Why were dozens of dead animals dumped outside a village shop?

Why were dozens of dead animals dumped outside a village shop?

Around 50 dead hares and two birds were left outside Broughton Community Shop in Hampshire

(Broughton Community Shop/UK Animal Cruelty Files - UKACF/Facebook)

It may sound like the plotline of a low budget horror film, but dozens of dead animals have been found dumped outside a shop in a small rural town.

The carcasses of some 50 hares were discovered by “distraught” staff members outside the Broughton Community Shop in Hampshire on Friday morning.

The morbid discovery also included a barn owl and a kestrel which had been “impaled” on the shop's door handles, and animal blood and guts which had been smeared over the windows, Mail Onlinereports.

“Safe to say none of us were expecting our day to start as it did here this morning at Broughton Community Shop,” a representative for the store subsequently wrote on Facebook.

“Thank you all for popping in, messaging and phoning to make sure we are ok. We are ok. Shocked but ok.”

In the social media post, the shop appealed to locals to come forward with information or relevant CCTV footage to help get to the bottom of the sinister incident.

Mike Hensman, the store’s treasurer, told the Salisbury Journal: “We are a local community shop and we are there to serve people we are not there to clear up dead animals that somebody else has put there.”

However, he went on, despite feeling traumatised, his colleagues “came back, sorted it out and got the shop open in time to serve customers.”

Images of the horrific scene have been widely shared on social media(UK Animal Cruelty Files - UKACF/Facebook)

The attack is the latest in a string of similar incidents in the area, which include the dumping of 27 rabbits outside a primary school back in February.

“This was only about an hour or some before the school breakfast club began, so there were going to be primary school children walking by this horrible sight,” local resident Mandy Robinson, 47, told the Hampshire Chronicleat the time.

“I don’t know why someone would do this.”

The paper also reported that 40 animal corpses had been scattered across the road in another nearby town four months earlier.

Locals allegedly believe that the gruesome displays are a sinister “message” from poachers.

Hampshire Police told Mail Onlinethat its detectives were looking to identify the owners of a silver Suzuki Grand Vitara.

A spokesperson for the force told the news site: “We can confirm we are investigating following a report that a number of dead animals were left outside a shop in Broughton.

“We were called at around 6.20am on Friday, March 15.

“The animals have been collected and an investigation is underway. As part of our investigation we are seeking to identify the owners of a silver Suzuki Grand Vitara.

“f you saw a vehicle matching this description in the area between Thursday night and Friday morning, please get in touch.”

The suspects are believed to be linked to gangs who run international gambling syndicates.

They are understood to hunt illegally using guns and specially-bred bull lurchers, and broadcast their activities live on Facebook, taking bets on how many animals the dogs can kill, Mail Onlinereports.

Mike Jelen, a conservation manager who works in the area, told the outlet: “This is now happening twice a week.

“It's total anarchy and the police are doing little about it. By dumping the bodies like this, the poachers are sticking two fingers up to farmers and rural communities.'

He said farmers and landowners are “constantly” putting themselves at risk by trying to prevent the attacks, with one farmer recently shot at by pheasant poachers for confronting them.

“They are basically laughing in our faces,” another local farmer said.

“The horrific display they left outside our community shop is obviously meant to let us know they're invincible.”

Anyone with information about the latest incident is asked to contact police on 101 using the crime reference number 44240111410, or visit

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