THE discovery of around 100 dead birds in a Perthshire loch has been reported to police amid concerns of an illegal cull.

A dog walker spotted dozens of carcasses of what are believed to be crows floating on Loch Freuchie, west of Dunkeld.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), which licenses the culling of crows and ravens in the area, was informed and has reported the incident to Police Scotland.

Brenda Henderson from Crieff told the Courier newspaper: "They all looked like young crows. There must have been close to 100. It was quite alarming.

"It had to be a definite cull of some sort."

An SNH spokeswoman said: "These are disturbing photographs and while it is difficult to ascertain the circumstances from these pictures alone, we have reported this incident to Police Scotland for further investigation.

"We strongly encourage anyone who believes they have witnessed wildlife crime to contact the police as soon as possible.

"In cases such as these we advise that dead birds should not be handled and pets be kept away. We will assist the police with any inquiries they make."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Our inquiries are at an early stage and we are working closely with partner agencies to establish the full set of circumstances."