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Man arrested after more than 50 dead animals found dumped outside Broughton community store

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A 37-year-old man has been arrested after more than 50 dead animals were dumped outside a Hampshire store.

A member of staff was opening the Broughton Community Shop when they were confronted with the “horrific” scene on March 15.

Police were called and found around 50 dead hares, a kestrel and a barn owl outside the store.

Officers from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police’s Country Watch team investigated and found the barn owl and kestrel had been shot with a gun.

Both birds are listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, giving them legal protection.

The man who was arrested has been charged with criminal damage, nighttime poaching, killing a Schedule 1 bird and killing a brown hare during the closed season.

He was also charged with an offense under the Public Order Act, an offense under the Animal Welfare Act and an offense under the Firearms Act.

Police said Thursday evening that he remained in custody.

Sergeant Stuart Ross from Country Watch said: “Since this incident took place we have actively carried out a number of investigations and worked with partner agencies to establish the circumstances of what happened.

“We are grateful for the help we have received from the local community and would like to thank them for their patience while we investigate what happened.

“There may be individuals with information who have not yet come forward, and if so, we urge them to do so as soon as possible.”

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Owl found “impaled on door handles”

Mike Hensman, the store’s treasurer, said the barn owl and kestrel were found “stuffed” on door handles and blood was smeared on the windows.

“It was chaos, it was just covered in dead hares, all along this pavement here, it’s horrible,” he told Sky News.

“And on the door there was a dead bird of prey, a bird of prey and an owl impaled on the doorknobs. And there was blood everywhere.”

He described how shocked staff and villagers had to remove the remains.

“We cleaned everything up, got the police involved, had to wash all the windows and get rid of everything.

“We have a local farmer here to get rid of all the dead hares and we continued in business because that’s what you do in a community. We serve the community. We just had to keep going.”

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