POLICE are warning local restaurants and pubs to check they are not buying illegally killed venison and other game following a suspected poaching incident in Cranbrook.

Six deer were discovered dead at a location in Swattenden Lane on February 18, their carcasses having been stripped of meat.

Businesses are being urged not to purchase meat from people they do not know and check dealers’ legal documentation when buying.

Sergeant Marc Pennicott of Kent Police’s Rural Task Force said: “We are reminding people to contact police with any information that will help us in catching poachers, particularly if you have been offered meat from sources other than bona fide dealers.”

Poachers, who use high-powered lamps, dogs and guns to hunt, are often committing crimes including the illegal use of firearms, trespassing on private land and criminal damage.

Sgt Pennicott added: “Poaching is carried out by people who have absolutely no permission or authority to do so.

“It is also often done in an inhuman way which can cause great distress and suffering to the animals targeted.”

Kent Police are encouraging local people to use the Country Eye app to record and share information on crime, suspicious behaviour and damage.

It was designed and developed in collaboration with the Crime Rural Advisory Group (CRAG) for people living and working in the rural community.

The app is free and available for Android and iOS. To download it visit www.countryeye.co.uk.