Distressing footage has been captured by covert cameras showing three men laughing as committed a horrifying attack on a pheasant.

Buckinghamshire County Council contacted the RSPCA after their cameras spotted three men in Park Lane, Burnham.

Footage shows one of the men restraining the pheasant, holding him by his wings, with a second then attacking the bird and a third recording the attack on his mobile phone. The boys then kick the birds on the ground before jumping on them.

The boys then ran back to the car, with the second youth (dressed in the Adidas tracksuit) seemingly the driver. A minute later they returned with another vehicle, a green Subaru SUV with a grey bumper – which also appeared to have young men inside with their hoods up.

The first youth is a white male with short, brown hair, wearing a black baseball cap, blue t-shirt and grey jogging bottoms. The second is a white male with brown hair, wearing a black Adidas tracksuit. The third is a white male, with a more tanned complexion, with dark hair, wearing a khaki-green t-shirt and blue jeans.

READ MORE - RSPCA give advice about fledglings and nestlings

RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith said: “The incident actually occurred on Monday 8 April at around 3.30pm. Three young lads are seen getting out of a dark blue / black Volkswagen Polo before getting a live pheasant out of the boot.

“A series of still images then shows the boys man-handling the bird, attacking it with what appears to be a curved knife and a slingshot, before they appear to pull his wings off.

“It’s extremely violent and cruel. The bird would have suffered seriously throughout the duration of the attack.

“They then dump the bird on the ground before returning to the boot of the car and throwing what appears to be the body of a second bird - a female pheasant - from the vehicle onto the ground.”

“At this stage we do not know the ages of these youths so we would ask anyone who recognises them to contact us directly and not to publicly name the boys. This is also why we have chosen not to show the boys’ faces at this time. We are already in the process of tracing the vehicle via the car registration.

“Anyone who recognises any of the individuals or the vehicles can contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Inspector Rachel Smith.”

Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “Our flytipping surveillance cameras are there to catch people involved in the illegal dumping of waste, but as a public body we have a duty to inform the appropriate agency if other criminal activity comes to light. That's why we've provided the evidence of this distressing incident to the RSPCA.”