AN eyewitness appeal has been made after eight wild birds were shot dead near West Craven in a three-day killing spree.

Seven Canada geese and one mallard duck have been killed on the Leeds and Liverpool canal between West Marton and East Marton.

Wildlife crime police officer PC Vanessa Bateson is appealing to people to come forward with any information about the incidents, between Thursday and Sunday.

She said: “This area of the towpath is a public footpath which is very busy most of the time, especially due to the good weather, so it is highly likely someone has seen something.

“I urge anyone to please come forward. Any information will be useful and can be reported anonymously.”

The marksmen could face a hefty fine, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Witnesses can contact police on 0845 60 60 247 and ask for information to be forwarded to the Craven wildlife crime office.