12:39PM, Friday 10 May 2019
Covert cameras set up to catch fly-tippers have recorded three young men attacking a pheasant in Burnham.
One of the men can be seen restraining a male pheasant, holding him by his wings, while a second attacks the bird and the third filmed on a mobile.
They appear to use a knife and slingshot before ripping the bird’s wings off.
The RSPCA has launched an investigation after the images were found by Buckinghamshire County Council enforcement officers who checked the cameras in Park Lane.
RSPCA Inspector Rachel Smith said: “The incident actually occurred on Monday 8 April at around 3.30pm.
“Three young lads are seen getting out of a dark blue /black Volkswagen Polo before getting a live pheasant out of the boot.
“A series of still images then shows the boys man-handling the bird, attacking it with what appears to be a curved knife and a slingshot, before they appear to pull his wings off.
“It’s extremely violent and cruel. The bird would have suffered seriously throughout the duration of the attack.
“They then dump the bird on the ground before returning to the boot of the car and throwing what appears to be the body of a second bird - a female pheasant - from the vehicle onto the ground.”
The men can be seen kicking the birds on the ground and jumping on the bodies, though the RSPCA said it was unclear whether both were dead at that point. No bodies were found.
The first young man is white with short brown hair. He wore a baseball cap, blue t-shirt and grey jogging bottoms.
The second is white with brown hair and he wore a black Adidas tracksuit while the third, also white with a tanned complexion, has dark hair and wore a khaki green t-shirt and blue jeans.
All three left in the polo with the second man driving before returning with a second vehicle – a green Subaru SUV with a grey bumper – which appears to have young men inside with their hoods up.
Inspector Smith said: “At this stage we do not know the ages of these youths so we would ask anyone who recognises them to contact us directly and not to publicly name the boys.
“This is also why we have chosen not to show the boys’ faces at this time. We are already in the process of tracing the vehicle via the car registration.
“Anyone who recognises any of the individuals or the vehicles can contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Inspector Rachel Smith.”
Cllr Bill Chapple, cabinet member for planning and environment at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “Our flytipping surveillance cameras are there to catch people involved in the illegal dumping of waste, but as a public body we have a duty to inform the appropriate agency if other criminal activity comes to light.
“That’s why we’ve provided the evidence of this distressing incident to the RSPCA.”
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