Man, 37, arrested after dead animals left outside village shop

A MAN has been arrested in connection with incident in which around 50 dead animals were left outside a shop.

Police were called to Broughton Community Shop on the morning of Friday, March 15, after around 50 dead hares, a kestrel and a barn owl were found outside the High Street premises.

Hampshire Police said examinations of the barn owl and kestrel revealed the birds had been shot with a firearm.

Both the kestrel and the barn owl are listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, giving them legal protection.

On Thursday (March 28), a 37-year-old man from Totton was arrested on suspicion of; Criminal Damage; night poaching; an offence under the Public Order Act; killing of a Schedule 1 bird; an offence under the Animal Welfare Act; killing of brown hare in the closed season; an offence under the Firearms Act. He remains in police custody.

Country Watch Sergeant, Stuart Ross, said: “Since this incident took place, we have been actively pursuing a number of lines of enquiry and working with partner agencies to establish the circumstances of what happened.

“We are grateful for the help we have received from the local community and we’d like to thank them for their patience while we investigate what happened.

“There may be some people with information who have not yet come forward, and if so, we would urge them to do so as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting reference number 44240111410.