The RSPCA is appealing for information after a ‘group of youths’ attacked chickens at an allotment in Chester Le Street.
The incident happened on the evening of Friday, September 8, at allotments off Waldridge Lane in Waldridge.
RSPCA inspector Terri Ann Fannon said: "This was a terrible incident where chickens were tortured and some of them killed, seemingly for the pleasure of a group of youths.
"We understand that around a dozen young people - who were boys and girls - broke into the allotment after dark.
"One chicken was found dead by her owner at the allotment the following morning. The body of a second chicken was found burning on a bonfire in woods nearby. A third chicken was badly injured and had to be put to sleep."
Anyone who saw anything, or has any specific information that might help our investigation, is being urged to get in touch.
RSPCA inspector Fannon said: "A piece of concrete was found on the allotment which we think was probably used to kill the chickens.
"If anyone knows anything - no matter how small or insignificant you think it might be - please give me a call on our inspector appeal line 0300 123 8018."