Published: 08:37, 06 April 2021
| Updated: 16:01, 06 April 2021
The discovery of seven dead foxes lying near to each other in a Kent country lane has sparked anger and sadness among animal lovers.
Upsetting images of the scene in Bogshole Lane, Whitstable, have been posted online and the find is being investigated by an anti-hunting group called the West Kent Hunt Saboteurs.
Warning: Distressing images below
Writing on its Facebook page on Sunday, a member said: "We were made aware of a number of dead foxes that were found near Whitstable.
"We went to investigate this morning and found seven rotting carcasses all in various different states of decomposition. It’s unclear how these poor animals died but it’s clear they have been dumped there over time.
"We are reporting the issue to Environmental Health. Anyone with any extra information please let us know. Any information will be treated confidentially."
At least five of the carcasses appear to have been deliberately laid out next to each other in a straight line.
The group's Facebook post was shared on other pages sparking outcry from animal lovers who branded the discovery as "disgusting" and "sad".
"So sad, what a horrible thing to see," commented one.
"Wow...some filth lining them up as trophies..disgusting," wrote another.
Writing on the Canterbury Residents Group page, Vivienne Lorimer added: "I feed foxes and this is so distressing. They have as much of a right to life as we do."
But others suggested the photo might have been faked or set up.
Harry Blackhurst of the Kent Hunt Saboteurs says the nature of the discovery strongly indicates the foxes did not die naturally or accidentally.
"It has been suggested they have been shot over a period of time by "lampers" and just dumped there," he said.
"But it's a very sad sight and a health hazard because they are covered in maggots and the stench is appalling.
"Somebody really does need to take responsibility for removing and disposing of them properly."
A city council spokesman said: "We are aware of this having seen it on social media but it’s not something that would come under our remit to investigate."
An RSPCA spokesman said the organisation had not received any calls about the incident but any reports of animal cruelty should be made to 0300 1234 999.