A third man has been arrested in connection with cruelty to deer and hares in Dorset.

Dorset Police have confirmed that a 27-year-old man from the Bransgore area of the New Forest was arrested today (Thursday) on suspicion of an animal cruelty offence.

This comes after two other men were arrested earluer this week in the same police operation.

On Monday a 23-year-old man, also from the Bransgore area, was arrested and charged with 16 counts relating to poaching and animal cruelty in Dorset.

On Tuesday, a second man was arrested on suspicion of three counts of criminal damage. It is alleged that he rammed three vehicles - one of which was a police car.

This follows a series of incidents involving reported cruelty to deer and hares in Dorset, as well as other offences.

Dorset's rural crime officers are working with colleagues from Hampshire Constabulary on the investigation.