TWO TEENAGERS have been arrested after a deer was allegedly mauled to death by a dog in a "harrowing" attack in Irvine.

Police say they received a report from a distressed member of the public who allegedly witnessed a dog attacking and killing the deer at Bogside last Sunday, May 19.

Officers raced to scene at around 11.10am but unfortunately the deer was already dead and the alleged suspects had fled the scene.

Police dispatched a number of resources, including local wildlife crime officer PC John Money and the Police Scotland Air Support unit.

Following a search of the area the police helicopter traced and two 19-year-olds and a dog to Ardeer shore in Stevenston and directed officers on the ground to them.

The males were detained by Police and further enquiries conducted into the incident.

Both men were later arrested for alleged wildlife crimes and detained before appearing in court on Monday 20th May.

Speaking of the alleged incident, PC Money urged members of the public to report this kind of 'harrowing' crime.

He said: "This harrowing attack was witnessed by a member of the public who thankfully contacted Police. We require the assistance of the local community to contact us, to report suspicious activity or to pass information on those involved in this type of crime." Chief Inspector Tim Ross from Irvine Police said violent crime inflicted on animals would not be tolerated. He said: "Wildlife crime is, sadly, more common than some might realise. This was a particularly unpleasant incident, but it demonstrates Police Scotland's determination to pursue those who commit wildlife crime and use every available resource to bring them to justice".

Wildlife Crime Officers work in communities throughout Scotland and have developed partnerships with residents in rural and urban areas, local businesses and partner organisations.

Police Scotland is a member of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime in Scotland (PAW Scotland) which encompasses a wide range of bodies with an interest in tackling wildlife crime including conservation, land management, sporting and law enforcement organisations.

Anyone with information on wildlife crime is asked to contact Police Scotland by calling 101 or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity is guaranteed