Man arrested after 50 dead animals dumped outside Hampshire village shop

More than 50 dead animals were left outside the Broughton Community Shop

WARNING: This story contains pictures and details which some may find distressing.

A man has been arrested after dozens of dead animals were left scattered in front of a village shop in Hampshire.

Around 50 dead hares, a barn owl and a kestrel were found dumped outside Broughton Community Shop earlier this month.

A 37-year-old man from Totton, near Southampton, has been arrested on suspicion of seven offences.

They include various animal welfare and poaching offences, as well as a firearms-related offence.

He has been bailed while investigations continue

The Broughton Community Shop is mainly run by volunteers Credit: ITV Meridian

The force said examinations of the barn owl and kestrel – both of which are legally protected – revealed the birds had been shot with a gun.

The barn owl and kestrel were “stuffed” on the door handles and blood was smeared on the windows, the shop’s treasurer said.

Barn owls are listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, giving them legal protection Credit: James Manning/PA

In a separate incident in February, 25 dead wild animals were found close to a primary school on Danes Road in the village of Awbridge, six miles away from Broughton.

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.”

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