A man has been arrested in connection with an incident where a number of dead animals were left outside a shop in Broughton, Chester, UK.

The police from Hampsire and Isle of Wight were called on the morning of Friday March 15, after around 50 dead hares, a kestrel and a barn owl were found outside a Broughton Community Shop.

An investigation was launched and officers from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Country Watch team have been following various lines of enquiry.

Part of the enquiries included examinations of the barn owl and kestrel. These examinations revealed that both 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, officers arrested a 37-year-old man from Totton on suspicion of the following offences:

  • 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.

The man was taken into police custody while the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Country Watch team carry out enquiries.

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.”

Country Watch Sergeant Stuart Ross stated that there might be some people who have information on the incident who may not have come forward yet.

He urged these people to come forward as soon as possible.

Anyone with information can report it by calling 101, quoting the reference number 44240111410, or via the Country Watch website.