OWNERS are being urged to keep dogs under control after a deer was savaged by a group of hounds at a Hampshire beauty spot.

The roe deer died from the injuries it received in the mauling at St Catherine’s Hill, near Winchester.

The popular location for walkers is run by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

It tried to ban dogs from the site in 2006, unless kept on a lead, because several grazing sheep were attacked.

After protests from dog owners the ban was shelved. Since then, several more sheep have been attacked and put down, the trust said.

The roe deer has now become the latest casualty.

A statement from the trust said: “This is a shocking and irresponsible occurrence that took place on a busy Saturday in full daylight on a nature reserve where the public enjoy wildlife.

“This has happened despite the wildlife trust investing in a great deal of positive outreach with dog-walkers and installing new signs setting out what is expected of dog-walkers visiting the nature reserve.”

The trust added that the deer was attacked by what is thought to be a group of up to four Afghan hounds.

It is now asking owners to keep their dogs on leads, or at least close enough to supervise them at all times.

Anyone who saw the attack is urged to contact reserve officer Mike Allen on 07831 692963 or 01962 828629.