Police have warned would-be deer poachers that they can face fines of up to £20,000, following three red deer being poached in Breckland.
Norfolk police say that under The Deer Act 1991, it is an offence without the consent of the occupier or owner to nter any land in search or pursuit of deer with the intention of taking, killing or injuring it.
It is also an offence to use any of the following to injure or kill any deer:
arrow, spear or similar; missile containing poison, stupefying drug or muscle relaxant; rifle less than .240 calibre or with a muzzle energy less than 1700ft/lb; rifle bullet other than soft or hollow-nose;an air weapon or a shotgun.
Moreover, it is an offence to take or intentionally kill deer, or attempt to, of any species, at night.
You can be jailed and fined up to £5,000 for hunting illegally or up to £20,000 for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The warning comes after an incident on land off the A1075 in Breckles near Stow Bedon between 9pm on Wednesday November 4 and 8am on Thursday November 5, where a red deer was shot and its legs removed before the carcass was taken.
The second incident was between 6pm on Saturday November 7 and 8am on Sunday November 8 on land off Hargham Road in North End near Snetterton. Officers believe suspects shot two female red deer, removed their legs and took the carcasses.
Wildlife Crime Officer, Sergeant Sally Hammerton said: “We would like to remind people that deer poaching is an offence that will not be tolerated by police.
“I can assure the public that officers will act promptly and robustly to pursue offenders committing this type of crime.”
Officers urge land owners and game keepers to remain vigilant and report any suspicious vehicles, believed to be involved with lamping and game shooting, seen at night.
hey’re asked to note vehicle and occupant details, including the colour, make, model and registration, and to photograph any deer in the rear of vehicles.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.