Published: 11:00, 23 February 2017
| Updated: 11:08, 23 February 2017
Six deer have been found dead and stripped of meat in Cranbrook leading police to urge caterers to stay vigilant.
The animals were found in Swattenden Lane on Saturday.
Kent Police is now urging restaurants, hotels and pubs not to buy meat from people they do not know and to check dealers' legal documentation when buying.
Sgt 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 sometimes use high-powered lamps, dogs and firearms to hunt.
Offenders are often also committing crimes including the illegal use of firearms, trespassing on private land and criminal damage, all of which is costly and disruptive to landowners and local communities.
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."
Signs to watch out for include vehicles parked on verges, in lay-bys or on bridleways; lines of people walking through fields with dogs, trying to raise hare or game and damage to gates and boundaries around land.
Kent Police is also continuing to encourage people to use the Country Eye app on their mobile phones and tablets.
Designed and developed in collaboration with the Crime Rural Advisory Group (CRAG) for people living and working in the rural community, the app allows users to record and share information on crime, suspicious behaviour and damage.
Information is broadcast to other app users so they are alert to suspicious activity as well as collated for police officers to get a better picture of rural crime and where and how it is taking place.
To download it visit https://countryeye.co.uk/. It cannot be used to report crime. Call 101 for non-urgent issues or dial 999 if crime is taking place or safety is at risk.
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