Outrage as severed heads of deer found at the side of road

The head of an animal on the Annaloiste Road. INLM0313-100gc
The head of an animal on the Annaloiste Road. INLM0313-100gc

TWO severed deer heads have been found close to a local beauty spot in what is suspected to be the work of poachers.

The deer heads along with other body parts were found on Annaloiste Road while a further grisly discovery of another deer carcass was made in Derrytrasna.

The ‘MAIL’ visited the lane close to Oxford Island on Thursday morning where a deer head was observed by the side of the road as well as skin and other body parts in a stream running parallel to the thoroughfare.

Three years ago in February the paper carried a story on the illegal dumping of animal parts at the same location. Craigavon Council confirmed that this is the third year in a row they have had to clear deer carcasses from this road.

Philippa Arnold, who has stables at Silverwood Arena, said: “There’s somebody disposing of animal carcasses along this road. During the summer it was bags of various different parts of rabbits; heads, skin, legs.

“Just today I saw a deer’s head lying and other parts of it - skin and hooves - in the stream beside the road. There’s lots of rubbish dumped there but in amongst it there’s animal parts. It must have been done over the Christmas period. The bits look like they’ve been there a while. Whoever is doing this can’t be allowed to get away with it.”

SDLP Councillor Declan McAlinden also saw firsthand an animal carcass that had been left to rot in Derrytrasna. He said: “While I was out walking on Saturday afternoon I came across what appeared to be the carcass of a cow and as I approached it rats were picking at it.

“This particular area - Farrans Rampart just off the Bannfoot Road - is a notorious black spot for illegal dumping and I have had council officials out on numerous occasions dealing with problems here.

“These are serious health hazards and the sooner the guilty persons are found and prosecuted the better.”

Upon further inspection the carcass seen by Mr McAlinden turned out to be that of a deer.

The councillor said he got a phone call on Sunday from a distraught family who, while out walking at Oxford Island came across the two deer heads at the side of the road. He said:

“Those responsible have shown total disregard for the residents and I want to call on anyone who witnesses any activity like this to report it immediately. This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and again call on those responsible to cease this type of disgusting activity.”

Martin Malone of the British Deer Society identified the animal a female red deer. He said: “Regardless of whether the person who did this has a legitimate right to shoot deer and the correct gun licence, this is not the right way to go about disposing of an animal.”

Concern was expressed that the animal remains were left for a number of days despite council and police being aware of their location.

It’s understood the council’s Environmental Health department have contacted an outside firm to dispose of the animal parts, but there has been some delay because the firm will not remove those remains that have been dumped in a water course.

A council spokesperson said: “It is very disturbing with the photographs speaking volumes.

“We would urge anyone buying venison to make sure that it is bought from a reputable traders and not from a ‘friend of a friend’. This irresponsible behaviour not only costs the ratepayers additional expense, but is an environmental hazard and is very disturbing. Anyone with any information on the dumping of carcasses should contact Environmental Health on 3831 2400.”