A WARNING has been issued to dog walkers after parts of at least one dead pig were found in the New Forest.

A dog repeatedly returned to its owner with "grapefruit-sized" lumps of flesh - including an ear - after being taken for a walk between Lyndhurst and Cadnam.

It happened at Shave Green, near Minstead, but it is unclear how or where the pig died - or what happened to it afterwards.

The local parish council has issued an alert amid fears that the pig flesh could contain something harmful to other animals, including domestic pets.

Raw pork can contain a parasite, trichinella spiralis, which can cause vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. Eating uncooked bones can break or fracture the thin enamel layer on a dog’s teeth. Experts say any dog that has consumed raw pork should be taken to a vet as a precaution.

Posting on social media Minstead Parish Council said: "A rather unpleasant warning this evening.

"A parishioner has reported that while enjoying their walk in Shave Green Inclosure on three occasions their dog brought back dead pig pieces.

"They didn’t smell and were still fairly moist.

"There is no explanation why these off-cuts should be there so please be vigilant in case they contain anything that could harm your dog. The lumps were grapefruit-sized and included an ear."

A Forestry England spokesperson said: "We’ve had unconfirmed reports, via social media, of pig parts discarded in the Minstead area.

"We’d like to remind dog owners to keep their dogs under close control on the Forest and be aware of anything their dogs may pick up, chew or eat. If their dog becomes ill they should contact a vet as soon as possible."

Shave Green entered New Forest folklore after becoming a gypsy encampment.

Gypsies were once free to roam the district and camp where they liked but the authorities decided to create compounds into which they had to live, along with their animals.

By the late 1950s hundreds of gypsies were living in the compounds but by the mid-1960s most of them had been removed.

Minstead Parish Council has also issued a warning about the danger of the Forest's free-roaming animals being injured by poorly maintained fences.

It said: "The council received a message from a local commoner about a pony that suffered serious injury after it became caught in a domestic fence.

"They asked that we remind people to check and keep their fencing in reasonable condition to prevent injury to Forest stock.

"If a Forest animal gets into your property you may be held liable by its owner if it suffers any injury or illness as a result. If the animal damages your garden you cannot claim against the owner."