Police are appealing for witnesses after a Roe deer was found hung in a tree dead in Lancaster.
The grisly discovery was made by a local woman who was walking her dog in woodland off Aldrens Lane in Skerton, Lancaster this morning at around 8.50am. The deer was found hanging from a tree with its head, front legs and stomach removed.
It is thought that it had been taken down by a dog and then been used to recover the meat.
"I'm appalled that people can carry this sort of crime, using a dog to bring down a wild animal," commented Lancashire Constabulary’s Crime Wildlife Officer Mark Thomas.
"So much suffering is inflicted by the dogs upon the deer the animal doesn’t stand a chance," he continued. "Once they have hold of the deer it suffers so much pain while they rip into it.
"It’s a gruesome and barbaric crime and one that Lancashire Police take extremely seriously.
"The offenders are calculated and will spend hours stalking the deer before using lamps to show the dog the location of the deer, and then they will release the dogs to chase down the poor animal.
"Most of the pictures [of this attack] are too barbaric to show the public but I feel if they saw the extent of the nature of them it would have a hard hitting impact of this sort of crime.
"I am appealing for anyone who was in the area last night and who may have witnessed some suspicious activity in the area to come forward and contact the police."
This incident of animal cruelty follows on the heels of a another unconnected crime in which a seal was shot in Great Eccleston at the weekend.
• Anyone with information is asked to call Lancashire Constabulary on 101.
• People with information can also contact the independent charity 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 go to court.