Game meat warning issued to food traders in Kent

Food businesses in the Kent region have been advised to ensure they are not buying illegally killed game following a suspected poaching incident. 

On 18 February, six deer were discovered dead at a location in Cranbrook. Their carcases had been stripped of meat.

Kent Police are urging businesses not to purchase meat from people they do not know and check dealers’ legal documentation when buying.

Sergeant 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.”

The police added that poachers sometimes used high-powered lamps, dogs and firearms to hunt, and that 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.

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.

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