our inspectors, many well used to seeing animal cruelty first hand, have often described the footage they have seen of this barbaric custom as bloodcurdling and the sound the hare makes as it is being torn apart as heart wrenching.

“The RSPCA firmly believes that the cruel practice of chasing and killing live animals with dogs is a barbaric and outdated pastime and has no place in modern Britain.

"This is a sentiment echoed by the vast majority of the British public. Hare coursing was banned under the Hunting Act 2004.”

For more information on the Hunting Act visit

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.

Originally published in Somerset County Gazette

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