Poachers dumped a dead deer on a public footpath close to a river.

On Sunday evening, police were called to the outskirts of Burnley where they found a deer carcass dumped on a pathway.

After examining the remains of the deer, which had been gutted, officers believed it was the work of experienced poachers and said the matter would now be investigated by the rural task force under the Deer Act 1991.

A spokesperson for the police said on Sunday: "Rossendale rural task force have attended a location in the Burnley area whereby there had been a deer carcass located dumped on a public footpath near to a river.

"Upon our attendance and examining the remains, it was clear that this was the act of experienced poachers who had knowledge of gralloching.

"This is a criminal offence under the Deer Act 1991 and will be investigated by the rural task force.

"We must also stress again the importance of not purchasing meat from individuals who are partaking in these activities.

"Meat that is sold through legitimate channels has to go through various safety measures and protocols to ensure it is fit for consumption.

"Meat that has been poached as above may not be consumable and could pose a risk to health.

"If you suspect an incident of poaching or have any information on the above incident then please contact us through the usual means and direct your enquiry to the rural task force."