Broughton: Man arrested after dead animals dumped in front of shop

A man has been arrested after dozens of dead animals were left outside a community shop.

The bodies of about 50 dead hares, a barn owl and a kestrel were dumped outside Broughton Community Shop in Hampshire earlier this month.

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

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

Warning: This story contains graphic images that some readers may find upsetting.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight 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."

The full list of offences the man has been arrested for are: 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 and an offence under the Firearms Act.

An investigation by Hampshire Constabulary included examinations of the barn owl and kestrel, which 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.

Volunteers for Broughton Community Shop found the animals scattered outside their building on 15 March.

There had been a public outcry after pictures of the scene circulated on social media.

Shop treasurer Mike Hensman said it had been "devastating" for workers, while conservationist Chris Packham said on X the incident was "horrific on so many levels".

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