More than a thousand little chicks found dumped in a field near Peterborough have been put down over fears of avian flu.

The RSPCA launched an investigation after the day-old birds were discovered in Crowland.

It is believed the chicks came from a commercial chick producer nearby and may have been abandoned by a third-party.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: "Very sadly, the RSPCA has learned that the surviving chicks which were dumped in a field in Crowland on Friday have been put to sleep due to a case of avian flu nearby.

"We are sorry to hear of this outcome. We are still investigating and urge anyone with information to contact us on 0300 123 8018."

The chicks came from a nearby breeder. Credit: RSPCA
Volunteers helped rescue the chicks. Credit: RSPCA
The chicks were put in boxes and taken back to their unit. Credit: RSPCA
The chicks have been put down over fears of avian flu. Credit: RSPCA