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Probe after dead hares nailed to gate

The RSPCA is investigating after two dead hares were found nailed to farm gates in Newbury, near Frome.

The hares were nailed through their paws after being brutally killed.

The discovery was made three weeks after a dead badger was found hanging from the same gateway in Dark Lane, Newbury.

The badger is believed to have been hit by a car, but the hares both sustained injuries, including broken back legs and numerous surface wounds, and were found nailed to the gate with cable ties around their necks.

Although the exact cause of death has yet to be established, a post-mortem examination was carried out by vet Helena Fuddaby, of Silva House veterinary surgery in Frome.

She said that the injuries the hares sustained could have been caused by an illegal trap or being caught by dogs during illegal hare coursing.

But she said that no gun pellets were found in either corpse, suggesting the hares were not killed humanely.

RSPCA inspector Nicki Cooke said: "This is a very strange incident, which is distressing both for the owner of the land and for members of the public as the gate is clearly visible from the road.

"My main concern is how these animals were killed and whether they suffered or not.

"The RSPCA is appealing for anyone with information to contact it on 0300 1234 999.