A HORRIFIED rugby coach witnessed two dogs maul a live rabbit in his club’s car park.

RSPCA inspectors are investigating the incident at Colne and Nelson RUFC’s Holt House ground earlier this month.

Community coach Callum Kinnane said one of the two men responsible kicked the rabbit and encouraged the dogs to hurt it. The animal welfare charity is appealing for other potential witnesses to come forward after attempts to track a vehicle the men used proved unsuccessful.

Natalie Taylor, an RSPCA inspector, said: “We had spoken to the club about getting CCTV footage but unfortunately there was none. We know that two males pulled up in a silver or blue Ford Fiesta at around 2pm wearing hoodies.

“One of them got out of the car with two dogs and a bag. The man emptied the bag, which contained a live rabbit and set the dogs upon it. We’ve not managed to find the rabbit.” She added: “These people have done this in broad daylight and we’re appealing for anyone who knows anything about this cruel practice to call us on 0300 1234 990.”

One of the dogs was Jack Russell. Lancashire police said the incident, on February 7, had not been reported to them.

Chris Buck, chairman of Colne and Nelson RUFC, said: “As far as I’m aware this incident is an isolated one.

“The RSPCA asked us to verify the information reported by our coach but at the time our CCTV cameras were not pointing in that direction.”