BUTCHERS in Minehead and Porlock have been visited by police and environmental health officers following complaints about illegal poaching in the area.
The police officers and district council staff discussed with the butchers where they obtained any local game they sold.
A police spokesman said the visits were intended to ensure correct procedures were in place for selling meat such as venison and pheasant.
As a result of the operation, a working guide is to be produced and distributed to everybody involved in the trade.
The police spokesman said the butcher shop visits, which were carried out on Tuesday, were ‘in direct response to a number of complaints received about illegal poaching’.
He said: “It was an ideal opportunity to demonstrate to those involved that the police and environment department work closely together and take the issue of poaching seriously, and that those involved in the meat industry need to be aware of exactly where they obtain their game from.
“A number of issues were raised by both the police and environment department as well as the local butchers, and a working guide will now be produced and distributed to all concerned.”
Anybody with any information on poaching is being asked to call the Crimestoppers confidential freephone line on 0800 555 111 or contact Sgt Andy Whysall, of Dulverton Police Station, on 0845 456 7000.