A bounty has been put up to catch a woman suspected of trying to kill foxes.

Wildlife groups have joined forces to offer a reward for information that leads to the arrest of a woman who is believed to have been trying to eliminate the animals by mixing rat poison with dog food.

And police have urged people to report any information about instances of poisoned animals to them.

Officers and animal rescuers are looking for a woman who lives in the area near the Salts Recreation Ground in Seaford who they believe has left contaminated dog food out for foxes.

Earlier this week a woman asked staff at a hardware store in the town to sell her rat poison so she could put it into dog food to try and kill foxes.

Investigators are trying to establish whether the same woman was involved in both incidents.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), the Fox Project and pet charities are working together to put up a reward for in a bid to catch the culprit.

The RSPCA said it was extremely concerned about reports of deliberate attempts to kill foxes but said it could not investigate unless an offence had already taken place.

Now residents living near the recreation ground have reported seeing a woman trying to poison animals in the area.

WRAS founder Trevor Weeks said: “We have spoken to the police who have said they are going to try to look at CCTV to see if they can identify this woman.

“It is clearly deliberate and not only that but it could be affecting other animals like pets or hedgehogs who may eat the contaminated food.”

Dog walkers and residents living near the Salts Recreation ground yesterday said they were concerned.

One pensioner, who lives at Dannfield House next to the park said: “I do sometimes look out of the window in the middle of the night and see foxes, but I wouldn’t really call that a problem.

“It is really sad that someone wants to kill them.”

Dog owner Carol Hallwood, of Seaford, added: “It is terrible. I can’t believe someone would try to kill animals this way.”

Planning to kill foxes is not a criminal offence but poisoning them is.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “We have been made aware of claims that a woman tried to buy poison with the intention of killing foxes but no offences have been reported to us.

“Anyone who has information or evidence in relation to this is urged to call 101.”