Deer killed in brutal ‘coursing’ attack by dogs

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A walker passing through a patch of woodland was horrified to find the mutilated remains of a deer - later confirmed to have been hunted down and killed by dogs.

Now police are urging anyone with information about the crime - known as deer coursing - to come forward.

Police say the deer had been gutted and meat removed from the carcass, and a post mortem has confirmed how the animal died.

Officers have been reminding the public that dogs must be kept under control in the countryside, as it is owners’ responsibility to ensure they are under control, especially around wildlife.

But in this incident, which happened in Alloa on March 29, the harrying and killing of a wild animal appears deliberate.

Last year police investigated several incidents of attempted deer poaching near Larbert High School and the Carron Phoenix works.

Wildlife officer Laura Robertson said at that time: “Deer poaching is illegal under the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, meaning it is a crime to wilfully kill or injure deer.

“It is a crime that is usually committed during the night and poachers often trespass on private land to get to the deer.

“Apart from the cruelty inflicted on the animals hunted there is also a question of food preparation hygiene when animals are taken for human consumption”.

Deer coursing and other wildlife offences should be reported to Police Scotland via 101, or to Forth Valley’s Wildlife Officer PC Robertson. In an emergency, always dial 999.