Allegations that a van driver killed three ducklings because he ‘could not wait’ for them to cross a road are being investigated by police.
The alleged incident is said to have taken place in Stoke-on-Trent on Friday, where traffic has stopped to allow a family of ducks to cross the road.
But a man in a white van has been accused of crushing three of the seven young birds after images shared on social media showed animals lying dead on the road.
Staffordshire Police said in a statement that officers are looking into the claims about what took place in Trentham after a witness posted a furious account of the events on Facebook.
Asking people to share his version of events, Steven Walley wrote: ‘I’ve just been driving on the A34 at Trentham Gardens roundabout when a family of seven ducklings were crossing the road.
‘All the traffic stopped to let them cross but disgustingly this van driver, after initially stopping, could not then wait for the five seconds it would have taken to let them cross and drove straight over them, crushing three of them.’
Mr Walley said he then followed the van to a nearby layby before having what he described as a ’very heated conversation’ with the driver.
He accused the driver of telling him: ‘I don’t f***ing care’.
Officers have now explained that they are trying to establish if any offences have been committed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
A statement posted on Twitter said: ‘We are aware of a post circulating of a van driver who is believed to have killed ducklings in Trentham.
‘We have made contact with the author of the post and are establishing potential offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
‘We understand this is an emotive issue for many people and we ask please that you do not take matters into your own hands.’
The original social media post about the incident has been shared thousands of times.
The RSPCA also tweeted in response: ‘We understand police are looking into this shocking incident.
‘We’d urge anyone who has first-hand information about this to contact local police on 101 or our cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
‘Our phone lines are currently very busy so apologies if there’s a delay getting through.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, check our news page.