A SAVAGE attack which left more than 200 pheasants dead has shocked a quiet corner of East Ayrshire.

Raiders targeted the complex containing the birds over two nights in a well-planned blitz of the premises.

The electricity was cut to the cages containing the birds at the Glenmuir Estate, near Dalblair, which enabled the cruel killers to also cut a protective electric fence.

After they had caused some damage on the first night workers at the estate, which is owned by the Marquis Of Bute, were unsure if it was a case of vandalism — or even if it had been an animal.

But on night two, when the electricity was disconnected as well as other barbaric acts designed to cause maximum slaughter, it was clear that it had not been a random attack.

Water containers, from which the birds feed, had been punctured and run dry while feeders had been wrecked as well as the pendulums designed for them to get access to their food.

Birds had been trampled on, with many left for dead and having to be humanely put to sleep, in a scene of brutality which left workers distraught.

In an even more sinister move, the murderers tried to set fire to the building, an action which could have had unthinkable consequences.

Fortunately, it was a wet evening , which had came in the middle of last month’s hot spell.

Because of the rain, the flames did not take hold but, if it had been dry weather, it would not have taken long for woodland close by to catch fire.

Ongoing investigations are being carried out with police appealing for help from anyone with information.

Call PC Lorimer, reference number 418, at Cumnock Police Station on 101 if you know anything.