Community council members have been subjected to threats and abuse after warning pet owners to protect their animals from foxes.
Buckhaven and Denbeath Community Council was stunned by the backlash to its Facebook post alerting people to the fact less traffic during lockdown had led to wildlife entering the town.
The group was later forced to update its post to explain it does not condone “any violence or cruelty towards any animal” following a number of “horrendous” messages from animal rights protesters.
Members were accused of demonising foxes and inciting violence towards them after urging locals not to approach or feed the animals and to dispose of household waste correctly.
The original post said: “They may look pretty. However, household pets are at risk.
“If you have rabbits, guinea pigs and or any other small animals in your garden, please take extra measures to keep them safe and please be extra vigilant.”
The following day, the community council revealed it had received private messages from people demanding the post’s removal or they would be reported to animal rights groups.
“Some of our members are also getting private, threatening messages about it, which is unacceptable,” they said.
They said they could not believe they were having to explain the intent behind their original post.
The abuse has been condemned by Labour councillor Ryan Smart, who said the community council had simply been doing a public service by warning people to be on their guard.
“The community council were doing their job,” he said.
“They have a duty to represent the needs and interests of people in Buckhaven and all they were saying was keep an eye out.
“There was no malice behind it and it’s a shame the animal rights activists who provoked this haven’t seen it from that point of view.
“Members work voluntarily and do a lot of good things for the community.
“Nobody doing a public service should be subjected to abuse or threats.”