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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
'Sickening' deer deaths condemned
Dead roe deer - picture from the Scottish SPCA
This roe deer was killed in February
Wildlife rangers have condemned attacks on two deer found dead in Strathclyde Country Park.

The animals were discovered in separate locations at the popular outdoor spot last week. Experts believe they were butchered by hunting dogs.

Police and conservation experts said those responsible for the killings would face prosecution.

Hunting with dogs became illegal in 2002 with those convicted facing a fine of up to 5,000 and six months in jail.

According to park rangers, the remains of a butchered male deer were found last week by dog walkers near the country park's North Motherwell Pavilion.

These are absolutely despicable and sickening crimes that will simply not be tolerated within North Lanarkshire
Paul Jukes
North Lanarkshire Council

In the other attack, a heavily-pregnant female was found at a different spot with bite marks across her rump, rear legs and head.

Rangers confirmed that one of the animals appeared to have been killed in the park before being butchered off-site. The carcass was then dumped back in the grounds.

Both animals appeared to die from injuries caused by a pack of hunting dogs, experts said.

North Lanarkshire Council's environmental services director, Paul Jukes, said: "Let's make no mistake that these are crimes.

'Totally illegal'

"These are absolutely despicable and sickening crimes that will simply not be tolerated within North Lanarkshire.

"The countryside is there to be enjoyed by visitors and wildlife alike and we all have to ensure that can be achieved."

Officials believe it is the third such attack in North Lanarkshire this spring, after the remains of a doe were discovered within Cambusnethan Woods in Netherton earlier this year.

Constable Brian Wright, wildlife crime officer in North Lanarkshire, said: "The shooting, coursing, or poaching of deer is totally illegal.

"Any incidents reported to Strathclyde Police will be investigated thoroughly with the anticipation that the person or persons responsible will be reported for relevant legislation, with aims to prosecution."

In February this year animal campaigners warned that teenage gangs were attacking and killing deer in urban areas after a roe deer was found dead having been shot with an airgun.




SEE ALSO
Youth gangs slaughter urban deer
14 Feb 07 |  Glasgow and West

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