Wildlife crime police officers have welcomed the second conviction in a month for deer coursing in Fife.
Andrew Dunsmore, from Oakley, pleaded guilty to using a dog to hunt deer at West Saline Farm in April 2013.
Dunsmore, 28, was fined £500 and disqualified from having custody of a dog for 24 months when he was sentenced at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on May 1.
The case followed the eight-month sentence imposed on 17-year-old Leslie youth Brandon Robb last month for similar offences. The teenage serial animal killer admitted using his pet dog to hunt and kill an exceptionally rare piebald deer.
Robb killed the deer while awaiting sentence for stealing 30 ducks from a farm near his home town.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Findlay, the divisional lead officer for wildlife crime in Fife, said: “This is not people searching for foodstuff. In fact, in many cases the carcase is left where it died, so the activity is motivated by the thrill of the chase.”
He added: “We have evolved tactics to disrupt this activity where and when we find it in recognition that wildlife crime can be, and nationally often is, an offence carried out by those involved in other forms of crime.”
Community PC Mike Harvey said of the West Saline Farm case: “We carried out an extensive inquiry and can only hope that this sends out a message to others who are minded to indulge in this kind of activity that we are in a position to utilise a range of measures to bring them before the court.”
A spokesperson for the Crown Office said: “We would encourage anyone who may have information on deer poaching and deer coursing to contact the police.”
John Bruce, of the British Deer Society, added: “We are pleased that years of engaging with the community about wildlife crime is beginning to bring its rewards.
“When the community reports crimes, rather than choosing to not report what they observe, it shows a true desire to engage and to reveal the public’s principles on wildlife crime.”