An investigation has been launched after a number of foxes were found shot and partially skinned on the outskirts of Cardenden.
[Note: photo below may upset some readers]
Police and wildlife experts are looking into the horrific find amid suggestions that suspicious vehicles have previously been spotted in the area in the early hours of the morning.
A new report of similar activity one afternoon last week has now sparked calls for action.
Locals have raised fears that there may be illegal fox and deer hunting activity going on in the surrounding fields and woodland, although that has not yet been verified by authorities who are probing the most recent allegations.
Cardenden woman Jacqueline Scott said the field near Station Road had been the source of concern for some time, and she made the most recent gruesome discovery.
“It’s been going on for a number of years now at night, but this is the first time I’ve seen something happening during the day,” she told The Courier.
“I’ve seen people so many times driving a grey SUV up the field during the early hours with a big spotlight on, driving around looking for something to terrorise, rip apart and kill.
“But this time they were up there in the afternoon, during the day, and I saw them with the dogs running around.
“I waited a few hours and went for a walk up there and was absolutely crushed to find their kill of two little foxes.
“They had been dumped in the open, stabbed and their tails had been skinned. It really got to me.
“It was really surprising to see it during the day, as it’s always usually about 1am or 2am in the morning.
“I’ve heard that these people might be going around different areas and you can definitely hear the guns going off.
“It kind of sickens me to be honest that people can get away with this sort of thing.”
The hunting of foxes with hounds was banned in Scotland under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act, which was passed in 2002.
However, hunts are still allowed to use dogs to “flush out” foxes from under cover in order to shoot them.
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed it was probing the incident.
“We have received a report relating to a number of foxes, which had been killed in Cardenden,” he said.
“We are liaising with the SSPCA to determine the full circumstances surrounding this matter.”