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Police investigate after shop workers find dead animals piled up outside their building

Police have arrested four people after a man was stabbed to death in Hampshire (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)
Police have arrested four people after a man was stabbed to death in Hampshire (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Archive)

A police investigation has been launched after “shocked” shop workers found scores of dead animals scattered in front of the building.

Around 50 dead hares, a barn owl and a kestrel were discovered dumped outside Broughton Community Shop in Hampshire on Friday morning.

The barn owl and kestrel were “stuffed” on the door handles and blood was smeared on the windows, the shop’s treasurer said.

The shop wrote on its Facebook page: “Thank you all for popping in, messaging and phoning to make sure we are ok. We are ok, shocked but ok.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police said the animals were collected and officers are investigating what happened.

The force is trying to identify the owners of a silver Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Mike Hensman, treasurer of the volunteer-run shop, told the PA news agency: “One of our guys who comes in the morning to get the papers and open the shop found them.

“He’s a guy who has been around a bit, he shoots, and he was quite taken aback when he saw all this mess and carnage.

“The rest of the team came in to hose it all down and get rid of all the bodies.”

He added: “People say ‘oh it’s a warning’, I don’t know what it is.

“It obviously floats someone’s boat, I can’t possibly try and imagine what goes through these people’s minds.”

One local, conservation manager Mike Jelen, said it was the work of local poachers.

He said: “This is now happening twice a week.

“It’s total anarchy and the police are doing little about it. By dumping the bodies like this, the poachers are sticking two fingers up to farmers and rural communities.”