A SUSPECTED poacher is being hunted after dogs were seen savaging two deer in a field.

The deer at Dunkirk Farm, in Whalley Road, Read, were said to be so badly savaged that they had to be destroyed.

Police believe a walker, who spoke to someone from the farm, saw at least part of the incident which happened around 1.30pm on Sunday. He left shortly afterwards.

An investigation has been launched by Sgt Craig Jarrett and Pc Justin Brown, of Ribble Valley police, and other witnesses are being urged to come forward.

Sgt Jarrett said: “This witness apparently saw the attack taking place, so we would like him to come forward and tell us what he saw.”

The constabulary’s wildlife officer has also been informed about the incident, which is the second attack on deer in the area in a matter of weeks.

Two sika deer were attacked by dogs at Dockber Laithe Farm in Sawley recently, with wildlife officer saying that they had been gutted and hidden, apparently ready to be collected and transported away.

Wildllife officers say there has been a ‘spike’ in suspected deer poaching incident in East Lancashire over the past few months.

Restaurants and market traders locally have been urged to report any suspicious offers of cheap venison to the authorities.

Police said the Read poachers were both around six feet tall, one had dark hair and one had fair hair, with one wearing a tracksuit and the other a grey hoodie.

Witnesses to the latest incident are asked to call Sgt Jarrett or Pc Brown on 01200 458752.