TWO deers were savaged by dogs on farmland in the Ribble Valley.
Police are appealing for information about the attack after the sika deer were found in a shallow ditch by a farmer on Dockber Laithe Farm, Sawley.
Mark Thomas, Lancashire Police’s wildlife crime officer said it appeared the animals had been attacked by dogs before having their innards partially removed and their throats cut.
He said: “The carcasses have then been hidden away, most likely for the offenders to come back and collect them at a later date.
“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.”
PC Thomas said the deer had been discovered on Thursday.
He said: “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.
“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.”
PC Thomas also urged butchers and restaurants to contact police and trading standards if they had any offers of cheap venison.
Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.