Enquiry launched after animals died in agony
Could a Cumbernauld nature reserve be acting as a magnet to those who think that it is acceptable to practise cruel sports?
The troubling question has arisen after the Scottish SPCA launched an urgent appeal after a a spate of suspected dog attacks at Mosswater nature reserve that borders the densely populated Blackwood and Smithstone area .
Scotland’s animal welfare charity was alerted to the incidents after a concerned member of the public called on Monday 22 March to report that they had found four mutilated deer over the course of the past three to four weeks in the area.
Sadly this was not an isolated incident in this area of natural beauty
For it comes a month after the society was called to an injured deer in the same nature reserve.
The animal was found with injuries consistent with a dog attack on Saturday, 20 February.
Sadly, the deer’s wounds were judged too severe for the dog to survive and the stricken creature was put to sleep to end its suffering.
Inspector Jack Marshall said, “We’re appealing to members of the public to come forward if they have any information about these incidents.
“It could be simply that there’s a local dog owner who’s not paying attention to what their dog is getting up to when it’s off lead.
" We would remind dog owners that it is an offence for your dog to be out of control in any public or private place.
“It’s also possible that this could be organised deer coursing, which is a crime.
“Either way, being attacked by a dog is a horrendous way for these deer to die.
" They will have spent their last moments extremely distressed and suffering massive amounts of pain and fear.
“We would urge local dog owners to ensure their dogs are kept on a lead around deer at all times and that they make sure they have sight of their dog if it is off lead.
“Anyone with any information on what happened to these deer can call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 in the strictest confidence.”
The charity has also raised wider fears about cruel sports across North Lanarkshire -with particular regard to badger baiting, which harms not only the badger but often dogs who are sent to retrieve the animals from their sets.