Thursday, 1 Jun 2023

Dead badger, foxes and rabbits dumped in lay-by 'covered in dog bites'

The bodies of seven animals who had suffered severe dog bite wounds have been found dumped in a lay-by.

Two foxes, four rabbits and a badger were tragically left strewn across the gravel at the roadside near a ditch in Ashford, Kent.

A member of the public made the grim discovery on May 3 and the RSPCA believe the deaths could have been caused by illegal hunting.

WARNING: Photos of dead animals appear further down the article

All the animals except the badger had wounds consistent with being attacked by dogs, according to the RSPCA.

Inspectors at the charity have suggested that someone might be using dogs to hunt the animals.

Using dogs to hunt and kill animals has been illegal in the UK since 2004.

It is not clear whether the wounds were inflicted while the animals were dead or alive, the RSPCA said.

Clive Hopwood, an RSPCA inspector who is looking into the deaths, said hunters could be using dogs to kill a variety of different wild animals. 

Mr Hopwood said: ‘We can’t be sure if these dog bite wounds were caused after the animals were dead or when they were alive.

‘And we’re keen to find out if someone is going out hunting for wild animals with their dogs.

‘We are urging anyone who knows anything about this, or who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area, to contact us in complete confidence so we can look into what happened.’

The RSPCA also called for countryside residents to be on the lookout for illegal hunting.

In March this year, the historic Cotswold Hunt was suspended after footage emerged allegedly showing a fox being buried alive.

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