Poachers have been using dogs to kill and harm deer in Ross-on-Wye, the Forest of Dean and Monmouth, local police have said.

Gwent Police Constable Chris Butt said: “Poachers have little regard for the countryside or the farmer’s land that they trespass on. In the Monmouthshire area, concerns have been raised of poachers targeting wildlife, including deer and boar by using dogs and weapons.

“High visibility patrols are being stepped up in forestry areas to target poachers and to send out a strong message and act as a deterrent that this criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in Gwent. We are stopping any suspicious vehicles and signs have been erected in prominent forestry entrances warning poachers of police activity and the potential for prosecution.”

Tri-Force Joint Operations are taking place between Gwent, Gloucester and West Mercia police forces assisted by partnership agencies; Natural Resources Wales and the Forestry Commission of England.

PC Butt added:?“I would urge anyone to contact us with any information that would help in catching poachers by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”