Police allowed protests from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which condemns the sport as cruel and said 'This Valentine's Day will hold no romance for British hares heralding as it does the start of the Waterloo Cup - a horrific event that derives pleasure from the pursuit and death of these wild mammals.'

However, the National Coursing Club claims that seven out of eight hares coursed survive and argues that flight is a natural response to the hare and deny charges of causing suffering.