Firearms and a deer carcass were seized by the Police Service of Northern Ireland after a vehicle was stopped as part of an operation with a partner agency in Castlederg, Co. Tyrone on November 1.

PSNI Wildlife Liaison Officer, Emma Meredith, said that enquiries into the circumstances are currently ongoing.

“However, on a general note, it is worth pointing out that PSNI takes wildlife crime very seriously and as such any officer can investigate a wildlife crime within the service just like any other crime.

“When PSNI receive a call officers will act accordingly with the view to reporting any breach in the law to the public prosecution service.”

She said that the PSNI encourages anyone with any information on suspected deer poaching to call the police on 101 for officers to act and also so police can continue to obtain a clear picture and target the areas of concern through operations such as Operation Wild Deer.

Operation Wild Deer is a multi-agency initiative to combat deer poaching and encourage reporting, she said.

Launched in August 2013, poaching leaflets and posters were produced for distribution throughout Northern Ireland to raise awareness of the issue.

Stag that was on the loose in Newry shot dead by police marksman

Earlier this year, a stag which was on the loose in Newry, Co. Down was shot dead by specially trained firearms officers from the PSNI.

A spokesperson from the PSNI said that the stag was found to be running loose in the St Patrick’s Avenue area of the city and several attempts were made to manage the animal.

It is as yet unknown whether the stag was a wild deer or a farmed deer.

“Several attempts were made to safely and humanely manage the animal. Regrettably officers were required to shoot the stag as it had become very agitated and posed a risk to the public.

“Officers had liaised with a vet and qualified deer stalkers were in attendance at the scene,” the spokesperson said.

As is normal procedure the office of the Police Ombudsman was informed of the incident.