Sixty-one year old Lindsay Emmitt and her husband Michael, 63, were horrified and heartbroken after discovering hundreds of dead chicks at the rear of their property last Monday (April 4).
Michael discovered the chicks at around 10pm after he left to take the dogs out for their last walk of the night.
However, he had a feeling something wasn’t quite right after hearing “an unusual racket” in the trees behind their house around 8.15pm, after bringing one of their children home.
It wasn't until later on when Michael took the dogs for the walk that he discovered where the noise was coming from.
Lindsay, who has been left “heartbroken” by the discovery, said: “A few minutes after leaving to take the dogs on a walk he came back and said ‘Lindsay, come with me and bring your camera, I can’t believe what I am seeing’.
“I went out in stocking feet, thinking what the hell is he going to show me.
“I went down the track and just a little bit further up, where this noise was coming from, he said ‘look there are hundreds of baby chicks, and some of them are still moving around’.
“It was really dark but the floor was literally covered in them.
“We shone the phone light into the bushes to see if we could find any that were still walking around, but we couldn’t see anything, it was just so dark.
“We looked at them for quite a while and then we thought, how have they got there, is it some kind of phenomenon? And then It just dawned on us that they had been dumped.
“I couldn't sleep that night, it just played on my mind - I just couldn't stop thinking about these poor chickens still fighting for their lives.
“I felt sickened because I couldn’t do anything for them.
“It just totally upset me - it does now just talking about it.
“I am worried they will do it again, especially if they get away with it - how many more times are they going to dump chickens up our lane?
“We have so many children playing around. I foster so I have quite a few children running up and down the lane and down the back.
“It would have been horrendous if they had made the discovery.
“We now have CCTV footage on my neighbour’s camera that has picked up the car that dumped them.
“I just hope they catch whoever did it and that they are prevented from doing it again.”
Lindsay and Michael have been in contact with DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), who are helping to deal with the situation.
Although unable to comment on individual cases due to ongoing investigations, an animal plant health agency (APHA) spokesperson said: “We take breaches of animal welfare legislation very seriously and investigate every allegation that is reported to us.
“We will always take appropriate action where welfare regulations are breached.”
Anyone who has serious concerns about the welfare of animals is urged to report issues immediately to the APHA via 03000 200301 or email at [email protected]