THE Scottish SPCA has launched an appeal after two chickens were found dumped in a recycling centre crusher in North Berwick.
The charity was alerted to the incident by staff at the centre on Heugh Brae on Saturday afternoon.
The chickens were found in a cardboard box in a skip equipped with a roller used to compress the waste.
One bird was already dead, while the other was rescued and taken to the Scottish SPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre where she has been named Jill.
Senior Inspector John Toule said: “We understand that a staff member was about to start up the crusher when he heard a noise coming from the skip. He picked the box up and shook it and heard the noise again and when he opened the box a chicken jumped out.
“There was one other chicken in the box but she had, unfortunately, already died. However, the surviving one is doing well in our care. Jill is a red hybrid hen and has a friendly, sweet nature so it’s very likely that she has been kept in a domestic setting.”
He said: “This was a particularly cruel abandonment which appears to have been done with the intention of causing the birds serious harm or death.
“A review of CCTV footage has revealed a man placing the box into the skip close to the inactive crusher some 45 minutes before the staff member was alerted. We believe the individual responsible for this act may have been driving a silver Citroën or Peugeot type vehicle.”
Insp Toule added: “It may be that someone locally might have noticed their neighbour’s hens going missing and if so we’d like them to get in touch with us. Indeed, we’d urge anyone with information to contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
“Meanwhile we will care for Jill until we can find her a loving new home with some other hens for company.”