POLICE are investigating after "shocking and gruesome" incidents in which foxes were found decapitated on an allotment.

A petition for CCTV to be installed on the Conbar Avenue allotments in Rustington has been launched after two beheaded foxes were found at the site.

One fox cub was found decapitated in a shallow grave on an allotment plot on April 28, while another fox was found decapitated and in some netting on May 1.

It comes after rags soaked in white spirit were found on the bank between the allotment and a garden on April 27, with one rag also found on the lawn in the garden, where a family have been regularly feeding a group of six foxes.

The Argus: A fox cubs regularly seen in a garden near the allotment, where one of the poisoned rags was found over the fenceA fox cubs regularly seen in a garden near the allotment, where one of the poisoned rags was found over the fence

Dora Nightingale, who describes herself as a "wildlife warrior" from Worthing, is the founder of Fox Guardians, and makes educational films about foxes to promote compassion for the animals.

Dora has urged Rustington Parish Council to install CCTV at the allotment and for police to start "a formal investigation" into the fox killings, "including door to door questioning". 

Her petition has now received more than 2,400 signatures.

The campaigner, who laid flowers and a memorial at the site after the first fox was found dead, said: "The decapitated fox cub was put in a shallow grave - kids could have seen it.

"People who attack wildlife often progress to pets or even humans.

"It's very eerie and weird. I found it so shocking and gruesome.

"These fox killings are wildlife crimes and the killer needs to be found and held accountable for their barbaric acts.

"Foxes are so persecuted - only one in five makes it to their first birthday.

"Their lives are tough and short."

A spokeswoman for Rustington Parish Council said police were alerted immediately after the rags and the decapitated foxes were found, and the foxes' bodies were removed straight away.

The Argus: Dora placing a memorial to one of the foxes on the allotmentDora placing a memorial to one of the foxes on the allotment

She added that there is a public right of way through the allotments, and the dead foxes "could have been dumped there".

The spokeswoman said: “The council would like to reiterate it is taking the matter very seriously and doing whatever it can to support Sussex Police with their ongoing investigation.

"The Rural Crime Team are overseeing the investigation and are being incredibly supportive.

"Should anyone have any information we would encourage them to report it directly to the Police via 101.

"To date there is no evidence to show the foxes were killed on the allotment plots.

"The parish council absolutely and without question does not condone any cruelty to wildlife."

A police spokesman said: "Sussex Police is investigating a report of two decapitated foxes found on the Conbar Avenue allotments, Rustington.

"Anyone who has information about the incident or has witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the area should report online or ring 101 quoting Operation Tracker."