Police warning after spate of illegal poaching incidents in Burnley, Pendle and Ribble Valley

Police are asking rural communities to remain vigilant and members of the public to report suspected poachers after an increase in the number of poaching incidents across the Ribble Valley, Pendle, Cliviger and Worsthorne.

Officers are also warning dog walkers to keep their animals under control as a number of lambs have been killed by dogs.

A spokesman for Ribble Valley Police said: "Sadly, we have a recent increase in the number of poaching incidents across Pendle and the Ribble Valley, Cliviger and Worsthorne. Firstly, can I dispel a myth that these individuals are just catching ‘one for the pot’ or have permission of the landowner/farmer. It’s a lie. They aren’t. These individuals are generally habitual criminals who are also involved in the theft of farming equipment and red diesel. The use of dogs to hunt deer is particularly cruel and renders any meat from the animal unfit to eat due to a release of adrenalin caused by the stress they suffer. The dogs do not distinguish between a rabbit, a hare a deer or a lamb. As you will be aware lambing is well under way and the fields are full. Slightly less full today after yet another lamb has been killed by a poacher’s dog.

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"Another myth is ‘my dog is stock trained’ It’s another lie. Modern poachers do it for nothing more than the fun and bravado of killing what are essentially defenceless animals. "Gamekeepers, farmers, land managers and supporting organisations work tirelessly to keep these areas in the conditions we’ve become accustomed to. This is why our areas have a number of Sights of Special Scientific Interest as well as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Help us put a stop to this activity in which is cruel - illegal and is putting rural communities and industries at risk.

Police are urging the public to put a stop to this 'cruel' activity

"You are our eyes and ears See it Report it by calling 101 or 999 for emergencies."