POLICE are looking for a group of children who egged each other on to ‘snap a pigeon’s neck’, before one of them carried out the threat and kicked its lifeless body around.

Officers said the incident happened close to Padiham Leisure Centre in Park Road and was witnessed by a member of the public.

No-one has been detained in connection with the incident and police are working to establish what day and what time the incident happened.

A police spokesman said: “We have a report of somebody walking past the swimming baths in Padiham and they have seen a group of kids surrounding a pigeon.

“They have been egging each other on to break its neck. One of the youths has picked it up, broken its neck and started kicking it around.”

PCSO Lisa Tyler said: “It has come to the attention of the local police in Padiham that a group of youths have been involved in an act of animal cruelty near to the leisure centre.

“If anyone has any information about this please contact me via email on 7836@lancashire.pnn.police.uk.”

Meanwhile a councillor has hit out at those involved calling them ‘”cruel” and “horrible”.

Padiham and Burnley West county councillor Alan Hosker said: “I don’t like animal cruelty. I don’t know what is wrong with kids these days.

“They just have no respect. We’re having issues with kids throwing stones at cars and kids being intimidating towards senior citizens outside one of the local supermarkets.

“But to snap a pigeon’s neck and kick it around, it makes my stomach turn. It is horrible and it is cruel.

“I think they should bring back juvenile courts. I am also - as a father myself - a great believer in holding parents to account for the action of their children. That is the only way you will get children like this under control.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101.