Police hunt deer killers

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POLICE are appealing for information after two sika deer were found dead and partially gutted on farmland.

A farmer found the deer hidden in a shallow ditch on Dockber Laithe Farm, Sawley, and police are asking for anyone with any information to come forward.

Wildlife Crime Officer PC Mark Thomas said: “It would appear that these two deer have been attacked by dogs before having their throats cut and their innards partially removed.

“The carcasses have then been hidden away, most likely for the offenders to come back and collect them later.”

There have been other similar incidents recently in other areas of the county including an incident near Carnforth where a dog walker found two deer that been shot with a crossbow-type weapon.

PC Thomas added: “In recent months we have seen a spike in the number of illegal deer poaching incidents and we are urging members of the public, particularly those working or living in rural areas across the county, to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.

“The people responsible for these offences are clearly not professional deer stalkers and are causing unnecessary pain and suffering to wildlife around the county.

“They are also trespassing on private land and causing damage while conducting illegal activity.”

The culling of deer in Lancashire is required to control numbers and preserve habitat and woodland areas, but it is controlled and is conducted by professional deer stalkers who are highly trained and insured to do so.

They are trained marksmen who pride themselves on being professional in every way possible so no suffering is caused to the animals.

But PC Thomas said: “The people who take deer in this illegal way using dogs are without a doubt not professionals but opportunists.

“We are determined to stamp out this illegal activity in Lancashire and are doing all we can to tackle it.

“I would also urge any butchers or restaurants in the local areas that if they have any offers of cheap venison to consider contacting the police and trading standards.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not have to go to court.