Animals stamped to death in sick attack near Hailsham

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Eight ‘pets’ were savagely beaten to death just a few metres from where a wedding party was in full flow.

Empty vodka bottles were found near the shed where five ducks and three hens were killed in Upper Dicker, near Hailsham.

It’s believed the mallard ducks were beaten to death with pieces of wood and the laying hens had been stamped on, said a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spokesman.

The dead birds were found at the rear of the car park belonging to the Plough Inn, Upper Dicker, where a wedding reception was taking place at the time. It is not thought any of the guests are to blame at this stage.

The attack is believed to have taken place between 8pm and 9pm on Friday, April 5.

RSPCA inspector Mel Brett said: “There was a wedding reception taking place at the pub that evening so I’m hoping someone might have seen something that might help track down who was responsible for this shocking attack.”

Howard Stevens, landlord at the pub, urged people to come forward with information to stop the criminals attacking other animals.

He said: “During the course of the evening someone or people have come down and stamped, clubbed and beaten the animals and left absolute carnage.

“Why mindless people wanted to do that I’ve no idea. There was a vodka bottle in the pen so someone was obviously drinking and sticks from the drinking area of the pub garden so they obviously used them to chase the animals and kill them.

“My other half is upset because they were her pets and she keeps asking why someone wanted to do that. You don’t expect that sort of thing to happen.

“We just cannot get our heads around it to be honest. We are appealing to people for information to just come forward because the people who did this need to be caught before they do something to someone else’s animals.”

He added: “With the police and RSPCA involved hopefully we can find and get a criminal prosecution against these people. The police and RSPCA both believe there was more than one.”

Anyone who has any information about this incident is urged to contact inspector Brett on the RSPCA inspector information line, in confidence, on 0300 123 8018.

Police were called at around lunchtime on Saturday, April 6 following a report of the attack at The Plough.

The animals, which belonged to the pub, had been shut in their cage overnight and were discovered by a member of staff the following morning. A fourth chicken was missing, said a police spokesperson.

She said: “This was a very distressing scene which, understandably, left the member of staff very upset when she discovered what had happened.

“Police are investigating this incident to try and establish why someone would carry out such a vicious attack and would appeal to anyone with information to contact police as soon as possible on 101, quoting serial 0643 of 6 April.

“Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this you can give £3 by texting the word HELP to 78866 (calls cost £3 + one standard network rate charge).