Animal welfare officers are appealing for information after the discovery of a dead fox stripped of its fur.
The savage attack also saw the animal’s left hind paw and tail cut off.
The skinned fox was discovered by a dog walker in a field off Greenberfield Lane, in Barnoldswick.
Natalie Taylor, an RSPCA inspector, said the fur may have been taken in order to train dogs to hunt foxes.
She said: “We were alerted to the dead fox by a man walking his dog on December 30.
“I went up to Greenberfield Lane the following day and found the skinned animal next to the houses in the corner. It had all of its fur removed. There wasn’t a hair left, including the tail.
“It had one paw missing and it is very hard to determine the actual cause of death. I just hope it was dead before it was skinned because the pain would be unbearable.”
The RSPCA has retained the fox’s body as evidence and hopes people will come forward with information about who carried out the attack.
Anyone with information is urged to get in touch with the RSPCA on 03001 234999.